Friday, February 18, 2005

Anand, Bombay and Charles Dickens !?!!!

This weekend, I must decide whether I will continue to read that book I have picked up a long time ago… Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens… I have finished the first few chapters but it is very hard to make any progress. May be a person who has lived in such an environment will appreciate the descriptive style of Charles Dickens. But this is the last opportunity that I am giving myself to complete the book.

I have been watching few emotional movies over the last few days… CVO has been on a roll. First it was Manirathnam’s Bombay and yesterday it was Anand. Contrasting movies… but not so capturing viewer interest for the entire duration.

I had heard about Anand so much. But I had never seen the movie. Yesterday, the most famous dialogue of the movie [“Zindagi aur maut uparwale ke haath mein hai, Jahanpanah. Hum sab rangmanch ki kathputliyan hain jinki dor uparwale ki ungliyon se bandhi hui hai. Kab kaun uthega koi nahin bata sakta.”]
was put in perspective for me…I had always thought that it was a sintimental dialogue told by Anand when he tries to explain the inevitable to Bhaskar babu moshai. But now I know that the intention was totally different. The songs are excellent… each one of them... both lyrics and music. Sometimes I wonder why such good natured movies have disappeared from Bollywood all together. May be there is no money in slow movies no-a-days.

May be this vacuum of sensible movies is what made me like Bombay so much. Yes it has violence, slightly unrealistic, too critical of the system and so on… But good lyrics, bold (at the same time sensitive) story line and amazing music set it apart from all the modern movies. Its amazing how the lyricists managed to fit such great poetry in 3 languages for the same music. The names chosen for the kids are also so thoughtful... Kabir Narayan and Kamal Bashir. Well, the Ayodhya incident is at least one forgettable part of modern Indian history.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Island of Lost Maps and Detective.

The Island of Lost Maps: A True Story of Cartographic Crime. by Miles Harvey.

I leased this book from Ashish - a colleague of mine for a week-end. At first I thought, that it would be very difficult to finish reading such a bulky book in just 2 days... given my levels of concentration. As chapters after chapters rolled by, I found myself admiring the debutante’s way of narration. It was very similar to what I do when I write... the things that are told seem unrelated and vague until, the author himself connects all the dots for you... Some times even after the author connects the dots the picture is somewhat hazy... I guess Miles Harvey knows this and repeats himself where ever the reader may feel lost. That’s so much like me... I liked the book partly because of that. Apart from the gripping story, the book is filled with cartographic trivia.

Al in all, the book is an excellent pass time to read on a lonely journey.

Detective - by Arthur Hailey.

I borrowed this book from Mayank Singh. There was no dead line to finish the book... The story is about a serial killer and one another killing that does not fit in the pattern... I was reminded of all those episodes of Law and Order that I had seen when I was in US (and here too...) But after all that, I found this book lacking the excitement. It was very easy to expect the unexpected... I may be feeling so because of those serials or the expectations I had about the author himself. If I don’t like a book, i better justify it... In this book I feel, the author has gone too far to complicate a crime... and the methods used to do so are also not highly imaginative... how many stories have we not seen where a highly placed government officials have dark episodes (of sexual nature) in their childhood... In most of them, the perpetrator is usually the father... Americans have been obsessed with the Bible... I can remember at least 2 famous movies ("Se7en" starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, "The Seventh Sign" starring Demi Moore) that deal with similar topics... The author seems to have "bible based serial killing" as the center piece and added the rest of the story by backtracking and tying up lose ends... and try to make it interesting in the larger sense. I wonder how this ever became a best seller?