Sunday, 29 January 2012

Of the Mandals and Loudspeakers

Had writen this post on 26th January. Spent three days thinking whether to post it or not. Not my usual kind of post. Its not about any movie or short story or anything that you might expect from me. It is rather my frustration which came out on that day. I have tried my best in not giving out my location or else I might get thrashed if any concerned person from my area reads this :P

Disclaimer: All the incidents and characters in this writing are real. Any resemblance to any place or to a person who is living or dead is purely intentional.

Five years back I moved on to my current place. Owning a bigger house then earlier seemed a very pleasurable experience but little did I know about what was the extra price we would have to pay along with the original sum we paid to the previous owner. The extra price that I am talking about is my comfort. My building happens to be in middle of an area surrounded by sort of groups or what they call mandals. Their members or karyakartas have extreme devotion to a specific God or Goddess.

Like a mandal who dominate the area behind my building are devoted a lot to Lord Ganesh, so they just need a reason to put up loud speakers during a day even remotely attached to their Lord. This in turn troubles the other residents.

A mandal on my left are staunch devotees of the Goddess Durga and Sai Baba. They have their speakers set up and played on full volumes everytime they sense about some auspicious day. Let me tell you there are about ten to fifteen such days in a month for them. This people become unbearable during the nine days of Navrathri.

Speaking of my right, just on the building across the road from mine boasts of a not so successful but a never giving up wannabe politicians or local social workers. Now this people have their own mandal and also one or two other organizations. And I think it's our locality's big fault or some grave sins in our previous birth that they are great devotees of Sai Baba. Now I don't have a problem with their devotion in fact I admire the way they are dedicated to their belief. But that belief turns out to be a nightmare for me and other people. Almost every Thursday devotional songs of Sai Baba are put on from morning to evening.

Now let’s come to my front side, unfortunately I have two front sides. On right front a few yards ahead there is office or shaka of a political party (I'm not naming it) and on the left front it's a big market.

Today as I am writing this post, it's 26th January, our Republic day, it also happens to be Ganesh Jayanti. Now I haven't got out to take a look down to see from where the sounds are coming. But tell me you I am hearing two songs simultaneously, a patriotic one Abb tumhare hawale waton sathiyo and on the other side I can hear that Lord Ganesh's aarti sung by Shankar Mahadevan. A few minutes ago when I started writing this it was Kolaveri Di. Now you must wonder what that song is doing on a National Day and religious occasion, well it doesn't matter. Last year Munni and Sheela were almost dancing everyday during Ganesh Utsav and Navrathri. Come on; if you respect your God then at least don't insult him by playing such songs.

All I got to say instead of doing all this stupid things and disturbing everyone why don't you just put that money to help the not so blessed children of your own God. Instead of making grand celebrations make it simple but at the same time put the money that you would save in their welfare.

Now as I have kept my woes, I end my post listening to Maurya song from Shahrukh Khan's Don and our National song Saare Jahan Se Aacha Hindustan Hamara.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Cinema Paradiso : A Celebration Of Life

There are many movies which make us happy, cry or nostalgic. In this post I would be talking about one such movie, Cinema Paradiso, an Italian film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore and released in 1988.

For those who have seen it would know the greatness of it and for those who haven't let me tell you that when you will watch it, it would be a movie you will remember for your life.

The movie shows the earlier life as a kid and teenager of a successful film maker as he makes up his mind one night after his mother's call to return to his old town after nearly 30 years for
Alfredo's funeral.

The films portrays Toto as a small kid who is fascinated by movies and his relationship with Alfredo, the projectionist and owner of the local movie theatre called 'Cinema Paradiso'.

The movie is actually a celebration of the golden age of cinema. The movies ranging from the 1950s till the seventies and the enthusiasm of people for such movies is portrayed excellently.
The Cinema Paradiso has every type of audience you can except, who according to their nature cry, laugh, fear the movies as they progress.

The movies whenever they come, are first shown to the local priest who makes Alfredo cut out all the kissing and intimate scenes in the movies, for making it fit for the audience. Although Alfredo doesn't like it, he has no other option than to agree with the priest.

Toto's relationship with Alfredo is the best thing in the movie. Fatherless Toto finds a fatherly figure in Alfredo. Alfredo in turn finds solace in Toto. But on one unfortunate night, fire breaks out in Cinema Paradiso and costs Alfredo his eyes. But that doesn't harm him, he still remains as good as ever with his work as a projectionist.

A burned Cinema Paradiso also raises a wave of sadness among the people of the town. One lucky lottery winner who is also a cinema enthusiast invests in the rebuilding of the theater and thus Cinema Paradiso stands again with much grace then before. But now Alfredo is blind, so Toto is asked to help him and work as a projectionist. The reason behind this is that in spite of being a kid, Toto is the only person in town other than Alfredo who can operate the projector.

In the other half of the movie, Toto is shown to be grown up boy and a teenager who now not only works as a projectionist at Cinema Paradiso but also experiments with movie-making on his small camera. His first love in his growing years has been shown well.

Later the part where Alfredo makes Toto to leave the village with a promise to never come back is quite touching. Alfredo truly feels that Toto is an exceptional and extra-ordinary boy and should be flying higher instead of staying back in the small town. The statement which Alfredo makes is quite touching when he says, "I don't want to hear you talk anymore.I want to hear others talking about you. "

The ending part shows an older Toto returning back and getting reunited with his mother and other familiar people who have been regular audiences in Cinema Paradiso. They are quite proud and happy with how Toto has grown up.

Alfredo's wife hands over a reel of a film to Toto, as Alfredo had advised her before dying. In the end as Toto plays it, it turns out to be a beautiful compilation of all the kissing scenes which earlier Alfredo and Toto had cut out from the movies on the priest's saying.
The films ends well, promising a big smile on the viewer's face.

The film went on to win Grand Prix Du Jury award at the Cannes Film Festival and Best Foreign Language Film at Oscars, BAFTA and Golden Globe.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Short Story : The Robbery


Our guy with camera was busy taking pictures of the building from it's front and surroundings. He was smiling more with every second passing and couldn't wait to finish his job soon.

Our second guy who was standing in front of the bank, looked sadly towards it. After every few seconds he would take out his wallet and look at the picture of his kid girl, then smile for a while and again return his gaze towards the bank.

Our third guy was riding throughout the area on his new sports bike, on which he had done some modifications himself to suit for the job. He was just so lost in his thoughts for the job next day.

All of our three guys were so lost in their respective thoughts that they could care little about the rest of the world. Each one of them had a perfect plan and had made proper efforts to succeed.


It was a Monday morning and people were back to work after enjoying their weekend. All the things seemed normal and fine.

A guy in black suit entered through the gate and was ready to knock off the security guard, but was surprised when he did not find the guard there.

A few minutes earlier a guy in grey suit had got surprised too.

With no time to waste, the guy in black suit grabbed a man in red suit as soon as he came inside and with one gun shot in the air enough to scare people, he loudly declared his intentions. Holding everyone at the gunpoint, he asked them to get to a corner.

The guy in grey suit got puzzled over what was happening in the middle of his job. He confronted the guy in black suit, to which the guy in black suit didn't take good.

The guy in black suit just started to fire and the guy in grey suit got lucky and killed him in counter fire. 

The guy in red suit now freed since the guy in gray suit had shot the guy in black suit. He first got annonyed thinking that his job had got hijacked by first the guy in black suit and now by this guy in gray suit.

The guy in gray suit finally succeeded in taking money from the locker, by telling the cashier to do that. He was holding a lady at a gun point.

The guy in red suit was looking at the guy in black suit now lying dead in the middle of the floor. The guy in gray was in front, taking the filled bags. Without a second thought,
the guy in red suit took out the gun.

The guy in gray suit was quick to notice the actions of the guy in red suit, he shot him even before the guy in red suit could point out the gun.

The guy in gray suit now with the bags and a lady at the gun point, got out of the bank. He took the lady with him as a hostage, a safety measure if he would be confronted by the police on the way later. As soon as he got out, he made her sit in his car and drove away.


The manager and cashier, who earlier had been unsuccessful in putting on the alarm, now were calling the police.

The man in black suit who was dead stayed still the floor . A small part of some black colored device, something like a camera was out from his pocket.

Outside the bank, stood a sports bike, whose rider had come dressed in the red suit, and now it was left owner-less.

A lady was walking happily, surviving the accident and carrying bags filled with fortune.

The man in gray suit had his head resting on the steering wheel in the same way as his car was resting on the tree. A few minutes earlier he was struggling with the lady inside the car, to get hold of his gun. She had grabbed it, when he was looking at the photo in his wallet and didn't had his the attention on the gun. The car had gone out of control and a tree stood still on their way.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Librarian : A Cool Job

I have always enjoyed sitting in the library, be it in school or college. Well from the past three years I have been visiting a good library which I managed to find near my house. But that’s not what this post is about. It’s not much about the library, I want to focus on the librarian.
Yes, the librarian. Ever gave a thought to pick up this job? Sitting for hours at a single desk, watching others reading, talking in whispers and most of all the silence for hours.
Not many would like the idea, what if the library is not any usual one but the kind of library as shown in The Librarian film series? Well if its for real, then let me tell you, I would be the first one to volunteer for such a job.

The librarian in the movie series :
Flynn Carsen(Noah Wyle), a 31 year old student who has who has 22 academic degrees(12 Bachelors, 6 Masters, and 4 Ph.D.s). He is a kind of guy who just refuses to stop learning and leave the college. One of his professors kicks him out of college, insisting that he should get some real-world experience. And thus Flynn gets out into the real world, ready with his knowledge.

The library in the movie series :

A huge magical library which has all the records of every miraculous thing ever happened. Also the magical weapons, items, etc that you only hear in legends, fairy tales or bed times stories are kept here. Some of the items include The Ark of Covenant, Excalibur the sword, Aladdin' flying carpet,etc.


The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (2004) was the first film in the series. It introduced us to the characters and told about the quest for spear of destiny, between the librarian and the evil Brotherhood of serpents.

The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines (2006) was the second film, which showed the librarian traveling to
King Solomon's Mines to protect the Book of Solomon, hidden in the mines, which will give the reader of it control over time and space. And obviously the evil men must have to be stopped from doing it.

The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice (2008) was the third film where Flynn Carsen, our librarian finds himself in the midst of uncovering a conspiracy that involves the notorious vampire Prince Vlad Dracul. Here Flynn protects one of the world's most sacred artifacts, the Judas Chalice, from falling into wrong hands.

The Librarian is a series of made-for-TV original movies for Turner Network Television. They may not fit the standards of normal feature films like
Indiana Jones series but they are good in their own terms. The films are light hearted comedies with some elements from the fairy tales and bed time stories, guaranteed to entertain you.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

being lucky enough to be in SCHINDLER’S LIST

DISCLAIMER : This is a fictional narration, based on Steven Spielberg’s movie SCHINDLER’S LIST. The film depicts the real life story of an industrialist Oskar Schindler who had significant contribution in saving some Jews within his capacity. This story/narration is based on one such fictional Jewish man, who could have been in such camp and saved by Schindler.

It’s in the memory of those innumerable innocent souls, who faced deaths in one of the world’s worst tragedies caused by man..........

Born with both, brains and money into a well to do family, secured my future. Time was coming near when I could finish my education, get a good job and marry my love Kelly.

All was well until the beginning of World War II in 1939. Suddenly I was a no use man. I was blamed for every wrong thing happening, for every loss of my country and in fact blamed for even taking birth.
And what was my fault?

I was a Jew. Yea the authorities and even the other communities had held us responsible for everything. Right from the defeat in WW I to every other national issue.

The outcome: we were hunted. We were forced out of our homes. Our houses, business everything was taken away by the government.
We were taken down in the Krakow Ghetto, which was very small to accommodate the large Jewish population of us but the government didn’t care.

By that time an angel had arrived, Oskar Schindler. He was there for business. Schindler acquired a factory for the production of army mess kits. Not knowing much about how to properly run such an enterprise, he gained a close collaborator in Itzhak Stern, an official of Krakow's Judenrat (Jewish Council) who had contacts with the Jewish business community and the black marketers inside the Ghetto

Opening the factory, Schindler pleased the Nazis and enjoyed his newfound wealth and status as "Herr Direktor", while Stern handled all the administration. Schindler hired Jewish Poles instead of Catholic Poles because they costed less (the workers themselves got nothing; the wages were paid to the SS). But the workers in Schindler's factory were allowed outside the Ghetto, and Stern falsified documents to ensure that as many people as possible are deemed "essential" to the German war effort, which saved them from being transported to concentration camps, or being killed.

SS-Lieutenant Amon Goeth arrived in the camp at Ghetto one day. He was there to see the construction of site over there. We were working very hard on it. With constant fear of losing life because we never knew when anyone of us would be dead.

Once the construction was complete Amon Goeth ordered the final liquidation of the ghetto and Operation Reinhard in Kraków began, with hundreds of troops emptying the cramped rooms and arbitrarily murdering anyone who protested or appeared uncooperative, elderly or infirm. Schindler watching this scene was very upset and as any good human being would have felt, he got sad for my people and got angry at the Nazis, but he knew he couldn’t fight against the Nazis.

Schindler bribed Goeth into allowing him to build a sub-camp for his workers, so that he could keep his factory running smoothly and protect them from being randomly executed. As the time passed, Schindler acted on information provided by Stern and saved as many lives as he could earning a god like status for himself.

When the war shifted, Goeth received orders from Berlin commanding him to exhume and destroy the remains of every Jew murdered in the Kraków Ghetto, dismantle Płaszów, and ship the remaining Jews, including Schindler's workers to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where they could kill them in gas chambers.

Schindler persuaded Goeth to allow him to keep his workers so that he could move them to a factory in his old home of Zwittau-Brinnlitz, in Moravia away from the Final Solution, now fully underway in occupied Poland. Goeth eventually acquiesced, but charged a massive bribe for each worker. Schindler and Stern assembled a list of workers who are to be kept off the trains to Auschwitz.

Amongst the lucky souls in that list, I happened to find a place. Schindler was paying too much behind every one of us. Finally after a lot of hardships we were moved and sent at the new factory.

Things didn’t get easy for Schindler here too. He was losing a lot of money due to our lack of experience.  But this man had different plans. He was happy that our factory was producing under grade war ammunitions. In fact he even agreed sometimes that he will be unhappy if anything worth hurting a human life was ever made in his factory. Schindler used to buy products from other factories and later pass them on as ours. He was losing quite a fortune of his in saving us and at the same time keeping his principles.

By the time, the war had ended Schindler was almost a broken man. He had lost almost all of his fortune in protecting a few Jews. No misery is permanent. The war ended. We were free from the Nazis. Actually now they being were hunted down for counts of inhuman charges.

Schindler had to flee. He was considered as a profiteer of slavery and thus a criminal, but we knew he was a God. So we wrote a letter describing him as a god to us and signed it. He saved about eleven hundred of us. Even while leaving that great man cursed himself and ashamed for not putting his full efforts, saying he could have saved more if he had tried hard. But that was not true. He had tried hard, almost risking his life, losing his wealth and every damm thing.

We wanted to do something to let him know that we would remember him for our entire lives. Not only us but our generations to come. We then secretly made a ring from a worker's gold dental bridge and engraved it with a Talmudic quotation, "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire." And gifted it to this great man