Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The season of movies

Yes, oscars are going to be held next Sunday. This is the official season of movies.

I am glad that i have seen almost all the important ones that i care about (except the foreign language nominations , for which i am truly sorry). Yes, i have not seen SocialNetwork and i do not intend to watch it. Here is an overview of how i am celebrating this season this year -

1. The music never stopped - This month's Camera cinema club screening. A movie about a mentally handicapped person who when played music from his past suddenly makes him remember his memories. And this music is the music of Greatful dead, Dylan, Beatles etc. An awesome performance by JK Simmons and rest of cast, this movie is a delight to watch because it is so simple and heart warming. Every one cried in that cinema hall in the end. Everyone.

2. The kids are all right - A lot of buzz was created by this movie and i missed all of my chances to see this movie in hall. But i saw it yesterday and i liked it. I am a big fan of Mark Ruffalo and he is great to watch in this movie. That also goes for the young actress Mia something, who was also there as Alice in Alice in wonderland. The cast is very strong, so acting is top notch, story is quite expected given the premise, but still feels new as it unfolds.

3. Dogtooth - Watched it just after the kids are all right. In the kids are all right, the premise is simple and then a pressure cooker situation is developed from an ordinary situation. Dogtooth is simply opposite from this - The premise itself is so complicated, so extra-ordinary that the entire movie to a viewer is just a revelation and after some time the viewer just stops expecting anything and just accepts whatever is presented. Dogtooth is a very scary movie, scary because what if it comes to be true. It reminded me of Dogma productions, like The idiots, like movies made by Lars von tiers. Dogtooth is a bold movie, because it tries to depict a society which does not appear to be that far away but its consequences are disastrous. But without going into the details of story, dogtooth cinematically is quite amazing . The best part is that not a single part of movie is spent in justifying the premise, it just expects you to accept the premise and see the implications of premise. This to me is a sign of good film making. At many instances in film, there is no sound, just visual imagery. Very little background score and even natural sounds such as jumping into a pool are turned off just so that the visual sense can dominate other senses. And then there are some scenes where there is background music and it just stands out then. Dogtooth is nominated in Foreign Lang category. Haven't seen others but this one is quite a force.

Other movies -
1. Extraordinary measures - A feel good movie about how a cure for pompe disease came into production. A good watch on a Sunday evening kind of a movie.
2. The Straight story - I had to watch this movie again, just to get rid of the pain that was reminding me to watch this movie again.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Platonic lambda

I was going home after watching the movie King's speech. Naturally, i was in a very good mood. Good movie, good music always makes me happy. Roughly halfway, on San Antonio bus stop, i saw a man hitching a ride. No body was stopping. I saw him, he looked harmless (yes, i fear people hitching for rides, don't ask why), but i moved on. 100 metres ahead, i went and then decided - no, i should help him. I took a U - turn and went back to the bus stop. This time, i stopped. He wanted to go to Cubberly field, about mile and half from the bus stop. Not exactly in my way but it was just 1.5 miles. I said sure.

This person was middle-aged, carrying a bag pack. He told me that he is coming from Stanford where is taking poetry classes.
My mind thought - "How exciting!"
He was going to take some class near Cuberly field. He gave me his background - he had a PhD, he had worked a lot earlier but at some point he realized - what he worked on was not what he wanted to do.
My mind thought - "This sounds familiar".
So, he decided to take poetry classes and then he shared with me his today's poem - "Platonic lambda"
Its about the origins of the symbol lambda, Plato suggested it - thats why Platonic lambda. He shared his idea that he has observed for quite some time. Lambda is very similar to golden ratio - Like the way there is golden ratio everywhere, there is lambda everywhere around us. When we walk, in the shape of our nose, when birds fly etc etc.
My mind thought - "huh! He may have a point there. Intriguing! "
He gave a copy of his poem which i can not print as i do not have his permission. He also shared some of his life's experiences, what he has learnt, understood and how much happy he is now. At peace.
We talked for 15 mins at his drop place. I said goodbye. His name was Peter Chou and he runs wisdomportal.com.
My mind thought - "Good site name :)"

Overall, this is what means to be in the spirit of HKA. A random occurrence, a chance created out of nothing, a refreshing and exciting conversation, people sharing random ideas, observing things that are in front of you, things that you always saw and it never occurred to you. That just made my day.


Life in Dec4 - Feb 4th

Happy new year to my life. Welcome to the latest and greatest of me, myself and I. Two months, the longest and the shortest, just like the previous ones. Here were the headlines -

Mummy and papa visited US. Great time, lots of travel, fun travel (See travelogue earlier) and good food, home cooked food. No matter how many times i see the food in making, i can never reproduce it. But overall, one of the best months in US.

Contributed money to NPR. No more guilt in enjoying free radio commentary :)

Started preparing for full marathon.

Started knitting my rug. Needles the size of cricket wicket, come see me on thursday at DSRC, MV.

Bought my bike today. It will be delivered in 2-3 weeks.

Watched a palindrome play - Ouroboros
A very interesting play - very innovative. Think about it - how can you make a palindrome - the forward being a comedy and reverse being a tragedy. Renegade theatre group - http://www.renegadetheatre.com/ has done a great job in realizing this idea. Quite bold. But once you get the palindrome structure, the rest of the play is average, a lot could have been done. But still, it is quite good. Next season (2011 season) of renegade is also quite interesting - apparently they specialize in alternative theatre.

Ponyo my fish has started to enjoy my company. I think she has wisely looked at all her alternatives (which were none excluding me) and has finally compromised.

Work from Dec to Jan was good, hectic, none, fresh, easy, slacky, busy and then super hectic.

Movies - True Grit, Black swan, kings speech, Rabbit hole.

Tv -shows - Got bugged by Law and order - Criminal intent. Very impressed Vincent D'onfario's character. New season of hustle is quite good and so is House. Stewart and Colbert continue to impress.

Books - sadly, need to get back to them. Too many to read. Started on The Imperfectionists.


On Feb 4th , i finished two years of working post my masters.


Two years of working,
Excited? Time to change?
how you see it.
One second, it feels like yesterday;
Other, it seems a decade.

So many things accomplished;
so many learnings, achievements, awards,
recognition, self-confidence and happiness.
But, Yet,
Nothing materialized,
all that work for nothing.
was that work after all?
So much to do, learn, understand, build...

Why do i work here?
Somebody told me - "We will change the world".
I believed - "I will change the world", rather -
"I would contribute in changing the world".
Have we changed the world?
Are we changing the world?
Yes and no.
But what about the meta question -
Does the world require this change?
Gandhiji's talisman - think of the poorest man,
Will he see the change?

Friends - made and lost.
Friends moved on,
old friendships forgotten,
New friendships based on new interests.
New interests based on new friends.
Are new friends better than old ones?
Are old friends better than new ones?

And what happened to your plans?
Motherland, fatherland, place called home?
Hey! it is home where i live.
Carpe diem.
But for how long?