Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Orlando - I feel hopeless!!!!

Every gay man and woman would have heard the news of Orlando shooting completely terrified and would have froze by the fact that the man who did that was a regular at the "Pulse" bar. He is reportedly a closeted homosexual. Investigation is going on and that is good. But is it enough? Listen to some of the voices which are nothing but abject homophobia. Some were congratulating the killer for shooting 50 innocent human beings. The ridiculous fact is that they were speaking such trash on a completely hypothetical ground in the name of religion and god. They believe god has punished the gay sinners in the form of the maverick shooter. There were many ridiculous tweets which were not only homophobic but misanthropic. Such reactions from society really terrifies me as a human being than being at the gun point. People are justifying the killing of a fellow human being. And what is their fault - they love somebody belonging to their own sex.  Reading such comments actually makes me ashamed of calling myself, a human being. I am far more comfortable being an animal, if this is what human means. These self anointed guardians of faith and religion are the real terror and they spread the intolerance faster than a jet plane. 

 Courtesy: Thoughtcatalog blog

Once renowned Indian author Vikram Seth said that " intolerance is violence and accepted intolerance is violence with the acquiescence of the society". Very true. If society alienates from such atrocities and people who support such atrocities, they will no longer exist. But there are always takers for any kind of atrocities in this world. There are supporters for all kinds of evil. Evil in the name of god. Evil in the name of belief. Evil stemming from ignorance. Evil stemming from fear. Sometimes it seems hopeless. Breaking these shackles is the real struggle. Religion is that kind of evil like the fox in the sheep skin; nobody realizes the impact it causes, until the last moment. It is like a Trojan horse. Deceptive and effective. It clouds logic, clogs mind and makes people slaves. The shackles can be broken only by collective consciousness. collective mindfulness, collective effort; each individual is important and must contribute. Hope for a peaceful world.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Layered photographic art of Nir Arieli

Nir Arieli's images define (within oneself) the body as an entity that cannot be fully grasped. His project ‘Tension’ employs double (triple/quadruple/quintuple/sextuplet/sextuplet etc) exposure techniques to highlight subtle and sometimes drastic movements of the figure. The shapes created and the space occupied by the body is frozen in flux. For more just visit his website. The photographs are ripe with a certain fragility and vulnerability even when the models are absolute physical specimens celebrating masculinity.

Sunday, 20 December 2015

The cukoo's calling - book review

It is Christmas time, joy and ebullience in air everywhere, got some free time and so I finished reading the first ever crime thriller novel written by the Harry Potter creator J.K.Rowling. She wrote this novel under the norm de plume, Robert Galbraith. The book is a massive 550 odd pages one with so many difficult words to consume for non-English speakers like me, I was forced to resort to my dictionary so many times that I lost my count. But it was worth and I liked it despite the tediousness and lousiness it caused by its level of difficulty and sheer bulk.

The book was refreshing as it deviated from the usual crime story style as that of Agatha Christie/Conan Doyle, though I feel the latter styles are very effective ones with lot more takers. Contrasting to the comfortable and flamboyant, Hercule Poirot or the eccentric/manic Mr. Holmes, the sleuth "Cormoran Strike" is devastated, destitute, massive, hairy and rough natured. We are introduced to him when he is just separated from his wife, the beautiful Charlotte, the purpose of that character, I did not understand as many others already pointed out. Interestingly, he did get a beautiful yet efficient and enthusiastic temporary assistant "Robin" (even though she has a decent lover, who at times seems confused whether she has fallen in love with Strike). Robin is oblivious of his troubled past but quite sentient about the present troubles of divorce and bankruptcy glaring at him. Almost at the same time of Robins entry into the scene, lands their first case; a high profile and lucrative case,which happens to be the silver lining for Strike. Besides all these bleak and freak facets of Strike's life, his freakiness is quadrupled by his leg prosthesis: yes, he is a one legged man (ex-military paraplegic) and that leg is aching all the times, during the entire story which I hated and found to be excruciatingly annoying.

Yeah now the story. No spoilers here. I don't want you not to read the book. The plot revolves around the death of a high flying model starlet " Lula Landry" (affectionately called Cuckoo by some) who is drug inflicted, adopted by a wealthy family and searching for her roots which is African (Yeah, she is black and at the end of the novel, proves to be a very resolute and articulated character, it seems Rowling is not at all racist, Harry Potter series too had black/Indian characters, I particularly loved that fact). Her death was marked as suicide, but her close and near ones don't believe that and hires Strike to unveil the truth behind her death. Amusingly almost the entire bulk of the book, is just conversation, conversation and conversation only. Strike interviews the people connected with Lula preparing notes about the circumstances which prevailed during that awful day of cuckoo's death, scribbling meticulously in his note book and mind mapping. Robin is quite handy when it comes to situations which demands conning as somebody else. She is very bright with several accents and an uncanny ability to blend in. Strike remains productive despite his crippled leg, but laments to his self about his leg troubles all the time. The book is replete with the scenes of high fashion shoots, pubs and stereotypes/idiosyncrasies of high life. The book delves into the difficult lives of celebrities and sympathizes  with the breach of their privacy.

Finally the climax is quite good. The deduction comes only in the last few pages. You will get that only if you reach there. But if you are a hard core thriller addict and love the detection based on deduction akin our beloved Holmes, you will get frustrated with each page and probably will not reach there. But writing style is very lucid and if you keep your interest till the last, it is a good catch. I must warn you, patience is a virtue, especially with this book. It is a different thriller, may be old style, with a definitive edge of Rowling's phenomenal mastery of  English language and indomitable story telling. Worth a go if you have loads of patience and eons of time.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5.0. I would have given 4.0 if she had not included so many unnecessary details of the lamentations about the leg and the unsuccessful relationship with Charlotte.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

New year calmness

A new year is coming. On a flash back, every year for every body will be marked by some achievements,  marred by some aspersions and plagued by worries. Time will heal everything, even the deepest of wounds. Embrace the joy and the worries equally just like a solid rock, neutralize worries. The awesome song sung by Idina Menzel for the Disney flick "Frozen" is the right song when you are down. See the lyrics below.

"The snow glows white on the mountain tonight,
not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I'm the queen.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn't keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.
Don't let them in, don't let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know.
Well, now they know!

Let it go, let it go!
Can't hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.
I don't care what they're going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.

It's funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can't get to me at all
It's time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
I'm free!

Let it go, let it go.
I am one with the wind and sky.
Let it go, let it go.
You'll never see me cry.
Here I'll stand, and here I'll stay.
Let the storm rage on.

My power flurries through the air into the ground.
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I'm never going back; the past is in the past!

Let it go, let it go.
And I'll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.

Let the storm rage on!
The cold never bothered me anyway..."

Feeling happy, right!!! That is what songs can do to you :)

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Anger and the healing touch of Nature Here is a wonderful thought of Eckhart Tolle from his book "A New Earth" which proved quite interesting to read and he says about flowers......."Flowers, more fleeting, more ethereal, and more delicate than the plants out of which they emerged, would become like messengers from another realm, like a bridge between the world of physical forms and the formless. We could look upon flowers as the enlightenment of plants". I was quite angry when I had read this. I was angry at the world, the people around me and totally pissed off with my life. It shook me after reading the analogy of bud and flower. Anger alters you, destroys you inch by inch, slowly and you don't realize it. You get angry at others when are angry at yourself. The anger within is like a bud. Seeing things in a different perspective can provide abatement of anger and moving more towards enlightenment. Just like the bloom of a flower. Openness! A bud is closed but a flower is all embracing and the flow of fragrance from an open flower will make others happy. That transformation is essential for finding the meaning of ones life. We need to delve into the deepest troves of our own soul and at the same time embrace others. Letting go and taking things easy is quintessential for finding peace. We set ourselves standards so high that we often get angry on trifling matters.
Nature provides us with such clues. Most of the Eastern philosophies like Indian, Chinese and Japanese give profound importance to nature. Observing nature can give valuable insights and lasting peace. Buddhist, Zen and Taoist teachings revolve around rivers, flowers, bamboo shoots and the undeniable natural beauty. The chirping of birds, rivers flowing over the pebbles, a gust of wind caressing the  bamboo shoots and  leaves, all educate us of the essential humility and the importance of letting go. The bamboo shoots are flexible, they curve down and oscillates back in order to avoid breakage. The pebbles get shaped by the flow of river, sometimes even giving rise to magnificent geometrical shapes. They don't resist. They get ebbed down by the flow seeking a greater purpose. A greater meaning. The purpose of existence. Birds do their duty regardless of the rewards, it is their instinct. In fact we are the only species who think of rewards for our duty, for rest of the animals, it is just instinct. We complicate things. We bring our "ego" to everything and their lies the fault.

Orlando - I feel hopeless!!!!

Every gay man and woman would have heard the news of Orlando shooting completely terrified and would have froze by the fact that the man w...