Dec 31, 2008

2008 in review

The curtains for 2008 are slowly closing down, with a glimpse of 2009 in the near horizon. The year has been eventful in many ways. Here's a summary of how 2008 fared for me, just for records that I can look back after a few years. (Flashback - 2007, 2006, 2005)

- The most important event has been relocating to our own cozy little nest which was worth a four year waiting period. It's a new and interesting experience for both my hubby and myself to setup a new home, buy required stuff and get everything in order.
- The excitement of a new home became very visible with us celebrating Navrathiri, Diwali and Christmas in our own unique ways - our first Kolu (arrangement of dolls) and our first Christmas tree decorations. Keeping traditions alive and celebrating every festival in a simple, yet memorable way is one of the rules of our home.
- From work perspective, I got a promotion this year and also made a role change.
- Getting DML award in PGSEM is a special moment.
- Visited three new places - Madikeri, Mangalore and Marari Beach. What an unplanned 'M' coincidence!
- Managed to read a few books although I would have loved a slightly bigger list
  • A pocket full of rye by Agatha Christie
  • Fire on the mountain by Anitha Desai
  • Ladies Coupe by Anitha Nair
  • The goal by Eliyahu Goldratt and Jeff Fox
  • The 3 mistakes of my life by Chetan Bhagat
  • A year by the sea by Joan Anderson
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Talkative Man by RK Narayan
- My writings got published as a chapter in a book. First baby steps towards my dream of a writing career.
- Listened to Dr.Abdul Kalam's speech in person for the first time
- Stayed in a college campus (IIMB) for the first time as part of a 3 day leadership workshop. Having been a day scholar throughout my school and college days, it was a new experience.
- Watched a cricket match from Chinnaswamy Stadium for the first time. Wish the match had been more interesting!
- My blog hasn't been very active this year but I want to keep it alive as much as I can.

I am hoping 2009 will be an interesting and challenging year for me. Here's wishing you a very happy, bright and colorful new year!

Dec 29, 2008

Original better than a remake

Ever since Aamir announced that he would be remaking the Tamil blockbuster "Ghajini", I had been waiting to watch it. I absolutely loved the Tamil version where Surya did a remarkable job and ofcourse Asin portrayed a beautiful role. A couple of songs by Harris are still playing in my iPod as my favorites. Talking about the Hindi version of "Ghajini", I'm completely in love with the romantic melody "Guzarish". Sonu Nigam's hummings throughout this song is just too good. Only Rahman can offer such magic to ears. Although I'm not a fan of "Behka" (I still prefer "Oru Maalai" from Tamil), "Kaise Mujhe" makes up for it - a haunting sad song and an excellent instrumental rendition.

There is not much of a change in the screenplay except for the climax. Aamir fits the role perfectly as the one with short term memory loss, chasing the villains and bashing them. But I'm highly disappointed with the younger looking Aamir, falling in love with Asin. There were no emotions between the two which made both of them look out of place. The chemistry between Surya and Asin was one of the highlights of the Tamil version which was missing. If I could spot something better than the Tamil version, that would be Jiah Khan's normal acting (Overacting by Nayantara was so irritating!) and the climax (am glad I didn't have to hear the bad dialogue that Nayantara says in a serious tone "Oruthana mattum konna suyanalam, rendu peraiyum konna podhunalam").

If you have not seen the Tamil version, then I would recommend watching Aamir's Ghajini. Or else, if you are a big fan of Aamir like me, then you shouldn't miss it!!

Dec 15, 2008

listening to talkative man

The unpredictable Bangalore traffic on a Friday night enabled us to reach the bus stop an hour earlier. Thanks to the talkative man, I was able to escape the boredoms amidst squeaking honks and crowded waiting rooms. No, I didn't meet a friend or a stranger but one of RK Narayan's novels "Talkative Man". What better way to break the reader's block than to pick up a RKN novel and enjoy the familiar territories of Malgudi! This is the first RKN novel I managed to read in 2008.

The protogonist TM narrates his experiences with a visitor named Rann in his home town Malgudi. Characters like TM (his actual name not once mentioned!) are very common in small towns, with their stories and gossips doing the rounds in streets and lanes. Thanks to ancestral property and wealth, TM leads a comfortable life and focuses his time and energy as a journalist writing about incidents that happen at Malgudi and sends them across to leading newspapers, with a hope of getting the words in print. With Rann's entry, TM's normal routine gets affected by Rann's intimidating personality and his background activities. These two characters form the main crux of the storyline. Sometimes, you feel sorry for TM and even angry at him for his passive stance against Rann, allowing him to stay in his home and not questioning his activities. The new visitors of Malgudi have made TM quite a listener!

"Talkative Man" is an interesting and quick read (~ 120 pages) except that it lacks the wit and humour that's so prevalent in RK Narayan's other novels. Even the emotions seem to be missing for a change. It's definitely not one of the best RKN's novels.

Dec 12, 2008

Breathing some life

Lately the number of my blog posts have come down drastically. I find it difficult to put words on paper, call it the writer's block. There is another block that has hit me hard these days - the reader's block. It's been a while since I have read a novel or a non-fiction (last was "The Kite Runner"). My attention span has been reducing as time progresses. So many thoughts and questions arise which I safely put aside and do not dare to ponder too much.

December is usually a month of joy and happiness, with Christmas and New Year, wondering about my new year resolutions which I hardly keep up. But it used to be fun, just to pen them down. This year, the mood is different - globally due to recession, economic slow down and horror faces of terror, with a few of my dear friends getting impacted hard. I cannot wipe off their sorrows or frustrations but I'm trying to just listen to them so they can talk and let out their anger which might help them feel a bit relieved.

I don't have to watch "Vaaranam Aayiram" to understand this but whatever happens, life has to go on. Speaking of VA, it's a wonderful movie narrating the relationship between a father and a son. I have never felt so touched by any movie. The protogonist is a common man who undergoes similar events of trials and tribulations like the rest of us. Surya has done an excellent job and has evolved into a versatile actor. The movie is definitely worth a watch.

Anyway, I can't wait to shatter my reader and writer blocks and get ready to bid farewell to a not-so-good 2008 and welcome 2009 with lots of hopes.

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