Category Archives: Opinion
Am an immigrant hear in The US for employment. So obviously I did not have the luxury of growing up here and shaping my views and thought process in line with most Americans. Of course when you come from a different culture you start noticing a lot of paradox in the culture you are trying to embrace.
One such is this notion of privacy here. The level of importance that is given to privacy in the US in just mind boggling. So much so if a Presidential nominee does not deal with the questions around privacy appropriately, it could break their primary candidacy in the elections… You may have noticed that recently in the republican primary debates… I remember seeing this movie ‘Enemy of the state’ starring Will Smith. The whole movie plot is around privacy.
Anyways, coming to the important point about the paradox… I find it incomprehensible as to how little people care for their privacy in the public toilets or toilets at work places. A typical workplace toilet looks like this one. Just look at the gap between the frame and door. A place where you are pretty much going to be pants and under pants down, a place for all practical purposes you could be displaying your private parts to the person walking in from the other side, it seems absolutely ok to people here. Read the rest of this entry
A question that haunted me for a very long time. Not many people have asked me why I am a vegetarian… but when someone does, I have had no better logical answer than saying, “Look am from a Brahmin community who are vegetarian… My dad, my mom, my grandparents, everyone are vegetarian so am a vegetarian too..”
Although I am finally going to conclude to the same reason, I really wanted some logical reasoning for being vegetarian… After all, what is the fun in just doing what we have been told to do and not choose to do something yourself… Right!
So I started asking myself some of the questions which are common myths about being vegetarian. In a sense I really confronted myself and my earlier beliefs.
Is it the ‘killing’?
This is the most popular cover that vegetarians have taken I guess. Atleast for me the answer is NO. I have to admit that when I was a kid, I have caught dragon flies and killed them, I have killed garden lizards, I have killed garden snakes.. Atleast for snakes there is a perceived fear but for the others there was nothing.. I still repent doing some of those…
Anyways, forget being a kid, even as an adult I have consciously killed thousands and thousands of mosquitos.. I would be stupid to generously watch the mosquito bite me and suck up my blood, make me itchy and leave me with malaria…Here I couldn’t even argue saying that ‘well it bites me so I hit back’, because I have killed several mosquitos which just sit out there quietly. I am just assuming that they are going to bite me or my family.. so I kill them…
So the killing or the blood are not the reasons for sure…
Is it the smell/taste (or perceived bad taste)??
Well if its sea food… absolutely… thats the reason… Man I can’t stand the smell of sea food… But… But… But… There are a lot of vegetables that while cooking could smell bad… Example, when cabbage or cauliflower boils, its not a great smell..
Taste couldn’t be the case either because I have not tasted meat to say that it tastes bad… Some people say that the soy chunks actually tastes like chicken.. I like Soy chunks… So technically I should like chicken taste… Plus, there are some vegetable who’s taste I don’t like either… So this reason is shot down too…
If the above two main potential factors are not the reasons, then what is the reason?
Here you go…
I have been reading Mahabaratha written by Sri Rajagopalachari (This is a must read book… Beautifully written). In that book, there are several sections which clearly shows that the Pandavas (Kshatriyas/Warriors) ate meat. This one story where Bhima actually eats all the meat and food before slaying Bahasura.
The other instance where Dharmaputra is confronted by some animals while they are living in the forest and request them to move on to another forest because these animals are fast depleting since the Pandavas have been living off them. So the pandavas realize they have to conserve the eco system in that forest and hence move on to another forest.. and so on…
But Brahmins on the other hand where primarily working as priest in temples or in the king’s palace as spiritual advisers, chanters, etc… By profession they are not expected to have the aggression.
….”I think that food makes you oversexual,” he goes on. “It makes you angry, it makes you aggressive — I can’t believe the difference in the person I am now compared to four years ago.”
I am not working in a coal mine or a steal plant or a oil rig or a soldier. My work is primarily on computers and involves thinking and nothing physical really. I get the strength I need by just eating vegetables… It just prevents me from getting the unnecessary aggression which comes by eating meat and my profession is not compatible to vent that aggression out.
SO THAT IS WHY AM VEGETARIAN…
PS: I am talking for myself… Not for anyone else in my family… 😉
Tyson Caricature taken from: http://sportsmockery.com/mike-tyson-it-tasted-like-shit/
After watching the movie on the way back home, I was giving it a hard thought on how I should title my blog. There were lots about this movie which is different than the other bonds (I will come to that shortly) but there was on thing that stood out in my mind – It is just a long movie for a Hollywood film… I think it was like 2.5 hours… But I must admit that although it was a long movie, the director has done justice to that time (except for certain aspects – will be covered in what I did not like about this movie)
Alright… Here you go… These are all the aspects I liked about the movie.
Story: The story took me by surprise… I was expecting yet another save the world story in which the bond fights either Chinese or Russians or perhaps Iranians (given the current world context) as usual. But this one was totally different. It was about one of their own ex secret services agent wanting to take revenge against the British secret services for being left behind and let to suffer in the hands of the enemy.
Screen Play – For a movie of 2.5 hours, there were very little or no flaws in the screen play. Thats tough
The Bond himself – Daniel Craig to me is by ‘The Best Bond’ ever Period! I dont think anyone else could have played this role better than him. In the previous Bond movies he lacked the suttle humor that usually other bonds have… But in this one he has take care of that.
The Bad Guy – Javier Bardum. Oh man… This guys performance is simply outstanding. In the character besides being Ex MI6, he is also Gay… He has brought the Villan role with Gay characteristics quite brilliantly. As a matter of fact in the scenes when he was there along with the bond, he had made a better impact I should say. One thing that stood out was the first opening dialog he gives when he meets the Bond. It looked like a long dialog (telling a story) in a single frame shot.
The Mom – Judy Dench – She is a great actress. There is nothing new about that. But particularly in this movie, she has been quite extraordinary with the emotional scenes.
Helen McCrory as Clair – I have to say this. Though she is in the movie for a very short time she has played the role of a ‘abused girl friend’ brilliantly. The scene when the Bond talks to her and asks her to take him to the bad guy, her expressions brilliant. With a need a keep a smile on her face and at the sametime wants the Bond to kill the bad guy because how much she has been abused was really good..
Having spoken particularly about the cast, here are some other really cool things about the movie.
The chase sequence – I mean this is a given for any bond movie, a gripping chase sequence. Although the first chase sequence in this movie is not quite as thrilling as the one in Casino Royale, it was still worth the money… Particularly the mortor cycle chase on the roof top and the stunts on top of the train were very well done
Seeing the Bond fail – On many occasions, the story has let the Bond fail consciously. That has just added more reality to the movie unlike other Bond movies in the past.
Now that we have heard a lot of good things about the movie, there are a few not so good things about the movie as well (in my opinion ofcourse).
Music/Background score – I would only give an average score for the music/re-recording. Its not the best. Some of the scenes could have had a better impact with better background scores
Bond & ‘the woman’ – Its the bond’s tradition to sleep with a stranger woman. Well this one is no different. I felt that except that the director wanted to go with the tradition, there was no reason to show in the movie a scene when the Bond sleeps with this woman.
Although the plot of the climax was good, it was way too long. The director could have ended the climax when the bad guy is killed atleast 10 mins sooner with no impact to the movie.
The Dupe’s: It is obvious that some stunt scenes may not be possible by the hero himself. I felt that there were a couple of scenes when it was evident that they have used a dupe and it is not Daniel Craig. It may have been ok in some other movies. But not in a Bond movie pls…
Well.. Thats all I had to say about the movie… I will give a 7 out of 10 score for this one..
Its worth the wait (I mean waiting for when the movie would end 😉 ), worth the money.. Pls do watch in theaters.
Would love to hear your thoughts on my review. Let me know what you think. Cheers!
I have often been dumb struck by some of the questions that my daughter asks me. What I heard from her a couple of days back was one of the best.
It was a slightly unusual morning… We woke up to some kind of commotion from the kitchen. Apparently, my mom had placed an apple by mistake on the kitchen counter top the previous night and it seemed like a rat had visited, eaten a portion of the apple. She was so upset about Rat at home (particularly in the kitchen) and was telling all of us about what happened… Basically just the usual reaction from anyone when they find Rat’s presence at home and all the usual reaction…
But a very unusual response came from my daughter after hearing my mom and seeing the half eaten apple. She said, “Paati (grandma)… Rat has a small mouth, imagine the difficulty it would have had in eating such a big piece like this…” She questioned my mom, “Why did you not cut them into pieces so that the Rat could have eaten it easily… Every time you ask me to eat apples you cut them into pieces… When you give me Chappathi (Indian Bread), you cut them into pieces…”
I was pleasantly surprised at this comment from my daughter. While all of us where worried about what else could have happened, should we clean some of the vessels on the counter top, how to prevent the rat from coming again, my daughter was actually concerned about the Rat and how to make its job easier while eating.
It is quite surprising how we all have grown up being so self-centered and sometimes have to be reminded by a child to be concerned for others.
The trilogy could not have had a better ending. This one was a thorough entertainer. You name it, the movie has it… Great director, cast, background scoring, screen play, and amazing use of technology, imagination, and I can go on.. Frankly all credit to Christopher Nolan for his direction. After a not so entertaining Batman movie (1st in the sequel) he has bounced back with fantastic direction on 2nd and 3rd…
Some highlights on the cast:
Christian Bale as the Batman has done perfect justice to the role of the Batman as he has done in the past. His physic and looks makes a perfect combination of Bruce Wyne and the Batman.
Tom Hardy as Bane – The bad guy with the mask. The well built Tom was perfect for the role. Also the slow dialog delivery makes his character have a special bad guy. I think the director has consciously chosen to do this and has been quite successful in that attempt. But it is a good thing that Tom Hardy has a mask on for this movie to be Bane. Otherwise his face does not fit the description of a bad guy at all. So good decision to go with the mask.
Michael Caine playing the role of Alfred has actually done better in this movie than the previous Batman. In the previous one, he is more of an advisor and nothing more. In this movie there are a lot more emotional conversations with Bruce Wayne which he has done really well.
Morgan Freeman – Needless to say. He has done his little cameo role very well.
The ladies of the movie Anne Hathaway and Marion Cotillard have been presented very well. Special mention about Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle a petty thief, with an attitude has done really well and done justice to her role.
The movie itself:
The plot of the movie is very simple – While Bruce Wayne (the Batman) has been away into a self exile for 8 years and the Gotham city seems to be under control without any organized crime. But there are efforts going on to create fear and destroy the city. Batman comes back and saves the city.
Right from the beginning to the end, except for the one twist on who the actual person who leads the bad people, there is absolutely no surprises. Atleast to me most of it was predictable. But yet, the screen play has been stunning to keep the interest despite being straight forward.
Things that I thought could have been done better:
a) The initial flight chase sequence and bad guys escaping which was almost like a James Bond or Mission impossible type stuff. I thought it could have been short or may be done differently.
b) Some dialogs from the Batman was very predictable and typical hero type dialogs. Although in the flow of the movie it did not sound too bad. But for a guy like Christopher Nolan, he could have paid some attention to removing stuff like that.
c) The football ground scene. With the whole ground behind the kickoff return guy going done, and bombs going off on all sides, the kickoff return guy seems to realize that everything behind him is gone only after he stops running… It sounded funny but did not seem intelligent at all…
There were a few other small blips in the screen play that I noticed but getting into the details might give away the story… but those could be ignored as well.
What I really liked about the movie:
b) The director’s imagination: Some of the things that he has shown are fantastic. Especially the motor super cycle chase sequence. When he wants to turn the opposite direction, the way the wheels turn and he gets back is absolute jaw dropping. I loved that scene. Infact it happens twice in the movie. Dont forget to watch that.
c) Music (background score) is mind blowing. There was not a single scene where the music director Hans Zimmer has not left his mark. Every scene had a perfectly balanced scores. I loved this.
d) Last but not least, most part of the movie was shot in Pittsburgh. I was actually in Pittsburgh when the movie was shot… To see all that in the actual movie was very heartening. After all Pittsburgh is my extended home town… 😉
I know this review comes a little late but these are just my thoughts without telling the actual story. I would give 8 out of 10 for this movie.
Hope you like my comments and are helpful. Do leave a comment if you liked it.
I recently read an article in Times of India on the subject of ‘power of negative thinking’. It was partially a review of the book “Happiness for people who cant stand positive thinking” by Oliver Burkeman. The title of this book and article immediately got me hooked wanted to read further. It is certainly a topic that has been in my mind for a sometime now.
The most important point the article covered was how people in an effort to think positive fail to get prepared for the worst thing could happen. When we always think positively that we can achieve something and work towards that without recognizing the potential pitfalls, we tend to get easily disappointed when we face failure. With disappointment comes stress and sadness. So his point is that when we want to achieve something, start off by planning for the worst thing that could happen.
I certainly agree with the author that preparing for the worst is one aspect that positive thinking lacks. But I would like to suggest a mid-ground here… How about ‘Cautious thinking’??? or perhaps ‘Realistic thinking’??? I neither want to go all out saying that I want to achieve something without being cognizant of what could go wrong, nor do I want to think about all the potential things that could go wrong and tell myself that well if so many things could go wrong why even try it. The problem with negative thinking is just that – not many people have the ability to carry on with something despite knowing the list of things could go wrong…
You need to have positive thinking for setting your goals in life. What you set as goals are basically what you desire. But you need to know is that, you first have to ‘deserve to desire’. So you do everything you need to first deserve what you desire. And please be aware is to deserve is not a one shot affair. It is an iterative process and you may not deserve in your first attempt. Well who is going to tell you if you deserve something or not?? Answer is that it is none other than yourself…
Perhaps what positive thinking has done so far is that it has made a bunch of authors rich… 😉
So what do you think?? 🙂
Pictures – courtesy google.
Like many I wanted to own a property in a city where I grew up. I came back from the US with a lot of promise and aspiration to buy an apartment (Condominium) in Chennai, India – The place where I grew up and lived most part of my life… But it has been 6 months since I returned, the aspiration or dream has not come true.
Well there are several constraints such as location, size, layout, price (of course) that I have to play with to strike a balance make some compromises. If these were the only one, I would have been already living in my own apartment. But there is one constraint I did not think of and is outside of my ability to manage that still prevents me from buying a house – Deviation: Floor plan approval vs actual.
What is a deviation – There are several types of deviations in constructing a house. But in simple terms it is called ‘breaking the law’. The local government authority (in my case CMDA) stipulates guidelines on how a house/apartment needs to be constructed. If you see most of these rules are primarily for safety reasons – i.e. If a house catches fire it should not quickly spread to other houses, if there is an emergency people are able to exit easily and safely, if there is an emergency a rescue vehicle is able to reach the spot, etc…
Unfortunately almost all the builders do not comply with these guidelines. They believe these rules are not practical and cannot be followed. As a matter of fact, I booked an apartment with a leading builder. When we started verifying the papers, there was a difference of 147 sq feet between the CMDA approval and the salable area (Thanks to my wife for the good catch – If not for her thorough verification, I may have missed it). When enquired, they were candid and mentioned that deviation is very common and that I was the only person to make a big deal out of it. Well I did make a big deal out of it and got my money back.
One of the main reasons this is happening is because buyers ‘don’t care’. There is a lot of money out there in the hands of people and they just want to invest. There is absolute madness with respect to real estate in Chennai. There are a lot of issues with this attitude which I want to deal with in another blog. But the least I would expect people to do is to check if what they are buying is according to law.
It is a horrible and nauseating feeling that people care so much about Vasthu compliant houses but not approval compliant houses. You may even see builders advertising saying that their apartments are Vasthu compliant but there are very very very few who can claim that their house as approval compliant.
Well am not going to give up. I will continue to insist on CMDA approval compliant apartment/house. At worst what could happen?? I may not be able to buy a house, people may call me impractical. Atleast I know I did not break the law and that I was a good citizen who does not think that the rules are only for others and not for me.
“Do you want to want to eat this Pizza slice or should I give it to your sister???…” “You pestered me so much to get this chess board do you want to play with this or should I give it to your cousin???…” “Are you coming in or should I close the door??? ”
These are common questions that I have seen many parents or grandparents ask their children to make them do something… Most often than not, these questions result in our children doing what we wanted them to do… (Unless you chose the wrong provocative questionJ)
In other words, parents and grandparents manage their children by provocation to make them do something that we want them to do.
I think this method of managing kids is good and bad… One possible good thing about this method is that, it is a very good tactical solution that can be handy for us to make them do something immediately. The other benefit could be that the children will have a sense of fear that if they don’t follow the instructions, they might lose something they like…
But in the long run I think this may have a psychological impact on kids and also have a severe impact in shaping up their character.
In my view there are a few major problems with this provocation theory:
a) These negative statements or questions from us, instigate a sense of constant competition in their minds. For the kids, the only source of motivation of doing something seems to be imaginary completion and not the actual benefits.
b) Over a period kids learn that we don’t really mean what we say… That’s a very dangerous thing to happen I guess. The trust factor will slowly be lost between parents and kids…
c) The more parents get things done this way, the more they start pushing what they want the kids to do irrespective of whether that action is really needed or not.
I want to particularly focus on the last point above. Out of all the things that parents get done by provoking the kids, how many of those are really needed to be done immediately? May be all of them are or may be only some of them are… I am not being judgmental here because I have to admit that I myself use some of those provocative questions.
Am just saying that we just have to give it a thought. Let us not use this technique on kids when it does not really warrant. Let us as much as possible tell them the benefit of them doing something rather than getting it done by provocation.