Of Virtues, Vices and Valentine’s Day!

Is celebrating Valentine’s day a virtue or a vice?? The red brigade(Read: Valentine’s enthusiasts) thinks its a virtue, and the saffron one (Read: Shiv Sena and other such “moral” organizations) could not have imagined a worse vice!!

Some people think that love cannot be celebrated just on one day, so you do not need some special day to tell someone that you love him/her.

Some think its a waste of time, money and energy, as the younger generation doesn’t understand the actual importance of the day, and is more attracted by the glamour of the day.

¬†Some feel that no better occasion than valentine’s day to profess your love to your sweetheart…

What’s my take?? Well in today’s hectic life style, if we can take some time out for our loved ones, if we can celebrate, be happy, then everything else is immaterial…..After all celebrations are all about staying happy, aren’t they….it doesn’t matter then on what occasion , and in what way……. ūüôā

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Blood Diamond—-Bloody, worthy,…all but glittering!!

“Have you seen the color of this soil?? It comes from all the blood that’s spilt by fighting over this land!!” This is what a character in this very well made movie says to another one… And so true it is!!! Seriously, director¬†Edward Zwick¬†very boldly portrays the exploitation,the uproar, the struggle, the agony, the fury, the desperation, and the sufferings of the tribals in certain countries of Africa, which are rich in gold and diamonds, but not in the standard of living.

The story unfolds as Solomon Vandy, a simple hardworking tribal , who wants to see his son become a doctor, sets out one day as usual, to earn his daily bread. Suddenly, his village is attacked by rebel tribals in search of slaves to work in illegal diamond mines in Sieera Leono. Vandy is taken captive, while his family manages to escape.

While working under ruthless diamond  peddlers, Vandy happens to find a very huge diamond, the biggest ever seen. He attempts to hide the diamond, and just as he is being caught doing so, the troops attack the mine, and take everyone in custody.

In the custody, Daniel Achau (a diamond peddler) who’s in lock-up for smuggling diamonds happens to hear about this diamond, and both he and Vandy¬†set out to retrieve it.¬†In this search they are helped by a journalist Maddy(Jennifer Connelly)¬†, who¬† I guess is the only one in the enitre cast who’s not interested in the diamond, a substantial story being more precious to her!

Conflicts continue, and needless to say, a lot of blood is lost in the conquest of this blood diamond.

The film captures all aspects of the diamond trade, and tries to spread a social message that consumers should stop the purchase of the illegal diamonds that are there in the market, esp. because of the gory history they’ve got.

On the acting front, all the actors deliver a flawless performnace, although none can be classified as great. You can’t blame them much though, because the film revolves completely around the story, and not around the performances. It is good to see Leonardo DeCaprio in a non-boyish role, however.

The photography is superb, I must say, ’cause the camera doesn’t faulter while capturing the serene beauty of the South African landscape, just as it switches angles from the ruins of Africa. Worthy of mention is a sunrise shot, where¬†in the sun rises, but only in a thick shroud of smoke!! Speaks a lot about the direction ,doesn’t it!!

The dialogues range from crisp, apt, touching, to average(esp. the conversations between Conelly and DeCaprio are very predictable). Action scenes are superbly directed and shot, and seem absolutely real. The violence makes you numb at times, though!

On the direction front, Edward Zwick deserves an A+

 Overall, its a good movie to watch, esp. because, we need to know how many necks are cut for bringing us those shimmering cutpieces that decorate our houses; and how many lives destroyed for decking us up in precious stones!!

Rating: Green–Yes!

Dream #2

And once I was walking on the road, and casually turned to look back. A monkey, one of the small kinds, with a dangerous red face was following me!! I panicked!!! Seriously!! As I kept walking I realized that the monkey was still persistently following me…i didn’t even realize when i began running…The monkey…ran harder!! Oh my God!!! “Oh!! My!! God!!! What should I do?? Why is a stupid but still dangerous monkey attacking me??”¬† Common sense and patience both betrayed me at that time.. I kept running…. The monkey wouldn’t budge…I eneterd a narrow lane, the monkey followed. I entered a proper “Patli Gali” , Could still see the monkey right back there, i turned, traversed, dodged, but no luck!! Terrified, I ran harder, but started getting out of breath soon!! As i started losing speed, the gap between the monkey and me narrowed…And there…he was…right next to me!! I closed my eyes…but opened them, when¬† I heard the monkey talk..THE MONKEY TALKED!!!!¬†

And he said,”Gotcha…Raced you!!!!!!I’m first!!Yipppeee!!” And he ran way!!

And I stood there open-mouthed, gaping at my predator(who turned out to be my competitor!!)…..

Any clues why i get dreams like that??? Plz lemme know!! ūüôā ūüėÄ ūüė¶

Dream #1

And there! The world was coming to an end! Well, if not the world, at least my city. My city was totally flooded! People were running (nah, swimming) helter-skelter to save their lives. The water levels were rising fast and furiously. And the water Рit was not the usual colorless liquid, it was dirty, yellow… It was the color of the evil! It looked as though the Almighty was washing away all evil from the city. Despite the commotion all around, a few of us had managed to catch hold of a canoe. If we could somehow get out of the city safely, maybe we could avert the danger. Maybe, just maybe, we could be the only survivors of the Doomsday!

And so we proceeded, rowing the boat ferociously amidst the deafening chaos of nature, whilst trying to battle the devil’s fury!

And oh so suddenly appeared the Devil, himself! All of us shuddered, cringed, drew back. As he stood right in front of us, the devil began yelling, “I will kill all of you! You humans don’t deserve to live! I WILL KILL YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU‚Ķ”

All of us were stunned. We didn’t know what to do! Just a while ago, we were evenly spread around the boat, rowing it to safety. But now, without even realizing that we had moved, we were a collective mass of people at one end of the boat, looking fearfully at the devil on the other side.

Suddenly, I don‚Äôt know how and from where, an idea struck me. I whispered to the mass I was a part of, “Let‚Äôs all jump really hard – the devil on the other side of the boat will be thrown off. Spread the word…”¬† The word spread.

We all looked at one another. 1, 2, 3!!!! And we jumped.

The devil was thrown up in the sky. We rushed to our original places and started rowing the boat as fast as we could, so that he would not fall back into the canoe. The canoe began moving. The gargantuan body of the devil was being pulled downwards by gravity‚Ķ “Come on, a little harder!‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúOh God, he’s coming!”, “Row, row, row!” Screams were erupting from everywhere and then, Splash! The devil fell, and not in our canoe! He fell a little away from the canoe, in the dirty, evil water and began drowning in his own vice.

We all rejoiced, and started rowing our way towards safety, and towards the creation of a good, new world! As we began crossing the city limits, ‚ÄúThud!‚ÄĚ We hit a large wooden barrier.

“Ugh! What was that!” I woke up with a start!

I had crashed into my closed bedroom door. As I turned to look back, I realized that my entire bedroom was filled with more than 2 feet of water. The apartment upstairs was leaking in the middle of the night. I was dripping wet…

Dreams I didn’t even dream I would dream!! :-))

“Dreams are the stepping stones to Success, So what should you do to be successful??”, asked a senior at college…. As we all looked at him, half-sure whether to attempt this one or not, he exclaimed,”Go to Sleep!!!”..and went on laughing as he thoroughly enjoyed his piece of humour!! I grinned and asked the senior, “But these are dreams seen at night or during the day??” Still basking in the glory of his joke, he replied dumbly, “It could be anything!!”

Jumping (actually!!) at the opportunity, I shrieked, “Why do u have to sleep while day-dreaming????????????” ūüôā¬† ūüėÄ …..Game, Set , Match!!! LOL!

Ok Ok, getting a li’l more serious….. How many of you¬†have dreams? And by dreams I don’t mean ambitions or yearnings…actual dreams that you see while u r asleep at night(or in class, or at work, or someplace else…being asleep is the only real criteria here…LOL!)…….Nightmares also qualify ok!! ūüôā Hmm i guess most of you do…Now, How many of you remember the dreams that u had while u were asleep? Go on…think hard!! However lucidly u may see ur dreams, back to the real world, and most of the times¬†u don’t remember anything of it…even when u wake up in the middle of it!! Strange isn’t it!!

But hey, most of the scorpios out there, and ofcourse even the other less mysterious sun-signers, have you ever sensed a deja-vu when some normal¬†incident happens with you? Meaning when something is happening before you, have you ever felt that it has happened before? The smallest of things, the simplest of dialogues?? According to me, we are just reliving our dreams….

Sounds strange? But it is true!! Heard about the sixth sense? It is said that a very few fortunate people have it!! So untrue!! We all have a sixth sense, its just that we don’t know about it, since it resides in our subconscious! And it is a proven¬†fact that our mind itself is the crystal ball that tells us about our future!! We do see future in dreams!! ahh…if only we knew how to interpret them!!!!

Well a lot can be said about dreams…including two of my really funny dreams…..will describe them in the next post ūüėČ

(Not Just)Another activity on saturday

Have you ever experienced that when you go to do something good to someone, in reality¬†it does more¬†good¬†to you!! I went Last friday and saturday, the kids at Eklavya Nyasa, the NGO where i go every saturday as a part of my CSR,¬† attended a workshop conducted by marathi Teen magazine “Kishor”. I went there on saturday as the counsellors there told me that the children wanted someone to encourage them. And you know what, I returned from there with my spirits lifted too!! The kids had a great opportunity to interact with veteran film and television actor Mr. Kamlakar Sontakke, the editor of the magazine “Kishor” Ms. Dnyananda Naik, Dr. Kumar Saptarishi, Dr. Sucheta Paranjpe, and eminent theatre critic Madhav Vaze, who taught them different arts like writing scripts, essays, poetry, enacting of plays, anchoring a series of plays, public speaking, etc. The kids at Eklavya Nyasa were also joined by the students of Nutan Samartha Vidyalaya and Apte Prashala. In the poetry writing session, the children were asked to write poems, and a few of them¬†were selected to be published in the magazine “Kishor”. The children also performed short plays written and directed by themselves. Some plays showed the typical amateurishness, however, there were some that showed tremendous insight to the art of drama. Like for instance the mime¬†play called “Dushtacha asta”(which in English means – The fall of the wicked). The overall storyline of the play was like this… At the fall of night, there emerges a well from the ground, through which emerges a dangerous evil demon. He scares everyone around, like a fellow-witch, and an obnoxious drunkard who happens to venture that way, and then, when its¬†morning he himself is afraid of the onslaught and jumps back into his well, which collapses back with him in it. This short play had excellent sound effects, with the distinction between day and night, the terror of the ghost ,etc. being shown only with the different sounds! ¬†After the play, Dr. Kumar Saptarishi had a word with the kids regarding different aspects of life and wasn’t it a must-hear!! He said he didn’t know whether there existed something like Paradise, but children and adults, who spread happiness on earth, were creating paradise right here! He asked the children not to ever fall prey for concepts like caste differences, ’cause finally, all human bodies had similar organs, veins, and blood. Being a doctor himself, he said, if we were in any way different from others because of our caste, doctors would have to learn to dissect bodies of all specific caste. Then a doctor’s signboard would read, he said, “Dr. XYZ, MBBS, Dissected body of caste ABC, PQR”.¬† But then again, students at medical school get to dissect only unclaimed bodies, most likely belonging to beggars. So since doctors were qualified to operate only on¬†the beggars, as they dissected only their bodies, who would operate on the rich?? So, refrain from prejudice based on religion, caste,creed,breed,state, colour, gender, financial status,etc, he pledged! Well i could go on describing what all the kids learnt during the workshop and who said what; but more than what they learnt, I am pondering on what I did….Seriously, right from the poems the kids narrated(fathom writing this line “Jagna marna ek koda ahe..Jata Jata Sodvun Bagh”—-“Life and death is a puzzle, try solving it before you go”…well I wouldn’t have thought¬†this line at an age of 10 or 12!! Ammazing man!!), to the plays they enacted, to the advice they got from the invitees, everything was a biiig learning experience, and an enriching one at that!!