Straight from the heart!

29 January, 2009

The world has had enough :)

The era Error of George W. Bush‘s US presidency is over. Whether you like him or not, he has left behind a steady inventory of some hilariously memorable quotes as the president of United states. Some of these are collected here…

‘The vast majority of our imports come from outside the country.’

‘If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.’

‘I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future.’

‘The future will be better tomorrow.’

‘We’re going to have the best educated American people in the world..’

‘A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.’

‘I have opinions of my own — strong opinions — but I don’t always agree with them.’

‘We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur.’

‘For NASA, space is still a high priority.’

‘Quite frankly, teachers are the only profession that teach our children.’

‘It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.’

“Amigo! Amigo!” –George W. Bush, calling out to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in Spanish at the G-8 Summit, Rusutsu, Japan, July 10, 2008

‘I remember meeting a mother of a child who was abducted by the North Koreans right here in the Oval Office.’

‘We’ve got a lot of relations with countries in our neighborhood.’

‘And so, General, I want to thank you for your service. And I appreciate the fact that you really snatched defeat out of the jaws of those who are trying to defeat us in Iraq.’ –George W. Bush, to Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Washington, D.C., March 3, 2008

‘In terms of the economy, look, I inherited a recession, I am ending on a recession.’ –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009

‘It will take time to restore chaos’

Don’t miss this hilarious mock up discussion between Bush & Condoleeza Rice… in this video šŸ˜€

Thankyou lord for the “Change” we have now! šŸ˜‰

17 January, 2009

Chandni Chowk to China is a drag

Ever got a feeling of losing patience while tolerating nonstop nonsense? Exactly how one feels while watching the much hyped ‘Chandni Chowk to China’. It had such a gripping effect on the (remaining šŸ˜‰ )Ā  crowd, that they were unified in the cinema hall while yawning together and making sounds of “Oooh” in chorus, astonished to watch consistent stupidity of watching the star couple jump from a sky scraper to escape the villain, with help of an umbrella and immediately start singing.

chandni_chowk_to_chinaMuch contrary to Akshay Kumar’s macho image ofĀ  being a classĀ  action hero & a super comedian in hisĀ  recent blockbusters, he isĀ  mostly a cry-baby in theĀ  film who is seen weeping with tears rollingĀ  down.Ā  After seeing his foster father being killed in front ofĀ  his eyes byĀ  the Chinese villain, he is convinced toĀ  avenge it and approaches anĀ  old policeman forĀ  learning Cosmic Kung Fu. He is taught so, onĀ  principles of Shaolin but without an iota ofĀ  seriousness as he keepsĀ  cribbing and making fun ofĀ  the steps, not to forget his utterĀ  disrespectĀ  for the master. What finally helps him win the ultimateĀ  fight areĀ  hisĀ  cooking skills from the Chandni Chowk dhaba. DeepikaĀ  PadukoneĀ  looks very fit & vibrant in her Chinese attire and performs a double role and martial arts very impressively. Ranvir Shorey also has a great comical start but his role later reduces to a mere informer lacking any punch.

The Chinese crime-lord Hojo (played by a Chinese superstar Gorden Liu), wears his signature black hat that is thrown as a boomerang to slit throats. Warner brothers being one of the producers of this movie might have contributed to bring comic features in Akshay, with smoke coming out of his ears and getting kicked to outer space and back, but it fails to tickle the funny bone. In fact, its unintended scenes of violence make many kids cry. There is occasional slapstick comedy which is entertaining but the movie is otherwise a drag. I could never imagine writing a blog review for this movie, but hey such an over hyped &Ā  yet disappointing film comes only once in a while šŸ˜‰

The movie is worth a watch only if you have spare time, are prepared not to seek logic, want to see Deepika in an impressive new role and are fond of Kailash Kher’s music.

14 January, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire is Oscar worthy

The opening swear words of the movie, set all expectations straight!danny_boyle

A lad being tortured by a fat guy, who later turns out to be an interrogating cop attempting to trace aĀ  potentialĀ  accomplice in the boy’s unbelievable winning streak at KBC (Indian version of ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’). The sequences depicting slum dwellers,Ā  religious riots, mafia of begging industry, gang wars, sleaze, life of common people & their aspirations is so real that one readily agrees. The movie is an insight into the dark life of Mumbai that people prefer toĀ  ignore. ItĀ  shows how three street smart children from slums, who ironically compare themselves to the ‘ThreeĀ Ā  Musketeers’, get emotionally hardened from their sufferings and be easily drawn toĀ  illegitimate &Ā  inhumane situations.

‘Jamal Malik’ (played by Dev Patel) & his elder brother ‘Salim’ escape religious riots that killed their family and take to unexplored territories to survive. Jamal longs to be with his childhood friend ‘Latika’ (played by Frieda Pinto) who was also displaced in the same rampage. Jamal becomes a “Chaiwalla” in a BPO, his elder brother Salim becomes a gangster in his desire to be rich and Latika is tossed everywhere for survival.

slumdogmillionaire

While it may appear to be a cliche of a slum-dweller’s story from rags to riches, it really isn’t about the money.

Jamal’s participation in ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati'(KBC) is incidental and planned with intention to get reunited with his childhood love. The best parts of the film are its narration & screenplay, which reveals how the young boy has learnt the answers to most difficult questions on the show, from his grave real-life experiences. The plot holds your attention right till the end, which is happy, but heavy hearted. A.R. Rehman’s music is quite compelling, but nothing unusual for fans who’ve enjoyed his past work. The acting skills of the little boys can perhaps create a new benchmark in Indian cinema.

It’s unimaginable how a british movie maker, can portray the stark under belly of Mumbai so realistically and in a manner that attracts cross-cultural global appeal. With Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle has created a masterpiece of a film which is unflinching, gripping, provocative, appealing, a bit funny and very realistic that its almost certain to win an Oscar. Definitely a must watch film, without kids.

Update (23rd February 2009): Slumdog wins 8 Oscars for the following categories.

BEST PICTURE

BEST DIRECTION

BEST MUSIC (SONG)

BEST MUSIC (SCORE)

BEST FILM EDITING

BEST SOUND MIXING

BEST CINAMATOGRAPHY

BEST WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Wow… very well deserved. Congrats to the team & all supporters.

More on : http://www.oscar.com/oscarnight/winners/

10 December, 2008

Pakistan might just prefer to attack India?

What do terror strikes in Mumbai, New York, Delhi, London, Jaipur, Paris, Russia, Afghanistan, Nepal & Iraq have in common? “Pakistan” and its links. And yet, lack of evidence and proof are buzz words to buy time. Even though Pakistan is under pressure from India, USA & Israel to rage an urgent war on terrorist outfits breeding in their country, is this really the best option they have?

zardariCome to think of it, one cannot realistically expect Pakistan’s CivilianĀ  government to rage this war on terror for a number of reasons. They are newly elected, have little control over their own Army – which is threatens a coup , already under criticism & struggling on their offensive on western front with Al Qaeda factions – they once help establish, a beleaguered economy with immense curruption pleading a bail-out from IMF , confused sentiments on deciding friends & foe and a now being cornered to capture & extradite other terrorist factions on their eastern front.

Even if the terrorists from the “India’s Most wanted” list were to be handed over, it will expose their government’sManmohan Singh depth of support and seal their fate as a “Terrorist state” which is what really explains Pakistan’s refusal to hand them over. Afterall, what is the Pakistan minister trying to defend when he says they are “…Ready for a war on India” ? … the terror camps in PoK? With a sword hanging on their heads, perhaps a war with India is their only remaining option. This can potentially get them public sentiment on soveriegn grounds, unification with mercenaries who will actively fight against India, perhaps even cause historic damage with their nuclear misadventures and most importantly divert the whole agenda of abetting terrorism.

While this may be just a point of view, its only fair to set expectations from Pakistan to avoid procastination, heart burn and prepare for a united war against terrorism and those abetting terror. Its for global leaders to stop talking and unite in fighting this war on ground. This is not the bilateral issue of Kashmere anymore, its not a war against a nation, its a multilateral issue of global terror and this time the biggest democracies have spoken their sentiments loud enough.

A war for the future of Peace? Perhaps.

1 December, 2008

The new face of global terror

Mumbai is not new to terror attacks and gang wars. The 26/11 terror attack however, in many ways has introduced a new face of terror. The city’s gentry which always felt secured in the luxury of five star hotels had to face an ordeal they had never imagined. Gone are the days when a terrorist was perceived to be illiterate, elderly, covered his face, used crude makeshift weapons and was often conspicuous in elite areas.

Terror in Mumbai

Terror in Mumbai

The modern day terrorist is much dangerous & global. These guys are highly trained in modern combat with sophisticated weaponry, speak fluent English, have detailed strategy to hit targets, have sleeper cells, wear urban & youthful attire, experts in cyberspace management and more ruthless than ever before. It was shocking to see their meticulous planning being implemented and how they managed to keep the highly trained commandos at bay for nearly 60 hours. Global leaders now realize that they are not immune to terror strikes anymore and if they don’t plug it right away, they will soon be at the receiving end. It is imperative for a strong polictical will to be formed and unified action be taken. However,Ā a genuine thought crosses the heart – should only the governments be responsible to counter such terror? When have we last stopped to help an injured person on the road? When did we last sound an alarm when something suspicious happened in the neighbourhood? If we are not immune to such acts of cruelty, should we not come together to help each other? Should the politicians just be allowed to take cheap publicity from such carnage? If such dramatic change in extremism needs a major change in human attitudes, are we really ready to counter the new face of global terror?

Update: A recent story on IBNlive quoting Washington Post’s article that describes the recent recruitment trend of terror outfit (Lashkar). This further ratifies the new face of global terror. Some excerpts…

“The profile of those joining the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba is changing,” the Washington Times said citing Brig. Gen. Mahmood Shah, who served the Pakistani Army in the largely ungoverned tribal areas along Pakistan’s porous border with Afghanistan. “We have doctors and engineers and computer specialists working for us,” says a militant commander.

9 November, 2008

The remaining quantum of James Bond

The 22nd Bond flick is a great action sequel to Casino Royale, which was in fact a tad better. It appears more like a Hollywood “Masala” movie which has carefully plotted fighting sequences in air, land, sea and on foot to satisfy the action hungry fans. Daniel Craig is yet again the macho 007 who has acquired Jason Bourne style of killer tactics and very predictably walks out of every damn situation with ease. The action sequences are extremely well filmed and would put the movie amongst top slots in that genre but the Bond’s character

Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig

we knew has somewhat diminished. “Name’s Bond, James bond” is not to be heard anymore. The refined charismatic appeal that attracts women, intelligent & snappy humor in verbal spats is deeply missed. The villains have also evolved over the years with unprecedented new objectives. Just as the plot to win a game of high stakes poker to fund terror by Le Chiffre in Casino Royale was already very difficult to digest, Dominic Green in this movie is gunning to capture the depleting natural resource, Water. The Bond girl, played by Olga Kurylenko also has an emotionally damaged past and a prominently burnt back. The sex scene with a fellow MI6 agent, played by Gemma Arterton seems to be a deliberate and out of context inclusion without the usual hard to get character snots. The new Bond is a highly emotionally charged guy with tears in his eyes (nearly), who gets drunk to overcome his love loss, refutes M‘s orders, makes sentimental statements when blocked by MI6 and is at times, quite pitiable in his disillusioned battle of trust. His is not very suave anymore but an assassin with lots of blood gushing in the movie, alleged to deliberately terminate every lead. The title theme song also leaves much to be desired. The whole experience will perhaps leave a larger impact of watching a super action flick and lesser of a signature Bond movie. Nothing yet can perhaps beat Bourne Identity in urban lethal action category but it’s the remaining quantum of James Bond that draws us to this movie.

5 November, 2008

Obama’s win is a bigger indication of “Change”

When Senator Obama created history in being nominated and winning the US Presidential election by a landslide margin, it indicated a much larger “Change”. Not very long ago, blacks in America were treated with extreme prejudice, were desisted to cast their vote and it was unthinkable for a colored man to even contest for the most powerful position in the world. Obama’s election reflects this drastic “Change of mindsets” of the US citizens at large, on how they now perceive the black community, the foreign migrants, the young leaders and the civilian population.

cariobama

The Americans are such a dynamic & resilient community that they have together emerged in unprecedented majority to support Obama in anticipation of drastic changes that the nation needs at this time of crisis. The sheer election of this candidate is likely to infuse confidence in the American public and create lessons in history for generations to come. Globally, while the nations now wait to see how Obama takes his next steps to curb recession, spread peace and encourage free trade. McCain supporters will perhaps have no other choice but to overcome their inhibitions in interest of the nation to support their new president. With this choice, USA has now fully matured to command respect of being the most developed nation and perhaps a lesson for many developing countries on how to overcome internal cast-ism & discrimination in the race to survive and flourish. CHANGE, we surely need!

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