Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The koward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"
                     oscar wilde , the ballad of reading gaol

When was the last that I thought of you...I know not...but am I the one who goes alone on this path...and should I but care only a little for the souls that follow or those as march ahead?

Mode C is a way of life, perhaps my way of life: C for Cool, C for Cold, C for Chaos, C for Calvin. Ultimately, all of it boils down to the way you look at things. Are they not how they are but just how they appear?? No...and yes...Almost all the seriously critical fundamental concepts of life...aren't they just the bogies under Calvin's bed that he is afraid of? Miss Wormwood, Susie, Mom and Dad, and of course above all, Hobbes...aren't they all merely the means that he uses to attack these bogies?

Reflecting on 'living the Calvin way', I have started to believe that life and our reaction to it can only be explained by a number of Calvin and Hobbes strips combined together. The philosophy, as I like to call it, is to know that you are not alone. It is not just my perspective alone that is going to help me fight my bogies. I will be able to inch towards the Calvin way only when I perceive the other perspectives on my way.

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My Past
Loyola High School Patna
Delhi Public School RK Puram
Institute of Technology BHU
Infosys Technologies Ltd
IIM Kozhikode

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Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

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Movie Reviews at Mode C

Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
Batman Begins
War of the Worlds
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Bunty aur Babli
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Veer Zaara
Phir Milenge
Kyun! Ho Gaya Na
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
Spider Man 2
Main Hoon Na

Book Reviews at Mode C

Stay Hungry Stay Foolish
The Inscrutable Americans
Harry Potter - Half-Blood Prince
The Monk who sold his Ferrari
Angels and Demons
Life of Pi
The Da Vinci Code
The Tristan Betrayal

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Friday, June 03, 2005
Ye jo world hai na world...

Aisa koi saga nahi, ki jisko thaga nahi
Aisi maari langdi, ki kabhi jaga nahi

Amitabh Bachchan tucks in his upper lip while he lets the lower one drool...the eyes are popped open and the eyebrows raised a little...Sharaabi, Laawaris, Amar Akbar Anthony anyone?
Abhishek Bachchan tucks in his upper lip while he lets the lower one drool...the eyes and eyebrows are covered with black glasses...ummm...he also has a red, heart-shaped balloon in one hand and his father's arm in another.

Amitabh Bachchan romances Rekha on screen and the rumours of their off-screen chemistry fly thick and fast.
Abhishek Bachchan drinks at a bar and later dances to the tune of a soulful kawwali...ummm...but not before some yesteryear songs featuring Rekha have already been played in the background.

Amitabh Bachchan is the undisputed and charismatic leader of the cheats and thieves who can never be wrong...Don anyone?
Abhishek Bachchan is on his first con job while the song that plays in the background is...ummm...the legendary "Are Deewano, mujhe pehcaano" from Don.

Amitabh Bachchan displays some acrobatic skills on a motorcycle with an attached car and of course, with the irresistibly funny Dharam paaji.
Abhishek Bachchan uses almost an exact replica of the bike with the attached car and as a replacemnt of Dharmendra, he has...ummm...the un-put-downable Rani Mukherjee.

Amitabh Bachchan says "Is duniya me do tarah ke keede hote hain...ek wo jo gandi naali me rehte hain aur doosre wo jo samaaj me rehte hain"...Hum anyone?
Abhishek Bachchan says...ummm..."Ye jo world hai na world, isme do tarah ke log rehte hain...pehle wo jo saari zindagi ek hi tarah ke kaam karte rehte hain aur doosre wo jo ek hi zindagi me saare kaam kar dete hain...aur hum un doosron me se hain"

Welcome to the very first movie that stars none other than the First father-son duo of Indian moviedom...the movie that has been touted to be the ultimate entertainer...the movie that is expected to put Abhishek firmly on the path to success that he has embarked upon, post Yuva...the movie that people believe is sure to cash on the amazing Abhishek-Rani chemistry...the movie that attempts to transform Ahishek into the next Amitabh. Bunty aur Babli does all this (except the last one, for there is no other way) and more.

Overheard in one theatre at Kolkata, "it is almost never that I am impressed by a movie, especially not if it is a Hindi movie, but this one sure has some interesting moments". Words of praise, or what? The movie begins with the invigorating "Dhadak Dhadak" song picturised all over Banaras and neighboring areas and right from the word go, sets the tone for the rest of the stuff that's going to come on. As Abhishek and Rani gyrate (in one of the most natural-yet-prepared choreographic displays which to the viewers' pleasant surprise, is maintained throughout the movie, right across the songs) to the tunes of the song, the expectations are set and the viewers are seen visibly loosening up in anticipation of something good.

From the small towns (Banaras which is not shown to be Banaras, Lucknow with its Miss India-hosting HBTI, Kanpur without its Miss India-hosting HBTI) that stifle the dreams of the two protagonists to the big, bad world is one eventful journey which is as hilarious and entertaining as it is meaningful and reflective. The amazingly visual portrayal of the fascinations of the small town youth is incisive as Vimmi from Pankhinagar is seen clinging to her pin-ups of models (all female, BTW) and as Rakesh from Fursatganj (aptly named, BTW) fixes up the shower at his terrace, refusing to go to the community tap for a bath like everyone else does.

While one gets lost in the entertaining escapades of Rakesh aka Bunty and Vimmi aka Babli, at display is one of the more effective directorial styles seen in recent times. Instead of making the entire thing look like episodes of some comedy soap on television, or like the Anil Kapoor-Madhuri Dixit (or Anil Kapoor-Sridevi) con-after-con movies, the narrative style is very different...just weaving together tales in the lives of Bunty and Babli and bringing it all together like postings on a collage...letting it all conjure some sort of magic that sets the note for the second half to begin.

And then the second half begins and how! Abhishek Bachchan has been shouting himself hoarse and that too from the rooftops that he wants to go to the theatre to watch Bunty aur Babli and throw coins when Amitabh Bachchan's first shot is shown and why not? The rock star get-up complete with the leather jacket, the Bihari style of talking complete with the red gamcha (towel for the more cultured ones), the burning of the 100 rupee note to light up his bidi, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dashrath Singh has an amazing entry.

Unfortunately however, the story suffers from another of the directorial experiments here on, the first of which had been going so good so far...but not this time. As the narrative changes from a visual inspired yet audio complete sequence of events to more of the still photography, newspaper clippings, scandalized expressions kind of thing, all things come to a passe. Even the voice of Amitabh Bachchan as the narrator does not offer the same pace to the happenings as the zestful effort by Rani and Abhishek had done in the earlier half. A slightly different ending (very slightly, mind you so don't raise your hopes sky high) does manage to stem the rot somewhat but the rot had begun to set in, no doubt. In fact, had it been another set of actors or rather had it been anyone else apart from THE MR. AMITABH BACHCHAN, there just might have been a few problems.

The direction is good in the sense that the way the scenes have been panned and arranged with able support from the editing and cinematography departments is truly outstanding and almost a trendsetter. The only low side can be the obvious effort at trying to cash in on the Amitabh and Abhishek combination but this being the first time, I guess it can be pardoned...nay...even appreciated. The music is mind blowing and the choreography absolutely spot on. The music is in tune with the spirit of the movie, whether it be Dhadak Dhadak that starts the proceedings or the immensely classy rap song that ends it. In fact, I haven't seen more people stopping in their tracks during the rolling of the end credits...not even two hot couples from the Tauba Tauba song in Kaal had the effect that an old, 65 odd year old man had in this one.

And then of course, was the Different (with D in capital) kawwali that features none other than the gorgeous Aishwarya Rai. As she sways to the tune of "Kajraare Kajraare" in a backless folksy ensemble, trying to woo Amitabh and giving the cold shoulder to Abhishek (you read that right, no misprints), the initial reaction from the audience is rather low key. It is only when Amitabh and Abhishek get into the act and the music gets hotter and faster and Different (with D in caps again), that the feet start tapping and the wows start coming.

Talking about guest appearances, there is Raj Babbar in an extremely short role that has been made rather inconsequential, keeping in mind the entertainer tag of the movie. Prem Chopra makes an appearance, too and if you are not looking carefully, the makeup and his rather straight voice (so different from the days of "Prem...Prem Chopra naam hai mera") might just prevent you from realizing who plays the cameo.

Amitabh Bachhcan rules the roost and though he appears for just one third of the movie, he has a greater impact on the proceedings and the movie's fortunes than Abhishek and Rani combined. This, however, does not take anything away from Abhishek and Rani who have both given their best and come out wonderfully, what with their post Yuva on-screen chemistry "rocking" and all that. Rani Mukherjee is Babli personified, all chirpy and young and bubbly, except in the fag end where the entire movie gets a little slow. Abhishek delivers another good performance. Apart from the forced sitting posture and the change of voice in one of the con scenes to sound and look like his father did in Agneepath, his has been a mature portrayal of a small town dreamer who can think like an unattached, insular adult but is yet a child, and a prankster at that, at heart.

Abhishek is no Amitabh but Amitabh, of course is...Bunty aur Babli is no Don or Amar Akbar Anthony or Satte pe Satta or Sharabi...but nevertheless, an entertainer it is. The Amitabh-Abhishek combo is no Amitabh-Govinda (refer Bade Miya Chote Miya) but immensely nostalgic it makes you you look at the duo dancing together and start realizing how similar the son and the father look and dance and act and react and walk and talk...okay let's cut the talk bit for the AIR reject has got something completely different going for him...but the rest really makes you all dreamy eyed and open-mouthed as you celebrate the final coming home of all that you have been doing right from the first Abhishek movie...trying to compare him with his father, the one and only Big B.

Posted at 03:07 pm by Nitai

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005
In transit

Can we postpone the movie for the next weekend please?

Now why would you want that? You were the one who asked us all for the movie...

Yes, I know but you see...there is this training thing starting on Monday and I don't want to start my first day at my first job without a good night's sleep behind me.

The first day at the first job. Like so many other firsts...first love, first kiss...the first job is the platform that so many of us have come across (and so many will) while making our transition...a transition from a carefree world where dreams know no end and reality hasn't sunk in yet to a world that is as clear as is round as is straight. The stepping stone to the so-called and much-hyped corporate life, the first job prepares one for the days ahead...or does it?

In the very beginning, isn't it all about trying to maintain a straight face with head held high but all the while thinking about what the manager, the colleague, the fellow trainee, the trainer...or even the peon is thinking about one self? Am I dressed the tie the right length...have I combed my hair the dignified way or are there traces still of the last weekend's spikes...are my shoes there a smile on my face when I greet my I interacting sufficiently with my colleagues or becoming either a recluse or too garrulous??? There are so many questions but not as many answers as one bumbles from one formal relationship to another...from one errand to another, trying to find a balance.

The balance does come but a little late, late enough to make you realize that all you have thought of to be true may not be able to stand the test of time and experience. The ideals that your college life taught you, the dreams that you had of your hard work resulting in handsome returns are just those...dreams and ideals. The real life is so different, you feel. There is no one who is your friend in the real sense...all of them are professionals, waiting to bite your back the moment right after they have just scratched it. You start feeling that the veil has lifted and you know that efforts are all good to speak of but in reality, there is much more to success. You start getting the idea more than anything else, that your fortunes depend not solely on the amount of work that you put in or the nature of results that you have generated but more on how well you have been able to present well you have been able to network, to suck up to the people who matter.

The above two stages are so very transitive and boundary-less that many-a-specimen of the first job population that I have been discussing are often left wondering. They don't know when they move on from the confused-and-scared stage to the cynical-and-rebel one. In some cases, the employees' prejudice makes them start off with the second stage itself and the first stage is lost in oblivion just because of the rather uncommon cockiness that might have come from peer advice or to resort to a cliche, general knowledge. However, in almost all other cases, there is this uncertain beginning that is to be invariably seen and following it may be a gradual or sudden movement to the second stage. The second stage is particularly seen to be harmful for the company and this is where the possibility of attrition looms large. In fact, if we take a careful look at the attrition details of most companies, we can quite easily realize that there is simply too much supporting data for the above observation.

Whether it be the attrition data or the employee surveys that the progressive companies undertake, the result is often seen to be the same. There are people belonging to a third class (apart from the above two) who are the most satisfied lot. Not that they do not have ambitions...not at deed, they are much more focussed at what they want from life and are working the fastest towards it. In fact, if we look at the profile of people who hav reached this stage, we will soon realize the reason for their apparent satisfaction with their work place and at the same time, their contribution to what is often known in the corporate lingo as organizational inertia.

This third stage is reached when the winds of change have passed through and done the damage that they could have. It comes, but rarely, to those who let themselves be uprooted by the winds ever so often. It comes to everyone at some stage or the other but it comes earlier to the steadier of the lot, the more focused of the group, the more determined of the pool...people who have spent their work life not cribbing and complaining alone, people who have been at the top without thinking too much about it...people who work smart and not just hard (another cliche, yes but pretty much suited).

This is where the lateral entrants (people who are into their second, third or later jobs) and the experienced people come in. These people have already arrived...they are thinking of strategy (and not in the sense an MBA student thinks about it, if you please)...they plan to align themselves with their company...they wonder about the performance linked incentives with more than mere wonder or a sort of indifference...they either feel themselves to be a part of the family or are too unattached to let even anything else (like a probable increment offered by some other shark in the pond) cloud their actions.

A journey from uncertainty to rebellion to acceptance, the corporate life is not at all as simple and as appealing as it looks from the outside. Of course, there is the financial freedom to a certain extent but at what cost? Is it just a mirage, then, that we look at when we are burning the midnight oil for that entrance, for this interview? A lot depends, I would opine, on the mentality of the person if this question is to be answered. The first stage of hesistant exploration is for the most innocent of them all and honestly, the longer it lasts, the better for all concerned. The sceptic moves on pretty soon to the second questioning stage and if there is a lack of clear puprose, this stage gets prolonged for just a bit too long.

The step that shall benefit the employee as well as the company is to arrive at a mechanism by which the third stage becomes much more porous...where, just like the transition between the first and the second stages, there are ways in which smooth transfer may take place between the "oh wow!" and "oh ok!"...where the enthusiasm and first-timer's freshness contribute just that little bit more to the big picture.

Posted at 01:07 pm by Nitai

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Monday, May 30, 2005
Black wind in the wings and the climax

I have been thinking and this time, there are good reasons for it. The summer project, after days of absolutely-nothing-to-do, is heading for a typical Hollywood climax. Although there aren't going to be exploding tube stations and car chases and that final kiss, but the last few days at this place are sure going to be one whirlwind. With the gap analysis being the mainstay of my project (or rather the project in its totality) and the system B (out of the systems A and B, between which the gap analysis is to be done) not being available yet, and lest I forget, with another four working days to the final presentation, things can be said to be growing into interesting, to say the least.

Be as it may, it does not stop me from having a good time in Cal and since these are the last few days of vacations before I get on to another sort of vacationing on the beautiful hill resort down south, I plan to do anything but let sleeping dogs lie. This weekend, it started with a bit of shopping at Pantaloons on Saturday (after the French class, of course). I and Sandipan got a great Tees bargain and before you start wishing that both of us will be dressed in the same tee some day on campus, let me tell you that we have already entered into the pact not to. Tanu (Sandipan's girl friend) and Rohit (in the E n Y office a few floors above the Pantaloons) were there as well and surprisingly, none of them cribbed about the quality time we were spending looking at and trying out one thing after the other.

However, not to take any chances, we moved on to Sheesha Bar next. I know that the name sounds pretty corny but the place is anything but corny. It is a pretty classy place, in fact, that does not allow people in slippers (not even the funky Yankee travellers, one of whom turned up that day in rugged tees and shorts and of course, slippers). After a few drinks and eats, Sandipan and Tanu made their way to some other Rendez-vous (without the bones in the meat) while Rohit and the poor old me went ahead to a filled-beyond-capacity Pizza Hut. This was the second time in a Kolkata Pizza Hut for me and not any different from the first one: good pizzas, good crowd, and of course, the typical birthday celebration complete with the song and dance and claps routine.

Compared to Saturday, Sunday was not all that exciting. A late Saturday night meant that I got up just in time for the French classes (which start at 3 in the afternoon, by the way). With Sandipan having another plan with Tanu, and Rohit enjoying the roller coasters at Nicco Park with his friends, I was left all alone but not for long as Rohit joined me a little later at City Centre for some coffee table conversation. I must say that the conversations with Rohit over the weekend have been pretty interesting and there have been occasions where both of us have been able to read beyond what the other has spoken. Apart from the conversation, the next best part of the evening was the Masala Cola that we had just before calling it a night. Amazing style, some solid taste and the earthen cups made for some good entertainment. The way the Masala Cola Dada was preparing the thing would have put any bar tender worth his salt to shame. Sprays and mixes and popping the caps and juggling the bottles were all there and more than the drink, the entertainment gave me the paisa-vasool.

Like any other weekend, this one would have been incomplete without the usual dosage of movies. Although Bunty and Babli had to be shelved for a later date because of non-availability of tickets, there were quite a few CDs available at the BJ Market shop. The first one was the screen adaptation of the immensely popular work of fiction, "Gone with the wind". After "The Sound of Music", I had been expecting a lot from this movie as well but for some reason, despite the ten Oscars that it had grabbed in its time, the movie really failed to excite me as much as the other one had.

Scarlett O'hara and Rhett Butler, Melanie Hamilton and Ashley Wilkes were the same, no doubt and the actors did do justice to the roles but still it did not feel the same as reading the book had done. The actors did settle into their characters gradually but their introductions in the movie were not impressive at all. Most of them, when they appeared for the first time in the narrative, looked like caricatures and the gravity of the story got reflected in their faces only when the second half of the movie had well and truly started. Personally, I missed the story of Eileen and Gerald O'hara and Scarlett's early youth that had formed such an enjoyable part of the novel. In fact, the entire good-old-South imagery has been done away with to accommodate the misery of battle and the greed of man that destroys the old order and sets in the new.

The movie is good effort, however, to bring the mammoth classic to everyone's doorsteps and I must say that it has satisfactorily brought the gist of the story up front. Ever since I read the book, I always used to wonder about possibly how the entire length and breadth of the story could be captured on reel but that, the movie has been successful in doing. Probably, if only for this, it deserved its ten oscars and perhaps even more.

The other movie this weekend was the first of the Batman series titled "Batman" (what else? :-)). The Batman series has got some big names to boast of, right through the four movies that have come so far. Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Bassinger, Danny De Vito, Jim Carrey, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nicole Kidman, and Drew Barrymore are just some of the people who have played some character or the other in one of the four Batman movies. The DC Comics character has always been fascinating read for me beacuse of his, amongst other things, roguish nature and the very absoluteness of his character as far as the nature of dealing with crime and criminals goes.

The movie "Batman" does miss this aspect of Batman's character and though the hooded hero scowls in his mask, Bruce Wayne is shown as the part-bumbling part-brooding character who seems to be as confused as Peter Parker of Spiderman about his convictions (which actually, is not the case if you read the DC comics a little more carefully). All said and done, the movie was some good time spent and I did relish the bringing alive of characters like The Joker, Alfred, Bruce Wayne, and of course, Batman complete with his Bat-mobile.

The last of the movies that I watched over the weekend (not last, literally as I watched it on Friday) but the one that had the greatest impact was "Black Friday". The censor board is not allowing the movie to get to the cinema halls in India but fortunately or unfortunately, the original print of the movie, complete with the candies ads has found its way to the neighboring CD shop, all the way from our beloved neighboring country. The movie, if you haven't heard about it already, is based on the Mumbai riots and specifically looks at the way Mumbai police cracked the entire operation open and how the actors in the crime were brought to book one by one.

The police officer in charge of the case is played by Kay Kay and he has done justice to his role. Confident and strict and determined to find the truth and nail the criminals, he is human enough to be disturbed over the torture that his men have to resort to in order to get the truth out. All the supposed villains (the movie does present a rather single side of the entire issue, proclaiming only the Muslims to be repressed and villainous), apart from Dawood Ibrahim, are handled well and despite the torture and the subsequent opening up, they manage to maintain their convictions and more importantly, the actors have been able to effectively portray this dimension of their characters.

The movie also brings to light one of the most effectively planned criminal activities and on top of that, one of the most successful crack polce campaigns ever. The way one little clue leads to another and the very tenacity with which Mumbai police is shown going after the suspects fills you with a kind of reluctant admiration (reluctant only because of the apparent unfeeling nature of all police men apart from the inspector played by Kay Kay).

In the midst of all these movies and the good time that I have been having in Kolkata, I have also been a little worried lately about the conclusion of it all. I just hope that all this fun is not at some unreasonable cost and that the project thing goes off properly enough. With much depending on how I and Sandipan perform here, I do not want to be a reason for my institute not getting the respect that it deserves...not if I can help it.

Posted at 02:55 pm by Nitai

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Friday, May 27, 2005
The hills are filled with the sound of music

One of the primary factors contributing to the gradual evolution of humankind must be its tendency to perform acts that are not just limited to survival manouvres. Of course, there will be many who will contend that even the seemingly unrelated acts are actually attempts by human beings to attract the opposite sex and thus reproduce better and ultimately keep fighting in the struggle to get chosen as the fittest and thus, survive. However, if we do neglect the rather minor opinion of the die-hard Darwin enthusiasts, it seems that free flowing activities like music, dance, poetry, literature, and so many others are what make humans different from the other species that live from day to day only in order to protect themselves and their offsprings from possible annihilation.

Of the many such differentiating activities, the one thing that keeps coming at the top of most people's lists can be safely assumed to be music. Whether it be the brooding poet giving notes to his ode to some season, or the incoherent lover strumming his violin strings in the dead hours of the night, the sound of music is kept alive and as the moon beam plays hide-and-seek with the lover and the poet, the notes fly up into the air and seem to get mixed into the nature from which they have ultimately evolved. It is in honour of and inspired by God's creations that the best of music comes forth as the ordinary mortal remains immobilized, feeling and listening to the scales finish their octaves as the nature and especially, the motherland that has always given him succour displays its resplendent beauty and wows out all the cynicism.

The immensely popular movie classic "The Sound of Music" opens with the song that has filled the heart of the beautiful, vivacious, funny, and above all different Maria. A would be nun in the Abbey, Maria feels music in her bones and admittedly can not stop singing, not even when she is the Abbey. Nature, the hills and brooks and snow and water...they all bring music as naturally to her as a mother might come to her child in time of need. Maria is full of adventure and the independent streak in her makes her a problem for the Reverend Mother who decides to let Maria go out and feel the real world away from the walls of the Abbey and let her decide and identify the destiny that God has chosen for her.

Sent as a governess to seven children of a proud Austrian patriot, Captain von Trapp, Maria realizes the absence of music in the von Trapp household. The death of Mrs. von Trapp has immersed an otherwise happy family into a gloom from which Maria undertakes to take them out. She teaches the children how to sing and with the notes of "Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti", brings the music back into their lives and the smiles on their faces. In the process, she falls in love (equally reciprocated) with the Captain, their father. Unable to decide her fate and scared of her own self, she runs back to the Abbey and hides in isolation till the Reverend Mother tells her to go out and find her destiny.

The Reverend Mother tells Maria that loving a man does not necessarily mean that she will love God less. A beautiful thought, indeed...something which the fanatics across religions must understand. It is not the celibacy (just to take an example) that is important...what is important is the concept behind it. Loving God with all your heart does not mean that there is no love inside you for anyone else. Loving somone else does not mean that you can not fulfill the destiny that God has decided for you. You can still play your role in the Grand Design and thus make sure that you give yourself over to God (for what God wants is not for us to keep chanting His name every second but to fulfill His scheme of things...finish the job that He has sent us here for).

Maria finally goes back to her family and just as things were starting to get cozy, come the Thrid Reich and the Germans who are taking over Austrian territories. They have not, however, taken over the Austrian spirit yet and as the von Trapp family says adieu to Austria and her people in the Austrian music festival on the stage, they give rise to probably the last independent outcry against oppression. As the mvoie ends rather unfortunately with the von Trapp family making good their escape and leaving behind the mother land that had given them their music, the audience is left with a desire for more...more of the dialogues that are more of songs than dialogues...more of the high-pitch high-note conclusion of songs...more of the dance...more of the smiles...more of the beautiful Austrian landscape.

Julie Andrews is bewitchingly beautful in this movie and with her character being that of a free and unassuming girl, she makes the best out of it. At the same time, Christopher Plummer as Captain von Trapp manages to maintain the inconsiderate-turned-loving father image as also that of the proud patriot. The seven children are as lovely as they come and the youngest of them enchants, in particular. The 1965 classic directed by Robert Wise is one movie that you can watch again and again. It is a movie that you will be happy to show your children, the kind of movie that makes you appreciate the finer things in life, the kind of movie that makes you see the child in you once again...the kind of movie that fills your heart with the sound of music. 

Posted at 11:24 am by Nitai

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Thursday, May 26, 2005
What you see can kill you

After about two hours of head banging at the IE and network settings, the tech support people were finally able to get the PeopleSoft URL work on my system at about 6 last evening. Not that it was of any use as I realized, to my absolute dejection, that the application server of PeopleSoft was down. There remain seven more working days to the presentation and half of the project is pending...not because I did not do anything but more because I could not. With no access to the system earlier and now even with access, no chance of getting in (the application server continues to be down as of this moment), all of it seems to be a sign of things to come. I am not really bothered but sort of know that coming upon me is a stage of quite a few five-hour work days (instead of the usual two or three).

The Blues is one strangely appealing form of music and given its history (with the Civil War and all), it ought to be. The very purpose of this form of music is to pluck at your heart and the way even a single instrument like a guitar manages to do so speaks volumes of the possibilities. As I sat listening to some blues music, I was sure that I am going to be a big fan. Bubbunda, my guitar instructor, does play very well and of course, the excellent collection of songs and guitar solos and other stuff that he has written on three CDs for me is great.

As for my own progress at guitar, even the P of progress does not seem to be forthcoming. I understand that learning anything new is not a joke and especially starting from scratch on a musical instrument is going to require a lot of patience and that it has only been three odd weeks, but inspite of all this, the frustration has started getting to me. Though my fingers move much faster on the fret board now and I am able to make a guitar run sound like a guitar run at times (instead of random strumming as it used to sound like earlier and does at times even now), but there is a lot more to be desired. With my instructor's emphasis on grammar and his eye for detail, I am not allowed to take the short cut and start playing the chords of any song. I just realized the other day that even after another two weeks, I will only be able to speak the guitar grammar fluently (and may be even teach it to a few) but not really able to play a full song (or even a partial one at that). Well, let's persevere, I say and let's see...

The CD shop in BJ market was in full form yesterday with quite a good addition to stock. I got hold of a DVD with the entire Batman series as also a CD with the original print of The Sound of Music. I have not been able to see these five movies yet as yesterday was devoted to apna Bollywood as I decided to match my wits with Soni Razdan and her much talked about (all due to inconsequential reasons) movie Nazar. Now, this is one movie whose tag line is ever so apt...what you see can definitely kill you in this case...if you do not die of boredom, you will definitely die of laughing at the histrionics (or the lack of it) displayed by Ashmit Patel and Koel Poorie. Meera is definitely the pick of the lot and can act but as for the others in the movie, suffice to say that Avatar Gill comes off the best despite appearing in just two odd frames and unimportant frames at that.

Supposed to be a murder mystery, the movie does have some good initial moments. Like Naina, the other release of the week, Nazar is also loosely adapted from the chinese movie "The Eye" but does not manage to do justice to its inspiration. After a decent beginning, the movie falls flat as soon as the two great (read with at least a few tonnes of sarcasm) actors in Koel Poorie and Ashmit Patel make their entrance. I really don't want to waste any more of your time or my blog space so will stop talking about this movie with this well-meaning suggestion...unless you have nothing to do at all...not even a fly left to swat, don't go for this movie.

Amongst other things, UTI Bank has asked one of its summer interns (a girl from IIM Lucknow) to do a project on campus branding. One of the measures she is planning to suggest is for the bank to go to the campuses through sponsorships of institute activities and festivals. I think that it is a good idea for various reasons, the least being a few HBR cases that I vaguely remember addressing the issue. The UTI Bank does need to raise its profile in the minds of the B-school junta who actually associate it with the Government and half of them do not even know just how privately owned and managed it is. I must say that the bank has done some real good work and the most visible of it is the number of ATMs that one can now see spread all across...even giving the ICICIs and SBIs a run for their money in this arena. And by the way, it is also an opportunity for Backwaters, Horizons, et al...anybody listening?

Posted at 12:20 pm by Nitai

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