Impressions 'n Expressions

Location: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India

The permanent temptation of life is to confuse dreams with reality. The permanent defeat of life is when dreams are surrendered to reality.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

To strive, to seek, to find...

ANOTHER languid day at work. These are becoming the norm and am sure its going to be like this for a few more months to come, until we move to our new engagement.

Lethargy is infectious and it kinda transmutes itself to whatever you are doing and one tends to somnambulate thru the waking hours. Compounded with a crazy sleep routine and general sense of lethargy, existence has become rather monotonous.

Not that the days dont have their enjoyable moments, there are plenty, but there is something missing and it comes from the knowledge that there is much to get done. I am sure I can raise myself out from this rut and make a meaningful contribution...but why do anything about it now, when I can do it tomorrow...when I can do it another day.


There is so much I want to write about and so many ideas keep flitting about within the empty recesses of my restless and yet strangely dormant mind...but, where is the energy? Henry David Thoreau wrote,

I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately.
I wanted to live deep, and suck out all the marrow of life.
To put to rout all, that was not life, and not,
when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.

I have not reached there yet and discover I have...that living I am not.

Someday soon, I will have to get up and look up at the sun - with sunglasses on, of course - and ask myself...what is it that I am looking for, where do I want to go and what do I want. I am sure, I shall embark on this lonely road of such deep introspection soon...maybe not tomorrow...maybe like...someday, and then like Tennyson I shall exhort,

'Tis not too late to seek a newer world
for my purpose holds to sail beyond the sunset.
And though we are not now that strength, which in old days
Moved earth and heaven;
that which we are, we are;--
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate,
but strong in will.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Friday, November 17, 2006

On the Mahatma, Bhagat Singh and changing priorities

I was just reading a post on Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh and wondered...

Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it - Santayana

Most of us in our generation at large and the previous generation to a certain extent did not really know the importance of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and how he managed to bring in the unity that was necessary to form a more cohesive struggle for Independence. Prior to his arrival, the freedom struggles were localised and didnt create that much of an impact. That said, it didnt mean that we didnt have capable leaders, but I believe that none of them had the ability to make the struggle a common cause and spread the idea of a united India to wider regions. The greatness of Mahatma Gandhi was not in his writings nor in how he lived his life on a daily basis, but in his principles and his methods of the struggle that were emulated by millions in the country and brought about probably one of the first non-violent crusades that was sucessful. He managed to bring in almost all of our leaders under a common fold and lead the fight for Indepences as one single unit. There are detractors who point out to the differening relationship he shared with Jinnah and Nehru, but that was more due to individual frialities and aspirations of these two men rather than Gandhi.

Bhagat Singh was another great intellectual revolutionary who also - if you read him properly - didnt believe in violent methods. The bomb throwing was not meant to harm anyone, but more of a brave protest. People these days categorise Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat in extremes, but the truth of the matter was that both of them had ideals and were more intellectually inclined and their visions of a future India were not built on roads of blood and hate. In fact contrary to the stories that form the basis of todays elitists discussions, where talking about Independence struggles is a badge of intellectual acuity, Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh had mutual respect for each other and thier approaches were not very different.

Today it becomes easier for us to sit in the comforts of the security provided to us as free citizens of this world and criticize and deride the contributions of our freedom fighters and blame them for the ills of our present day world. In the safety of knowing that we didnt have to do anything, we ride rough shod over their sacrifices and berate them for having been responsible for everything that is wrong with our country now not understanding that these half baked coffee table and bar room discussions are based on ill informed and intellectually deficient arguments. I mean even if you look at the second half of the last century, how many statesmen did we have other than Nehru. The elitist ten percent in todays India that includes almost 95 percent of our media may declare the sad old bag Vajpayee as a greater visionary than Nehru - the same media who proclaims the present day occupant of the Rashtrapathi Bhavan as India's best President - but that is a sad reflection of our changing priorities where the divide between the have and have-nots are widening and the media is using and being used to cater to the elite. Look at the problems we face as a nation..poverty, primary healthcare and education, problems associated with basic necessities and more. But where in the media do you see anything about these issues.

We had so many people involved in bringing the idea of a free nation to frutition, frome where we could built a place in the sun we could call ourselves. Indeed, we are a sadder generation who refuse to try and learn about one of the greatest Independence struggles in the history of man.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Departed

Its been a long while since I wrote anything as I have been relatively busy with a lot of things occupying time. Not that I havent been going on with life, but sometimes you need that lil extra urge to write, and I didnt find it..the times I did... those couldnt be sustained.

Anyways, I need to start once again and I may do so over the next few days...but lemme not go too far. If there is anything written it will be here :)

I saw a few good movies over the past one month, in fact the past three weeks I saw around 10 movies, which is kinda close to the numbers I was used to, before I got married. I dont blame marriage alone...but I have started realizing that there is so lil time we have with us after we are thru with being a dutiful husband, work, social commitments, friends and other obligations, that I wonder if I will ever have sometime to myself. These days, I am stretching my time and it results in me sleeping for only about five hours or less a day...but am not complaining. I have also started reading a bit which is very good on the whole, I should say I am having it neat..

Well, about the movies,

The Departed
A really powerful movie and one of the best movies I have seen so far this year. This is the Martin Scorcese that we have grown up on. It has been said that this is his last movie on the underworld, is so, I must say it he has signed out on a high.

Mob rules Boston. Mob boss is Castello and he has a mole in the Police Department, who is supplying him information about police movements. The Police put a mole within the mob and he works to get information about Castello's nefarious activities. Both the parties realize that they have a rat among themselves and then it is a race to fish him out. There is a love angle too that doesnt seem out of place the way Scorcese has weaved it into the basic strand. This is just the basic strand. Scorcese makes it a complex psychological cat and mouse game with plot twists. The denouement is viscereal, startling and tragic for everyone involved.

Di Caprio, who I have always thought to be a very good actor, turns in one of his best performances as the good cop who infilterates the mob. Mat Damon is equally good as the bad cop and Jack Nicholson is at his best at the ruthless mob boss. Then there is mark Walberg who is at his ascerbic best. He has litle screen time compared to the three main leads but each of the scenes he is in is a delight.

The acting is top nautch, the atmosphere and the pacing is taut and background score is perfect without being obstrusive. The Departed is cops and robbers at its best. A must watch if you love movies.

I shall be writing a bit of my thoughts about Don and Jaaneman in my next post. I was pleasently surprised by both the movies.