Archive | April, 2014

Movies that blow your mind- Literally

19 Apr

I am amazed at how a bad book gets made into a feel good movie. Chetan Bhagat’s books should be stocked up in children’s section. They are nothing but local fairytales and with very basic English skills. I would not let a 10 year old child read it- as it would be an insult to his/her intellect. My post is not about bashing the writer or the movie as both lack imagination and sensibility. Come on people challenge your readers and viewers. I mean in India we only opt to watch movies to be able to sit in air-conditioning for three hours instead of the scorching sun outside or to see the drama that happens each day on tv or even better at home being potrayed by good looking characters (provided it’s a big banner production) on screen. If that’s not enough to create love in a delusional fashion at some exotic location with some really meaningless songs shoved in so that you can go out and buy popcorn or take a bathroom break. I remember a few movies we friends were fighting who would go out and get something to eat as sitting on that seat and watching the movie made me a smaller person with each passing scene.
I wonder who to blame, the ones making it or the ones making it popular. Are we creatures of habit or just the ever optimist? Take me for example: before watching every Bollywood movie I do my research. If I am going to spend three hours of my life and worse still my only day off of work in that theatre I need to know what I am getting into. So I see trailers, watch reviews, interviews etc. And I always hope this one won’t disappoint me.
I am not saying the whole cinema is bad. We make some really good and intelligent movies and if you will notice, people are now able to distinguish between an entertainer and an actual movie. And kudos to that. They make a Dabang or Singham or Chennai Express a hit for its larger than life potrayal of our idiosyncrasies. At the same time they recognize movies like Kartik Calling Kartik, Kahaani, Luck by chance, and many others for its simplicity and intelligent plot and storyline.
Yes you right we need both. But we need to maintain equal balance of both too. I mean right now every one in ten movies makes me happy about spending a fraction of my earnings worth it. Or tingles my senses and makes me go like wow.
Movie makers and now since we adapt most stories from bestsellers too I humbly request the writers too, to please raise the bar and try us. We will surprise you just how much we love our senses being picked and also don’t just makes movie for the masses but also for the classes. A sincere request from the ever optimistic bollywood movie goer.


Living wisely….

5 Apr

As we grow older we have farther to look back. Maybe that’s why it’s easier to make mistakes when we are young we have too little to look behind and too far ahead to look. But that kind of changes as we grow older. You are in the middle of of what was and what will be. The distance between what is and what was has widened too much. Heartbreaks, broken friendships, lost opportunities, bad decisions made and those stupid mistakes that in hindsight definitely diagnoses you as a retard. How many of us when we take a stock of our lives can truly say that we have made good choices, that we have made less mistakes because of those choices?

They say live without regrets, but can we really? They say let the bygones be bygones, but can we really? They say we have this life just once live it as you please, but can we really? When we stand at the point of what is: we see that we have little to show for our past and very little to accomplish for our future or we maybe exactly where we always wanted to be. If you fall in the former category please stop reading. This may not interest you. But if you are the victim of the later, read on.

We always look back. We don’t necessarily want to, we may even try to bury it deep down inside and hope it will all go away or even better pretend that it never happened. Almost making ourselves believe that all that happened in the past happened in the alternate or parallel universe. But then one dreaded day it all comes back to you. Choices are hard to make. Not all of us are good at choosing wisely. But we only know that once we reach the outcome of that choice, so then where is the saving grace. It is in living wisely. There is no alternative. We can be as young and foolish as much as we want, as we are living the life we are so ordained to do by this world that accepts noting less. We laugh at those who live a life lesser than that. We aim to make choices that are naturally wrong at so many levels – morally, ethically and spiritually. But we do it anyway. Atleast we are happy in the moment – who has seen tomorrow right? How many of us make choices assuming that we should live in the moment, seize the day, carpe diem? How many of us take the quote by Gandhi “Live as if you were to die tomorrow” to the extreme? As we stand at what is: I realized that the choices we make bring us to the point where we are today not our circumstances alone. Circumstances and our choices are intertwined with each other in an obscure way. I am not saying the point you are standing at is necessarily bad, after all it built you up, it taught you to pick yourself up. You learned quite a few life lessons along the way, so I won’t say it was all bad. But if we had chosen wisely and asked ourself what if I do do this? How would that affect me years from today? Maybe we would have made a different choice. I am not discouraging you from living spontaneously or at the spur of the moment. I am not asking you to stop believing in destiny and what will happen will happen or stop humming to yourself que sera sera. All I am asking you is to evaluate your every thought, every action, every choice and every decision on whether that will edify you and the others around you? Will this build you up or break you down?

Ephesians 5: 15 says this: So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly. Even more interestingly Proverbs 13:20 says this: He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Do you want to be someone who is known to be a fool, who would come to you for counsel or advice? Do you want to be counted among the unwise, who would like to hang around with you? Let your choices determine the person you are. Let your decisions be sound and wise not just as they affect you personally but also for those who are attached to you. Maybe today from where you standing in the ‘what is’ zone and looking back at all that you have done, makes you seem foolish. But that very thought right there, yes the one where you want to make a change just made you wise. 

So don’t think its too late, you are only half way there. You can choose to be wise, to live wisely and choose it today….

Good Job

4 Apr

Ladder 49 is one my favourite movies. Each time I see this movie I must confess I have a provoking thought – the thoughts would defer based on my circumstances and personal situation. So this time round I was stuck asking myself this question: Why would I or rather anyone want to be a firefighter? 

The movie made it look like an esteemed job, a job that would bring one pride and sense of fulfilment. I only have the movie to compare it to as I have not really interacted or seen a firefighter at work (the later by the grace of God). But this time round I learned a different story. The movie portrays perfectly well the life, the threat to it and their selfless and relentless effort to save lives, to help people.But today something else stood out as I looked on. Why does one really work? Why do we so easily give up on our personal lives to be available for our employers? Why do we abandon our sick parents or lonely partner or neglect our children and their plea to spend time with us? What makes it all worth it? For some it maybe the paycheck, for some it maybe the sense of security, for some it maybe the sense of fulfilment or of achievement.  While those maybe true, but  this I can say with a surety that we all work for – Appreciation. In my 6 years of corporate work experience I have realized that people work for you (the employer). Their jobs may not be as life threatening and life changing as the firefighters but it is no less a sacrifice. How did I get this out of the movie you ask? Well the words “Good job” with a pat on the back by the captain is the only time you see the firefighter beam up a smile. They are too caught up in the series of events and actually saving lives that they forget that, that’s their job. The”Good job” reminds them that what they do is appreciated and recognized for what it is.

The people that work for you are much like them. On some occasions they leave behind their aligning parents to come meet your deadlines. At times they are unavailable to attend their best friends wedding because of a client deliverable. Sometimes they pop pills and drag themselves out of their sickness and put on their best smile for the clients you trying to impress. Their children go to bed waiting for them to come home and their spouses wait for their phones to bring in a message – only to say they will get late at work. They may not be saving lives but they are definitely sacrificing theirs. I realise you going in your heads – well we have promotions and salaries that take care of that and they do it out of their own will no one subjects them to? I completely agree with you upon that. But saying “Good job” when they actually have done so will not make you a less of a person will it now? In fact I see that it is so scarcely said. I have heard Managers refrain from saying those two magical words cause they are afraid of one: if the subordinate is indeed doing a god job and if the Manager so much so says it – his job is at threat- as now he needs to share the limelight and two: then there is the risk of the subordinate becoming overconfident and not doing a good job in the future maybe. I know they sound ridiculous but believe me that these are few of the major reasons why the words “Good Job” are so sacred in the corporate world. To get an appreciation you really need to deserve it. You should have done something so remarkable like gone to the moon or discover a new molecule in order to be worthy of those precious words. Why can’t Managers understand that it is the cheapest way to retain and motivate someone? People work for appreciation and recognition. Let your seniors know how well your subordinate has performed and what he has accomplished – for one it will show you in a good light (that you have taught him/her and guided him/her well) and will allow the person in question to experience a sense of accomplishment and pride in what he does.

I know you thinking: all this I learned from Ladder 49. Well not really I learned it at work but Ladder 49 made me realize it’s importance enough to write. Each individual each day gives up something so that you can achieve something. Each individual each day chooses to work for you so that you can become somebody. So why not let him be a partaker of that sense of accomplishment, that success that puts you on the front page of a magazine that reads -“Good job So and So”.