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Showing posts from February, 2006
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The terraced rice fields of Bali. Worth a deko.
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Hanoi: Van Mieu, the Confucian temple of literature. Beautiful, calm and wise.
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Carl Sandburg 1878-1967Here’s some poetry from a favourite poet – Carl Sandburg. I first came across Sandburg’s poetry at an Americal Literature class, and I was immediately struck by the sheer simplicity and force of his words. His words strike at you – there is no holding back here. There is passion, strength of emotion and a bold and distinct point of view that looks at the underdog as the real hero. He is obviously a working class poet – a socialist, who wrote about the common man and woman, everyday struggles, loves and joys. His most famous poem is of course, Chicago. It’s a tribute to what surely must be a magnificent city and I sometimes can see Mumbai in those words. In his long career, he wrote a Pulitzer-winning 3 volume biography of Lincoln as well as a book of children’s tales. Critics might not rank him in the American poetry pantheon as one of the best American poets. But to someone who is easily moved by emotive words and pictures, Sandburg is right up there.HAPPINESSI…
Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro is a writer I like. His prose is spare and minimalist yet manages to imbue drama in the plot almost effortlessly. Never Let Me Go is one of his most recent novels and like Remains of the Day, one of my personal favourites, it takes you into the mind of the narrator and leads you through the days of her life, without fuss, without melodrama.The narrator is Kathy H. No surname, no one in the book has one and no explanation as to why it is so. Her narration is simple and seemingly normal – about her memories of her old school Hailsham and her 2 closest friends Ruth and Tommy. Except for stray words like ‘carer’, ‘donations’ and a complete lack of any reference to family, there is nothing unusual in a woman’s memories of a boarding school – the usual bullying of weaker classmates, the mindless cruelty only children are capable of and the fierce inexplicable loyalties between friends. Yet slowly, the reader begins to become aware of unusualness. You start to r…
Rang De BasantiHere's a decent Hindi flick after a long time. A good, taut script and the right casting make this a film worth buying the DVD for. It’s a coming-of-age movie, much like DCH, but with a ‘cause’ added on, a la Swades. It’s a story of 5 young college students hanging out together in an urban apathetic cocoon and whose lives are irrevocably changed when a ‘gori’ comes in to make a film about some of India’s freedom fighters. The 5 students along with a rabid Shiv-Sainik kind of character (Atul Kulkarni in a nicely crafted role) are chosen to play the leads in the film. Starting out cynical and not really caring about the Bhagat Singhs and the Chandrashekhar Azads, the students slowly get into the skin of the characters and when they face a real-life ‘cause’, they soon get drawn into it and make a decision to do something to change things. This decision and the consequences they face form the climax of the movie.To me the best moments of the film are in the casual ‘hang…