Archive for February, 2012

The 84th Annual Academy Awards as usual was all about stars and their performances. Here are the ones who stole the show.

#Oscars @BillyCrystal…his 9th time presenting the Awards!

#Oscars #Cinematography Award to #Robert Richardson for #Hugo

#Oscars #Art Direction Award to Dante Ferretti (Production Design); Francesca Lo Schiavo (Set Decoration)….again for #Hugo

#Oscars Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez….for the Costume Design awards

#Oscars Costume Design Award…to Mark Bridges for The Artist….his first ever!

#Oscars Makeup Award…to Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland for their exceptional work in The Iron Lady!

#Oscars Sandra Bullock….marches in!

#Oscars Best Foreign Language Film…..as expected to A Separation, Iran

#Oscars Best Actress in a Supporting Role…..to Octavia Spencer….her first….for The Help

#Oscars The crying starts….:P

#Oscars Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper walk in….

#Oscars Award for Best Editing….Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall….their second after The Social Network

#Oscars Award for Sound Editing to Philip Sotckton and Eugene Gearty…for Hugo!

#Oscars The Sound Mixing Award to Tom Fleischman and John Midgley…for Hugo!

#Oscars Looks like Hugo is stealing the show!

#Oscars Raju is nominated for the Best Short Film in Live Action!

#Oscars Awesome Acrobatic performances by some wonderful artists from Cirque du Soleil!

#Oscars #Raju is a story of a German couple looking for their adopted Indian son who goes missing in the streets of Kolkata!

#Oscars Cirque du Soleil….what a great performance!

#Oscars Robert Downy Junior….for the Documentary Feature!

#Oscars Documentary Feature to the Undefeated….TJ Martin, Dan Lindsay and Rich Middleman!

#Oscars Chris Rocks….for the Best Animated Feature Film!

#Oscars Rango….is the Best Animated Feature Film….Gore Verbinski takes the award!

#Oscars Ben Stiller and Emma Stone for Visual Effects

#Oscars Visual Effects Award to Hugo…..again…. Rob legalo’s second…. Joss Williams, Ben Grossmann and Alex Henning…their first…:)

#Oscars Mellissa Leo….for Best Actor in a Supporting Role

#Oscars Christopher Plummer is the Best Actor in a Supporting Role…the first for any 82 year-old!

#Oscars Average Age for Oscar winners jumps to 67…Courtesy: Christopher Plummer

#Oscars Tom Sherak..President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences…delivers his speech

#Oscars Penelope Cruze and Owen Wilson for the Best Original Score….

#OscarsThe Best Original Score Award goes to Ludovic Bource for The Artist….his first!

#Oscars Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis for Best Original Song!

#Oscars Best Original Song Award to Bret McKenzie for Man or Muppet!

#Oscars The beautiful Angelina Jolie is on the screen now…for Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

#Oscars Alexander Payne…with his second, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash their first…The Best Adapted Screenplay for The Descendants!

#Oscars Best Original Screenplay goes to Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris!

#Oscars Melissa McCarthy walks in with her troop for the nominations for The Best Short Film (Live Action)

#Oscars The Shore…Father-Daughter duo Terry George and Oorlagh George win The Best Short Film (Live Action)

#Oscars The Best Documentary Short Award goes to Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy for Saving Face

#Oscars Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy….does #Pakistan proud…great work!

#Oscars The Best Animated Short Film is The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris LessmoreWilliam Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg!

#Oscars Michael Douglas from The Wall street….with the nominations in Directing!

#Oscars Michel Hazanavicius wins the Award for Best DirectingThe Artist!

#Oscars Michel Hazanavicius…thanks almost the entire world!

#Oscars Meryl Streep, James Earl Jones and Oprah Winfrey on the stage as the wonderful background score goes on!

#Oscars Natalie Portman with the nominations for the Best Actor!

#Oscars Ladies and Gentlemen…The Best Actor Award for 2012 goes to Jean Dujardin for his outstanding performance in The Artist…his first!

#Oscars Colin Firth announces the nominees for The Best Actress in a Leading Role!

#Oscars The Best Actress in a Leading Role is Meryl Streep for her spectacular show in The Iron Lady. Her third award and 17th Nomination. Yuhoooo!

#Oscars Best Picture…coming you way!

#Oscars 9 Movies nominated for The Best Picture!

#Oscar Action King Tom Cruise for The Best Picture Award!

#Oscars Tom Cruise: Here are 9 reasons why we love to watch movies! The Nominations!

#Oscars The Best Picture Award for 2012 goes to the invincible The Artist.

#Oscars The Artist had 10 Academy Award nominations and won 5 Oscars. Congrats to the whole team!

#Oscars Thomas Langmann and Michel Hazanavicius thank their team!

#Oscars @BillyCrystal says that’s all. Good night everybody. Hope you enjoyed the show!

 

 

 

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It may sound pretty inconsequential to many, but I have a valid point. Why do Engineers turn writers? It perhaps is a question I must ask myself as am a living/dying testimony of the same. Before you get judgmental any further, let me confess that I am not a great writer, neither am I close to Chetan Bhagat, that Amitav Ghosh seems like a distant dream to me and Salman Rushdie more or less shatters my knowledge of English. I may be classified into one of those guys trying to force people to go through my so-called thoughts, expecting them to be read by my friends and people around the world (I hate to read other blogs though) and ultimately being famous (Who the heck wants money).

It is quite ironic that people, who usually sunk themselves in books, ran astronomical calculations, burnt chips in laboratories and stayed awake long nights to get through their nerve breaking exams end up with pen. One of the most popular criminal here who pops up my mind would be Chetan Bhagat. In 2004, when he released his “Five Point Someone”, the Engineer-cum-Investment Banker had broken all records by an Indian author and was called by the New York Times as the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history. He was then seen more as a youth icon than an author and was touted to be as one who made India read; including me.

Though my taste for English language has changed and I have moved over Chetan, it has not stopped me from accidentally coming across authors (so they say) who have tried their best to present themselves as Charles Dickens, if not Shakespeare.

Let me list a few of them. First in line would be Vivek Kumar Singh. Yet another IITian, I gave his book “The Reverse Journey” a 3 out of 5. One, for having the audacity to publish a grammatically incorrect book; two, to the publisher for having the guts to go ahead with the project, and finally, three, for having a fair story line. I say, save me the horror!

Next in line I have Vijayendra Haryal. One more IIT grad (feels like competition), Haryal’s book “The Break Up: To hold on or to let go” made me wonder what it was all about. A collection of 21 short break-up stories and 7 poems, his work was nothing but the same old creepy love stories (Grrrrrrrrrrrrr) we hear every now and then. While he does score over Vivek, I definitely commend his guts for wasting his time and money publishing it.

So here we go. Though it may be difficult to get the answer of the question (I guess there isn’t any), I believe writing is a gift perfected only by expertise. As my good colleague always says Writing is Re-writing, my so-called writer friends need to understand the worth of their work by presenting them before a unprejudiced audience who will give them a fair review of their work. Else, they will end up in the hands of obnoxious weeds like me who are always on the lookout to willingly admonish their work.

Now before you give any review on my badly written article, let me say thank you and no comments please….:P

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Have you experienced adventure at home before? If no was your reply, Ronald Malfi will show you the way. In a rather uncanny manner, Ronald narrates the story of a sculptor Tim Overleigh whose journey in life is not as simple as any other artist. From his wife’s death and haunted by her vision to his unholy sojourn in the Himalayas, Ronald twists and turns the prose while making an impact that is hard to forget. Tim is almost on the verge of losing his mind when he meets an old friend who manages to convince him to a journey to the Canyon of Souls in the Himalayas.

One of the best parts of the narrative is use of explicit words and phrases where Ronald takes you through the story as if you are watching a movie without a single dull moment. Every page is crisply written and grabs the attention of any person who has even the slightest likeness for adventure.

Please read it….is all I can for this wonderful piece of artventure!

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I was pretty surprised when I learnt about this form of poetry. For those who do not understand what it’s all about, here is a quick overview. Wikipedia says Haiku is a very short form of Japanese poetry typically characterised by three qualities:

1. The essence of haiku is “cutting”. This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji (“cutting word”) between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.

2. Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively. Any one of the three phrases may end with the kireji. Although haiku are often stated to have 17 syllables, this is incorrect as syllables are not the same.

3. A kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such words. The majority of kigo, but not all, are drawn from the natural world. This, combined with the origins of haiku in pre-industrial Japan, has led to the inaccurate impression that haiku are necessarily nature poems.

Overloaded with gyan?  To put it in simple words, Haiku may be defined as a collection of words put in three phrases giving a view of the situation. When I got introduced to Haiku by my colleagues in the office, I was amazed as to how much talent we had. Though the original Haiku is very rich in flavor, the English version of it does not adhere to the strict syllable. Perhaps it is one of the reasons why everyone can try a hand at it.

Listed here are some of so-called Haikus we wrote while managing to waste our time in the office. While this maybe utter rubbish, I believe it is an excellent tool for beating stress at the office without actually bashing up your boss or bosses for that matter. Read on…..and if you felt less on these cute verses, get a copy of Soap Bubbles, Haiku by K. Ramesh. Good read!

In case you get hooked and feel like going a bit ahead with your skills, here is Modern Haiku for you.

Haiku for Office-goers

Office
No Internet connection
Fun
.

.

.

.

.

after some time

.

.

.

.

In office
Internet connection
Work… arrgh

Morning Mail
Conspired meeting
No work

Team meeting
Bored
Dead…Dead…Dead

Start of Month
No Salary
Dying

12 days to valentine
Seven girlfriends
No salary

Evening in the office
No colleagues
Booooooooooooooooo 😦

In case you happen to write Haikus…..do share. Cheers!

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ImageGripping, thrilling and fast-paced, Oswald Pereira’s The Newsroom Mafia is a piece of work that gets you in the driver’s seat right from the start. A veteran-journalist, Oscar gives an inside view of the unholy nexus between the police, the corporate sector, the underworld and the print media aptly known as the Fourth Estate. While many of us look up to the press and take their word as the final one, Oscar sheds light on how members of the media exploit it for their own good. What’s more interesting is the manner in which the author narrates the entire plot with every line egging you to read on further. There is hardly any dull moment in the book and Oscar also manages to throw in quite a number of surprises.

The plot surrounds an underworld Don, Narayan Swamy, who is challenged by a Supercop, the Commissioner of Mumbai, Donald Fernandez. While the commissioner is a sincere cop, his job demands a lot of dirty tactics to trap the invincible gangster. The Don, usually humble and sober, is a witty character with a world full of cash, political backup and some good brains from the media. While many stories are just of politicos and armed gangsters taking the center stage, here the media steals the show. The book gives very good insights on how the media can twist and turn any story to make it look good or bad in return for some money and power. What follows is a showdown of ultimate power, filthy thinking and wit which both the lawmakers and the law breakers use as their weapon to bring each other down.

Bollywood producers if you’re reading this, go for it. Has everything in it to be a potboiler. This book is a serious must-read for those eager to have some thrill.

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ImageI was born in Free India, or so to speak, and for people like me who had just heard of the freedom struggle, Team Anna or India Against Corruption protest came with a gush of excitement. It wasn’t until August 16 that I noticed a pale old man with Gandhian looks and speech take on a government that was popular for churning out huge scams one after the other year-by-year.

To me it seemed like the government begged and begged again for this and that this came with a bang was much to the shock of the so called pro-development government. From the very start of the movement I was pretty sure that this man had all the guts to get the government to bow down to his needs. Come August 16, the world witnessed people from all walks of life participating in the protest against the corrupt in what could be said as the agitation of the era. Not that everybody knew what the whole drama was all about, they just wanted to do something to stop paying bribe to every tom, dick and harry. They were perhaps right. Perhaps….I say.

To the surprise of the establishment, Team Anna was able to mobilize masses against them and force them to accept their terms of the Lokpal bill. After 12 days of peaceful mass protests, the agitation was called off only after the Parliament agreed in principle to the call of the people. This was indeed a victory of the people. TV channels, Newspapers, Radio, Social Media and mobile networks had a very big role in what was seen as the best display of people’s power without a stone hurled or a lathi raised. Indeed, the world seems to be good again when you know you can live peacefully without standing in long queues or begging the government officials to get your work done without paying for their ‘chai-paani’. But was this going to stay for long?

Okay, let’s figure this out. It’s the second month after the passing of the Lokpal Bill and you are on your way to office. Already late, you have crossed the permissible speed limit and have also forgotten your helmet and a traffic cop flags you down. Now, it’s not that you are a monster in the eyes of the law, but you may still want to pay 50 bucks and get away as quickly as you can than to give up to the usual delaying tactics of the cops.

Where do you stand now? Maybe Lokpal has just forbidden you your easier option of getting away. Of course, the bill has a lot of pros which if implemented will certainly do a lot of good for the country. But this certainly has prevented you the easy get-away and you start cursing Anna. Is there any way out? No. It has to be either with the Lokpal or without it; and we, as citizens, yet need to decide which version of the Lokpal is good for us. Is it the government’s, Team Anna’s or the other ones.

Does it mean that I am promoting corruption? Hell not. But if you look at the world around you, perhaps every good thing was built on the base of corruption, and they are still working fine. A very good example of this would be the Intelligence Agencies around the world. In reality, you may not find a James Bond and certainly not a Ethan Hunt who would risk his life to just get a code. So what’s their option? They bribe; and this opens the world of corruption. I call it Corruption for Good.

Coming back to the bill, it wasn’t long that the government was going to do a complete reverse turn on its stand and put its version of the Lokpal bill ahead, much to the anger of Team Anna and the people. Another protest, another war cry was sounded, but this time people were not in the mood and the protest died as soon as it started which resulted in Anna pulling out leaving the government with the last laugh.

From then I haven’t heard much about Team Anna which promised to bring back the good old era and put a smile back on the faces of the people. Has this too, like many other agitations, Gone with the Wind? Maybe yes, maybe no; only time will tell. As I see it, things will remain more or less the same with some improvement. Corruption just cannot die in a day and will definitely exist and we, as people, will have to learn to deal with it. It’s not that my father is another corrupt bureaucrat or neither am I a relative of some minister in the government, but for me corruption will co-exist. What’s your take?

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