Archive for May, 2010

I completed the manuscript of “I’ll do it my way” on May 22, 2010. After that, I’ve spent the last week re-rejuvenating my spirit.

Snatches from the films I watched and the books that I read…

Capote: Let’s start with the worst film of the lot – Capote. Philip Seymour Hoffman won 2006 Academy Award for Best Actor and justifiably so. He does do a great job of bringing the character of Capote on the screen. Yet, it’s an incredibly badly made film, with the director hinging the entire film around Hoffman’s performance. The end result is a film with no dramatic moments that moves at a snail’s pace and leaves you with a huge headache. I had to watch Friends after this film just to get the smile back on my face.

On Golden Pond: A film about growing old that leaves you feeling very young. It’s a performance of a lifetime from Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn in a script with a lot of soul, sensitively directed. The film in fact did win Academy Awards for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay.

But I leave this film carrying out these lines with me… “Sometimes you have to look hard at a person, and remember that he’s doing the best he can. He’s just trying to find his way… Just like you.”

Cinderella Man: Another film with a lot of heart that did not perhaps get  its due. But for me this remains another special film from Ron Howard and Russell Crowe, the combination that gave us A Beautiful Mind. But if A Beautiful Mind draws us in with complexity, this film vanquishes us with its simplicity 🙂

The Kite Runner: Khaled Hosseini is quite clearly a story teller, and not a bad writer either. Well written and edited. I couldn’t put The Kite Runner down once I’d picked it up. It’s a book where the pace of Robin Cook and Stephen King dissolves into the mystique of the east.

In the midst of his prose, the writer also creates scattered moments of soul inspiring beauty. Like when Sohrab says, “”Father used to say it’s wrong to hurt even bad people. Because they don’t know better, and because bad people sometimes become good.”

A tremendous achievement. I can’t believe I waited this long to read The Kite Runner. But I guess it’s better late than never 🙂

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I took the kids (that being Manoj’s niece and nephew) for a visit to Cubbon Park today. It was the first time that I viewed it again through a child’s eyes after 20 years.

It’s still a really beautiful place and I felt like I didn’t value it enough as a child. Then perhaps I treasure it more now because open spaces for children and places that are entirely green are now few and further in between.

Amazingly, it still manages to remain pretty well maintained and the toy train still runs. But there were the first signs of neglect – badly kept toilets and piles of garbage at the periphery. Then again perhaps this was always there and I just didn’t notice it earlier.

The amazing thing about Cubbon Park is that it is still so egalitarian. The daughter of a CEO and an autorickshaw driver could sit side by side on a toy train and pay just 10 Rs for the best ride in the city and they would pay nothing to sit on a swing under an awe inspiring mighty Gulmohar tree. This was the best thing about the Bangalore that I grew up in… And it’s something that just can’t be experienced in one of our flashy new IT City’s many malls.

Don’t get me wrong… I think that malls have their place in a city too… A city must provide for entertainment for all its inhabitants… I just wish that the most neglected inhabitant wasn’t the Old Bangalorean.

Anyway, no more cribbing. I recognise that if we really want change, we need to be ready to be the change that we want to see in the world. So I am thinking about the things that I can do on that count. How can I ensure that the Old Bangalorean is not the most neglected inhabitant of New Bangalore?

Meanwhile, the kids loved their day in the park. I went down memory lane too, and felt like an old tradition was passing on to a new generation.

That’s the lovely thing about time spent with kids. You set out to enrich their lives, and you end up richer for the experience 🙂