Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mixed Feelings

After a good 6 months away from home, I'm now just a couple of hours away from taking a flight to Calcutta. I return with a mixed bag of emotions. A childhood friend is about to embark on the grand adventure called marriage. On the other hand, my eldest maasi passed away yesterday and I don't know how to face Mom.

Still, I look forward to sharing in the joys and sorrows of near and dear ones and what better place than Calcutta, a city I shall always call home, no matter where life takes me.

Biscuit called today evening and it was a joy, like always, to speak to her. I love the fact that she's again involved with theatre, albeit in a little way, and living her passion from one Sunday to the next.

Biscuit reminds me of her so-called-sweetheart (ha ha ha) Herbert. It's been more than two weeks since I met him. I wish I could beat the fellow into a pulp. A couple of months ago when we went to Ahmedabad, Dipan bhai had given me a saree to give to Mom. I asked Herbert to keep it for me since I didn't have space in my bag then. The idiot has been forgetting to give it to me ever since. Hmph.

I have the Ibn-e-Batuta song from Ishqiya stuck in my head. Really started liking Dil to Bachha Hai Jee too, now that I've heard it a couple of times. I just love the music of Vishal Bharadwaj. It has this rustic "desh ki mitti" mahek to it which is just incredible. Of course, one can't forget the great Gulzar for bringing the tale of Ibn-e-Batuta to a whole new generation. From Kajra Re to Beedi Jalai Le to Ibn-e-Batuta. Wow!!

Have finally finished reading Volume 1 of the complete adventures of Feluda by Satyajit Ray (blame all those Batman graphic novels in the middle for the delay). I became a fan of Satyajit Ray's writings when I read "Indigo" way back in school. Feluda mysteries just confirm what a master story-teller Ray was. He wrote these detective stories & novels for a very young audience and hence (much to his chagrin, as he often confessed) had to leave out much violence or crimes of passion. If anything, the lack of such instruments only add a certain boyish charm to the stories. In any case, these characters and situations are so gripping that they very naturally attracted adults as well. Who could blame them? To share an example, if the story has the detective and his young assistant (who does the Watson bit by being the narrator of these tales) spending a night in a dak bungalow in a forest in the North Eastern part of the country, ruminating over the murder of an occupant the previous evening and suddenly they hear the roar of a Royal Bengal Tiger... boy, that makes for one good story!!

Coming back to the Batman graphic novels... they were freaking brilliant!! Having read a couple of these graphic novels now, it is so exciting to see the manner in which the tale is told by the artists. No doubt you have good story writers writing these gripping episodes, but so much goes into the art work and "showing" these to the reader. Batman punching the Joker can be shown from four different points of view (Batman's, the Joker's, a bystander's or a bird's eye view) but which one of these will have the maximum impact on the reader?

I have now read The Long Halloween, Dark Victory and Batman: Year One. Still have The Dark Knight Strikes Again to read. I have also been making visits to the Landmark at Infiniti Mall at Andheri in the hopes of getting my hands on The Killing Joke but have been returning empty-handed thus far. Must thank THE big fat Panda for all his recommendations on the graphic novels. Every time I'm in a conundrum as to which graphic novel to buy, I immediately call him and he is always glad to help.

I went to see Sherlock Holmes on the opening weekend with the Panda, a couple of his other friends and G&G (Granpa & Granma). Absolutely loved the movie (so much so that I went and watched it again last week). I told the Panda how thankful I was that there are hard-core "commercial" film makers like Tarantino, Guy Ritchie & Vishal Bharadwaj (there goes Ibn-e-Batuta in my head again) who have such a stylish way of making films. I thought Robert Downey Jr. was good and does justice to his role by not playing a version of Holmes as that which must be trapped inside the purists' head. But what I felt must also be applauded was Jude Law as Watson, an ex-army doctor who doesn't believe in holding back his punches. The action sequences were good, especially the boxing match where Holmes goes through visualizing exactly how he is going to floor his opponent and then proceeds to do so with precision. Rachel McAdams is good as the mischevious and cunning Irene Adler, but frankly, did her role have much to do beyond introducing the intriguing character of Professor Moriarty (who remains in the shadows in this film so that he may make a redux in the next installment)? Must also mention that I loved the background score by Hans Zimmer. I thought this guy was good in Batman Begins and bloody brilliant in The Dark Knight. Here again, he works his magic and brings a very English-Irish touch. Oh, and don't miss out on the Dubliners singing The Rocky Road to Dublin in the background of the aforementioned boxing match.

Okay, enough for now. Gotta scoot and pack my bags. It's already 3 in the morning and must leave house at 7:30. Be good, say your prayers and drink lotsa milk. Cheers!


Siddharth said...

To me the only man who can stand up to the divinity of Bergman and Tarkovesky is Satyajit Ray. He is god, how-much-ever modern bongs have hidden acrimonies against him.

ani said...

welcome home! :)

Shekhar said...

Siddharth: Dude, if a man no less than Kurosawa admitted that Ray was good, we mere mortals can have nothing to say. :)

ani: >---------:)----------<