Tuesday, 2 February 2021

(He)Art and Soul

Everytime I gaze at art

I feel awed and envious

Are they really art?

It seems like the artist's piece of heart

Monotones and neons

Pastels and and rustic

They blend and pop

Like a soothing melody

Adding depth and dimension

Acts as a divine vehicle

Transporting to a world of dreams

Also of vision and experimentation

They melt our heart

Let flow the creativity

They inspire. They motivate.

All along asking us to -

Just create.

Everytime I gaze at art

I wonder when will i become that artist

Who leaves a piece of heart

In everything they create!

Monday, 18 January 2021

The Ensuing Light

In the dark dungeons of my heart

Light emanates.

Those are nothing but spark of my eyes

Emanating the glint of hope;

Twinkling with dreams that will come true -

If not now. Later.

If not today. Tomorrow.

That light shows the path;

Encourages me to keep walking -

To simply keep going.

That light is also the spirit of my soul -

Very dreamy yet ever hopeful.

 

In the dark dungeons of my heart

Solitude prevails.

It's soothing yet rapturous.

It's addictive and selfish too.

It may evaporate after dissolving into the concoction of hope.

Or is it love, I ponder.

That solitude wants to give me a chance -

A chance to live again. To laugh again.

A promising chance to go on!

But can I go on? I worry.

That’s when the dark dungeons are lit -

I see that I am the ensuing light.

 

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Maara


Cast

:

R Madhavan, Shraddha Srinath, Moulee, Sshivada, Abhirami, Alexander Babu

Director

:

Dhilip Kumar

Cinematographer

:

Dinesh Krishnan

Karthik Muthukumar

Music

:

Ghiran

Editor

:

Bhuvan Srinivasan

Producer

:

Pramod Films

Release Date

:

January 08, 2020 (streaming in Amazon Prime)

Length

:

145 minutes

Language

:

Tamizh

 

My Thoughts

Maara is an adaptation of Dulquer Salman and Parvathy Thiruvothu starrer Malayalam movie Charlie released in 2015. This is one of the rare adaptations that is better, logical and emotionally satisfying compared to the original. If you have watched Charlie, you’ll realize that the characters in Maara have a purpose. There is a reason for everything due to which the relatability factor is higher.

Paru (Shraddha Srinath) is a starry-eyed twenty something woman whose profession is to restore old buildings and stuffs. She likes stories and agrees that she may not know what she wants from life, but certainly know what she doesn’t. As a part of her profession, she visits a beautiful place (I think it’s the attractive Fort Cochin just like the original) where she is puzzled to see illustrations on buildings that depicts the story she had listened as a child, narrated by a fellow passenger during a bus journey. Paru is intrigued and coincidentally gets to stay in the same house where the artist who had created those paintings stays every now and then. That artist in Maara (R Madhavan). She also stumbles upon an art journal which illustrates a story but is incomplete. Her inherent inquisitive nature makes her go into a journey of finding the rest of the story. In the process, she gets to know more about Maara. From what she gathers, he seems to a charming selfless man who has acted a genie in many people’s life. Does her quest for Maara answer the primary question – how did Maara know that story that was narrated to her as a child by a fellow passenger?

Maara is a well-written, well-edited, well-presented package. The cinematographer uses so many hues of colors that the world around which the story is woven looks even more utopian. It is one of those rare feel good movies that we get to see these days. We see only good people. We see only lightness in air, frame after frame. It has a fairy-tale like quality and vibrancy coupled with surrealism that keeps us glued to the story although it is 2 hours and 25 minutes long! All the actors have delivered a realistic performance. Madhavan infuses lot of charm with his twinkle eyes and cute smiles. He has also portrayed sense of helplessness with lot of conviction that we empathize. So has Moulee. We feel for that character and it aches our hearts. It was a pleasant surprise to see Alexander Babu (in case you are wondering, he is a standup comedian – Alex in Wonderland, being his best). He is at ease and makes us crackle.

In these times of uncertainties, tension and negativities which is generally felt due to the influence of virtual world and specifically by the pandemic, Maara is a beautiful story of hope and perseverance. Certainly, a movie that could be enjoyed with family – all you need to do is dim the lights, plop in your favorite couch and stream the movie in Amazon Prime – Yes, its that simple. So, go for it!!!!

Rating

4.5/5 

If you have watched Charlie, please continue reading as I have made some comparisons (I know its not a frame to frame remake, but still…)

***Some Spoiler Alert too***

What worked in Charlie and not in Maara

·       The part with Kalpana in the original and Abhirami in Maara – I liked Kalpana’s portion better. Abhirami was really good. But something was missing. Maybe that streak of melancholy that Kalpana adorned in her face – not sure.

·       The unravel of the story through the art journal flip - Charlie had an element of surprise. We really didn’t know, just like Tessa, what Charlie and the Kallan saw when they moved the tiles of the house and peeped inside. This is not the case in Maara. Though Sshivada was good, the way the scenes between Charlie and Kani was better in Charlie than between Maara and Kani.

What worked in Maara and not in Charlie

·       The characterization

o   Honestly, Charlie was irritatingly loud, hyper and came across as a spoilt child who had no purpose in life. He looked more a maverick to me, of course, with a good heart and all that. Also, he came across to me as a demi-God who can fix all the problems and too easy-going with nearly Zen-like detachment and zero emotions. Whereas, Maara was charming and emotional. He was a meandering too, but with a reason. He was vulnerable and more humane.

o   Similarly, Tessa was aimless and boasted that having no plans is the plan. She wanders, she runs away from home and we don’t even know from where she is getting all funding. We don’t know what her educational or professional background or the mere reason why she is so rebellious – rather why she is the way she is. Whereas, Paru is more grounded and has a purpose. She is more real with a profession and clarity of mind.

·       Use of art – Though Charlie is an artist too, we don’t really see much of art. But, Maara is constantly sketching and sometimes for a cause too. And most importantly, his artistic gift is the base of Maara unlike Charlie.

·       Lingering of emotions – There are reasons why Maara is longer than Charlie. Maara lets the emotions linger for a bit. Whereas Charlie was in a hurry. Sometimes, that pause is important so that we feel for the moment too just like the characters.

In short, Maara worked for me better than Charlie. And glad that it did 😊


Thursday, 7 January 2021

Room by Emma Donoghue

 

Details of the Book

No. of Pages    : 321 pages

Language         : English

From the book blurb

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world....

Told in the inventive, funny, and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience—and a powerful story of a mother and son whose love lets them survive the impossible.

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough ... not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Author

Emma Donoghue grew up in Ireland, best known for my novel, film and play ROOM, also other contemporary and historical novels and short stories, non-fiction, theatre and middle-grade novels.

What I think

Emma Donoghue’s Room is a heart-melting story of five-year-old Jack and his Ma, narrated through the eyes of Jack himself.  Ma was kidnapped when she was just nineteen years old and has been held captive by Old Nick in a 11-foot square soundproof room in the backyard for eight years. Jack has great vocabulary, is good at mathematics and knows many songs and story. He believes that the Room is not only his home, but the world itself. Of course, then there are separate planets for doctors, trees, schools, animals and all that. He loves his Ma and doesn’t imagine that there could be a possibility of other real people except for those whom he sees in a TV.

The story begins by providing a peekaboo into the daily lives of Jack and Ma. There are Phys Ed, crafts, games, stories, TV, songs and dance, and, lots of fun! The morbid reality is unraveled to us slowly as Jack learns the truth about his Ma and the kidnap. He reluctantly agrees to carry out the great escape with scave as he calls it (a word sandwich for sacredly brave because he likes word sandwiches!). The rest of the story is how their lives flip after they are freed.

The book blurb gives out the story in full. So as readers, we pretty much know what to expect. But what keeps us hooked to the book is the innocence of the narrator and the beautiful bond between Jack and his Ma.

Though the plot seems morbid and makes us expect melodrama, this books only gives happiness. Also, this book is not a tearjerker at all. Instead it is a story of celebration and hope. It is also about the insignificance of everything in the larger concept of space and universe. Though Jack is intelligent and smart – he is just a five-year-old and his innocence makes us fall in love with him.

Overall, this is a splendidly written, realistically portrayed story. Jack would simply take a piece of our hearts and I am sure that his love and innocence would never be forgotten. In fact, I so wish there are sequels to it – I am sure this boy is going to go place – all hail to the parenting of Ma.

I strongly recommend this book to everyone.

Rating

4.5/5 

Thank you to a school friend who suggested this book. I am unable to think of a better book to start this new year!


Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Another 360 days of Hope!

Basically, I am running late by 5 days when it comes to the first blog post of this brand-new year. That’s why I thought of using 360 days instead of 365 in the title – Just in case you were wondering if that was a typo!

Every New Year bring hope. It really seems as an excuse to restart something. Unlearn something. Even undo something. But this new year is the king… alright feminists, queen or maybe keeping the humanitarians in mind shall I say God. Oops! Then there are atheists. Alright… Let me reword… 2021 is THE year of hope! How about this? Haha. Well, jokes apart, we all hope, don’t we, for a corona free day… mask free outings… some vacations and not the so called “staycation”. Even students miss colleges; the non-workaholics also miss the formal attire, long commute and office.

 

2020 came as a surprise to all of us. We were simply not prepared for anything that it had to offer. And in 2021 at least we know what we could expect – the “new normal” that is, as we chose to call it.

 

Personally, I appreciate 2020 (well, that’s not just the optimist in me speaking alright).

It gave us all a chance to slow down and appreciate things that we had taken for granted. While indeed there was time to spend with the family and within the safe and warm constraints of our homes - we are those few blessed souls, aren’t we? We had a roof above our head and good supply of hand sanitisers, internet, OTT subscription, net banking to name a few - we dared to spend time with ourselves. We were forced to face ourselves, not just in the mirror which we used to look at to comb our hair or to dress up to step out, but also in our head and heart. That way, 2020 has been the best of bests!

 

There was the threat of this virus. Then there was fear of lay off. There were salary cuts. Children were restless. Elders were bored. Anxiety and uncertainty became the notorious offspring of 2020. But we managed them all. We survived and we have emerged – just like the phoenix in the great tales; we have written our great tale too. We all deserve a pat on our backs. Well done!!!! And yes, we also need THIS new year – just to smile and hope. Just to breath and be grateful. Just to close our eyes and be!

 

Happy New Year dear-dear readers…

Wishing you good health… joy and peace…

Let’s HOPE for mask free year!

Let’s sing and dance because this is THE year of HOPE…

2021 we are more ready than ever! Hahaha (not an evil laugh okay!)