Friday, November 30, 2012

Ruddy hoaxes!

Yesterday, was a bit unusual. For once, there were 2 hoaxes on the same day. For the rest of this post, you will find uncanny and unwarranted appearances of the word 'something'. Ats you keep reading, you'll understand why.

First one. There was this guy called Nostradamus. Pretty good seer, history says. Anyway, that guy was really good at writing Haikoos which had a variety of possible expansions, so much so that it could very well fit any of the important events in the forthcoming history of around 500 years from the Storming of the Bastille to the 9/11. Anyhow, Nostradamus didn't consider himself to be a prophet or whatever and he left behind around 941 sayings in a book which was published in 3 editions called 'Les Propheties'. However one jobless 'something' on a very fine day, who was good at cryptic writing and Photoshop went on and created this.

What a fuss! And all these 'something' online news channels and others went onto write huge articles about this without even verifying the authenticity of it. For once, I checked Les Propheties and made sure that no such bull-crap is present there. Some 'something' wanted to get popular on 9gag and Facebook and went onto spew some 'something' which as almost everything goes today, went viral.

Moreover, the thing about the Doomsday started about 2009-ish ( not sure about this ). It has been 3 years and its not even funny anymore. Too boring to keep on ranting the same 'something'. A similar occurence can be attributed to the 'War of the Worlds' novel, although comparatively people are much more intelligent now. Else, I'd imagine they'd be running in the street gathering provisions to stock.

Secondly, there was this on Whatsapp that made so much stupid spam that I had to switch off my mobile Internet for a while. Seriously, what a freeloader 'something'! You think they weren't gonna charge? Whatsapp has a 1-year free usage policy after which an annual fee is expected to be paid to continue its usage. Forwarding a message won't help with your freeloading! Some problem with their status settings and all the 'something' spam messages start flooding. What a bunch of 'something's!

This reply to the spam by an anonymous person was funny.
"In an hour the whatsapp aircraft will be flying over India to censor all active whatsapp users. You must stand on your terrace in a pink underwear and wave a purple polka dotted flag at the plane while doing the macarena. After doing this your whatsapp service will be restored. If you do not broadcast this message an alien will come down and slap you with a fish.It works. This is for all the retards who think sending a message would turn your icon blue or red and you'll be a permanent user."

However, the day has gone and the rough seas have calmed. Maybe Gangnam Style will hit a billion views on December 21st, but that doesn't mean any bat-shit! I do however, hope people don't go around running in the 3rd week of December gathering provisions for survival. It was funny, but its too boring nowadays. Ciao!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Rather forgotten things!

With the rather noisier part of the year, called the Diwali having come to an end, it is time to talk about some things that are not famous, yet were indispensable parts of a few's routine Diwali celebrations.

Here and now, the small chubby kid from next door, wearing his coat and suit dress goes onto place the rocket in the bottle in the middle of the road, and gleefully watches as it goes on its upward journey, and frantically running inside when he realizes that the destination was, in fact some old bloke's balcony. Lot of fun, I tell you.

However, sometimes, besides all this gala, there're the elders who've seen enough Diwalis in their lifetime to squeeze joy out of crackers than out of sleeving the fuse for their grandchildren. Smalltalk with them is usually wonderful. Remembering the many things, some wonderful, some stupid that you did with the fellow idiots of your village and laughed about it for hours and hours!

And, those things are nevertheless, really really stupid.

Like, holding the 'Saram'(string of small crackers that goes out like a Machine gun) in the hand while bursting it, holding the 'Rocket' in your hand and throwing it up to give it, that extra jumpstart, following that parachute which came out of the rocket, so far that you eventually lost your way and had to ask atleast a dozen people to find your way back home. No phones those days, mind you. These things were the ones done with the usual crackers. But here's a list that you wouldn't find often, a list you would probably be familiar with, if you celebrated a Deepavali in a small town / village.

1. வெங்காய வெடி ( The Onion )

As I would like to call it, the 'Ninja cracker' ! For all its worth, this is probably the only thing that makes you feel like a ninja ( unless you're really into Parkour). Throw it down hard on the ground and watch it explode on impact like the smoke bombs used by Ninjas.

Looks like even Batman knows about it -

2. ஓல வெடி ( The Palmleaf )

The one that looks like a 'tie'; yes, 'tie'. It has a long tail with a bulged front where the powder is present. Very ideal to hold in the hand while bursting, and very very ideal to throw towards someone ( Imagine shouting, "This is Sparta!!" and throwing :-P ) But then, be careful! The long tail could end up swerving the cracker towards you after all :-D

3. மின்னல் வெடி ( The Thunder )

Our very own atom bomb. A wonderful local cracker, I must say. And, very noisy. The shockwave that comes when this one bursts, is definitely something different. You oughta know it, you burst it! Very dangerous though, not to be thrown or burst with the hands ( Personal experience of having a  bandaged hand for a week ).

4. மூல வெடி ( I don't know how to translate this - too many equivalent words )

Very similar to the 'Thunder'; you could say that these two are the Atom Bomb - Hydrogern Bomb pair of our நாட்டு  வெடி  கடை ( Local Cracker Store ).

As you keep talking to the old guys, who take a backseat and enjoy watching the young ones having their fill, you come to realize how much you miss those crackers that were only available in small towns and villages. You also come to think that when you who have only spent a couple of years bursting them is missing them, what about your elder generation, who practically grew up with it?

I am not an advocate of "No crackers for Diwali." I believe that bursting / not bursting is each one's own choice. Pollution, yes, definitely. But worry about it when you take your vehicle to the shop next street or when you forget to clean your exhaust and becoming a psuedo-mosquito van! Also, when you carelessly forget to switch off your lights and fans and when you waste food which took valuable amount of electricity and gas to cook. Don't become a judge for one day.

Festivals are unique each in their own way. Without crackers, it would be like a mime sans action.

Hoping you all had a wonderful Diwali ! Ciao.

Friday, November 9, 2012

With amazing titles, don't come amazing movies!

I just got to watch 'The Amazing Spider-Man'. It has been almost half an hour since the movie ended and I'm still awestruck at the magnitude of a disaster that was. Maybe they should've titled it, "A Ridiculous Reboot of The Amazing Spiderman".

I mean, you can't just leave out the best things out of a franchise and go on to reboot it! I'm much tempted to say, "Hey Stan Lee! Don't watch the movie dude! You're old already. I fear you might get a heart-attack." The movie did bring in one thing from the cartoon series, the web-slingers, but no, without a good story, what is the use of a web-slinger? Spider-man shoots web, and I for one, don't give a shit where it comes from - his wrist or a web-slinger. Disappointment.

Second, why did Captain Stacy die? If there's one unsaid rule about movies, it is, 'If its a character or worth, and if you're gonna kill him, make a hero out of him prior'. If Mark Webb thought that carrying a bottle of antidote to the hero and putting some bullets on the Lizard was enough, sadly no. It wasn't. Disappoinment number 2.

Third, where the fuck is Mary Jane Watson? After all, she is Spiderman's primary love interest. If at least, they had skipped the dialog of, "Don't make promises that you can't keep!", "But that's the best part.", we could've atleast reached a hapless inference that Peter would go onto date MJW in the reboot. Huuuuge disappointment.

Moreover, the graphics and quality of detail has improved significantly since the first Spiderman movie; but then, it doesn't matter. I nearly dozed off twice during the movie! The crane scene was a gimmicky one, but then fails to make an impact. I was so looking forward to "With great power, comes great responsibility." dialog. It was a beauty. It was signature. I was hoping that it would come atleast in the voicemail message that Peter hears, but no. Again, another disappointment. The worst of them all.

Finally, Eduardo Saverin is Eduardo Saverin, not Peter Parker. Toby MacGuire, gay, small, whatever you may call him, he was definitely the better Spiderman.

The climax of the movie hints a sequel/prequel. I don't think I'll watch it. And this is one of the worst scenarios for a director to be in. Mark Webb, you have taken the best of Marvel's superheros and brought him down to the common man's level.

Superhero movies are usually either  wonderful, very good or in the worst case, boring. But this one, a sore disappointment.

P.S.: Please don't watch it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The whole thing was whose idea?

Are we going to talk about Superman? No. We'll leave him and his iconic "Is it a bird, is it an plane, its Superman!" catchphrase alone. Superman is too awesome, just a tad too much for anyone to relate to. In fact, that is why we don't quite find a father-figure for Superman.

While on the other hand, Spiderman did have Uncle Ben; but then Ben wasn't there long enough. He gave Peter good advice like, "With great power, comes great responsibility". It is a pity that Uncle wasn't there when Spiderman became what he was, nevertheless, it was a necessary sacrifice. But of course, every superhero must be motivated by something; and if it doesn't come to the slinky teenager, the death of some close person ought to do the trick.

Or, that is what the comic artists thought perhaps. So, who else do we know who has motivation, is a vigilante and the guidance of a fatherly figure?

Ok, I'll cut to the chase and start the topic already. Batman & Alfred !

I'm NOT a Batmaniac who has read all the comics over and over again, but I sure am a Nolanite who has watched BB and TDK over 20 times each and went to TDKR twice on successive days! I may never read the comics, but I am content enough. Batman is my favourite superhero. To the fellow junta who share this sentiment, I am sure you'll agree to what follows.

So, why suddenly? After all this while? Only now, did I see all 3 movies together, reverse chronological order. Among the 3, Begins is probably the Dark Knight. The wonderful setting gives Batman, an ideal setting to become the most loved superhero. There are a few things about Batman Begins, subtle and often missed.

First, a superhero movie is not always about the superhero. It is also about that fellow who is behind the mask. I, for one believe that so much as the heroics are attributed to the superhero, the sacrifices ought to be attributed to the man behind the mask. Begins explores the evloution of Bruce Wayne from an insecure scaredy-cat to sort of like The Scarlet Pimpernel, who pretends to be a banal, but merely has donned a visage that hides true colours.

Second, it deeply conveys the bond between Alfred and Bruce Wayne. Alfred is as faithful as one can possibly be. He is also as tolerant as one can possibly be. Over the course of the trilogy, the relationship between Alfred and Bruce has evolved in a phenomenally wonderful manner.

In Begins, Alfred still treats Bruce as a child, being cynical about his manners and driving; perhaps a tad afraid that once the initial momentum gives way, Batman would become something like one of those uncouth few of the Watchmen ( no offense, but that movie sucked! ). Alfred, the old-school headmaster, has a hard time making transition between Thomas Wayne's view of helping the city and Bruce's. However, when priorities clash, without Alfred, Bruce would've been a lost kitty.

In The Dark Knight, Alfred is that explorer who has taken an arrow to the knee, but still, has enough wisdom and experience to mitigate the crushing burden placed on Batman placed by The Joker. Once again, without Alfred, Bruce would've been a lost kitty.

In Dark Knight Rises, however, it is Bruce's time to repay. The scene where Alfred confesses his feeling when Bruce had gone missing, is one of true affection and care. Priceless indeed !

"I never wanted you to come back to Gotham. I knew that there was nothing for you in here, other than despair and suffering. I've always wanted the best for you. I still do."

 Bruce, unwilling to put Alfred through anymore torment than he's already been because of the danger that "Batman" places on "Bruce"( though it is entirely Bruce's choice ), most tearfully separates himself from Alfred.

"I won't bury you. I've buried enough members of the Wayne family."

That climax, is probably one time when Alfred can be in true peace. Maybe now, he can drink his Fernet Branca in peace.

The Batman trilogy was always more than just a superhero franchise. It was an alleviating experience. It was joyous just to keep watching the movie, again and again..... and again; never bored ! For such a reason, Nolan's Batman trilogy will always be special. The ending has been perfect. As perfect as one could hope to be. The 3 movies have launched Batman to an entirely different league than the comics could ever could. The magic touch of Christopher Nolan indeed! There is definitely more to a superhero than supervillians and stunts. I think that I will continue to see those movies for many more times.

A few months back, I thought that if I were to make a speech on Nolan's Batman trilogy, I would never make it because I would never finish writing that speech, if I did write one. Today however, boredom of exams kindled the writer in me to blog about one of the best things in my life.

A silent guardian. A watchful protector. The best butler.