Sunday, November 27, 2005

A Poem in Pictures!

Pride & Prejudice (2005 Movie)

This is the best ever adaptation of a novel. Period.

Jane Austen's world comes alive in this movie, through some stunning cinematography and excellent acting display by a very aptly chosen cast. Keira Knightley as Elizabeth is as good as it gets, and I dare say that she deserves atleast an Oscar nomination for her potrayal of this role. Pride and Prejudice remains one of the best Engish romance novels, where Mr Darcy epitomizes a rich, taciturn hero who falls for Elizabeth, who has no family fortune to inherit, and no real qualities of merit. Elizabeth has her own prejudices to combat as she, through a series of events, recognizes his love for her. The slow English romance, the beautiful countryside, the immaculate dialogue delivery, picture perfect characterization of Mr and Mrs Bennet, as well as all sisters of Elizabeth, Mr Collins and Lady Catherine, apt background score make Pride and Prejudice my favorite recommendation for a movie.

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

A fable ("gup") par excellence!!

Salman Rushdie manages to create a magical world in Haroun and the Sea of stories, a world where stories originate from the ocean on the second, invisible moon called Kahani (~story), and are supplied to Rashid, the Shah of Blah by P2C2E (Process Too Complicated To Explain). When the Shah of Blah loses his prowess to tell stories, Haroun through interesting events lands up on Kahani moon, and takes part in a war between the land of Chup (~silence) and land of Gup (~gossip; conversation). The choice of characters is sublime mixture of creativity and ingenuity. The king of the land of Gup is Chatterjey (a Bengali surname) and their parliament is Chatterbox; the army is organized like library, and each unit like a kitab (~Book). It is also the story of love of Prince Bolo (~say something) and Princess Baatcheat (~conversation); the villainy of khatam-shud (~absolute silence), and is a mesmerizing drama that unfolds with absolutely hilarious sequences and some of the most engaging metaphors ever used by Rushdie.

I have loved Rushdie's other works as well, but this one is special as it captures the magical realism and creativity inherent in the ancient custom of story-telling. This story reminds me of my own childhood when the grandparents would conjure fables with genies and fairies and devils to hold us kids in raptures. The way Rushdie goes about describing the world of silence and the world of speech is enthralling, more so as he uses each character and each event in this fable to illustrate the different shades of each.

Everyone who ever loved any Rushdie book is bound to like this one. Read it for humor, read it for child in you. Highly recommended.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Movie review: Walk the line

"Love Is A Burning Thing/And It Makes A Fiery Ring
Bound By Wild Desire/I Fell Into A Ring Of Fire

I Fell Into A Burning Ring Of Fire
I Went Down, Down, Down/ And The Flames Went Higher

And It Burns, Burns, Burns/ The Ring Of Fire/ The Ring Of Fire"

The movie, based on Johnny Cash's early life, is a musical masterpiece. The focus is on showing how Johnny Cash evolved from being a kid who lost his brother in a freak accident to his rise and fall as a singer as he struggled to come to terms with drugs, inconsiderate wife and cold father; and how his love, his friendship with June Carter rescued him from his doom. The screenplay is taut, music is superb, and the cast has given memorable performances. I would love to see them win Academy Awards for such a fine show.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The best man's words!

She can talk to you through endless gossip
And serve you with anecdotes, joyful, crisp

Her apetite for the bizarre is never assuaged
All trivia in her memory is somewhere stored

She munches your words, allows you to flatter
But don't think she'd be taken in, she knows better

She splits her self into a memory and a dream
Where she was beloved, where she'll be a queen

In sounds and rhyme, she finds infinite pleasure
But its actually nostalgia that really rouses her

Delightful in conversation, pleasant in companionship
Theres always many a slip, between her cup and her lip

She talks in jingles, and in some wonderland saunters
And dresses, so elegantly, regalely she flaunts hers

She is, though enigmatic, a cause for full celebration
My friend, congratulations, for attaining her adulation!

Nov 22, 2005
Vivek Sharma
W301 Howey Physics, Atlanta!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

East, West by Salman Rushdie

Eclectic, entertaining mix of East and West characters!

East, West is most readily accessible work of Rushdie. The stories are high entertaining, and each of the nine stories manages to create well-defined character sketches, as well as plots with interesting twists, myths and humor. The story about Columbus and Isabella is full of laughs, about Courter is full of sentimental exuberance, one about Chekov and Zulu delves into Indra Gandhi's assination and its effect on the friendship of a Sikh and a Hindu (very poignant for us who witnessed the tradegy), and there are others that deal with the charade of charlatan, the obsession of occult of some Cambridge students and so on. These stories reflect how well Rushdie captures both the Eastern and Western personalities and history and how he manages to combine them to make stories worth relishing.

Emma by Jane Austen

Jane Austen wrote some of the most remarkable romantic novels in English, and Emma is said to be written at the height of her powers. Like all her novels (Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility), the narrative is simple, straightforward and the story develops through seemingly commonplace conversations and events. Emma is twenty one year old daughter to rich Mr Woodhouse, "full of trivial communications and harmless gossip." The story captures how Emma comes to terms with her own errors of judgement, and how she discovers her liking and love for one of the chief characters of the novel. (Perhaps giving his name away here would be sacrilage on my part!!). The cast, the locations, the conversations are set in distinct Austen style, rooted in rural English counties. The romances are Victorian, and progress through delicate, slow developments that a through, diehard romantic is bound to like. Emma's actions are governed by her own romantic fantasies, where she tries to bring people together playing a matchmaker, and her failures as well as successes make this novel an interesting read. A treat for Austen fans!

Also at amazon

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I duuno where I am going

I dunno where I am going
You may ask, then whats the point
I think if I keep on fighting
Who knows, what I will find!

You tell me to be happy
Happiness is generally misunderstood
You perceive it in giggles and laughter
Who ever knows whatever's the truth!

You ask me to have goals and dreams
Ambition and drive to get ahead
But trust me, just working on my dreams
Might not even earn me my daily bread!

You prize order and knowledge
And call my amorphous self vain
I believe as a child I knew myself
That blissful ignorance caused me no pain!

I may have grown older and no wiser
But there I few things I've realized
That self-belief breeds all heroism
A determined self must be praised, prized!

So when I dunno where I am going
I trust myself and make my own path
Pretty lost, but struggling at the moment
I'm sure this won't forever last!

I ask you to stay and criticize
Show me my flaws and possibilities
Through your words I'll correct myself
But I must still live with uncertainities.

Oh! I dunno where I am going
You may ask then whats the point
I think if I keep on fighting
Who knows what I'll find!

Written in second week of Nov, as I wandered through Home Park, Atlanta, 2005!
It is highly unsatisfactory reproduction of what I was singing as I walked, will work on it when I remember the original sentences that the melody has had strung together.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Fade Away!

Fade away my love, do fade away
Donot on the canvasses of my memory stay
Leave no trails, leave me empty, free
Banish from my present, the ghosts of yesterday!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Duniya kare sawal (Lost in Translation series)

Sahir Ludhyanvi, in my opinion, is the best lyricist Indian movie industry ever came across. He penned the famous Kabhi Kabhi, Waqt ne kiya kya hasin Sitam, Yeh duniya agar mil bhi jayen toe kya hai, Woh subah kabhi toe aayegi, Chalo ek baar phirse ajnabi ho jayen hum dono, and so on! Here is a song from 1967 movie, Bahu Begum, penned by him and sung by Lata (and the music was by Roshan), followed by another lousy translation!

Duniya kare sawal toe hum kya jawab dayen
Tum kaun ho khayal toe hum kya jawab dayen!

Poochay koi ke dil ko kahan chodd aaye ho
Kiss kiss say apna rista au jaan jodd aaye ho
Mushkill ho araz-ae-haal toe kya jawab dayen!

Poochay koi ke dard ae wafa kaun de gaya
Raaton ko jaagnay ki sazaa kaun de gaya
Kahnay pe ho malaal, toe hum kya jawab dayen!


Attempt A

When the world ask questions, what be my response
Who are you oh thought, oh dream, what be my response?

Asks someone where with your heart, did you part
To whom did you connect n with your own self part
If hard be describing my state, what be my response?

Asks someone who gave you the grief of fidelity
Who sentenced your nights with sleep depravity
If disconcerting shall be my words, what be my response?

Another attempt:

Attempt B

Oh! When the world asks, what do I tell them
Who are you in my thoughts, who do I tell them?

Some ask me where did I part with my heart
Where I established a connection, of relation, of life
If it be hard to describe my state, what do I tell them?

Some asks me who gave me the grief of constancy
Who punished me to stay awake in nights constantly
If my words may cause resentment, what do I tell them?

Another one??

Attempt C

If the world asks the quetion, what must my answer be
Who are you, oh my imagination, what must my answer be?

If someone asks me where did I leave my heart
Where did I new relations of life find, start
If hard be describing my part, what must my answer be?

If someone asks me who caused me the grief of fidelity
Who suffered my nights to be sleepless persistantly
If my words may be hard to come by, what must my answer be?

Which one is most preferable?

Conversations! and Other verses

A text of our conversations!

When I say I am incomplete without you
Without you I am lost in darkness
Of my doubts and my solitude is
A cold silence that unsettles my whole
She quips that she shall never want to be
A candle in a dark room and also not
A satellite about me or a planet likewise
And cannot be mine for to me my self is unknown!

When I inspire my words to compose
A soft song for her, and tell her so
She tells me that words are for them
Who cannot communicate between souls
And for our destinations are two distant
Points, my walking with her is a detour
About my destination and so I must
Retrace my steps, walk alone or find another!


Jab ussay kehta hun, hun mein tum bin adhura,
Woh kehti hai, na mujhe aadhay adhuray ki zarurat hai
Joe aatam hi puran nahin, usko paakar kaise mein
Kaise apnay jeevan mein preet ki prakashta paungi
Kehti hai ki meri talaash abhi talak adhuri hai
Apnay ko hi na jaan saka hun mein toe kaise mein
Puran vishwas se keta hun ki uska hona zaroori hai
Aur kaise adhuray vishwas, adhuray vivek ke sang mein chal paungi??


tablay ki taal par goonjti
mere dil ki dharkan sun
aur sun santoor bhi suna raha
i preet ki mangal dhun!

I am a soft smile
That glitters in your eye
In glistening drops of dew!


Goonjti hui jal tarang, aur hridhaya mein sankron aakanshaon ke sargam
Bahar bajti hai mangaldhwani aur antarmann mein asmanjass ka mausam
Tablay ki tadapti taal par mere saanson mein dhadhakti akraant jwaala
Madhumaas mein bhi ujaat-sa hai! Hai! Preetma tumne mujhe kya bana daala!


Will you be the quiet hug
Holding me on a soft rug
Night after night close?

Will you sing to me
Soft tunes in melody
To make my dreams surreal?


If you be the sprinkle
On the desert sand of
My dry, parched soul
And come to me perenially
I too can be the oasis
That stands fresh, but alone
In the vast territory of
Thirsty, dusty country!


All were written on 10 April 2005
Emory/Atlanta while attending a concert
by Shiv Kumar Sharma and Zakir Hussein!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Why I love you so, and yet say nothing?

My dearest, trust me you mean
A lot more to me than I can
Show, or let myself say, but
If you really wish to know
Why I seem to stay away
And at times, seem attached, amiable
Know that there are times when
All I really want to do is
Tempt you, touch you, taste you
Take you in my arms and
Make you melt in my warm embrace. (10)

My heart seems to sing to the
Music in your words, music in
The way you walk, you laugh
And a thousand butterflies flutter their
Wings within me as they try to fly away
To the world of togetherness
Where all I really want to do is
Tempt you, touch you, taste you
Take you in my arms and
Make you melt in my warm embrace. (20)

My soul seems to sink into your
Deep, beautiful orbs that twinkle
Twinkle like bright jewels in my days
And hunt me, haunt me, hurl me
Helpless, happy, high into the
Edens of pleasant togetherness
Where all I really want to do is
Tempt you, touch you, taste you
Take you in my arms and
Make you melt in my warm embrace. (30)

For your perfume titilates me, tortures me
Unsettles my consciousness with your beauty
And my throat becomes as parched, as pining
As the dry, desert sand in want of rain
And your face is like the reflection of the moon
On the rising, ebbing seas of my constant craving
And then all I really want to do is
Tempt you, touch you, taste you
Take you in my arms and
Make you melt in my warm embrace. (40)

For you are the bright, blue sky
Over the lush landscapes of
My most delightful daydreams
And your infinite self is all about me
Within me, without me, with me
Why do I continue to live this way
While all I really want to do is
Tempt you, touch you, taste you
Take you in my arms and
Make you melt in my warm embrace. (50)

And never let you go, not even for a moment
For you or I may change and then we may
Loose the meaning and charm of my feelings
My feelings that I knowingly not express
For things may start to evolve or change
I don't know how our world and selves shall be
If you knew that all I really want to do is
Tempt you, touch you, taste you
Take you in my arms and
Make you melt in my warm embrace. (60)

Written on 9 Nov, 2005 in Starbucks!
Vivek Sharma

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Puns are fun even in poetry!

Why must you unsettle me so
With the crafty display of your curves
Raise the expectations that you never meet?

Why must you entice me so
With the lyrical expressions of your desires
Keep me interested, in nothing but possibilities?

Why must you charm me so
With the veiled promises of your fidelity
Occupy my thoughts, physically stay an absentee?

Vivek Sharma 8:00 pm Nov 06, 2005

Keeping aside the other possible (obvious?) meanings that you have inferred,
Consider this as a correspondence, that between two collaborators occured:)!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A timeless love story of an ageless Ninety year old!
"Make no mistake: Peaceful madmen are ahead of future." Gabriel Garcia Marquez creates yet another magical, mystic, beautiful piece of literature in his Memories of my melancholy whores. This is his most easily accessible, readable work that I have come across, and yet it is so deeply romantic, sad yet engaging that I read through it in one sitting. Like the opening sentence of this review, Marquez packs punch with many really memorable remarks. Another example: I learnt, in short, love is not a condition of the spirit but a sign of the zodiac.

A ninety year old in love with a teenager boggles the mind, but the description is full of the same melancholy and joy as is of love, and the prose flows like a stream of poetry strewn with the genius of the writer. In fact, I cannot help smiling to myself thinking of the following sentences uttered at two different occasions in the novel:

Sex is the consolation you have when you can't have love.

I kept interrupting whatever I was doing to call her, and I repeated this for days on end until I realized that it was a phone without a heart.

This is a love story par excellence, and benefits from the creativity of the master at the height of his powers. There are only a handful of characters here, in fact just four or five, and the story is tastefully erotic and deliciously disturbing tale of love. In fact, after reading the novel, all I could repeat to myself (again from the novel itself) was: Ah, me, if this is love, then how it torments!

Blindness by Jose Saramago!

A Post-Modern Classic! A Masterpiece!

Jose Saramago in Blindness is a tale of amazing orginality and creativity, and will rank alongside A Hundred Years of Solitude and Midnight's Children as the most important works of last fifty years. The plot is simple; an epidemic of blidness grips a man in the beginning, and spreads to ail everyone in the country. The author creates a story full of suspense and substance, and the turn of events reveal the base nature of humans, the survival instincts and the how much we rely on our sensory perception for living in general, and for order in things, the basis of morality and appreciation of beauty and life in particular.

The story is very readable, compared to the other post-modern classics, this is very easily approachable. There is a sense of alarm created by the author in his unveiling of how the world could become if such an epidemic would strike us. Through various characters, various shades of human pathos and apathy are revealed, and author creates a masterpiece that presents subtleties of human nature through an effortless narrative. In many ways, the novel is unlike most we come across, more so because of the unusual plot, and thus forms a very intersting and illuminating read. (Blindness is an illuminating read; it is not a dark tale, for as you will figure after reading it, it is about white blindness). Highly recommended for one and all.

Jean Paul Sartre's Nausea!

Full of existential angst!

Sartre's Nausea is a manifesto of existential angst, and ranks as one of the most celebrated philisophical novels of the last century. In his dairy enteries, the protagonist enters seemingly trivial details about his daily chores, thoughts, fears and acquaintances and through them reflects upon deep questions about his own existence and his being. Throughout the novel, the reader finds himself looking at his own self, his own world and identifying with the angst of one's being. A classic, must read for anyone who ponders on the meaning of the being, the point of our existence and is at war with himself. The novel does not necessary provide the answers to any of these questions, but provides enough spark to ignite the spirit of enquiry in one's mind!

Posted on amazon as well!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

deepavali ki mangal kaamnayen!

Aapki deepavali shubh ho, sukhadh ho, mangalmaye ho
Paavan deepon se roshan aapkaa jeevan ho, hridhaya ho
Maryaada Purshottan Raam sa aapki siddhi ho, prasiddhi ho
Ho jeevan mein Sita si sampurna patni, Lakshman se bhai ho
Ishwar aapko gati de, pragati de, aur aapki puran har manokaamna ho,
Aapkay saahas aur prakram se prajit svayam ke vikaar, va sarva assur ho,
Aapkay jeevan ke har din mein, har pal mein diwali si dhoom ho
Aapko deepavali ki mangalkaamnayen, aap sarvada prasann, prafull ho!

Nove 01, 2005