Category Archives: Nostalgia

Skyfall: the review

Bond is back for the 50th time on celluloid.

The plot

The plot is already out due to the non-uniform releasing of the movie across the world… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skyfall

Bond is  human

Daniel Craig’s James Bond  shows transitions to “being  human”   (Salman Khan would be grinning with pride at this!) . All the way from the death of the woman he loves  in Casino Royale (2006)  to the death of Judi Dench’s in in the current one, Skyfall.   

Not to mention a tad more escapism of Bond, depicting him to be taking a vacation after being presumed dead and trying to live life like a normal person (for a while of course, before he decides to start saving asses,err .. I mean, arses !)

There are further teeny weeny anecdotes like infinitesimally subtle humour, sometimes even at Bond’s expense.

One more personal touch is the climax where the final battle happens in Scotland  at Bond’s family estate called Skyfall  ! There ..the title has been explicitly justified …

The title

No! Pardon the author’s skyfalling attempts at comedy. The whole title the author guesses, is based on the theme of agents going rouge! So the ‘skyfall’ here is referring to the realistic depiction of traumatized agents getting back at their organization (in this case, MI6)

Current bond vs the rest

Skyfall is a  more realistic depiction of the trials and tribulations of her majesty’s secret service,  as compared to the more super-hero like James Bond portrayed by Pierce Brosnan who keeps saving the planet from incredibly “out of the world” schemes! (That said doesn’t take away anything from Brosnan’s  Bond who , in spite of digressing away from the original characterization of Ian Fleming‘s spy, is still perhaps the most popular Bond   and the most stylish bond )

In a private screening of the movie, Roger Moore (who was also Bond) said that the best Bond was Sean Connery, but Skyfall might change that. Check out the interview here

But yes! It needs to be said that bringing the whole James Bond franchise to the Skyfall type of story telling does make it shift away from the recently seen Bond-ness . But it also makes it like any other  “non-JamesBond spy movie” 😦

But despite that, perhaps, the brand-power of James Bond (the character, not Daniel Craig) will end up scoring above other standalone spy movies! Hmm …

Bardem: romantic to psychotic

The villain is Mr.Silver , former agent turned madman,  who is back to wreck havoc on MI-6 agents and kill the MI6 boss M (Judi Dench), who he believes betrayed him. Fabulously played by Javier Bardem, with his metro-sexual  portrayal of the bad guy.

For many of you who might not know, Bardem is a popular Spanish hero who is married to the awesome Penelope Cruz. He often gets to romance different hot ladies on screen (as seen in Vicky Cristina Barcelona)  . Anyway took a while for me to finally realize it was him in Skyfall , what with all the blonde wig and effeminate crazy-man acting !

Changing the boss

Judi Dench the original M looks old, probably is retiring from movies. The  whole I am the madame I am the boss  aura about her made legendary in Goldeneye, Tomorrow never dies, etc seemed to have faded a bit.

Anyway, it gives a Ralph Fiennes fan immense delight when the latter  becomes the new M at the end of Skyfall ! Honestly, the director Sam Mendes keeping his role to a minimum, 3 scenes and a few dialogues to be precise, is a good thing. Why ? Because , there are people in this world who believe RF can steal the thunder even from Daniel Craig if the former gets too much airtime 😉

The Bond girl

Berenice Marlohe is the Bond girl who is perhaps just there to keep the whole casanova  image of bond alive.Beyond that, she had a role which is useless compared to the previous Bond girls (they were somehow part of a story, this current bond girl’s character is relatively not!)

But well ..on second thoughts, maybe not! When the villain Mr.Silver (Bardem) kills her, there is no evidence of sorrow on Bond’s face (considering he has had a night full of romance in a boat with her the previous night before she is shot). From this little observation, we can certainly say there is an attempt to depict Bond as becoming more and more thick skinned  !

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All in all , its a good movie.

Some might even predict that this is the Bond movie that is capable of winning major awards for acting. Nope..unless filming standards fall globally, not too sure about that prediction!

But nonetheless, definitely a good entertainer of a movie.

The Teacher’s day Rhapsody

FOREWORD: Extracts from a fictitious letter to a non-fictitious P.T teacher (Instructor- Physical education) whose non-fictitious story has been blown up to semi-fictitious extravaganza

STATUTORY WARNING: Neither for the faint hearted nor the rigidly moral

x-x-x-x-x–x-x-x-x

Dear ‘My fav P.T.Teacher’,

Hello sir! In case you are wondering who this little chump (as you used to call your victims, I mean, students) is …I was your student from Niraj Public School, Ameerpet, Hyderabad in 1999 J

You have always been the eccentric one among all my teachers. You took great pleasure in making us kneel down for not doing jumping jacks properly. And how would the then thunder thighed, mammoth waisted, sumo bellied, chubby little me gain the stamina or the buoyancy to do a jumping jack, that too with jumping! My wonderful ma (God bless her! She was my real teacher, unlike some of the power-hungry, kid-torturing, flattery-loving, wannabe-capitalistic fuck-ups & losers who masquerade as teachers in wealthy private schools) used to make me delicious pesarattu for breakfast every Friday, the same day of the week which started off with your sadistic P.T.session! Sadly, after your P.T.sessions, I always ended up puking the slimy sickly mutilated mutated version of a once delicious pesarattu. Often have I harbored the fear that I would die asphyxiated in my own vomit, ala Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham

I mean, I had no problem with the constructive intentions behind PT. sessions, but it is not cool to megalomaniacally metamorphosize them into your own fat boy victimizing, bum-whacking, under-the-hot-sun-kneel-down-punishmenting episode of grandomaniacal torture.  I have a theory that perhaps, in your later years, after you left our school, you became a Catholic priest, joined the Vatican pedophile community and the rest is history. So what you could not do at our school owing to India being a conservative country that is protective of kids, you finally did abroad in a romantic place like Rome!!

Aaah ! That gets me to the point . You didn’t leave our school but got thrown out of it 😀 And  I am sure you often wondered why ! It was ME ! It was ME..the then thunder thighed, mammoth waisted, sumo bellied, chubby little ME! Muhahaha! Now the truth is out. Let me tell you what I did during the teacher’s day of 1999.

As you might be remembering, high school students dressed up like teachers to take classes for the primary and middle school kids on Teacher’s day at school . I dressed like you, stuck a fake moustache similar to yours, walked like you and talked like you! Then I went to the nearest 4th grade class room and scared the hell out of the kids. I took a couple of  finger-sucking-after-nose-picking-after-ass-fingering    brats and fist-hammered the mud-eating-filthy-toothed-hell   out of them. And then I disappeared for the day.

The next day, their parents as you might remember, complained! You were screwed then.  Because the finger-sucking-after-nose-picking-after-ass-fingering   brats whom I fist-hammered the mud-eating-filthy-toothed-hell   out of, said that the senior was imitating your mannerisms. So the principle forgot about that episode and looked at the bigger and more threatening possibility of “your violent influence” on the high school teenage students. Oh! The day you were thrown out, I must have bakery-partied enough to add at least an inch each on my then thunder thighs, sumo-belly and mammoth waist J

That was the day I first felt like a boy finally on track to becoming a man ready to fend for himself. I for the first time believed that I was capable of innovative strategy 😉 Thank you for being the root-cause.

For that, I am gifting you with the truth behind your expulsion. No one but me knew this because I was quite low-profile at school. No one ever suspected me. In case you are reading this, you by now realized who I am. You are possibly working yourself up into a pissed-off state. To catch me and whack the monkey-crap out of me would be your next dream so to speak of possibilities.

But … you should understand that I did shed some kilos and pack a tad bit of appreciative muscle in the last 12 years. And did manage to learn a bit of taekwondo, karate, muay-thai   and  Ji-jitsu to name a few.  So it would probably not be a good idea to fight me in your now senile years 😉

Thank you once again,

Yours truly,

The dark, the fast, the fiery, the one and only,

~Ghost Runner

Third front intervention – Why the IIMC-XL sports tourneys are jingoistic

DISCLAIMER:

Whatever is being written is light hearted by the most serious of any blogging rules. By no means is it to be taken seriously , unless of course, one unfortunately suffers from the most retarded versions of a disease called the ass-brain-same-position-uptightness-syndrome

THE FOUNDATION:

While thinking between how RPFs work in the banking sector and how the Ude Garami can be varied with respect to the combat position ,I was struck with an idea that was totally uncorrelated with either.

This evolution of thought , where you are seriously thinking of concluding a pondering process between two mutually exclusive thoughts, and yet conclude on something else totally devoid of any connection to either; I have no puta of an idea what such an idea should rightfully  be called. For now, I will casually call it  the third front intervening-nugget :p

THE THIRD FRONT INTERVENING NUGGET:

Ever wondered why the IIM Calcutta and XLRI annual sports tournaments are so aggressive and jingoistic ? Stupid question. I am sure you all have your answers. So do I. The stuff that doles out like ‘tournament’s competitive nature, warm blooded warring-spirit, machivellian sportiness, et al’ ! Usually, I think so too. Yet, for the dilletantish sake, I have an another (additive but not exclusive) theory…

You see this good friend of mine , always made a thought provoking…err..thought that at some point in life, perhaps for a second or perhaps for longer, everyone thinks like a communist. The egalatarian idealism perhaps appeals to a young mind who yearns to see some equality in their frame of observance.Pute ete ? Anyway, totally granted …lets park that thought for a while !

Now you see in IIM Calcutta the gender ratio has always been sad , not so for good ol’ XLRI. So, when a sports contingent from Joka (IIM Calcutta campus) goes to XLRI for a sports festival, the boys are naturally expected to be in their good boyish, prince charmingish behavior . Who knows if the Gods will it and the XL brothers are not so bothered, the Jokaites might even score 😛 This is where the communistic-correlation kicks in …

Not everyone would score. By the laws of gender dynamics and the Uncertainity principle, not necessarily! If a few do and others don’t , the remaining might feel bad, sad and not at all glad. So to make the comrades be equal, an ancient IIMC-XL culture had been invented to prevent the ladies’ stud of Joka from succeeding.

THE SOLUTION:

That of jingoistic , Indo-Pak level sports rivalry where IIMC  and XLRI are the collective personifications of two rivals, and no niceties in between please. Hence, the comrade who wanted to score, should not, because he is part of a contingent that is only following tradition, open sports-rivalry and perhaps, closet marxistic distribution of unscoring! Get it ? 😉

Yours truly,

the dark, the fast and the only,

-Ghost Runner

Living the Interregnum

Sullen thoughts , sudden thoughts and the flashy ones come and go by. I sit in the garb of a mere whimsical dilletante  wondering at the thoughts which matter as they come like tachyons and then fly away just as fast …

Well these are the words this very author has been telling himself of late, about the ideas he keeps getting about writing his next post.

Unlike at college or B school, where I would in a stroke of pure ‘I do not care a rodent’s oesophagus about anything else’  thought process , would not let the thought go away.I would gladly open up this very wordpress account and start writing away in ill informed or mis informed or uninformed daze, (much to the chargin of the real informed ones … lol) about anything from simple bull**** to jingoistic controversy.

So now I think why do I let one of my greatest solaces (for the confused, its writing/blogging) in this mediocre existence :p dilute away just because I am now part of a working and emerging-nation-characteristic rat race….

I do understand that the visibilities in facebook or twitter (God bless their creators!!!) make up for easier interaction and shorter slack filled blurts and spurts of thoughts. But even then, I somehow believe that in a dying industry (the enthusiasm I put into my blog) , consolidation (blog posts and not fb statii) is the key.

So at least when I have these tachyon like glimpses of ideas which I again believe should be discussed at well deserved length, I should try to open this blog more often. And so …

Sullen thoughts , sudden thoughts and the flashy ones come and go by. I sit in the garb of a mere whimsical dilletante  trying to catch the ones which matter as they come like tachyons and then fly away just as fast … but then…. I want to wake again, tie laces again and run again after them; like a ghost 😀

xxxxxxxx

ps: Phew! Ok , self inpsiring shit done ! Lets get to some bad-ass blogging frequency, shall we …

The Willow-cork resurrection

Well! India has already been on the world map but with this  .... ” , exclaimed the French gentleman, Monseiur. F.Johnson (who  , as the English would say, knows bullocks  about cricket),  then made a gesture with a fist and shook his hand up and down. Usually accepted to be a gesture which indicates that whatever is being talked about , is the next big thing, it was a terse way to reflect what was going on in the heads of  not just a billion + Indians but the whole planet.  (Inspite of the gesture’s enactment coming this time from a Frenchman  who hasn’t an iota of an idea, does he ? :p But this very act from a cricket-illiterate person shows that the Indian victory transcends in impact beyond the boundaries of the cricketing world or of those who understand the rules of cricket)

Pardon the author’s lethargy in writing about the Indian WC victory a tad too late. But it does take a substantial chunk of time to recover from a happy resurrection (read exponential increase of interest in cricket followed by an explosion of pure pristine joy)

It all happened in the finals of the 2003 cricket WC. India vs Australia. Australia batted first , Ponting the captain made a century and India was nowhere near the run chase from the very start of its innings. As the order crumbled, so did my interest in cricket. I was 16 then.

Now 24, I saw the same situation in the quarterfinals. Aussies were batting first , Ponting hit a century. But the difference! India won 😀 And that was the genesis of an individualistic cricket-frenzy that had been dormant for nearly 8 years ….

The semifinals between India and Pakistan , though pre-match-hyped as one of the greatest matches in WC history was edging on ‘predictable’ , at least towards the last quarter. But it was a happy ending nonetheless.  Also, perhaps because the nation’s premiers were present, the players were behaving themselves a little more than I would care to expect 😉 (read , no dhishum dhishum like in the 1996 quarterfinals)

The finals was good. I know I am understating but I need not say further.  The Srilankan wrist players are like the super posh classy personalities of cricket. Subtle, seemingly harmless, zilch show of machismo, but indomitably powerful in their impact. They did contribute to my BP rising. But it was not exactly a nail biting finish. At least to my newly re born cricketing self , the result was obvious while there were still about 20 overs left in the Indian batting. But well ! Perhaps I was showing irrational complacence, which, thankfully, was not disrupted      😛

Glad India won the World Cup. I am very glad

This week that year

A cautionary fore statement would be that this post is in no way related to Valentine’s day or the likes. (The author believes the whole concept of Valentine’s day blah is nothing more than overrated celluloid induced kitsch, but well! That’s just the author’s opinion and a completely different story reserved for another day)


Anyway, I just sit here wondering what was going through my head and life at this time of the year over the last many years. I am surprised with a realization that I  am mildly victimized by a selective memory phenomenon. In other words, I don’t really remember what I was doing during the Valentine’s day week pre-2006. Honestly, I really don’t  😉

In 2006, I remember being on a roll. I had just lost some weight, feeling very good. IIIT-H (my alma mater) was having her annual fest , felicity. It was fun though I spent my moments wondering

  1. if I should get a girl friend (haha! As if they grow on trees!)  or continue to live a free life ( Khula saand if I am allowed to use the partial profanity :p)
  2. if I should seriously give CAT a shot or have a happy workless life working in some small time company

2007   V-day week was a little more eventful. I had to prepare hard for two things  … the IIM interviews  and trying to finish more than 4 laps at the Gachibowli stadium’s  swimming pool (never managed to 😦 )  And of course, life was taking quite a beating on the emotional side due to my sheer lack of emotions (or rather no opportunity to display them)  in life around that point of time. (dead inside ?! What a loser … :P)

2008 V-day week was at Joka (God bless Joka!! ) , the IIM-Calcutta campus. Academically, it was the worst period of my life. No dont get me wrong . Life was awesome … but my scores were low  that term. So thats why the previous statement.

Anyway, it was also the time when I carried out some self inflicted fradulent romanticism. For instance, since most of my pals were blaming me for the highest levels of insensitivity, I went to the jetty on the night of 14th Feb, took a chocolate , said *happy valentine’s day* and  threw it into the lake. The jolly good batchmates of mine actually thought I was treating the campus lake like a wishing well for future romantic opportunities . Lol …  how sweet of them ! little did they know that I did it only because I was a tad drunk and was trying to get rid of the chocolate because a caterpillar crawled on it … voila !

2009 and 2010 V-day weeks were  killers … I wouldn’t talk too much about personal stuff 🙂

2011 V-day week …. started off with Lalla getting married  😀  and I was so happy for him…see! So much for fellows blaming me on the insensitivity factor. Now I have to go someday to London to party with Lalla and Lalli 😉

Akshay Kumar Lal

Well ! Right now … I am sitting here with my bags packed and would be on a flight to  Palolem, (Goa) in another couple of hours . Well I am not exactly a romantic… more like a party fella who enjoys the dark paradoxes of life a little too well …need I say more ! 🙂

– Ghost Runner

2010: That year gone by

The previous year (2010) started with a prophecy which to my loved ones (starting with mom), was the prophecy of all prophecies. Potentially the greatest harbinger of my doom`s eventual finality (lol! What words! I should cut down on the ‘epic fantasy` reading :p)

So no matter how hard I didn`t believe  such jyotish (astrology), it did do some damage, I didnt blog for the first 6 months of 2010. Not  that there is any connection, but my blogger’s block and this astrology shit just happened to be concomitant events.

Anyway … I guess I am still alive and 2010 was one of the best years of my life …a pioneering year for many different things …! So Mr.Astrologer , take your prophecies , round them up real nice and stick it  straight up your monkey a**

x-x-x

Anyway looking back at 2010, it was quite the amusing year.Below I tried to stick to a chronological structure though I did give more priority to the free flow of thought

  1. It truly started with a bang  with me getting myself shifted to the Business Intelligence Unit at my company. Lots of statistics, heavy duty number crunching and an infinitely clanish little team! The kind of combo I would dig into any day 🙂 !
  2. Then came an event that marked the synchronization of identity with the place I live in. My future generations shall know that event  as *me shifting to a flat in Bandra (West)*, the jazziest of Mumbai residential localities by far. With food, drinks, clubs,Joggers’ park, Gold’s gym, and discotheques a breath away, non-busy times promised never to be boring again.
  3. Not to mention travelling with pals on treks around mumbai to Lohagad, Rajmachi, Manikgad et al, incidentally all spiced up by the monsoon rains.
  4. Then came the  main course of 2010. the trip to EuropeEverything from the Louvre’ in Paris to the Wall in Berlin to the crazy coffee shops in Amsterdam to the European Union Parliament  in Strasbourg !For good measure, also throw in a large measure of Curry Wurst, Khus khus, Tartflombay and 1 litre beer mugs ! Even raced against an English guy (who by the way was not the stereotypically fat British dumpty)  in Paris for a 10 round race around the Eiffel Tower.   Bumped into Mythalez and Tejo at Amsterdam (all doped in the  jolly good sense of course!)
  5. Then, there was Goa (as usual) where besides the time spent at the beaches oggling at the girls, an appreciable time was spent  biking across 100 km of the North Goa coastline … shirtless !! 😛
  6. Not to mention visiting  Hyderabad a couple of times in 2010 . Even went to the extent of biking drunk on the roads of Hyderabad . Thankfully, I was driving at 10 kmph (haha!) , too slow for anyone to get suspicious or me falling in trouble.
  7. The amount of reading  done in 2010 was a rather amusing observation.  Tried a tad more than lightly to digress away from my stereotypical tendency to stick to the sci fi and epic fantasy genre’.  Did a fair diversification  by  becoming familiar with the linguistic, historical , biographical, autobiographical, social, non-fictional categories too. Of course, never completely lost my loyalty to the epic fantasy and sci-fi genre’ . By the way, the end of 2010 from the books’ perspective sees me searching for Stephen king’s Dark tower series, waiting for Part 2 in the Left Hand of God trilogy and  trying to fully comprehend Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink
  8. Of course I did continue ( like years of yore) , with my controversial theories (for instance, the Black berry bitch) So i did invite everything from ire to appreciation from different quarters. Haha ! There was one queer instance when one particular theory (about nosy relatives on FB) got me under scrutiny in family circles.  But well! how do you become a family legend/cult  without controversy, without rising against sardonic moronisms, against …. oh God! forget it  …..
  9. Running: I should be shot if I dont talk of this. Yes! I did find my intermittently lost passion for running in 2010 …after two years (one more time!! Before I become old and crippled). Out with it came some new self-made techniques and strategies for running races. I guess I am getting into shape and preparing hard for various running events around India. Hope things work out well.

….. Well thats it for now!  2010 was not bad at all . I feel light now that I have put down the important stuff for posterity. There were obviously some bad-ass tales and some tragic ones in 2010 too, like it is for every one! But that set will find its place in the blog’s private part.

Yours truly,

Ghost Runner