Saturday, April 25, 2015

V


V for Vendatta- the movie(2006)

It is a movie adapted from a graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Set in the dystopian, futuristic UK against the backdrop of oppressive fascist government, it tells about a vigilante called V- the mysterious man wearing a Guy Fawkes costume who works to bring down the government. His talks and speech patterns are unusual- full of artistic ornamental words starting with 'v', quotes and an influential intonation. The story is about his encounter and relation with Evey Hammond, and how they work together to reveal the governments' true face to the public.

"Remember, remember
The fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot.
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot."
The movie itself is very thought provoking, influential and a must-watch. Anonymity, unknown identity and stories of such vigilantes interest me and this one is one of the best movies I have ever watched. The final climax is just awesome. This is one masterpiece of ideas.

Some of my favorite quotes from the movie:
“Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.” 
“You wear a mask for so long, you forget who you were beneath it.”
“Behind this mask there is more than just flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea... and ideas are bulletproof.”
“People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”  
And now, the best quote which still manages to overwhelm me every time I read it:
“But what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you. I love you. With all my heart, I love you.”  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Urmila #atozchallenge

a to z challenge


Book Blurb From GoodReads:

As the title says it, it's about Sita's sister, Urmila, also Lakshman's bride, whom he left behind in the palace of Ayodhya for fourteen lonely years. She could have insisted on joining her husband as Sita did. But she did not. Instead, she silently braved tears and tragedy and loneliness. Why? This is her story: Urmila, the most overlooked character in the Ramayan. 

Book Blurb From Amazon:


From the bestselling author of Karna’s Wife, comes this book about Urmila, Sita’s sister and the neglected wife of Lakshman, and one of the most overlooked characters in the Ramayana. As Sita prepares to go into exile, her younger sisters stay back at the doomed palace of Ayodhya, their smiles, hope and joy wiped away in a single stroke. And through the tears and the tragedy one woman of immense strength and conviction stands apart—Urmila, whose husband, Lakshman, has chosen to accompany his brother Ram to the forest rather than stay with his bride. She could have insisted on joining Lakshman, as did Sita with Ram. But she did not. Why did she agree to be left behind in the palace, waiting for her husband for fourteen painfully long years? From the bestselling author of Karna’s Wife. The most detailed retelling of the story of the legendary Urmila, little known in mythology. A riveting combination of fact and fiction that will keep readers engrossed.

Ramayana and Mahabharata are the Indian epics with numerous versions, perspectives and re-tellings. I have not read this book but I am very curious about the character Urmila and about the Ramayana from her perspective. Like reading 'Yagyanseni'-the Mahabharata from Draupadi's perspective did change certain viewpoints I had held earlier, and altered some things I took for granted. This book is in my top to-be-read list. I really want to know the story of the lesser known character- the most overlooked character in Ramayana- this forgotten heroine of Indian literature-Urmila.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Taita #atozchallenge

the river god


Reading ‘River God’ by Wilbur Smith was an entirely new and wholesome experience. The story is a very long one, almost a mini epic, set in the ancient Egyptian Society, spanning the reign and lives of three generations in a very powerful dynasty. It’s a memorable tale of love, loss, and miracles in the land of gold, involving Lady Lostris and beloved Taita.

Taita is a slave, and an eunuch. Spare your assumptions; he is nothing like your imagination. He’s the most loved and cherished character in the book. He is the hero, one of the most memorable characters I’ve ever come across. He starts as a slave, then proceeds to become Lady Lostris’ confidant and guide, and grows into one of the most influential, wise and powerful personality in the Egyptian society. He was forced to become a slave at a very early age, and was deprived of his right to live as a human male. Still he’s loyal, smart, resourceful, and has many secret inventions and parchment rolls to his name. There was nothing he couldn’t cater to, be it medical emergencies, war strategies, births, deaths, marriages, journeys or even escapades. Reading him is a beautiful journey, and an exciting adventure.

I loved his relation with Memnon, Lady Lostris’ son and his friendship with Tanus, Memnon’s real father. Taita becomes the keeper of many a secrets, one of them being never to let Memnon know who his real father was. These emotional aspects make the story unforgettable. The war with the Hyksos, the powerful and almost undefeatable enemy who came with horses and chariots, something the Egyptians had never seen before, was a gripping scene. The end is sad, as death takes away many of them, leaving Taita so lonely.

The best thing is perhaps Taita actually existed sometime in history, though the historical accuracy of the book is questionable. The next books in the series are ‘The Seventh Scroll’ and ‘Warlock’. I haven’t read them yet but will soon do to again witness the life of Taita.


Book Blurb:

For Tanus, the fair-haired young lion of a warrior, the gods have decreed that he will lead Egypt's army in a bold attempt to reunite the Kingdom's shared halves. But Tanus will have to defy the same gods to attain the reward they have forbidden him, an object more prized than battle's glory: possession of the Lady Lostris, a rare beauty with skin the color of oiled ceder--destined for the adoration of a nation, and the love of one extraordinary man. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Santiago #atozchallenge

santiago- paulo coelho

Santiago is the lead character in Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Alchemist’. He becomes a shepherd against his father’s will, who wanted him to become a priest in the local church. When he thinks there’s nothing left to learn from the sheep, he sells them even though he’s very attached to each one of them, and embarks on a journey to live his dreams. He becomes a treasure hunter ready to cross the vast Sahara desert for his treasure. His journey helps him achieve spiritual, emotional and psychological maturity. 


What I learnt from his journey to follow his dream and his search for treasure is that, we don’t tend to meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason. He meets Melchizedek, who claims to be the King of Salem, tells Santiago about the soul of the world and insists him to follow his dream. He also gives him two magical stones, Urim and Thummim, which represent “yes” and “no”, to help guide whenever he’s confused. Without this encounter, the journey wouldn’t even have started. Then he meets the crystal merchant, the thief, the Englishman, the Gypsy woman and finally the alchemist. Each of them had a very important role in his life, contributed a lot to his experience. He learnt a lot from them about life, love, dreams, learning and the soul of the universe.



Every one of us has that little, inquisitive Santiago buried deep within us. Just the right amount of courage and confidence is required to bring it out and fulfill our own Personal Legend.



Monday, April 20, 2015

Rhiannon



Shannon, an English teacher in a high school in Oklahoma, in the modern world and present realm, gets trapped in a soul exchange process and lands in Partholon. She gets sucked through an ancient vase, a portal, replacing the soul of a Partholon princess called Rhiannon. Befuddled at first, she learns the ways of the new world- the culture, customs, and the ornamental language, which is similar to that of ancient Greeks and Egyptians. She gets attached to the land and its people with time. She’s referred to as Rhiannon throughout the book, as the real Rhiannon is nowhere to be seen (perhaps in the modern world that’s not as interesting).


Rhiannon is the High Priestess of Partholon, a mythical land of gods, goddesses, shamans and mythical creatures. She’s the Beloved of Epona, Goddess of Partholon and she must marry the High Shaman to rule the land efficiently and access the guidance from the omnipresent powers. And the High Shaman happens to be a centaur- a half human and half horse. Life can’t be more ridiculous; a beautiful princess marrying a horse!!


Lady Rhiannon or Rhea, as she likes to be called is feisty, interesting and cheeky with an awesome sense of humor, like those leads in chick-lit novels. Her personality is unparalleled, and dialogues out of the worlds. Her thoughts are hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing the way she described the aromatic bubble bath- flower petals in the water and gold plated skulls in the background; and the attire- glossy silky smooth translucent material but with tiny golden skull patterns. Goosebumps!! I liked her chemistry with ClanFintan, the centaur and her husband, who could shape shift to human. Do I hear chuckles?



 I don’t really like such characters that much, but Rhea was too interesting to be ignored. And love her long curls.

Qiana


I've attempted to sketch certain characters that sometimes peep through my thoughts, but in vain. Never have I been able to do complete justice to them. They are so well formed inside my mind, with a mind and conscience of their own, but when I start typing about them, their life, their story, I always feel something is missing. The character feels incomplete.

I had always this image of a traditional Muslim girl with a 'hijab' covering her head. She lived in not-so-modern surroundings in an Arabic town, with small tombs and brick dwellings around her home. Belonging to a very conservative family and society, the only place where she could be herself was the terrace; free from the glare of her father and her aunt, free from the worldly affairs, with solely herself and the birds for company. Today I named her Qiana. Twenty three year old, beautiful woman- Qiana. Her image is not that developed in my mind, but occasionally I see her.

She has a younger brother, Qadr, who is thirteen year old and cares a lot for her. The sibling relationship is very close to my heart. I love it when he saves the extra helpings of rice for her, while she is locked in a room for the day by her aunt. I love the way she calls his name, ever so sweetly at first, to wake him up, and then screaming near his ears. I really hope to get my thoughts around her story soon. I so much want to write about her, her thoughts, in bits and pieces. :) :) :)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Park Min Young's Character in 'Healer'


Healer is a Korean Drama. It's very very interesting- the characters, the story and the plot. It's just wow!! The hero is a very famous night courier known by the name 'Healer'- the best in business in the country. No one has ever seen his face, as the job requires him to maintain anonymity. No one knows his identity.

Park Min Young's character is so much lively, so bubbly and so entertaining. She's so adorable when she tries to ease her nervousness by hoarse singing and weird dancing. She is scared easily, but tries her best to put up a brave face in front of the overpowering antagonists. She was abandoned at just eight years of age, switched orphanages several times, and went through phases of physical and mental abuse. But successfully recovered from the dark past by the help of her foster father, who's really a wonderful man. Her character is a bit tom-boyish, yet you'll surely get hooked to it. She's a reporter in a small entertainment news agency, always hopping through parking lots and apartments in search of gossips and interesting news. :)

Healer always turns up to save her whenever she's in danger, and our damsel in distress falls for him. He's like Superman, vanishing in a second to come in another getup to teach the villains a lesson. :)

Listen to this background score- it's my recent favorite. :) :) :)