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Pensive Piscean

Come swim in my ocean, amidst pearls and seaweed and resist the urge to drown.

“I think we should be grateful to fate that we’ve emerged safely from these adventures- both from the real ones and from those we dreamed about.”

“Are you quite sure of that?” he asked

“As sure as I am of my sense that neither the reality of a single night nor even of a person’s entire life can be equated with the full truth about his innermost being.”

“And no dream,” he sighed quietly, “is altogether a dream.”

Fridolin & Albertina talking in ‘Dream Story’ by Arthur Schnitzler

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The story of a brief marriage

Anuk Arudpragasam’s debut novel set during Sri Lanka’s Civil War is nothing short of a literary masterpiece. It took me longer to get through it for two reasons; firstly a slow paced story delving into Dinesh’s (the main protagonist living in a makeshift settlement camp) inflections on life, people and the futility of it all considering the context of destruction; secondly, Arudpragasam constructs these incredibly long sentences that pack so much of meat and meaning in them that I had to go back and read them a few times to take them all in. Here is an example: Continue reading “The story of a brief marriage”

Lion

What a waste. Why is Rooney Mara in this movie? Why does Dev Patel sport a permanently constipated expression? Why is most of the second half of the film wasted on a grown-up Saroo digging through the internet instead of delving into the deeper emotions of his identity? How could they take such a beautiful true story and make into THIS?

The first half bears too many parallels with ‘Slumdog Millionaire’; the portrayal of an India with child labor, dirty gullies and thatched huts, bathing in muddy rivers, crowded train stations with people too busy to bother with a crying child, human trafficking. This clichéd portion ought to have been supported with a fresh perspective of foreign adoptive parents and their efforts to raise two Indian boys. There is too much of flitting on the surface of the hard, ambiguous stuff.

The only saving grace of this film is Sunny Pawar, the boy playing younger Saroo. He is incredible and sweet with a strength within him that shines so bravely. Everyone else missed the mark. I would recommend just watching the first half featuring Sunny and chuck the rest of it. Still unable to fathom the hype over ‘Lion’; a moving true story is not enough, it needs execution.

The light between oceans

‘The Light between Oceans’ is a movie about a couple – Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender), a lighthouse keeper, and Isabel (Alicia Vikander), his wife, live alone in scenic isolation off the coast of Australia on Janus Rock. After two miscarriages, Isabel is fraught with sadness. Along comes a boat with a dead man and a baby. Instead of reporting the finding, Tom is persuaded by Isabel to bury the man and keep the baby as their own. Who would know? The story from there unveils with them raising a girl, later discovering the identity of her birth mother (Rachel Weisz) and the moral consequences of their actions.

It is an average movie and fairly predictable in terms of plot. Continue reading “The light between oceans”

You Are Enough

Be wary of people. They slither with smiles, poison laced on tongues that pour out sweet words mellifluously . They embrace you, but if you stop breathing for a second you’ll feel a wall, bricks of unhappiness that make it impossible for one to feel anything for anyone else. If you aren’t careful enough, your trust will become their dishrag. You’ll stand before them pouring your heart out, being brave. And they’ll call you stupid and make you do the worst thing – doubt yourself. Because somehow, no matter how strong we are, we crave validation, we want someone to tell us “Hey it’s okay, jump! You’ll make it.” But who would do that? Continue reading “You Are Enough”

Fade

I knew a girl once. She was older to me and I adored her, the way she’d authoritatively declare the game we’d play, her choice of bright flaring skirts, her creative endeavors with broken shells and colorful satin ribbons collected. Her eyes danced when she spoke, animated with the notion of big plans and the hope of creating something new. Daring and bold, sassy and crazy; that’s what she was. I wanted to be like her, a mad thing living with no rules.

She grew up. We don’t talk much anymore. She chose other things to fuss over, things I disagreed with. Society and status prevail over love to her. Only one thing matters to her- money. I stand with disbelief and look at her face that bears a smile; the warmth replaced with a hardness that’s been etched in there delicately with time. She is scared, so scared that greed overcomes compassion.

I judge her, but there is a fear within me, nestled somewhere in my mind.

Will I always be strong enough to do the right thing? Or will I fade into darkness?

 

Golden Eye

I never understand why some people say, “I don’t want the head.”

For me that’s the best part of the fish. As I stand at the market and stare at rows of them lying still on a bed of ice, with gleaming scales, shades of grey and black and the occasional pink of a snapper, there is something marvelous about their glassy eyes. And although they look alike, I can almost always pick one that seems to stare back at me defiantly, refusing to accept it’s fate yet. Continue reading “Golden Eye”

Manchester by the Sea

Forty-five minutes into ‘Manchester by the Sea’, I was tempted to switch movies. With the plot progressing at a glacial pace and Casey Affleck’s unexplained stoic expression that never changed, I wondered how on Earth he got an Oscar for this performance.

But I held on as part of my resolution to finish all books and movies I begin with. And while the resolve has a tendency to confirm my initial gut that continuing just isn’t worth it, this time it broke pattern and paid off.

I don’t know how to describe this film, Continue reading “Manchester by the Sea”

Vegan Diaries

Okay so vegan-ism is something I have attempted and failed at several times. The general pattern is that I stick to a fairly disciplined regime of no animal products for a week or fortnight, and then a cube of cheese creeps in, the slathering of mayonnaise in my sandwich, oh what the heck there’s barely butter in a croissant anyway right? And then I tumble back into a pit of stuffing my face with chocolates, cream and stuffed omelettes. Food, glorious food!

But the past few months I’ve come to resent myself. Continue reading “Vegan Diaries”

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