I have long resisted the temptation to watch the movie version of one of my favourite books of all time. Until today. I watched Harper Lee's 'To kill a Mockingbird' on DVD and I was gripped. This has to be the most faithful adaptation of a book ever made.
However, the movie, while capturing the mood and spirit of the book, skims over details and skips characters and events. The book's richness in detail and the way in which it devotes a substantial part into the painting a portrait of Jem and Scout's life, are irrevocably lost in the movie.
Initially, I had reservation to someone as handsome as Gregory Peck playing Atticus Finch. In my mind, Atticus is quite plain, almost severe-looking. Someone whose sense of justice is not distracted by his good looks. But Peck does such a good job of it you can almost forgive him for his looks.
My favourite part had to be the first half. The lazy summer with its endless days of nothingness were so nostalgic it hurt. Someone once…
Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time I feel alive and the world it's turning inside out Yeah! I'm floating around in ecstasy So don't stop me now don't stop me 'Cause I'm having a good time having a good time I'm a shooting star leaping through the skies Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity I'm a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva I'm gonna go go go There's no stopping me I'm burning through the skies Yeah! Two hundred degrees That's why they call me Mister Fahrenheit I'm trav'ling at the speed of light I wanna make a supersonic man of you Don't stop me now I'm having such a good time I'm having a ball don't stop me now If you wanna have a good time just give me a call Don't stop me now ('Cause I'm having a good time) Don't stop me now (Yes I'm having a good time) I don't want to stop at all I'm a rocket ship on …
On Diwali, the Kanchi Shankaracharya, Jayendra Saraswathi, was arrested oncharges of murder. On the next day, the title of an article in a national daily read 'Seer heads 5,000 crore empire. Another article in a leading national newspaper read, 'Of high priests and their lust for more power.' He has been variously described as high profile, influential and the seventhmost powerful man in India.
The Shankaracharya is in custody, the police are on a wild evidence hunt,and the media is marauding a large cut of the spoils. The seer's high profile status has somehow been conveniently used to imply that he is a goon-wielding, power kooky tycoon. The assets of the Kanchi Math are being referred to as if they were the acharya's personal possessions, and everyone of his past actions is being interpreted according to the revised image that the press has decided to give him.
I used to be a hardcore Chennaiite. How else could I be? After all, I’d spent the first quarter century of my life in the city. When the winds of fate intervened, I was swept away to a different part of the country. But that’s another story altogether. Anyway, wherever I went I would defend Chennai against slander and ridicule and would fight to save her name from being muddied by vicious rumours (really, I was once asked if we had cable TV in Madras! Duh!!).
Once when someone commented how dull Chennai was, I was livid with rage. I told them that for someone who spent half his life being chutney-fied in the sardine cans of local trains, Chennai’s relative calm would seem dull. I would act like I was the ambassador for Madras! That’s how passionate I was until things went belly up.
* Madras and Chennai have been used interchangeably
There was a time when I would pray for good weather on Deepavali day so that we may burst all the crackers and if my wish was granted, I would be the happiest little girl in town. But then, those were simpler times. Today I'm 31 and sitting in front of a laptop in a strange land on a quiet evening before Deepavali, this is what I hope for -
More peace, less talk
More happy families for little children
Less burden for children to carry
Less fear, more trust
More love, more love, more love.
Happy Deepavali, you all!
Coming home to India is never an easy experience. It is fraught with conflicting emotions that are often exhausting. I never realised how living outside India can sanitise one's life. And coming back home, where life screams full-throat from roof tops, can shake oneself out of a stupor. I'm absorbing every minute of my holiday so that I can play it back in slow motion once it is over. More later.
There was a time when I would look down on anyone who called themselves a ‘housewife’. The term immediately conjured up images of someone who simply wasn’t interested in life anymore - a lazy bum who spent their waking hours cooking and watching daytime telly. Someone who had no ambition, no drive, desire or self-esteem. In those days I was a hotshot career woman working in a fancy television channel and I could afford to have this stereotypical, holier-than-thou attitude.But years went by and my family grew. Now, I have consciously chosen to put my career on hold to raise my family. To spend time with children. To not juggle career and home life. To not make a martyr of myself by trying to do it all. Sure, there are women out there who manage to run a career and be a mother. I’m just not one of them. So now, I am something I never thought I would be - a housewife. And guess what? It’s my choice.
People think I no longer have an ambition or drive or desire t…
I'm taking off this weekend. Just to be by myself. I did not realise how much I've been missing my company. When I mentioned this to a friend, she exclaimed, 'What?? Just you? Then who'll take care of your husband? Your son? Have you thought about his future? What will happen to him in your absence? How could you be so selfish? How could you?'Listening to her, you'd have thought I was abandoning my family for good. I had to (politely) remind her that I was going to be away for just 48 hours. And that my husband is 34 years old and more than capable of taking care of himself and our son. And that I wanted to spend some time without worrying about the brain-sapping mundane chores of domestic life. And quite simply, I needed a break.To this, my friend tried to guilt-trip me and I had to spend a further ten minutes justifying my decision. In the end, she wasn't very convinced and I just felt wretched. Anyway, I'll be in Edinburgh this weeken…
The Chinese have 14, Americans a dozen, the Germans a handful, the British a prized few...even tiny Mozambique and impoverished Ethiopia have a couple. But India? When will you fulfil your Olympic golden destiny?