Epiphany

She appeared resplendent in a colourful garb,

So lovely that I had to remember to breathe.

Her eyes shone as I watched them tear up,

And I wondered if she could look any more winsome.

She sat there looking into the void, in choked desolation,

Her face expressing melancholy and despair.

As I gazed at her with uttermost love and concern,

A solitary tear trickled down her cheek.

I said ‘don’t’ while subduing the inordinate urge

To take her in my embrace and rid her of the pain.

As I looked at her, helpless and stock-still,

I felt a stir of emotions within me.

Along with that, however, came the realization

That the sight I had just witnessed

Was the most beautiful thing I had seen in aeons,

A sight to remember, a sight to cosset.

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Life, Relationships and Weird People

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As far as relationships are concerned, I am pretty old-school. When I get into one, I sincerely hope that it lasts forever. However, in general, most of the plans we make tend to go in vain. Circumstances change and so do people.

I have been with many girls. However, I have been in love only once in my life. Needless to say, the relationship met its fateful end. The girl kept breaking up with me and coming back repeatedly. I could not trust her anymore. After a point, when I found myself mentally and emotionally drained, I told her that we were better off without each other. Although it shattered me, it was the best thing to do.

I was in another relationship after that and it lasted for two memorable years. We spent most of our free time together, had great fun and were loyal to each other. The only reason we had to break up was that I had to leave the country. If I had stayed, I think we would have gone a long way. However, I suppose it was not meant to be. Also, this was my most recent relationship.

I later decided to take a break from relationships and focus on my career. Besides, most of the girls I came across seemed shallow and pretentious. Of course, genuine people do exist. However, they are apparently very hard to find. Therefore, I have stopped looking. I said to myself (like a boss) –

I am done looking for love. Let love find me!

Have I lost faith in love? No, I still believe in it, but have I lost faith in people? Sadly, yes. I feel that most people are not capable of loving truly and sincerely anymore. People seem superficial and selfish. I can only hope that love finds me soon enough. I was watching the movie, Anchorman: The Legend Continues, in which Will Ferrell’s character, in a forlorn tone, says –

I haven’t felt the loving embrace of a human being in over three months.

– Ron Burgandy

Only I haven’t felt a ‘loving embrace’ in over two years! A friend told me that this might be the reason why I am losing my mind. He also added that abstinence causes all kinds of cancer. I, however, chose not to take him seriously since he is only a dentist. I want a girl who has the will and courage to nurture a relationship. One-night stands and flings are ideologies that my principles do not approve of. Yes, very old-school.

To say that my life is weird would be an understatement. It seems as if I’ve been banished to the land of the weird. Most of the things that people say either irritate me or make no sense. Recently, a girl, I cared for just as a friend, randomly told me –

I can only be friends with you. All I can offer is friendship. That’s it.

Now, that is sad and hilarious at the same time. I actually got ‘friendzoned’ by a girl whom I just considered a dear friend. My only fault was that I was affectionate and caring towards her. Bummer! Who thought being friendzoned by a girl who was never a love-interest in the first place could hurt? This incident made me feel so many emotions simultaneously that I actually created a bar chart. Yes, seriously.

Friendzoned!

I expressed my disappointment and told her that not every guy who is nice to her is trying to be her man. Although she later apologized and seemed genuinely sorry, I doubt it will be the same. Call me sensitive if you will, but it’s just weird and awkward now. Perhaps, I’ll be able to get over it and joke about it later, but only time will tell.

Such weird encounters make me want to take a break from people. I would rather spend time with close friends who understand me. And when I’m not doing that, there are so many productive activities I could concentrate on. Like work-related research, getting better at the guitar, working out and so on.

But yes, when love does find me, I will be ready.

Where is the Love?

It’s a cruel world indeed. There is apathy and impassiveness all over the place. We live in a world where most people seem indifferent to the atrocities and the wrong happening around them.

But then there are some people who restore your faith in humanity with simple acts of kindness. KINDNESS. That is what the world desperately needs at this point in time. We as individuals cannot rid the world of poverty, we cannot solve the water crisis in Africa, we cannot stop terrorism or control unemployment. But I believe we can make a difference by just being kinder to the people around us. If everybody adopts and embraces this philosophy, the world would become a much better place.

Now, we do not need to turn into vigilantes and bash up the bad guys, or engage in philanthropy and social service. However, if you can in any capacity, that would be awesome! If you think you don’t have the time, you can do your bit by just being kind.

I see people behaving like complete a-holes for no apparent reason. To be honest, there are times when I feel like turning into one, and I say to myself –

People are selfish, rude and messed up. Being nice will do me no good.

I have had people telling me that being an utter a-hole is the way to go in today’s cruel world, where people who are nice are taken for a ride. But is that the solution?

Just because you feel that life has been really unfair or people you cared for wronged you or you have been through too much, you don’t have to turn into a bitter, vindictive person. If everybody ends up having such a negative mindset, there would be too much hate in this world. Imagine that! We all have experienced terrible and unpleasant things in the past. And we’ll probably have more of those in the future. That’s life. All we need to do is be strong and learn to deal with our issues in a healthy manner.

Love unconditionally. Have the heart to forgive. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t vent your anger and frustration on someone else. Have the courage to apologize when you feel you have messed up. Keep your ego in check and make amends. Be nice to the people around you and don’t expect anything in return. A good friend once told me, “Good karma never goes to waste.” And I believe that.

Stand up for people who are being treated unfairly. If somebody seems upset, spare a couple of minutes of your time and talk to that person. Spread positivity and make people smile. Simple acts like offering to help a colleague when he or she is struggling with work, or telling a girl that she looks gorgeous can really have a powerful effect. Doing such things can really make somebody’s day. And yours too! Spreading positivity will rid people’s minds of bitterness and resentment. It will give them hope, restore their faith in people and inspire them to be kinder. Also, the joy and satisfaction you’ll derive from making people feel better is just priceless.

Cheers, to a better world!

If we’re destroying our trees and destroying our environment and hurting animals and hurting one another and all that stuff, there’s got to be a very powerful energy to fight that. I think we need more love in the world. We need more kindness, more compassion, more joy, more laughter. I definitely want to contribute to that.

– Ellen DeGeneres

CONTRABAND – REVIEW

(No Major Spoilers)

Chris Farraday (played by Mark Wahlberg) is an ex-smuggler, who now leads a legit life after starting his own business. He is happily married to Kate (played by the beautiful Kate Beckinsale) and they have two kids. Everything seems to be cool until Kate’s brother Andy, screws up a smuggling job on a cargo ship. Due to a surprise inspection, Andy is forced to throw away the drugs into the ocean, in order to avoid getting arrested by the Custom officials. This pisses off Andy’s boss Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi) who warns Andy of dire consequences if he doesn’t compensate for the loss. Briggs also threatens to kill Chris’s family. In order to protect his family and Andy, Chris takes matters in his own hands when he decides to run a last contraband, so that he can repay Briggs with the “earnings”.

Contraband is a remake of the 2008 Icelandic film Reykjavík-Rotterdam. The movie has several clichés and a certain degree of predictability. It gave a “been there, done that” feeling, perhaps because I’ve watched several heist movies, which are far more superior in comparison. Those looking for a really intelligent movie will probably end up being disappointed. But overall, I still found Contraband to be a pretty decent thriller. Mark Wahlberg does really well and keeps the viewer engaged. To wrap it up, I’d suggest that you watch this one with little expectations and you’ll probably enjoy it.

Bottom line:

Contraband is a good enough one-time watch thriller.

My Rating:

3/5

DATE NIGHT – REVIEW

(No Major Spoilers)

Date Night is a movie about a middle-aged couple, played by Steve Carell and Tina Fey, who lead a regular routine life. There’s little excitement or adventure in their monotonous married life. Fearing that this insipidness could eventually lead to a failed marriage, the couple attempts to spice up their life by doing something different. This unfortunately lands them in trouble and a series of seemingly hilarious events follow.

I’ll get straight to the point. There’s nothing interesting about the overall plot. I managed to get through the movie only because of the lead cast. Steve Carell and Tina Fey are simply amazing and genuinely funny. They make this movie pretty watchable, as they provide several good laughs and chuckles. But overall, the movie isn’t very good. In fact there are a couple of events in the movie that one might find plain stupid. However, if you’re a fan of Carell, you’ll definitely find it enjoyable (provided you don’t try to make too much sense out of the movie).

Bottom line:

Date Night is a silly yet enjoyable no-brainer. If you’re a fan of Steve Carell and/or Tina Fey, go for it!

My Rating:

2.7/5

DONNIE DARKO – REVIEW AND THOUGHTS

(No Spoilers)

**** This is the review of the Director’s Cut ****

I came across the plot of Donnie Darko on IMDb and I couldn’t take it seriously. The plot went like this:

“A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident.”

I was like “WTF?!!? Really? A bunny rabbit?”. The movie’s high rating surprised me. Recently, when a friend of mine told me that it’s really good, I finally decided to give it a chance. And I’m so glad that I did! Now it is easily among one of my favorite movies.

Donnie Darko is a movie that could go either way with people. That is, you will either just love it or simply hate it. That’s probably because it’s pretty unique and not for everybody. However, it has developed a huge cult following. And despite that, there are many who seem to think that it’s highly overrated or just plain bad.

Now Donnie Darko is indeed complex, tedious and even weird..but in a very good way. When you realize what’s actually going on in the movie, you are left spellbound. It makes you want to watch it again, and when you do, you unravel more and more. It’s like a big puzzle that needs to be worked out, in order to be appreciated. Given the complex nature of the movie, many people who tried watching it, basically gave up on it and moved on, having absolutely no idea about what they had actually missed. I’ve heard many people rambling about how much the movie sucks and how much they hate it. If you’re one of them, the reason behind your hate is probably the fact that you just couldn’t fit the pieces together. And when others tell you that, it pisses you off. Or maybe you live under the delusion that you actually did get it and it’s the story that is flawed. Plus the fact that the movie is so popular gets on your nerves and makes you hate it even more. With due respect, lose your ego and give it another chance. Watch it again and figure it out.

Talking about puzzles, every puzzle requires a certain amount of effort to be put into it. If you don’t put any/enough effort, you obviously can’t enjoy it. And as a result, when you find yourself unable to solve the puzzle, you tend to get irritated with it and therefore, you shun it. This is exactly what happened with people who claim to hate Donnie Darko. But when you put a lot of thought and finally do work out the intriguing puzzle that the movie is, you realize how truly amazing and beautiful it is. Although the story could have several interpretations, I personally felt that it was a hybrid of sorts between sci-fi and the concept of God.

Jake Gyllenhaal excels in portraying the character of a troubled teenager. The movie has several good performances, but Gyllenhaal is the highlight and he does his job convincingly. The soundtrack is LITERALLY mesmerizing and haunting, that blends beautifully with the narration. I freaking loved the hell out of it. Here are some brilliant tracks from the movie:

  • Mad World
  • Gretchen Ross
  • The Artifact and Living
  • Time Travel

Like I mentioned earlier, this movie is not for everyone. Don’t watch Donnie Darko if:

  • You’re not into the sci-fi genre.
  • You are the lazy movie watcher. That is, you don’t like to think a lot while watching any movie.

Bottom line:

Donnie Darko is profound, intriguing and a thought-provoking masterpiece, that stays with you. A must watch!

My rating:

4.2/5 (Mind-boggling)

The Guitar – How the awesomeness began!!!

Beginning to play the guitar was something that happened to me by chance. It all started when I along with my family went to visit my father’s close friend, George, at a nearby city. I was probably 15 back then. Although I was already into rock and metal, the idea of actually learning to play the guitar had never really occurred to me. But the aforementioned visit changed that, when I met George’s son, Rohit. When I entered their home, I found the guy jamming in the living room! He was playing a sexy metallic-black electric guitar, while he was surrounded by all the cool gear..I saw amplifiers, several effect pedals, cables, etc. Of course, I was totally clueless about all this equipment back then, but what I knew is that they looked freaking badass! All of this was completely new to me and hence I was pretty overwhelmed. But what made me go “WOW!!” was the sound! The heavy distortion sound blew me away!

Later, when I checked out his room, I wasn’t surprised to see the walls covered with posters of bands such as Nirvana, Guns N‘ Roses, Metallica and many more. He had a whole bunch of acoustic and electric guitars lying across the room, which kind of impressed me. As we engaged in discussions regarding guitars and music, I asked him to play some of my favorite songs. I can tell you that watching somebody jam is FAR better than listening to tracks on the PC or iPod (provided the instrument is played well of course). And this guy was a beast! He played solos that were originally played by guitar legends such as Slash, with utter ease. Watching him play gave me goosebumps. At the time, it was almost like watching God work his magic. When he noticed my rising curiosity, he started teaching me the basics after handing me one of his acoustic guitars. And I really appreciated that. He explained about the strings, how the tuning pegs affect the pitch and how the instrument is tuned. When I got a hang of it to an extent, he taught me a couple of chords. I picked up quite fast to be honest. And later, guess what? We jammed! The song was Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Our families seemed quite pleased with this development.

Later that day, while we were hanging out with our families, I was surprised when George made us stop by at a music store. Yes!!! That’s when I bought my first guitar! I was elated! Later, Rohit taught me some simple intro riffs for tracks such as the Mission Impossible theme, Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water and a couple more. And trust me..the feeling I got when I was able to reproduce my favorite tunes, using my own bare hands, was just out of this world! Later that night, when it was time to bid farewell, I thanked George and Rohit. Had I not visited them, I probably would have never pursued the instrument.

And that’s how it all started! I was hooked! I had something to be passionate about. I could spend hours on the guitar and all that time spent on it was more than worth it. I was filled with a sense of contentment. I had something to genuinely feel proud of..