Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The blah is beauty

"to think of what others would think of you changes what you think about urself  and what you do" - my words.

but brings to mind many people and thoughts.

Did swami vivekananda speak about something similar? did he or did he not?

to think...ah never to think of what you are doing is the best thing to do. i typed that last without the interference from my brain which was constantly nagging to think what each person would think about it. now there it is revealed - the secret to writing things that attract certain type of people. get into their skins.. so goodbye.. too long if I stay.. too much bull crap I would type in.

my blog..I create, I publish and I propagate. u poor fellow reader, read and suffer :D :D

last laugh was mine..

Monday, April 23, 2012

Katyn - The Controversial story of a Massacre

This is a not a movie review.
It is my reflection of the contents of a movie and the real incidents linked to it.

The movie I am talking about is Katyn, a polish one released in 2007.
A movie poster

About the movie
The movie revolves around the massacre of nearly 20 thousand Polish officers and civilians in 1940 in the Katyn forest. The exact numbers are still not clear.

Unlike other movies I have seen which deal with similar topics, this one sticks to the lives of individual soldiers and their families who went through the ordeal. Though the story seems quite a bit like that of the Holocaust, it has various factors which make it different.

The very opening scene of the movie is as follows and sets the entire movie in perspective.

A large crowd of Polish civilians people rushing onto a bridge crying out loud that the Germans are behind them, as depicted in most of the European movies based on the themes of the holocaust or German occupation. They are met from the other side by another smaller group of Polish civilians calling out loudly that the Soviets have attacked Poland. The rest of the movie is all about the story of a nation caught between two aggressors whose fluctuating diplomatic stances only worsened the plight of it.

Many a brave Polish officers are depicted as choosing the captivity of the Russians as a symbol of loyalty to their duties. Later on these officers are deported to Russian camps. The story moves on with the struggle of their families to survive in a Poland divided between Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. The story unfolds like a political conspiracy. Beaten on from both sides, the people hang in by threads of hope for the return of their loved ones(as it is promised by officials from time-to-time).
The officers in the prison camp

What follows is what is called the Katyn list which is read out in public in the German side. The list is of the names of officers who were 'executed by the Bolsheviks', accompanied by official news reels and visuals of German priests praying on the mass graves. Many grieve while some hold onto hopes as they didn't hear the names of their loved ones in the dreaded list.

After the war ends, Poland falls to the Russian rule, and the Katyn massacre becomes a hot topic. The Russians blame the Nazis for the massacre and display evidences for the same. People who knew otherwise, and tried to talk about it in public are 'taken care of' immediately by the NKVD(now known as KGB)

The movie touches upon various characters who are somehow related to the Katyn incident and how they try to cope up with hard Russian regime. Movie ends with the revelations from the diary of a captain which was maintained till the last minutes before he disembarks from the prison train carrying them to the execution spot. The systematic and brutal killings are shot to evoke an outcry and a question about the sanity of the political world.

Overall a brilliant  movie, w.r.t the technicalities as well as the handling of the content. No loud statements or vile propaganda against any of the aggressors, but just a silent note against one of the atrocious incidents of recent past that shook the morality of the world.

A gruesome image of the massacre

The IMDB page gives a lot of info about the movie itself. The movie won various awards and was nominated for many more.

About the incident
Here is what Wikipedia has to say about this incident. It reveals the kind of foolery played by the Western powers against this incident in the post war era to appease their new found Soviet allies. The entire incident was strongly rejected by Russian until 1990 and in 2010, an official explanation blaming Stalin was given by the State Duma. What a pity.

All said and done, nothing will resurrect the dead. But all such incidents must help us look at ourselves and think whether knowingly or unknowingly we are accomplices to such atrocities in our times. The moral sanity of mankind is at present on a tipping point where intolerance is the way of the world. So beware, fear first the one within you, for that one might be the first to betray you to the vileness.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A favourite scene from the movie War Horse

In the movie 'War Horse', after almost an entire movie depicting the intense battle between the British and the German, there is an interesting scene.

Spoiler alert for those who haven't watched the movie yet and intend to, even though it is not a movie with suspense thrills.

The horse(the hero) makes a dash through the German lines to the British ones and unfortunately gets entangled in a the barbed wires covering the battlefield. It gets hurt and whinnies loudly. It happens in the middle of the night in the highly tense scenario of trench warfare during World War I. I think it was the battle of the Somme, which is notoriously famous for the deadly use of tanks and chemical weaponry.

The soldiers from both sides peep out of the trenches using periscopes and identify the horse in the middle of the battlefield. A British soldier tries making a ticking kind of sound to call the horse, on hearing which the entire British trench echoes with similar sounds as almost the entire line seems to call to the horse. Quite an amusing scene in the brutal battlefield. To add to it, a wise German soldier starts whistling to the horse, which his fellow soldiers follow. Now the two sides compete against each other by increasing the volume of these calls. The entire battle field is filled with the funny noises of men  who were poised to kill each other for months...

Further on, the simple humour and humanity displayed by soldiers of both the sides to free the horse and then decide on the quarrel of who takes it, in a very gentlemanly fashion is quite interesting.
The movie itself has a thread of such simple stories and lives of normal people touched by the atrocities of the war between rulers. The movie itself is a definite must watch. The above mentioned were just some amusing parts of it, especially to one used to lots of war movies intent on the violence of it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Recollections of a scattered childhood

People don't stay at one place or with same group of people their entire lives. For the same reasons,having only brief fleeting memories of parts of our childhood is quite common these days.

I have been trying to stitch together such patches of memories so that I get a fuller picture of my past. About many of the younger years, at least my parents, brother or other relatives would have recollections of events and people.

But what about those experiences where I was the sole witness or rather the first person involved? No one other than me can put those stories and images together.

My schooling years are the really scattered parts of my life about which I have some faint memories. I did my schooling in four schools, err five to be precise.

-- The only memories I have about my LKG was that I was taught Malayalam then. It was a christian missionary school near to where our family still resides. Hence the images and stories are quite solid, though I don't have anything special to recall.

-- My second school was K.V. Port Trust. My brother was in another KV at that time. I did my 1st standard alone in this school. I remember the excitement of watching the airplanes land and takeoff near the classrooms, and some bullies. Everything else is a blur. Never visited that complex again. Beautiful it was. I began my timid life there.

-- Then I got admission to K.V. 2 Naval Base where my brother already was studying. This turned out to be a longer association. Lots of good friends, with many of whom I still maintain contact. Lots of normal, good memories and references to validate them. Again just that some contacts were lost as I again moved out. Been back to the school after college days just to re-instigate the memories of those days and recall friends.

-- Moved to K.V.1. Harni Baroda in 1998 for a very short period of time. My 6th standard was split between three schools. Academics were shot to smithereens. I developed the skills to master languages and understand cultures. Officially became fat :). But this period is the least remembered part of my schooling.Except a few partial names and faces, I don't recall anything or anybody. No contact with anyone there. Those days are at a stage of possibly getting erased forever from my memory. Been trying to get hold of atleast someone who can help me put together the picture there. Only the life outside the school is well held in memory as my family was part of it too :)

-- Moved to K.V. Ernakulam. This one has a straight continuation into present life as all people, events are close by and in contact. 6th to 12th. The final touch.

I guess nowadays most of the people have such patterns in life or even worse as I have seen w.r.t kids of Govt employees who get frequently transferred across the country. They turn out to be rich in lots of unique skills and attitudes too :-) as a result of the pain of not having permanent long standing friends, and deep ties to any place or person.

I was just taking a stroll down the memory lane when I realized I might have enough content to jot down.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Voices that melts the heart

I am not a talented person or an authority in any manner related to music.
I just enjoy it, in variety and seek the beauty everywhere.

In spite of the exposure to so many singers and genre, and considering the majority portion I haven't exposed myself to yet, I believe only two singers have been capable of breaching my heart permanently.

K.J.Yesudas and Kishore Kumar.

And here I mean to give credit to only their voices. No other voice sounds so 'from within'. Of course there are lots of equally skilled, entertaining and gifted singers. But these two, for some reason top the list. Any time , peace guaranteed.

Feel like melting into their voice and becoming one with the song.

Loading up the tracks now.. good night!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Brewing Up

Something is brewing in the pot.

Not yet ready to come out.

So wait until it wishes to.

Monday, April 02, 2012

The story goes on..

I like stories. I love to hear them, share em, write em, tell new ones and even work some creative sweat on them.

I recall only one small Story Telling competition in 2nd std, the one and only time I ever participated in such an activity. Though I never liked the limelight( and still don't fancy it ), the thing in me grew into many offshoot of it being this blog.

But dearer are hundreds of stories I lived and fewer which I told anyone.

But the thousands that are created and shelved in my head are my gold mines awaiting to be responsibly exploited.

Stories are such cool things. Nothing can replace the satisfaction of a good story. The other contenders are Music and my never ending curiosity. Each actually serve a different purpose. Stories are a strange mix of logic, reality and creative imagination.

I think with everything and anything I end up weaving a story. Stories are what ultimately get me going and get things done.

Whatever happens..the story even goes on...