Sunday, May 28, 2006

Da Vinci code : The movie

Yet another weekend comes
Yet another weekend is about to be squandered doing nothing ...

But this time, I managed to watch a movie, the much awaited 'da vinci code'. Was quite disappointed when the controversies surrounding it managed to postpone the release of the movie by about a week. But this weekend, I managed to watch it - adding to the list of very few Hollywood movies I have seen. Having read the book, I was more excited to see the movie, and with Tom Hanks, The excitement was even more. So there I was, seated at a not-so-good-yet-expensive multiplex.

I am making an assumption that most of the people who are watching the movie would have read the book. I may be wrong. Maybe, many of us old be tempted to believe the 'facts(???)' stated in the movie(in fact the book), we usually love what is spicy, especially if it is said with such conviction as in the book, where the demarcation between the 'fact' and 'fiction' are not exactly distinguishable. Dan Brown says that the facts of Christianity ia the biggest cover-up operation. Maybe, he is true. Maybe, the 'facts' in the book are one of the biggest lies in terms of magnitude and extent of impact it may have. History is written by victors. Maybe the church doctored the history to project an extraordinary 'human' named Jesus Christ as the son of God. Maybe, the extraordinarily researched novel with all its meticulous insights and 'facts' deviates from what is the 'truth'. Still, one may be tempted to believe much of what is written in the novel. Anyway, the book is a bestseller, and the religion may still remain an enigma. And a movie based on such a book seemed inevitable, and with Tom Hanks it seems a sureshot blockbuster ! Whether it is or it is not ... only time will tell.
One thing was clear after seeing (or while seeing) the movie. That it is not as gripping, not even close to being so as the novel. Tom Hanks was clearly not at his best. In fact very few characters managed to impress. And for the people who haven't read the book, may find it difficult to understand many a things. The 'facts' presented were OK, but the thrills and action sequences were far from impressive, and had a long way to go before being believable (though this is the case with many movies).
With the movie not so gripping, some crazy thoughts were coming incessantly in my mind. Like, if someone did a 'probability analysis' (don't think there is any such term). How minimal was the probability that Robert Langdon will crack all the codes. There are infinite ifs and buts in this case. Firstly the curator left so many symbols, and Robert Langdon was in the same city at that time. What if no anagrams had been thought of, or they might bave missed a single anagram. Or if they had taken some tim more to crack an anagram ... maybe they would have been caught. What if Teabing was't residing near that place.What if the bullet hadn't stuck while closing the door, when the banker was about to run away with the secret? What if their plane had landed a couple of minutes later? And in the sequence of cracking so many codes, they had missed even single link ?How minimal wa the chance of cracking the code! Anyway, possibilities in the 'if' case are plenty.
Another passing thought ... The disclaimer said that all references to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. Again the probability comes into play. Was the name Jesus Christ or Sir Issac Newton or Leonardo da Vinci which were mentioned in reference to the story merely coincidental?
And, what if they attempting remaking it in Hindi, or making something similar (as they do so often by blatantly copying Hollywood flicks in Bollywood); maybe our very own Mithun da could be the lead actor (though it is unfair to compare him and Tom Hanks ... but the fight sequence in the movie brought that name to my mind), and the movie name could be somewhat like "Birbal ka Bhed" (the secret of Birbal !!!) ... who knows?? The Da vinci code was somewhat disappointing (though it had some good moments), the latter may be a complete farce !!

Monday, May 22, 2006

yet another week begins ...

Yet another weekend ends and another week begins ...
Another day comes when I sluggishly drag myself out of my bed
And lazily rush to the office ...
Yet another day when I find new ways of avoiding work ...
And I spend most of the time doing nothing but surfing and checking mails
And then I make plans to leave early and then decide against it
To be motivated to do some work, even if it is just a formality
Before I call it a day, leaving the work for tomorrow ...
And praying that when I leave, it doesn't rain
And I continue to work out ways of cicumventing work once again ...

Monday, May 15, 2006

ISKON – A case study in temple management ?

“If you visit Bangalore, you ought to have visited ISKON at least once”. Having lived at Bangalore for almost a year, I was having a feeling of, not exactly guilt … but definitely felt that I have missed some part of Bangalore. I always wanted to be there once, and yesterday was the day.

Sunday, 14th May 2006 :

I was sitting at Forum shopping mall with a friend, and as usual doing nothing. Suddenly the idea struck … Why don’t we go to ISKON … and then began a long ride through he crowded streets of the city. Braving he heavy traffic, and an overdose of the likes of carbon monoxide, SPM, nitrogen dioxide etc. we finally managed to reach there after an excruciating 45 minutes ride. There stood the ISKON temple, on a very small hill, in a very large area. Had it been a movie, the appropriate term would have been ‘magnum opus’. And began our journey negotiating the Sunday crowd of devotees...

I have never been too religious, in fact not too much of a believer, but occasionally I do visit a temple or a church. I don’t know whether I ll be granted what I ask for, but still I do ask for a wish or two, and obviously hope it gets true. Still I often believe that I need not necessarily go to a place of worship to ask for something which I desire from bottom of my heart and with a pure mind.
Anyway, we reached the temple and I was intimidated by the serpentine queue for ‘darshan’.

With great difficulty we managed to take out or shoes and hand it over. Apparently everything seemed to be too professionally managed, but still the service left us wanting, maybe just because of sheer number of people. There were few people shouting and abusing the person who collected the shoes. Anyway we proceeded with the security check and washing the hands and landed in a queue for the ‘darshan’, and meanwhile hearing the chant of

‘Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare’.

There were three levels to go. With a temple on all of them, two small and a big one … the one that housed ‘Radha Krishna’ and “Krishna Balaram’ temple . Only the pass holders were allowed a ‘darshan’ from close. Even the ‘parikrama’was not allowed. And there were volunteers taking care of each and every aspect. Then we made an exit … but there was a lot to go. Also the view of the city from that small hill-like structure was amazing.

As we went to ‘another level’ we were amazed by the complex network of shops (seemed more like stalls) selling devotional books to food to some decorative item to clothes… of course we expected it but never expected it to be so big. Yes, there was a small exhibition which mainly contained paintings and small and big idols of mostly Lord Krishna. And I could easily guess that those shops would be having a huge turnover, especially in the weekends. And before the ‘prasad’ as offered and we left, we had already been to a popcorn shop, countless sweet shops, cake shop, a restaurant and many other shops.

I was amazed by such a commercialization of the religious place. Well, I expected some of these shops, but the sheer number and magnitude of the same would take my breath away. In hindsight I thought “is religion so commercialized?”A place of worship with all those shops and even a restaurant!!. Everything there seemed too mechanical. But again a thought came “Ok … What’s wrong in that!!” … And maybe that “mechanical” or the systematic things might not be out of place but absolutely necessary due to sheer number of people visiting there. Maybe in some other big temple like Tirupati Balaji it might be even bigger. Anyway, I found the ISKON temple too crowded and cramped, but maybe that s the price for being too popular. Somehow, I expected much more from that place; maybe I was keeping my expectations too high.

Saturday, May 13, 2006



This is my first post in this blog. Actually couldn't think of anything to post here. Maybe, if i m not lazy enough, or i have something in mind worth sharing, or I get something good to copy-paste and share (there may be plenty of these) ... i ll post it here.
Well, I m still going through nitty-gritties (hope i got the spelling right) of creating a blog and still have a lot to learn before i can begin some serious posting at this place.