Author: farooq (Page 1 of 32)
Nolan’s Dunkirk follows a nonlinear storyline as it tries to deliver a war-story with a music that keeps you on edge a brilliant cinematography. And it does. However, with the absence of a central character in the story your itch to root for one character, like every other Nolan movie, remains unfulfilled. But perhaps, that was the intended tone Nolan wanted to give Dunkirk.
To make heroes out of the spirit of survival. In a movie bereft of one-liner masterpieces, when one soldier upon returning home explains, ‘All we did was survive’ ‘And that’s enough’ pat comes the reply.
Dunkirk transports you to the hauntingly beautiful war-torn French beach-town where 400,000 soldiers are stuck on the beach; trying to find their way back home while the Germans make sure to not let them drop their guard even once. Dunkirk is about the rescue, about the spirit of the people in times of war, the casualties that war brings with it.
Like every other Nolan movie, your attention to the screen is critical, not that you’ll be able to take eyes off, in following the non-linear storyline.
While there are character bits like the Air Force pilot in Tom Hardy, the makeshift rescue boat captain, the soldiers stuck on the island; each being true to their character, as an audience your investment in their character is limited. And that’s the only drawback from the movie. You appreciate how people understand each other without speaking. You see how war and calamity change people.
Dunkirk’s take on war is a listing of all possible reasons how war changes people, brings out the worst and the best in them. The questioning your own survival and the perceived notions of having failed your country, and yet being the hope of your countrymen even after you return after you lose.
It definitely is not Nolan’s best film, as some of the critics have been saying, but is one good war movie that you need to watch.
As far as ratings are concerned, I’m going with a 3.5/5 for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. Watch it on the big screen. It’s a visual masterpiece where you’re left asking for more and yet you’ll love what you get.
What is that common quality that all successful people definitely have?
Of all, the one which truly stands out is that of persistence. The determination to keep pushing. Pushing hard in the quest for their goals. May what come, they are always there, going hard as ever, striving towards their goal. For them, it doesn’t matter where they are now. What matters is, where they want to be. The end goal.
I’ve seen people grow. Strength to strength. All of their starts were all about following their passion. A passion for excelling in what they love.
Indeed, the knack of truly finding what you love is in itself remarkable. It isn’t based on what the society tells you is ‘the thing’ to go after but what your heart truly wants.
Some are lucky enough to find what they are after. Sorry, not ‘lucky’, strike that. They possess the clarity to see themselves become what they want to. A ‘clear’ picture.
Others spend ages trying just to find their true calling and along the way pick up excuses to remain just there.
Coming back to persistence. The differentiated quality that propels and separates the ones who succeed and us. Us, the ones still running the race to find out, whether we are worthy or not.
I know of people whom the world laughed at when they started. And in the general parlance, they were not good at what they were doing. You can say the world was justified in making fun of them. Only, that they persisted in continuing to follow what they aimed for. Becoming better day by day. And then, they were able to convert those very people who hated them to be their fans. This isn’t a one-off story. Neither I’m making this up to prove anything.
And I’m not even talking about guys who rose to fame on the back of bad publicity. The Dhinchak Poojas of the world. For the sake of not going wayward on what I want to convey, let’s exclude this kind as well.
The point I’m trying to make is, that if you find that one thing you truly want. Go after it. Don’t worry whether the world is going to laugh at it or not. Don’t worry whether you’re good right now or not. Focus on working hard to get where you want to. The end goal should be the one you have to be after.
And it’s going to take a lot out of you. You have to put your best foot forward. Every day. Every hour. And every minute to get there. It’s not going to be easy. Not all of us are born with an already polished talent. Talent, IMHO, itself is just a spark and it all depends on us to give it shape it into a fire and light up the world.
People surprisingly negate the hard work and persistence and attribute success solely on someone’s talent. That brings us back to the drawing board of putting all our hopes on whether ‘we have it or not’. It doesn’t matter whether at this point we have it or not. What matters is, whether we are ready to put that extra effort into making it happen.
I’m not writing this to preach and tell YOU on what you have to do. This is a #NoteToSelf on not stopping the hard work.
The idea of conferring the reason for success to ‘talent’ is bogus. You either work hard to get there or you don’t. Talent means nothing without persistence to work towards achieving your goals.
A rather troubling and yet not overbearing thought of not having a singular thought in my head itches the good part of my brain. The division of focus-from whatever that was present- into multitudes of vague directions appears pointless. And yet, there’s no other alternative I’d rather choose.
My to-do list of chores auto-expands and virtually snoozes while I keep myself engrossed into indulgences that tick my lazy self at peace. Delays. And more delays.
From a post-a-day run-rate of writing down thoughts that a few good people read and liked to piling on drafts that don’t see the click of the published button. To those who write would empathize how a stale thought that passes the expiration of the moment it has been written for is meant to be brushed under. My WordPress dashboard is that carpet.
The emotional mix is a collection of more colors than a packet of gems. Compartmentalized and yet overflowing among themselves. Seeping out in the front, occasionally. The art of a fake laughter and the forced calm behind the rage. I’m mixin-it-all-up.
From the hypothetical questions to a trip in the alleys of the past. All of it, just a few phone numbers away. Few kilometers away. Still standing, at the crease of a confused adulthood, ducking bouncers, learning to leave and missing out on a picturesque cover drive. Cannot risk getting back to the pavilion. Of course, that stopped me. As if.
At the diversion of the ‘what-if’ and ‘it-all-happens-for-good’, the choice of the road always comes back to the same point. Shifting balances when it suits my selfishness.
Everyone’s part of the story. The ones they know. The ones they don’t.
I don’t want to write all the stories, though.
The ‘kaw kaws’ and the ‘cuhooos’, coupled with the bristling leaves play an imperfect symphony for the morning to arrive. The Azaan ended a few minutes back to just confirm the same. And if there was any doubt, the surkh color ensured that all of them were right.
The weekdays don’t let us enjoy the morning. The arrival of a brand new day of work, looks over our heads. Bereft of any concern of ‘how-many-more-hours-can-I-sleep’, the weekend night adds this present along with other things it makes us look forward to.
I know they say, ‘Weekends are over-rated’ and even I’d agree to it. But, perhaps these little moments are missed from being counted when making those statements.
You can say that this CAN be enjoyed everyday. CAN, yes. Indeed.
This transports me to moments before sunrise on beaches which I’ve had the privilege to be on. That sound of waves and the color changing horizon at the end of it.
To one of the hill station where you view the early lights with clouds for company. That whiteness. Unmatched.
To even the Scenery we all used to draw as kids. The zig-zag mountains with the sun rising in between.
I don’t have any of those views now. The vrooms of all the engines are already encroaching the silence. The cloudy, and yet beautiful, Bangalore sky isn’t helping in the welcome of the sun either.
Maybe the moment is gone. Like how it always does.
My body clock is pulling me in on to the bed. The winds are giving mixed signals. Should I wait for the sun or sleep with you sweeping through the window ?
You’ve got to love the post-dusk magnificance of the sky in Bangalore. That view. The clarity.
Blessed. We. Are.
I don’t know exactly what but there’s an intriguingly calming influence whenever I twist my head towards it. The flowing cotton clouds remind me of school projects where rolls of cotton was glued to the blue cardboard sheet. The things we did back then! For some reason we referred to it as KG cardboard and I still don’t know why. I was never that curious as a kid, anyway.
I do feel that when I write posts like these , I’m updating the weather report. But here’s the thing, a lot of thoughts, mine and yours hopefully, are interwined with the vaatavaran. Try hearing vatavaran in Lisa Haydon’s voice. Just the voice, okay. Ramzan in progress, folks.
Coming back to the sky. Yes, you beauty. What changed ? Like was the sky always like this or I’ve suddenly become the beholder to its beauty?
Either way, you seem to be one good thing to end the day with. Considering how few other things are left, of course. Jugaad.
Listening to the gibberish while I type about you to the world. Or just a tiny fraction who seem to read it.
You, the blue and the white. Stay awesome.
As Ramiz Raza tried his best to establish the failings of the Pakistani side, one could easily sense the disappointment in his voice. And why shouldn’t he?
Pakistan lost to India by 124 runs!
This Pakistani side is the weakest one in a long long time. An unforgettable one, indeed.
Being a 90’s born, we’ve seen how tough it used to be to beat the Pakistanis. We still trail them by a 72-52 win-loss margin in ODIs and 12-9 in Tests! Going by how our neighbor has performed in recent years, just goes to show how strong they were!
As hard it is to admit, their bowling attack used to scare most of our batsmen back then.
When I looked at their playing XI the other day, I was like, who are these people? Apart from a couple of familiar faces, they all looked like a team that Bangladesh could beat with ease. And I’m not being arrogant here. Apart from the first bowling spell by Mohammad Aamir, they confirmed this feeling of mine. There’s just nothing there in the Pakistani bowling side. To top it all, they have a spinner wearing colored goggles bowling. Thank you Pandiya for those 3 sixes in whatever-is-his-name’s over!
Sure, I don’t follow their cricket and don’t have much idea on what they did but at least earlier the side at least used to put up a fight.
Where is that Pakistani team?
The fast bowlers. The batsmen who could hit sixes at will. That sledging which makes for such good TV.
I feel so sorry for their fans. And so many of them still came to the stadium. Probably because their NRI neighbors from India were going to cheer for their team. Their flag waving appeared just to be akin to saving face in social meetups in the desi community. The ones who had seen the glory days might just be looking at these players and be going, ‘What have you done to the Pakistani team?’
There used to be so much fun to argue with their supporters with match stats. Sure, for most of their queries, Sachin was our only answer, but still, we managed!
Will the real Pakistan team, please stand up?
Delicately chewing a couple of khajoors as I opened the door onto my balcony, the clearest Bangalore sky and cotton-like floating clouds greeted me with a salaam.
As my bare feet touch the cold floor, and the chill hits me, there’s a sense of calm. While I wait for the Azaan to stop eating, I convince myself that it’s not that cold and rest my bums on the stairs.
My earliest memories of a sehri are contrastingly differing to the one I’m about to finish. The cold December and the difficulty of getting out from the razai were its trademark. Not to forget the variety of sheermaals from Bhaarat Bakery and the occasional firni from Calkatiya hotel. And of course, forcefully drinking glasses of water to be ready for the next day.
Somewhere from sharing the same jaanemaaz with Ammi to needing our own, we all grew up.
As kids fasting in the holy month, we all were our family rockstars. An elaborate Iftaar awaited at the dusk for us. With special farmaishes. Skull capped kids all around the colony heading towards the mosque like it’s a celebration.
Before I fasted for the first time, the idea of fast meant, ‘Eating Iftaar’. I remember people laughing when this revelation was out in the open.
Ammi’s occasional ‘wont-wake-you-up-for-sehri’ if we didn’t listen to her, scared us. Afraid of missing out on a Roza was an effective scare tactic. After all, counting on who kept the most number of fasts was quite a thing as kids in our colony.
Motivators aside, Ramzan meant something special. Sehris, Roza and Iftar. All part of memories and not possible to recreate.
As I reminisce more, the Azaan breaks through the breeze. It is still dark but there’s a charm in reliving those memories. And yes, the morning Azaan helps.
Work lunches are all about exploring places around work to eat. There has to be something to always look forward to. A new favourite every other week because you know, you get bored of the same stuff. Especially when it comes to food.
Exploring a new eatery is akin to conducting experiments for our taste buds.
But this pattern is last mostly for the first half of the month. As the month draws to a close, we end up on the office canteen’s meals. What a fall!
However, last month was a little different. Yes, appraisals played a little part in that, but it was the discovery of a little new App. Literally, the LittleApp.
This deal-provider helped save at least 500 Rupees last month! How ?
Yes, I’ll tell you all about it. But first, let me tell you how this app works.
The app is a treasure house of some amazing deals, ranging from restaurants, spa, salons, activities etc.
Also, this isn’t limited to an app-based service. if you don’t want to download the app, you can also check their website for the exact deals. I personally prefer their app. But then, I’m not judging.
As per their website,
They are a hyperlocal deals discovery platform connecting customers and merchants across services like restaurants, spa, salons, activities etc. They help customers discover fantastic offers at their favourite outlets and also become a sales channel for offline merchants.
And even though they promote their app as ‘Little’ app, they help you save a lot. Fans of Shakespeare ? What’s in a name, anyway!
Although my experience with the app was limited to the deals it provided with restaurants. My colleagues ended up using it for Spa and Salon deals as well. And as per them, it was worth it the time. Time spent saving money.
But let me just tell you about my experience so that you can give this a try as well.
We wanted to explore a new Pizza place which opened in HSR but days away from salary-day, we had decided to wait.
Crushing our desire for the mouth-watering pizza for a while. Melodramatic, I know. But then that’s me and food. A love story. You should check my Instagram feed for proof: Here!
But then LittleApp came into the picture and Voila! We got a 30% off deal for us and our Monday Blues were solved by the cheese-laden pizza!
What started with just pizza was followed by Biriyani, Donuts and even Coffee!
So, how does the App work?
All you have to do is follow these steps:
- Download the app from Playstore/Appstore. It’s available for Android/iOS.
- Sign up quickly for an account
- Search for deals from restaurants, spa, salons, activities etc based on what you like For example if you’re looking for best restaurants in Bangalore, you can make use of the app.
- Pay from the multiple payment options available
- All your purchased deals appear in the ‘My order’ tab
- Head over to the outlet (restaurants, spa, salons), show this at the counter and avail the deal.
- Eat or leisure to your own liking
- And yes, Count how much you saved!
Give this app a shot and let me know how you saved, while I buy a few more coffee vouchers to write a few more articles like this while sipping Coffee.
‘I DON’T CARE!’ as President Frank Underwood shouted in the house. And, damn! He looked like it.
House of Cards is back, Folks!
As the first episode unfolds through the shocking cliffhanger of the last season when the Underwoods did what’s expected of them. Yes, look into the camera and share their guts.The first episode has all the bang they needed to start this new season.
The calm ‘I-don’t care’ look on Frank Underwood’s face as he sat in the house while the Republicans shouted, says it all. This is followed by Frank literally snatching a newspaper article accusing him of crimes commited during his Vice-presidency from a republican’s hand and walking down to the podium to speak while a mafia style ensemble of Democrats walked alongside him.
He not only snatches the war-rhetoric narrative away from the Republicans but ensures his opposition squabbles for a differing narrative to oppose him. It’s the Homecoming of Terror after all!
Remember how his Republican opponent, Will Convay, raised the issue of him being soft on terror and then they ended up a meeting to play video games?
And yes, the Underwoods are back together. Claire and Francis. The partners in power are back in harmony. Creating Havoc all around? You bet!
To those who might have forgotten about previous season, here’s a season-wise recap of where the story stands as of now:
Warning: Those who haven’t watched the series yet, please avoid this recap. Spoiler Alert!
House of Cards (Season 1): Season starts off with Frank Underwood being denied the role of Secretary of State as he was promised and ends with him becoming the Vice President. Exhibits of how to maneuver political players as well as Journalists without them knowing and becoming the beneficiary.
House of Cards (Season 2): From Vice President to, wait-for-it, the POTUS Itself. This season focused on how corporate clout indirectly governs a country. Foreign influences, Deals, favors, betrayals and frank’s political games.
House of Cards (Season 3): From President without having to be voted for to someone who now would have to actually win an election. A tumultuous journey of skeletons in the cupboard and the partnership with Claire going sour are the highlights.
House of Cards (Season 4): Francis and Claire’s fight, her mother’s death and then thanks to one journalist’ effort, all secrets coming out in the open. Alleged, we’d say. Time to divert attention? Terrorism is the answer.
I’m paraphrasing in 1-2 lines and that itself seems so much. There’s so much more to the show than just this.
However, the show is mostly Kevin Spacey! The man is the center of it all and undoubtedly the biggest factor in the show is a hit. How do you not like his ‘in-the-camera’ talking to you?
Coming back to the first episode, the show takes forward the diverting tactics of the ‘fight against terror’ and plays on the idea of how states use the fear factor of the mass to drive down agendas with this narrative. The season promise to take on a lot of tricky international political issues and give us a sneak peek into the background of it all with a good dose of drama. Typical Underwood style.
Given the present political climate, one can also expect potshots being fired through the show. But that’s just my guess.
The shows beauty lies in the shift of characterizations. From a typically theatre-like performance of Frank Underwood to the nuances of American politics wrapped in drama.
What I also love about the show is they don’t shy away from exploring a characters’ dimensions and there’s always a way to bring them back. Unless they get killed by Underwood. What’s the count again?
To those who have been awaiting this season in India, Frank Underwood is coming to India with the television premiere of House Of Cards Season 5 on Saturday, 3rd June, 5 PM onwards, only on Zee Café! Also, share your thoughts on social media using #HOConZCafe to discuss with everyone else who’ll be watching the show along with you.