Saturday, February 14, 2015

Books or Movies based on books?

 “And she stepped onto the balcony. Her palms flew to her mouth to muffle a gasp. It was like nothing she had ever seen. The size of the spaceship was bigger than the descriptions in the incredulous reports…”
When you read a book you are instantly transported to a world of infinite possibilities! It’s just you and the characters, all being tossed around by the ingenuity of the plot in the resilient boundaries of your imagination. When you are reading something like the above paragraph there is so just so much that your sinfully excited brain can comprehend and imagine.

You can picture the girl to be anyone; she could look like you if you fancy that!
The balcony? Hmm…maybe it is like the ones they show in those ridiculous Beverly Hills mansions in TV series..
Spaceship eh? Like the conventional ones that they show in all sci-fi movies or something more sophisticated?

All this for just one tiny paragraph, the whole book would be an exponentially more exciting experience.
Now, if you were watching the same scene in a movie instead of reading it in a book the experience would be totally different. Firstly, how much you might enjoy the movie would depend on a lot of factors like the style of direction, the cinematography, the visual effects and of course the actors who play the characters.

The anticipation while turning a page, the multitude images whirring through your head piecing the story together…all this can’t be matched by the experience of watching a movie.
 For most kids who grew up both reading the Harry Potter books and later watching the movies, the movies were never more than an unsuccessful attempt to bring the magic of the plot to the big screen.

The characters, the situations binding them together and their feelings; everything feels so much more real when you read the books. You feel like you are in Hogwarts, watching everything unravel in awe; or better still, you feel like you are one of the characters, actually experiencing and feeling everything around.
Movies based on books have seldom appealed to real fans of the books. Your favorite part gets left in the editing reel or your favorite character is played by a pathetic actor or the worst nightmare of all, they decide to tweak the plot a little! Oh, it’s a blasphemy!

Twilight series may not really classify as great books, but they are any day a great deal better than the movies. Whoever told Kristen Steward that the character Bella Swan must look eternally constipated should have considered reading the book first and saved us an ordeal.

We can’t deny that all the movies based on books have excellent sets, amazing graphics, most outrageous budgets and larger than life actors…yet something doesn’t add up. The enchantment of a book is far too precious to be replicated probably.
The recently released movie Cloud Atlas has an extremely surreal concept about our actions in the past and the future affecting our present. How much one can grasp by merely watching the movie is questionable. The book that it is based on would definitely give a much better insight into the bizarre theories of the plot.
Movies based on those books that don’t involve fantasy or magic or out of the world themes usually turn out pretty decently.

All the movies based on Nicholas Sparks’s books like Walk to remember and Message in a bottle have many admirers. Even Cecelia Ahern’s P.S I love you was made into a cult hit movie that managed to catch the essence and the beauty of the book. (Which probably had more to do with Gerard Butler’s mere presence than anything else!)

Not all movies made from books are terrible. Many are just as good as the book, maybe even better. It’s just that the experience of reading a book is much more captivating than that of watching it on a screen.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


He felt as though someone had physically jolted him out of his deep slumber. It was the alarm on his phone, ringing incessantly and formidably; with an unusual sense of purpose. Every cell of his body urged him to snooze it and go back to sleep. But he knew he had no choice.
His firm had flown him down to Singapore on a consultancy project for one of their biggest clients in South East Asia. He landed at 10 PM the previous night and got no more than 2 winks of sleep.
He groggily looked at his phone, it was 4 AM and he had to be on a yacht in Keppel Harbor by 4.45. He knew that meant 4.44.59 to Singaporeans. He was to be whisked away to Sentosa, a beautiful island nearby, which his client was planning to transform into a luxury getaway resort. He used to find these kinds of projects very exciting, but that was 3 years ago, when he still had the energy and enthusiasm to live out of a suitcase.

He rubbed his eyes and pushed himself out of the cozy hotel bed. He felt like a reluctant kindergarten kid. He just didn’t want to go! He dragged his feet to the plush bathroom and started brushing his teeth when his phone rang sharply, making his woozy head hurt. It was his chauffeur, reminding him that he would have to be downstairs in 7 minutes, if they had to make it to the harbor in time. He grunted an ‘Okay’ and hung up. He then powered up his I-pad to cross check the distance to the harbor. Damn, his chauffeur was right. 
He finally hit the panic button and half ran to the shower but stopped in his steps and grabbed the I-pad again, he checked the weather in the Islands so that he could dress accordingly. Before he could close it shut, he had 2 email notifications.  One was from the client, with 3 new documents attached. He quickly downloaded the docs, determined to read them on the yacht. The other one was from his boss telling him that he was expected to do a brilliant job on this project and that he had to fly to Spain the following day to meet a textile client. He gave a courtesy 2 line reply and turned off the I-pad.   

He was dressed in no time. As he knotted his tie, he simultaneously started to pack a day bag. He grabbed his laptop from the bed side table and checked the battery backup- 7%! He cursed under his breath; he forgot to charge it over the night. What was he to do on a wretched boat for 2 hours without his laptop? He decided to console himself with the I-pad and put it next to his bag. 
By 4.12 he was downstairs, where the chauffeur was waiting to drive him away. He munched on a nutri-bar and read the news on his phone while he drove past the beautiful sky scrapers of Singapore. He checked his newsfeed on Facebook and sent a string of unrelated stickers to his girlfriend with a short ‘I miss you’ message. He checked every single one of his WhatsApp groups in spite of having no new notifications. This cab ride was making him sleepy; he started rummaging through his bag for his ear phones when it suddenly hit him - he had left the I-pad next to the bag and never put it in.
Oh lord almighty! What a waste of 2 hours this boat ride was going to be. He made a mental note to be more careful from the next time. He did have his phone for company though.
They reached the Harbor by 4.46. It was a small white yacht, with a wide deck and shiny railings. 

The crew of 3 was expecting him and they welcomed him with broad smiles. The minute they left the harbor, he descended below the deck to one of the two cabins on the yacht. It was fully furnished and had an inviting recliner sofa. He took a juice box from the fridge and settled down into the sofa. In spite of being somewhat sleepy, he felt restless to be sitting idle. He switched on the T.V and unlocked his phone screen. He felt an incessant need to check his mail. That’s when he realized, he wasn’t going to have any signals in the middle of nowhere. He swore out loud. This was so ridiculous. He had no laptop, I-pad or phone. Just bloody ridiculous!
He slowly walked up to the deck. The sun was just beginning to rise and the breeze was not too cold, not too warm. He took off his shoes and sat down on the wooden floor of the deck. He wished he had a camera to capture this.

The sun rose a little higher and he watched the sky change color. In a fleeting glance, everything looked orange but he could notice a multitude of other shades, which lay hidden amidst the majestic orange. All the shades- from the palest of yellows to the brightest of reds.
The clouds seemed to be playing hide and seek around the rising sun and he could hear the chirping of the birds. He diverted his attention to the waves playfully hitting the base of the yacht. The sound of the water was strangely calming. He closed his eyes and let the sounds fill him up. He had not felt this peaceful in a long long time.

The cool salty zephyr washed over his face. He felt the shackles of the mails, the likes, the documents, the tweets, the notifications and the e-commerce discounts let go of him. 
He didn't need any interruptions while he was on this intimate date with Nature. He wanted to soak in more of this unadulterated beauty. The vast expanse of seeming infinity reminded him that he was just a small part of something mighty.

For the first time in days, he felt free.

And boy was this freedom sweet.

Monday, February 2, 2015

She was home (4)

This series is dedicated to some people I love and what defines them..

It had been only an hour since he left. But it felt like an eternity. The bitter-sweet emotions surging through her were too much for her tiny heart. They had spent a glorious weekend together and the memories were fresh and vivid in her mind.

She could still feel his presence around the room. The flowers that he got her had started to wilt. But to her, they looked as beautiful as ever. The wrappers of the chocolates that they had fought over lied strewn on the table. She looked around- he had sat right here on this chair and stared at her googly eyed while she picked out matching shoes with her new dress. It was on this big fluffy beanbag that they squeezed in together and watched that ridiculously cute animated movie.

She snapped out of it and decided to open a book, hoping it might distract her from this heavy feeling that was weighing her down. But nothing seemed to help. She felt lost and disoriented. She felt like a small part of her was no longer with her. The longing that she felt for him felt like a heavy boulder on her chest, churning her insides and causing her physical pain that she couldn’t quite place.
She didn’t know when she would see him next. It hurt so bad to even think about it. She could close her eyes or open them, it made no difference. All she could see was him – the hair that she loved to ruffle, those eyes that could melt her into a puddle, and the smile that she could feel on her back even when she was looking away.

It was too much to take. She got into bed, in a futile attempt to cajole herself. She felt herself curling up, trying to fill in the invisible void. She needed his arms around her – to make her feel safe and loved; to lull her into a peaceful sleep.
She started welling up and before she knew it, she was choked with tears. It was so unfair that she could have so much love and happiness and then have to bid it goodbye in no time.
She was parched with thirst. She pulled herself out of bed, fetched the bottle and dejectedly opened the door to make the trek to the nearest cooler.
 And there he was. Panting and out of breath.

“I just couldn’t leave” was all he managed while he caught his breath.

As she melted into his arms, she knew she was home.

She was home (3)

This series is dedicated to some people I love and what defines them..

She double checked the door to ensure it was latched. She needed some privacy- she didn’t want anyone to witness her doing the sinful thing that she had in mind. She hoped the door was sound proof, lest someone in the corridor hear her while she hit the peaks of ecstasy. Maybe she should play some music to drown it out. She sat down on the floor, she knew girls got messy when they did what she was about to do. And then she slowly took it off.
The wrapping, of course. And she looked at that glorious-melty-gooey-stairway-to-heaven in her hands. When she put the first cube in her mouth, she thought she might die a little. It melted slowly on her tongue. To say it was delicious would be the understatement of the century. It was earth shattering, it was life changing and it was better than orgasmic.
 She was lost in the texture, the smell and the taste - it was as though everything good in the universe was collected over the centuries and packed into a small piece heaven. She was filled with a warm and fuzzy sensation. She could just give up these worldly material pleasures and float up into air. She was almost out of breath. It was Moksh.
She spotted some drippy bits on her shirt, she lifted it up and licked them clean. She attacked the wrapper next; leaving even the tiniest morsel would be just blasphemous.
Her fingers were brown by the time she was done. She would be foolish to use a napkin. She attended to them one by one, teaching them a lesson. Aaah, she was done.

She was in Paradise.

She was home (2)

This series is dedicated to some people I love and what defines them..

She looked out of the sliding doors that were perpetually in an identity crisis of whether they were windows or doors. The view was too good to be true. It was pouring like nobody’s business. The trees were swaying moodily, dancing reluctantly to the breeze. The lake, on the other hand was ecstatic, the ripples gushing forward gaily. 
She held that tiny miracle in her hand, the piece of magic that could play music anywhere. Her head was leaning against the pillow and she sat on the huge beanbag which was so snug that she knew she needed someone to come wrest her out of it.
 She was tapping her feet to the slow rhythm of the song. Music moved her like nothing else. She could feel every beat percolate into her very being. She felt it filling her up with an emotion so intense, it was overwhelming to say the least. She didn’t even realize the goose bumps sneak up on her. How could something so beautiful come from nothing - something that could fill you up with bliss or move you to tears. Every word so magical, strung together seamlessly to tell a story.
She turned up the volume, till all she could hear, feel and think of was the music. And then she started singing along. At first slowly and soon like she was the only person on this planet earth, like nothing and no one could stop her in this trance.

Why did she have to do the mundane things of life. When she could listen to music instead, when she could breathe it in, soak every tiny bit of her in it and feel more alive than anything else could make her feel.    

She was home

This series  is dedicated some people I love and what defines them..

She was never the kind to appreciate too much physical labor. She believed in the comfort of a book in a nook or a hot mug of drinking chocolate. She couldn’t believe that she had been trekking with very few intermittent breaks for over 14 hours now. She didn’t understand where the energy came from. And even more surprisingly, not once did she complain about the biting cold or the murky soup.

Why would she. She was in paradise- the embodiment of everything beautiful, of utopia and of bliss. The miles and miles of snowcapped mountains around her were more breathtaking than anything she had ever witnessed. She could touch the clouds, she could feel the strong yet loving zephyr brushing her face and making her scarf flutter. She could feel every pore of her body feeling relaxed and at peace.

This place here, she could stay here forever and never want anything else. The beauty of the mountain was that it made her feel tiny and insignificant, but somehow she enjoyed that feeling. The vast expanse of seeming infinity which reminded her that she was part of something bigger.
She breathed in till her lungs were joyfully filled up. She had never thought breathing in itself could be a joyful experience. She watched the setting sun play hide and seek with the clouds, its rays bouncing off the melting snow. Her cheeks were flushed pink with the cold and the exercise; and her lips were chapped. It hurt when she smiled, but she couldn't stop smiling.

She was almost glad that she didn't have mobile coverage here. She didn't need any interruptions while she was on this intimate date with Nature. She wanted to soak in more and more of this unadulterated beauty. She thought of what her definition of beauty had been all her life and laughed at her ignorance.

She was home.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

“Change is the only constant.
Change is necessary for human race to outdo itself.
Change pushes you out of your comfort zone and forces you to experience things you would never otherwise try.
Change is refreshing and entertaining, it is a necessary evil…” blabity blah…I can go on forever.

Well, I don’t have anything against change. It’s just that- it can suck sometimes. You don’t want a new blanket just because your old one is ragged, faded and smelly. Maybe you like the fact that it’s ragged, faded and smelly. Maybe you like the memories associated with it, the comfort and familiarity of its softness against your cheek. “Why should I change it!” I remember arguing with my mum when she was after my life to get a new quilt.

Change- be it moving to a new city, taking up a new job, buying a new pair of shoes- can be exciting on one hand and downright annoying on the other. The worst kind is the change that sneaks up on you before you have any time to digest it. I transitioned from Undergrad to Postgrad in a day. Exactly one frigging day. I was done with my Engineering on June 13th and June 14th, my scared ass was shipped off to Kolkata for an MBA. Just like that- kaboom! And I suffered from what I call ‘The Fresher’s syndrome’. You see, the guys who join a B-school after a good 2-3 years of work experience would’ve long forgotten just how chilled out B.Tech is, they would also be mentally prepared to join a course and make new friends. Poor little me, on the other hand- I felt uprooted from my life, I missed my favorite Mess paranthas, I missed not having attendance and most of all, I missed all my besties. I so wanted to kick Change in the nuts.
The thing about eventual change that happens to people is that, it’s harder for the people around them than for themselves. My school friends who had watched me gag over anything that had the tiniest amount of cheese in it, now stare at me in utter disbelief when I very eagerly order a cheese pasta. They can’t believe that my tastes, habits, attitude towards things etc. could’ve changed over time.

Long term relationships fall apart. People get fired. Stars lose their ‘stardom’. Siblings fight- all because people change with time. People suddenly become alien, even to those who have known them all their life.
The inalienable truth about change is that- you can’t fight it.
You are going to become fat, You are not going to have the same 4 AM friends you have now, You are not going to have your hair forever, You are not always going to live in your favorite city, or even country, for that matter. Some things you choose, some are chosen for you. You can complain, fall belly down on the floor and kick your hands all you want; OR you can give yourself time to like the new things coming your way. Embrace the change, if I may patronize you with the cliché.

The thing is- I don’t totally hate the new quilt my mom got me. I love my new friends in college now and I don’t mind the fact that I can finally eat cheese like a normal person. Change is like a new pet, it might not be potty trained initially and might be the biggest all-consuming-pain; but soon enough it becomes a cherished part of your life. You don’t mind the trouble, you in fact enjoy it.