Saturday, August 24, 2013

Madras Café Review: John Abraham can't act but go watch it!

Directed by Shoojit Sircar, Madras Café, stars John Abraham and Nargis Fakhri in lead roles. The backdrop of this film catapults you straight into the centre of the civil war in Sri Lanka during the 1990s. As a film viewer from South India, I do not feel that the movie attempted to ridicule or insult Tamilians as is being suggested by many. The narrative is conducted as neutrally as possible and with tremendous sensitivity.

You will be gripped by an overwhelming sense of anger, despair and pain as you are taken through some heart rending scenes of how the Tamils were persecuted in Sri Lanka
Some of the most disturbing scenes in the movie present a very different view of India’s political endeavors to manipulate and take control of the ethnic conflicts between the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamil population there. 
It also shows how vested powers from across the globe strategically pushed forward their vested economic interests to end India’s ‘peace’ attempts by masterminding the assassination plot of India’s former PM at the time – Rajiv Gandhi.
What I liked most about Madras Café is that it portrays a highly sensitive issue such as the ethnic persecution of Tamils and the dynamics that led the LTTE to plot the PM’s assassination without any attempt to cater to any particular section of the audience. 
The film does make a sincere attempt to take a neutral and objective stand on the incidents that led up to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi including the portrayal of the team that prepares itself to do so – there is no condemning of their acts or any attempt to kick up political mileage of the same. 
Madras Café Review: John Abraham can’t act!
John Abraham dons the role of Vikram Singh, who is a member of India’s intelligence service and he is deputed to Sri Lanka to help the two warring factions reach a peaceful resolution that suits India’s political interests. Nargis Fakhri plays the role of a war journalist whose reach is far and wide and whose network sources seem to be more accurate and advanced than India’s top intelligence agencies.
The first glitch is this – From the initial scenes to the last scenes in the movie, John Abraham disappoints totally. A drunken, disheveled John Abraham who relates the most shocking episodes of his life to a priest fails to impress. He fails to act unless you count wooden expressions behind cooling glasses as ‘acting’! His brief stunt as a drunken man is such a dud that you want to throw up. He cannot convince anyone that he is working for RAW – his expressions, body language and dialogue delivery are so pathetic that you would want to cry in despair at a fine film being torn to shreds by an actor’s inability to act. 
Perhaps an actor like Abhay Deol or Arjun Rampal may have elevated this film to a masterpiece with some brilliant portrayal.
The second glitch is this – poor star cast. This film has all the right ingredients except the star cast. 

Even Siddharth Basu disappoints in his portrayal of the character he is playing. No actor in this film except perhaps the actor who plays the role of “Bala” stands out as a striking performance.
Madras Café Review: My Verdict
The much talked about issue of how Madras Café has portrayed LTTE is really going over the top. The LTTE seem like a bunch of Robin Hoods in this film as compared to the reality of what things were like at the time. So this is what I have to say– the Tamils shouldn’t take this movie as anything than what it is – a thriller movie.
While Madras Cafe has not shown us the complete story, it attempts to do so with sensitive restraint and without putting us through unnecessary songs or ‘masala’ scenes.
I’d rate Madra Café as a movie that attempts and fails at giving us serious portrayal of Indo-Sri lankan political history.
At many levels, the movie will shake you up – but it won’t topple you down. The star cast lets you down but the narrative, the plot and the storytelling doesn't. Go watch it!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Thought for the Day: People are just as wonderful as sunsets

We all dread waking up to Monday mornings. So, I thought to myself "I need an inspirational quote to get started today. For all you busy bees, too, that would be a ray of light to start your day."

Here's one inspirational thought for the day along with a snap that I clicked from Haridwar:

 

"People are just as wonderful as sunsets if you let them be. When I look at a sunset, I don’t find myself saying, “Soften the orange a bit on the right hand corner.” I don’t try to control a sunset. I watch with awe as it unfolds." — Carl R. Rogers


Monday, August 5, 2013

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra

This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.

What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. 

But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he became very enthusiastic about chanting the mantras. Following this, my mother taught him the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra and he took to it like a duck takes to water. He absolutely loved chanting it and he constantly chants it. When I ask him, which mantra he loves most - he immediately says it is the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra.  My son's constant contemplation of this mantra incited my curiosity to understand more about it. And that is why you are reading this article too. So, lets get started, shall we?

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra: Where does it originate from?
This mantra is from the Vedas. It is written in the Yajur Veda (3-60) to worship Lord Shiva. The mantra is also called Tryambakam Mantra or Mrita-Sanjivini mantra or Rudra Mantra. 
Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra: Who can chant it?
The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can be chanted by anybody. The most important aspect is to understand the meaning of this mantra word by word before chanting it. That’s because by knowing the meaning, the aspirant can easily contemplate on the aspect of birth and death cycle.
Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning



Om tryambakam yajamahe sugandhim pusti vardhanam

Urvarukamiva bandhanan mrtyor mukshiya mamritat
Translation:
We worship and adore you, O three-eyed one, O Lord Shiva. You are the fragrance of life itself, the One who nourishes us, restores our health, and causes us to thrive.  In due time, just like the stem of a cucumber weakens, and the gourd is freed from the vine, O lord, free us from attachment and death, and do not withhold immortality.
The unspoken secret that accompanies every mantra is this: the absolute fullness of a mantra can be experienced by the one who chants it only when there is purity in thought, word and deed.


♥♥  I thank you with all my heart for reading this post. Please Share this article on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach out to more people in a positive way. I am grateful and I appreciate you for doing so. ♥♥


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