Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Esha Braille website is up!

Finally!!

Its a simple website in black and white, no pictures. That is to show the black and white, pictureless world of the people we work for.

Feedback is welcome, and it will really help if you could just add a link on your blogs about the work we do at Esha. We do not have the resources to advertise, but I do believe that it is possible to spread the message through word of mouth. You might just help someone who is looking for this information.

www.braillecards.org

Please go there, and tell me what you think!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Poetry
like a friend left behind
appears
in the rear view mirror
of my life.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Tagged!

RJ very sweetly tagged me. (btw, i really like her url).

The rules are:

1.Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2.Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3.Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4.Let each person know that they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Actually, the reason this tag took so long is that, there aren't perhaps 7 interesting things that i cld think up. So lets see how many come up:

1. I ADORE Hrithik Roshan. Straight 15 years get shelved off my choronological age the minute i see a poster or a picture or a film.

2. An addicted reader.

3. I do not use leather, wood, pearls or silk. The reasons will come up in another post very soon. I've been thinking of writing that post for a long time.

4. My poison is chocolate.

5. Favorite lullaby to put myself to sleep is Palkon pe chalte chalte from the movie Daayra, and my favorite lullaby for Ishaan(thats my son) is Sapno ke ghar ki... from the film Daddy.

6. Of all the things I can do(and that is an immodest,pompous list), there is only one thing that I admit to doing really well - Graphology.

7. I can eat raw bitter gourd.

Am tagging the first 7 visitors to this blog.

And the following people:
Z
Adi
Phosgene Kid
Mathew
Sifar
Dharmabum
Aurora Sky (I must change the text on the link here)

i.e., a total of 14 people tagged.

Happy Tagging people!

Review of Research paper service

I recently reviewed a fairly, ahem, uncommon service – that of writing your term papers or research papers for you. This is the first time that I have heard of such a service, though God knows there are hundreds of times that I have wished for it in life!

First things first, the color scheme of the site is nice, serious and muted (such a relief from the deluge of yellow, orange and red sites), but more than that, it’s the content on the home page. "Why us?" is directly followed by "what to do", and then there is a bold text on the right to buy the product. Perfect under-1minute-selling!

What do I not like? The login section does not have a “Get a Login” link. That could have been another selling opportunity. You may not give a person a login unless he’s paid, but you can tell him that, and take him/her to the order page from there. And the bold, big Order Now text on the right does not have a link. I don’t believe this! In fact, from the home page, one has no idea of how to order! Also, if you are a writer and want to offer your skills, there is no place on the home page to do that either.

I like research, and therefore like people who are serious about research, or offer services that make it possible for other people to do good, serious research. We get no idea of the antiquity of the organisation from the site, but it appears to be a new place. Here’s hoping it works out well if it is new(i.e., if the site is still under construction), and that it gets the website links working if it is old.

And these are the links that I need to put in this post.

custom written research papers

research paper writing service

Purchase Term Paper

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Aaja Nach Le review

MADHURI DIXIT ROCKS! That, pretty much, is the succinct review of the film, but a review cannot be that short, and if u want to know more, read on.

The dancing is amazing, choreography, scintillating and fabulous. If you think I am being generous with the superlatives, that’s because they are deserved. I was skeptical about Vaibhavi Merchant after Saroj Khan-Madhuri combo, but wow! She has made Madhuri do steps that we have never seen on her. As anticipated, Madhuri more than does justice to the rather difficult choreography.

The Laila Majnu production at the end deserves a very special mention, because, imho, this sequence, for perhaps the first time, brings alive the magic of theater on a film screen. The use of lighting, sequences and costumes made one forget for a while that this is not 3D theater. For that production alone, the film is worth watching.

Madhuri has never looked better in silhouette, never done more “ada”, except perhaps in that song from Anjaam – 18 baras ki kanwaari kali thi.. (see, I am a die hard Madhuri fan) and when she presents that opening shot in New York, the message is clear – I RULE!

I read someplace that the role was not conceived with Madhuri in mind. That is surprising, because only Madhuri could have brought life to this character. Only Madhuri can make Ajanta theater look like a convincing cause.

The casting director deserves kudos – the film has an amazing array of actors who have been consistently good. Not one of them disappoints.

The art director also has to his credit – the recreation of Shamli – a small town somewhere in North India – the last time I saw such amazing recreation was in Vishal Bhardwaj’s The Blue Umbrella. The Laila Majnu production at the end required considerable Art Direction, and it worked like magic!

So, where does the movie fail? In more places than one.

For starters, the storyline has more holes than a cube of cheese, so I will not even go in that direction, but 2 glaring ones refuse to stay unstated.

First, what happens to Ajanta Theater after Madhuri Dixit’s return to the US? There is, as a corporate character would say, no Succession Plan in place. By that flaw alone, the entire concept of restarting theater goes to the dogs.

The second, I am not sure what the message regarding love is. In the first part, Madhuri runs away and finds that it was a wrong decision. Worse still, her act leads to the demise of Ajanta theater. In the second half, we again find a couple falling in love during the production. Needless to mention, we do not know if love alliances are accepted now in Shamli, or will this love story lead to a second demise of the theater?

The costumes are good, well thought out and not too in your face. Madhuri could have experimented with her look, but she stuck to the pants, tight top routine throughout. Sad for her fans.

The cinematography could have done a little better. With those moves, a little use of light, creative angles and long shot-close shot balance might have produced a different result, but I was not on the sets, so take this with a pinch of salt. Perhaps, the cinematographer did bring out the best of what was on the set.

The music is less than memorable, except perhaps the title track, and the Khoobiyaan song. I loved that song! The lyrics are completely forgotten at the end of the film.

I’d give this film a rating of 3.5 on 5, and sadly, that is not for the entire team, but for individual sparks of brilliance that make this film a delight.


ये सारी फिल्म माधुरी दीक्षित के कारण ही दर्शनीय है. संक्षिप्त में, यही इस फिल्म की समीक्षा है.

फिल्म का सबसे मधुर पहलू है इस का नृत्य. वैभवी मर्चैंट के नृत्य निर्देशन और माधुरी के नृत्य से वो समा बन्धता है कि देखते ही बनता है.

फिल्म के अंत में आने वाले लैला मजनू नाटक विशेष रूप से प्रशंसनीय है क्यूंकि इस नाटक में सचमुच मंच(थियेटर) का जादू फिल्मी पर्दे पर भी उतर कर आया है. सिनेमा के प्रशंसकों को ये चित्रन बहुत समय तक शायद याद रहेगा.

माधुरी इतने समय के बाद लौट कर आयी तो हैं, पर उन के पहले ही दृश्य मे एक बात साफ हो जाती है, कि उन का मुकबला तो बहुत दूर की बात है, उन के मुकाबिल होने की बात सोचने की क्षमता भी और किसी अभिनेत्री में अभी नहीं है.

कहीं पढा था कि ये रोल माधुरी के बारे में सोच कर नही बनाया गया था. ये लेखक की खुश किस्मती है कि इस रोल को माधुरी ने निभाया. और कोइ अदाकारा इतने कमज़ोर रोल में जान डाल ही नही सकती.

फिल्म की एक और खूबी ये है कि इस में अच्छे कलाकारों की भरमार है, और उन सब ने बहुत ही बढिया अभिनय किया है. इर्फान खान, रनवीर शौरी, कोंकना, विनय पाठक, और कुनाल कपूर, आदि, सभी ने बहुत बढिया अभिनय किया है. यही कारण है कि एक बहुत ही कमज़ोर कहानी भी पर्दे पर सहनीय बन जाती है.

तो फिर इस फिल्म की ख़ामियां क्या है? काफ़ी.

सब से बडी ख़ामी इस फिल्म की कहानी है. कहानीकार और पटकथा लेखक, किसी ने मेहनत नही की है. हर कमज़ोरी हम यहां नही बता सकते, पर दो बातें गौर तलब ज़रूर हैं.

पहली, दिया के अमरीका लौट जाने के बाद अजंता का क्या होगा? कहानीकार इस पर एक दम खामोश है.

दूसरी बात ये है, कि दिया का प्रेम, जो वो खुद मानती हैं कि ग़लती थी, के कारण अजंता बन्द हो गया था. किंतु फिल्म में एक बार फिर 2 लोगों को अजंता के कारण प्रेम हो जाता है. क्या ये प्रेम शाम्ली के लोग सहर्ष स्वीकार लेंगे, या फिर इस प्रेम के कारण अजंता की एक और बार मौत होगी?

फिल्म के costume काफी ठीक ठाक हैं. संगीत 2 गानों – आजा नच ले, और खूबियां, के अलावा, ऐसा नही है कि बहुत स्मरणीय हो. गानों के बोल तो एक दम स्मरणीय नही हैं.

5 में से इस फिल्म को 3.5 point, और वो भी सारी टीम के लिये नही, उन कुछ अच्छी चीज़ों के लिये जो इस फिल्म को विशेष बनाती हैं.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Aaja Nach Le banned

WTF! I mean, WTF! The "offending" line is "Mochi sanjhe khud ko sunaar re" मोची समझे खुद को सुनार रे..

Roughly translated, that means, even the blacksmith imagines that he is the goldsmith. These are occupations and not castes.

Ms Mayawathi should focus on making life such that it is not considered inferior to be a mochi(blacksmith). That social change is hers to make, now that she has the power. Banning a film like that makes her extremely laughable.

Madhuri Dixit must be thanking her stars that she is settled in the US, and not in India. I mean, people, THINK!! There is a limit to being stupid and ultra sensitive. We seem to be so overly concerned with our rights that we have no time to think about our contribution, if any.

Some years ago, roughly 70 years ago, we let our politicians run riot with public manipulation. The result was a Pakistan in 10 years flat. What are we coming to this time, with caste and religion? If people do not stand up against being manipulated, they have only themselves to blame for their loss. The politicians will continue to sell the Taj, pun absolutely intended.