what will your verse be?

Just yesterday I fell upon this dialog as part of the Dead Poet’s Society  and this morning, I see that Apple has used the very same in The perfect Robin Williams’ voice to showcase this very thought.

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering – these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love – these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman,

“O me, O life of the questions of these recurring. Of the endless trains of the faithless. Of cities filled with the foolish. What good amid these, O me, O life?

Answer: that you are here. That life exists and identity. That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

“That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

What will your verse be?

If we didn’t know better, we’d allow our minds to think that Apple came up with this monolog, coz it seems accurate. The vision of the company, and the fundamental premise it markets itself on. That they are stylish, elegant, beautiful and oh, they also make computers that means all of that and more.

Like in the words of Simon Sinek in this Ted talk on how great leaders inspire us as a human race (a bigger part of the smaller organizations if you will)  – he touches upon the “why” of it all. Not the “what”, and the “how” but the “why”

Simon Sinek: Great Leaders Inspire Action

Such a fabulous question.


Can irritate the ones who don’t have an answer, or are sub-consciously avoiding making the answer a reality, but the answer to the question that will set most of us free. The truth always sets us free.


mi 4 and etc (review)

Saturday was an interesting day and the evening did not go as planned.

After a hiatus of a few years, husband and I felt we must show our loyalty to his workplace and holiday party this year. So, the last minute scramble to pick up a decent enough holiday dress was on. There is so much black and red in the outfits, that if you don’t choose the black well, you may look like you are going for a funeral. The guys however can skip between the two with just a change of expression. I am sure the design/etiquette gurus who came up with the protocol were all male.

So the ladies (espeically the Indians, coz we want to blend and yet not all cannot with our limitations) and look elegant and stylish all the while looking like this was how they dressed forever since a child. So, I also joined the ranks of finding the perfect dress and what with how my body has been treating me over 2011, I was not feeling the love to go splurge on it.

Cutting a long story short, as festivities were under way and dinner was being consumed but before desserts came into the picture, we we gently ushered out into the biting cold by a very straight faced usher. “Please evacuate the building in a calm manner please” we were told. We did. Then we were told that there was a threat in the building. After a few more minutes, with flashing lights and red trucks crowding our way, we were asked to leave and go home, or wherever, but not stay on the grounds.

Ladies were right annoyed on their evenings shot dead, after all the pains we take to come unwind. With the evening still young – 8 pm- , and kids taken care of, some decided to hit the local bars, nightclubs, some congregated to friends’ homes and some left for the movies.

We, naturally drove to the farthest movie hall (coz the movie was limited release) and barely made the tickets for Mission Impossible 4, 20 minutes ahead of time. It was a busy place and a Saturday night, so teh crowds were expected, but the initial jaw-drop happened when we were ushered in to stand with a crowded group of people near an entrance.

“MI-4, this way please, can you move forward, make room for others folks, easy does it, thanks all!”

Hmm.. and more folks joined us and doors opened and we were engulfed in a sea of people and if I closed my eyes, reminded me of the trains back home. Just position yourself near an entrance and the crowd will do the rest.

So we scampered up the stairs, as since this was a blockbuster movie, was assigned one of the larger halls (close to 750 easily) with stadium seating. Let go of a seat next to a couple of desi boys and sat. People kept pouring in. Literally. More filed in, now looking for places, shouting out for the rest of the group, saving spots, asking folks to shift one seat down to make room for couples.

Of course there were grunts and giggles among a whole lot of “Idhar aao na, yahan sey straight view hai” and “Vivek is sitting in the corner, let this guy also go there na?” and ‘Really? You need 11 seats for your group? wow, you need a private seating” and “Is someone sitting in that single seat, would you mind?” and she plonks herself sniffling and sneezing to which the husband found great umbrage and shifted closer to me, which rarely ever happens I must say.

In all of this, we find another disgruntled-holiday-party-canceled-couple and we grinned at our resigned fate and holiday outfits and they settled next to us.

..and then the trailers started. O boy, I think all producers woke up from their slumber of last summer and got their thinking creative caps on! Coz, if the trailers are really any indication of what’s in store for us, thank your blessed movie stars (not the actors) that you are in for a treat! So feeling very smug, we open right into the movie and prison cells and our man looking haggard and worn and well, truly his part as he escapes from a high security prison in Russia, and for good measure also helps another convict escape. He comes in handy later on, but it was a goodwill gesture.

I loved the movie. Not the kind I liked the Mission Impossible series, but just on its own.

(Since I’ve rambled so much as a prelude, am going to bullet point salient features away, coz all of you will go watch it and you are going to have to go like it or not for your own sakes, so: )

  • Tom Cruise looks *nothing* like his earlier young completely heroic self of the earlier three. You see creases on his forehead, a sharp chin and jawline that’s now dulled with fat, his hair in a disarray and shaggy, his mind and body working well with the role that isn’t all dashing and successful every single time of before. I liked the portrayal of him “aging” with the theme, the fact that he isn’t always successful with no effort, the collapse of the support system, the beating he takes (while he only gave before). Deviant and more tangible.
  • Things actually go wrong in this sequel. Like narrow and very wrong, right from the self-destructing message that don’t destruct to, the nuclear missile actually going off to when Cruise actually fights and limps around in the finale.
  • I loved the green outfit Paula Patton wears. Very sexy and lovely!
  • Simon Pegg was brilliant. His humor was well timed and delivery flawless. He kinda glued the thing together in an unobtrusive way.
  • That’s exactly what I liked about the movie. It was not all edgy, had its moments, but the humor was subtle and so nicely woven that it was not its usual intense spy thriller.
  • Jeremy Renner was neat. He kinda slightly shadowed the other two agents towards the end, but it was a good interlude and working together as a team.
  • Also, am so glad they didn’t linger too long or delve into flashbacks of why he is where he is and his emotional guilt, all referencing to Cruise’s MI-3
  • You are treated to some amazing shots and action scenes. The Dubai hotel scaling, the sandstorms, the tunnels, the final parking lot fight scenes, I loved them all!
  • Anil Kapoor is negligible. I have no idea why his name was up front in the credits. If this were a Bollywood movie, I’d have expected an item number by Katrina Kaif in that hotel (which was so not in Mumbai, as we were told!), but we had to make do with a few white ghagra clad dancers doing some nice neo-classic moves in the background.
  • Sun TV must have paid some fair amount to be featured!
  • There is *no* effective badass villian. Hendricks didn’t come close, at all. Bummer.

There’s some more, but that’s for you to watch and discover.

Can you tell am completely enamored by action movies. So much destruction, very little blood. I love my movies that way. Go watch! Cruise has certainly not left the building.

I’d give this a 4 and 1/2 stars. (now if you will excuse me, I must go watch the ones preceding it. Just for kicks)

Inception aka gyanugget 2

You know how we go through life right? Forever rushing, squeezing in 101 things in the time it takes to do 3, multi-tasking and pretending to be super heroes when we are actually common little beggars, begging for more time to do whatever we want to do before time runs out or our engines do. Living life and our every-days as if they were on loan, which they could very well be philosophically speaking, but no, let’s not go there now.

No time to eat a proper breakfast, no time to return calls, no time to laugh, no time to cut nails, no time to get a haircut, no time to sort photographs, no time to write a to-do list leave alone check it, and so on..

So, I was thinking that Chris Nolan, apart from being the genius behind movies that not just make millions at the box office, but has everyone’s jaw dropping (irrespective of comprehension) and such,  has unwittingly stumbled upon the answer to this supreme problem of time. Or maybe he was frustrated himself, and then during one evening when things got to a head between him and his wife managing three kids and careers, the light bulb went off and he says to himself “Eureka!”

(No, don’t believe this whole hogwash of Nolan wanting to explore dream space etc that’s written everywhere, it’s just there for positioning. Yes, I know, the absurdity indeed.)

If you haven’t watched Inception yet, please do, not coz the whole world and their dog has seen it and you’ll be the only one living under the rock and people will point fingers at you and laugh when you do come out, but because, well, as I said earlier, the answer to your ultimate question – I need more time!- lies therein. Just don’t fall for the sci-fi mumbo jumbo. Stay focused the last 45 minutes of the show and you’re home free.

So Nolan comes up with this theory that, as we enter dreams, time slows down.

Let that sink in for a moment. Real life snapshot moment.

Imagine the possibilities and imagine the applications of all those possibilities!

  • Imagine the tedious godawful or even challenging tasks that you can now complete stress-free?!
  • Imagine the productivity that’s gained from doing things slower?
  • Imagine the underdog, the one who’s always at the end of the race, not coz he isn’t smart, he’s just a tad slow, slower compared to the adrenaline charged peers?
  • Imagine the moms who want to just enjoy a little more of their babies before they become a selfish bunch of selfish teens?
  • Imagine the folks who actually really would want to watch and enjoy a game of ping pong played by the masters, aka the chinese?
  • Imagine the basketball games’ timeouts and how 30 seconds can actually be a lot more?
  • Imagine the deadlines that we wave bye-bye routinely to, that we actually can get to meet and greet!

Brilliant I say!

You agree don’t you? So, just to please me and let me have my moment of fun, you decide to play along.

You ask: “How?”

I say: “Don’t ask me. Nolan conceptualized it. Go sleep.”

To all the skeptics and sneers making fun of all the dreamers , I have one to thing to say:“Dreamers rock”


There’s really nothing I can type here that hasn’t been said already.. yet I’d like to.

I recollect reading his “My experiments with truth” as a 6th or 7th grader. There was a huge movement to educate the students on this great man, and I remember all of us having had to read this little fat book and then answer questions on it. One way of ensuring knowledge is spread I suppose, the good old desi way. Test the kids and for fear of the grade and the peer pressure they will at least retain most till they write that paper. Then hopefully nature and good fortune will intervene and just maybe the better parts would be retained. Why retain? Coz, there’s a lesson in there.

To emulate, to glean and perhaps think for oneself on the different virtues extolled that may find some good purpose in our everyday struggles with life. To provoke thought and perhaps understand how history was made, and with thoughts come questions, that lead to views and opinions and at least a few of those become actions.

I also vividly remember sitting in a movie hall, with my cousins and uncle and watching spellbound the 3 hour long fantastic visual and impacting story of the man, taken by a Britisher. Not that I knew much then, except that the two names stuck. Richard Attenborough, and Ben Kingsley. “foreign names”, and desi lady – Rohini Hattangadi. I remember seeing her and thinking “wow, so pretty, but why does she talk with a lisp?” I was 10 years old and in 6th grade. The impression has lasted. That was the only time I saw the movie. Didn’t get a chance to see it again, it surely wasn’t Jackie Shroff’s Hero. Now that movie, I can tell you that I watched 8 times. I was in love with Jackie Shroff and his debonair thin lanky ‘ssup dude look.

Irony? Of course. Our lives are full of it staring at us right in our face.

27 years later, there are a few scenes that fade in and out. It just struck me that I was younger than my older children when I saw and understood enough of his story but yet most definitely did not comprehend the impact he had and continues to have indirectly on us. Of course my kids now know much more about World History, about warriors, famous leaders and Generals and Admirals that served in various wars, but I don’t think we watched Gandhi, or read about him the way he ought be known.

The trailer:

It would be nice to watch this together, and hopefully sometime soon. I know the kids will enjoy and file away enough to pass onto their own children one day. Whether they do that or not, at least they’d be richer for knowing.

Happy Birthday Gandhiji!