Month: January 2016

Mustang

Yesterday I went to see Mustang at IFC in Greenwich village. Oh boy ! I was delighted. The film struck the chord from the first scene itself. Teenagers running around on beaches, playing and having times of their lives, plucking(stealing :)) fruits from the gardens. That is how kids should be- playing outside in the sun not stuck to minecraft or taking duck lipped selfies for snapchat. The long hair of the five sisters represented wildness and cavalier attitude and the title of the movie is so apt – Mustang, the free roaming horse. The youngest sister reminded me of myself – logical and not being afraid to confront. Everyone in the theater was laughing at many scenes of bravado shown by young girls. The entire film was captivating to me from the story to the escape and from the music to the stillness of the scenes. I haven’t liked a movie as much in years and recommend it to anyone who has even iota of interest in watching something meaningful.

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I experience a sinking feeling when I see what people in other parts of the world go through in the name of culture. Here I am living in a world that doesn’t asks any questions to me and there is a world out there which has bugged your entire life, your each movement is tracked and the self appointed moral police dictates what one is allowed to do. Talking on phone, using computer, reading books that are not approved by the “intellectual ones”, talking to someone who is not related to you, not believing in what others believe in will make you a pervert and your will be corrupted in thoughts and your being? Does this even make any sense? Sometimes Cynthia and I laugh that if we were not here but somewhere else we would have been stoned to death by now for sure. We are not related to each other but we commit the unforgivable ‘sin’ of talking to each other and exchanging ideas on anything and everything that exist on the planet despite not being ‘related’ to each other.

The music from the movie was elevating especially the one at the end. Comforting yet unsettling as it creeped and crawled under the skin.If interested then you can check the music out here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8x4DBBQi_8&list=PLSLN5gEzR2h6B27qBo4A1Lp1XztkGdh97&index=4

I looked at the elderly woman who was sitting with me in the 30 seater auditorium of screen 5 at IFC and tears were welling from her eyes. We did exchange a human smile.

 

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How to do laundry?

Doing the laundry is so monotonous that it feels like my colorful life has turned into a monochrome movie of 1940s. I tend to postpone it as far as I can by exhausting all the clothes that I have. And sometimes I go to an extent that I have to sit in my office clothes at home as I run out of the supply of the clothes to wear. Eventually one fine day the balance in the world needs to be restored and I have to go down to the basement of the building to get caught up in the washing,waiting and drying cycle. Washing cycle is 37 min and drying is 42 min long. The ingredients for doing the laundry are :

  1. Lot of dirty clothes
  2. Detergent
  3. Quarters ($ 0.25)
  4. Most important – Will and the patience to do this hard work.

I have observed I make a big deal out of this task most of the time. I  would text almost anyone who is available to listen to my woes that I have to do this horrible task today and I am very occupied. So, don’t think I loiter around all the time and don’t have any goals in my life. Usually in the morning I would decide to do the load and after collecting all the required material at one place I would try to go out of the door but Netflix, YouTube and Hulu would put obstructions in my path by highlighting interesting videos and movies. They should be sued for they are the accomplices in wasting millions of important hours of general population. After random browsing for few hours I would get up and will have something to eat. Then usually I feel drowsy and take a nap to recharge myself as it is a universal fact that laundry requires will, patience and energy- see point 4 above. The nap can be of any duration from an hour to 3 hours. Upon getting up I would again engage myself in arbitrary stuff that shouldn’t require my immediate attention but oh well I haven’t read “The Power of Now” ! Then I would realize I haven’t taken bath and I should do so as not taking bath is work of satan( and wearing dirty clothes is work of saints – talk about my double standards). The bathing period will start and eventually it would be late evening that would make me push the task for next day.

The same thing has been happening with me over and over again for I don’t know how many years. The laundry day has always been like that and I would love to hear from you to make the amendments in my personal constitution of land of laundry.

Wallet Minimalism

I try to advocate the idea of minimalism in life. I tried with wallet minimalism before but after few months my wallet became the Loch ness monster and it is not only a pain to carry it in back pocket and sit on a chair but also a Bermuda triangle for all the frivolous things that I collect.

I am trying it once again. Right now I have 2 credit cards, one ATM/debit card, one health insurance card, driving license, a library card, an office ID card, one NYC subway card and a $10 bill. It looks quite sleek and I would definitely call it “size zero” 😀

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Earlier I had even expired credit cards, stamps, contact cards of people I never contact, random receipts from ATMs, groceries, restaurants etc, metro cards of almost all the cites I have been to. Well, I hope this time I do succeed in keeping it minimal.

 

Wild beast or a god

Yesterday while freely flowing from one article to another I read Aristotle’s words – “Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.”

Yes, man is a social animal but deriving pleasure in solitude can mean different things, isn’t so? It’s better to be alone than putting pins in your head while being in a drab company.

Halo

Before starting my day’s work I thought of coming here and jotting something down. Cinema and music have profound effect on one’s sensibilities and it creeps in slowly that makes you altogether a different person in part. Both invoke emotions and feelings sometimes unknown to ourselves. When I was 9 years old I watched a movie named Halo on national TV of India – Doordarshan. The name shouldn’t be confused with the famous game series. The movie is about a little girl, my age at that time who doesn’t have a mother and she lives with her father and sister. She finds solace in a puppy she finds on road and becomes great friend with the dog and eventually adopts it and gives it the name – Halo. In the unfortunate Bombay blasts of 1994 the puppy gets lost and the movie is about her struggle to find him. The last 20 minutes of the movie are tearjerker. I cried my eyes and heart out when I watched it for the first time. Well, what does a 9 year old knows about the world ? The movie is a delight to watch.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0295294/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_(1996_film)

Someone uploaded the movie in parts on YouTube

No one was ready to release the movie as it didn’t have potential to rake money at box office so the director of the movie put money from his pocket to release this masterpiece.

The Monk Moment

The Monk Moment – Many great entrepreneurs have had a moment when they have lost everything. Monks create this situation intentionally through “Vairagya” when they give up all money and possessions. Many entrepreneurs end up in the same situation unintentionally.
Elon Musk lost $180M and was in debt in 2008. Seven years later, he’s worth $13 billion, but he’d be ready to risk it all again. Steve Jobs lost his entire Apple fortune by 1994, betting it on NeXT and Pixar. In 1995 everything turned around, he sold NeXT to Apple, Pixar to Disney and he passed away an icon. Walt Disney mortgaged away his entire fortune in the 1950s to build Disneyland, against everyone’s advice. He too went from giving up everything to becoming a legend. Each bet everything material they had on something invisible – their purpose and vision.

Monks call the state that comes after giving up everything “Moksha” which means liberation from the illusion. We’re not alive until we know what we’d die for.

I’m not saying great entrepreneurs are monks, but they do have ‘monk moments’ when they lose everything.

Many of the greatest entrepreneurs unintentionally find themselves in this state by betting everything on their dream. Maybe you’re in this place right now. It is a place of pure power. When you have nothing to lose, you have infinite potential.

That is provided you don’t focus on what you’ve lost, but on everything you have to gain. That’s when everything turns around. As Walt Disney said “I don’t make movies to make money. I make money to make movies”.
That’s the paradox of entrepreneurs having a ‘near-death’ experience where they lose it all. Steve Jobs wrote:

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.

Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet, death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it, and that is how it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

What mission is so important to you, that you’d be ready to clear out the old and make way for your new?

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I read this inspiring article on linkedIn and below is the link to the original posting.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/monk-moment-roger-hamilton

Winterstorm Jonas

So, yesterday NYC and most of the east coast was battered and blasted by the winterstorm named Jonas. The weather channel which is famous for making mountain out of molehill had been posting videos about it a week in advance. I sometimes think why they try to sensationalize everything. The storm was about to last for a day and a half only not for weeks. Why do people need to prepare for the emergency kits and supplies for such a short time? Its beyond my understanding. Most of the businesses were closed down which is understandable as there was a travel advisory by the NYPD and federal agencies. You could get arrested if you are seen driving on roads post 2:30 PM. Well, I did see one or two cars breaking this rule but people are people.

Talking of snow and the blizzard. Yes, the snow was more than expected. Earlier 8 to 12 inches was the forecast which changed to 20 inch and then to 28 inches. It was fun to watch kids playing on the streets. Almost everyone was having a snowball fight and kids were sledding on the slopes. Too many snowmen were being built and it was a great sight. I did go out as usual, as the bad weather and blizzards are my cup of tea. It wasn’t that bad as the once I faced few years ago in Chicago when I wasn’t even able to open my eyes and keep my face up as the snow was hitting everything like small needles.

I went out for a short visit to Carl Shurz park near east river to see how bad the scene is at around 10:30 and got few shots of the persistent and ardent snowstorm.

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Carl Shurz- entrance on 84th street

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The benches

I came home as I was quite tired from that short walk and went out again to the west during evening. The central park didn’t look like central park. It was a snow-appocalypse there. As I am appreciate intense weather conditions deeply, I was astounded by the snow battering. People were looking at me as I removed my cap to feel the snow. My beard already was frozen as the snow had turned to ice. Sharing few shots from the CP

 

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A place that was once known as the great lawn

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A lovely shot

 

The above shot which I captioned lovely wasn’t that lovely when I actually lost my way around central park – Thanks to poor visibility. Instead of coming out of the east side I came out of west 84th street and I was horrified. Thanks to google maps and my nexus 6p that I feared might shut down as it already had absorbed so much moisture, that I reached home safely.

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The lovely east side of the park

The storm has left the city paralyzed and the cleaning process is arduous but it is what it is.

 

45 years

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Today I went to see 45 years, a movie for which Charlotte Rampling has been nominated for the best actress category. The movie was a little slow but never lost the track; it wasn’t an ordinary domestic drama. IFC has always been my favorite theater in NY for its selection of movies.

One of the dialogues to remember from the movie – “You cannot back out from something just because you feel like, even if you have reasons to do so”. Surely, it means something.

imdb link – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3544082/

The photo Nazis

It’s not something new to us, it’s conspicuous and nowadays a little irksome. Today, IT team at my office had to reimage( reinstall the OS)my laptop that rendered me workless for many hours. I decided to take a walk to the Natural history museum on 81st west side of central park. I am a member but I visit rarely. I had heard of the largest dinosaur that they had housed recently, so I wanted to take a glimpse of that. As usually there were many tourists enjoying all the biological,chemical,physical,geological sciences. I hardly took my phone out to click any photo but all were not like me. Putting a camera into phone was a huge mistake. Everyone keeps on recording everything , I don’t know when do they find the time to view all those recordings of theirs. Not only recordings but also photographs. People take photos of each and everything that exist or doesn’t exist on the planet. It seems to me that they are working in some soviet gulag and their job is to take photograph of everything. Although it is possible that they are seeing all those things for the first time. But trust me, when I was a kid I was more interested in experiencing whatever I was seeing than capturing it with the help of some optical device. The film cameras were amazing, you would take 25 photos develop the 25 and will look at all 25 of them but nowadays you click 4000 photos , develop none and look at none. Times were simpler back then. I remember when I went to skydeck of Willis tower in Chicago , there was a girl who clicked at least 700-800 selfies in 3 hour period I’m every possible pose with help of selfie stick. We are not generation self obsessed, we are more aware and more cautious than many of our predecessors but this obsessive photograph taking,too much instagramming, snap chatting, Facebooking at drop of the hat is putting our wrong feet forward.
Anyway, of you are interested in titanosaurs. Its here 🙂

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Massive giant. 70 tonnes, 122 foot ,herbivore found in present day Patagonia region.