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Sunday, January 29, 2012

2011 Movie Roundup

 

I saw the 9 movies in the second half (as compared to 5 in first half) taking the total score for the entire year to 14 movies in 2011.  So in effect, Along with reading, even movie watching increased in the second half of the year.

The first half was like this …

Jan to MarZero

 

April - Dum Maro Dum & Scream 4 (Premiere)

 

May - Hanna (Premiere) & Cars 2 in 3D (Premiere)

 

June - Pirates of the Caribbean 4 in 3D

 

The second half went one like this …

July Bbhuddah Hoga Tera Baap

August - Zero

 

September Mausam

 

October - Zero

 

November - 4

 

Rockstar

Immortals

Ra.One

TinTin

 

December - 3

 

Happy Feet 2

Mission Impossible 4

The Dirty Picture

 

It's the season of the sequels … 5 of the 14 movies I saw were sequels. I also missed some Some good ones.

 

2012 is going to be a year of many eagerly awaited sequels of Sherlock Holmes, Madagascar, Batman, Ice Age, Spiderman, The Hobbit from the Lord of the Rings series (Hobbit being a prequel), Bourne, Narnia, Ghost Rider, G I Joe and so on ….

 

This article (long) might be an interesting read for anyone interested in sequels, prequels, reboots and re-shoots of Hollywood movies …  http://www.denofgeek.com/movies/866031/95_movie_sequels_currently_in_the_works.html

 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2012 Reading Plans

I plan to read the following authors in 2012 …
Robert Ludlum - haven't read any Ludlum in last 2 years. Have to read some this year.
Devdutt Pattanaik – have read one. Now want to read more. Myth=Mithya next. 
Rick Riordan – Series like Percy Jackson / Olympians / Kane Chronicles etc … have been on reading list since some time. Good time to actually start reading them.

I am also planning to read more of Indian Authors. In the past decade (especially the last 5 years) a number of books written by Indian authors have been seen prominently displayed in book stores. I have already begun ordering books by Indian Authors from Flipkart, IndiaPlaza etc.

Strangely, somehow I haven't even read Chetan Bhagat till date so I might just pick up some of his works too.

Besides the above, I will continue to read the Sherlock Holmes stories and Three Investigator series (will complete the stories by primary authors and then move on to Fan Fiction and stories by other authors).

I am planning to add one more childhood time series here. I will read the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. There are 25 of Famous Five books and I hope to complete them before the end of 2012. Somehow, I kind of never read Famous Five or Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew in school days; it was only Sherlock Holmes and 3 Investigators for me.

I read a comment somewhere that Clive Clussler writes like Matthew Reilly. Now that is a too big a compliment for a writer and being a MR fan with no more of his work to read (I read all of his works last year itself and now waiting for the release of his next novel in India); I have decided to give CC a try. Will read some of his works and if I like it, a lot of it.

And I also received a recommendation for Frederick Forsyth … so maybe a book or two by this author also seems probable.

And how can I forget that I had read Inkheart in 2010 and then did not read the other two books of the trilogy. Maybe I will finish off the series this year.

I am also considering reading the Millenium series by Stieg Larsson - The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire & The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest.

Just completed a novel by Chris Kuzneski …. WOW … Loved it … so this is one author I would try to read a lot this year.

And of course, my best friend will surely introduce me to some new authors and BlogAdda might also give me some interesting books to review in 2012. 

 
So … my reading shelf for 2012 seems pretty full and it will be only after a full year from now that I will be able to tell you how much of my planned reading is actually achieved.

Now that I look back at this post and try to calculate all the books that I have noted here … it looks like about 2 years or maybe even 3-4 years worth of reading!! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Best scene from a 2011 Bollywood flick


Absolutely Hilarious ... 
No doubt this one has to be the Best scene from a 2011 Bollywood flick

  

The scene is but a part of an equally fabulous movie. Few movies are better than their trailor. Pyaar Ka Punchnama (PKP) is just that. A fabulous movie, which I saw very late and that too by chance.

Fantastic casting, fabulous acting, fantabulous direction .... this movie that was perfect in many ways. The actors who were incidentally 'all new' .. played their parts to perfection. I found each one of them just perfect for their roles. I couldn't really find flaws in any of their performances ... loved the movie, the actors and everything about the movie.

This is one movie I could watch again and again .... (few bollywood flicks would get that from me). Kudos to the Director LUV RANJAN, the actors and everyone involved in the making of this fantastic movie - I seriously hope it gets some awards.

 

The primary cast ... You all did a fabulous job. Loved all of You ...
 

Rayo Bakhirta as Vikrant Choudhary             

Nushrat Bharucha as Neha

Sonalli Sehgal as Rhea

Divyendu Sharma as Nishant Agarwal

Ishita Sharma as Charu

Kartik Tiwari as Rajat

 

Now waiting for its sequel ... hope it lives up to the high expectations that have been set !

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Reading Series Count ‘Correction’


I have been putting series completion score along with all the Reading record posts last year, which include my completion count of the Feluda, Sherlock Holmes and 3 Investigators series.
I have completed the Feluda series so I would be removing it from this score-card AND I forgot that Canon Doyle wrote 56 short stories and FOUR novellas (short novels) in the Sherlock Holmes series (I have been counting 56 only).
I have also discovered MORE Three Investigators stories (almost as many as I had, making the total 3I to jump from 35 to 64) … so that score card needs modification. Also, I am adding Famous Five to this block which I plan to read in 2012.

The last entry I made was 
Series Completion Score (as of 31st Dec 2011):  
Feluda                         35 out of 35 – FINISH*
Three Investigators     25 out of 35
Sherlock Holmes         43 out of 56
Total                           103 out of 126

Now, I am re-setting the counters to ….
Series Completion Score: (as of 1st Jan 2012)
Three Investigators     25 out of 63
Sherlock Holmes         43 out of 60
Famous Five                00 out of 21
Total                           68 out of 144

Trivia - In 2012, I have to read 12 stories in each of the 12 months to complete the target J (144 = 12 X 12)

Correction to Trivia: I don’t have to read 12 in each of the 12 months since out of 144 stories, 68 are already done and only 76 are remaining so that actually makes it about 6-7 stories every month. Pretty much doable !!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2011 Reading Roundup


Overall a very nice year as far as reading is concerned. A total of 125 stories/novels read.

The high score should be seen in context since it has only about 12 full length novels, about 30 novellas (short novels) spanning about 80 pages and the rest of 83 are all short stories (20 to 40 page length – albeit in small print). 

I started the year with the intent of reading the entire Feluda, Sherlock Holmes and 3 Investigators series, Well … mission accomplished for Feluda at least while I have quite some ground to cover on Sherlock and 3I. Guess I will complete them by end of 2012. 

I have completed about 100 out of the targeted 125 stories of the Feluda, 3I and Sherlock Holmes stories. I also read a collection of 12 short stories titled '12 Red Herrings' by Jeffery Archer. I also read almost a dozen novels to keep some variety and bring in some change in reading genres.

New authors tried and tested which include … Catherine Jinks & Devdutt Pattanaik … which I would continue to read. Also, two much awaited sequels by Indian Authors read – sequels to Sidin's DORK and Amish's Meluha were both released this year and I managed to read both in December.

Reading Score was helped by the extensive travelling the second half of the year 2011 brought for me. I made 8 international flights (all of them on the Dubai-Mumbai sector) … almost all of them in second half of the year. Beside flight travel and airport waiting, travelling in the second half of the year also increased in terms of road travel. Several Mumbai-Pune trips as well as daily travel to clients who were located at significant distance from my hotel apartment in Dubai … all helped my reading score a lot.

Monthly Score (Total – 125)

Jan - 9              Feb – 14          Mar – 6           Decent first quarter                (29) 

Apr - 3             May – 3           Jun – 5             Sad second quarter                 (11)

Jul – 18            Aug – 7            Sep – 15         Very Good third quarter           (40)

Oct – 5             Nov - 13           Dec -25          Fantastic last quarter              (43)

Reading trend looks interesting and shows how the second half of the year has been so much more favorable and productive for reading. Also reading score has not been consistent, going up and down several times.

 

I read the following books besides the short stories collections …

1. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (senti-mental)

2. Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (took several months to complete ... Boring)

3. God's Debris by Scott Adams (Head spinner)

4. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella (nice)

5. Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks (interesting)

6. Genius Squad by Catherine Jinks (interesting)

7. Genius Wars by Catherine Jinks (interesting)

8. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (senti-mental)

9. Witch & Wizard by James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet (interesting)

10. 7 Secrets of Shiva by Devdutt Pattanaik (eye opener)

11. The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi (fantastic sequel to Immortals of Meluha)

12. God save the DORK by Sidin Vadukut (hilarious sequel to DORK)

And Twelve Red Herrings by Jeffery Archer (nice short story collection)


Friday, January 13, 2012

Falling in Love

<Read this on FB … added my own thoughts to it too. Posted on my blog for future read and for you, who is reading it now>

Before you can grow up, you must fall in love three times.

Once, you must fall in love with your best friend, ruining your friendship forever. This will teach you who your true friends are, and the fine line between friendship and more.

Once you must fall in love with someone you believe is perfect. You will learn that no one is perfect, and that you should never be treated as anything less than you deserve.

And once, you must fall in love with someone that is exactly like you. This will teach you about who you are, and who you want to be.

And when you're through with all that, you learn that the people who care about you the most are the ones that you hurt, and the ones that hurt you are the ones that needed you the most.

But most of all, you learn that love is only a concept and is not something that can be defined, it is different to each and every person on this earth, knowing that everyone wants to be loved

 << FB msg ends here; my own thoughts begin :) >>

So go ahead … fall in love !!

(And forget what Shahrukh said in Kuch Kuch Hota Hain …
"Hum ek baar jeete hain, ek baar marte hain, shaadi bhi ek baar hoti hai, aur pyar ... ek hi baar hota hai")

 

Of course, I am sure you have a comment / counter point / thought / something ….
Go ahead … put it down in comments below !!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Photoshop Skills

For years, I have been using Photoshop …

BUT

My skill level with PS hasn't changed much. I have stuck to the rudimentary things I knew and somehow never took enough efforts to learn more (this is in spite of the fact that I did find some material – pdf files and videos – for learning the advanced tricks of PS).

One of the things I would like to put on my 2012 new year resolution things is learning a bit more of Photoshop.

Want to do this so that we can take Arbit to the next level – in terms of its visual appeal etc.

Want to do this for fun too … if I knew more of PS, I am sure I will find opportunities to use that skill somewhere; and I am talking of personal usage here. (And No ... I am not hinting at reducing my size/weight/girth/tummy in my photos)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

December Reading - Part 2

Continued from December Reading … Part 1
 

Well, taking the December Reading post further, as the end of the year 2011 came near; I read some of the best of my 2011 reading along with my favorite. I had read DORK and Immortals of Meluha last year and had also read about these being trilogies with sequels to be expected in late 2011. The wait was over and I could get my hands on their sequels only by December.

 

17. 7 Secrets of Shiva by Devdutt Pattanaik

This one is a very interesting book that I have reviewed independently in a separate blog post. I received this book for review from BlogAdda as part of their book review program. I had heard about the author from my best friend and was planning to pick up some of his books from my friend and start reading them in 2012.

It was interesting to read a book with pictures; after a long long time. This book was half text and half pictures with every left hand side page of the book filled with pictures. That would be almost 100 pages of pictures.

The book attempts to explain the symbolism of Shiva and what the concept of Shiva represents.

 

18. Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A lot of the details from this story were pretty strongly etched in my weak memory. The hound, its glowing mouth (thanks to the illustrated versions of the children's version I read in school days), the missing shoe (not shoes) and of course an adversary who challenges and amuses Sherlock Holmes by turning the tables on to him in an almost funny way … something which made Sherlock have a hearty laugh and then regard the adversary as worthy one

The adversary was keeping a watch on someone and following them when Sherlock 'almost' caught him. Sherlock then traced the cab and the cab-man and enquired about the passenger only to be told that the passenger had actually mentioned his own name to the cab man … it was Sherlock Holmes. The adversary had sent out a strong message to Sherlock by doing this.

The story provides plenty of opportunities for Sherlock to use his deductive powers and there is a time at the beginning of the case where he has three threads of clues to follow and ALL of them turn out to be dead ends!! Also for a change, Sherlock is busy with other cases so he sends Watson alone along with the client; or does he?

Nature plays a spoilsport in the story when a heavy fog engulfs everyone in the climax putting Sherlock's client to a fatal risk. The 'villain' is ultimately not caught but is presumed to be dead; his death assumed to be caused by nature.

 

21. God save the DORK by Sidin Vadukut

I had read DORK last year and had loved it. That's why when I got the pre-order opportunity; I did it without thinking twice. But the actual reading of the book got delayed. The second book of this series lives up to its reputation

It has a 'gripping' story right from the start and it holds you in suspense of a combination of 'What happens Next' and 'What really happened' … the author choosing to tell some and hide some. I would consider Sidin a very good story teller who holds the reader's attention completely.

He writes in a way that if possible, I would indeed read the whole book in a single non-stop sitting. I would give that kind of a compliment to only to a Matthew Reilly book so you can imagine how much I am impressed by Sidin's DORK series.

What MR does for Action-Adventure; Sidin does for humour. Gripping (in a humorous way) storyline and writing full of suspense and edge of the seat anticipation; and that too on every page, throughout the novel. J

 

20. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A client arrives at Sherlock's home and even before he begins to narrate his problem, Police enters the room and want to question him. A murder has been committed; say the police BUT the client has not come in for seeking Sherlock's help in murder investigation.

He simply came to inform Sherlock about a new friend if his who invited him to his home and then disappeared in the morning with all staff and sundry of his house. A very interesting problem which upon Sherlock's investigation leads to a complex plot of murder and betrayal

There were a few things in this story which kind of struck strange to me. There is a dead body found with its HEAD/Face completely smashed out; which is usually done in cases when you don't want the dead body to be identified and often done to actually give an impression that a certain person is dead whereas the person is hale and hearty and has escaped putting his identification things on the dead body and smashing his face to avoid recognition. THAT was not the case in this story. Another feature was that there was a dead bird found in the kitchen of the house and there is a giant of a man in the story, both seemingly have no great specific purpose. The dead bird is but an indication of a ritual and the giant of a man is just an aide.

I was so sure these things would form an intricate part of the mystery but they did not. WHY?

Did Canon Doyle plug these into the story with some intention and then simply wrapped up the story without directly involving them (since that might have made this one also into a novella rather than a short story) or was it intentionally done to make us wonder and then provide an anti-climactic end.

 

19. The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi

This has been a long awaited one. The sequel to 'Meluha'

Expectation from Amish Tripathi was anyway high because of Meluha and I would say he did not disappoint. The Secret of the Nagas is a worthy sequel and now makes us yearn even more for the third and last part of the trilogy.

Amish can weave an excellent story with characters from mythology. The story has a fair share of twists and turns with plenty of action and thrill. There is a tendency for the reader to compare the story with the mythology and that is where things get confusing at times; we trying to correlate the mythology to the story.

If you really want to enjoy reading Meluha series, you have to take the story independently of the mythology and the ideology of Shiva as a God. When you finish, you are free to correlate and connect the dots. You will probably enjoy it that way rather than get confused.

One thing which did confuse me was the story has Lord Rudra as a GOD or another human like figure who rose to godliness. We know that Rudra is one of the names of Shiva and they are but one entity, so how come we have Rudra as a God in the story and Shiva as a mortal. Confusing

Reading two books on Shiva within a span of 20 days and both being so much diverse in their ideology and concept was a pretty unique experience. While Devdutt Pattanaik attempts to explain the symbolism behind every aspect of Shiva; Amish Tripathi makes Shiva a mortal human who rose to god like stature by his actions and virtues. It is interesting to read both as one explains and other fictionalizes.

 

24. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Cardboard Box by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A parcel is received by an old lady leading a peaceful life. It has 2 human ears.

Looks like a joke and a mild harassment by an old tenant of hers but turns out to be something else all together. Sherlock does not ignore any clue that he can find and deductions are made which are far beyond the obvious (but seem so logically simple when explained).

He deduces a lot about the dead people by simply looking at the ears and then some more about the whole mystery by his observation of the old lady and some photographs in her room. Such is the expertise of Sherlock !!  

 

25. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Dancing Devil by William Arden

Random things begin to get stolen which would seem to have no perceived value to a thief and this itself is an interesting and intriguing fact that draws the attention of Jupiter who decides to investigates and manages to find a connection between the seemingly unrelated thefts … going to the extent of laying a trap for the thief.

The plot involved a small priceless statue and a larger than life real alive replica of the same who keeps confronting the trio and frightening them. The thief turns out to be a most unexpected fellow who is kind of never suspected by the trio while they keep their focus on the usual suspects. In the end, it turns out that the culprit was actually 'toying' with the trio and 'using' them as a means to an end; but makes some small mistakes leading to the discovery of his plot.

 

26. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Red Circle by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

There is a mystery close at hand in this story with the 'victim' being Sherlock's own landlady who has a mysterious tenant she has seen only once and who wishes to remain in his room without showing his face or coming out for what so ever reason.

Sherlock takes interest out of his kindness and also just for his own education (no client here who would pay his fee) and again he exercises his logical mind to draw out several deductions from tiny clues.

 

27. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Dying Detective by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

This is one story where I remembered practically every detail of the story. They were kind of etched in my memory from my school days. Don't know why but that's how it was.

Sherlock is dying and he seeks help from a particular person who is not a doctor but someone who has knowledge of the disease. He even insults Dr. Watsons skill and capability in the story.

The story is NOT about deductions … its about an entirely different skill of Sherlock which we haven't seen much. It's a remarkable story and special for me since it is somehow permanently etched in my memory.

 

The Sherlock Holmes stories were the last to be read in 2011 and the one before them were the sequels of DORK and Shiva trilogy … What a fantastic way to end the year … !!

 

Series Completion Score (as of 31st Dec 2011):  

Feluda                         35 out of 35 – FINISH*

Three Investigators     25 out of 35

Sherlock Holmes         43 out of 56

Total                           103 out of 126

* I have read only 34 out of 35 Feluda stories and still claim to FINISH the series since the pages of one of the stories are not in proper order and some of them are missing. So I can't read that story and hence consider that as 'read'.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

December Reading - Part 1

 
The month of December began with a 'false start' but then I got back to the regulars and the going was smooth. The end was absolutely amazing with fabulous (much awaited) books being read and closing the month and the year with my favorite.

There was a lot of travel actually. I spent practically only one week in Mumbai and the rest of the month in Dubai. Dubai gives me a lot of opportunities to read and hence this month has a pretty splendid reading score of 27. (This is the reason this post will be in 2 parts, since I will be writing about each of the 27 stories I read)

Key achievement being the completion of Feluda volume after a dry spell of couple of months and 2 very green months of Nov and Dec … practically read the whole volume in less than 30 days.

 

1. The Deck by Catherine Jinks

The intro read … "Meet Roanna Hagelburgh. Her husband is never at home. Her two younger children are always fighting. Her next-door neighbour is a thorn in her side. Will a new deck really solve all her problems?"

I have read the Genius Trilogy by Catherine in past 3 months and thought of picking up something else that she had written. The last sentence in the intro above (the question) sounded interesting and hence this story got picked up this month.

BUT it turned out to be a sad experience. The story did not move forward for most part of the PDF file I was reading and then suddenly the PDF came to an end without the story reaching any conclusion.

Conclusion: I had a partial PDF. It did not have the entire novel. Just a part of it

What a cruel waste of my time.

I am not making any attempts to find the full version. Was bored of whatever I read.

 

2. Feluda: Murder in the Mountains by Satyajit Ray

Crime follows Feluda in the most scenic and beautiful of all places. Jatayu's novel is being made into a movie and the shooting is in Darjeeling. He also (by a turn of events and a missing actor) gets to act in this film. The indoor shooting is being carried out in the mansion of a gentleman who is a singularly interesting character who maintains a scrap book of crime reports.

He gets murdered and the shooting comes to a halt. Feluda obviously gets involved and is also attacked (literally thrown off a mountain road into the valley).

Beside the usual crime and dentition stuff, Satyajit Ray talks about the place and the beauty of the mountains. He gets the reader interested in places (be it Rajasthan or Banaras or Haridwar or Darjeeling). Tourism department should promote Feluda amongst the youngsters of today. They would surely be inspired to visit these and many other places of India.

 

3. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A sports player goes missing just before the day of an important game and Sherlock is asked to trace him. No crime here. Just a lost boy needs to be found.

 

4. Feluda: Peril in Paradise by Satyajit Ray

There is only one Paradise on Earth and that is Kashmir. Feluda's leisure trip again becomes a business trip and for a change he is attacked even before there is a case or a crime.

Surprisingly, although the 'case' is solved, murderer discovered and caught … Feluda could not really pick out who attacked him (till the end. So the case is partially unsolved).

 

5. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Dead Man Riddle by William Arden

A man dies and leaves his 'will' behind which announces that his inheritance will belong to anyone who finds it !!! He has left behind a riddle to be solved to reach the 'treasure'

The three investigators get involved and it is a continuous joy ride. For a change, they have another kid in the story who seems to be actually smarter than the 3 investigators and also there are a lot of occasions when competing parties crack the riddle and reach the spot BEFORE the three investigators do it. They are either catching up or applying a bit of an extra thinking. For a change, they were normal kids rather than investigative super heroes. 

 

6. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Abbey Grange by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

A man dies and his wife is found tied to a chair next to him. She reports that 3 men had come with the intent of robbery and done the damage. A simple enough straight forward case

BUT Sherlock finds some clues which point towards an entirely different story. He digs deeper and reaches the murderer. Listens to his story and then decides to let him go scott free.

This story again shows the remarkable deductions and powers of observation of Sherlock

 

7. Feluda: Shakuntala's Necklace by Satyajit Ray

A necklace is stolen and the thief needs to be caught. People other than the thief get exposed in the climax and the thief turns out to be the most unexpected of all characters; someone above (or should I say below) all suspicions.

 

8. Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Second Stain by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

An interesting story where Sherlock traces a stolen document (of national interest) and even gets it back diplomatically without bringing the thief to the limelight. It's a sensitive political document and the matter is extremely sensitive.

 

9. Feluda: Feluda in London by Satyajit Ray

A gentleman in his 50's approaches Feluda with a photograph from his youth. He wants feluda to find out who his companion is in the photograph since he himself cannot remember anything from 3-5 years of his youth since he has suffered a memory loss bcos of an accident. His parents are also no longer alive to tell him.

He had found this photo pretty recently and was curious to find out about the boy in the photo. He had studied in London for some time and hence the queries lead Feluda and his companions to London. Feluda manages to not only find out about boy but also uncovers the real story behind the boy's death 30 years ago.

Once again, you enjoy not only the story but also a new place. Along the story, Feluda describes London and takes you on tour of London describing the city and its people.

The highlight of the story (not the plot) is Feluda's visit to the famed dummy address of Master Sleuth and World's most famous Detective … Sherlock Holmes ! Feluda visits Baker Street and stands before the non-existent House No. 221 and refers to Holmes as his GURU (teacher, guide, mentor) and even asks for his blessings so that his trip to London on a 'cold' case is not wasted !

 

10. Feluda: The Mystery of the Pink Pearl by Satyajit Ray

A rare pink pearl is at the centre of this story and like the paintings in the other story; there are fake copies of the same. Jatayu plays an important role in the story and saves the day !

 

11. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Invisible Dog by M V Carrey

This one was a very very interesting story where several different seemingly unconnected incidents begin to occur in a neighborhood and the three investigators have to grapple with the multiple threads and threats to several lives around them.

What adds to the complexity is that in a bid to mislead the kids, the culprit creates a situation where he himself is seen as one of the victims. Filtering the culprit from amongst the 'real' victims does indeed add to the challenge.

And of course, adding the mystery to the story is the presence of ghosts & spirits who are seen and who seem to be disturbing things. A ghost is seemingly seen by one of the 3 boys.

Last but not the least, there is indeed some unexplained supernatural element to the story.

 

12. Feluda: Dr. Munshi Diary by Satyajit Ray

What happens when a psychiatrist decides to write an autobiography? Nothing special … ?

Consider the fact that some people who have committed a crime go through guilt pangs which often results in depression and need for psychiatric help wherein they share their 'secrets' with the Psychiatrist !! Now does that make the autobiography interesting ??

Consider now that the Psychiatrist himself is guilty of something ??? More interesting ?

And then add to the fact that some members of his own family might have reasons to 'prevent' the publication of the autobiography ….. Guess I have your attention now J

Well … let me say no more … go ahead and read this one yourself J

And yes … Jatayu again steals the thunder from Feluda at the climax of the story !

 

13. Feluda: The Mystery of Nayan by Satyajit Ray

A boy who can see numbers in his mind … ask him any question to which the answer is a number and voila … you have got it.

Be it bank account numbers or the amount of money in the safe OR the combination code for the safe itself … or the number of the winning horse at the race course and so on … You must have got the gist of the 'criminal' uses for such a talent by now.

That is why when the 'powers' of such a boy get publicized, Feluda gets himself involved voluntarily to protect the boy from all those anti-social elements.

But then evil is not really obvious. A bit of evil is there even in those who are seemingly good.

 

14. The Three Investigators & the Mystery of the Death Trap Mine by M V Carrey

An over enthusiastic girl who wants to prove to the boys that she is also a good detective.

A new owner of a dead mine (and the girl dislikes him … so suspects him).

A dead body found in the mine … by the girl and the trio together.

Things begin to connect and they begin to connect to events 5 years ago when the entry to the mine was sealed.

The trio and the girl have to trace the movements of the dead guy who was probably involved in a robbery along with 2 other guys and a gal. For a change, the story had no 'spookiness' in it.

 

15. Feluda: Robertson's Ruby by Satyajit Ray

A precious Ruby is at the centre of the story which the current 'owner' wants to handover to a museum in India but there are those who wish to buy it (or get otherwise) and add to their personal collection. Feluda considers the Ruby a national heritage and voluntarily gets involved to protect it from the elements.

On the other hand ... This was an interesting story where a theft is committed but the intention is not to steal but to teach a lesson. Everyone is surprised that the case is solved by the Police and NOT by Feluda but Feluda has the feeling that something somewhere is wrong and things just don't fall into place. HE cracks the case eventually thought he allows the real 'culprit' to go scot free since he himself agrees to his actions and intentions !

I have read a couple of Sherlock stories too where Sherlock eventually decides to let the 'culprit' go since he pacifies with them and understands their actions and even agrees to them.   

 

16. Feluda: The Magical Mystery by Satyajit Ray

There is magic in this story … and magicians too. (Although magicians were there in Nayan's story too but they were not in focus but more of supporting cast).

A young magician and an old one (who is writing a book on Magic which the young magician wants to buy)

The old magician is murdered almost immediately after the arrival of the young magician and there is (once again) no dearth of suspects. Anyone could have done it. All have Motives.

 

…. End of Part 1 …. (the best is yet to come)

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Feluda Movie

 

Just saw the promo of the new Feluda movie 'Royal Bengal Rohoshyo' ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiEw56_-pio

I just have one thought ... Why is Feluda looking so OLD in the movie ...

I mean, why choose an actor of that age group. Feluda was supposed to be a young sleuth and Topshe was supposed a teenager. Why don't indian film makers try to be as authentic as possible and stick to the original charachters.

 

I had a similar qualm with the new Sherlock Holmes movies. Sherlock Holmes was famous for his deduction and 'brein work'. The movie has been made into an action movie with Holmes himself getting involved in a lot of action. This is not the character Canon Doyle created.

Also, both Sherlock and Watson don't look like the characters described in Sherlock Holmes stories. Sherlock has pretty sharp features and had his customary tweed jacket and cap ... Watson was more round and stout fellow. The movie has glamorized them. Made them slim and highly action oriented.

While I can understand the compulsion to 'modify' things to make them glamorous to appeal to the Hollywood movie audience and today's generation ... also the need to spice up things with action and special effects .... so i let it pass !!

 

But making Feluda an older fellow ??? What justification do they have for it ?

Do they think that they want to make the movie for those people who are now older (middle aged) but who read the Feluda stories in their childhood and so choose an actor from their age group with whom they can identify ???

 

I hope the movie is good.

 

I would rather prefer the entire Feluda series to be converted into a TV series/serial ... detective stories are more appropriate for the tv format and making it into a movie means that there might be a compulsion to add unwanted glamour/masala in the movie which is not required and which somehow would dilute the whole effect. 

How can we ever forget Byomkesh Bakshi on TV :) 

 

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Year that was 2011

 

Highlights of the year that was 2011 …

9 months continuous stay in Dubai and then 3 months caught 50-50 between Mumbai and Dubai with occasional visits to Pune too

8 international flights between Mumbai-Dubai (all between June and Dec)

14 movies seen in theatres; 4 of them being Premiere shows (all of them in Dubai)

 120+ stories read – novels, novellas, short stories. Feluda completed. Complete collection of Sherlock Holmes & 3 Investigators in progress; some new authors read whom I will continue to read in 2012.  

Lots of places visited in Dubai … in the first 4 months before summers began

At the Top of Burj Khalifa – 360 degree view of Dubai city from 124th floor

Dolphin Show – Amazing is the word

Desert Safari – Fun Fun Fun in the sand

Abu Dhabi Tour – twice … Grand Mosque is truly amazing !

Para sailing experience – parachute flying being pulled by sped boat over the sea with a view of the fantastic dubai skyline

Ski Dubai – snow park inside a mall in dubai … freezing in minus 6 degree Celsius while outside it is 45-50
All the amazing and huge and beautiful malls of Dubai - The Dubai Mall, Ibn Batuta Mall, Wafi Mall ...

 
Overall it was a fun filled and happy year … hope the same from 2012 !!

In fact, hope 2012 is even better

Sunday, January 01, 2012

The Beginning

 

Well, first things first.

Wishing you a very very happy happy near to you ...

Wishing you a year of hope, peace, happiness, fun, laughter, joy, love and more ...

 

This short post is just to share the name of the book that I have begun on the first day of the year. "Myth = Mithya" by Devdutt Pattanaik who explains the concepts and symbolisms of Hindu Mythology thereby giving us a deeper understanding of our own (Hindu) beliefs.

I read the first few pages today morning and I am hooked !