Saturday, July 22, 2006

Still Burns the Fire within

When the patience wears thin
When surroundings turn dark
Anything you do feels like a sin
You still want to leave your mark
Eroding passions, lost hopes
Broken down man, shattered dreams
Hopes piercing broken glass
I see pieces of me scattered around
The pupils of my life dilated
And all emotions depilated
But I stand tall
Watching my dreams fall
My life is a never ending ocean
Where every drop a tear of failure
Every failure, a story of pain
Every pain, a ocean in itself
Dreams are running away from me
Insanity eating me from inside
I stand beneath the sky, losing my religion
Cornered by the undying pain
A lonely voice I call
Screams of despair killing me
Still burns the fire within
My sensations burnt my life ashes.
----- D S P
Datta, Shashwat, Potnis


The Road is long and winding
The darkness all encompassing
But he walks by
On roads where shadows are afraid to lie
The fear is growing larger
The light is sinking deeper
The hope falls
But he walks unbidden through the dark halls
The memories of past haunt him
But he walks gaunt and thin
At the end of tunnel there is light
& I won’t give up without a fight
And then suddenly there is light
Everything is beautiful and bright
He looks up and sees The One
Who says "Welcome my Son."

The Chronicles Of Narnia

This year the movie The Chronicles Of Narnia – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe was released internationally. Based on the series of novels by C.S. Lewis, the movie had a truckload of special effects. The effect was fantastic, especially the Lion Aslan (that was the name of the lion) talking. The movie tells us about the magical land of Narnia which is under the spell of Jadis – The white witch who has caused winter without Christmas since the last hundred years. Very childish one would say but then again it is intended to be a novel for children, just that adults (like me!) enjoy them as much.
The movie was brilliantly directed by Andrew Adamson, who kept the balance between faithfulness to the novel and the director’s vision. The acting was great especially by the girl who played Lucy. She lit up the screen every time she smiled. The action sequences were handled beautifully.
Then again the novel had a certain demarcation between good and evil. Except the fact that one of the characters turned over to the dark side but came back blah blah… the same old story again, the storyline is remarkably straight.
It has been said that the book had an underlying Christian theme. This can be seen in all the children’s novels from that period. Be it The Hobbit or this one (I know only too!!), the underlying Christian message is all to evident.
Nowadays the works by children’s authors are more bold and better etched according to modern tastes (that has to occur!! Isn’t it too evident??) These works come from an entirely different time, a simpler time. Now there is no clear good or evil, everyone is selfish. These works personally appeal more to me.

The Fantasy Genre:

The Oscars were swept by the LOTR trilogy, especially in visual effects category. The third movie especially made some sort of record I think equaling Titanic and Ben – Hur. When I see these movies or read the books some things strike to me as very important. The first one is the demarcation of good and evil is very clear. This was true in the original Star Wars Trilogy but the new one was a brilliant piece when you see the evolution of Aniken Skywalker, the Jedi Knight to Darth Vader.
Going back to fantasy genre it is said it is enjoyed by thirteen year olds or grown ups who have brains of thirteen year olds. I tend to disagree. This genre is meant for people who are trying to seek perfection and order. They can’t bear to see the injustice running in the world and are helpless to fight it and end up seeing these movies as a route to escape from reality. Moving along this line of thought I think movies are means to escape from reality. Everyone has his way. Some escape by watching candy floss romance, some by supernatural horror and so on.
Also another question arises. Do movies actually do justice to the work of authors? Personally for all the books I have read on which movies have been made only two make the cut. The Godfather and The Chronicles of Narnia. One thing is sure no director can condense the book in three hours. So the directors for the above two movies limited their focus to a lesser part and were faithful to it. Some parts were omitted but they didn’t destroy or change the narrative. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for LOTR. The movies were a great watch for some one who hasn’t read the book but for people like me it was a letdown. Lots of parts were changed, over dramatized and simply deleted which formed an important part of the narrative.
Warning – this paragraph is for people who have watched the movie and/or read the book. LOTR haters next paragraph please!! When I had watched the Trilogy in the theater I was flabbergasted. What about the scouring of the Shire? How does Saruman die? Why the romance of Arwen and Aragon being over depicted? Why the sword being given to Aragon in the last part? Then the answer struck me. It was so simple! Commercial demands!! Peter Jackson might be a brilliant director but he can’t ignore the public demand. The masses want action, romance and adventure together. Which JRR Tolkein’s works would not have supplied. They were a piece of literature never intended to be made into epics. By the way he insisted LOTR was never a Trilogy. It was a compilation of 6 books.
All these doubts had almost lifted my faith on the Fantasy genre. They were further compounded by Eragon and Eldest. The faith was renewed by two authors. One was Samit Basu (GameWorld Triology) and the second was Jonathan Stroud(Barteimus Triology). Here no one is good or bad, everyone is surviving. And you can have laugh on the way too.
Samit Basu’s first work was Simoquin Prophecies. This book didn’t have a pirated copy so you can gauge its popularity. The work was astonishingly awesome. The whole world was crazy yet had an underlying order. Simoquin Prophecies marked a new beginning in its genre. The trend was continued in Samit’s next book, The Manticore’s Secret. Another piece of absolute brilliance, the GameWorld Trilogy rules!!
Jonathan Stroud’s work stands apart due to the fact that even though it moves in the realm of jinns and magicians, it is a bitter reflection of today’s society. It ends rather conventionally but still it manages to keep the reader hooked. The best out of the three namely – The Amulet of Samarkand, Golem’s Eye and Ptolemy’s Gate was the final part. It is simply brilliant. it disappoints in the fact that the author still clings to the conviction that basically all humans have an underlying goodness within them, which I hold to be untrue.
The fantasy genre has many brilliant authors like Terry Pratchet (DiscWorld Series) who I still have to read. As and when I read them I will keep every one posted.

Fevicol Ad Campaign:

In the late nineties, Fevicol, a brand of Pidilite Industries had the same boring ad where two groups of people were trying to separate two pieces of wood joined by Fevicol, and they failed. The ad was further extrapolated to 2 elephants trying to do the same job (it’s the trademark of Fevicol). The ads were boring to say the least.
Enter O & M and Piyush Pandey.
The ad was the Cannes award winning hen and egg advertisement. It had a cook who was making omelet and was breaking eggs for the same. One of the eggs failed to break, as much he tried. The ad ended with the cook seeing that the hen was eating its food from a container of Fevicol. The ad didn’t have a single dialogue and yet it shouted the message across so brilliantly. The ad got a Cannes Lion and rest they say is history.
Another ad which was for Feviquick was another masterpiece. This ad was shot in a day at Powai Lake in Mumbai. This ad featured a full professional fisherman who was with all equipment and was trying to catch a fish. In came a naïve South Indian singing on the top of his voice. Our fisherman hushes him up. The guy unabashed puts THREE dots of Feviquick on a flat piece of wood and dips it in. And presto! There are FOUR fishes stuck on the wood. The fisherman just looks on. A voice over says, "Chutki Mein Chipkaye, Feviquick!" (Sticks in a moment, Feviquick). The ad again won an Abby.
The ad campaign has been winning awards each year since ages and comes up with ads that surprise everyone and are absolutely brilliant. These ads contributed a lot to rise of Piyush Pandey’s image as the ace copywriter of the country. Personally I think the idea is now pretty tired that an image of Fevicol can stick everything in its vicinity but if everyone loves it, who I to say anything am!!