Incredible Kolkata!

Yesterday I received a letter from a friend. It is a unique letter with unique ideas. I think all of you should read it.

Howrah Bridge
Howrah Bridge

Dear T2,

I visited Kolkata after a long time. I couldn’t believe what I saw. We arrived in Howrah Station   on time. Coolies took our luggage out on trolleys. I saw the station. Couldn’t believe it could be Horwrah. Not a single wrapper was lying here and there. We immediately got a taxi when we came out at quite a fair price. We were travelling to another part of the city. I was taking in the scene. The roads were as clean as the station. I could see no one spitting on roads. The footpath was in a very good condition. It was decorated by faces carved on pillars. And there were unique looking dustbins. The road looked like a winding path of fairy tales.

The canals were covered with arch shaped structures. The structures contained a depression in the center where plants were grown and creepers were climbing down from the sides. You would think you have seen a mini botanical garden. There were even no stickers or ghastly writings on any wall.

And the most incredible thing is we reached uncle’s house without facing a jam. I still have to take in what had happened to our place.

Yours lovingly,

Tooty

I wish to see this Kolkata also. Don’t you?

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Life of Pi

The best video effects you will find.

Ever thought what if you ended up alone with a massive predator on a life boat? For Piscine Molitor Patel this is not just a bad nightmare, but an actual reality.

The movie ‘Life of Pi”,adapted from Yann Martel’s 2001 bestseller, follows Pissing Patel’s journey from childhood to a family man. Piscine Molitor is named after a French swimming pool which was once visited by his uncle. Angry of being nicknamed as Pissing he changes his name to the Greek letter ‘Pi’ whose mathematical value he memorises by heart. Though his name may suggest that his prime interest had been studying mathematics but he was more interested in religion and its study. So engrossed he was by God and its creation(nature) he once ventured into his father’s zoo to become friends with a tiger. He was rightly taught a lesson by his father(an atheist) for this. After that incident Pi’s life lacked adventure till he met Anandi.

Richard Parker

Poor business luck took him away from Anandi and India. His voyage to Canada was interrupted  by a nasty storm which led to his losing his family and ending up on a life boat with an injured Zebra, ‘Orange Juice’ an Orangutan, a Hyena and the only animal who lived- the Bengal tiger. The movie goes on teaching many lessons- firstly, protecting oneself from predators, then training a dangerous animal and finally becoming friends with nature’s gift. The movie explores open sky, deep ocean and uncharted mid-water land mass.

Richard Parker

Pi and Richard Parker( the tiger) had to spend a long time together captivated in a boat hungry beyond endurance. Pi tried to make fishes Richard’s meal which were not always a worthy substitute for himself. Later hunger drove Pi so desperate that he began to fight with Richard for meals. But it must be seen that one was alive for the other. So it was necessary for them to become best friends after all. They face challenges together. Pi with more brain always took the lead and after enduring a violent night in each others lap they at last find land and relief. But Pi made a mysterious discovery on the island which made him realise the meaning and feeling of life. He realised that his body was not meant to stay and decay on that island. So again he began his search  for his own species. And after many long days he was successful. Pi still wishes that he had said good-bye to Parker before he disappeared into the forest but it was never to be.

It will make you believe in God!

The movie asks many questions and challenges many norms. Pi is a boy who is born into a family of Hindu but is equally devoted to Christianity and Islam. Can he find peace, love and God through all religions? Can he follow them all together? In modern society which do we respect more- science or religion? Can animals feel the presence of God? But it starts from a simple question , the most complex question to answer- Does God exist? If you believe in the story of Pi you will surely believe in God.

The sad thing is the movie differentiates between science and religion. Does no one realise that both science and religion are searching for the same thing – the truth. And one has the need of one as of the other just like Pi and Richard.

You will love the journey!

But let not the fact that you now already know the plot stop you from investing on the tickets of “Life of Pi” because there is more to discover and to understand in the newcomer Suraj Sharma starrer. The movie has an awesome direction by Ang Lee. I have not found better scenic views in any other film. And the 3D animation can not be missed. I must also mention that each and every actor has acted each and every part in the most perfect way. And after all why shouldn’t be so if Irrfan Khan and Tabu are acting. Best of all- the film switches from humour to faith to romance to tragedy to adventure with a perfect ending.

Get ready to laugh and whimper at the same time. Good luck!         

White vs. Black

We always associate the colour white with holiness, purity and goodness.It is this colour using which we symbolise light. We use it to represent knowledge and wisdom.  It is the colour of the divine.

While black is the colour of evil. It has a mysterious quality. Black is a hideous colour. When it is night and all the world goes dark all the fear sets in. Black represents fear and hopelessness.

The meanings of the colours are imbibed so deeply in one’s mind that even in cartoons and movies we represent Fairy Mother as white and the evil one as black. People are even discriminated due to their colour.

Why do we represent the colours in such a way?

Men fear what they can not see.

In the morning we rise with the song of birds and see light flooding into our room. We leave the dark bed to go and stand near the window. The bright light warms us. We see the world before us and feel hope rising in us. We feel the need for activity. Then the breathless day moves into a cold night. Most of us retire to bed with all sort of tension in mind. With no sight of help or familiar face.

Scientifically the sunlight is white. It consists of all colours which make the world. While black is devoid of all colours. Black is there where light is not.

So naturally nice people show a preference to white while those who we know as evil to black.

Is these convention right?

I say that it is not at all right. Many people we have given the position of being a “true man in spirit” come from the decayed parts of the society, where the water is brackish and the hut are set so close that not a single ray of light comes in. I can give you numerous other examples other than Halle Berry, Jim Carrey, Henry Edmund Martinson, Charlie Chaplin and David Geffen. While some are “demons in white”.  

To oppose racial discrimination, no better examples come into my mind than Barrack Obama. He once said-

That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind.

The most amazing thing is that there are no better co-workers than black and white. They are  two sides of the same coin. One can not live without the other. Have you ever seen a chessboard?

Diwali- The Festival Of Darkness

Light symbolises the victory of good over evil, joy, wisdom and happiness. And Diwali is the festival of Light. Though we can see that we can enjoy a lot on the day of Diwali, it brings neither wisdom nor goodness. Actually every Diwali night is succeeded by a blanket of darkness in the morning- a polluted zone.

Data taken from six places in the Capital between October 22 and November 2 show air pollution is hovering at frightening levels even before Diwali on November 13.

Carbon monoxide presence was between 1.2 mg/m3 and 2.5 mg/m3 on Diwali last year, and between 0.87 mg/m3 and 9.75 mg/m3 in 2010.

Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/diwali-air-pollution-levels-delhi/1/227962.html

The morning after Diwali will be covered by a smog which means bad news for Asthma patients. The worst thing every person suffering from respiratory problems(which includes a good friend of mine) has to take shelter in the houses. As we see our present procedure of celebrating Diwali is hampering the enjoyment of many people and also snatching away the sleep of everybody( My God! Somebody should put silencers in fire crackers.)
President Mukherjee said: “On the joyous occasion of Diwali, I extend my warm greetings and good wishes to my countrymen in India and around the world… I urge all Indians to try and celebrate a pollution-free Diwali.”
“Diwali is a time for festivity and happiness cutting across all faiths and cultures. It is an occasion to share our joy with those who are needy and deprived. The diyas (earthen lamps) lit on the moonless night of Diwali signify the end of the darkness of ignorance and the beginning of light that enlightens all,” he added.
So why not do something different this Diwali, something that is less injurious to our health( certainly you would choose your life over a day’s enjoyment). What could we do?
  • Lets bring some happiness on withered faces. Go to an old age home or to the house of your great-aunt and uncle. Take some sweets with you and help them do their little jobs. Listen to their stories and gain some knowledge from their experiences. You would think that spending time with the old men and women is going to be definitely boring. But they have so many things to tell and advice that you would be lost in their world. Let yourself be their secret sharers. And tell them whats on your mind. Old people are the best listeners in the world(if they can hear)
  • Visit Kali Puja pandals. You would be able to see the work of very good creative minds and the hard work they have done to convey happiness to a lot of very busy human beings.
  • Organise a ‘Get together party’ for some old friends you have not seen for many long years. Talking with them face to face would be a better way to spend time than to chat on Facebook or any other Social Network.
  • Visit the house of poor people. Give the old books and clothes you don’t need to those who need them. Buy some chocolates and distribute them among children. Play with them and tell them some stories. Try and convey some knowledge you have. After all who doesn’t like to play the role of the great wise man!
  • Give time to your family and their problems if you are not able to spare time at any other time.  And if you think you are totally bound with responsibilities spare some time for yourself. Sit down and play the neglected guitar, go out for a walk or fill your travelogue. Keep a companion with you if you like.
  •  Or simply stay home and help other guys like you to spend a pretty safe Diwali like me.
    Every time you lighten the sky, you darken your life!!!
                                      Happy Diwali!