Tuesday, January 5

Year of the Tiger 2010

Heya friends!

2010 is here, and I know it'll sound old and oft-said when I exclaim that 2009 has really rushed past! So let's avoid... I'm just glad that the new year's here. So what if we need to work more in office coz most Indian holidays are on Sunday?!! (Grrrr......)

I celebrated New Year's Eve at The One lounge in Koregaon Park, a beautiful place that I've never been to before. The passes were obviously expensive, but I certainly had a gala time, so no complaints. I cannot give you a review of the venue as everything was pre-ordered and planned, but I shall surely go back there sometime as a guest and let you know more...

The other things I have been doing in the past week are watching Avatar, training a batch of candidates for Mphasis, spending time with family and friends, and visiting Mulshi. Studying for TOEFL should very much have been a part of this list, but unfortunately it isn't. I have no clue what to do and how to do it, and with the test less than 4 weeks away, I think I shall be in a soup soon. The hot and creamy kinds :-D

Avatar... Now what should I say about this movie? It was touted as the "next big thing" after Titanic by James Cameron, who has to his credit films like Terminator and True Lies. Everybody I know is dazzled by it and can't stop raving about it. Truth be told, I found the graphics and direction outstanding, but the story is as filmi as any second-rate venture in Bollywood. Each time I said this to folks, they agreed with me, yet insisted that the movie was fantabulous. Stumped me...

Rotten tomatoes is on the same page as me, though. The consensual view on this website affirms that - It might be more impressive on a technical level than as a piece of storytelling, but Avatar reaffirms James Cameron's singular gift for imaginative, absorbing filmmaking.

Couldn't agree more...

The film has some brilliant scenes with the Na'vi species, exotic animals and trees in bold colors like purple and crimson, in a marvelous forest setting. There has been a lot of talk about how the Na'vi clan is blue-skinned like Vishnu's avatar Ram and Krishna, but that's not why the movie is thus titled; it's called Avatar because the protagonist has a human mind in an alien body. He switches from human to Na'vi so that he can fulfill a task for his fellow humans. However, he finds himself drawn to a fellow (female) Na'vi and the beauty and independence in their life. And once he knows where his heart lies, he sets aside the responsibility that has been thrust upon his head by the cruel military-scientist team. What follows is a superb fight where you see how the Na'vi are strong yet gentle, capable yet anxious, fierce yet emotional, enormous yet graceful. Their eyes are as beautiful as their tails are funny, and there are some laugh-worthy scenes where they do a group chant to invoke their God and save their clan.

Frankly, I think the movie is overrated. If I were to break up my experience of the 160 minutes, I'd say... The first 15 minutes are spent in figuring out what's happening, the next 75-odd minutes are interesting, followed by a boring 20 minutes, then a rapid half hour and an over-stretched 15 minutes. The absence of an intermission in E-Square made the film seem lengthier, and this considerably added to my discomfort. No popcorn!! Shucks...

The movie would have been just as fine in 2D, and I did not see much sense or utilization of the third dimension. (Of course, it was hilarious to turn back mid-film and catch the audience looking geeky in their goggles, but hardly a good justification for the 50 rupees service charge, right?)

So, that's about Avatar. SO not comparable with 3 Idiots, that I would like to watch again... I honestly think we're obsessed with all things western or foreign. I can bet Indians would have scoffed at Avatar if it had been written/produced/directed by a fellow Indian. Of course, the graphics would not have been as mind-blowing... Whatever.

I have started reading a new book (new for me, I mean. The book itself is 40 years old; the first print was in 1969.) It's called The Peter Principle, written by Dr. Laurence Peter and Raymond Hull. The principle proclaims that people get promoted from a post that they are competent at, to a post they are incompetent at, after which they stop getting promoted. The trick to break this trend is to learn and adapt to new roles, and not harp on senseless procedures and rules at the cost of efficiency. (Reminds me of the scene in Munnabhai MBBS where form-filling is a must before the patient who is grappling with death and disease can be attended to. You think the script-writer has read the Peter Principle? Possible...)

Check these wondrous thoughts, that many of us may not have considered before...
1 - People are often judged competent when they obey and never have to decide. (At least that is what our parents, teachers and bosses consciously or unconsciously teach us. )
2 - Those who are super-competent suffer more than those who are incompetent. (Didn't we see a glimpse of that in 3 Idiots, where "Silencer's" rote-learning is favored over Rancho's genius by the profs?) Not surprisingly then, these smart people are dismissed as they challenge and threaten the traditional hierarchy.

Reached uptil here so far. Shall share more with you later.

Good luck with your new year resolutions! I haven't made any; how can you improve perfection, fellas?!! :-D



Parimaula said...

About point no. 1 - Absolutely true!! That's what rancho tries to tell everyone in 3 idiots...be well educated and not well trained

2 - Competency is a mechanical term :) rather...an illusion

Most of the time people change themselves to fit the bill..very few really get the best out of themselves in life...and the irony is...it takes years to realize this...

Perfection is possible when the mind is still and it takes a lifestyle to develop that attitude.


Unknown said...

Yup! Exactly. People just try to fit the bill and very few dares to REDEFINE the bill like no other. Yes! James Cameron.

Sorry Princess, I have a bit different opinion on AVATAR. I feel it is splendid and I'm very much in love with the movie a 10/10 for sure.


vishal said...

I haven't watched it as yet n intend to do so in the near future.
Comterency is a relative term n soo many factors cones into play.I believe its your ability to deliver n be true to urself irrespective of others,including d boss..cheers

Princess said...

Thanks for commenting guys. Love to hear from you all.

To me competency is the product of efficiency and integrity. Simply put, I believe an individual is competent when he is able to see both the task as well as the people involved, and work accordingly to the best of his/her ability.

Here's to being successful!

Cheers :)

Out and Not Proud

Hey fellows, been 4 months since my last post. The covid cases in Pune alone have crossed 2 lac, and the lockdown has been eased in the inte...