Thursday, December 4, 2014

If we have "Faults in our Stars" will we be "Okay" ?

I go in to a shell when I face a slight discomfort in my life. Will I be  "OKAY" if actually a bigger calamity occurs. Will I be OK and courageous and fight the obstacles and win ? How will my parents react if they knew some thing terrible has happened to me ? Will they be OKAY and put up a smile and a courageous face just to console me ? Will I be able to make the moments merrier and worthy enough like Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters? These were the first questions which popped in  my head after watching, "the fault in our stars."  This post is not particularly a review but to explain how the movie impacted me!

"Thank your stars" - This is what we keep hearing whenever we are out of a situation. Thank your stars as you are just left with a fracture and the accident was not terminal. Thank your stars for being a guy and for not having to bear the labour pain. Thank your stars for this , that and for every thing but what will you do if you have faults in your stars and are trying to defeat a terminal illness your whole life just to increase some more days of your life! Can you thank God for the life he gave ? Can you stay positive and ignore the repercussions ? All these questions are haunting me from the moment I watched the movie.
Gus and Hazel
Hazel Grace ( Shailene Woodley) is terminally sick and has thyroid cancer which spreads to lungs. She breathes only with the help of the oxygen cylinder which she always carries, where as Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) is a cancer patient who lost a leg because of bone cancer but is extremely positive towards life. They feel connected in seconds and there is no stopping to the strong bond. Gus is head over heels for Hazel. Hazel who first resists the charm finally gives in. They both prove that LOVE doesn't need TIME. Both of them are so fitting in the story, so young yet so matured sharing love and pain both which demand to be felt.

There are so many dialogues and quotes from the movie which have just hit the nail on the head. I shuddered and got lost in thoughts when Gus says , "You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world. But you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices." I didn't know how to respond to this. If I was in Hazel's place I would have immediately hugged him tight as obviously I might cry and fall short of words. With out deeply explaining everything I will just mention some scenes and quotes and why I loved them so much.

Visit to Amsterdam and the Anne Frank House:

One of the deepest wishes of Hazel which she wants to fulfill in her life time is to meet author, Peter van Houten to know what happens to the characters and story after his book ends which is quite incomplete to her. After too much fuss and struggle they make it to Amsterdam only to realise that the author is a frustrated soul who gets extremely rude and disappoints them but they have a great trip where they realise the spark of romance which was there between them from long. They visit Anne Frank house with the help of Lidewij - Van Houten's assistant and I loved the entire scene - How Hazel struggles to climb the steps and still is determined to see it all , the background narration in Anne Frank's house which is both inspiring and saddening and which sets a perfect backdrop for their first romantic kiss. It was heart warming to see the love between them.

The Eulogy scene:

Needless to say , this is the scene which made me shed tears. It was powerful , heart wrenching and you just can't resist your tears. In a satanic twist of life Augustus's Cancer flares up , spreads in the entire body and is terminal.He invites his friends Hazel and Chris to his pre-funeral in the church. As and when Hazel started talking I tried a lot to not cry and then cried a lot and lot! I am sharing a snippet from Hazel's speech below.

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

Yes some infinities are greater than other infinities and the way she told made me bawl. I cried hopelessly. I prayed that Gus should get more days but the inevitable happens and he dies. If this eulogy made me cry , Gus's eulogy made me smile and gave me will power . Rather than sharing the lines , hear it in his own voice in the clip shared below. He mails the eulogy to Van Houten where he says " Van Houten is a good writer but a shitty person but Gus is a shitty writer and a good person".  I loved the ending where Hazel watches the open sky and stars hugging the letter to herself .I realized that becoming weak once in a while is inevitable for even the strongest of the people. I cried along with Gus when he becomes weak and feels defeated. I was inspired by his sense of humour even in the darkest hours. The dark and pessimistic words of author (Van Houten) too made sense at some point of time.

All I want to say is it is tough to get this movie out of my head and soul. I am deeply impacted. Too many words are etched in my mind. If only we could make the "Long" lives we live better ones like Hazel/ Gus. If only we try to be "OKAY" and get out of troubles instead of frantically cursing ourselves, life would be much better. I am all set to be a bit courageous and read the book now :) Some of my favorite quotes from the movie are shared below.

“It's a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do its killing.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“Maybe 'okay' will be our 'always” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“I'm a grenade and at some point I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

Lastly I wish we all should be "always ""okay" . First I saw My Sister's Keeper (which also made me think a lot) and now this .I take this chance to salute to all the cancer patients who fought the disease and won over it and all other people who struggle with 100 issues day in and day out and to whom every day life is a battle. I also take this chance to salute to all those patients who succumbed to cancer and other dreadful diseases.  One should watch this movie to become more positive towards life because...

  "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

and a video and a song I loved on You tube-

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

God is a Gamer - Review

Title : God is a Gamer
Author : Ravi Subramanian
Number of Pages : 310
Genre: Thriller
Publisher : Penguin Books India

God is a gamer is the first book by Ravi Subramanian which I read and I must say I am impressed. I don't read many books of this genre specially written by Indian authors but this one took me by surprise. Ravi truly felt like the John Grisham of banking. All in all the book is good and I wish Ravi comes up with many more interesting plots in future and entertains his readers. My detailed review is below.

Story line , characters and my Review:

The story starts with two big shots 
Vijay Banga, President of Mastercard International and Joseph Saunders, the CEO of Visa International discussing business and the amendments , profits and the losses, followed by the mysterious murder of Gillian Tan. Initially when the characters get introduced one by one it gets tough to connect the dots but slowly as the story gets unfolded one can put all the pieces together and solve the puzzle. The episodes happening in Newyork , Mumbai and Goa seem disconnected but by the end of it it everything makes sense. The element of surprise and the essence of suspense are intact in the story. The central plot of the story is based on author's creation of "Bit coins" which is the virtual currency and can revolutionize the world. Like pros and cons of every great invention, this has loop holes too and gives scope for illegal activities. The chance to hide one's identity is like a boon to the criminals and helps them to do money transactions using bitcoin wallets and private keys easily which other wise would be tough.

I am truly amazed by the author's imagination here. The technical jargon he used is not that tough as I am aware of banking and computing. It increased my knowledge and I learnt many new things. Kudos to the research he has done to pen down various aspects of the entire plot. He explored the gaming business, made us aware of the fact- how dangerous phishing can be, made us aware of many nuances of banking and much more. As the story picks pace two more murders happen and open the can of worms for Tanya who is the daughter of Malavika. The entire plot is about connecting the dots - Gillian Tan's murder , the murders in India, the illegal businesses handled by "Cotton Trail" so on so forth. The book definitely kept me glued. I rarely read this genre and the story for sure didn't disappoint me.

Characters and things I liked: I loved the character Aditya Rao the founder of eTIOS and Indispace (the gaming company). His passion , perseverance and his desire to stick to ethics is inspiring. I liked Varun's quick witted brain. I liked the way the author tried to strike the chords of almost all who use social media (Facebook) and who play games. Knowing how the gaming business works was the most interesting part to me. The various episodes which seem haphazard are seamlessly blended once the mystery gets resolved.The "Bitcoin" idea was fresh and innovative.  I loved the cover page with a Bit coin symbol and the silhouette of a man. It is stylish. The title is apt too.  The ending was a surprise which gets disclosed once Kabir Khan and Adrian Scott assemble every one to interrogate. It was not that easy to guess who the actual culprit was! Most of the characters portrayed felt realistic.

Few minuses : 

  • There are few stories and episodes which definitely were needed but were not connected strongly to the actual plot and hence got compromised but I was willing to know more :) 
  • Even if it kept me glued there was too much to take in and the pace of the book slowed down after completing almost half of it.
  • Few dialogues and descriptions of few characters seemed repetitive.
  • There are 2-3 words which were spelled wrong but you will observe them only if you have a keen eye to find mistakes :)
Other than these ultra minor glitches which can almost be ignored, I loved the book, the plot and the fresh feeling I got after reading few crap books penned down by any one and every one these days. My rating would be 3.5/ 5. If bollywood has guts the film makers should try making a movie of this book by executing it correctly. It would be wonderful to watch the movie adaption!  All the best to the author Ravi Subramanian. I will definitely try reading his other books starting with Bankster first as I already own it. Thank you Blogadda for sending a good book to review :) 

Icing on the cake is the author signed copy I own now !! Thank You :- )
:) :)

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Monday, October 27, 2014

"The Face Behind the Mask"

It is tough to guess the face behind the mask.
It is tough to guess all the details of its planned task.
But it eventually shows up as it rots and gets visible to all.
It digs its own grave and plans its downfall!

How I wish the hidden face had no powers over other's mind.

How I wish I had a super power to unleash the thoughts behind.
How I wish I was strong enough to tackle the evil deeds.
How I wish I never had to bend to others' needs!

How I wish I could rewrite few chapters of life.

How I wish I could use the face behind my mask just like a knife.
To think of harm and plan it meticulously with a smile on face always plastered.
To be sweet and then bite behind the back is an act which can't be easily mastered!!

It is true that straight trees and honest people are cut first.

But why do dishonest and false people stay strong even after losing the trust?
Why does it always take time to heal and to do what one must?
Why can't one be always clever enough to make their acts just!!
Image source : here

It is OK for you to wear a mask in order to re-surface other's actual face.

It is OK to wile a smile to walk out of the carefully planned maze.
It is not OK to ignore the subdued thoughts which successfully destroy you.
Get rid of the multifaceted person from your heart, mind and soul if it is still due!

You and only you can decide who and what can control you.

You and only you can judge what as per you is false and true.
Before you decide and judge see that you are free of faces and prejudice.
If some one cannot be changed with love and patience then he/she is a disease!

Prevention is better than cure and if prevention is out of hands, cure should not be delayed.

Self love and self esteem are the greatest of all virtues which should never be marred.
Do not succumb to the multiple faces and become a weaker personality.
To live , adjust and to bear with the preposterous faces leads to fatality!!


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