Saturday, April 22, 2017

Becoming Jane

Jane Austen is an important name in English literature. She was born on 16 December, 1775 in England and breathed her last on 18 July, 1817. This is a review of her Biopic- ‘Becoming Jane’ that was released in 2007.

“Affection is desirable, money is absolutely indispensable”, tells an exasperated Mrs Austen to Jane, her talented daughter who is single minded focused upon making a living out of writing or “living by my pen” as she declares with evident confidence. The 2007 movie ‘Becoming Jane’ depicts the journey of the second daughter of one respected but middle class Austen family that lived in Hampshire, England in the Victorian era during the reign of King George III. The movie begins with her trying her hands at the piano at their huge house deep in the country side and confessing her love of writing to her good-natured but hapless elder sister Cassandra. Her clergyman father, Reverend Austen, feels proud of Jane’s aspirations but her mother scorns her writing and wants her to focus solely upon getting married before her age slips by. Then, in her otherwise single and insipid life, like a breath of fresh air, arrives Tom Lefroy (Thomas Langlois Lefroy) a young but penniless law student living off his snooty uncle’s pittance. After some initial misunderstandings and arguments, they fall deeply in love. However, they are star crossed and as the Cupid seems to be sullen with the match, they separate but after sometime despite being engaged to a rich girl, Lefroy again asks for his former lover’s hand, for he realizes the depth of his feelings for that beautiful and sensible budding writer. Here, the story takes another spin and we see Jane taking a decision she does not regret. Years later, she is shown to have become a famous writer and often addressed as ‘The Jane Austen’ with awe and admiration by everyone.

The movie has many other interesting characters and if you have read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ that was initially titled ‘First Impressions’ you will be easily able to identify many of the characters of the novel like Lady Catherine, Willam Darcy, Mr. Collins, Jane and of course, Elizabeth Bennet who was inspired by author’s very own self. Her personal life only was the inspiration for this work, except that the ending was as she had always desired her love life to be- happy and prosperous.

Returning to the movie, actress Anne Hathaway who has portrayed Jane Austen, has delivered a praiseworthy performance. However, she differs much from the author in person as unlike hers, Austen’s face was round and features were smaller. The Victorian styled flowing dresses, old-school chivalry, feather hats, ballroom parties, churches, houses, horse-carriages and the beautiful English countryside are enough to create a likable background, imparting a real appeal to the movie. The dialogues are well penned and the pace is neither fast nor slow. However, initially it becomes a bit confusing to remember the characters as so many of them are introduced all of a sudden within minutes. Apart from that, this movie is pretty enjoyable and throws much light not only upon Jane Austen’s headstrong persona, maturity and love for literature & writing but also upon the condition of women who were coerced by the society to direct all their wit and charms in securing good husbands for themselves as well as upon the pitiable state of women writers in that era. This movie does not cover her final days; she died young at the age of 41 of a prolonged illness.

Rating- 4/5  

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Haiku Horizons- Drop

This is for Haiku Horizons and this week's prompt is 'drop'

The sky drops a faded star
Creates space for a bright new
Till shine allures

The sky drops a faded star
I make a wish on its death
With agony it burns

Monday, April 17, 2017

Nonstop Us!

Microsoft’s Bill Gates was probably quite correct when he had once exclaimed that the Indians were the smartest people he had ever come across. In many ways, if I observe from the point of view of a distant and unattached watcher, I can see his statement hold much truth. From spirituality to medicine, from astrology to music, not a field remains where Indians have not shown some mind blowing awesomeness. However, I do not intend to document such accolades in various fields, but to talk about the thing I sincerely believe has not only contributed much to the success of Indians but has also made them stand tall in the domain of recycling and managing finesse with few materials. I am talking what we all commonly call ‘Jugaad’ or improvisation, for there are not many terms that can resonate closely with the exact meaning and spirit of this term that in itself has come to be associated with Indians and India. We make do with whatever is available for doing what we need to, instead of waiting for full and proper formal resources. For example, people have coupled old discarded jeep chassis with small diesel engines (used for water pumps) to convert them into improvised vehicles for movement and transportation locally in their fields and villages. One innovative man managed to make espresso coffee using a simple pressure cooker. We find countless such improvisations in our daily lives. The Indians are masters of managing everything with anything!

For this let us go back in time. Right from olden times, Indians have been fond of recycling. Sarees (a garment worn by ladies) were converted into cushion covers and table mats and old papers into useful items of papier-mâché. Later on, when India was low on prosperity and was looked down upon by Europe and America, many inventions came of out the innovative brains of Indians. There were done not just by scientists and engineers but by students and housewives. That is my very point! Reusing something with extreme effectiveness makes India unique. It is the real Indian way of thinking and indeed a unique contributor to our success. From discarded machine parts and metal flaps to a complete house made of discarded plastic bottles and from clay fridge running sans electricity to creative crafts, Indians have a peculiar way of thinking and putting any discarded item to some really good use. Nowadays, entrepreneurship is on a rise in our country and much of the credit for this innovative thinking goes to the ability of Indian to manage with fewer resources and optimally utilize every resource. We can see profitable ventures being run from one room offices with less space and few people managing new ventures. I am an entrepreneur myself and when I started this venture, I managed with local resources, day to day things instead of first setting up a huge structure and investing huge amounts of time and money.

I am fond of some creativity too as well as contributing towards recycling and reducing waste. I did some crafts from old CDs and of papers and they were well received on social media. However, that is a very trivial thing; the point is, this way of thinking has contributed to my success and like most Indians I am confident of surviving anywhere in the world with low resources or in adverse conditions. That allows me to dream big without musing over perfect conditions or expecting the same as well. The Indian values that I have imbibed give me the confidence of not losing my morals even in a substandard company and while tackling a shrewd world.

Every year, many foreign companies enter India with high hopes as this country provides an eye-popping huge market but only a few survive. One major reason is adaptation to the Indian ways that guarantees win. Unfortunately, only a handful adapt that effectively. One company that has done that surprisingly and dexterously well and has taken to Indian ways as a fish takes to water is Lufthansa Airlines of Germany. India and Germany have old ties and have been friends for long. I am also reminded of a lovely German friend who loves Indian food and clothing. Also, one of my cousins has married a German woman who is in love with interpersonal relationships and familial bonds so prominent in our culture. Lufthansa, which is the largest airline of Germany, has created a very catchy commercial. I have flown in a few other airlines but none of them was engaging or very pleasing in terms of service and comfort. Instead of employing separate English and Hindi speaking crew members, Lufthansa has bilingual crew. This step saves on company’s cost and hence some benefits are passed on to the customer. Also, this step does not make the flight look crowded. Another good example on maximum utilization!

Lufthansa's new advert shows how people are enjoying Indian influence of our traditional politeness, culinary delights and respect for elders, deeply ingrained in every Indian. In this new commercial, a man muses over the strategies to defeat Indians but when he and his team fly Lufthansa India, this thought escapes his mind and they enjoy the courtesy and grace of Lufthansa India crew! That touches the heart! Lufthansa is definitely #MoreIndianThanYouThink

Check out this amazing airline @ www.moreindianthanyouthink.com

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Lady in a Bar

Reproduced from Brunch magazine. 
Pictures in newspapers and magazines are very helpful in practicing human figure drawing.

Medium- Pencil

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Words Linger All Around...

Love, my words linger all around
From dim crevices of my mind,
To green wounds of my heart
As I struggle to arrange them
Into some sort of a poem
Clear and meaningful enough
To make you understand
How vague and meaningless
 Life has become…

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Everything Else Is Worthless...

Crescent moon
Starry night
Our heart beats

And trust me Love, everything else
In this universe is worthless

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Haiku Horizons- Sink

This is for Haiku Horizons and this week's prompt is 'Sink'

Barren sun-burnt hills
Rivers rotting of flotsam
Even God’s heart sinks


Sunday, April 2, 2017


The way a man looks at a woman, reveals his true character