Sunday, July 26, 2009

Online Data Storage ! How safe is it?

Now a days there is much discussion about privacy on the internet, specially focused on individual computers and protection via antivirus and antimalware software’s. It is obviously we who have to protect ourselves from unwanted problems. But there is one internet business that receives virtually not to mention of security: Online Data Storage

Today there are many services offering 1 GB to 50 GB of free and paid storage. These businesses emphasize the joy of backing up to the so called “SAFE” service they provide. So of the service providers even encourage users to put all their personal files on their system for “access from anywhere” convenience. But people who want to use this option have an anxiety- How secure is the information stored on these servers run by strangers and protected only by promises? How about an investigation into the vulnerability of these large storage systems? It would be no surprise to us if there are significant attacks on these servers/data storage business. No doubt in that the management of these companies will strive to keep problems from the media attention.

And then the other side of it, how many of these business willing open their data storage to government agents to search for private information? It is written sometime back that even the famous NSA in the USA is rumored to be monitoring all the world’s communications, be it email, mobile phone, landline, radio transmitters and so forth. The NSA is supposed to have the budget at least more than that of CIA . Do you think our private data on these internet storage services is hidden from the view of these covert agencies? How many of these data storage business are actually controlled by government agencies, either directly or indirectly?
As most of my concerns raised above are very much valid, I know it will be difficult to get clear answers to lot of these questions, but the so called many of these sites do have detailed statements of rights & responsibilities which we hardly or never read them before clinking on “Accept”. Though sites voluntarily d not allow government snooping, it is relatively easy in some countries to subpoena someone’s data. ISP’s willingly handover user’s identity to government authorities these days, even if there is no proof of any wrongdoing. Moreover apart from security one has to be prepared for the service going bankrupt and shutdown without much notice or experiencing unreasonable amounts of downtime, all of which belie their promises of making data accessible anytime anywhere.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Deepavali in Andhra Pradesh

I personally feel that the "festival of lights" Diwali is celebrated in a Great way in Hyderabad City and the state of Andhra Pradesh in India than anywhere else. Might be everywhere else also feels about their home-town.
Andhra Pardesh is one of the oldest state of India a nd wa s created by combining the old princely state of Hyderabad with the Telgu-speaking portions of the former state of Madras. Andhra Pradesh has traditional way of celebrating Diwali that is organized and celebrated throughout the state. The festival of light is celebrated in Andhra Pradesh together with other places of the country. It is a festival that revolves around Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. During the festiv al the whole country explodes into color and noise.Whereas in the North, Diwali is celebrated in the evening with crackers and diyas, in Andhra Pradesh, the festival starts early in the morning. People of Andhra Pradesh celebrate the Diwali festival by visiting temples and offering poojas. Night skies are filled with fire scintillations and homes are decorated with lamps and joy filled the faces of people as they enjoy fireworks. In Hydrabad, there is a tradition of giving bath to the buffaloes, on the day of Diwali. There is also a custom of decorating paper figures.
Festivities cut across boundaries to move on from small villages to the big towns, for almost a month before Deepawali. Sales of expensive silk saris, jewelery and ornaments, household goods go up. From the poor to the rich, everyone indulges in shopping for the biggest shopping spree of the year. Sweets, which are an integral part of any festival in Andhra Pradesh, are prepared in homes as well as bought from shops for exchange. This festival is full of messages depicting one or more aspects of human life, relationships or ancient traditions.

First Day:

Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi: Observed two days before Diwali, Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi signifies the importance of money in our life. We cannot move not even inch without money. Everybody knows that without money, it is very difficult to survive. Thus for attaining money, people to pray Lord Kubera on the day of Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi. This day is also known as Dhana Trayodasi or Dhanteras.The Lord of finance is Kubera. Thus, if devotees pray sincerely on the Dhana Trayodasi with utmost faith, one need not worry for finance. The Kubera Mantra is recited on this day. The mantra is:

"Om Yakshaya, Kuberaya, Vysravanaya, Dhanadanyathipatiye, Dhana Dhanya Samruthideye, Dehi Dapaya Swaha"

On the day of Asweyuja Bahula Trayodasi, the devotee has to place the Kubera Yantra or Photo in the Pooja room. At the outset, one has to pray the Lord Vigneswara and then start performing pooja to the Lord Kubera and seek his blessings. One has to place Honey, Jaggery and Dry dates before the photo or Yantra and light the lamp with pure ghee.

On Asweyuja Bahula Thrayodasi, all businesspersons whitewash their shops and close their accounts. They worship goddess Lakshmi and the accounting books with coins. Some organise a doll show also. Lamps are lighted and placed at the entrance after dusk in order to combat untimely death.

Dhanatrayodashi: Dhan means wealth and trayodashi is the 13th day of the weaning moon in the month of Ashwin. Thus, on the day of Dhanatrayodashi all the sources of wealth are worshipped. Apart from this, Dhanatrayodashi is taken as a day to learn from the experience of one's past deeds and pay homage to memory of ancestors from whom one inherits these traditions.

The farmers worship their cattle and their weapons. Women buy something in metal especialy silver, good for the house. On this day, doorways are hung with torans, garland made of mango leaves and marigolds and decorated with Rangolis drawn to welcome guests.

On this day, Dhanvantari, the God of health and welfare is worshipped by performing acts such as cleaning the entire house, buying new clothes, new vessels etc. Shri Dhanvantari is worshipped on this day because this is the day that he arose from the ocean during the famous Samudra Manthan. The God of Health is worshiped first because Hinduism gives tremendous importance to physical well being.

Yamadeepdaan: Dhanteras is also known as Yamadeepdaan and lamps are kept burning through the night in reverential adoration to Yama - and prayers offered to him to keep away death and despair. A very interesting story about this day is attached to the sixteen year old son of King Hima. As per his horoscope he was doomed to die by a snake-bite on the fourth day of his marriage.

On that fateful fourth day of his marriage his young wife did not allow him to sleep. She laid all the ornaments and lots of gold and silver coins in a big heap at the entrance of her husband's palatial room and lighted infinite numbers of lamps all over the place. After all these, she went on telling stories and singing songs so that her husband is not able to sleep.

When Yam, the god of Death arrived there appearing in form of a Serpent his eyes got blinded by the dazzle of those brilliant lights and he could not enter the Prince's chamber. So he climbed on top of the heap of the ornaments and coins and sat there whole night listening to the melodious songs. In the morning he quietly went away.

Thus the young wife saved her husband from the clutches of death. Since then this day of Dhanteras came to be known as the day of "Yamadeepdaan" and lamps are kept burning throughout the night in remembering Yam, the god of Death.

Thirteen lamps made of wheat flour and lit with oil are placed outside the house, facing southwards (direction of Lord Yama), in the evening. A lamp is never kept facing southwards except on this day. Then, reciting the following mantra one should offer obeisance: "I offer these thirteen lamps to the son (Lord Yama) of the Sun deity (Surya), so that He liberates me from the clutches of death and bestows His blessings."

Second Day:

Narkachaturdashi: Celebrated as the second of the auspicious Deepavali days, Narkachaturdashi originates from days of Lord Krishna. God Yama is also worshiped on this day to get over the fear of demon Narakasura. Lamps with four wicks are lighted at various places. People make an effigy of Narakasura, carry it to the outskirts, and burn it. Later, they take bath and burst crackers. This is the day of Narakasura's death and hence a celebration for all.

There are many popular stories associated with this day, but the most widely accepted one is that of Satyabhama (Krishna's wife) and Narakasura. Narakasur was a demon king, ruling Pragjothishyapur, a southern province in the present day Nepal. He gained a boon from Brahma that he shall die only in the hands of a woman. Armed with the boon, he became a cruel king. Narakasura was infamous for his wicked ruling and high disregard for gods and women.

Addicted to power, he defeated Lord Indra (king of gods) and stole the earrings of Aditi (the heavenly mother goddess). Aditi was a relative of Satyabhama. When she heard of the injustice being done to women in general by Narakasura and his behaviour with Aditi, she was enraged. Satyabhama went to ask Lord Krishna, permission to wage a war against Narakasura, Krishna not only agreed, but also offered to drive her chariot in the Warfield.

On the day of the war, both the armies fought bravely and the war continued for some time. Satyabhama fought Narakasura bravely, but she was no match to his trained war wisdom. After some days, when Narakasura got a chance, he took an aim at Krishna, hurting him lightly. Krishna fainted and made Satyabhama furious. She doubled her attack on the demon king and killed him finally. Her victory on Narakasura translated into freedom for all his prisoners and honoring of Aditi.

To announce the death of Narakasura, Krishna smeared the demon's blood on his forehead and returned the very next day along with Satyabhama to his kingdom. On their arrival, preparations were made to cleanse Krishna of the demon's blood. At dusk, the whole city was lit with lamps and fireworks were displayed to rejoice in peace after the death of the demon king. Thus, came Narakachathurthasi as a celebration of the death of the evil king.

Third Day

Kaumudi Mahostavam: In the olden days of South India, Deepavali was once called as 'Kaumudi Mahostavam'. In those times the kings used to supervise the festivities of Diwali during the nights. The rituals and customs of those days are still followed such as black gram leaves are eaten even today. Lamps are distributed. Late in the night, women bring out their household weapons like dustpans, mops, etc, to drive away 'Jyesthadevi', the Goddess of penury.

It is believed that on Amavasya (no moon day), Goddess Lakshmi is present in sesame oil, and Gangadevi is present in all wells, lakes, and ponds. Sesame oil is used for taking bath. Plants like Uttarani, Anapa and Prapunnatamu are circled around the head before taking bath. Yama is worshiped facing South. It is believed that this helps in combating untimely death and in giving peace to the departed souls. In the evening, lamps are lightened almost everywhere in the town including the temples, hills, graveyards, etc.

Fourth Day

Bali Padyam / Bali Pratipada: Balipadyami or Bali Pratipada is the day on which 'Bali' is worshiped. Following Deepavali, there is a story behind celebrating this festival. When Vishnu was born as vamana (the dwarf), he crushed Bali into the under world. Then Prahlada, the grandfather of Bali pleaded Vishnu to pardon Bali. Then Bali was made the king of the under world. On Bali's request, Vishnu granted a boon that people on earth would remember him and would worship him. That is the reason for Balipadyami. On that day also people burst crackers and celebrate in the name of Bali.

There is also a story to tell that on Balipadyami 'Gambling' (Judam) should be played. Once on this padyami day, Shiva and Parvathi played the dice game. Shiva lost to Parvathi. Kumaraswami then played dice with Parvathi and won. Then Lord Ganesh played with Lord Kumaraswami and won. Since then, it has been customary for the family to be involved in gambling on this day. Farmers celebrate this day in a different way. They perform puja to cow, and is known as Gouramma puja.

Fifth Day:

Divvela Panduga / Divili Panduga: Divvela Panduga, the Festival of Lights is a very popular festival and is celebrated throughout the Indian Continent. In Andhra Pradesh this festival is celebrated to commemorate the victory of good over evil when Lord Krishna, with the help of his wife Satyabhama, destroyed Narakaasura, a demon king, and established his rule, the law and order and saved women from the Narakaasura's custody.

Divvela panduga is also known as Naraka Chaturdasi, because that was the Chaturdasi (fourteenth day) of the fortnight that ends with Amavasya (New Moon Day). All through this fortnight, people decorate their homes with oil lamps and on the dark night of Amavasya is celebrated with fire works. The dark night becomes a brightly-lit night with rows of lights everywhere and fire works.

On the day of Divili Panduga, religious Telugus wake up early in the morning and take special ritual showers. They wear new clothes on this day and parents invite their daughters and sons-in-law to their home and present them new clothes. For merchants and business communities of Andhra Pradesh, Divvela panduga is worship of Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, and is the beginning of a New Year.

Diwali - Festival of Lights

One of the biggest festivals of Hindus, Deepawali or Diwali in India is celebrated with lots of enthusiasm and happiness. This festival is celebrated for five continuous days, with the third day being celebrated as the main Diwali or as 'Festival of Lights' a more appropriate significance is "the new year of luck and wealth". Fireworks are always associated with this festival. The day is celebrated with people lighting diyas, candles all around their house. Lakshmi Puja is performed in the evening to seek divine blessings of Goddess of Wealth. Diwali gifts are exchanged among all near and dear ones.

The auspicious day of Diwali is decided by the moon position & according to the Hindu calendar, Amavasya or the "no moon day" is considered the perfect day for Diwali. The dark night comes after every fortnight & in the Hindu month of Kartik (October/November), it marks the festive occasion. The Diwali date holds an imperative meaning among the Hindus, since, the day is reckoned with Lord Rama's coronation ceremony as the King of Ayodhya after his return to the kingdom from 14 years of exile along with his wife Sita & brother Laxman after killing the demon, King Ravana.

Jainism marks Diwali as the nirvana of Lord Mahavira, which occurred on 15 October, 527 BCE.

Among the Sikhs, Diwali came to have special significance from the day the town of Amritsar was illuminated on the return to it of Guru Hargobind (1595-1644) who had been held captive in the Fort at Gwalior under the orders of the Mughal emperor, Jahangir (1570-1627). As the sixth Guru (teacher) of Sikhism, Guru Hargobind Ji, was freed from imprisonment - along with 53 Hindu Kings (who were held as political prisoners) whom the Guru had arranged to be released as well. After his release he went to the Darbar Sahib (Golden Temple) in the holy city of Amritsar, where he was welcomed in happiness by the people who lit candles and diyas to greet the Guru. Because of this, Sikhs often refer to Diwali also as Bandi Chhorh Divas - "the day of release of detainees."

We Hindus have several significant events associated with it:

  • Return of Lord Ram to Ayodhya: Diwali also celebrates the return of Lord Ram, King of Ayodhya, with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana to Ayodhya after a 14 year exile, and a war in which he killed the evil and demonic king Ravan. It is believed that the people of Ayodhya lit ghee lamps along the way to light their path in the darkness. Since Lord Ram traveled from South India to his kingdom in North India, he passed through the south earlier. This is the reason why the festival is celebrated a day earlier in South India.
  • The Killing of Narakasura: Celebrated as Naraka Chaturdasi, two days before Diwali day, it commemorates the killing of Narakasura, an evil demon who created havoc, by Lord Krishna's wife Satyabhama. This happened in the Dwapar Yuga during this time of Lord Krishna's avatar. In another version, the demon was killed by Lord Krishna (Lord krishna provokes his wife Satyabhama to kill Narakasura by pretending to be injured by the demon. Narakasura can only be killed by a woman) himself.Before Narakasura's death, he requested a boon from Satyabhama (believed to be an Avatar of Bhudevi), that everyone should celebrate his death with colorful light.
  • Austerities of Shakti: According to the Skanda Purana, the goddess Shakti observed 21 days of austerity starting from ashtami of shukla paksha (eighth day of the waxing period of moon) to get half of the body of Lord Shiva. This vrata (austerity) is known as kedhara vrata. Deepavali is the completion day of this austerity. This is the day Lord Shiva accepted Shakti into the left half of the form and appeared as Ardhanarishvara. The ardent devotees observe this 21 days vrata by making a kalasha with 21 threads on it and 21 types of offerings for 35 days. The final day is celebrated as kedhara gauri vrata.
  • Birth of Goddess Lakshmi: According to the Puranas, the goddess of Wealth, Prosperity and Luck Lakshmi was born from the churning of the Milk Ocean, along with other magical beings and objects including Amrit, Kamadhenu,Chintamani, Halahal aka Poison, etc. She was sought by both the Devas(Gods) and Danavas(Demons) but she chose Vishnu as her husband.
  • Krishna defeating Indra: Govardhan Puja is celebrated the day after Diwali. It is the day Lord Krishna defeated Indra, the deity of thunder and rain. As per the story, Krishna saw huge preparations for the annual offering to Lord Indra and questions his father Nanda about it. He debated with the villagers about what their 'dharma' truly was. They were farmers, they should do their duty and concentrate on farming and protection of their cattle. He continued to say that all human beings should merely do their 'karma', to the best of their ability and not pray for natural phenomenon. The villagers were convinced by Krishna, and did not proceed with the special puja (prayer). Indra was then angered, and flooded the village. Krishna then lifted Mt Govardhan and held it up as protection to his people and cattle from the rain. Indra finally accepted defeat and recognized Krishna as supreme. This aspect of Krishna's life is mostly glossed over but it set up the basis of the 'karma' philosophy later detailed in the Bhagavat Gita.

People celebrated this occasion by lighting diyas to drive away the darkness of amavasya.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Love - In detail

Researchers (Hatfield & Rapson, 1995) have broken up love into two main types:

* Passionate love which involves continuously thinking about the loved one and also involves warm sexual feelings and powerful emotional reactions.
* Companionate love is having trusting and tender feelings for someone who is close to you.

Now one of the best known theories of love (which means an educated guess that isn't proven fact) is Robert Sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love.

The three components of the Triangular Theory of Love are:

Passion, the feeling physically aroused and attracted to someone.

Passion is what makes you feel "in love" and is the feeling most associated with love. It also rises quickly and strongly influences and biases your judgment.

Intimacy, the feeling close and connected to someone (developed through sharing and very good communications over time).

Intimacy is what makes you want to share and offer emotional and material support to each other.

Commitment, pledging to your self and each other to strengthen the feelings of love and to actively maintain the relationship.

Commitment is what makes you want to be serious, have a serious relationship and promise to be there for the other person if things get tough.

Now Sternberg also uses his Triangular Theory of Love to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about love:

Is there love at first sight?

This is when we are overwhelmed by passion, without any intimacy or commitment (both of which take time). Sternberg calls this infatuated love, Because there is not intimacy or commitment, infatuated love is fated to fade away.

Why do some people get married after being in love for a very short time?

This is a combination of passion and commitment, but without any intimacy. Sternberg calls this Hollywood love. This is where two people make a commitment to each other based on their passion. Unless intimacy develops over time, this relationship most likely will end.

Can their be love without sex?

Ah yes, companionate love, where intimacy and commitment are present without any sexual passion.

Why doesn't romantic love last?

Passion and intimacy without commitment is Romantic love. When the passion fades, and the intimacy wanes, the relationship ends.

This a close friend sent me e-mail:

Infatuation vs. Love

Infatuation is instant desire - one set of glands calling to another.

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows, one day at a time.

Infatuation is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager, but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, little bits and pieces about your beloved that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the dream.

Love is the quiet understanding and mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond you - to bolster your beloved. You are warmed by their presence, even when they are away. Miles do not separate you. You have so many wonderful little films in your head that you keep replaying. But near or far, you know they are yours, and you can wait.

Infatuation says, "We must get married right away. I can't risk losing them."

Love says, "Be patient. Don't panic. Plan your future with confidence."

Infatuation has an element of sexual excitement. Whenever you are together, you hope it will end in intimacy.

Love is not based on sex. It is the maturation of friendship, which makes sex so much sweeter. You must be friends before you can be lovers.

Infatuation lacks confidence. When they're away, you wonder if they're cheating. Sometimes, you check.

Love means trust. You are calm, secure and unthreatened. They feel your trust, and it makes them even more trustworthy.

Infatuation might lead you to do things you will regret, but love never steers you in the wrong direction.

Love is an upper. It makes you feel whole. It completes the circle. It fills the empty space in your heart. Love is elevating. It lifts you up. It makes you look up. It makes you think up. It makes you a better person than you were before. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you don't have. If there is no love in your life, whatever else there is has a lot less meaning.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Kidnap Movie Review

When you carry the baggage of super-successful films like DHOOM and DHOOM 2, the expectations from your subsequent outing is bound to be gargantuan. Unfortunately, KIDNAP falls short of expectations. You expect a seven course meal, but you're served mere crumbs.

Let's introspect. Where does it falter? The boy versus man concept holds tremendous scope and writer Shibani Bathija could've come up with an enthralling revenge drama. But KIDNAP fumbles, stumbles and falls on its face. The cat-n-mouse game is hardly enticing and that is its biggest drawback.

KIDNAP comes close to ZINDA in terms of plotline. There're similarities between the two films. But KIDNAP isn't as dark and gruesome as ZINDA. Also, KIDNAP loses focus after a promising start.

The hallmark of any revenge fare is the suspense quotient. In this case, there's a motive behind what Imran does. And money is definitely not the motive here. So far, so good. But the purpose of kidnapping the billionaire's only daughter as also the chain of events that lead to the culmination is such a put-off. Things keep deteriorating as they reach the finale.

The culprit? Obviously, the writer of this lifeless, unexciting and tedious drama. Shibani seems to think that the audience is pea-brained.

Silver lining or just dark clouds? Imran Khan's splendid act acts as a soothing balm, but if the pudding is tasteless, no amount of dressing can salvage the situation, right?

When Dr. Mallika [Vidya Malvade] asks her daughter Sonia [Minissha Lamba] what she wants for her 18th birthday, Sonia tells her she wants to meet her dad, Vikrant Raina [Sanjay Dutt]. The mother and father of this kid have separated, we're explained at the very outset. After a spat between the mother and daughter, Sonia walks off in a huff and doesn't return.

Mallika panics when she gets a call from a stranger that he has kidnapped Sonia. The kidnapper, Kabir [Imran Khan], has only one demand -- he will negotiate with nobody but Sonia's father, Vikrant.

Reluctantly Mallika brings Vikrant back into their lives to save Sonia. But Vikrant chokes at the thought of taking orders from a criminal. But Kabir holds the trump card -- he holds Sonia -- and Vikrant knows he has no option but to toe the line.

Kabir tells him they are going to play a game -- just the two of them. Vikrant has to play by the rules set by Kabir and he has to play alone. He has to play to save his daughter. If he even utters the words 'Hello Police', it will be Bye Bye for Sonia!

Because his daughter's life is at stake, a reluctant Vikrant agrees to obey Kabir's orders…

Never judge a book by its cover. This adage suits KIDNAP to the T. One look at its promos and you know what the story is, but the screenplay is so amateurish, even lifeless at times, that you scream, no, no, no, no, no!

Gadhvi and Shibani open the cards at the very outset. The sketches at the very beginning as also Minissha's kidnap within 10 minutes of the start compels you to think that the follow up should be equally exhilarating. But things start going wrong from this part onwards.

Imran's clues for Sanju, the first in a train and later at an engagement ceremony, make no sense. Later, Sanju and Vidya Malvade's entry in the jail is bizarre. This part takes you back to the cinema of 1970s and 1980s, when nonsense dominated. Later, when Sanju refuses to take Imran's call, Imran lands up at his house. Which kidnapper, in his right senses, would ever do that? Even the flashback -- Imran's childhood portions -- are just not impactful. Ditto for the climax. The shootout at the New Year party is ridiculous. Seriously, the writing is pathetic!

Sanjay Gadhvi is letdown by a script that easily ranks amongst the worst of 2008. Pritam's music is another sore point. Barring the 'Mit Jaaye' track, the remaining songs are lacklustre. Bobby Singh's camerawork is first-rate.

KIDNAP belongs to Imran Khan. Watch this youngster take giant strides and you know that he has arrived. He carries the cold look effortlessly. Sanjay Dutt looks disinterested, as if he is about to break into a yawn. Minissha Lamba is miscast. She doesn't look like a 17-year-old in the first place. Also, the generous dose of skin show doesn't gel with someone who's held captive. Vidya Malvade is efficient. Reema Lagoo is a mere prop. Rahul Dev's character looks forced.

On the whole, KIDNAP fails to grip you and that is its biggest flaw. At the box-office, KIDNAP being teen sensation Imran Khan's immediate release after the blockbuster hit JAANE TU… YA JAANE NA would ensure a strong opening weekend, but the poor merits are sure to take a toll once the initial euphoria subsides. Disappointing!

Friday, September 26, 2008

A wednesday: Movie review

It's been a long time since I watched a nice Hindi movie."A Wednesday" simply rocks! It was better than much-hyped Rock On! With no songs, no old love stories, “A Wednesday" matches my taste!

"A Wednesday" is a movie about terrorism and common man. How common man innovates an idea of dealing with the terrorism when Our Government fails. It’s a great movie, with lots of twists. But, i didn't like the ending of the movie. Why the hell, every bollywood movie should have a happy ending? Though the director gave a reason for that


The story is a simple one. There are bombs, five of them…and this we find that out pretty early on in the movie. One bomb is planted at the police station itself…and as for the other bombs, well that is for the police to find out. And as is common with all terrorists, the person who has planted the bombs wants something in exchange…There is suspense even though we know that the police commissioner (who is the narrator) is alive and well…as we don’t know what is going to
happen to the other characters.

The twist in the tale is what makes the movie worth it. It’s a very satisfying movie although until the last twenty minutes of the movie things seem to be going on in a predictable manner.

Here goes the complete story:

Movie starts with "dialogues" of Anupam Kher who is playing his role as top cop in Mumbai police. He gets a call from a person (Naseeruddin Shah) about planting of 5 bombs in all parts of the city. It should be noted that the name of Naseeruddin Shah is never spoken in the whole movie. The reason for this, as given in the movie, was that people recognize a person with his name. If he is Muslim, then people all think him as a terrorist.

Now, Naseeruddin Shah, who is pretends as a terrorist, asks for freeing the top 4 terrorists from various jails of Mumbai. This was the deal between Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. If police releases all 4 terrorists then Naseeruddin Shah would tell the police about the locations where he has planted the bombs.

Police obeys him and releases all 4 terrorists. Police take all 4 terrorists to a pre-specified place, as Anupam Kher asks for the location of the bombs as per the deal.

Here comes the twist, instead of taking all terrorists with him, Naseeruddin Shah blows all of them except one terrorist.

Now, for how this happens, you must watch the movie. The long dialogue of Naseeruddin Shah in the end of movie is boring...Except it,” A Wednesday” rocks!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Happening

Writer-Director M. Night Shyamalan's New Film Starring Mark Wahlberg

-Movie review of the movie I last saw
(The Happening is happening)

The knives had been out and sharpened long before M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie, “The Happening,” opened on Friday. A fine craftsman with aspirations to the canon, this would-be auteur has, in the last few years, experienced a sensational fall from critical and commercial grace, partly through his own doing — by making bad movies and then, even after those movies failed, by continuing to feed his ego publicly — and partly through the entertainment media that, once they smell weakness, will always bite the hand they once slathered in drool.

Something is happening in the American Northeast. A strange toxin is making people do horrible things. What could be causing these strange events in The Happening?

Since the release of The Sixth Sense, Writer-Director M. Night Shyamalan has developed a knack for delivering warped, original films that get people talking. His trademark plot twists have both angered and delighted audiences.

While his last film Lady in the Water sank like a lead weight, his new film The Happening shows a director on the creative rebound. Love it or hate it, The Happening doesn’t leave room for indifference.

The Happening in Central Park-- The Happening stars Mark Wahlberg as nerdy science teacher Elliot Moore who, along with his quirky wife Alma Moore (Zooey Deschanel), who has been having dessert dates with an unseen co-worker named Joey, is forced to flee New York or face imminent death.

A strange toxin spreads throughout New England, stemming from New York’s Central Park. First deemed an act of terrorism, the gas, or whatever has been unleashed, causes disorientation in its first stage, immediate death follows. The oddest thing about this poisonous gas is that it makes people kill themselves.

From the first graphic scenes, it becomes clear that The Happening differs from the rest of M. Night Shyamalan’s films. While he continues to use the element of surprise effectively, the images shown in this movie become increasingly interesting and make you to stick to your seats.

The movie has a boosting moment when it is revealed (or at least speculated upon) that the cause of the mysterious killer gas doesn’t come from a terrorist organization at all but rather plants and nature. These aren’t the kind of killer plants found in The Ruins, but regular trees and grass and dandelions that have decided that humans are a threat to their survival and have ‘communicated’ with one another to bond and exterminate the human race.

The Happening becomes more gripping with its overuse of scenes depicting wind flowing through trees, meant to show how the toxins are being spread .

The movie gets a jolt of bizarreness when Elliot and Alma find solace in an abandoned cabin inhabited by a crazy lady who invites them in, then begrudges their staying, accusing them of wanting to steal her stuff. From this point the movie turns into a mini, yet fascinating, haunted house story that ends all too quickly, as does the rest of the movie.

Trapped in the house as the killer wind blows through, Elliot and Alma come to grips with their mortality and reunite to die as a couple. The wind dies down and nothing happens.

Fast forward three months and Alma is pregnant. A television in the background warns that the events three months prior are the first signs that the planet is rejecting the human species. The host disagrees, saying that if this theory were true, events such as the ones experienced in the American Northeast would be occurring elsewhere.

Cut to Paris, France…Many movie goers will grumble about the lack of a twist at the end of this movie, others will roll their eyes at the killer being nature. But in the end, this movie is fascinating to watch, evenly passed, both dramatic and humorous with some wonderful and over-the-top-effects.

--A Must Watch (One of the best movies of recent times)

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