March 21, 2009

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Had heard of the movie but finally managed to see it recently at home... This is one movie I rate very high on excellent dialogue and screenplay. Its an old classic set in late 1950s and Liz Taylor plays Maggie the Cat and Paul Newman plays her husband Brick.. They go visiting Brick's parents on Big Daddy's 65th B'day and what follows is a delightful exchange of a family that learns of the terminal illness (cancer) Big Daddy is down with and a huge inheritance he will leave behind..

Brick has a drinking problem as he is depressed about his best friend's death and the dialogues he has with his dad are a treat indeed!! I reproduce some of the most memorable in this post..

Big Daddy: You're a thirty-year-old kid. Soon you'll be a fifty-year-old kid. Pretendin' you're hearin' cheers when there ain't any. Dreamin' and drinkin' your life away. Heroes in the real world live twenty-four hours a day, not just two hours in a game. Mendacity! You won't live with mendacity? Well, you're an expert at it! The truth is pain and sweat and payin' bills and makin' love to a woman that you don't love any more. Truth is dreams that don't come true, and nobody prints your name in the paper 'til you die.

Big Daddy: What's that smell in this room? Didn't you notice it, Brick? Didn't you notice the powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?

Another quote from the film that stands out is between Brick and Maggie as she tries to win him over...

Maggie: I'll win, alright.

Brick: Win what? What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?

Maggie: Just staying on it, I guess. As long as she can.

And nothing's more determined than a cat on a hot tin roof. Is there? Is there, baby?

The film completely skirts over the homosexual undertones of Brick and Skipper's relationship, maybe due to the time it was produced. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is definitely worth watching, one of Elizabeth Taylor's greatest roles.

March 10, 2009

The Hindu Spiritual & Service Fair

A fair under the umbrella of GFCH (Global Foundation for Civilizational Harmony) happenned a month ago in Chennai.. It was a good thing.. need of the hour and all that... Here is a link that gives a glimpse of the genesis and reason for doing such a fair..
Let me give my own thoughts on the fair... We, as Hindus already know how great our religion is and how it is not just a religion, it is a way of life and greatnes of Sanathana Dharma. But today, what is also important is how we are perceived by others. Its not just good enough to practice Sanathana Dharma and be in our little islands, its important to get this message across to the rest of the world. This, is I think is what this fair and such fairs in future can serve... educate and improve perception of Hindu based organizations.

March 9, 2009

Ready for Perestroika and Glasnost in India??

Recent headlines in papers has brought out the debate once again... Is it time India moved to a Presidential form of democracy? Like it is with any option, I mean pros and cons, I would tend to believe it does appear to be favourable to have a Presidential form of governance a la USA.

Increasingly, regional parties are calling the shots and if this trend continues, we will have a pot pourrie of parties wrestling in the centre with a huge jumbo cabinet and ministers will be minsiters for the designation and status it carries rather than any work!! Not that things are very much different now, just that I think it will be worse, if that's possible..

I think our country will be a much better place if we could all vote for the President... he or she can then choose his/her team based on competence and do away with this 'carrot and stick' approach. Vote bank politics has touched a all time high with increasing say of regional parties with as little as a single seat... We can also do away with the highly decorative and meaningless and highly dispensable post called 'Governor'...

I propose a President, directly voted by people, who will pick a team and form the Cabinet and the states will continue to be governed by Chief Ministers voted by the state citizens and I also propose a more de-centralized federal structure with more autonomy given to states...

I don't say, this is going to be an Utopian, fantastic governance... but I do think it is time we deliberate on this subject and move towards a directly elected President in India