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‘You have gift Jack. You see people’ – Rose
‘I see you’ – Jack

A forbidden romance blossoms on an ill-fated ship R.M.S Titanic and the iceberg collision leaves scars of pain, separation and tears in the minds of survivors including Rose. James Cameron’s ambitious dream – Titanic swept the Oscars, making it a nostalgic experience for the movie viewers worldwide. Conceptualizing Titanic’s collision as a backdrop, James Cameron drafted a story of ill-fated lovers – Rose and Jack who cross the path on board R.M.S Titanic. Some reviewers criticized that the romance overshadowed the disaster which claimed the lives of several passengers onboard. For me, the love story onboard Titanic connected with the movie lovers. If it didn’t had romance, Titanic would be no less than a boring documentary.

Even after 19 years of its release, Titanic holds a special place in my heart. What attracted me towards the movie was the lead character – Rose Dewitt Bukater. The older part of Rose was played by Gloria Stuart while the young part was portrayed by Kate Winslet. The 100 year old Rose recounts her memories of the Titanic disaster and the movie rewinds to 1912 when Titanic was ready to make her first maiden journey, unfortunately the last. By a stroke of luck, a poor painter Jack Dawson wins the ticket to board Titanic and the lives of Rose and Jack are destined to meet together.

Though I missed seeing Titanic on big screen, I saw it on Star Movies Channel on 31st Dec 1999. Somewhere I have a nostalgic feeling that I may have boarded the ship ‘Titanic’ in my previous lifetime. Did Rose ever board the ill-fated ship? Was Jack a fictional character in movie? Or was he a real passenger? I had recorded all these thoughts in my 2007 diary. The article on Titanic was my first blog post which I had written before starting my wordpress blog.

People remember the movie for the sensual painting scene. For me, it was more nostalgic because it is the same painted picture of the young Rose which surfaces lots of hidden stories submerged in the ocean of memories. Did Jack survive? It is through memories of Rose that we see Jack the penniless painter who teaches Rose to break free from her chains of aristocracy. In return, Rose unleashes her emotions by posing as a model for Jack’s painting.

The collision spells a doom for these star crossed lovers. What left me in tears was the scene when Jack encourages Rose to start a new life even when he is freezing to death. I hardly see such passion in today’s lovers. Had Jack survived, the story would have been different. There is an old saying that love lives forever in memories and Jack lives forever in memories of Rose.

What live you in memories are the scenes when the violin players keep on playing the instruments even in hour of death. There is another scene of old couple holding each other emotionally on bed in hours of separation.

In the climax, Rose drops the heart shaped diamond locket in the sea and returns back to rest in her bed. The scene then moves in dream where Rose again sees Jack waiting for her on Titanic. They melt in each other’s arms with a kiss. Whether Rose dies or memorizes her feelings is left to the imagination of the viewer.

Sometimes we don’t just watch the movie, we live it. My ears always crave to catch the flute’s sound played in the background. I have revived the memories of Titanic through my words. Someday I hope that in my next lifetime I will definitely meet Rose on a ship. Even if the ship sinks, I won’t let my Rose die.

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Remembering Roger Moore (1927-2017)

For me, Roger Moore was the best 007 agent of all times. Though Bond fans always regarded Sean Connery as the most loved 007, Roger Moore filled his space by working in seven Bond movies from 1973 till 1985. The 70’s and 80’s era was full of Bond comics in Indian comics market. My childhood was filled with reading all sorts of comics ranging from Phantom, Mandrake to James Bond comic series. It was the James Bond comics that made me familiar with 007.

My maternal uncle was a huge die-hard fan of Roger Moore and wouldn’t stop praising his favorite Bond movie – ‘The Spy who loved me’. I got the opportunity to watch ‘The Spy who loved me’ in 2003 and became a huge fan of Roger Moore after this. Then there was no stopping for this Bond Fan. I watched all Bond movies, especially of Roger Moore. ‘The Spy who loved me’ was one of the expensive Bond movies of all times, filled with nail biting action sequences, hot Bond girls and sophisticated villains. This Bond flick got popular for its antagonist – The Jaws. It was the first time that the role of Bond girl actress ‘Barbara Bach’ was author-backed. She is equal to 007 in every aspect and is hell bent to avenge the death of her lover who is mistakenly killed by Bond. In the climax, the female spy finally succumbs to Bond’s charm. I won’t give any spoilers about this Bond movie. Just watch the movie to live the Bond thrill.

After the exit of Sean Connery, it was Roger Moore who stepped in the shoes of 007 with his wits and charm. Roger’s first Bond movie was ‘The Man with the golden gun’. Though the movie was an average fare, it was ‘The Spy who loved me’ that brought Roger Moore in lime light. I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Octopussy’, ‘Moonraker’, ‘Live and let die’ and ‘A view to a kill’ which featured Roger Moore as 007. What captivate me to watch a Bond movie are its first 15 minutes of action-packed opening sequence, the sexy Bond girls and the high-tech Bond villains. The sleek gadgets, Asto Martin car bring more completeness to Bond movies.

Roger Moore was also popular for playing Sherlock Holmes and Simon Templar in the TV series ‘The Saint’. Roger breathed his last on 23rd May 2017 due to cancer. With departure of Roger Moore, the golden era of Hollywood has ended. After Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan is the only actor who could bring the charm of 007 on screen.

I bid farewell to Roger Moore and hope that Gods serve him his favorite Vodka Martini – shaken, not stirred.

Does nation really needs a law abiding Jolly LLB?

“The lawyer with the briefcase can steal more money than the man with the gun.” – lines from the crime novel ‘The Godfather’

This quote from crime novel ‘The Godfather’ holds true for the corrupt practices happening in law system. It is easy for a Don to fill the pockets of a crafty lawyer and get his goons released on bail in the nick of time. But is every lawyer corrupt? Recently advocate Harish Salve was in news for charging Rs 1 to fight the case for Kulbushan Jadhav. This case is in headlines on social networks. The biggest victory for justice was the death sentence for all the convicts who brutally raped and killed Jyoti Singh ‘Nirbhaya’. Justice is delayed but never denied.

The Jolly LLB movie series has created its own new franchise. The Akshay Kumar starrer – The state VS Jolly LLB2 has a lawyer Jolly fighting case against fake police encounters. The courtroom drama is a satirical take on the judicial system where reputed lawyers have their own special packages (Silver, Gold, and Premium) to fight cases. A struggling assistant lawyer Jagdishwar Mishra fondly known as Jolly cheats a pregnant woman with an assurance that his senior lawyer will fight her case. He even charges 5 lakhs from her. When the truth is revealed, the pregnant woman commits suicide. From that point, Jolly’s conscience awakens and he goes to the depth to seek justice for his deceased client. Jolly is pitted against a powerful corrupt lawyer Pramod Mathur (played by Anu Kapoor). How he seeks justice forms the crux of the film. The verbal wars in the courtroom are humorous, hard hitting where evidences are manipulated, forged and witnesses bribed.

Justice is delayed but never denied and Jolly finally wins the case with convincing arguments. In movies, justice is sought easily but reality is harsher than the fiction. Today there are lakhs of cases pending in the court waiting for justice. It is easier for a rich tycoon to bail out his spoilt kid. On the other side, a poor man can’t afford to pay money for even one proceeding.

The infamous hit and run case was an inspiration for the makers to pick the topic for the first Jolly LLB movie which had Arshad Warsi playing the lawyer Jolly. It highlighted the sick mindset of the rich masses who never bother to care about the poor working people staying on footpath. There are many cases pending on some spoilt celebrities who have crushed poor people under their car wheels in a drunken state. Will these white collar criminals be ever brought to justice?

Nation really needs a law abiding lawyer like Jolly LLB who will fight the cases for the poor and the needy. This article is an appeal to God to seek justice for the oppressed through his judgement.

A face in the dark and other hauntings – An anthology of ghost stories by Ruskin Bond

‘I see dead people’ – lines from Hollywood movie ‘Sixth Sense’

Did you ever experience paranormal visions of seeing departed people? Have you witnessed seeing your long lost loved ones in your dreams? Dreams are route to connect with departed people. Whether ghosts, spirits or apparitions really exist is a matter of debate. Ruskin Bond’s anthology of short story on ghosts in this book is not just scary, but also has a nostalgic and romantic touch to it.

‘That night there was a thunderstorm. My bedroom window kept banging in the wind. I got up to close it and as I looked out, there was a flash of lightning and I saw that frail body again, swinging from the oak tree’ – excerpt from short story Topaz from this anthology

The ghosts in Ruskin Bond’s stories are frightening, but not disturbing. The stories are memorable, hilarious and sometimes heart breaking. Especially the short story – A face in the dark is the first chapter in this anthology recounts the story of an English teacher witnessing paranormal encounter with a faceless ghost. This story has been beautifully crafted with a touch of humour that will make you read these stories again and again. Some stories in Ruskin Bond’s collections are really spooky – especially the stories ‘The Monkeys’ and ‘The Topaz’. Ruskin Bond has written one ghost story in this collection which is dedicated to his father.

‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio.
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy’
– lines from Shakespeare’s Hamlet

A rare photograph of Ruskin Bond with his mother during his childhood

In this nostalgic chapter, Ruskin Bond recounts the supernatural event of seeing his dead father coming back to meet him. The ghostly form of his dead father not only guides him, but also protects him at several instances. Ruskin Bond has included this nostalgic episode in several of his short story collection. The 1998 Hollywood movie – Jack Frost is also based on such a premise where a dead father returns as a snowman to reunite with his little son and fulfill the wishes of his child and wife. The role of the ghost father was played by Michael Keaton in this family movie. Even the 90’s movie – The Ghost had a similar plot where a dead man returns as a ghost to establish contact with his soulmate and make her aware of upcoming dangers. The Kevin Costner Starrer movie – Dragon Fly was more gripping on topic of afterlife and how a deceased wife tries to contact with her husband through paranormal signals.

Dreams are also a way to connect with your long lost loved ones. In my dreams, I had nostalgic experience of seeing my long lost maternal uncle who is no more with me. Whenever I was sad or depressed, I always saw my uncle in my dream, assuring that everything will be all right. The bond that I shared with my uncle in my childhood days is really memorable, especially accompanying him to buy comic books. I miss his presence really in these difficult times. Ruskin Bond also has also written a short story, describing his experience, meeting a long lost friend who is happened to be dead years back.

All the 28 ghost stories in this anthology are unique. Whether it is connecting with ghost of Rudyard Kipling or meeting the mysterious Madam Sussanna who has killed all her seven husbands under mysterious circumstances, the stories gives you a glimpse at the supernatural elements in a very entertaining way. The most entertaining chapter in this anthology was the surprise entry of Detective Sherlock Holmes in the story ‘The Daffodil Case’. In this story, Sherlock Holmes teams up with Ruskin Bond to solve a case involving stealing of Daffodil flowers. The short story ‘Something in the water’ and ‘Night in the millennium’ are really creepy.

The ghostly settings in these stories send scary goosebumps, giving a feel of ghostly presence around you. The recently released Bollywood movie – Phillauri draws inspiration from a spooky story ‘The Topaz’ in this anthology. Science may have denied the supernatural existence, but paranormal activities do keep happening in some corners of the world. If you love reading ghost stories, this anthology by Ruskin Bond is definitely a treat.

Wonder Woman – Movie Preview

‘Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world’ – Marilyn Monroe

Gal Gadot as the amazon princess in the 2017 action movie – Wonder Woman

Looks like this quote is well applicable for Hollywood actress Gal Gadot as she steps in the shoes of the popular DC comic character – Wonder Woman in the upcoming movie adaptation. When Gal Gadot made a cameo appearance as Wonder Woman in the 2016 movie – Batman VS Superman: Dawn of justice, she took my attention and I knew this girl is going to rock. The way she made her entry in the climax as Wonder Woman, I knew she was born for this role. A born warrior, Wonder Woman is a fusion of beauty and courage.

This beautiful amazon princess who is rumored to be daughter of God Zeus is brought up by her mother Hippolyta. The plans of making a stand-alone movie on Wonder Woman was in the news for several years until director Zack Snyder decided to helm the project with Gal Gadot in the lead role. There were several top notch actresses in talks to play the role of amazon princess until it went to Gal Gadot. Even top names like Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox,Catherine Zeta Jones and Priyanka Chopra were considered for this role. I guess the lady luck was in favor of Gal Gadot. Gal Gadot’s energetic presence gives an edge to her role as Wonder Woman. I had the same gut feeling about Christian Bale when I saw him for the first time in the Batman Begins promotional poster. I knew he was born to portray the dark knight with conviction.

Also known as Princess Diana of Themyscira, this warrior goddess rescues an American military pilot Steve Trevor and joins hands with the pilot to stop the world war. Though Wonder Woman may be a fiction super heroine/warrior goddess, the inspiration of creating this character is drawn immensely from Indian mythology.

Before Wonder Woman made her appearance in the comics’ world, Indian mythology already had Devi Durga, the supreme Goddess who took various avatars to destroy the demonic race. Thus the roots and origin of Wonder Woman is hidden in the books of Hindu mythology. With a lasso, sword and shield as her weapon Gal Gadot will be seen stopping the world war in the 2017 as the bold and beautiful ‘Wonder Woman’.

Gal Gadot will be seen portraying Wonder Woman again in Justice League which is scheduled to release in November 2017. DC is all set to release the 2017’s most awaited super hero movie – Wonder Woman in June 2017. The big screen is ready for the arrival of Wonder Woman worldwide.