Have Movie Apps changed the definition of Movie viewing?

Life has become app based. From shopping, paying bills, booking tickets to reserving your restaurant tables, everything is happening comfortably at the comfort of your mobile screen. Movie viewing is not an exception in app based world. Hectic corporate office work and day to day household chores have snatched the space and peace of watching movies in single screens and multiplexes with family. In 80’s people used to watch only one movie on Sunday telecasted by Doordarshan channel. Later the advent of video parlors enabled people to pay 5 Rs and watch newly released movies with friends. During my childhood days, my uncle used to take me and my brother to video parlor where I enjoyed several movies which include Inquilab, Kranti, Pratigya etc. In late 80’s VCR’s and VCP (video cassette recorder and Video cassette player) were in boom. Since everything has become app based then why movie viewing should be left behind?

Latest movie apps like Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Reliance Jio Movies, Voot, Sony Liv etc have made movie viewing more relaxed and comfortable. Now you can watch latest movies like Bahubali 2 on Hotstar easily whenever you want. All you need is to pay a yearly fee to subscribe and enjoy the latest movies wherever you are. Though I love watching movies on these apps, it doesn’t give that same thrill which I enjoyed watching movies in theatres or on DVD players. Movie theatres have a cinematic ambience which adds more fun to movie viewing. I had several DVD’s and VCD’s which boasted of best James Bond movies and Bollywood flicks. Even watching movies on DVD player has its own joy. The growing number of movie channels on TV has squeezed down the interest of watching movies.

Though you can find dozens of movie apps on Google Play Store to download on your mobile and Tablets, it doesn’t guarantee the same thrill you enjoyed while watching in Theatres.

The constant video ads on movie apps spoil the fun of movie viewing. Some of the video ads can’t even be skipped. Majority of the fresh new movies are premium. One has to monetarily subscribe to watch those movies. Every technology has its own pluses and minuses.

Movie apps have definitely made movie seeing comfortable but the hectic work life has robbed off the joy of real movie seeing. Do you prefer watching movies in theatres or on a movie app? Do let me know your views.

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In the company of books – A day in the life of a reader

I am not lucky as author Khushwant Singh who wrote about his romantic adventures in his memoir – Company of women. For a loner writer like me, my books are my timeless companions in whom I seek refuge. My school of thought about life is different from people in the world. Sometimes having no goal is the biggest goal of one’s life. There is no competition, conflict, misunderstandings or expectations. One lives life on his own terms. It takes guts to live life on your own ideologies. So here I am the reader who feels that reading and completing a book is an accomplishment in itself. Every weekend I take a challenge to read and complete one book. Ironically I end up leaving the book pending and pile of incomplete books to my credit. The reading bug bit me during my childhood days and there was no cure for it. I had the same feeling as Peter Parker had after getting bitten by a radioactive spider. Rest was a life changing experience for Peter Parker. He became a superhero – Spiderman. I am not a super hero, I am a blog writer.

Reading is not everyone’s cup of tea. You have to be blessed to be fond of books. I thank God for blessing with this reading hobby. It started with comics and then evolved into full length novels. Hadn’t I read ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ I wouldn’t have become a writer. Reading Tom Sawyer was my first stint as a full core literature reader. Then there was no looking back. I must have read over 50 novels till the date. I admit that I am an impatient reader. I read the book where I feel connected. I could never muster up the courage to read Dan Brown’s novel – The Da Vinci Code. There was nothing worth connecting with the book. It is not like that the book was bad. Somewhere I couldn’t relate with it. I do buy 5 to 10 books every month and keep them reserved for future reading. Sometimes the excitement of reading is so high that I end up reading nothing.

Though I don’t travel a lot, I do take a time out to explore the book stores located in the cities – Especially the old book stores, road side book sellers who give you the bestsellers at half the price. I do visit the happening bookstores like Crossword but the books available in the store are too expensive to buy. I love the dusty smell of old books brought from the roadside booksellers. It has a sense of nostalgia to it. Majority of the book shop owners have become familiar with me and know about my favorite genre and authors – especially Ruskin Bond. Whenever I go to Crossword Stores to explore new book releases, the staff knows that I have come to buy the new Ruskin Bond books. Sometimes you don’t choose the books but the books choose you. Often times I had the privilege to buy the books of well-known writers like Shakespeare, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Kate Douglas Wiggins, Ruskin Bond, Jane Austen and Mary Shelley.

From visiting the book stores to buying and reading the book, this journey is worth the life. After completing the book, the reader in me is back to explore new books and discover a new aspect of life through the words of a writer.

Do let me know your experience of reading and which book inspired you to become a reader?

Murder on the Orient Express – A thrilling who-dun-it by Agatha Christie

Very few suspense novelists have the knack to play mind games with readers and Agatha Christie is one of them. After Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie is the only writer whose writing works in genre of suspense and mystery have been critically acclaimed worldwide. Murder on the Orient Express is one of the most popular who-dun-it thrillers by Agatha that has redefined the genre of suspense and thrill. The crime scene in this novel is a train named ‘Orient Express’.

Agatha Christie is the popular writer in Suspense genre

12 suspects, 1 detective are left stranded on Orient express which is stuck up due to snow. In this midst, a passenger named Ratchett is mysteriously stabbed to death in his compartment. Now the railway authorities seek the help of Poirot to intervene and solve this baffling mystery. As Poirot starts investigating, he discovers that the victim was once a kidnapper who had killed a baby girl – Daisy Armstrong after abducting her. Poirot starts interrogating each passenger on the train and to the shock he suspects that each passenger is hiding something from him. I won’t reveal the story more. Just read this novel and your wits will put to test. Especially the climax will leave you baffling. You will wonder ‘Oh I never thought in that way’.

An iconic pic of Detective Hercule Poirot. Actor David Suchet is popular for playing the Belgian Detective Poirot

What is so special about Agatha Christie’s suspense novels are that they play mind games with readers’ mind. Right from the opening sequence, Agatha Christie’s writings keep you spell bound and allow you to make your own assumptions about the crime thriller. In the climax, you will get a shocking jolt when you discover the identity of the killer. Agatha’s books are never an easy read. Agatha Christie’s character – Belgian Detective Hercule Poirot keeps a sharp gaze on every suspect through their mannerisms, communication and connects the dots that lead him to the real motive behind the murder of the kidnapper Ratchett. Buy this thriller and be a witness of the biggest crime committed on Orient Express. This is one of the baffling cases in series of Hercule Poirot Books.

The Poster of the new movie adaptation of Agatha Christie’s novel

Director Kenneth Branagh is coming up with fresh new movie adaption of ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ which will feature big names in Hollywood portraying the role of suspects while Kenneth Branagh will play the role of Hercule Poirot. Johnny Depp will be seen as the victim Ratchett who is mysteriously murdered in the compartment of Orient Express.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ and ‘And there were none’ by Agatha Christie. Also check out ‘Death in the Clouds’ and ‘Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ by Agatha Christie.

The day I decided to quit writing…….

Writing is not everyone’s cup of tea. Writing is a craft which cannot be taught. It is like learning to swim on your own. Once you take a dip in the sea, you can’t survive unless your limbs start moving. I was proud to hone this craft until that day when my so called boss (or a presumed editor) criticized my writing piece by crumbling it in his hands and handing it over to me. That incident struck like a thunderbolt. I started suspecting my own writing qualities. Was I so poor in my writing skills or was it the world that was bent on seeing me quit writing? My writing materials were criticized every day with red marks all over it. It was scorned, rejected, disapproved.

Visual of a typewriter is always inspiring for budding writers

The red marks on the paper reflected the bleeding of my heart. I realized enough was enough. I couldn’t muster up the courage to continue my writing endeavors. I decided to quit writing. Even my so called friends advised me to quit writing. Some feel that writers are born failure. What a stupid misconception!! When I thought of quitting writing I realized why did I start it? Just to quit. This is not how the story is going to end.

Sylvia Plath had to face lot of heart breaking rejections in her writing career

Author Sylvia Plath’s writings were so miserably rejected that she committed suicide. Ironically she won a Pulitzer Prize for her writing works posthumously. Writer Thomas Hardy was so severely criticized for his prose that he gave up writing novels. Even Stephen King, the celebrated writer of horror genre once threw his writing materials in dustbin. It was his wife who picked his writing materials from the dustbin and encouraged Stephen to keep writing. The manuscript of Harry Potter book was rejected 20 to 30 times until it became a phenomenal landmark in literature. What if J.K.Rowling had decided to quit? We wouldn’t have been reading and seeing Harry Potter adventures in books and movies. In one of my interviews, the interviewer told me that my writing lacked the spice and flavor to attract readers. Really my writings don’t have the spice and flavor because I am not a cook  I write what I feel from the core of my heart. 99 % of the editors really don’t understand the craft of writing. They job is to reject the work of aspiring writers.

Even Ernest Hemingway had to face rejections

It is been 8 years since that discouraging day when I decided to quit writing. I may not become a successful and celebrated writer like Amish Tripathi, J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown or Stephen King, but I will continue writing irrespective of my writing medium – Blog, Articles and books. It is my devotion, conviction and belief towards my craft that keeps me going.

If I had quit writing 8 years back, I wouldn’t have been writing this article. There may be times when I will stumble and fall down.

But why do we fall? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up. – Lines from movie Batman begins.