Zest of Youth

Song of the Day: ‘De Perros Amores’ by Control Machete


There are some movies that really impact one and leave a far greater impression than one might like to admit. I first watched Into the Wild, in the spring of 2008, and, perhaps, it was the time or the place, or even the person that I was but even though I was impressed by several things: the cinematography, the sounds, and the poignant character study; it did not leave a particular mark on my memory (or so I thought) — cynic that I was. Continue reading “Zest of Youth”


A Fine Balance — Rohinton Mistry

Song of the Day: ‘Ma jeunesse fout le camp’ by Françoise Hardy


Some time last autumn, we were walking around uptown Whittier (one of those little towns sprawled across Southern California, one drives by but hardly ever visits) and happened upon a second-hand bookstore. It was such a cute little shop, the books on the shelves haphazardly arranged into some form of an ordering semblance. I found the entire place quite charming. Anyhow, browsing about and wondering what to get — it’s almost second nature, I walk into a bookstore and I have to buy a book — one of my friends suggested A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. ‘You’ll love it A.!,’ he said. ‘It’s a wonderfully written human story.’ I wanted to ask if other books weren’t human stories but decided that it was best to not start that debate.

Months later, looking for a new read, I found the book under a pile of other yet-to-be-read books. And in hindsight, I’m glad that I made that choice. I must admit, though, that the density of the book combined with Mistry’s style of writing meant that I took my sweet time reading this book. There was just so much to take in.

Continue reading “A Fine Balance — Rohinton Mistry”

Theeb — Beware of Wolves

Song of the Day: El Amaken by Mohammed Abdo


I usually avoid the ‘Middle-Eastern’ sub-tab under the ‘International’ section of movies on Netflix, because the selection is so limited. However, this past Friday, too tired after a long day of work and in need of entertainment; I found myself browsing the section. One of the movies caught my eye. The description read: ‘World War I: The Arabian Desert has become a danger zone of spies, assassins, and thieves. One boy is about to cross it.’ Hardly much seemed enticing about that description but I still found myself clicking play. (That Netflix gives terrible descriptions to movies that are sometimes misleading and sometimes completely off the mark is hardly a new phenomenon  there is even a dedicated sub-Reddit and countless articles written on the subject.)

Continue reading “Theeb — Beware of Wolves”

El Orfanato/The Orphanage

Song of the Day: Reminiscing by Ailee


I was going through my very long list of movies that are still awaiting a review, and one caught my eye. The Orphanage, the 2007 film by J.A. Bayona. I remember leaving the cinema thoroughly entertained in a brilliantly, shudderingly, suspenseful manner.

Anyhow, I re-watched it this weekend for the purposes of this review, and maybe there is a correlation between age and fear: the older you get, the more susceptible to fear. Or maybe I am the exception here. It scared the living daylights out of me and I found myself screaming like a banshee in a house by myself.  Continue reading “El Orfanato/The Orphanage”

La Vin de Sourires

Song of the Day: ‘You See Big Girl’ by Hiroyuki Sawano

I have been doing an overhaul of my hard drives and in the process I’m finding many pieces of writing that have hardly seen the light of day. It almost feels the same as when one finds money in the pockets of a jacket or coat that one hasn’t worn in a long time; and though you know it’s your money, it still feels like a gift.

One such piece is a long-forgotten poem that I wrote in the heyday of 2007. That was definitely one of my favourite years of adulthood. I had just graduated college and the possibilities that life held seemed endless and the world seemed like such a wonderful place. I still believe those things however with a touch of cynicism and caution thrown into the mix: The world is cruel but also very beautiful. The battles one has to fight daily are surmountable but they chip away at one slowly; the bigger challenge is to keep those chips as minimal as possible.

Continue reading “La Vin de Sourires”