Silverado.

silverado-movie-poster-1985-1010517500

Shackman, whose judgement I value greatly, asked me if I had seen Silverado while commenting on my post The Magnificent Seven. I had not and responded with “No, I never saw Silverado. I shall do so soon and write about it.”

I had not because the film was released in 1985. That was the time that I was burning both ends of the candle in my career and had little time for movies.

With some difficulty, I was able to see a poor version on youtube as DVDs are not available for this film. I subsequently saw many clips from the film also on youtube to relish better resolution,

I think that this film must rank among the best ever made in the “Western” genre. In many ways, it is better than the original The Magnificent Seven. The cinematography is simply far superior because this film was made 25 years after the TMS!

I would dearly like to see a decent version via DVD and shall keep looking for opportunity to do so.  If any of my readers can help, I shall be grateful.  I shall take care of the logistics of shipping it to me in India.

Thank you Shackman.

A Tale For The Time Being.

book-cover

I don’t quite remember what made me buy this book and when. It has been on the top of the list of the books unread on my kindle and finally I got round to reading it a few days ago. That it took me more than a day or two should tell my readers what a slow read that it makes. It is very heavy going from the word go and the plot unfolds in a leisurely fashion. For someone used to faster paced books, this was literally a drag. I can’t really figure out as to how this got to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

For all that, it is a book worth reading for its very unusualness. I have never read anything like this by any other author. The toing and froing of the two leading characters not only in the reading but also in the time frame of now and in the past, makes for a different than usual normal reading experience. The strangeness is not just in the flashback technique used but in the surreal presentation of the unfolding of the story.

The character portrayals of all the people who appear and disappear in the story is handled well as is the description of the crow whose presence is a very important part of the narrative. The Japanese culture juxtaposed with an American influence on a teenager is handled very well and that keeps the interest in the story alive till the whole story is resolved. Throwing in Tsunami, Zen Buddhism, The Schrodinger’s cat and Quantum Physics gives it a quaint twist too.

If you like serious reading in the fiction genre, this book will appeal to you.

A Life Frittered Away!

Some times, just to be funny, I respond to the question “what do you do?” with “I spend my son’s money”. This is inevitably followed by the question “what before that?”, and to that, I respond with “I spent my father’s money.”

Recently, I just did it to a very serious minded person who did not catch the humour involved and commented “Ah, you have just frittered away your life, good for you.” I suppose that it was his way of being funny and I did laugh at that time but that comment has been working at the back of my mind for quite some time. Last week however, two get togethers made me resolve the issue, I hope, once and for all for myself.

The two occasions were: first, a get together with six colleagues from one of my pre-retirement employers with whom I had worked between 1970 and 1990. We had got together for lunch at a mountain resort an hour and a half’s drive away from Pune. My colleagues came from Mumbai.

The second was again a lunch get together but, this time with my classmates of 1965 to 1967 from the Business School. Here it was six of us, all resident in Pune with the exception of one who is only part time resident here as he lives in New York for six months of the year. Every time that he is back, we get together for a few times and this was one such occasion.

When you put the people involved together, including me the number turns out to be 12. None of us are below 65 and all except me are grandfathers. All of us are retired except for three who are in their own businesses, but who too are only part occupied with business matters. All of us have well settled children and all of us have done reasonably well in life and have the wherewithal to live well in our sunset years. We can afford to enjoy ourselves with travel, get togethers with friends and family and other interests.

All of us had started our working lives during the depressing Socialistic Pattern Of Society in India and are bemused at the modern youngsters complaints of frustration when instant gratification is absent. People like us who depended on the private sector for our livelihoods were villains to be suspicious of. Despite such backgrounds, all of us had grown in our careers and contributed to our societies in many ways, and continue to do so.

These two get togethers when we discussed so many personal matters amongst ourselves, clearly showed that we had not frittered away our lives.

I will shortly send you a link to the post NK. No Sir, I most certainly did not. I have lived a full life, served, loved and lost; succeeded and failed and, have built a life that I can proudly claim to have been an eventful and even joyful one. And just so that you learn that I too have read Thoreau, I have simplified my life to the extent that when I finally go, my son will have little to handle to effect closure.