The Irishman.

My readers have perhaps noticed that I have stopped reviewing movies. I stopped going to movies because of the need to walk long distances in the malls where the multiplexes were located and my COPD came in the way of doing that comfortably. Somehow, despite Netflix, Amazon Prime and what else have you, having been installed at home by the younger generation, I never got around to watch any except the rare one which I happened to see if they were watching earlier than their normal time in the late nights.

I however sat up late last night for three and a half hours and watched The Irishman as, I just could not resist the temptation of seeing De Niro, Pacino and Pesci in a Martin Scorsese directed film. Thanks to its being available in Netflix I did this much to my satisfaction.

For people of my age, the characters in the film, Jimmy Hoffa, the Kennedy brothers, Nixon the mafia dons etc were familiar figures and just having finished reading Ken Follet’s Edge Of Eternity where some of these personalities feature too, it was an orgy of nostalgia for those days of wonder. Once again synchronicity playing a memorable role in my life.

For those of my vintage, this is a must see film. The characterisation, cinematography and direction with period details are simply magnificent. I intend seeing it again after some time to catch up on some dialogues that I think I did not quite catch due to poor reception.

Time For Some Fun.

My fellow Friday 2 on 1 blogger Shackman has suggested this week’s topic as “Time For Some Fun” and gives three topics. Please go over to his blog to see what he has to say about this topic.

Favourite song lyrics.
Most overrated book/series.
Fave movie in the last year.

The first one is very simple for me. It is this poignant song that has been a ear worm for me for decades.

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Taken husbands every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago.

The next one – Most overrated book/series.

For me, it is a no brainer. It is How To Make Friends And Influence People. . In my not so humble opinion, it is the most superficial way to establish relationships and not for long term ties. The less said the better about this book that made many people snake oil salesmen.

The last one – Fave movie in the last year. For me it was Baahubali 2: The Conclusion.

Rain Drops.

Yesterday was a holiday for Maharashtra, the state I live in for being Maharashtra Day. The downside to such holidays is that the following day, there are no newspapers and that upsets my daily routine of the mornings. So it was that I was sitting for longer than usual at my verandah this morning when some drops of water fell from the skies and I thought that it was pre monsoon showers, what in the West one would call April showers. On investigation I found that it was water falling from the terrace where the occupant was watering his plants on the terrace.

Those drops of water led me to reminisce about this song from the film Manzil which was released when our son Ranjan was all of eight years old in 1979. As perhaps some of my readers may remember, one of his nicknames was Rimjhim, meaning rain drop and so this song became a favourite for Urmeela and me.  And, as it so often happens, a friend of mine posted this song on facebook too and that triggered this post.

This scene shows¬† Mumbai’s monsoon which was part of our lives for so many years.

rimjhim gire saawan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

Spattering rain falling in monsoons
Sets the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

pahle bhi yoon to barse thhe baadal
pahle bhi yoon to bheega tha aanchal
abke baras kyun sajan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aaj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

The clouds have rained, in the past too
And have wet my clothes, even then
But the rain of this season
Sets the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

is baar saawan dahka hua hai
is baar mausam bahka hua hai
jaane pee ke chali kya pawan, sulag sulag jaaye man
bheege aj is mausam me, lagi kaisi ye agan

The monsoon rains are sizzling hot this year
And the season is so un-sober
The winds are drunk with, I know not what
Setting the embers ablaze in the heart
In the wetness of the drizzling rains today
What is this burning flame (inside)

There is another version of the same song sung by Kishore Kumar with slightly different lyrics but, this version with the monsoon scenes was the one that flashed before me in my nostalgia trip this morning.

Visiting Parents.

In my extended family of siblings and cousins both maternal and paternal, I am one of the rare ones who lives with his offspring. Something that was unthinkable during my parents’s time and well into my adulthood as well. Both my parents stayed with their children during their retirement stage and died while resident with one of the children. Today, if I look at my immediate family, none of my nephews and nieces stay with parents and the parents one of whom is single, live separately.

While this is increasingly getting to be the norm here, there are constant messages on WhatsApp and facebook about the necessity for the grown up children to spend time with their parents. This is one such video showing an adult male going to visit his widowed mother. The language is Malayalam, spoken in our Southern state of Kerala. There are no subtitles but, the story line is easy to follow despite that. Pulls all the right strings! I regret that I am unable to give credit to the maker/s of the film as I am unable to find details.

Super Heroes Real Or Imagined.

Speaking strictly from the physical point of view, my fellow 2 on 1 Friday blogger Shackman, is fit to play a super hero any time and I, his side kick who can generate some humour to the fights with windmills that we are likely to encounter. Somewhat like Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. Shackman however may have a vastly different opinion and to see what he has to say about this topic which he has come up with, please visit his blog.

I grew up straddling two cultures, Indian and British and was in awe of many heroes of both. From the former, Hanuman, Ram, Krishna, Arjuna, Shiva from the vast array of our Gods, Shivaji, Kattabomman etc from our history, and from the latter, Tarzan, The Phantom etc. This fascination lasted till about my mid teens when these were replaced by Indian film heroes and characters from English fiction. Sivaji Ganesan, M G Ramachandran, Chandrababu from the former and The Saint, Mickey Spillane, Sherlock Holmes and Perry Mason from the latter.

Fast forward to my late teens and reality sunk in and it was Super Heroines that I got involved in! The list is too long but some notable ones, Maharani Gayatri Devi, Saroja Devi, Helen, Wahida Rahman and Nutan.

Then a real life heroine came into my life and lo and behold I myself became a hero of sorts in my chosen career. It is difficult to explain without sounding boastful but, it is in my retirement that I have learnt of the number of people who thought that I was a swashbuckling sales person ever ready to lead a team of aggressive salesmen into battle with competition and top management to gain market share and bonuses. That I was like that is now clear to me by the number of people who are in touch with me via the social networks and I often wish that I can simply quit those to get more time to read books rather than posts of WhatsApp and Facebook. Despite considerable pressure from some friends, I have not gone into other sites like Linkedin and Instagram.

So, having myself been a Super Hero of sorts and also having bagged a Super Heroine in real life, where is the scope for Super Heroes or Super Heroines in my world now? My son and daughter in love are both involved in heroic social work and it is heartening for me to see them perform heroic deeds from the sidelines understanding that it is their time in the sun and it is for me to cheer them on to greater achievements.