Avatar for me was an extravaganza of superlative visual graphics and mind boggling execution of 3D technology. And with that, I am done commenting about all the good things about this multi million blockbuster.

Let me make myself very clear that fantasy has never excited me, probably I am too much in to the fraternity of realism and method cinema. Some commercial flicks do entertain me and I am fond of sci-fi thrillers, but this one was a bit too much for me. The entire episode of experimentation and belligerent entry in to the world of the ‘Pandora’ clan was fascinating, but not convincing. What unfolds after a dull beginning is the dramatics of the entire gamut of human desires, emotions and sacrifice. I admit, some of the action sequences were legendary and the 3D glasses did a world of good to all of us. But I still could not figure out what was happening.. At a given point of time, I started wondering if I was watching a pedestrian ‘Bollywood’ commercial potboiler. I also felt that it was a bit dragging in bits and pieces.
I know that most of you, after reading my review, would be cursing me for disliking one of greatest blockbusters in box office history. Certainly, it is. But I probably don’t belong to this genre of filmmaking and Avatar (& James Cameron) proved this point with a big ‘Y’.

The first looks of the iPad are indeed a revelation and going by the vehement statement made by Steve Jobs, it could be the magical multimedia device we all have never seen. But for now, all of our ideas, feedback and the critic’s review could just be a speculation.

If you ask me, I am definitely fascinated by the mere infrastructure of the iPad and undoubtedly, is a part of the collector’s edition for the gadget freaks (like me..). But I would not want to go overboard with whatever we have seen till now. The tech specs are nothing to rave about (except the feature of eBook in collaboration with some of the giants in the publishing industry) and could generally be touted as the parent of ‘iPod Touch’ and ‘Phone’. It is sleek but not very portable (admittedly it cannot be with a multi touch interface and boasting a gorgeous 9.7” high definition display). I am hoping that it will have the ability to load large pfd files to read and browse books, which sadly doesn’t work in ‘Pod Touch’. I am also keen to find out the actual resolution for the pictures and movies (it would have been fantastic if iPad supported avi and divx files).

As of now, I and many others have numerous questions lingering in our minds, which I believe, would be answered when iPad finally arrives in April.

Till then, the reviews, the bashing (and the laurels) of the critics and the unprecedented expectation of possessing another world class gadget would keep me occupied.

The demise of Jyoti Basu marked the end of an era. An era that witnessed some of the finest leaders this country has ever seen, and they were an embellishment to the fraternity of our political history.

For many, Mr Basu might already be a part of folkfore, but for me, he has always come across as a phenomenal force behind India’s Marxist revolution and how he has carved a niche for himself. To be honest, politics for me has always been confined to the awareness of knowing the names of the ‘Prime Minsiter’ and the ‘President’, I seldom have respected the existence of few unscruplous individuals in the so called business or responsibilty of running an entire nation. To be precise, I admire leaders, but detest politicians. Jyoti Basu might be an exception in my list.

Right from those days, when I was a student and a teenager, who grew up in the City of Joy, I have always garnered positive vibes about the man in question. He still remains an iconic figure in Bengal and Calcutta, and perhaps, all this ambience contributed to my notion that Mr. Basu might be one of those leaders, who really cared for the state and had the passion to fight for what he believed in. I would not be proficient enough to quote instances or statistics to justify, but the his aura has certainly had an impact on numerous youngsters like me. Today, when I read the obituaries and the tributes showered on the patriarch, I feel that I was not wrong. Here was one person who led from the front and sustain a major revolution in contemporary India.

His career path, however, has not been without blemishes. From his early days of struggle as a freedom fighter to the revival of Bengal and then a lean patch till its rejuvenation, it has been a fascinating tale of dedication, sacrifice and perseverance. He had his own share of failures and disappointments, but then, who doesn’t..??

We are in dire need of leaders like him, who have the heart and the zest to execute what they believe in. I hope he leaves a legacy behind, which would be an inspiration to produce personalities of such calibre to the future generations.

Hail Comrade!

The ‘Kotla‘ debacle has raised quite a few eyebrows on the infrastructure and the management of the regional centers, across India. On this occasion, the DDCA was found guilty and by all means, this does not augur well for the country’s reputation, who is all set to host the ‘World Cup’ in 2011.

The BCCI has universally been accused of resource tampering and the inflow of cash has not helped matters, surprisingly though. BCCI happens to be the richest cricketing body and one of the wealthiest sports institution of the world, and such a mishap in the international arena is simply not acceptable. Moreover, now the ball would be tossed, pounced, punched and bounced to various courts, to decide the accountability factor. I am certain that an individual cannot be held responsible for this event, but certainly, few heads would roll and frankly, they deserve it.
It has been an occasion of extreme ignominy for the nation, who proudly states that cricket is it’s religion and Delhi is evidently in news, for all the wrong reasons. While we wait for a verdict on this, I hope this serves as an alarm to raise the bar in every cricket ground of our country and we strive to prepare pitches, which would live up to the standards of international cricket.
I am being optimistic and have reasons to believe that it could be one-of-those-days syndrome. The sooner we resolve this, the better for us.

Once in 3-4 years, comes a movie which touches our heart, tinkers the strings of emotions within us and breezes through our minds as sheer poetry. ‘3 Idiots’ is one such flick. Vidhu and Raju come back together after the ‘Munnabhai’ series and their films have just one thing in common. They create magic on screen. And ‘3 idiots’ has that charm written all over it.

Raju comes with yet another heart warming script and the screenplay is just perfect. College euphoria, friendship, emotions, wacky humour, candy floss romance. They are all hallmark of a Rajkumar Hirani film and ‘3 Idiots’ is filled with these stuff in abundance. Above all, in a very uncanny fashion, it raises a strong yet meaningful question mark over the authenticity and essence of the ‘Education System’ in our country. Right from take one, the message is loud and clearsubstantiated with significant instances and timely humour. Nice to hear nicknames like ‘Millimeter’ doing the rounds, especially after ‘Munnabhai’ happened to all of us.
The film has it’s own share of blemishes but treatment of the subject and the presentation rules the roost here. The entire ‘Aal Izz Well’ syndrome, riding a scooter and entering the hospital with a half dead patient and the landlord’s servant-genius-proxy-engineering-romancing the director’s daughter concept is all so bewildering, yet cutely acceptable.
It’s Aamir all the way, who comes up with yet another spell binding performance but the supporting cast has been equally brilliant. Sharmaan and Madhavan have given commendable performances as his buddies and Kareena is at her vivacious best. Boman excels as usual in his lisping role and the character named ‘Chatur’ (Unfortunately I missed to get the actor’s name) has been impressively irritating.
In all, a blockbuster from the word ‘Go’, 3 idiots has already become the biggest hit of the year and arguably, the best of 2009. Significantly, Raju is one of the few filmmakers in contemporary cinema, who has achieved commercial and critical success with amazing consistency. 
"Aal Izz Well" :)..