Caffeine and Lithium – A Short story

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I walked into my haven, a classic under rated coffee shop just a block away from my home it was my second home in a way. Whatever the day had to offer, I made sure I ended my day in this little Coffee Shop. It was a fitting place to spend the “me time”, relaxing my time off. In fact when I paid the $1.65 for my medium coffee, I not only bought me a cup of freshly brewed coffee, but also some time for myself. That’s one of the reasons I visit this place so often, and then the ever smiling Adriana. She worked there, she was pretty, intelligent, buzzing with energy. Her immaculate smile made my day, technically it made my Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. She worked there part-time.

Friday, it was pretty demanding Friday, arranging, organizing, and completing the left over tasks of the week. I walked up to place my order, she was there smiling, amused that she could serve me. I placed my order, a medium coffee. “How would you like it?” she asked.

“2 creams and 1 sugar” I replied.

She quickly pulled out a paper cup to make my coffee, “In a mug, please” I muttered.

I was furious it was probably the zillionth time that I had requested her to make my coffee in a mug. The lasting thing I want on a tiresome day is my coffee in a paper cup. She had a grin on her face every time, she did that knowingly.  I always thought it was her lame attempt to strike a conversation with me. If so, she never succeeded.

I took my coffee to the table. It was a bad day for me. It’s been exactly one year since Cathy left me. I put my head down, isolating myself in a noisy coffee shop. Forgetting her was the bane of my life. The time I spent with Cathy was probably the most exciting thing that happened to me. She made me cry with laughter, she made me look stupid but also reminded me I was intelligent. She made me stronger but helped me realise my weaknesses. All that had ended, she was here no more. She was with me I cannot recall from when. She walked with spent time with and started percolating in me, and so brewed into a fine relationship. Every step I took it was firmer, ever thought purer, every dream larger, every sleep sounder, everyday like no other. The only short coming, I drowned into that moment never willing to move ahead. I had an unknown fear, fear more than love, more than lust, more than happiness. Now   I feel lonely without her, it was as if I had to face all the ordeals myself.

What lead to this? It was just 30minutes.

Someone patted on my shoulder, it was Adriana. “Is everything alright?” she asked. I was already too carried away to respond to her. “We are closing” she said. I looked at my watch knowing that it has been dead for almost a year now I don’t know why I glanced at my dead watch. I looked at my coffee it was cold. I looked at her she smiled and indicated

“Your watch is dead!”

“Oh..”  I pretended that I didn’t know.

“Your watch has been dead for months now, probably from the very first day when I remember seeing you”.

She pulled a chair opposite to me “What’s wrong?” she enquired.

I kept looking at my watch it almost made me burst into tears. She looked me in the eye and said “it is okay” as if she knew what I was going through. She placed her comforting hand on my hands.

“Your coffee is getting cold!” she said. I looked at the coffee, took a sip its bitterness showed on my face. She smiled.

“Why don’t you change the batteries on your watch?”

“It’s been exactly a year” I replied. My girlfriend gave it to me. She set it 30 minutes fast, because every time she invited me somewhere I was 30 minutes late.

Adriana was curious “What happened?”

I honestly don’t have an answer, why was I late to meet her?  Was I busy with work?  I don’t know. I just feel, it was my fault.

“Did you love her?” she asked.

“Yes!”

If there was one thing that I could change in my life it would be that I wanted to be 30 minutes early every time I met her.

“What is that got to do with replacing batteries?” “Then why don’t you replace the batteries?”

I looked down, “it’s complicated”.

She came back “I am quite sure it is not as complicated as knowing you”

I quickly drank my cold coffee, it was horrible. And then I bid goodbye to her. As I walked back home I realised, It was comforting indeed to share my feelings with Adriana. She at least knew what most people don’t.   I realised that she has always trying to be helpful, but it was me who was negligent.

Wednesday, I walked into the coffee shop placed my order, she was there more excited than usual, and she made my coffee this time in a mug, without any request.  She had a notorious grin on her face thorough out. I just picked up my coffee and left. I placed my coffee in the table with the help of the overhead lamp I saw a small shiny object on my saucer. It was a lithium battery for my watch. I looked at her. She gave me assuring smile. As if she had solved all my problems. She came over, “replace it!” she whispered in my ear and walked away. May be it was time that I did that. She was very watchful, I somehow found a way to open the bottom of my watch, and I carefully replaced the batteries on my watch. It instantly sprang into action, it was perfect! It somehow felt better, may be it was just a placebo effect. My eyes went searching for Adriana, I wanted to thank her. Someone patted on my shoulder, it was her. She whispered “move on” and walked away. I started thinking back may be she was right I must move on, get a life for myself. After all it was so simple; it was only my head in the way. I looked at her, she smiled. I was happy, uplifted, something has changed in me. I was lost in time my coffee was still in my table cold, again.

I looked at watch it was already 11.00 pm. Time to close the shop. She walked up to me and said “We are Clo…” I lifted my wrist proudly and showed the watch.

She smiled, “At last” she said.

“Thank you” I said. She looked at me she came over sat next to me this time.

“Alright?” she asked, I smiled. And now I realised we were alone. The others had left. She was holding my hand and we started talking. She came closer to me, her breath breezed on my face, and it felt strangely familiar and familiarly strange. Holding her hand amidst her breath she looked me in the eye. Suddenly it struck me I had to be early in the office tomorrow. I excused myself I reluctantly had to bid her goodbye to her. She was disappointed and so was I.

“Goodbye” she said softly. We parted.

Friday, I had to wait a whole day to meet her. I could possibly never take her out of my mind the whole time.  I was more than excited to meet her today. May be she was the solution. I felt so much better after the other night I felt I was dead, buried and resurrected. After work today, I walked straight to the coffee shop, briskly walked up to place my order. It was a bald man in his mid 30’s there. I was perplexed. “How may I help you?” He asked.

“Adriana?”

“Who?”

“the gi- girl who used to work here” I stuttered.

“The girl, she left the job and has moved over to London, I’m her replacement” He answered. I was devastated. I quietly place my order. All my hopes came crumbling down. I took my coffee placed it on the table. I was sitting there unaware of my existence. I looked at my watch, it was working fine. I sat there unable to digest my disappointment, time seem to have evaporated. I rested my head on the table. Now I was trying to connect the dots, it was her last day, it was her last goodbye. What if I had noticed her before? What if I had spoken to her earlier?  What if I had expressed my desire that night, would she be here? There were streams of questions in my mind.

Someone patted on my shoulder, it was the bald guy, “we are closing” he said and walked away. I looked my working watch it was 11.00 pm, I looked beside at my coffee mug, and again my coffee got cold. I sipped my cold coffee its bitterness stung my tongue. Just then I realised the bitter truth.

“I have never had my coffee hot”

THE END

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Snapshot of Life!

Photography for me is something more than the scientific process of creating images.  It is more profound in the perception rather than the creation. Photography has largely been ridiculed to capturing scenic landscapes or framing a mighty skyscrapers, just the mere physical imagery of a location, however  photography transcends rightly framed colourful images. Photography is often not creating beautiful images but it’s a unique way to capture genuine reality.

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Often photography transcends rightly framed colourful images

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“If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera that is the instrument.” – Eve Arnold

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Photography is often not creating beautiful images but it’s a unique way to capture genuine reality.

 

That’s why I wander around street trying to capture moments. The thing about street photography is that it is quite unique, unpredictable and most of all cannot be recreated or staged. Everyday life is very exciting consisting of millions of wonderful moments. However these moments are forgone by our impatience to get on with life. Street Photography creates a suspended moment which intervenes and interrogates those moments.

Street photography is when photographer can have a conversation with a viewer, a different conversation each time, with the same image. When I carry my camera around through the streets trying to find the moment to capture, the mere process sharpens my mind makes me understand people and life in general. The street is intimate, vibrant and full of stories.  I get to laugh at the comical moment that only I have seen or empathize for someone on the street or feel the intimacy of a passionate couple on the subway, all only because I just paused every moment in my view finder.  I treasure each experience, a 2 hour blockbuster movie, years in production with eye smacking visuals cannot emulate the experience I get from wandering the streets with the camera around my neck.

Love every moment of it!

Vishwaroopam: The Good and the bad

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The Good

  • Intriguing screenplay, keeps you on the edge of the seats. There are also many interesting questions which I hope will be answered in Viswaroopam 2.
  • As always, great casting and amazing performance by Kamalhassan. Rahul Bose and Pooja Kumar do justice to their roles.
  • A well-researched impartial take on extremism, its roots and life. The film also depicts the lives of extremists, sometimes you might also empathize with them.
  • Witty and well written dialogues.
  • Midas touch: There are scenes in the Vishwaroopam which screams Kamalhassan. The maker’s political and religious views come across boldly in the film.   (nothing malicious though)
  • Well-choreographed stunt sequences.  
  • The authenticity of various languages and cultures involved in the plot are detailed and well made. Informative, Kamal’s direction stands out.

 

The Bad

  • When most of the action sequence were jaw dropping, some of the CG sequences were absurd. As an end product, all the hard work is ruined.
  • The screenplay has a lot of loose ends though it paves way for sequel it does not quite give a closure for the first film.
  • The BGM of the Vishwaroopam could have been done better. I honestly don’t know how many more films will rip Hans Zimmer’s Dark Knight Soundtrack. It may easily deceive a lay man, but not someone who listen to it every day. Disappointing from the trio.

 

Verdict: Must watch.  A Class act!

Behold our King – AR Rahman :Kadal Music Review

Kadal - Tamil mp3 Songs Kadal Movie Audio Song

Chitirai Nila

The album starts with a musically and lyrically inspirational “Chitirai Nila” rendered soulfully by Vijay Yesudas. It’s the genesis, a great start to the album. The song is irrefutably positive, thanks to the enlightening lyrics by Vairamuthu.

Adiye

Wow, we have another Aaromalesque song from Rahman. The tone of “Adiye” is almost preposterous, in a good way, obviously. The song is one of the most alluring songs of the album, personally. The song is crooned faithfully by Sid Sriram, an amazing talent. Proof, as soon as the album released Sid Sriram was trending on twitter, enough said. Two thumps up!!

Moongil Thottam

A heart-warming tune almost an instant classic, you might presume that it’s another simple melody, wait, listen again. The instrumentation is nominal yet magical. Vocals by Abhay Jodhpukar and Harini are serene, to foster into a soulful melody. In classic Rahman style, the song culminates with an impulsive duet.

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You will only like the song more!

PS: AR Rahman’s voice is only a scrumptious icing on the cake.

Elay Keechan

A light hearted country song, it immediately gets you on the feat. Rahman’s rendition is reminiscent of the “Mustafa”, “Urvasi” days. The tune is explicitly carefree and so is the befitting lyric by Karky. Elay Keechan, a joyous song, which is sure to rock.

Anbin Vasale

The grandeur of this religious song is inimitable. The chorus is instantaneously mesmerising, I found myself humming the chorus after the first listen. I wish all songs sung in the church were as good. Rahman effortlessly pulls off a grand chorus piece. Anbin Vasale, another elevated tune from Rahman.

Magudi Magudi

Magudi Magudi, I never liked the idea. I mean a song like this in Kadal seemed implausible. However, I see myself liking it involuntarily. A foot tapping number like ‘Dol Dol’ from “Ayutha Ezhuthu” electrifying and galloping beats dominates this song. Looking forward to the clubs rocking with M-A-G-U-D-I!

Verdict: In Hollywood style, Rahman undoubtedly delivers “the” album of the year at the eleven hour.

LYTRO Camera – Can it remain in focus?

A Lytro camera basically is a Light Field Camera (LFC) which is quite different from conventional cameras in a way. Let’s leave aside the technical stuff, primarily a Lytro camera allows us to capture first and focus later. The technology that it uses is futuristic and also available to the consumers. (Lytro 8GB Light Field Camera – Graphite -$ 399 CAD)

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Specs

  • 11 ‘Megaray’* sensor
  • 8x 43-340mm equivalent, constant F2 lens (limited to 43-150mm range in Everyday mode)
  • 8GB or 16GB internal memory (depending on model)
  • 1.46″ (33mm) touch-screen ( I don’t see the point here)
  • Instant power-on.

So with a Lytro camera you can capture a moment without worrying about the focus. So does it guarantee a good picture regardless of how I take the picture? Yes and no.  Of course camera does try to eliminate the problem with blurry pictures. However, you also have to get the ISO and shutter speed right (of course the frame as well). To an extent the Lytro camera does what it promises. It lets the focusing part to the end user, quite impressive.  The demo below is kind of ironic and fascinating! Check it out for yourself. (Click on the picture to focus)

My thoughts on the Lytro Camera

  • Today in the world of digital cameras with auto focus features, advanced face recognition technologies, the causes for bad pictures are mostly the ISO and the shutter speed. Focus is very rarely the problem.
  • Lytro is not focused at photography enthusiasts (If it was, the price tag would be above $699. Trust me). So it is mainly for people who want to take photographs with less effort from their side. (An equivalent of making a 2 minute noodles, when you can prepare a 7 course meal. Of course it depends on their appetite)   
  •  It’s a fad in every sense; I tried browsing through the Lytro gallery. First I was very fascinated by it, as clicked the next arrow and then the next, I found myself bored. The law of diminishing utility definitely works for the Lytro pictures. Check out for yourself? https://pictures.lytro.com/
  • Here is the big ONE! As of now, you cannot share the Lytro pictures on Facebook. The Lytro camera does not capture images in conventional formats like jpeg, PNG .etc. it’s mainly due to its interactive functionality. However, I could see that they may come up with a way to accommodate it into Facebook. ( These pictures can definitely can spark a new level of interactivity with Facebook )
  • It’s Cylindrical! I don’t see Lytro cameras making a fashion statement in anyway, not in the present and not in the immediate future.

As an amateur photographer, I believe the Lytro camera cannot cater to my appetite for photography. However, I would definitely love playing around with photos which are interactive. It definitely provides a distinctive perspective.

Dial M for Murder 3D – TIFF

Dial M for Murder 3D

Wondering who would ever come to watch a Hitchcock classic re-released after 1954, I mean considering movies like Looper and Argo premiering on the same day. We (Myself & Karthik) walked confidently towards the screening; surprisingly we were ushered away saying that the theater was house-full for Dial M for Murder. I didn’t understand the logic, apparently there were more people wanting to watch the Hitchcock Classic among the glitz and glamour of the other films. We just felt unlucky; however we laughed off and walked away.

One month later, finally got to catch up with the movie. I really wanted to experience the movie in 3d not because I’m a fan of 3d ( In fact I hate 3d) , I just wanted to experience a Hitchcock film in 3d. Well I finally got a chance (believe me, it was not easy to get tickets even now)

We all know Dial M for Murder a classic, a film which is so memorable. Dial M for murder is arguably one of Hitchcock’s best films. It Holds You Spellbound with Suspense!  Did Hitchcock make it in 3d? Yes. Reluctantly Hitchcock made Dial M for Murder in 3d. Hitchcock disliked the idea of 3d but the studio convinced him to make it in 3d, and understandably 3d did not catch up well with theaters .Ended with people watching it in 2d.

How did Hitchcock handle 3d?

First of all unlike most contemporary directors, Hitchcock did not get carried away by the technology. He did not create a scene because it would look good in 3d. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that he made the best use of 3d. A 3d movie was and is considered by many as visual spectacles, What Hitchcock tried to do is fascinating! Hitchcock succeeded in using 3d to add more depth in to the scene. Each and every frame of the movie had depth, that is, in a scene you could literally measure the placement of objects in the foreground, subject and the background. After watching it in 3d I could geometrically say where Grace Kelly picked up the phone in the room, the exact location (3d).  The depth 3d brings to a plot like Dial M for Murder is immense. I don’t think anyone would dare to make a drama in 3d; well unfortunately it works well that way (At least for me). Yes, it was pain-full for me to sit through Avatar, Tin-Tin .etc. Not that I didn’t like them If I’m being honest these movies were too much of a strain to my eye, I often left the theater with a headache (I’m not making that up). To my disbelief, I relished every moment of Dial M for Murder in and I almost forgot I was wearing a 3d glass. In my opinion Hitchcock reluctantly made the best use of 3d for storytelling. It has never been done before by any film maker. It’s a subtle use of a not-so-subtle technology from the master of suspense.

So, there are no “eye-popping” sequences?

Well there are. One of the crucial scenes in the movie. Some of the scenes have some eye popping sequences, which clearly show us that Hitchcock was clear about what he wanted. The words that I came up to my mind after watching the movie were, Classic, Perfect, flawless, absolute, subtle. That pretty much sums it all.

Dial M for Murder 3d – Stitched to Perfection!

Experience a must!

FILM INFORMATION

Dial M for Murder

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Country: USA
Year: 1954
Language: English
Runtime: 105 minutes
Rating: PG
 Cast: Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings