Long time, no see? Must there be a reason.

Well there is no reason.

Actually there is. I have run out of ideas. Last month was tough, both mentally and physically. So didn’t went out much and seen something on which I can write.

Mentally , office work was all time high. Out of three projects in which I was involved (one alone and two with team), last one was the project which has maximum work and minimum learning. Previous two were brilliant projects, “work which involves learning new things” is always a good thing . But what is done, is done. Nothing will be gained by talking about it. Last project can be easily be a case study for B-Schools about how to not manage a project.

On the other side, I got sick and ended taking up a long leave. And that leave period wasn’t a good experience. You can’t enjoy anything when your body is in pain. So to keep myself busy, I ended up revising three complete movie series.
1. Indiana Jones.
2. Star Wars.
3. Tolkien Legendarium.

J.R.R. Tolkien was one of the early pioneer in the world of fantasy story writing. Tolkien is rightfully popularly identified as the “father” of modern fantasy literature—or, more precisely, of high fantasy.

Tolkien’s Legendarium was not the first fantasy story books I read in my life. Harry Potter series were the first and with every book in that series lead to a sense of “something is missing” in me and with the Tolkien’s Legendarium, I met with such finest literary work which completely blew away my mind. Tolkien created a “body of more or less connected legend”, of which “the cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama”.

George Lucas is also one of the finest story tellers in the world who created a completely new world with Star Wars series. Let’s see where the series will go on after the new sequels and spin-offs.

Both are the examples of what would happen if you let your imagination run wild in the right direction.

And as Harry Potter is concerned, I don’t have plans to read the latest book “Harry Potter and the cursed child” as it seems like just crushing the leaves to extract guttation fluid whatever is left in it after complete use in one cycle. Fluid may or may not come, but we will extract it, this is the thinking of the publisher and the studio who produced their theatre adaptations with a hope that it will make money and they are surely making money with that.

Akshar Pathak clearly demonstrated it in his tweet.

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Creating a connected story universe.

This is where DCEU failed.

Yesterday I saw Suicide Squad. It was definitely better than the theatrical cut of Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice but same as the Ultimate Edition. Though it was funnier and have more coherent story structure, but it wasn’t good enough. People who had read and lived comic book storylines will agree with me on this but the newbies will disagree as they just started knowing things from the movies only. But let’s hope other titles which are due next year will be good as Ben Affleck and Geoff Johns had taken helm at DCEU and with trailers of Wonder Women and Justice League, things are looking good. Or it may be just my wishful thinking. I am a hardcore DC fan but I still admit Marvel had setup their cinematic universe brilliantly brick by brick. DC may have a long way to go but with their supportive fans both cinematic universes are here for some time. And hopefully we will get to see a lot of comic book adaptations.

Hey, why I am writing this type of things?
You may ask why there is no mention of girls, beers and some short stories and I will reply “Suckers, things are changed and I see fire. “.

Some movies are like wine, the older they get the more meaningful they become. One of that type of movie is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Brad Pitt’s one of the best performances. Right now it is going on in my laptop as with Torrent sites ban, I don’t have many new things to watch. It feels like we are again in the Napster Era where all media companies are against the free distribution of copyright materials but someway or another, it will be distributed. It is just a never ending battle between free distribution hackers and media industry lobbied governments. And we all know who will win this.

Okay enough chit-chat.
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Now the songs which are #NowPlaying.

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Comic Books : A Personal recollection

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Suppose you are a shy kid and don’t like human interaction much and in your house lots of people come and go, then you just sit inside your room and wait for them to leave the house so that you don’t have to give replies to their god-forsaken questions.

But what you do locked up in a room? If you have a sibling you talk to him / her but there is a limit to what people can talk to each other. In this situation, imagine if your parents are intellectuals then your houses are filled up with lots of books, magazines and papers. When you are young, you don’t care much about the world and nation affairs, you care about the comic book snippets, crosswords and puzzles in their supplement. That’s how I entered the world of comic books. But with snippets in the papers and magazines, to know the complete story you have to wait 2-3 months as they only have 4-5 scenes per day. And if you are blessed with impatience, then your next logical step is Comic Books.

I never liked going my village (reason : water of that region doesn’t suit me and I use to get skin infections there) but going to villages is sort of annual pilgrimage in India (till now), so I didn’t had much choice. But traveling was a long affair as it used to take 3 days to go there and I always bought 7-8 comics during that entire trip. And those books were mainly Naagraaj, Super Commando Dhruv, Parmanu and Tiranga. Raj comics was the publisher. I used to think they were the coolest superheroes. But in one summer, we went to Patna to meet my relatives, my aunt’s son had came for holidays from his engineering college back then and he was teaching me how to play bike racing games on PC. That was my entry to the world of video games (but we are going to focus on comic books here, video games in later posts most probably ). One day he was watching a movie on HBO, the display screen was black, someone was jumping here and there in a cool car with cape, Jim Carrey was being Jim Carrey in a green tight fitting suit and Tommy Lee Jones was dating two beautiful ladies. Nicole Kidman became my first love of my life. I would still like to marry her if she wants to marry someone 20 years younger than her. So I went and sat with him and I saw Batman Forever. That incident introduced me to the wonderful world of DC comics. After that I asked my parents to subscribe to HBO and Star Movies at home. And began watching all the movies day in day out. I watched James Bond’s movies, Steel, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Centurion, Spider-Man, Iron Man and the list goes on. So Marvel Comics also happened. And in the holidays, I began to found out sitting and reading comics.

I started to find out the basic idea differences between DC and Marvel. DC is more realistic and true to engage your dark thoughts about the realism and the world. Marvel is about the Happy-go-lucky guys who sometimes get into difficult situations. In the same time, while on a trip to Tirupati, I read Karna’s and Rabindranth Tagore’s biographical graphic novel by Amar Chitra Katha.

That was my introduction to the world of Graphic novels. Definitions abound (a quick search on the internet will show you that), and are often confusing and contradicting. The Americans started calling this medium Graphic Novels and the Japanese Gekiga to differentiate it from comics and manga. It covers fiction as well as non-fiction, but is clearly meant for a mature audience. It’s all encompassing when it comes to genres. And its impact on pop-culture cannot be ignored.

So day by day, my obsession to these characters and storyline grew by leaps and bounds. I used to go through all the wiki and whatever I could find to learn about them.

With age, my fascination with sequential art remained undeterred and I felt myself gravitating towards stories of a higher literary calibre, told with an economy of words and deftness of brush strokes. These were stories that painted a broad canvas of human emotions in a way that I found very different from the more conventional text-only prose.

I had come a long way since then. Read a lot of comics, graphic novels, Mangas. With these books, I think English has become my first and go-to language. Now even I dream in English also.

Now a days I am reading The Dark Knight III The Master Race . Frank Miller and his talented team is bringing out the real depth in the Batman story line.

Now I believe I had given you enough motivation to start reading Graphic Novels. Fans of Tarantino and Rodriguez would love to read Lone Wolf and Cub – a staggering epic created by writer Kazuo Koike and artist Goseki Kojima in the seventies. These 28 volumes of manga (a total of 8700+ pages) are set in Tokugawa era Japan and tell the tale of a master swordsman and his young son. This masterpiece has served as an inspiration for some of the most brilliant moments in world cinema over the last 30 years.

Based on Paul Auster’s story City of Glass (from his acclaimed The New York Trilogy), City of Glass: The Graphic Novel serves as a successful example of an adaptation carried out by independent artists of a previously published piece of prose. David Mazzucchelli and Paul Karasik’s artwork takes the story to a dimension the original author could have never imagined possible.

And then there is A Contract with God by Will Eisner, the book that cemented the term Graphic Novel into modern lexicon. It is a collection of short stories set in a Depression-era-affected Jewish community of the 1930s.

Other interesting titles for collectors – Blankets by Craig Thompson, Bone by Jeff Smith, The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Maus by Art Spiegelman.

But make sure you read Sandman by Neil Gaiman. I still hadn’t gone through it but it is on my list. After the college, it is becoming little tough as most graphic novels are printed and published abroad they can leave a sizeable hole in your pocket. And I have lots of bills to play.

So, go to a bookstore and give them a try. They aren’t bad and they are miles better than the cartoons of today like Chota Bheem. Rahul Gandhi likes Chota Bheem and you don’t want that your kid also ends up like Rahul Gandhi.
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Now the regular sections.
Music videos which is on my Playlist now a days.
Tu Mera Nahin

Ghost Town : Madonna feat Taylor Swift

In other news,
My faith in humanity is shaken. Aargh!