Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Secret of the Nagas

Amish Tripathi doesn’t want us to read his book “The Secret of the Nagas”. He wants us to see the movie “The Secret of the Nagas” based on the bestselling book of the same name. Well, that’s how I felt while reading the book.

The second instalment of the Shiva Trilogy disappoints, but not as much as the first book, The Immortals of Meluha. The author has thought up a very interesting plot, action packed with plenty (way too plenty) of characters. But where it fails is in the narration (again!).

Shiva is now comfortable being the Lord Neelkanth, the much awaited saviour of India. He appears to have accepted his destiny and embarks upon, well, saving his people from evil, which we discover, is not evil at all. It’s really a manifestation of good in another form. “Two sides of the same coin”, as the book proclaims till the end. Nobody is evil in this book. Not the feared Nagas, not the arch enemies Chandravanshis, nor the notorious terrorist Parshuram. All the evil (?) deeds they had done had logical explanations, and they all submitted meekly to the Neelkanth once Shiva shows up at their territories.

In spite of such a powerful plot, what makes the book mediocre is the characters.  You are not sure what they want. Sure, they all follow Shiva on his search for evil, with a few love stories thrown in, and too much travelling.  The mother-son drama between Ganesh and Sati was very Bollywood-ish, if you ask me. I can almost picture the grown (erstwhile evil) son crying at his white haired mother‘s feet, while temple bells ring in the distance and close-ups of goddesses come into view.  What does Shiva really want in his heart? Did he accept the position of the Neelkanth because he truly believed he was The Awaited One, or because he wanted to gain the favour of Sati? You don’t find yourself rooting for him, no you don’t. The cursing has significantly reduced, but there we still see traces of crudeness in him.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

An Amazing experience

At the advice of my fellow blogger NotGood I went and watched The Amazing Spiderman this morning. Alone. Yes sir, with only me and myself for company.

I have always been scared of solo movie outings. What if people think I’m a weirdo? What if I get strange looks at the refreshment counter and at the ladies washroom? What if I am late and have to grope my way in the dark all alone and sit down on the one empty seat in the already full theatre? What if I laugh out loud and there’s no one there to laugh with? What if this? What if that?

But the thing with what ifs is, they are unreal. They are, most of the time, worst possible outcomes we imagined in our heads. And most of the time they didn’t happen. Just like today. None of the things I was scared of, the strange looks, the getting lost in the dark, the laughing out loud, none of it happened. It was as easy as ABC.

So the moviegoing was a breeze. I booked my tickets online, went to the mall, loitered around for a bit, went to the theatre just in time to print my tickets and buy a bottle of water, and went inside just as the movie trailers began. I found my seat easily, sat down, put my feet up, laughed at the funny parts, and had a good time. Nobody cared if I was alone or with the entire colony, nobody stared, and there was nothing awkward about it. The only minus point was that I had to keep adjusting the 3D glasses over my glasses every two minutes. Oh, and I lost the plastic spoon and had to eat the American sweet corn (buttered, no masala) with my hands.

So, shall we talk a bit about the movie?

(Pic source: