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‘Black Swan’ – My View, My Thoughts, My own Language..

February 26, 2011 1 comment

white and black

A fragile young princess, Odette, is entrapped into the body of a White swan by a villainous sorcerer. Her only key to freedom is ‘Love’. She eventually finds it, yearns for an endearing prince anticipating her independence from the captivity.  But, hostility spreads its shackles, masquerading as the lustful Black Swan. The Black Swan, an indomitable, sensuous being, bestowed with perspicacious evil-intent seduces the prince. Notwithstanding the feelings for the white swan, the prince capitulates himself along with his charming paraphernalia to the playful, coquettish Black Swan. Implausible for the secluded grieve-struck lonely still-trapped Odette, the white swan – the lonely princess – throws itself from a cliff, embracing death. Death, thus, sets the fragile, young soul free from the entrapment.

…A Russian folklore that was proffered as a piece of art, as a ballet ‘Swan Lake’ first performed in 1877.

 

Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) in ‘Black Swan’, the movie, plays a ballet director dreadfully earnest to bring the ballet ‘Swan Lake’ for the audiences. The lead role in the ballet, a ‘Swan Queen’, demands of a ballet dancer proficient and dexterous not only in the modus operandi of the ballet to epitomize the White Swan but also proportionally free-flowing in her embodiment of the intense lustful Black Swan. A NO-EASY UNDERTAKING.

Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman) is one of the aspirants. A dancer with the New York City Ballet Company, Nina dreams of dancing as the Swan Queen which composes the opening scene of the movie. <Nina’s delicate yet agile personage is manifested by Natalie Portman with tranquility> Nina auditions for the role along with many others.

Whilst Nina’s perfect portrayal of white swan is applauded by Thomas Leroy, he gets inkling that playing out the antagonist Black Swan with a sensuous fascination is a far-fetched venture for Nina. The Black Swan is required to be imperfect yet passionate, vulnerable yet lustful, uncontrolled and deceitful. Nina’s control, her mastery over the dance, her keenness for the perfect moves work against her. She well-nigh loses the role.


natalie

Nonetheless, at the last moment, Leroy, getting a glimpse of Nina’s concealed rage in the form of a bite, changes his view of Nina and casts her for the lead. In consequence begins Nina’s endeavor.

The movie culminates with Nina lying wounded and probably dying after the opening performance of the ballet. She stares, with content, to the stage lights and whispers “I felt it. Perfect. I was perfect.”

The core of the movie encompasses Nina’s encounters with the people around her. Be it the ballet director whom she adores for his craftsmanship. Be it her despotic mother, a ballet dancer of yesteryears and now full of resentment for her past. Be it Lily (Mila Kunis), her self-assumed rival who, as claimed by Nina, is determined to grab her role as Swan Queen. Be it Nina herself, copiously obsessed towards perfecting her technique of the art, eventually turning into a self-destructive persona cognitively crippled with hallucinations.

Darren Aronofsky, as the director of this movie, is sensible in presenting a watchable psychological thriller with the right amalgamation of elements that are bound to attract the Academy.

Natalie Portman delivers a performance of a lifetime. She is real, hard-hitting, reaps sympathy from viewers at times, and makes people believe Nina on the nail which in itself is a huge achievement.

Natalie Portman shed 20 pounds for the role which is evidently visible in the movie. A CRUEL PERFECT BALLET ESTHETIC. She also learned the dance form for a year, her trainer being her on-screen dance partner in the opening scene of the movie, Benjamin Millepied.

As an  addendum, a trained ballet dancer was used as a body double for Portman for a few of the scenes.

The ballet performed in the movie mostly constitutes the Neo-classical type developed in the United Stated by the legendary George Balanchine, a Russian dance master who dominated the field of ballet for more than 50 years.

Some elements of the movie depict, beautifully and within the confines of the motion picture, the irrefutable starvation diets, dance injuries the performers pass through and the tendentious idiosyncrasies of the dark underside of Ballet.

Oscars are on the way and I, a fan of Natalie Portman, am keeping my fingers crossed for the Best Actress Oscar to come her way.

 

Way to go Miss. Portman!!

 

-Rahul Nilangekar

 

P.S: IMDB rating for the movie – 8.5/10

 

Ebooks Collection..A book-lovers’ delight

February 17, 2011 18 comments

Book Lovers

Life has metamorphosed itself in metro cities of India. It is this transmogrification that has proved to be a catastrophe for Book-Reading. A day with 24 hours is utilized in office, with friends, family, on facebook and not to forget the liturgical sleeping dose one has to have to survive. Book-Reading, love for literature doesn’t fit in.

The blog lists out my collection of ebooks that can facilitate your proximity to books via your smartphones, eReader devices..

For ebook reader for desktops and smartphones, check out: MobiReader Software




A
A Beautiful Mind - Sylvia Nasar
A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking
*A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
A House for Mr. Biswas - V. S. Naipaul
A Man of the People - Chinua Achebe
A Painted House - John Grisham
*A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - J. Joyce
A Room With A View - E. M. Forster
*A Tale of two Cities - Charles Dickens
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
A Walk to Remember - Nicholas Sparks
About A Boy - Nick Hornby
Acts Of Faith - Erich Segal
*Aesop's Fable - Aesop
A
irframe - Michael Crichton
*Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Caroll
Alexander: Child of a Dream - Valerio Massimo Manfredi
American Gods - Neil Gaiman
American Psycho - Bret Easton Ellis
Amy Foster - Joseph Conrad [SHARED]
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
*Andersen's Fairy Tales - Hans Christian Andersen
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Anger Management For Dummies
Anges Grey - Anne Brontë [SHARED]
*Anne of Green Gables - Lucy Maud Montgomery
*Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Anthills of the Savannah - Chinua Achebe
Are you Afraid of the Dark? - Sidney Seldon
Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne
A
rrow of God - Chinua Achebe
Art Of Public Speaking - Dale Carnegie
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand



C
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Charlotte's Web - E.B. White
Chatterton - Peter Ackroyd
Chromosome 6 - Robin Cook
Congo - Michael Crichton
*
Crime And Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky



D
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Deception Point - Dan Brown
Deterring Democracy - Noam Chomsky
Diary - Chuck Palahnuik
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
*
Down and Out in Paris and London - George Orwell
*
Dracula - Bram Stoker



E
Eclipse - Stephanie Meyer
El Sueño Del Príncipe - Fedor Dostoiewski (Spanish) [SHARED]
Eleven Minutes - Paulo Coelho
*
Erewhon - Samuel Butler



F
False Impression - Jeffery Archer [LINK BROKEN]
Fatal Cure - Robin Cook
First Among Equals - Jeffery Archer [LINK BROKEN]
Fist Of God - Frederick Forsyth
*
For the Term of His Natural Life - Marcus Clarke
*
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley
Fury - Salman Rushdie



G
Gandhi: A Very Short Introduction - Bhikhu Parekh
Girls at War and Other Stories - Chinua Achebe
Girl With A Pearl Evening - Tracy Chevalier
Go Ask Alice - Beatrice Price
Google Blogger for Dummies - Susan Gunelius
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
*
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
*
Grimms Fairy Tales - the brothers Grimm
*
Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift



H
Harry Potter (Complete Series) - J. K. Rowling
Haunted - Chuck Palahuink
Hawksmoor - Peter Ackroyd
*
Heart of Darkness - by Joseph Conrad
Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams [SHARED]
How Opal Mehta Got Kissed Got Wild And Got A Life - K. Viswanathan
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living - Dale Carnegie
How would you move Mount Fuji? - William Poundstone [REQUESTED]

 



L
*
Lady Chatterly’s Lover - D. H. Lawrence
Learn to Program with C++
Life Of Osho - Sam
Life of Pi - Yann Martel
*
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Lolita- Vladimir Nabokov
Love Story - Erich Segal
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold [LINK BROKEN]



M
*
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
Made In America - Sam Walton (WalMart Story)
Magic Seeds - V. S. Naipaul
Many Lives, Many Masters - Dr. Brian I. Weiss [SHARED]
Marriage Most Scandalous - Johanna Lindsey
Mein Kampf - Adolf Hitler
Memoirs of a Geisha - Aurthur Golden
Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus - John Gray
Message in a Bottle - Nicholas Sparks
*
Middlemarch - George Eliot
Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
Midnight Sun (Partial Draft) - Stephenie Meyer
*
Moby Dick - Herman Melville
Mother Teresa - A Biography
Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
Murder On The Orient Express - Agatha Christie
My Experiments With Truth - M.K. Gandhi
My Life And Work (Biography) - Henry Ford
My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult



N
Naked Intimacy - Joel D. Block
Nemesis - Isaac Asimov
Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
*
Nostromo: A Tale of the Seaboard - Joseph Conrad
*
Notes from the Underground - Fyodor Dostoevsky
Nothing Lasts Forever - Sidney Sheldon
No Longer at Ease - Chinua Achebe



O
*
Of Human Bondage - W. Somerset Maugham
*
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
One Night At The Call Center - Chetan Bhagat.html



P
*
Paradise Lost - John Milton
Penthouse Legend - Ayn Rand
Pillars Of The Earth - Ken Follett
*
Pollyanna - Eleanor H. Porter
Power Of Positive Thinking - Norman Vincent Peale
Prey - Michael Crichton
*
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
PS I Love You - Cecilia Ahern



Q
Q & A (Slumdog Millionaire) - Vikas Swarup



R
Rage Of Angels - Sidney Sheldon
Reader's Digest Best Jokes Book [SHARED]
*
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe



S
Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie
*Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts [REQUESTED]
Something New - P. G. Wodehouse
*
Sons and Lovers - D. H. Lawrence
Sons Of Fortune - Jeffry Archer
Sophie's World - Jostien Gaarder
Stay Hungry Stay Foolish - Rashmi Bansal
Stories For Parents, Children And Grandchildren - Paulo Coelho [LINK BROKEN]
Sunshine - Alex Garland
Swami Vivekananda's Biography



T
The ABC Murders - Agatha Christie
*
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
*
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain
The Age Of Innocence - Edith Warton
The Art of War - Sun Tzu (Translated by L. Giles) [SHARED]
The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
The Appeal - John Grisham
The Audacity Of Hope - Barack Obama
The Broker - John Grisham
*
The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein - Peter Ackroyd
The Chronicles of Narnia(The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) - C. S. Lewis
The Color Purple - Alice Walker
The Constant Gardener - John Le Carre
The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Day Of The Jackal - Frederick Forsyth
The Devil and Miss Prym - Paulo Coelho
The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
The Firm - John Grisham
The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand
The Giver - Lois Lowry
The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
The GodFather - Mario Puzo
*
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Haunting Of Hill House - Shirley Jackson
The Hitchhiker Trilogy - Douglas Adams
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
*
The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle
The House of Doctor Dee - Peter Ackroyd
The Human Stain - Philip Roth
*
The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Iliad - Homer
The Inheritance Of Loss - Kiran Desai
*
The Island of Doctor Moreau - H. G. Wells
*
The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
The Liar of the White Worm - Bram Stoker [SHARED]
*
The Last of the Mohicans - James Fenimore Cooper
The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
*
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving
The Magic Faraway Tree - Enid Blyton
The Manual of the Warrior of Light - Paulo Coelho
The Master of the World - Jules Verne
*
The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood - Howard Pyle
*
The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari - Robin Sharma
The Mystic Masseur - V. S. Naipaul
The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
*
The Odyssey - Homer
The Only Thing Between Us - Pamela Santos [REQUESTED]
The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory
*
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
The Pilgrimage - Paulo Coelho
The Plato Papers - Peter Ackroyd
*
The Prince - Nicolo Machiavelli
The Princess Bride - William Goldman
The Prisoner Of Birth - Jeffry Archer [LINK BROKEN]
The Rainmaker - John Grisham
The Road Ahead - Bill Gates
*
The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy
The Sky Is Falling - Sidney Seldon
The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemmingway
*
The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Duma
The Time Machine - H. G. Wells
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffeneger
*
The Trial - Franz Kafka
The Unauthorised Biography - Barack Obama
The Undomestic Goddess - Sophie Kinsella
The Valkyries - Paulo Coelho
*
The War of the Worlds - H. G. Wells
The Wedding - Nicholas Sparks
The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga
The Winner Stands Alone - Paulo Coelho [REQUESTED]
The Witch of Portebello - Paulo Coelho
The Woman in the Dunes - Kobo Abe
The Zahir - Paulo Coelho
Theft, A Love Story - Peter Carey
Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
Three Mistakes of my Life - Chetan Bhagat
Till We Have Faces - C.S. Lewis
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Trainspotting - Irvine Welsh
*
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
Twilight - Stephenie Meyer



U
*
Ulysses - James Joyce
Undead And Unappreciated - MJ Davidson



V
Veronika Decides to Die - Paulo Coelho



W
Whoever Tells The Best Story Wins - Annette Simmons
Who Moved My Cheese - Spencer Johnson
Wings of Fire - A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
World Without End - Ken Follett
Writings of Nostradamus - Nostradamus
*
Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë



X
No ebooks yet!



Y
You Can Win - Shiv Khera

Phir Dil Chahta Hai..

February 10, 2011 3 comments

A covetous ray of light is finding its way in through the half-opened window making the room’s reticent dignity more obvious at the time of dawn. A large canvas supported by a tripod lies at the heart of the room portraying an affable painting of a woman. There are spurts of color spread on the white marble floor around. The painting is semi-dry giving an impression that it was brought to life a couple of hours before the sunrays added luster to its beauty.

Scrubbing his sensitized eyes, Sid <a.k.a Siddharth Sinha> tries to comfort himself on the couch. It’s been just an hour since he decided to take a break from the vicinity of brushes and color tubes and catch some sleep. But the uneasiness creeping over him has overpowered his impulse indulging him towards sleep. He gets up from the couch, moves towards the kitchen room just beside the bed room and opens up the fridge to grab a bottle of water. After gulping down half of the bottle, he starts to feel grounded. 

Finally after striding his way through the kitchen, he is back to his room; staring at his painting and trying to assay the sumptuous colors put into action. He feels the painting is missing a streak of curled hair appearing at the left side of her face just covering her ear. He picks up a brush and gives the final strokes of excellence. It’s been four years since she left him. But Sid has kept her alive in his paintings. Each one of it impersonates Taara in an extremely impeccable way.

Sid has permanently moved from Mumbai to his Uncle’s farm house in the outskirts of Pune. It’s been a pretty lonely life for him over here. He doesn’t favor intrusions by any visitors. Whenever he feels like talking to someone, he diverts this urge on a canvas with each stroke of his brush manifesting a thousand of thoughts.

He is still sitting relaxed on the couch contemplating his creation on the canvas. There is no one around to admire his work of art. There was Taara who was able to apprehend his creativity. But she has forsaken his life and found a place for herself in his paintings. There is no one, not even to animadvert his efforts. Sometimes this onus was taken care of by Aakash and Sameer.

A one sided smile has become apparent on Sid’s face the moment a thought about Aakash and Sameer stroke his mind. He is getting into a trance; hovering into the memories of the past when he had delineated a woman revealing her back and called up Aakash and Sameer.

 

 “Hello…”

“Hello, Sameer… come to my place. Come here right now!! ”

“Hello… Sid…Hello…”

Though it was almost half past one, Aakash and Sameer hastily turned up at Sid’s place.

“How is it??” Sid asked as he saw both of them.

“Are you crazy?? You called us in the middle of the night for showing your painting!!” Sameer replied annoyingly without having a look at the canvas.

“It’s beautiful…” Aakash said raising his eyebrows.

This aroused Sameer to approach closer to the canvas and look at what Sid was up to.

“Wow…that is beautiful.” Finally Sameer was chilled down.

“Hey guys, don’t you think she resembles someone.” Aakash said.

“I think each one of us has a resemblance with someone or the other living in some part of the world.” Sameer replied after giving a thought to the question raised by Aakash.

“I think this is a perfect sculpt of Miss. Kashyap.” Aakash said as he noticed the confused faces of his friends.

“Miss. Kashyap… our economics teacher???” Sid asked.

“Yes… my dear.” Aakash said with boost of confidence in his tone.

“I know Miss. Kashyap very well. Tutions… I used to attend her tuitions.” Aakash continued.

“Were there any others students attending the tuitions?? Or it was a private one with only you and Miss. Kashyap …” Sameer asked as got into an investigative mood. He was eagerly waiting for a positive reply.

“It was totally a private affair.” Aakash replied with a devious smile on his face.

“That’s great, Aakash. You dog… you never told us.” Sameer got excited.

“But you know what… Sid has made a blunder while portraying her figure.” Aakash was unstoppable.

Tujhe kaise pata unka figure kaisa hai???” Sameer was envious.

Before Aakash could reply a word, Sid picked up a painting brush and walked towards Aakash.

“You know what… I hate economics!! ” Sid said as he brushed off some color on Aakash.

A mess was definitely triggered. Aakash grabbed a bottle full of colors and was ready to color up Sid.

“No… Aakash…please don’t do it… Aakash… No…”

 

 “No.. Aakash… No” Sid has returned to consciousness. He realizes that he’s alone in his room. Sameer and Aakash are nowhere around. It was just a hallucination.

Sid grabs a telephone lying beside the couch. He dials a number connecting to Australia.

“Hello… Hello… Aakash… Sid bol raha hoon…”