Wednesday, June 22, 2011

X Men:First Class- Truly First Class?

If nowadays girls are never satisfied with their boyfriends, it is because of superhero films like X Men: First Class.How can you, I repeat, how can you positively be happy with one meager boyfriend when Hollywood productions present delicious crispy freshly baked men on your plate every morning? 

I have never been a fan of the X-Men movie series; I liked the cartoons more. In spite of these, I have ended up watching every single of the X-Men movies. I had no particular intention of watching this particular movie but I had heard much furor regarding it. So this morning, I picked up an umbrella (coz it's heavy rain here) and went to watch it on thirty minutes' notice. 

As I reclined on a comfortable sofa seat, I had no idea what I was getting into. The film begins with a snap shot of 1944 Poland, where the "mutative" powers of boy Eric Lensherr aka Magneto are first discovered. Then the film goes to another snapshot of boy Charles Xavier catching Raven stealing food in the night from their house. And you know, that a love story is about to progress soon. 

But then you are disappointed. Kevin Bacon, my favorite bad man makes an appearance as Sebastian Shaw. If you are a Bacon fan, it is bound to remind you of the same name he had in his super hit "superhero" movie, Hollow Man ( Good that I finally learned the secret to Kevin's eternal youth, and no it is not the Fountain of Youth as Capn' Jack Sparrow might have thought, but his ability to control energy that has kept him young all these years! 

The movie quickly proceeds to a handsome Eric Lensherr now played by Michael Fassbender and a witty Charles played by James McAvoy. And it is from this point onward, that the whole story changes.

The story needless to say is fast paced, exactly as a superhero movie should be. Typical commercial Hollywood superhero movie for the kids. I don't understand the need for a U/A rating. Frankly a PG rating was enough. For my part, I expected to see at least some romantic scenes between Charles and Raven and was sorely disappointed. 

The movie takes a swift turn when the boys grow up, because all you can actually notice is how hot they are. Michael Fassbender is roughly handsome; his story works in his favor. The whole drama about "My Mommy was killed by the Nazis and I am here to kill the bad guys blah blah" will force you to have sympathy towards this lonely sad ruggedly handsome mutant!

Charles Xavier on the other hand played by James McAvoy is relatively the underdog, what with all the riches and the girls. Let's face it, audience sympathy towards the have not is always more as compared to the all-haves. You can't help but justify Eric's position. He respects women, quite unlike the highly revered Prof. Xavier who asks Raven to cover herself up when she shows up in her natural blue form. These are small instances in the film but they surely underline the way the viewer favors one character over another.

On top of that, Michael Fassbender is gorgeous. I mean how can someone so gorgeous and so lonely not get the sympathy, right, people? And well James Mc Avoy is tiny when compared to Eric's aura, stature or even physical appearance. 

I remember when I returned home from watching the movie, my mother asked me how it was. My reply was, "The guys are very good looking."

And frankly that's all I have to say about the movie. The action sequences are spectacular. Eric's background scenes and his and Charles's friendship would make you cry. As will Darwin's death. Rights from Hans to Alex, the young mutants are all extremely cute. The movie has got all the ingredients in the right amounts to make it a blockbuster. A particular action scene where Eric pulls a submarine off the depths of the ocean to the level of their flying plane is in particular most enthralling. 

But now let me come to what I liked in the movie the most. The one, the only: James McAvoy. He was the only one star I knew who was in the movie. The other stars are relatively unknown. It is because of James that I did not want to go for the movie. When his films are shown on TV, I change the channels. 

The character of Charles Xavier in this movie will take you by storm. He is nothing of the fatherly kind that we see in the other X men movies. Here Charles is a flirty smart-ass genius who loves to spend his free time going to parties and dating sexy women. A genius who can touch your hair and say exactly how mutated your genes are. Cheesy? Yes. But brilliant too. Not to mention Charles Exavier's sexy British accent. 

A witty guy like that, you would expect him to have at least a few love scenes, at least with his sexy childhood friend Raven played by Jennifer Lawrence. But of course, Prof. Xavier is too busy helping hot dudes like Eric Lensherr achieve their vengeance. Like you and I, he too is overcome by Michael's raw masculinity.

Enough words have been spared on the hotness of the X-Girls to deserve further mention. Jennifer Lawrence clearly steals the limelight because of her innocent yet seductive looks. I have no idea how any guy would be able to resist her unless, of course he was utterly gay. 

Moira MacTaggert, a CIA agent played by Rose Byrne shows great promise but of course Charles is too busy with his hot male friends to even notice her. He even erases her memory at the end (much like Men In Black style) so that she cannot say anything about him to the CIA officers. (Or was it to erase her memory of Charles's rendezvous with the other naive young mutants?) January Jones does her bit. I did not find her as scintillating as promised but she is okay. 

Music is great. In many portions even if the actions do not hold your fancy, you will flow on the high-flying wings of music. 

At any rate, there is no doubt to the fact that James McAvoy plays a Charles Xavier who you will love to hate. His cockiness, his intelligence is bound to sweep you off your feet. You are bound to ask yourself the question, How can anyone be so smart? How can anyone be so witty? How can anyone be so confident, so reassuring? Throughout the movie, he is the only positive force driving through. 

He is always trying to help everyone; be it the common people, Raven, Moira, the CIA or Eric. He is soft as compared to Eric; he cannot shoot him during a practice session even when Eric repeatedly asks him to. Raven is too confused and Eric is too hell bent on revenge to see the larger picture. James McAvoy takes the fatherly Charles Xavier and turns him into the neighboring popular genius kid. 

And his eyes. Those eyes that I love to hate. Mind you he is not conventionally good looking. He does not have the rough cut of his friend, Eric. He is not beautiful as Johnny Depp. But there is a softness, a warmth. There is also a tinge of something else. You know just by looking that this guy is not innocent. He is a charming boy next door, who probably kills small animals by night.

In a film, one of the characters once described chocolate as "Positively sinful". That is exactly what comes to my mind while writing about James's eyes. Positively Sinful. Like Chocolate. Something that you know you shouldn't have. Something which you know is wrong. Uncertainty. Unknown. The Path of Sin. Yes, those eyes can lead you to the path of sin. Yes, that is exactly why I hated him. I still do. I find his confidence, his impertinence utterly rude. His eyes, the same ones which made me change the channel after the first half of Atonement, invite you to danger. They are almost controlling, like that of Xavier's. Which is why James is the perfect guy to play this role. Nobody else could have done it. 

And when he looks at you with those deep blue eyes of his, there is no need for any telepathic powers. He owns you.Controls you, as if. So some like me feel it safer to steer clear of danger and avoid his intoxicating eyes. Eyes that can intoxicate you, eyes which are intoxicated, by you don't know what. 

Passion perhaps?

I was still thinking of James McAvoy and his deep blue eyes; wondering, wandering... What if? 

As I reached my house, I heard an unknown pungent smell. James. His name echoed my mind. I raced up the steps. What did I expect? 

I reached the landing slowly. There he was, standing in a filthy white worn out shirt, a guy of roughly seventeen-eighteen years, lean and shriveled, with an out-of-place thin mustache, who had come to deliver food. The pungent smell was of mutton along with sweat. 

"You have a funny sense of humor, God", I mused as I went inside. 

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Another Boring Post..Gee so Gay!

I don't love you
I don't like you
I don't care about you
I don't already miss you
I don't write about you
I don't secretly cry for you
I don't....I don't.

You think too much. People tell me all the time. Paranoia coupled with insecurity. Mistrust. A friend is leaving. She is self-obsessed and stupid. She thinks she has a bad temper. I think she can be stupidly passionate and is nothing like the way she projects herself to be. She believes in this projection. I also think she is a darling. I think she is a good tempered kid. That's because I have a bad temper. I want my close ones to stay with me when I am having a bad time (which is literally most of the time now) and when they don't (because I am a loner), I blame, cry, screech, shriek, throw my limbs up and down and point out how bad they are. 

Anyway, this can be the subject of research among psychology professionals. But enough of me. This 'friend', this girl I am talking about, I don't think she considers me as her friend. She is like a Barbie with her own set of flying angels covering all around her; she can go on and on for hours talking about how nice her friends are. I am not jealous.

No seriously, I'm not. I have considered at least thrice in my life to severe all ties with her. And I did. But every time, she comes around with a sunny face and starts anew. I have told her that every time you cannot have a new beginning. Yet she refuses to give up. Her optimism, her willingness to try, compels me to look past the negative experiences. It's like she calls me back every time I leave. No one has ever done that before for me.

'Sugar and spice and everything nice', I am suddenly reminded of this rhyme.

I experience emotions in extreme. Either I love someone or despise someone. If I am indifferent to someone, then I don't care about that person at all. This, despite of my peaceful demeanor. May be, expecting her to always comply is wrong. But I am incredibly possessive of my friends. I once told a friend that I did not care how many girlfriends he has, I wanted my share of time to be given to me! He understood. She does too. But somewhere I feel, I don't have any right to even feel that way about her.

She herself has told me about her priorities in friendship, with other people scoring top level positions. Huh. I was always the top scorer in school and college. Therefore, it becomes a competition. And I don't like losing. Scoring in studies is easier. Scoring in life is more difficult. Therefore I retract, carefully, steadily, pretending I have better things to do. Inside however I am dying. Because when I like someone, I want that person to myself. And I want that person to like me as well. 

And also because I don't like losing. Losing, as if it were, is a sin. Ironic, coz I lecture this friend all the time, how everything in life is not about winning or losing. Other things are pretty important too. 

Where was I? Oh yes, so she's leaving. For higher studies. And one evening, she harmlessly changed her FB profile pic, I looked at her face and wrote a poem. Another time, I read a post on her blog, out of which one line she had spared to saying that she would probably never see her home again. Byas, I began to cry. Faced with emotional anguish at times like these, I did what I do best- ran away. 

From her, from the pain. So I had forgotten everything. Found out a thousand faults with her (and trust me, I did not have to work very hard for it). And became busy with my life, as if I don't have anything better to do! As if she is the busiest person in the world! Miss Popular. With her entourage of fans. Bloody Show Off. As if I care!

Miss Happy-Go-Lucky called me on my birthday and began crying about something regarding her boyfriend. Like the generous and kind-giving listener, I tried to hear her patiently. As the Knight in Shining Armour for the Damsel in Distress! Gee, that's so gay! She hates being called the damsel in distress, so I might as well call her that. Damsel in Distress, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Barbie Doll! Hmph. Latest: Paris Hilton! Serves her right. 

Six months again, we hardly talked, mostly did on chat and sometimes on SMS, but now that she's leaving for higher studies, she had this brilliant idea of meeting all her friends before she left, from kindergarten to barely known acquaintances (all are her 'friends' according to her).Queen Elizabeth is signing her name on people's hearts! Hmph. So me, who was cursing her all this while and told her that she wouldn't meet her, had to meet her. 

Well, of course she didn't gag me, but I had to meet her. How could I say no to her? I never could. Plus I kinda like it when she tolerates my temper tantrums and even after that repeatedly keeps on coaxing me. Woah, some patience that kid has!

Which brings me back to my first point. She is an extremely talented kid. And a good tempered one. She has the ability to look past errors with a new optimism. I don't believe in hero worship as some of her friends do! I can't go on and on about how exceedingly charming her boyfriends are/were. Goodness, if anything I hate them. And I hate anyone and everyone who has ever mattered more to her than me. And I hate that place and institution where she's going because it is taking her away from me. 

In a desperate attempt, I told her, "Don't go...". She thought I was asking her not to leave for home. But I replied, "No..don't Noida.." She just rounded up her already big round eyes and looked at me. True, that's like the stupidest thing  I have ever said to anybody. ( And I have done some pretty stupid things, specially regarding guys I have liked. To one guy I gave him several reasons not to like me, and to another, I recommended other girls he would look good with!) 

As if I wouldn't have gone! As if I would think for a second time when it came to ambition versus emotion. As a matter of fact, I have always urged her to come out of her comfort zone, and see the world, struggle, get a taste of real life. And now when she's going, somewhere, I find even tears futile. I try to cry because that way the pent up anguish would come out. But something chokes my throat. The water in my eyes dry up. 

Nobody is indispensable in my life, I proudly say. And it is true. This too shall pass, I shall be alone once more. And this post is just so gay. Eeks! I have better taste. But if I can spend post after post hallucinating about guys who don't even deserve to be anywhere near my blog, then hers is a place well deserved. 

She has been a kind and gentle loving soul, a caring 'friend'; she has been there in times when I needed her most. Yes, she has her moments of indifference and she can also be cruel, but she can also be extremely giving, understanding. What I like most about her? Her 'mothering' me. Her ability to look past my ego, my seriousness, see the softness and treat me like a kid. And her putting away all ego when she's dealing with an egoistic me. Goodness, now this is just all too twisted. I better stop.

Good Night and Good Luck. 

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Bowl of Food

On the afternoon of 20 February, 2011, bloggers from all around India met in Kolkata at C II, Salt Lake. I was late as usual. By the time I went, everybody was having lunch. I was shown directly to the spacious hall where a lot of scrumptious dishes were present. Too embarrassed to eat anything, I sat at a corner. I mean, what kind of a person shows up at a meet right at the time of lunch? Only, I did not know they had arrangements for lunch. So anyway, I met some lovely people there, one of whom turned out to be my senior from college! The bloggers from all around India were very cordial and we could find some mutual thread, some invisible bond that bound us all. It was there that we made a pledge, a pledge to write about the Akshaya Patra Foundation that provides food for hungry children across 8000 schools in India. This is me keeping that pledge.

It's been some time. 

From the time we wake up in the morning, to the time that we go to sleep at night, we usually find a lot of things to complain about. Our house, our work, people that need us, people that we want for to need us.... But there are many street children who fight daily for the basic minimum requirements like food, water and shelter. Education is a luxury these kids don't even dream about. The government is trying to do its part. However at the same time, we have NGOs like the Akshaya Patra Foundation whose sole aim is to provide two square meals to these underprivileged children. 

Akshaya Patra started in Bangalore in 2000, with the aim to feed 1500 children. Today it is the world's largest NGO midday meal programme for underprivileged children. Right now it  feeds about 1.2 million children across schools. The aim of the Foundation is to serve 5 million children daily by 2020. In addition to reputation inside the country, the Foundation has also achieved the praise of US President Barack Obama who said that the foundation has “an imaginative approach that has the potential to serve as a model for other countries". The Harvard Business School and the Limca Book of World Records have recognized Akshaya Patra's model for precise time management. From children like Bhabhani to Minu (, from kitchens at Vishakhapatnam to Puri, from Bangalore to Jaipur (, Akshaya Patra has been monumental in driving away hunger, a fundamental problem of the country. 

Those who work with NGOs know that a big problem with the NGOs of India today is corruption. Millions of rupees from donations and funds are usurped. The money never reaches the needy. The Akshaya Patra Foundation has made a landmark in this field by being granted the Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) for the year ending 31 March 2010. In addition, it has received awards from the Indian Express, South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) and Indian Urban Space Foundation (

The best thing about this organization is that they never ask you to help only by donating money. You can get involved in whatever you like. Volunteer, write, create awareness. Do your part. That's more than enough.

Have more questions? Visit

It's Been A Hwhile

Dear Reader,

This year I took a resolution that I am going to write at least 10 posts every month. In March I exceeded my expectations and wrote about 17 posts. Intense agitation led to intense posts, quite a few of which were appreciated by you, my kind readers. Actually, the welcome I have received in the past few months, mostly after attending the Indiblogger Meet @ Kolkata has awed me. I did not expect so much love, thank you guys. And while every two days I sit to think, that I will write a new post, the willingness kind of dissipates into laziness. I like the new look of my blog; the Gothic theme and all. Gives it an eerie vibe, makes me feel I am entering a new world when I open the website. Also writing relieves me from my paranoia. "It's been a hwhile" (as Lily from HIMYM would say) since I have written anything.  Although in the first half of May, I wrote quite a few stories and poems, I never published them. I had a lot of ideas for new ones, but they need work and I have already lost inspiration for them. May be I will put up the unpublished ones, crude works of moments of epiphany.

But things change. It's not that I don't like change. Lily does not say "hwhile" any more, similarly I have changed, or rather priorities have changed. One thing that has not changed: My paranoia.

Enjoy your stay here. Let me know what you think of my posts. :)


The Silent Observer