Sunday, July 12, 2009

How a movie can sway the lives of people. Real sentiments from real people.

How a movie can sway the lives of people. Real sentiments from real people. Your time spent reading won’t be wasted.

1. From Darryl (USA):

It was my son's favorite movie, and I can easily understand why. All his life, my son struggled with illness and the discomfort it brings. He never complained, however, making me feel a bit embarrassed whenever I tended to whine about minor problems. There were a couple of times during his teen years when we thought we'd lose him, but he'd fight back. He never appreciated anyone's pity. He hated to be doted upon. And yet, he was the kindest, most compassionate person I've ever known. All of the kids at the hospital were attracted to him; because he wasn't only nice, he was so brave (no doubt the result of knowing every doctor, nurse, and candy-striper after years of going in and out of the hospital). The parents of these children loved him for the way he made their kids feel more comfortable in their surroundings. He was a great looking kid, and he made friends very easily. He was always the informal leader of his group of friends (for better or worse), and it seems that he would always be attached to one girl or another. He had a great smile, and was aware of his ability to charm the socks off anyone. He used this gift unscrupulously.

My son died earlier this year, of complications relating to medication that had been prescribed to him. He was 27 years old. On Christmas day, in his memory, I will be watching his favorite film, and be inspired by it as I know he was inspired. There is one passage in there that I thought was so appropriate to his life. It comes toward the end of the movie, when Red is assessing his relationship with Andy. "Sometimes it makes me sad, though, Andy being gone. I have to remind myself that some birds aren't meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are just too bright, and when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them does rejoice. But still, the place you live is that much more drab and empty that they're gone. I guess I just miss my friend."

2. From Jason Travers (New York, NY)

When I first saw it, I was going through a terrible period in my life: I had dropped out of college, quit my job, and spent my days drinking, eating, and sleeping. In a month, I had gained about 75 pounds and was becoming more depressed by the second. Suicide seemed to be the only way out. Then I saw this masterpiece. The movie has great quotes, but the two that pulled me out of the darkness were these: "Get busy living, or get busy dying. That's goddamn right," and "Hope is a good thing. Maybe the best of things." God, I cried when I heard those words because somehow, though it was a movie, I believed them as if they had been uttered by friends. It was like a message of hope, a simple yet undeniable revelation: like Red and Andy, I was in charge of my future. I could be brave and fight the problems I was facing, or I could chicken out and end it all. The movie changed everything. And whenever I need to remind myself why life is so priceless, I see it again. There will never be another experience like it.

3. From Tanner Fnk (Overland park, Kansas)

My grandmother once said you’ll experience only one or two things in your life that will change you forever. I know for a fact this film is one of those moments. I will never forget the first time I saw this film. Never. I remember it as one of the best days of my life. Never had I cared so much about two characters and the story of a film. I watched the first two hours of that film saying to myself," I will never see anything better then this in my whole life." Then I watched the last twenty minutes of the film. I never knew life could be so beautiful! I will never be able to express in word the ending of the film. There is not a day that goes by where I haven’t once thought about the ending or the film. It has forever changed me in the greatest way possible. It has taught me the greatest things in life are still down the road and life is indeed...oh so beautiful. The last paragraph of Morgan Freeman's narration in the film has inspired me greatly to always smile and look at beauty around you...Because it’s everywhere! I could talk forever and a day about this miracle of a film, because that’s exactly what it is. I always love watching this movie with people who have never seen it; it’s like experiencing my first time all over again! It’s funny. I never knew that what my grandmother was talking about would someday be this film, I thank god this film came into my life, because I know I would be a much different person without it. Thank you Shawshank Redemption!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Bridge on the River Kwai – The Hollywood masterpiece shot in Ceylon

I had heard of The Bridge on the River Kwai back when I was a kid. It wasn’t much – just that the film was shot in some Sri Lankan locations. I only got hold of the disk from an MC joint a couple of weeks back and was able to watch it just a few days back. The movie is of such cinematic brilliance, which makes me feel regret of the age I took to press play. The plot for the movie is loosely based on the British POWs who were forced to build a bridge over the river Kwai in Burma. This 7 Academy Award winning British 1957 World War II masterpiece was filmed almost entirely in Ceylon. 1957 may seem too far away; yet, the 1997 film restoration was done to the very last wrinkle, and the unfolding utter picturesque sceneries of Ceylon is an unforgettable pleasure to watch. Spanning across the beds of Kelani river in Kithulgala (where the legendary $250,000 wooden bridge was constructed and destroyed before S.W.R.D Bandaranayake’s entourage), panoramic views high above from Diyathalawa, blossomed flower fields of Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, and finally extending to the Mt. Lavinia beach in the west, The Bridge on the River Kwai is the ultimate and solitary signature of Sri Lankan splendor in Hollywood. In my opinion, it’s a movie that every Sri Lankan should experience – the marvels English did on our soil. It’s also one of those rare movies where each minute spent before the screen pays off in the end.

IMDb page:
Check for clips

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Celebrating seven years with my crappy, junky, grumpy, age-old, yet never-say-die PC!

Man and Machine…They always found a differentiation. Not always, maybe

Some seven years ago, when I bought my current PC, I didn’t know a damn thing about computers. Hell, even I couldn’t find the crappy power button to turn it on. The guy who came and hooked the thing up showed how tahe graphics load, how to play an mp3, a movie and all the major tricks. After the fella left, I thought it ain’t gonna be too hard to run this thing, but didn’t take long to realize that I had made a major mistake. I didn’t know where the power switch is. Fed up with searching, phoned a buddy and he said the button should be there. Finally I got my finger stuck in a hole, and bang! The thing worked! Well…that’s just history. I’m still running it since then and there’s a whole saga behind it. For the first few months, when it broke down, I used to carry it all the way to Kandy, where my computer shop was. The only (yet the best, as they say) remedy these genius computer shack repair guys know is formatting the boot drive. The same happened for me, despite how minute the problem is. Then I thought this ain’t gonna do, and since then I doctored my own aches and pains. That’s when I started to feel computing, and that’s when I started this passion. Well, it wasn’t the end, but a beginning of a different companionship with this machine and myself.

For every quarter of a year, something gets blown off; nevertheless, this junk has survived a miraculous seven years. The last gadget that faced its demise was the goddam CDROM drive. Hell, it ran a good ol’ 6 years non-stop. Way, way better than the crappy Creative shit that was on sale in every corner of the street back in 2000. It had all the wizardly crap like remote controls and all, but it wasn’t just enough to survive long, at least in our reach. Presently, the CPU looks bare naked and the last time I saw the casing cover of the CPU was back in 2006. Sometimes the CPU goes dead silent. It may sound cool but that’s when I know the cooler fan has stopped. With a couple of thumps, the thing starts to rotate and I’m back on line. During this seven-year tenure, few hard disks served its time until I switched to Hitachi. Hitachi is more silent unlike the old Quantum hard disk; which, when operating, emulated the noise of a tractor running in my room. My UPS is with the repair guy for over 2 years and he and I have both forgotten it. Now he thinks he owns it and I don’t give a damn. It ain’t cool to run a comp without a UPS, but what the heck.

Well…This saga with this machine, and myself - it will go on…Till one meets its demise...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Tedium or Inertia? Or both?

From the footloose uni life to pro life… Before I know it, life’s back in a shell - one seems quite hard to break away. Guess the life - from the birth till death, is a function of intermittent, varying and interchanging set of shells. Changes of life - things that one desires or hates happen within these shells and some even go unnoticed. The longer one shell gets dragged on, or when the transition to the next shell appears vague, either tedium (say boredom) or the interia (say reluctance against change…wonder if anyone ever used this term in this context) could happen. Six months into this shell, and I’m having a mix of them. Say 80% tedium and 19% inertia. And I have a few words to name this composition: I need a fuckin change. Change, well…you got to make things happen as not all changes are favorable. You need to seek your own asylum, redemption, salvation or nirvana – whatever the hell they call it. In fact, that’s what we all seek in our life – freedom in mind with no or fewer strings attached. I find myself long way away from there – my own nirvana. I’m having a hangover and feeling too drowsy to write this shit now. Hell, I feel like boozing right now. What the fuck, I’m out…

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Reminiscence…Four-year University life at Pera (Part I)

As Master Amaradewa’s classic – “hanthane kandu muduna” airs on my audio, I fall into a virtual trance. It’s an amazing song really, one that would put anyone to a kind of a rumination.

Months after the University life at Peradeniya was over, I start to look back and reminisce. Apart from all the joys and woes that I had, I wouldn’t know if I could have lived those four years better, but what I know for sure is that I really enjoyed it the best way I could. Maybe I missed out on a few. One thing I pretty much regret is the fact that I didn’t find love there. It wasn’t just me who left the University without a single, real love saga behind, but most of the blokes at Engineering were in my boat. Apart from a few who had found love before entering the University, some found their life partner from the faculty. But majority of the guys were looking for something else, which they didn’t find in Engineering girls: a non-mechanized mind.

One thing deprived us from reaching a real University love, is the fact that Engineering was separated from the major part of the University. There’s a bridge to cross (the famous Akbar bridge joining two banks of Mahaweli) and few hundred yards of walk. It shouldn’t be a big hindrance, one may think. Surely it isn’t, but coupled with the tight academic schedules and high probability of ‘chaater’, which is almost inherent in any love case, most of us were reluctant to take that step. Moreover, most of the blokes are too serious about the academics and probably giving an overly significance. It wasn’t very odd because the general idea among the guys was to capitalize on the degree and get the ass out of the University at the four-year tenure. Something like finding a life partner was considered to be an extra load and commitment, but definitely a bonus.

Something we always believed in was that the real University Life lied beyond the river. In contrast to our area with people having numb looks and nerdy faces, the majority of the University area comprising Arts, Science and Medicine looked so much lively, full of aroma and was truly scintillating. Breathtaking sceneries entrenched with plenty of history and legend makes it an inviting place for romance. The feeling of holding a hand of a girl and strolling down the scenic lovers’ lane or the tranquilizing uda Peradeniya, while talking all the crap in the world, would have been really unimaginable. May be we missed out that experience, but we’d certainly rejoice over the life we spent there...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Classics - The Music that don't die

…Just take those old records off the shelf
I’ll sit and listen to ‘em by myself
Todays music ain’t got the same soul
I like that old time rock n roll…-Bob Seger (Old Time Rock n Roll)

Guess it’s high time I hit the keyboard again. With having less than 1.5 months before the end of the University saga, life gets into a kinda shell; which, in a way, makes things look rather hazy ahead, and music sounds to be just great to set things right. I’ve just had my good ol’ ‘hard earned’ classics collection got together so that not only me, but also my father can enjoy it too whenever he’s bored with watching same old DVDs. It took hundreds of hours for the hunt with the 115 kbps CDMA and couple of P2Ps hooked up; but in the end, it’s just worth the trouble to have something that you can truly enjoy . It may look rather odd for a young fella like me (presuming 25 is not that old) to love the classics and oldies while all the mates go jumping around for rock and hip-hop. Well…nothing wrong with rock and other genres, but you never realize what and how much you’ve been missing out in music until you start enjoying classics. They define a unique and genuine style where the rhythm, class of voice and meaning of song surpasses most of the trends in modern genres (it’s never the same with Kershaw’s version of ‘Riddle’ and Gigi’s). Probably one would find classics are too slow and of inferior audio quality to blast away the 3000W sound systems . And some young folks would think oldies just don’t go with the beat of their life. In fact that’s what I was thinking few years back when I used to fill up the room with thrashing heavy metal while my father was going with the ‘Golden Oldies’ show on SLBC. I thought then that he’s just too old so he can’t go with the beat of today’s style. I now find that I was wrong, that it’s just the temperament and state of mind that puts you there. For me, drive towards classics was not something happened abruptly, but more of an evolution of mind. From the very young years with soft pop, passing adolescent years with rock, metal and techno and then onto a matured state with the classics. Thirty years from now on, what’s modern now becomes classics in time and maybe then I’d be able to crank up my radio and listen to ’50 Cents’ while my grandchildren listen to some crap that’s beyond my imagination . :-))