Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My Reflection on MNIK !!

"There are only two kinds of people - Good and Bad, and no others !!" What a great lesson taught by Rizwan's (SRK) Mother !!! She uses a simple match-stick men drawing to instill this core moral value to her son. This is probably a lesson to be learnt by many of us !!

Wish our society can really understand Humanity in this simple light !! People continue to discriminate their fellow beings on Race, Religion, Caste, Creed, Color, Financial status or similar attributes. After so many generations of falling civilizations, wars for supremacy and control, religious hatred and communal riots, we continue our struggle to respect human lives.

"Love can win over everything" - a subtle message at the end of the movie but so very true. In fact, every religion preaches the same thing "Love everyone and do good" (or some variation thereof!). Indeed, it is our actions and deeds, which reveal our true choices and commitments.

Hats of to Karan Johar & team for the wonderful effort in making such a sensible movie, in the need of the hour !! SRK, Kajol and the rest of the cast have given their best, in conveying this universal message. There was never a boring moment in the movie. IMHO, Religion is just a way of life, a faith followed by each one of us, that suits our Core Values and Beliefs. We should always respect each others faith and belief. I would equate practicing a Religion to Parenting - One's Parenting techniques and skills may not be helpful or suit another's family.

Stereotyping a person based on his/her name/religion/caste is the worst degradation of common sense. Just because one person from a particular community does harm, does not warrant in "branding" the entire community as being aggressive and violent. Every group has its own do-gooders and extremists.

The famous global peace anthem "We shall overcome..someday" (adapted as "Hum honge kaamyab.. ek din" in India) is well used in the movie. Let us hope...We are not alone...We'll walk hand in hand... We shall all be free..someday !!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Amazonia (Novel) vs. Avatar (Movie)

Having read most of the fiction novels in "Medical Thrillers / Scientific Adventures" category, by Robin Cook / Michael Crichton, I decided to try different authors this time. Last week, I did a random search in our Groton Public Library, and picked up this book - Amazonia by James Rollins. When I browse 'Editorial Reviews' of novels, I look for Amazonian Jungles, Egyptian Pyramids and other Ancient Myths, Mutations / Genetic Engineering and Aliens :-) This book seemed to have some of these "feelers" and so I got it issued. Having completed this 420-page novel in less than a week (usually, I take 3-4 weeks) is a testimony that I enjoyed reading it. Yes - It did meet my expectations with all elements of Amazon - Native Indian Tribes, Anacondas, Swamps, giant Caimans & a good dose of Scientific unknowns - Mutated Creatures, Pre-historic Healing Tree, Incurable Virulent Plague etc. From an 'Action' standpoint, you have Quasi-military rangers, trails & chases, death traps, stealth weapons, explosions to keep you glued to the story's mainstream.

A very interesting point is, I did notice lot similarities in this novel (released in 2002) and "Avatar" movie (2009). I have seen the movie earlier in Dec. 2009. In the movie, you have Hometree - the Tree of Souls, deposits of Unobtainium (!?!) beneath it, Na'vi tribe protecting it and RDA corporation trying to destroy / exploit it. In this novel, you have Yagga - the Healing Tree, source of evolutionary genetic library beneath it, Ban-ali tribe protecting it and St. Savin Pharmaceuticals trying to destroy / exploit it. Coincidence?? James Cameron should answer this question, though I did not see credits/reference given to this author/novel in the movie. I also noted that many readers reflected similar thoughts in the writer's blog @

Now that I have got a new author, who writes the genre I love, I am looking forward to read his other novels like Excavation, Subterranean, Deep Fathom, Ice Hunt etc.

I also googled some trivia below:
  • In 2007, James Rollins was hired to write the novelization of the script for the movie "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull".
  • James Rollins and James Clemens are two of the pen names of American veterinarian "Jim Czajkowski" - He sold his veterinary practice in Sacramento, California, to concentrate full-time on writing.