Book Review: Infinity In The Palm Of Your Hand: Fifty Wonders That Reveal An Extraordinary Universe By Marcus Chown

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Image Source: Amazon

Today I would share my views on the book Infinity In The Palm Of Your Hand by Marcus Chown. This is the first popular science book that I am reviewing on this blog and the second book by Marcus Chown that I have read. I got acquainted with Marcus Chown through his book We Need To Talk About Kelvin, which explained the scientific concepts behind everyday events and processes that we take for granted. I was so impressed with that book that when Infinity In The Palm Of Your Hand was offered to me for review, I grabbed it with both hands. Continue reading

Book Review: ‘Autumn Shadows: Memoir’ By Tomichan Matheikal

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I am writing to you after a short gap. The reason is that I was busy reading Tomichan Matheikal’s new book “Autumn Shadows: Memoir” and it was very difficult to interrupt the reading to pen down any of my own thoughts. So I decided to first finish the task at hand and then share my views with you. No, it was not a pleasure reading, instead I was reading it in order to review it as a critic. So today I would share my thoughts and opinion of this book with you. Continue reading

Most Of Your Reasons For Not Pursuing Art And Literature Might Be Just Excuses

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Photo source: artist.com

In couple of previous articles, I have touched on the subject of role of arts in our lives and society. How is art capable of bringing about that change within ourselves is a subject for psychological and philosophical scrutiny. We will discuss it in detail some other time. It is generally assumed that in order to pursue art, one requires financial security and time. Having spent four decades actively pursuing arts, two decades science, and one decade languages, today I sincerely believe that that is not the case. Continue reading

It’s Time To Show Concern For Science

In the run-up to general elections 2014, one leading newspaper carried an op-ed article where the writer wondered how each and every party was harping promises of overall progress, prosperity and development, but none of them said even a single word on how it is going to achieve it. To clarify his point, he elaborated that no party has spoken about science and technology. How can any country progress if not by science and technology, he asked.

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An Assignment For Physics Lovers From 15 Park Avenue

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Photo source: Amazon.in

In a country obsessed with politics and religion, it is quite rare to see any movie paying attention to science and scientists — that too fine attention. 15 Park Avenue (2005) by Aparna Sen is one such movie, which had received the National Film Award for best feature film in English.

I liked this movie for several reasons besides its screenplay and artistic merit. The foremost reason is that it brings nearly all my favourite actors and actresses under one roof — Shabana Azmi, Konkona Sen Sharma, Waheeda Rehman, Soumitra Chatterjee, Kanwaljit Singh, Rahul Bose, Dhritiman Chatterjee to mention only a few. And all of them performing under the expert direction of Aparna Sen who has shown her calibre more than once with movies such as 36 Chowringhee Lane (1981),  Yugant (1995), Paromitar Ek Din (2000) and Mr and Mrs Iyer (2002). What more could one ask for? Continue reading

How Important Is Voice In Onscreen Depiction Of Argument?

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photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar Tiger argument via photopin (license)

For the last four posts, I have been discussing portrayal of conflicts in Hindi classic movies. In my opinion, these scenes offer us some real treasures of Indian drama. Today I will talk about something elementary. How does conflict start in the first place? I agree that this is a deep question which falls within the areas of philosophy and sociology. However, here we need not go into much detail, instead mention only main steps of interpersonal conflicts. First, there is a clash — of ideas and opinions, of dreams, ambitions, preferences and so on. We try to resolve such conflicts through dialogues,  which are most often biased. We try to persuade the other person to move away from our path. When the other person does not follow, we try to convince him by logic and arguments. When that also fails, we try to show authority, strength, power, and in such way step by step the conflict takes higher notes of argument ultimately transforming into verbal duel followed by physical assaults. Continue reading

When Shabana Azmi And Smita Patil Share Screen Space, The Result Is Sheer Magic!

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Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil with Soni Razdan in a scene from Mandi (1983), a yet another Shyam Benegal masterpiece. Photo source: TheQuint.

I will continue with my discussion on film appreciation based on onscreen depiction of conflicts. In the previous two parts of this series, I highlighted the different styles employed by actors to portray the characters they were playing. In the second part, I discussed geometry, inclination and orientation in a scene. I also mentioned importance of the 1/3 rule and the leading lines. Hope you remember those details. Otherwise it is a good idea to brush up your memory by revisiting those articles because discussion in this article and all forthcoming articles depends heavily on the concepts outlined in previous articlesContinue reading