This weekend is Diwali and without being overly religious, Diwali always makes me very excited. I love how the city lights up and I love dressing up. I’ve never really considered Diwali a huge festival though. And that might be because I have always been home and never considered not being with mom for Diwali. Since this is my first Diwali not in India, I made a mental list of what I’m desperately going to miss this Diwali:
- Family Pictures: I love the fact that everyone is dressed up and we spend HOURS taking pictures on Diwali day. My mom is so good at taking (and posing for) pictures that I just know how much I’m going to be missing it this weekend.
- Rangolis: I will very proudly admit that I am the one who makes the rangolis at home all the time (and I violently encourage everyone else to participate). Rangoli making has always been a huge part of Diwali for me and not having a rangoli outside my apartment feels really weird.
- Lighting Diyas: The lights are definitely my favourite part of Diwali. I love placing those oil filled diyas in a huge plate, lighting them and then walking around the whole house placing one in every room. With only two diyas that my roommates and I are placing in the apartment this year, I’m missing out on how I spend all my evenings for the days during Diwali.
- Holidays: Diwali being the biggest festival in India means that we get a nice break from work, school, university (usually a week or so). With being in a different country, I’m really missing out on a Diwali vacation I’ve gotten so used to.
Though I am really nostalgic about not being home for Diwali, I am really excited to see what different new thing I do this year while still being wholesome Indian!
The first thought that comes to your mind when this movie starts is that you probably won’t be able to sit still for a really long time after this movie is over.
Joker tells the story of a middle-aged man who lives with his mother, goes to court-mandated therapy and works as a freelance clown. But when you really watch the movie, you realise that Joker tells the story of a man who is only defined by how society is treating him.
Joker runs for 120 minutes and doesn’t let you guess even for one minute what exactly is going to happen. You obviously know someone will die, and that someone will be blamed and that the seemingly normal middle-aged man will become The Joker – but you never know when.
The movie made me feel many different emotions right from mild terror to sympathy. I once remember reading that your circumstances play a great hand in making you who you are, and Joker makes you feel like nothing other than your circumstances could make you who you are. Thats how powerful Joaquin Phoenix’s acting is.
There were atleast five different scenes that absolutely shocked me and blew my mind – things I did NOT expect. There were five different scenes that made me feel horribly sympathetic towards this man that everyone was neglecting. (Eg: He keeps a journal and he writes, “I think my death will make more sense than my life”.)
Joker works in so many various ways. The script works. The timeline works. The acting super works. The music works. The make up works. And most importantly, the but-for causation works. [But for that one thing that happened to him, would he really do everything else he did?]
If I have one thing to say about this movie, its this: Watch it.
I discovered Murakami last year and I fell in love. Murakami’s writing is simple and so easy to follow, that you never feel like putting the book down. But then sometimes his writing is so difficult to follow that you have no choice but to put it down after a chapter or so. Funnily, Kafka is both.
Kafka on the shore is a book that follows two stories running parallelly but you know that ultimately they will meet. It follows Kafka, a 15 year-old boy running away from home and it follows Nakata, a 60 year-old man looking for a cat. Kafka is running away from his father because he refuses to believe that life has in store for him what his father thinks. Nakata is looking for a cat because he can speak to cats. The book alternates between both their stories with a million things overlapping between them but you don’t really realize that till you are done. Kafka took me a really long time to finish. Mostly because at times the book would suddenly take a 360 degree turn and leave me mind boggled. But every time I felt that, every time I wanted to go back and read it.
I will admit that Kafka has parts (maybe chapters) that will confuse you. That will make you feel like the story isn’t going in any real direction. My advice is this: Get through these parts. Because when you do, you will thank me. Kafka will take you some time to read. It will make you think and maybe make you re-read something because you didn’t really get it. But like every other Murakami book, Kafka will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.