Sunday, July 19, 2009

Will you go out with me?

At work today, there was some talk of doing a feature on 'How to ask a girl/guy out.' I was asked my preferred 'style' of being asked out...and of course I didn't know. This is mainly because all the guys I've dated have been very good friends. So our 'first date' was simply us hanging out and having fun.
But it did get me thinking. How would I like somebody to ask me out? Now, the word/concept of 'date' unnerves me. There's just too much of 'what will he think?' and 'do I seem to too eager???' and 'ohmigod do I have food stuck in my teeth??!!' I don't like making a big deal of dates. The same goes with being asked out. I don't want melodrama. I'd like it if he was quietly persistent and not in the least arrogant. If he asked me in a way that I simply couldn't refuse. Not because I didn't want to hurt him, but because he made me want to know him.
One thing I definitely don't want is to be 'proposed to.' I don't want some guy telling me he loves me right at the start. Or saying, 'Will you be my girlfriend?'
I can never simply be a date or a girlfriend...these are terms that make me squirm. I'll be a partner, a chum, a buddy, a lover, a force of nature...and I'd like the guy who asks me out to get that. Which explains why I've been friends first with all my boyfriends.
So there you have it. Don't try to date me, make me want to know you...and you've got yourself a good deal

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fanspeak: Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

I wanted to write this review soon as I was out of the theatre, because, well, a day of work, too much talk and not enough attention leaves its mark on my writing. But I shall put my fascination with Harry Potter above all this...

Firstly, the HP movies are worth watching only if you're an HP fan. If you're a fan of fine cinema, I'm not too sure what you'll get out of them, except maybe the adaptation and the cinematography. You have to have read the books breathlessly, ensured you watch every movie first-day-first-show and follow all bits of Potter news with nothing less than obsession.

The makers of Half-Blood Prince depend heavily on the goodwill of HP fans. A fan who has read the print version of HBP will know its bulk, understand that to bring the intricacies, the dozens of connections that JK Rowling penned, are not possible to squeeze into a two-and-a-half-hour long film.

Instead, director David Yates looks at the bigger picture, the wider issues in the story. The characters are growing up. They are more confident, more daring, more accepting of what lies ahead. Daniel Radcliffe is a grown-up Harry. He can ask out a pretty girl in a diner without turning blue in the face. He knows his path will never be easy, and if need be, he will sweet-talk Professor Slughorn to get what he wants. Rupert Grint is his usual, goofy, lovable Ron (man I love the guy!) and Emma Watson is fresh and pretty. But it is Tom Felton who steals the show. Draco is tortured, torn in this part of the story. Felton's hollow cheeks, haunted eyes and occasional outbursts are perfect for a teenage boy chosen and condemned to perform dark deeds.

Growing up, the Potter clan of characters are also forming new relationships. Ron and Hermione are intensely aware of one another. Ron, despite his best efforts to play it cool, notices when Hermione has toothpaste at the corner of her mouth or a Butterbeer moustache. Harry and Ginny are together in the audience's mind right from the start of the movie, when she hugs him soon as he arrives at The Burrow. The Kiss, that is so magnified in the book is underplayed here to say the least. But there are moments of wonderful anticipation that had the audience on their feet and hooting. Ginny saucily asking, 'Who's the Half-Blood Prince?' and tossing the book of spells playfully at Harry. Ginny feeding Harry a pastry. But what cements the bond is after when Harry is leaning over Dumbledore's lifeless body and Ginny steps through the crowd, kneels next to him and holds him. Rarely has Harry Potter had somebody to physically comfort him.

Nostalgia and a subtle sensuality shimmers all around HBP. This is the last movie where we will see the clan as students in Hogwarts. Innocence is rapidly dying out, whether by falling in love or by plotting the Headmaster's death. These are the themes the movie picks out. In cinematography, in the sweeping background score and the director/screeplay writer's understanding that Rowling's characters, as well as their own actors are moving, albeit shakily, towards adulthood. That perhaps, is the movie's greatest strength.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Letters from the open seas

My grandparents are currently in the US, visiting my aunt. They went on a 10-day Alaskan cruise. Here are the mails my grandad sent me.

The cruise was an experience that was beyond had to be gone through as it a different world as it were. If we were forty years younger, we would have gone onto the ice-land instead of viewing it from the ship. And the ship and its arrangements and luxuries - those were really countless, of all paid for as part of the fare, but you have to imagine a 14-storied vessel carrying 2200 passengers looked after by about 1000 -strong crew who organised and ran, besides the ship, five restaurants, one fully equipped Broadway-standard theatre-hall,one dining hall that could seat probably all the passengers at a time, a cyber cafe, three fully covered heated swimming pools besides five open-air ones including a zacuzzi ( spelling ? ) and probably two dozen eating places covering half a deck which catered for all tastes 24 hours.Yes, I had taken about 200 photographs which have been edited to about 80, all waiting to be processed from the digital camera., but no photograph can show the majesty of the scenes.Hope I shall be able to show those to all soon.

A while later...

I forgot some important points.11th was devoted to the best Club incl the foremost viewing gallery and behind them was a huge area devoted to indoor games including table-tennis, billiards, computers and outside them were a shuffleboard and a jogging track 1/3rd km longwhich ran roubd all these. the three decks above them were the places where passengers could go for viewing and watching and photographing the surroundings. It was from these that jampacked passengers took pictures of the Inside Passage, glaciers and icebergs of various sizes.Several classes were held - for exotic dancing, making wine and champagne cocktails, GK contests were held etc. All these were hled when there were nothing much to see except open seas. The stage shows were of Broadway hits and of the same quality. There is no end to the experiences.