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The Interrupted Journey

July 11, 2014

“The longest journey Is the journey inwards. Of him who has chosen his destiny, Who has started upon his quest For the source of his being” Dag Hammarskjöld  For weeks, I had been absorbed by April Ryan’s adventure and enchanted by the sheer beauty of the worlds The Longest Journey had created — and now it was all drawing to a close. Even at the age of 10, I had experienced enough fictional stories in books, films and games to perceive when the threads began to coalesce and the world grew burdened with a heavy weight; waiting for you to relieve it. I had played enough adventure games to realize that when the characters began making that “final push” that would fulfill their destinies, it was a portent that your time in that world is drawing to a close. But then, something went wrong. At the grand stage of the concluding chapter, an unexpected event happens and then instead of resolving everything and going out on a […]


Deconstructing Louie

July 7, 2014

Comedy is at its best when it is followed by tragedy. Extend that analogy into the general vagaries of the thrill of happiness and the emptiness of sorrow and you might be onto something. Happiness is a transient emotion, an anomaly in the vacuum that exists inside our mind and it always gets sucked out. Always, that happiness is followed by an emptiness. The laughter with silence. “A temporary bandage on a permanent wound” – Pete Campbell, Mad Men It’s also said that comedy and tragedy go hand-in-hand which isn’t all too surprising considering the neural pathways that act on the stimuli of both those emotions are closely matched to one another. Tears of happiness, anyone? That often puts both the comics and dramatists enacting comedy and tragedy respectively on stage in a similar unique position. Both are capable of evoking conflicting emotions in their audience almost simultaneously and in doing so often leave them more susceptible to certain things they would find harder to accept otherwise. It’s not a joke when you see so […]


Year One

April 29, 2014

They say goals are capable of transforming your lives. I didn’t believe in it but the past year has made me into a believer. As someone who for large parts of his teen and adult life “went along the flow” of time by making decisions and doing things I was *supposed* to do, the last year (or the last two) have been really altered my general perspective, worldview on a lot of things including life. I have previously attributed a lot of the change to The Knife’s Shaking the Habitual so I’ll not reiterate that here again but I will say that while many of us believe pop culture consumption is a largely redundant and time-wasting activity, some of my biggest changes in perspective have been driven by these pop culture elements — particularly music. I’ll do a quick recap of what I learnt in my first year as a game developer — the important lessons and things that kept me driving. Let’s get started […]


Best of 2013: Television

February 15, 2014

It was a very important year for television for a number of reasons, prime among which was the fact that the mettle of streaming services turned production houses like Amazon and Netflix’s would be tested against the cable and network television heavyweights whose outcome would either hasten or delay the inevitable — the streaming services replacing the traditional TV. As it turned out Netflix had a stellar year (Amazon less so), churning out two incredible original series and hosting the much-anticipated return of an old favourite among its highlights. But even outside Netflix, TV was quickly changing with the coming of Sundance Channel & their trio of brave & experimental foreign imports backed by some innovative and fresh concepts courtesy BBC and iTV making 2013 one of the strongest year for non-American shows in recent memory. This coupled with the rising popularity of miniseries and anthologies suggested that the shift in the power structure of television was changing and it […]


Best of 2013: Film

February 7, 2014

This was a really good year for films and I say this in comparison to the past few years. What made this year great was that a lot of independent and arthouse films made good money from their box-office collections with Mud and Before Midnight being the cream of indie successes. But more than that, 2013 was the year that saw one of the most underrated genres — documentary — finally come of age and evolve into a unique form courtesy some very subversive works which bent the rules of the genre. 2013 also saw the return of “mumblecore” — another of the overlooked American arthouse genres in recent decades with two excellent films which reiterated the strengths of the genre while experimenting with its oddities even more. Here is the best of what films had to offer in 2013: Best Performances in a Film I am not choosing any one best as it would be unfair to a lot of these deserving performances. Instead, […]


Twenty Two

January 25, 2014

It feels as if you’re standing on the edge, on the precipice of something. It’s not something you know, for sure, but just something you feel.  Beyond where you stand today, everything important that you seek is shrouded in fog. Every question hidden in mystery, every circumstance of the future concealed behind an indistinguishable veil of time. The Edge The funny part is I’ve always had this feeling a few times before at different points in my life. The day I left the city where I’d lived the longest, the day the results of those apparently “life-deciding” university entrance exams were about to be announced. The funny bit in this slice of life recollection is how important those events felt back then — how I felt as if I was indeed standing at the cusp of change — at the eye of a tornado, quietly waiting, helplessly, as time changed my life’s landscape in a blink. Only it hadn’t. Neither of […]


Best of 2013: Books and Music

January 22, 2014

Books I read a decent number of newly released books in 2013, which is surprising considering I spent a large amount of time in other activities but still that meant I came across a couple of gems. I present to you three great books — one is a left-of-center thriller, the other two being collections of eclectic short stories. All three are absolute must-reads, if you ask me. Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon There’s no denying the kind of enigma Pynchon is in the face of modern literature. A mystery to many, he is one of the last attempts in this increasingly marketing-oriented world who maintains his anonymity and for once is able to dissociate his works from his actual persona. Bleeding Edge is a Pynchon thriller in the truest sense. A heady combination that ties the 9/11 with the dot-com collapse in a ridiculously insane rollercoaster ride encapsulating both the universal and personal. Skipping between multiple genre, Pynchon’s trademark style flows through every sentence […]


Album Review: “Reflektor” by Arcade Fire

November 3, 2013

The lines between “indie” and “mainstream” are visibly blurred for some bands when they have transcended to a certain level of popularity. Especially, when like Arcade Fire, you were the recipient of the surprising, but deserving Grammy, you being called “indie” is pretty much reduced to being just a label. So, how does a band that once took so much pride in being the “outsider” in music circles deal with such fame and attention? Well, why not take the path a variety of great rock bands from the past took following unexpected popularity? Just like The Beatles’ did with The White Album,  Nirvana did with In Utero and Radiohead with Kid A, Arcade Fire’s Reflektor is a litmus test for its fans with the sole purpose of alienating a majority of its fanbase just so they can experiment in the wildest manner. On Reflektor, they team up with LCD Soundsystem maestro James Murphy as the producer and this choice proves critical […]


Nostalgia and Us

July 14, 2013

Sepia filters, vintage hairdos, revival in interest of music genres that had died decades ago and our obsession with shows like Mad Men are just mere reminders that when it comes to emotions, there’s nothing we love renting space to in our consciousness more than nostalgia. Potentially powerful feelings which permeate in the form of remembrances of a bygone era seen through rose-tinted glasses that make us believe that things were so much better back then (when they actually weren’t). They often overlook the fact that despite the worries, we lead more satisfied lives now on our own terms as mature grown-ups (mostly) and not the confused, silly and plain-annoying teenage selves we left behind that we can’t help but reminisce so fondly about. These thoughts overlook almost to the point of being plain blind to those lackluster hours of adolescent boredom or “That Angsty Phase™” of our teens we lived through and focus directly at our fondest memories. So, […]

Rattle and shake everyone!

Album Review: “Shaking The Habitual” by The Knife

May 18, 2013

There was a moment in time until a decade back when albums were meant to be consumed as a whole. Like a book, each song similar to a chapter, adding one piece to the overall picture with its’ own little story. I am aware that not all albums did that, but for almost every concept album like Pink Floyd’s The Wall, we had a statement of purpose like Neil Young’s Trans. Every album was made with a specific mindset — with or without an idea or a concept — and generally during a specific period of time. It was a snapshot of where the artists stood at that juncture of time and what they were listening to, or what they envisioned the next decade of music listening to. Modern music is divided by decades — this is merely common knowledge. What is not is that with the advent of digital music, albums died. With MP3s and iTunes, music began to be consumed in parts in […]