Monday, January 24, 2005

Moving on...


Since I'm leaving for DC in a few hours, I am not going to do any serious blogging. The past few hours have been crazy packing, going out with friends, family, etc. I am really going to miss everybody in Minnesota but am really excited to start my fellowship with Citizens for Global Solutions.

So, Inshallah (if God wills), I will be back to blog on Tuesday or Wednesday. Please pray for my safe trip & that I am not harressed by airport security officials!

I have watched several movies lately & I definitely recommend In Good Company: it's a light -hearted movie that reflects on corporate mergers, its affect on senior staff, young people walking up the success ladder too fast, etc. I really enjoyed it!

For those of you who enjoy musicals, I definitely recommend The Phantom of the Opera: I didn't know anything about the background story and found it fascinating, loved the soundtrack & thought the movie was very beautifully made. For more information, you can check out the official site of the movie.

The movie I DID NOT like was Troy - I watched Helen of Troy which aired in USA Today about two years ago & it was more historically accurate. If you want to watch it to see Brad Pitt in a skirt, that's fine, but don't expect an accurate account of Homer's story!

In Bollywood, I watched Kisna and this review sums up how I felt about the movie - I think Subash Ghai could have done a better job like he did with Pardes!

I have bought two books lately for my travel are: Russka- The Novel of Russia is an epic novel spanning nearly 2,000 years of Russia's history. Edward Rutherford has written about a fictional small village in the heartland of what would become modern Russia. The story follows a collection of inter-related characters over multiple generations. The blurring of fact and fiction can be confusing as many true aspects of Russian history and culture are revealed in spinning this lush and rambling saga. Russka opens early in the first millennium when the great forests of Asia supported nomadic people. Villages began to take root and settlements grew around valuable resources such as fresh water, salt deposits, farmable soil, etc. Marauding tribes fought with, conquered and intermingled with the native population. Eventually villages grew into defensible towns and cities. Russka moves through notable eras of history including the Tatar invasions; rise of the cossacks; reigns of Ivan the Terrible, Peter the Great, Catherine the Great and Nicholas; the prejudice against the Poles, Jews, Germans and others; and the rebellion against the ruling classes. It is a lot of ground to cover and Russka moves by at a fast pace. Edward Rutherford demonstrates an understandng of significant historical events and how to spin a great tale around them.

The other one is Memoirs of a Geisha:The strikingly pretty child of an impoverished fishing family, Chiyo is taken to faraway Kyoto and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house where she is renamed Sayuri. Initially reluctant, Sayuri must finally invent and cultivate an image of herself as a desirable geisha in order to survive in Gion's cruel hierarchy. Through her eyes, we are given a backstage view of the ancient and secretive geisha district, Gion, and of the lives of the women who learn and practice the rigorous arts of the geisha. Behind its facade of haunting beauty the district turns out to be a viciously competitive place where women vie desperately for men's favor and largess, where a young girl's virginity is auctioned off to the highest bidder, where personal trust is almost nonexistent, and where no woman can afford even to dream about love or happiness. A timeless pocket of the world, Gion cannot remain cut off from the bustle of the modern era forever. When Japan enters the Second World War, Gion's isolation is finally breached and Sayuri must once again reinvent herself and her way of existence. Memoirs of a Geisha is a treasure of a book, an unparalleled look at a strange and mysterious world which has now almost vanished. It is also, and unforgettably, a dazzling portrait of a singular and most seductive woman who tells her story in a compelling first person voice.