Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sir Antiquarian- My Third Novel

 I've written and published my third novel- Sir Antiquarian. My brother Sanjay has done the cover illustration. Please read the novel and share your comments here. 


You will be emailed the download link shortly. Check your inbox. Happy Reading!!!

Hope you have read my previous two books- Wizile and Much Of A Muchness.

Happy reading!!!









Saturday, May 23, 2015

Freaky Friday

Movie: Freaky Friday
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed by: Mark Waters
Produced by: Andrew Gunn
Based on: Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
Music by: Rolfe Kent

Anna, a normal teen with aspirations to take her rock band to great levels, always gets into a fight with her mom, Tess Coleman, a single-mother who thinks Anna’s band is just irritating noise. Anna and her mother differ in everything- from music to hairstyle and fashion to studies. Anna’s mom plans to marry a man named Ryan, whom Anna doesn’t get along with at all. Also, Anna’s band get the chance to participate in the upcoming band auditions, but Tess doesn’t allow her. On top of all this, Anna has an irritating little brother whom she can’t put up with. And the result: Anna and Tess, her mom, get into a big row.  

They all go to a Chinese restaurant, and there the whole issue bursts out, and mom and daughter get into serious arguing with a lot of “you are ruining my life” dialogues from Anna. A Chinese woman sees this, and gives them both the fortune cookies. When they eat it, and they both alone feel an earthquake. The argument ends there, and they are both happy to be safe. They go back home after dinner.

In the morning, Tess finds out that she has gone into Anna’s body, and Anna in hers! They get all miserable at the thought, but agree to keep it between themselves. So, to look like themselves, Anna goes to office, while Tess goes to school. She, for the first time realizes the truth of Anna’s complaints when Mr. Bates, the English teacher, gives her an “F” grade, calling it subjective grading, even when Tess answers his questions correctly. She also finds that Anna is true, more than ever, calling her ex-best friend, mean and horrible, when the girl passes her a note during examination, and then claims that Anna copied from her. But, Jake, a boy Anna fancies but Tess doesn’t have a good impression on, knows the truth, and helps Tess finish the exam paper. Her impression on Jake changes. She also understands why her daughter always ended up in detentions.

Meanwhile, Anna has all the fun time. She enjoys spending with her mom’s platinum credit card, and makes Tess's form look all trendy. She takes up her mom’s role in office, as a physiatrist, and attends to her patients, as well as possible. She understands that she can never be like her mom, and also understands the pressure her mom is usually under. Anna even attends Harry, her little brother’s, parent teacher meet. There, she sees an essay written by Harry on how his sister is the best in the world. She is bowled over by the genuine feelings of his, and doesn’t see him as irritating anymore.

When Anna and Tess finally meet, after completing each other’s respective jobs, they go back to the Chinese restaurant, and meet the old lady’s daughter demanding her to change them back. But, the old lady’s daughter apologizes to them, and tells them that there is no other way than to make the note inside the fortune cookie come true- to understand each other and do a selfless act.

Nothing happens, and Anna feels certain that she’s going to be struck in Tess’s body forever. They try different things but they go in vain.  Finally the day of Tess’s marriage to Ryan arrives, and that same day Anna’s band have their auditions. Anna’s friends and co-artists in the band, take Tess away, thinking she is Anna, for the auditions, after they plead Ryan to allow them. Anna, who is Tess’s form, follows them after Ryan asks his to-be wife to go and cheer her daughter. On stage, Tess is not able to play the guitar or give a solo because she doesn’t know to. But her friends are confused as to why she wasn’t doing it. Anna comes to the rescue, and plays on her guitar offstage, while Tess mimes on the stage. Tess realizes that it isn’t all just noise, as she had imagined it to be, and it takes a lot more to go stand up on the stage and perform. They  get through the auditions, and both mom and daughter are thrilled at the victory.

They go back to the marriage hall. There, Tess asks Anna to tell Ryan that they ought to postpone the marriage, since she doesn’t want her daughter to marry the man! But, Anna goes up, brings everyone to attentions, and gives an emotional speech praising Ryan as the special man who made Tess and the family happier, instead of telling him to postpone the marriage. That selfless action of love fulfills the note in the fortune cookie, and Anna and Tess swap back to their respective bodies.

Tess and Ryan marry. All ends happily!

The movie was fantastic! I completely loved it! The characters are so cool, and the acting was excellent! The whole movie was very creative! My favourite characters are Tess and Anna. I especially loved the parts when each realized they couldn't be the other, and yet started appreciating each other. The parts when Anna tries to treat the patients, and Tess tries to act like her teenage daughter, which she completely fails to do, is hilarious!

It was a movie worth watching!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Esio Trot

Title: Esio Trot
Author: Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl books are always fun to read! They are simple and sweet, and will make us smile as we read.

“Esio Trot” is a story of a man, Mr. Hoppy, who tries to please the woman he loves, Mrs. Silver. Mrs. Silver is a tortoise craze, and is unhappy that her lovely little tortoise, Alfie, is not growing up to be big! Mr. Hoppy seizes this opportunity to make her happy. He writes a few lines(meaningful words written backwards)-

ESIO TROT, ESIO TROT,
TEG REGGIB REGGIB!
EMOC NO, ESIO TROT,
WORG PU, FFUP PU, TOOHS PU!
GNIRPS PU, WOLB PU, LLEWS PU!
EGROG! ELZZUG! FFUTS! PLUG!
TUP NO TAF, ESIO TROT, TUP NO TAF!
TEG NO, TEG NO! ELBBOG DOOF!

-claims it magical, and asks Mrs. Silver to repeat it until Alfie becomes bigger. Mrs. Silver follows his advice religiously. But, Mr. Poppy, gets all different sizes of tortoises with the same shell colour as Alfie, and keeps replacing one by one instead of Alfie, to create an illusion that Alfie is slowly growing in size! Finally, he makes Mrs. Silver so happy, and asks her to marry him. Mrs. Silver, finally, becomes Mrs. Hoppy!

“Esio Trot” is a wonderful book! It is so ridiculously simple and funny, and yet so lovable!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Remember The Titans

Movie: Remember The Titans
Genre: Drama
Directed by: Boaz Yakin
Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer
Written by: Gregory Allen Howard
Music by: Trevor Rabin

Coach Boone, a black, gets appointed as the Head Coach of football for the Titans, replacing Coach Yoast, a white. Yoast gets pushed down as Assistant Head Coach, and feels insulted. He decides to quit, and go to another school where he is offered the position of Head Coach. But, the white boys in Titans refuse to play for Boone, especially if Yoast is quitting. So, Yoast stays as Assistant. Coach Boone takes them all on a training camp. When asked to get into the buses, all the whites go into one, and the blacks into the other. Seeing this, Coach Boone calls everybody out again, and mixes them according to their positions- offence and defense. So, all boys playing offence end up in a bus, and the defense players in the other. That’s the first step Boone takes in uniting them.

At the camp, they initially fight, but later understand each other, and become great friends! They stop seeing each other by colour, and rather by football playing standards. Gerry Bertier, a white, and Julius Campbell, a black, become such thick friends that nothing tears them apart! They all survive Boone’s tough training, and get into the team of Titans.

The training ends successfully, and they come back- blacks and whites together- happily chatting away and singing. But, they are shocked to see the whites protesting against the blacks back at their place. They stick together, and keep their friendship, irrespective of the feelings of their family and friends.

On the football side, they beat every team against them in all matches, having a string of victories to be proud of. The people, whites and blacks, learn from the friendship of the team, and start accepting the concept of living without seeing colour. The Titans make it to the state championship and win it, even though the referee plays it unfair! This makes the whole town look up to them. There are parties organised, and they completely celebrate their win. But at that time, Gerry meets with an accident, and gets paralysed waist down. This brings gloom to the whole team. They don’t know what to do without their captain and best player.

The big day of the final championship match of the season arrives! They go on to the pitch with determination, but do very badly in the first half. They buck up, convincing themselves that they ought to do it for their coaches, for the people, for Titans, and especially for Gerry, who is seeing the game from his hospital room! This makes them play real well, and they win the championship. They make everybody around them proud! They show the world that the whites and blacks can unite, and win!

The movie is wonderful! The part I liked the best is during their training camp. The way they become so close from being enemies, is so good! I loved it. My most favourite characters were Gerry, Sheryl, Julius, Ronnie Bass(Sunshine) and Petey! They are cool.

The movie was really very good to see.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Big Hero 6

Movie: Big Hero 6
Genre: Fantasy, Sci-fi, Animation
Directed by: Chris Williams
Produced by: Roy Conli
Based On: Big Hero 6 by Steven T. Seagle
Music by: Henry Jackman


Hiro Hamada, a fourteen year old and an expert robot builder, gets crazy about “bot fights”, fighting with robots. His brother, Tadashi Hamada, takes him to the Nerd Laboratory in the University, and shows the work of his nerd friends. Hiro gets stunned by the projects that Tadashi’s friends were working on. Finally, Tadashi shows Hiro the project he has been working on. He introduces Baymax, the healthcare robot, who can identify emotions, pains and feelings, and keep people away from danger. Hiro loves all these projects!


Hiro gets convinced that he somehow has to enter the University, and asks his brother the procedure. Tadashi explains to Hiro that to join the University, he would have to create something really awesome and display it in the exhibition while Callaghan is there.


Hiro thinks he can easily do that, but his mind is dry of ideas. Tadashi helps his brother, at that point, by literally “shaking him up” and asking him to “see in a new angle”. Just then, Hiro gets a brilliant idea. Tadashi and his friends also help Hiro gain confidence and prepare him to go on stage. The big day arrives. Hiro goes up on stage and presents his idea about “microbots”, tiny robots that work through the controller’s thoughts.


Hiro’s idea becomes a huge hit, and a man named Krei pushes Hiro to sell it to him. But Hiro refuses. He gets selected to go to the University. As they all celebrate, a fire breaks in when Callaghan is still in. Tadashi rushes in to save him, but the whole thing bursts into flames. People mourn for Tadashi and Professor.


Hiro gets depressed, and doesn’t go to the University even after the classes start. One day, while he takes he accidentally drops something on his toe, Baymax emerges from Tadashi’s room after hearing a cry of pain! Baymax attends to Hiro, and tries to improve his emotional status. While all this happens, Hiro finds out that somebody is misusing the microbots! Hiro and Baymax find out that a masked man is doing so!


Tadashi’s friends join Hiro to catch the man. They learn, to their shock, that it is Callaghan, the man whom they thought was dead!


Together, Hiro and Baymax, along with Tadashi’s friends from Nerd lab, catch Callaghan, find out the cause and solve the problem! They become the Big Hero 6!

I loved the movie! It was F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C! Actually, none of the characters are evil, and there is no real villain! The characters are totally lovable, and huggable! I loved Baymax, Fred(one of Tadashi’s friends), Tadashi and of course Hiro. They are all cool. The climax was really awesome.

Big Hero 6 is a movie that is a must-watch!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Elf

Movie: Elf
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy
Directed by: Jon Favreau
Produced by: Jon Berg, Todd Komarnicki and Shauna Robertson
Story by: David Berenbaum
Music by: John Debney

Buddy, as a baby, gets into Santa Claus’s gift bag. Santa, carries this baby off to the North Pole, and Buddy grows among Santa’s elves. One day, after he has grown to be an adult, he realizes that he is a human and not an elf! So, he comes to New York in search of his real father, Walter Hobbs. He finds his father in the Empire State Building. His father is not sure about their relationship, and thus, takes him to a doctor for DNA verification.

It gets confirmed that Buddy is indeed Hobb’s son. Buddy moves into Hobb’s home, and wins the appeal of his half-brother Michael by defeating Michael’s bullies. But he doesn’t act his age, and it becomes a problem as he begins to go around.

He makes friends with a girl called Jovie, who works in the toy shop. There, he is shocked to find out that the children are tricked by a fake Santa Claus, and that it is not the Santa Claus he knows! So, he picks up a fight after pulling of the fake Santa Claus’s beard. Finally, he is chucked out of this place.

He asks his friend, Jovie, out, and they enjoy their outing. He interrupts his dad in a meeting with an author, and disrupts the business by mistaking the author, who is short, for an elf. The author gets angry, and leaves. Exasperated, Hobbs asks his son to get out of his life, and tells him that he doesn’t care anything for Buddy. So, Buddy runs away, after leaving a note of apology. As he wanders, he catches sight of Santa’s sleigh crashing, because the last of Christmas spirit had gone off. He tries to fix it, but it doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, Michael sees the note at home, and runs to his father, who is half-way in a meeting, to tell him the sad news of Buddy leaving. Hobbs realizes his mistake, and leaves the meeting to search for Buddy, even though it costs him his job. They locate Buddy, and understand what he is trying to do. Michael helps Santa by taking Santa’s book to the media, and making everybody believe in Christmas.

Jovie, Buddy’s girl, overcomes her shyness by singing a Christmas song, and spreading the Christmas cheer. The spirit of Christmas increases and Santa’s sleigh starts flying again. But it doesn’t have enough spirit to fly completely. Only when Walter Hobbs starts believing, and joins the song, the spirit makes Santa’s sleigh fly right into the sky.

Everything ends happily.

The movie was very funny. I don't know what else to say about it!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Movie: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Genre: Fantasy, Musical
Directed by: Ken Hughes
Produced by: Albert R. Broccoli
Based On: Ian Fleming’s “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car”
Music by: Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman

Jemima and Jeremy Potts, the kids of the inventor Caractacus Potts, disagree with Mr. Coggins’ idea of selling an old race car that they had come to love playing on. They make Mr. Coggins promise that he wouldn’t give it away until they come back after asking their father.

As they run back to their house, they almost nearly dash into a car driven by whom they came to know as Truly. Truly gets to know that Mr. Potts doesn’t care about sending the children to school. She drops the children in their house and is determined to have a conversation with Mr. Potts about the children. But Potts is far too busy and sees her as a nuisance. When she tells him that his children would have almost been run over by her car, and that he should teach them to go to school, he gets angry and asks her to leave the place immediately. Outside, her car doesn’t start, and he starts it up for her. They both part in a not-very-friendly manner.

Mr. Potts and his two children go to Mr. Scrumptious to sell Potts' “Toot Sweets” or sweets that whistle. There, he gets to find out that Truly is Scrumptious’ daughter! She gains him an interview with her father and they both together introduce the “Toot Sweets”. But Edison, their dog, intrudes, and spoils everything.

Mr. Potts then goes to the fair to use one of his inventions to earn money. But when his invention goes amiss, he runs to a dance-show and earns some money. With the money, he gets the car that Jemima and Jeremy had been asking him. He converts this car into a shiny, usable one, and they all go on a picnic. The three name the car Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

On the way, they meet Truly Scrumptious again. Her car run into the water and stops. So, she accompanies them to the picnic when the children insist. There, they have a lot of fun. The children ask their father to tell them a story.

He starts telling them a story about pirates, castles, children and more, where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang flies in the air, and floats in water taking Jeremy, Jemima, Truly, Grandpa Potts and himself on an amazing adventure!

Finally, the story ends happily. On reaching home, he finds Scrumptious playing with Grandpa Potts. He signs the contract for “Toot Sweets” and becomes rich! He marries Truly Scrumptious and lives happily ever after!

I loved the movie completely! The songs were so nice, and so were the characters. My most favourite one was Mr. Potts, and following him was Grandpa Potts! I loved all the characters.

Just like for Mary Poppins, I feel it is under the must-watch-without-fail category!!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Rango

Movie: Rango
Genre: Fantasy, Animation
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Produced by: Gore Verbinski, Graham King and John B. Carls
Based On: John Logan and Gore Verbinski
Music by: James Ward Byrkit

Rango is crazy pet chameleon who gets pushed into the desert after his “home” breaks. He meets another animal that directs Rango to the city of Dirt for water. Rango goes there and becomes the sheriff. People start believing in him to bring water to the town. He tries various things, but does not succeed. He forms a team and they all go in search of water. They chase a group of animals taking a water can, defeat them, but find that there is no water in the water tank. They come back disappointed.

That is all I saw. I didn’t sit back to watch the full movie. For some reason, I totally didn’t like the movie. The animation and the effects were all good, but… I didn’t like the story or the characters.

Puss In Boots

Movie: Puss In Boots
Genre: Fantasy, Animation
Directed by: Chris Miller
Produced by: Latifa Ouaou and Joe M. Aguilar
Based On: Brian Lynch
Music by: Henry Jackman

Puss in Boots, the talking cat, is busy hiding as he is labelled “wanted” in his home, San Ricardo. The police are searching for him, but he manages to stay hidden. Puss goes behind the magical beans which is in the possession of the cruel Jack and Jill. While he almost takes the magical beans, he meets a competitor- Kitty Softpaws- who is extremely swift and sly.

They start fighting, and both end up not taking the magical beans. Kitty Softpaws leads Puss to Puss’s old friend who betrayed him- Humpty Dumpty. Even after a lot of arguments, Puss refuses to partner with Humpty to steal the beans.  

Kitty Softpaws tries convincing Puss, on her own, but Puss only goes back to the past, again and again. Puss goes on to tell Kitty about how close Humpty and he had been, and how Humpty had betrayed him and lured him into stealing from the bank of San Ricardo! Just then, Humpty appears and apologizes to Puss, begging him to give another chance. Puss agrees saying that if they do find the golden eggs on top of the beanstalk, he would like to repay the people of San Ricardo.

They agree, and also successfully steal the beans from Jack and Jill. They sow the beans and the legendary beanstalk takes them to the Giant’s castle. They find the golden goose and the golden eggs. They bring the golden goose back to San Ricardo.

Back in San Ricardo, Puss is shocked to find that Humpty had arranged for the arrest of Puss. He also gets to know that Kitty softpaws, Jack and Jill and everybody else that he met were working for Humpty! He is thrown into the jail in San Ricardo. From his jail-mate Andy Beanstalk, the original Jack from the “Jack And The Beanstalk”, he finds out that the Great Terror is the mother of the golden goose! Puss breaks free from the jail with the help of Kitty Softpaws, who comes back to save him. He reaches out to Humpty, brings out the good in him, and they unite to restore the golden goose back to its mother. But it is too late, and the Great Terror comes to San Ricardo. They take the goose out of San Ricardo to prevent damage and give the golden goose to the Great Terror. The golden goose is sent off safely, but Humpty Dumpty falls from the bridge that breaks, and dies. The police still search for Puss, but Puss becomes the hero of San Ricardo!

He is still on the run but with a partner- Puss In Boots and Kitty Softpaws!

The movie is superb, especially the climax! I love all the characters. It was a good watch!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bridge To Terabithia

Movie: Bridge To Terabithia
Genre: Fantasy
Directed by: Gábor Csupó
Produced by: David L. Paterson, Lauren Levine and Hal Liberman
Based On: Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Music by: Aaron Zigman

Jesse is  the fastest runner in his school, but is bullied by other boys and girls. Leslie, a newcomer beats all the boys in all-boys race leaving them all panting. In this race, Jesse comes second. That is how Jesse and Leslie meet. At first, he is not very friendly with her. But she finally becomes Jesse’s best friend as she converses with him frequently being a neighbour. They travel to school by bus along with Jesse’s younger sister May Belle.

Jesse and Leslie explore the forests to find a place “just for themselves”, away from school and bullies. They find an abandoned treehouse and reset the place. They transform it into a fantasy land- the Kingdom Of Terabithia with warriors, giants and prisoners of The Dark Master by just “keeping their minds open”! They declare themselves to be the King and Queen. They also vow to release all the prisoners of The Dark Master.

Their game continues, and in school they overcome all the bullies. One day, Ms. Edmunds, Jesse’s teacher, calls Jesse to accompany her to the museum. Jesse firsts thinks about calling Leslie too, but hesitates and leaves off without inviting her. He enjoys his first ever trip to a museum, thoroughly. But when he comes back, he meets his family to find the shocking news of Leslie’s death. The rope that helped Jesse and Leslie to go to Terabithia had cut off, and her head had hit a rock causing her death. He gets mad and runs to the forest calling out Leslie’s name. A voice replies calling out his name, and for a moment he is overjoyed assuming that it is Leslie. But to his dismay, he finds the voice to belong to his younger sister May Belle who had followed him silently. He pushes her down rudely and asks her to go back since it was “their” place. From there he runs to find The Dark Master but he finds only his father running behind him, worried for his safety.

He starts crying and his father comforts him. He blames himself for Leslie’s death as he hadn’t invited her to the museum. Finally he decides to remember Leslie and chooses his young sister as the princess of Terabithia. Instead of the rope, he makes a bridge to Terabithia- a secret that he and May Belle shares forever!

The movie was o-k-a-y. It wasn’t great or amazing.