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Geek by profession, thinker/writer/artist by passion. Part-time blogger,social media enthusiast and a tramp by nature :) A Man Of Mud

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Interstellar : A Journey Through Human Minds

Interstellar Poster

One of the criticism Interstellar faces resulting in being snubbed in awards ceremonies, is the lack of character development. Most science fiction have little room for character development which is justifiable given the nature of the plots, it would be difficult to incorporate elements of emotional states people go through in every day life while narrating a fast moving story based in a fictitious world where laws of science are bended to accommodate thrill. Yet, Nolan doesn't do such a bad job in Interstellar,since the story is one about mankind's bid for survival by leaving Earth for another habitable planet and theme is an epic space journey largely based on real science, the characters are archetypes rather than regular people. In absence of character development, Nolan bases his story on philosophy and bare emotions, both simple and deep as well as with all their complexities.

Posted By danish Ahmed 3:25 AM

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Interstellar - Explanation And Summary

 The very idea of science fiction implies a narrative which does not fully conform to established laws of physics but its not fantasy either. In other words, laws of science have been bent or simply ignored to accommodate the storyline. Interstellar is different as the science layer added over the story is based  on real science. Kip Thorne, a scientist and a leading authority on astrophysics, especially on concepts such as black holes and  wormholes, as consultant and executive producer definitely helped. However, this doesn't change the fact that the human part of the movie is as powerful as the scientific one. Nolan's unique story-telling style includes non-linear narratives but within a symmetrical structure,archetypical characters and awe-inspiring visual effects have left permanent mark in cinematic history. Interstellar is as much a voyage through the minds, beliefs and priorities of different characters as much as it about the interstellar travel to another Galaxy.

Posted By danish Ahmed 8:08 PM

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Scaling Up AAP Model And New Politics

AAP Supporters

Picking up the thread from my last post, Aam Aadmi Party's tremendous success in Delhi polls and speculations on its ability to deliver dominating the public discourse indicates that AAP may be Delhi based party, it is now a pan-Indian phenomenon. Support for AAP all across India and even abroad suggest a positive anti-establishment sentiment. Mostly, anti-establishment moniker is applied to subversive elements,especially the Naxalites and secessionist which seek to overthrow the state but AAP's anti-establishment posture is more about going back to the fundamental principles the Indian State was founded on and against the predatory system that has now become the establishment. During the high decibel negative campaign against AAP,the competitors charged the latter for negativism which is both ironic and somewhat ridiculous, the Delhi voters interpreted it as such. The fact is, AAP is heralding new politics which is difficult to understand when looking at it from traditional point of view.

The country it seems, is ready for the new politics but Arvind Kejriwal has ruled out going national now. Yet, AAP already has dedicated volunteers in all across the country. So the most pertinent  question would be , is AAP's model of new politics scalable ? If the party itself doesn't expand aggressively, can other parties emulate its model of politics and electioneering , especially regional parties, some of which even openly came out in support of AAP, even though the latter never solicited it.  Can political parties reconcile their respective ideologies with that of AAP ?  Does AAP even have a neatly defined ideology ?

Posted By danish Ahmed 6:50 PM

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Can AAP Live Up To Its Promises ?


Within minutes of Arvind Kejriwal taking oath as the chief minister of Delhi NCR, questions on his ability to deliver his promises have started coming up. Undoubtedly his speech would undergo a lot of scrutiny, dissections and continue to remain in national discourse, even if he has categorically ruled out another pan-India "misadventure".  Why then are so many people not from Delhi so interested in Delhi affairs while political upheaval in  "proper" and far more bigger states of Bihar and government formation issue Jammu and Kashmir are almost sidelined in mainstream and social media? The obvious answer is AAP and Arvind Kejriwal have brought in something to Indian democracy that defies the traditional political narrative and threatens it despite the Delhi CM's statement on not going national.

 A narrative is being built that AAP's victory is largely based on freebies it has offered. This is untrue and insult to mandate people of Delhi. What AAP has offered and vowed, is to bring systemic changes and to do away with practices that are unnecessary, corrupt and benefit crony capitalists rather than people. Since every party that has been in power has doled out freebies starting from cycles, TV, laptops and free electricity to sections of population for electoral dividend, it is but expected a lot of people would see AAP's promises as cheap populism. But is it ?

Posted By danish Ahmed 6:20 PM

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

When The Unstoppable Force Meets The Aam Aadmi


What kind of political leader calls a truly overwhelming mandate, scary ?
"The people of Delhi have achieved something spectacular. It is very scary, the kind of support the people of Delhi have given us". Obviously it has to be someone who doesn't lust for power, who doesn't look at victory as merely laurels heaped on him but also responsibility entrusted to him and whose first thought is not to take victory laps but how to fulfil them. AAP and Arvind Kejriwal have not only swept the Delhi Assembly polls but have shattered many myths, including the myth of political ideologies being rigid frameworks but which can also be discarded for opportunism or its euphemism, political expediency. I am not sure if AAP has an ideology but it certainly is an idea in itself. An idea clothed in simplicity, based on universal ethics and on a single minded pursuit of helping people, resolving their issues or at least addressing them.

 With the mainstream media going orgiastic over the historical win there is little I can say in this post, avalanche of comments, reactions from veteran analysts, social scientists, journalists dominate the discourse over television and print media and the Internet already. I haven't written a single post on AAP since nearly a year mainly because AAP doesn't follow traditional politics, it innovates brilliantly as it goes along, brilliant because the motivation and intent are simple and real. My last post on AAP continues to be as relevant as before, except this time, the political dividend returned adds a lot of credibility to it.  So I wouldn't have much to say except in retrospection. It is incredibly interesting to find that nearly everyone has called electoral result as rejection of BJP and Congress (of course, Congress calls it BJP's rout and BJP labels it Congress' decimation) , except the AAP  itself, which views it as a positive mandate based on work they did in the 49 days stint as government and as volunteers/ activists since then. And the promises they  have made.

Undoubtedly, AAP faces enormous challenges and its not about fulfilling promises made, especially with BJP government retaining some key department and agencies under its control. The fact that the seemingly unstoppable Modi wave meeting immovable Aam Aadmi resolve has left the former train-wrecked, one can expect minor road-blocks on AAP's path. I say minor because the scale of mandate by Delhi electorate backed by a pan-India consensus is something even the union government cannot undermine as brazenly as they have done before, without expecting fresh backlash. However, expecting the Sangh Parivar to take the defeat graciously, especially when they have come so close to fulfilling their destiny, would be an enormous blunder. If at all any political party is likely to learn from AAP's electioneering tactics, it is the RSS cadres but most likely adapt by perverting them. Of course, one cannot rule out Congress cadres resurging and doing the same, the grand old party's roots go deep and wide.

However, ideologies of the Sangh, Congress and the Left occupy the political Right-Centre-Left spectrum, they are confined by it, AAP transcends it. Therein lies the hope. In a truly aspirational India the politics of ghettoisation, communalization and crony capitalism might not work. Indian democracy has emerged stronger and much revitalized after a period of tense political churning.

Posted By danish Ahmed 12:00 AM

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Birdman: Catharsis Through Flames

Flames... Sacrifice... Icarus.. 
This is the second part of my review of the movie Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) by Alejandro González Iñárritu but this can also be seen as a separate post, an interpretation based solely on the protagonist's perspective. If you have seen the movie, you are aware of  the ambiguity throughout the story and especially the ending which has started countless discussion threads. There are no spoilers ahead, what follows is much more than that  !!!

Riggan Thomson comes across as a tortured soul, unable to draw a line between genuine aspirations and inflated ego, between reality and his world of delusion. He is trapped so deep within his mind that everything he sets out to do is doomed to failure, even the attempt to kill himself.  Yet a part of him knows that his liberation is possible through understanding and clarity which would come at a great cost.

Posted By danish Ahmed 7:26 PM