June 18, 2006

We the living

I have finally completed it. It ended on a sombre note but there are several insuperable moments in it. It is the story of a young girl Kira and the people around her on the backdrop of the communist wave that swept Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century. One thing that evinces clearly from this novel is Ayn Rand's strong disapproval of Communism. Through Kira she tells us ' dont you know there are things in the best of us which no outside hand should dare to touch. ' The conversation between Andrei Taganov and Kira when they meet at the university is classic and so is the one when she finally confronts him about the 'truth'. The description of Kira attempting to cross the border is another acme of the narrative. The scene when she calls out for her lover Leo that would have been had he been there is quite poignant. Irina's talk to Kira when the last time she meets her is also beautifully knitted. Irina says '..There's your life you begin it feeling that its something so precious and rare so beautiful that its like a sacred treasure and now it's over it doesnt make a difference to anyone, and its not they they are indifferent its just that they dont know, they dont know what it means the treasure of mine ...' In the end Ayn Rand makes one point clear - we the living, the life, the individual, the self-esteem, the values are much above anything else.
While reading the novel I couldnt help but underline one thing about the strife ridden Russia. In Russia, the czar's atrocities led to the communist thinking and his subsequent dethroning. This was not wrong. But what was wrong was the fiendishness in dealing with wealth owners of yesterday - the factory owners, the aristocrats and the counter revolutionaries. Two wrongs dont make a right. Something similar has been brewing up back home too.

June 07, 2006

Wo / man of substance

Two things. Both very different but moved me in the past few days. First I am reading Ayn Rand's We the living these days. Although I dint quite like her more famous novel Fountainhead, there is something that I cannot deny - her very strong potrayal of characters. I just love the way her characters are so strong and determined in their lives. Be it Howard Roark or Kira Argounova they have an indepedent spirit and an unwavering determination and they both refuse to be cast into moulds and follow their own unbeaten path.
Second. I watched Fanaa yday. The script was pathetic and the movie ludicrous. But Kajol was looking fresh. Her smile still remains as 100 watts as it was a few years ago. I have always surreptitiously admired the way Kajol has carried herself vis-a-vis her relationship with Ajay Devgun. She was the queen of tinsel town when she decided to call it quits give it all for a marriage and a family. Ajay Devgun then was a mere struggling actor. (I believe he has proved himself after his marriage throgh his superlative performaces in movies like Shaheed Bhagat Singh and the like.) It really takes gumption to shy away fame and fortune at the peak of your career and take hard-headed decisions. She took one and it in a way bode well for her. Hats off to the lady!