Inception-A photoblog inspired from it & A review  

Posted by Praveen in , ,

You have a choice-Either read the review or scroll down and skip straight to the photoblog inspired by inception.

Once in a while there comes a movie that pervades every one's thought like a pandemic virus. A virus which is as resilient and infectious as an idea, to take Nolan's own words. And Inception was one of those path breaking ideas condensed in the form of a 2.5 hour long script and played out by some of the most capable actors of our generation.

The whole movie takes place inside the head. It takes place in real locations built up by the brain during those hours when our limbs take rest and eyes are shut to the distractions of the world. Really, we are at our best when we sleep. Other than the obvious advantage of not being a pain in the ass for those around you, its when we use our idle useless mind the most. We travel the whole wide world, we romance the girl of our dreams, we fight wars, we become heroes...and most of it is never gonna happen for real. But still we cherish some of those dreams trying hard to remember the sequence of it all, failing badly most of the times. And it is this private place of ours where Nolan does his magic. He takes us to the world where ideas can be stolen from your head during one of your innocent wet dreams. And most shockingly, a world where ideas can be planted. Its possibilities are immense. What if you woke up one day with an idea of killing your neighbour, an idea planted by his enemy in your head? Or what if you woke up one day with an idea to destruct a govt establishment, an idea planted by a terrorist? Yes, its a world where one could outsource the dirty work for free, without the executioner even knowing it and without ever making your hands dirty.

But this whole plot is a sure recipe for disaster if handled by a lesser film maker. It would've looked like an episode of gadget guru, with all the great gadgets making its appearance in every scene. But Nolan takes this to another level and explains it convincingly with his multi level dream architecture. He tells us how one minute in the real world becomes five in the dream and one hour in the next level dream. There's also the exciting world of shared dreaming where you could be a part of somebody else's dream.And its not sci-fi alone. There's a strong human element to the story, where Cobb(Dicaprio) struggles to come to terms with his personal life, where reality and dreams are so thoroughly mixed that he can't differentiate one from another. He's a man sleepwalking through life, with a crumbled family. As he and his team does inception, he's also on a mission to clear up his own head and reclaim his own life. And it is with this balance of sci-fi and the 'human factor' that the film triumphs. Not to forget those truely fresh concepts of multi level dreaming, the timings, the kicks, the complex labyrinth like architectures, projections, the paradoxical steps, totems and what not!

One of my favourite lines from the movie is when cobb says, "Do you remember the beginning of a dream. we always start in the middle"(not exact quote.typing from memory) Its a thought which most surely wouldn't have crossed any of our minds. And it seems true. Whenever we dream, the situation is already there, perhaps recreated from our own memory. Or just built out of wild imagination. How else could we explain those weird dreams where we end up in places we have never been to. Some of my wildest dreams had terrorists pursuing me in some foreign country(what the hell they wanted I never found out), having sex with an actress I've seen only on screen(yea, really..My no.1 dream till date!) and flying a jet plane(i was still flying when I woke up). In all these cases, I dont remember how I ended up there. It was like I was air dropped straight into the foreign country, the actress's bed and on the pilot seat. Another favorite line is "dreams feel real while we're in them. Its when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." Yes, each of the cases above felt so real. Surreal...

In this one week after the movie released, it seems the whole world has come under Nolan's spell. Anywhere you turn, people are talking about inception. Possibly, this was Nolan's inception on mankind. He must've built the complex architecture of thousands of theatres all over the world and brought us all into it through a multi level dream. And then, he left us all without giving that kick. Only for us to go on thinking and talking about inception in this limbo state. Yes, this movie will be talked about and wondered about, as long as there are movies..

This movie lingered on in my mind for long. Then ideas sprouted of taking some pics inspired from the movie. And so began my experiments with 30 second long shutter speed, the newly acquired tripod and 3 candles. A walk through of a scary dream...No ideas planted here..Just a meeting with myself..

The dream starts...I wake up and walk on, leaving behind me in bed...(challenging Nolan's idea that we cant remember the beginning of a dream. This might be how every dream begins)

This pic was a winner yesterday in the 'inception pic for poster' contest hosted by Rajeev Masand( Won me the official poster of Inception :). Though, I missed winning the 1st prize of the poster signed by christopher Nolan and the entire cast)

I meet 'the good me' in the way...We talk, we share jokes..

The enemy has done an inception on my mind. An idea to kill myself is planted in my head...
I meet the 'bad me'...I chase myself with a knife..

Evil personified...fear takes over..

And then, he strangles me to death..

And as the evil one walks on, he looks back to see the three different hues of me..
"The good me, the bad me....and the 'helpless me'

All of the above pics were shot with a shutter speed of 30 seconds. After keeping the cam in atripod with a 2 second timer, I ran to make the necessary poses. For the pics of waking up in a dream, I spent 10 seconds each lying down, sitting up and then finally standing up. For the ones where I strangle myself and chase myself with a knife, I spend 14 seconds each in both poses. 2 seconds lost in throwing away the knife and posing the 2nd time.

your crusader Praveen

Social un-networking  

Posted by Praveen in

A writeup based on this news item, written for the internal blog..

Someone seems to have read George Orwell's legendary work '1984' recently. The idea of 'big brother watching over your every step and every thought' must've impressed someone higher up the order. And instead of 'big brother', we have 'big sister' watching over us. Members of her private army will scour the internet for those disobedient kids who blurt out truths which are to be suppressed. Its social un-networking at work. No more of those status updates on how smelly the toilet of your school is. No more twitter posts on how cruel and heartless your headmistress is. 140 innocent characters can make you a salary-less kid from next month. This quote which I searched out from my worn out copy of '1984' yesterday night explains the situation best-

"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

Well, this might be the paragraph that led to the idea of this sudden social un-networking. But then in 1949, when this book was written, there was no internet and so there was no anonymous profiles. At best, anonymous posters used to appear at daybreak on some shop wall. But this is the time when smartasses give out their thoughts with profile names of their headmistress and headmater. Check youtube comments of some popular headmistress videos and you'll know what am talking about. With this un-networking, all that can be achieved is a sudden eruption in the number of fake profiles and anonymous posters aping the names of not only the headmistress, but the professors and assistant professors too.

In line with this wonderful initiative, we can think about some other possible future implementations...

Toilet permission
Remember those old days in school when we used to raise our hands in the middle of a classroom and asked, "Teacher, Teacher, May I go to bathroom?" So, maybe now we can send a mail 10 minutes in advance to the headmistress and ask permission to visit the 'restroom'.

Gas free zone
Although it rhymes, sadly there's no DART code for FART. So better plug the gas pipe for 9.25 hours. Or else face the consequences. Cos big brother is not only watching but listening and smelling...

Morning assembly
A weekly assembly when we can come wearing a 'uniform'. Everyone will sing that 'wretched song' in unison. Kids who did some big mischief during the past week(like stealing cubicle mate's pen, breaking coffee cup) should be called to the dias and publicly chastised.

No talking zone
Cubicles should be no talking zones. One person from each cubicle can be selected as the 'leader' or 'prefect' of the cubicle. He should write on the white board with a black marker, the names of those cubicle mates who are talking unnecessarily. This includes those who are talking on phone too. The headmistress can walk along the cubicles with a cane and punish those whose names are written on the board. Talking on phone should get 2 canings and talking to a cubicle mate should get 4 canings. Flirting will attract even severe punishments. The 2 parties will be asked to cane each other 5 times.

If all this are not enough, we can possibly consider the appointment of 'thought police', again an Orwellian idea. These two quotes will surely help in understanding the 'thought police' better- guys who will read your thoughts and punish you if you think things which you are not suppose to think.

"The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed--would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper--the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you." "It was terribly dangerous to let your thoughts wander when you were in any public place or within range of a telescreen. The smallest thing could give you away. A nervous tic, an unconscious look of anxiety, a habit of muttering to yourself--anything that carried with it the suggestion of abnormality, of having something to hide. In any case, to wear an improper expression on your face...; was itself a punishable offense. There was even a word for it in Newspeak: facecrime..."


As always...unrelated PS-Dont forget to take a peek at my photoblog-myopiclenses

your crusader Praveen

Memories of Africa 2010  

Posted by Praveen in ,

Some of the memories of this world no particular order..

1.Mayanti Langer

She was a breath of fresh(and hot) air in the studios during those pre-match and post-match sessions. She was a beauty with brains having climbed up the ladder after hosting shows related to football for various channels unlike some dumb anchors who are dumped into the studio straight from a B grade movie set. And when beauty comes loaded with brains, it can be a heady combination. Oozing grace, she kept us all glued to the half time analysis of even highly boring matches. Its sad that she was missing in the semis...I miss the 'in-depth' analysis. I request you all to join this online petition to bring her back for the finals by signing on your screens.


The first time I heard this name, I poked some wax out of my ear and listened again. It sounded as confusing as it did before. How in the name of hell can anyone give a ball or just about anything such a stupid name? It seems the word means 'to be happy' in Zulu. But it brought anything but happiness to the poor strikers and goalkeepers, who were the victims of its unpredictability. According to the latest NASA analysis, it behaves unpredictably above a certain speed. No wonder its seen swinging in two different directions on its way to the goal post. And it has a problem in keeping low. It prefers to fly high. Only players sponsored by Adidas have supported the ball. Rumours are that it can even take a U turn.


Anyone who ever passingly watched even one of the matches of this world cup would never forget the sound that this horn makes. For some its sickening, for some others its pulsating. Numerous forwards are flying around about the origins of this instrument, the most famous being the one which states that it was used by some tribesmen to cover their manhood. If this were true, we might perhaps be witnessing the world's biggest symbolic mass bl**job, ever! The sound that this produces is said to be enough to make one deaf. Some are said to have left the stadium during halftime, unable to bear its sound. At the same time, its a sound which makes Africans swell with pride. TV channels had to use special noise isolation techniques to make their commentary heard. But at some times, the clarion call of the vuvuzela does make your hair stand...

4.Octopus 'psychic' Paul

Call it madness or miracle, Paul is already one of the biggest stars of this world cup. Having correctly predicted the result of each of Germany's matches, Paul is even being credited for Spain's shock defeat of Germany. Even Puyol, who scored Spain's lone goal is given lesser credit. But how much can this 'lowering-food containers-containing-country flags' technique be trusted is still not known. All that matters is that its all correct. And Paul may indeed end up with a fate similar to that of Colombian Andres Escobar, who was shot dead for his own goal when he got back home after the 1994 world cup. Having predicted Germany's exit correctly, Paul is being blamed for the team's surprisingly off colour showing in the semis. The knives are already out...


The sun is finally shining bright over the dark continent. Though only Ghana made it to the quarters, Africa has a lot to cheer about. Hosting a tournament of such magnitude is no mean task. Pulling it off successfully with minimum of glitches deserves applause. The breathtakingly beautiful stadiums has come in for praise from all over. Though refereeing was a problem in some matches, everything went smoothly on the organising part. Mandela, that iconic symbol of African liberation was missing owing to a personal tragedy. But the spirit of the man was truely one of the driving forces of this world cup. This tournament might just end up changing the face of Africa.


Argentina might have gone out in the worst way possible. But, this man did steal the show near the touchline in Argentina'a matches. Having discarded his casual outfits, the man got into a shining suit. Sporting a beard, to cover marks made by his dog, Maradona had the aura of a messiah, much like when he was playing. His coaching methods were criticiced even before the cup. Keeping some key players out and having a weak defence didn't help matters either. What made this man different from the other coaches was his behaviour with the players. While the other biggie coaches kept that distance from the players, El diego hugged each of them tight and made sure that he was one among them. And, this new avatar is also a kind of comeback for the man who was once on the verge of death due to long time drug abuse. Had he won the world cup, this same critics who question his methods would've written reams and reams praising him. But ALAS! The only good thing is that people dont have to see him run around naked through Buenos Aires, which might have happened had Argentina won.,,,,,

Unrelated PS- Do drop into my photoblog...will be uodated often..

your crusader Praveen