Showing posts from September, 2009

Lawrence of Arabia - His life in British India

Most of you would have seen the movie with the name (Note: This is not a movie review or a biography!), many of you may have read a bit here and there about him, that Lt Col TE Lawrence, working with the Arabs in the deserts North of today’s Saudi Arabia led the 1916-18 revolt against the Turks, and helped establish Arab lands you see today. As a person who studied pottery and went to the Middle East to be an archeologist, he soon found his way into international politics and armed uprising, of the illiterate Bedouin. He was quickly accepted as a quasi leader and a fellow by the rugged but rival factions of various tribes and Lawrence adopted many local customs and traditions (many photographs show him in the desert wearing Arab garb and riding camels). His final victory in the desert was establishing the liberated Damascus as the capital of the Arab council, with King Faisal as the head, but it was not to continue. During the closing years of the war he sought, with mixed success, to…

Achanak and a slo-mo back to the 70s’

Last month, after a period of some 16 years, I watched the movie Achanak again, to mutter to myself at the end, what a movie it was and by today’s standards, what a movie it is. I remembered seeing it at Lido Bangalore, ages ago, walking down from Cubbon Road, with some friends.

Directed by Gulzar & co produced by Hrishikesh Mukerjee, this thriller brought out the best from a dashing Vinod Khanna playing an Army officer who comes back on a short vacation, to see his wife in the arms of his best friend. He kills them both, one by one and hands himself over to the police and after an ensuing court case, is sentenced to death. While the girl’s father Ifthekar, who is also Khanna’s superior officer, appeals on Khanna’s behest at the high court, Khanna flees captivity, but is found and shot by the police after a thrilling foot chase. Fighting death with cerebral thrombosis, he survives miraculously and recovers, only to be taken back to the gallows. Or is he? It is a brilliant movie and…

Back home

After the ruminating sojourn at Changi, the full flight to Cochin was uneventful and mercifully not too long. As expected most of the Mallu crowd in the trip had a couple of bottles of booze each, safely clutched in their hands. Later I found out from my BIL that the Far East tour packages were nowadays affordable for so many to travel around. The Cochin airport formalities were quick, though the health crews were at work scanning our foreheads (people from California were on the hot list) with infra red scanners for signs of H1N1 fevers. A form had to be filled up and I was quite prepared for all that from Singapore itself where warnings of Swine flu were being broadcast in all languages, including Tamil.

My brother and our old driver Mani were there to receive me at the airport and it was great seeing the old driver after so long. He had left us as the driving assignments tapered off and everybody flew the coop. Working multiple jobs as cinema operator, money collector and driver for…