Tuesday, October 2, 2012


This review of Quiet by Susan Cain comes long after I actually read the book.The reason is that I found the book stimulating enough to deserve a second read .This is the kind of book which always will reveal something new with each read.

Simplicity of a subject depends on how well researched it is.Quiet is one such thoroughly researched book.In fact I was surprised to see the acknowledgement and notes section at the end of the book.It is a sizable part in itself.

The book throws visible light on the vast spectrum of human personalities.We see people as introverts and extroverts but do you know that an introvert need not be shy or a hermit or misanthrope always ? The book tells me that there are four quadrants to personality types : calm extroverts, anxious extroverts, calm introverts and anxious introverts. If this leaves you confused ,think Barbra Streisand as shy extrovert ( larger than life persona with paralyzing stage fear ) Author thinks Bill Gates is a calm introvert ( keeps to himself but unfazed by others' opinions )

Do you think fixed personality traits exist? If not, when should you act more extroverted than you really are?These are some points to ponder and the book goes on to explain with examples about the special situations in which being an extrovert may prove beneficial.Psychologist Mischel admits that personality traits exist but they may occur in patterns.For example, some people may be aggressive with peers and subordinates but docile with authority or even vice-versa.

Extroversion may be the cultural ideal but you can not ignore the quiet guy sitting in the corner ,observing the happenings and making mental notes.He may not 'look' like a leader but may actually ' be' the leader.Yes,it has been proved that there is something called as a soft power which requires sustained attention. Introverts are capable of giving sustained attention .The roots of  this trait lie in the culture rather than conditioning of Asian and Asian American students ,says a study in the USA. Their success is attributed to this 'soft power'.
They are generally quiet but then ,conviction is conviction,at whatever decibel it is expressed !

This book celebrates the power of Quiet .It highlights the value of silence and solitude. After reading this book I have a new found  respect for the people who live in their head.

My take -Excellent read.
                                                                                                                           Pic credit -Google images

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oh My God -Review

 I had missed the famous Gujrati play and had heard many good things about the same,so when the movie based on the same released last weak,I decided to check it out.I must admit that I was a little sceptical about the movie being made out of a play.Such movies tend to get stretched to reach the cinematic lengths,literally.

Oh my God is all about an atheist who has the guts to stand by his belief or lack of it.Many might not say it in the open but may reject the film for its sheer audacity.How often does one come across cinema actually attempting to break the shackles of religion ? All are aware but how many speak up against the commercialisation of God ? How many of us are able to negate the fear of God and religion ?

All this and much more is explored and dissected in the film . Religious leaders have been put inside the witness box and questioned  by the protagonist. Paresh Rawal,an actor par excellence,has portrayed the character of a non believer in an endearing way.There is subtle questioning  of blind beliefs and rituals through out the movie . Without being insulting, the movie talks about preachers putting up God for sale.

Movie has talked about  hapless victims of a  bizarre   clause printed in a microscopic font by the insurance companies.Companies routinely deny claims in cases where damage is because of so called 'acts of God'. Kanjibhai has lost everything in an earthquake and much to his shock,his claim has been rejected by the insurance provider.Pushed to a corner,Kanjibhai sues God and summons are sent to His representatives on Earth ( Godmen and preachers). A courtroom drama ensues wherein many myths and beliefs are broken .
After initial protests,Kanjibhai ( Paresh ) finds support of masses from all religious backgrounds.

Mithun Chakraborty gives yet another praiseworthy performance as an effeminate God man.In fact audiences will recognize all those real life people who inspired the reel characters . Akshay playing God did not work as much for me.Go Govinda song was a misfit and adds nothing to the film but I find the number catchy and I love Prabhudeva and his moves so I enjoyed it. Sonakshi and Prabhudeva were watched closely right down to their funky smart shoes, ( Now I know why my son begged for those fluorescent green, hideous , ridiculously expensive shoes last month )

Although a fun film throughout,it does have certain minuses too.A big minus for me is the  need of the makers to confirm to the presence of God .I feel they kind of succumbed to the societal pressures eventually and the sad part is ,they did take the help of a  miracle.A huge negative for me! Experience would have been perfect ,if they had stuck to the core of non existence of someone who has never been seen by anyone.A line in the film by Paresh Rawal, "Religion ,either makes man a slave of rituals or a terrorist!" The film could have easily slipped into a philosophical mode or could have turned preachy but thankfully it did not .

My take-An enjoyable family entertainer,worth watching for the subject and remarkable performances by Paresh and Mithun.

Pics - credit Google images.


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