The King's Speech

A movie which takes you to the depth of human emotions- Fear . Set in the times of 1930s, takes us effortlessly through the pages of history. Admitting that I wanted to see it for this movie being nominated in most of the categories in this year’s Academy awards, I could not but help feel satisfied and triumphant at the end of it. Telling the story of King George VI facing the problem of speech impediment and his efforts to overcome his stammering , makes one face the truth that nearly no one is spared of imperfections.

One actor who took my breath particularly is Geoffrey Rush as the speech trainer. An impeccable performance. His character as Lionel Logue trying his informal ways at the task in hand is truly attractive. He just steals the show. The way he calls the king as ‘Bertie’ instead of ‘your highness’ speak volumes as to the promise of friendship. The ways he adopt to teach the king to ‘have faith in his own voice’ is remarkable. Helena Bonham Carter dons a great role too as wife of the king. The dialogues with its poetic stature and the fascinating screenplay is a treat to the ears.

And ofcourse, there is Colin Firth. My most favourite character as ‘Mr.Darcy’ in the famous ‘Pride and Prejudice’, lives upto the expectations. He just speak volumes through his eyes. I do hope he bags the best actor award. In all, a great movie and worth all the nominations.
It takes leadership to confront a nation's fear and it takes friendship to conquer your own.

Apprentice for Life !

He was a writer, so typical of him. The constant flow of rejection slips didn’t add to his confidence. He knew there is something strange about writers. They can almost never get a decent pay-check at the end of every month unlike the Engineers, lawyers or even morticians. He wanted a father figure to guide him to be taken seriously. Thus, began his odyssey of searching for the man.

As if by luck, he bumped into him. A Deja-vu of sorts. You just realize when you find that someone. John, swiveling in his chair, his white mane neatly combed , a tie-knot cravat across his neck, he exuded intelligence, suaveness, discipline. The other writers praised his vainglorious nature all the time.

His intimidating nature dint help our young apprentice writer in the beginning. At times, he shot back telling “ Please do the honors of looking the words up in a dictionary, before submitting your literary piece”. Then used to be the sudden dip in the confidence and ego of the writer. Nevertheless, he learnt to learn. Writing is a craft, to be chiseled through constant efforts to express things sharply.

John expected the article to be in his desk every morning . No talk, ofcourse no excuses. He produced a scowl that mingled with disappointment which made one stammer and sulk in disgust. His stare, so formidable, made the writer to feel as if he is a speck in the immaculate farmland. But, he taught him to ask, to go beyond the screen, to have the spirit of inquiry. Odd it may seem, no one ever asked about John’s background or god-like status. He was just indomitable.

In fear and fascination he learnt the tricks of the trade. Afterall, the monstrous looking dictionary started teaching something to him. Most of the work went in pleasing John, and it was usual to spend an entire day just writing one paragraph only to throw it in the end. When John looked at it stopping his ritual of reading those ancient huge volumes, it sent a chill through the nerves. The highest comment he ever got through his tenure was, its ‘Readable’.

In the process, he learnt that writing was more than just words. The information is superficial, but there should be a symphony inside it which draws the readers and makes him feel good that he read it. Its a performance, wordsmithing.

He got a job in the top most bureau and he was a great success. He met John, after few years. The man he always looked upto. But John had just one thing to say “ I am not what you think I am. This has gone way too far. I had no clue what you were writing or talking about . I was doing odd jobs like washing, cleaning lots and then I entered this magazine. I was hopeless at this and had to go through same stuff 100 times. I had to look up for each and every word in the dictionary. The only way I could succeed was create a persona that cant be challenged. You were there. I helped you by setting you against yourself!!”

Caught in a spin, he looked thorough his piece of writing, it was awful ! So amateurish to break any writer’s heart. But it dint matter to him. For, knowing is one thing and believing is another. Some things cant be explained by any logic. John always remains what he always stood for.

Years after John’s death, the writer still not dare proceed without looking up for the word , if he doesn’t know. He still craves to write a piece which could have made John smile. He is still afraid of John’s scowl. It does not matter if John understood or not, but to him he was the greatest editor of all times. And, the writer remained an apprentice for life !


I was skimming through the gigantic holding racks of the library, wherein the obesely beaming books almost looked like falling off the shelf. Looking at the various titles makes you think of a trait which atleast the quarter percent of the population seem to share-creativity and imagination. Suddenly the yellow paperbacked book looked prominent. Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. I was extremely pleased with myself for having encountered the book which I was searching from quite a long time. The feeling of having a book which you always wanted to read, creates a strange sense of fulfillment .

Having heard a lot about the movie and reading the reviews on the last page of the book set me into a fast pace, notwithstanding the curiosity. The storyline is elementary. An Indian family making their life in a foreign ground. The characters begin to appear effortlessly. The author describes each of them so well that you feel like going through it, all by yourself. The settings beautifully explained to the tiniest detail without making it sound boring. She does not set rules, nor make claims. I had not given much of a thought about what a ‘name’ can stand for. Ofcourse, its our very identity. It takes a hilarious turn when , just a simple act of naming a child is portrayed as a levelheaded deed. Imagine having a name ’gogol’. The throes of having such a name is captured without an excuse. The origin of his name, his misgivings and the final justification comes out clearly. One should write a book as ‘what not to name a baby’! There is no sad hint. The trick is simple! A story told with all its beauty. Pristine as it is, she brings out the fact that conformity to a culture is by no means a pretence. The nuances of the ideological differences make you think a bit. In short, a story I loved for its sheer simplicity and description, not forgetting the thoughts that it will arouse to occupy the mind.