Monday, April 14, 2008

The case of the sticky feeling

My eyes caught a customer getting a couple of small honey servings(given in sealed packages of 14g each) for her meal at McDonalds. I too wanted to taste honey, after a long time. I asked and got 3 packs. The come in plastic cups sealed in plastic, in packaging similar to the ones used for jelly, only tougher. I used one pack for my meal, and put the other two into the pocket of my snow jacket.

Now why I did that, instead of carrying it along in a separate paper bag, I don't know. It so happened that in my room as I was undressing I lost my footing and fell onto the jacket. I didn't realise anything because those packs seemed to be sealed well.

Fast forward to a few days later. Warmer weather meant I didn't wear that winter jacket, instead opting for a lighter jacket. I was in outside my lab, on a cold day wearing that jacket searching for my keys. I put my hand inside one of the pockets, there is a sticky feeling. Damn! Some of the honey had leaked and there was a sticky feeling inside that pocket. I kicked myself for keeping the honey there and took the packs out.

Fast forward a couple of days. Over the weekend I was mainly at home; didn't wear too much to wander around. I decided to head to the university for some work to be done, I put on the shirt, jeans, put my mob in one pocket of the jeans and the wallet in the other... wait a minute.. what's that sticky feeling?

Turns out I'd transferred the honey packs from my jacket pocket to my jeans pocket.

Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai) (1954)

I was surprised to say the least that one of the Nittians reviewed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa without including Seven Samurai. Mark my words, there can be no bigger mistake than this.

On the other hand, it reminded me to write that review I always wanted to before someone else does. Lucky me.

Seven Samurai, most of us will know as the movie which influenced Sholay. I picked up the DVD at the County Library only because of that.

Hardly 10 minutes into the film, I knew this wasn't an ordinary film - there was a magical touch to the direction and the screenplay. I promptly Wikipedia'ed it - and lo - it features in many Top Ten lists as an all time great. I was really excited. Here was a film worthy of watching and an acclaimed one.

The first half is wonderful - the villagers convincing the samurais, their antics, Toshiro Munife's monkey-acting are so natural. The best of all is Takashi Shimura, the leader of the pack. His performance is par excellence, it flows so well taking the movie along with it.

The second half, like most movies, is slower than the first half. Nevertheless it makes for great viewing; the love story between the young samurai and the boy-like farmer's daughter is subtle; the night-scenes, very difficult to shoot in those days, are awesome. The ending is slightly tragic, like Sholay, and the final scenes with the mounds for the samurai brought tears to my eyes(no, not crocodile tears).

Overall, it is a film I would recommend to any movie buff. I did so to my friends, who reprimanded me for hyping it up - it so happened they got together and didn't progress beyondn the 30 minute mark. They don't have the taste of Shichinin no samurai.

Bottom line: Ultimate classic.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The case of the missing click-pencil and pen

First to the missing pencil.

It so happens that unlike in college I wear tshirts and jeans, so that means no front pockets and I have to keep my pen and click pencil in my jeans pocket. Hence, every time I sit and cross my legs the pen and pencil are under tremendous stress, which may cause the pencil to penetrate the pocket and make a hole at the 'sharp' end of the pocket.

One fine morning (I happened to leave early) I got ready, put the pen and pencil in my pockets and walked off to college. Halfway through I put my hands into my pocket and find the pencil missing. Conclusion ----> it has fallen through the hole. So I switch the pen to the other pocket and decide to retrace my path to find that pencil. Now that pencil is special because it is a Reynolds side-click thin lead pencil, and though click pencils are available here I didn't want to go shopping for a side-click one. Off I go retracing my steps, crossing the road, right back home. No avail. Assumption---> someone must have kept it for themselves. With a heavy heart I head back to college.

Then I start thinking, if it had passed through a miniscule hole, it had to go down my pants, made its presence felt around my socks and then made a clunk noise when it fell to the ground. Nothing of that sort happened. Guess----> it must be at the bottom of my pants, just above my shoes. And that is where it was. The point is, since these are jeans, they make a closed tight fit around my shoes, so there was no way they would have fallen through. Thank God.

Now for the missing pen. Couple of days later, my pen went missing: I put my hands into my pocket, but the pen isn't there. It wasn't there at the bottom of my pants, I didn't want to go back all the way looking for the damn pen, so I let it go and managed the day with just the pencil. Turns out I had left the pen at home.