Interactale 9 – Before the End

How does it feel to learn you are about to end—that you will never be here anymore? And how does it feel when you know it while standing for well over a hundred years? That’s how long I have been here—through so many winters, summers, springs, and falls—nurturing creatures big and small for years and…

Outrage over a Painting in South Africa

A picture is worth a thousand words, so by corollary, pictures can have the impact of a thousand words. Perhaps it best manifests when art engages in politics or religion. The recent incident of outrage following a “sex painting” as political commentary on South African political scene is a case of interest. The controversy is…

The Perfect Writer – Adapting to Imperfections

One might think of creative writing as a gradual process of mastering an art. It’s essentially movement from scratch to perfection. But if you try to make a leap to perfection, chances are you might get a stumble. Many writers think for hours and hours about a smashing start for a piece, a story or…

Appreciating Art – Audience, Time, and Culture

Do great works of art find timeless appreciation? This is so interesting a question. Saying that great works of art find appreciation in all times and places is like making a huge claim which is hard to verify until you have thousands of years of life to see what works really endure the test of…

A Tale of Two Cities: Self-Deception in Dickensian Fiction

Daniel Goleman in his interesting book Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self-Deception ingeniously draws the relation between repetition and skewing of attention to relieve anxiety. He quotes Freud on the topic as: “The penalty for repression is repetition.” In the context of psychological anxiety, it implies that in times of crises, we resort…

Gattaca (1997)—Thematic Depiction of Escape, Dream, and Reality

Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca (1997) is a sci-fi film set in future in a society where children conceived under supervision of the state are considered genetically fit for filling important roles in workplaces, termed “valid”, while those conceived without genetic manipulation are considered “invalid” and are deprived of lucrative opportunities. The film’s protagonist Vincent Freeman (Ethan…

Beating the Fire

“LIVE spelled backwards is EVIL”, says the publicity tag of the movie The Spring (David Jackson, 2000). Now that sounds witty, probably even ridiculous. The movie is somewhat slack, though a freelance writer for a protagonist is something that would make me watch it with interest (and “Dale Cooper” Kyle MacLachlan of Twin Peaks fame).…

Interactale 8 – The Easy Fix

Grocery shopping had never been his thing, but since his wife’s license was suspended and she was unwilling to risk driving without it, he had an undesirable trip to anticipate as he lay in bed, unable to sleep because of the headache that had been lurking for a week. He’d get it done as early as…

Interactale 7 – Flames

Surprising as the fire department’s investigation was, Blair Norse could never have thought of how the arson incident that made headlines countrywide just two days ago would relate to him on such a personal level. He certainly wasn’t responsible for the fire as such, one that burnt down nearly one third of his workplace and…