Category: Just like that

Have we lost our sense of humour?

Humour, as defined by the Oxford dictionary; is as follows, “the quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech.” It is an important aspect of our personality, it is what makes us likeable and in some cases attractive to other people. However, should humour be used at the expense of someone’s dignity or image? Definitely not! At the same time it should also not be taken very seriously.  Unfortunately it is not so in our country at this very moment.

There are a large number of sources for humour, there’s comedy TV shows, comedy movies, literary works, comic books, to a certain extent the opposition in the parliament and the internet. The last one, i.e. the internet has been the largest source of humour or, ‘trolls’ as they have come to be termed by the common masses. Most of these trolls are targeted towards current issues and people who are being focused upon by the mainstream media, sometimes these trolls take to radical heights in ‘humour.’ Trolling has become a major issue in India today, and it has taken an ugly turn with some of the trolls reaching the courts. Most of these trolls aren’t even that offensive and often make a good laugh, however most people don’t think of them that way and that speaks negatively about our people and country. Often it is said that we mustn’t compare ourselves with the west, but there are certain things we should adapt from them. Western countries take humour and trolls targeted on themselves very well and respond appropriately, most of their famous comedians make jokes on their own society and that is something to marvel at.

Narendra Modi in his speech in the parliament once said, “ham aaj kal sabha me haste nahi hai” (We don’t laugh in the parliament anymore) and what he said is true, it wasn’t always like this, if we look at records from previous sessions of the parliaments, namely the ones almost 15 years ago we find that members of parliament used to make a lot of jokes along with their constructive arguments. This degradation in the sense of humour of the members of parliament reflects the overall attitude of our country; therefore this change has come in the past few years itself, and it is a change which is not for the good. Furthermore people have grown more intolerant of ‘humour’ and the spirit of ‘taking it on the chin’ is at its all-time lowest. The time is high, for introspection and a change of attitude.

We can bring back our lost sense of humour. As a people, as a country, we have the potential to do so, we were resilient and resolute in overthrowing the British and we did so by not even picking up a single gun. Then we can also change this attitude.

“Does god have a sense of humour? He must have, if he created us” – Jackie Gleason


Priyamvad Rai

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The Man in The High Castle – Review

August 6, 1945 the United States of America had dropped two atom bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This particular event marked the ending of World War 2, or is that so?

What if the U.S. never dropped those bombs? What if the allied forces never won the Second World War? What if the Axis forces won the Second World War? The Man in The High Castle (M.T.H.C.) answers these very questions and I must say, it does so beautifully.

M.T.H.C. delves deep into the alternate version of North American history where the U.S. lost the Second World War to the Nazis. This results in the North American continent to be divided into three parts, ‘The Greater Nazi Reich’,’Neutral Zone’ and ‘The Japanese Pacific States.’ The Greater Nazi Reich consists of the majority of the landmass of the Eastern and Central North American continent, and of course controlled by the Nazis. Neutral Zone as the name suggests is not controlled by anyone and is a piece of land with no proper authority. The Japanese Pacific States consist of the Western Seaboard of the continent and are controlled by the Empire of Japan.

There are three main institutions at work in this alternate universe on the continent, the Nazis, Japanese and the Resistance. The Resistance is a group of people who are mostly based in the Neutral zone, working in secrecy against the two foreign nations and are trying to overthrow them and reclaim the continent back from them. The series consists mostly of interactions between the three institutions.

The series has curiosity written all over it. Once you start it, you’ll want to know more about this world. How are things different? How does the government work? How are important monuments and landmarks different from those we have in the real world? These types of questions are answered superbly in the series. The experience is sublime and at times you’ll believe the fact that this has actually happened. Editing of the episodes has been done in such a way that episodes are fast paced and there isn’t a moment of rest in the series, and you’ll always want to watch more and find out what happens next, with an incredible plot along with a world filled with curiosity the series manages to grab the attention and retain this attention.

Soundtracks and the background scores in the series are extremely well placed and match with the atmosphere of the universe. I personally never skipped the opening sequence, because the title track is very catchy. Casting of the characters has been done well and they seem perfect for the role. Though there have been criticisms on the acting, with the main issue being raised that the “German characters don’t sound German.” Initially I did feel that this was the case, but then I realized that most of the characters were living in the North American continent for many years, they are bound to have influence of the North American people in their language. I render this particular issue to not be relevant, as it hardly affects the setting of the series.

Plot. The plot of the series is very very interesting, it is better to not talk about the plot so as to not ruin the experience of the reader. This series is worth watching, and I highly recommend it. Based on the book by Philip.K.Dick., The Man in The High Castle. Without any doubt this series must be on your watch list for your next binge-watching session.

Priyamvad Rai

172nd Manchester Derby

10th September 2016, witnessed the commencement of the 172nd Manchester Derby at Old Trafford in Manchester (Duh!). Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola resume their rivalry with this Derby. Not taking the result into consideration the match was an exciting one.

In the first 45 minutes of the match, Manchester United was visibly distraught and Manchester City dominated the field. 15 minutes into the match, Kevin De Bruyne scored in the lower left corner of the goal post after taking on United’s David De Gea one on one. Taking on this early advantage boosted the morale of an already dominating City side. The passing and receiving of the players was top class and United had a hard time keeping up with the pace of the passing. On the other side, United’s passing was not like it was not like the first few matches. It seemed that they had lost the momentum and motivation which they had at the beginning of the seasons in the first few matches.

At the 36th minute, Kelechi Iheanacho of City scored a goal by shooting the ball which had ricocheted off David De Gea, securing a 2 goal lead over United. After this point it was felt that City had bagged the game. But Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a few tricks up his sleeve, in the 42nd minute United won a free kick, Wayne Rooney launched a volley which City’s goalkeeper, Bravo ran out to intercept but after a mistiming in his punch, the ball went straight to Ibrahimovic, which he with great technique put it in the back of the net.

The goal provided the team much needed morale boost before the first half ended. The first half was exciting and kept me at the edge of my seat and it was no mystery that the second half was going to be the same.

The second half started off with a much stronger United, with many chances being created. With Rashford being brought on, the talented youth brought the much needed pace into the team. He shot at the goal which deflected off Ibrahimovic and went into the back off the net. But it was ruled offside as Ibrahimovic was offside. This was the closest United could get to equalizing in the second half. Things heated up in the final few minutes of the match with United going all in but they couldn’t get the equalizing goal and the match ended at MUN:1-2:MCI.

Manchester City played beautifully even in the absence of some key players. Though it could be argued that it was the poor quality of the other side that allowed them to triumph. Paul Pogba couldn’t get on the ball much often, there were no searching runs from him. Mkhitarayan seemed visibly out of form and he was substituted out, a good decision by Mourinho. United was not playing like they usually do, something was missing in their style of play, maybe the passion or the motivation to play better.

All in all, it was a wonderful and exciting Derby match. Jose Mourinho was clearly disappointed but he should know that this is just the first of many matches to come and he’ll have plenty of chances to get back at Pep Guardiola. Manchester is Blue.

Priyamvad Rai