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Books

Travel

  1. Rajgad, formerly known as Murumdevs is one of the best-preserved forts in Maharastra and served as an early capital of the Maratha Empire for 26 years. I went on a night trek starting from the base of the fort towards the Palli gate. We reached there around 2:30 and then set up tents. There was supposed to be a sleeping break but 4 of us went on to trek towards the “Balekilla” (upper fort) and other parts till 4:30 am. Which was followed by a group hike to Sanjivani Machee to witness the sunrise. After that glorious encounter, we began a sleep-deprived and exhausted descent.

    Sunrise-1
    Sunrise-2
    Sunrise-3
    View from Sanjivani Machi

  2. Harishchandragad named after king Harishchandra was built during Kalachuri dynasty, who soon lost their territory to the Chalukyas of Vatapi.This fort also features the 6th highest peak Taramati (named after the wife of King Harishchandra) in Maharashtra state with height of 1,431m. There are references to this fort in Puranas and has a spiritual significance in Vaishnavism.

    We left for the fort from Pune around 7:30 pm and reached the base at 3:30 am. After having night snacks, we started the ascend and reached the Taramati peak around 5:45 am. The ascent was non monotonous covering steep cliffs, forest paths, and plane ground. It became slightly challenging near the end but the view from the top was worth the trouble. We waited for the sunrise and then headed towards the Konkan Kada and nearby temples. Had breakfast at the fort and started our descent.

    Temple of Harishchandreshwar
    Sunrise

Movies

  1. Expectations are always high for a Cohen bros film, and this one does deliver on them. After watching a few of their films, the style becomes familiar. Ballad of Buster Scruggs has a lot of that absurd randomnesses, typical of Cohens, along with some heartfelt moments. There is much foreshadowing with poems like Ozymandias or with the clothing choices, but it doesn't always lead to expected outcomes. Starting with a fast-paced, upbeat, blood-filled, and satirical short, the movie slows down little by little, to a bloodless frightful conversation, while exploring a lot of things on the way. Nature is harsh, vast, and at its full glory, making characters appear more helpless than they should be.

  2. Even after so many years of movie-making, the narrative and style of Casablanca feel fresh. It truly does brings out the sentimentalist in everyone, no matter how skeptical you are about the movie. While being a romance, it still feels very unique due to its fast-paced and plot-heavy nature. It sneakily addresses many things like American isolationism, the moral dilemma of ignorance, and the centrality of virtues, while you're enthralled by brilliant performances.

  3. This one is a highly underrated movie. The story is simple and mostly told visually. It creates tension by using previously shown information, character traits and manages to make even the most ordinary scene into an emotionally packed drama.

  4. Damn, that was something!

  5. Watched it in parts while traveling. This is a high school drama about a group of students self-reflecting and accepting themselves and each other. Would have enjoyed it far more if the context was Indian. Good to watch with teens.

  6. White Tiger by Arvind Adiga is one of the most upsetting books I have ever read (along with Dostoyevsky). The film captures that mood of discomfort and delivers an unfiltered Indian reality. Only if India could produce more of such original content (alas!). Everything from political references and vulgarity to villages and cites felt relatable while making them feel equally bastardized.

  7. Gonna do a rewatch

  8. It is a criminally underrated film with something fresh to offer. It offers an unfiltered experience of Mumbai captured from multiple percpectives and artistic mediums, Aamir khan felt a bit out of place though.

  9. Toxic masculinity!

  10. It is a true masterpiece with bold ambitions, stunning visuals, and eargasmic music of A.R. Rehman. The movie draws you in with traditional Bollywood (and Tollywood) tactics while setting up the next half with overt and covert symbolism. It is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, which handles all of them well while delivering a strong message.

  11. An adoptation of the old classic Devdas which feels surprisingly modern. Characters and plot are similar to the Devdas yet orignal but still don't feel that connectable or real.

  12. Focused on a multifaceted and talented personality who slowly but surely descends into madness.

  13. A slow-paced character study that steadily unfolds situations around protagonists beautifully. The movie takes you to the 1980s in Nicolae Ceaușescu’s Romania and explore's the era through 2 women trying to abort an unwanted pregnancy. The socialist dictatorship and the impact it had on the lives of common people are beautifully shown without saying much directly. The bleakness of the country is readily apparent, economic mismanagement and socialist weirdness stand out anytime an official with even a minute of authority speaks. The movie is also shot through the perspective of college youth, hopefully dreaming of better lives in a dystopian present, showing the contrast between their aspirations and reality.

  14. This is a unique film that actually benefits from its typical Bollywood style by making it more approachable to its target audience. There is much drama that surprisingly serves a purpose in the film and weaves all the story threads together while delivering a coherent and meaningful narrative. Rather than taking a route of oversimplification into good vs evil categories, the movie introduces a large cast of side characters and explores nuances through their web of interconnected experiences and realizations while also making most of them relatable and likable. In a Bollywood mainstream filled to the brim with toxic masculinity, this feels like a fresh breeze of rational criticism of the status quo which is much welcome.

  15. One of the best movie I have ever seen in long time.

  16. Felt a bit underwhelming maybe because of familiarity

  17. Could appreciate it more in the second watch. Also noticed some loopholes.

  18. This film is designed to make you face the uncomforting truth. From religious begotary, to police brutality it covers it all with great sensativity and care.

  19. Goddamit!! now diving into the world of Jazz

  20. A touching story from WW2 whose emotional impact cannot be overstated.

  21. Every aspect of this movie is refreshingly unique and innovative. It delivers its message effectively without making you feel like you’re receiving sermons and keeping you entertained simultaneously.

  22. Outdid my expectations, but still felt unnecessarily long towards the end.

  23. This movie has an immense influence on Bollywood and you easily notice that watching the movie, you can also notice the wild-west influence on the Sholay. Rather than just copy-paste wild west formula, Sholay adapted it for the Indian audience making it feel less gritty while adding a lot of comedy. Sholay is beautifully shot, has great dialogues, well-developed characters but most importantly it’s entertaining. For a 3hr long movie, it stays surprisingly fresh and bounces back and forth between moods while never losing the focus. It certainly is a masterpiece that can probably lose unnecessary songs and make Basanti less

  24. What a brilliant creation and I loved King George more than I should. The characterization was candid and more honest than I expected (thanks to the Hamiltons). I am not a big fan of rap, hip-hop, and blues but this musical took me by storm and delivered a mind-blowing experience.

  25. The comedy, animation, and decision to make humans speak Japanese really coalesce together to form this weirdly good film. Wes Anderson delivers on the aesthetics and makes you connect with dogs more than humans like no other film.

  26. Very much like the Isle of dogs with a bit more laid-back atmosphere. I personally felt Isle of dogs to be a slightly better film but fantastic Mr. Fox also has its own share of a great plot, comedy, characters along with some mind-blowing animation and a clever utilization of the medium.

Shows

  1. Feels pretty grounded for a crime drama with redneck poppy farmers, Mexican drug cartel and money launderers. Each character is unique and has a satisfying story arc. BTW those children are pretty dope.

  2. Phoebe Waller-Bridge has put together a weirdly unique combination of tropes in Killing Eve. It has assassins, MI6, too many lesbian and gay characters blended together in a stylized story which doesn’t take itself too seriously. The humor, action, and romance all get better in 2nd season and again near the end of the 3rd season. 2nd season felt very similar to but far better than Hanibal and things took interesting turn in the 3rd season. High hopes for the 4th one.

  3. I can't believe that I had missed the last season of the wire in my first watch. And trust me the last season delivered on all of that build-up, plotlines, character developments, and expectations. The wire is not about drugs or police it is about the city of Baltimore and its systemic flaws. The system is unwrapped layer by layer starting from drug gangs and police to politicians, schools, newspapers, and charities. People inside Baltimore are shaped by this ruthless and self-perpetuating cycle of misery and are surprisingly learned to live with it. Everyone knows what needs to be done, some people know how to do those things and only a couple ever show the willpower to so. The show is not entirely nihilistic rather hand it ends on a happy note with most of the main cast living their lives happily ever after but Baltimore remains the same breeding more of the same. There hasn't been any other fictional show (that I have watched) more impactful and invigorating than wire and I love wire for that.

Games

  1. Damn addictive, has a high entry barrier.

  2. One of the most beautiful games. Medium difficulty good for begginers

Anime

  1. Fight scenes, comedy, and world building are the strongpoints. Most of the story lines are very predictable and some of them are quite boring.

  2. The influence of Naruto on Jujutsu Kaisen is readily apparent and it feels like a Naruto, ghostbuster hybrid. The plot is ok, fight scenes well-directed, no fillers, and the animation is beautiful. A worthy watch for Naruto, and Bleach fans.

  3. This film is designed to make you face the uncomfortable truth. From religious bigotry to police brutality it covers it all with great sensitivity and care. It has candidness of the documentary, emotional connect of a drama and style of an art-house film while being none of those three. A must-watch and a masterpiece.

  4. This made me fall in love with jazz. (and ig whiplash cemented it)

  5. One of the best psychological horror produced in any medium. The story is very well written which is complemented perfectly with the amazing animation and music. It successfully creates a creepy and freighting ambiance with a rewarding ending.

  6. Another Isekai anime which has started strong but could go either way.

  7. Influence of the Legend of Korra on animation style is readily apparent. The story is coherent even for people who havn't played the DOTA, but feels more impactful after playing the game.