Wednesday, July 29, 2009 0 comments

The Indian Education System, Part 1

All right, this is going to be my 13th and my most important blog post till date. The reason is not because I am superstitious but because of the topic itself. The education system currently prevalent in India. I will be focusing mainly on its negative aspects.

Before I begin, let me give a short prelude. This is a topic which I wanted to discuss and write about, for over 3 years. Yes, you read that right. I was just too lazy to do so, but now finally I have got the chance. Just this Sunday(26/07/2009), I read a brilliant short story(‘The Cut Off’) by Chetan Bhagat in Hindustan Times Sunday Magazine, Brunch. The story was related to the educational system. How a boy tops his school, but is unable to get into any top college, just because his percentage is slightly below the cut off mark required by such colleges, such is the competition prevalent in India. We are facing a situation that even school toppers are facing problems in securing a good college seat, let alone the average or below average students. In fact the student decides that suicide is the only option available for him. Go and read the story if you haven’t already. Trust me, you will like it.

One line which I loved in the same story, goes as this: ‘When my parents were young, certain colleges were considered prestigious. Now, forty years later, the same colleges are considered prestigious.’ Try to understand the significance of this statement. Is our government really sleeping, that it has stopped producing high class universities and colleges? Does it really want a few colleges to keep dominating for an entire century? Why does India give so much importance to Engineering and Management, and ignores almost all other fields, including Science and Research, Commerce, Arts, Astronomy, etc? Why are there so few seats, for such an increasing number of students, who take their board exams every year? Does our government really want the nation to progress? Or is It satisfied with mediocre(in the optimistic sense. Many colleges do not even come in this category) colleges and mediocre performance? For a country, especially like India, to get fully developed, it needs to focus on lots of factors, and one of the premier ones is Education, which it has so promptly ignored till date. Let the top institutes gain more popularity and continue their Monopoly, while students keep fighting amongst themselves, for a handful of seats. The ones who get through are considered brilliant, and the ones who don’t are left to bite the dust. What sort of insane logic is this? Ask any minister, and he always gives the same, inane reply, ‘We do not have sufficient financial resources to build new institutions, or invest in areas apart from Engineering and Management. We are helpless.’ As a result, numerous fake institutions have sprawled across the entire country, which provide anything besides real education and vocation.

*Continued in Next Post.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 0 comments

So Few!

Well this is a topic I had wanted to write about since a long time. Probably over 3 years. Finally I have got the chance to write it in my blog. It is a controversial topic, and I don’t expect you to agree with me.

I suppose many of you might have wondered as to why there are so few girls in the IITs, IIMs and many other premier institutions, mainly related to engineering and management. Is it because girls are not as smart or academically brilliant as their male counterparts? Or is it because they are not interested or mentally inclined towards such streams(engineering, management, etc)? Or is it because of our mental and social outlook towards girls? Or lack of opportunities? Or something else? Why is it that over 90% of the cases, it’s always the male who emerges as the so called winner?

For the past few centuries, in India, women have been treated with lack of respect. They were expected to act as housewives and home keepers only. Female education was strictly discouraged and prohibited by many. Nobody wanted their daughters to pursue higher studies. Though this situation has changed in recent times, we still have a long way to go. For starters, India is a country which has a low sex ratio, around 925. Most of the developed countries have a sex ratio of over 1000, where the females are given equal rights as men. We find women workers, engineers, entrepreneurs, doctors, managers, etc in every area. No longer is the female sex, considered as a weaker sex. At least, this is true in developed countries. The situation in developing, or underdeveloped countries is far grimmer. In countries such as Afghanistan, women are discouraged from even coming out in the open, let alone working at par with men. The situation in India is better, but it can still improve. The condition of rural women is deteriorating day by day. Many urban women are working nowadays, but they form just a fraction of the total working force.

If you take any company, or any premier institution, educational or otherwise, the percentage of males will always surpass that of females. Why does this anomaly exist? Shouldn’t females be given equal rights and opportunities? For starters, not all women are willing to work in companies, and managing the house is an equally important task. Taking care of children, is also something which the women feel is a prerequisite. So that takes care of the company’s thing. What about the institutions? Well, it is partly true, that many girls prefer to study arts and commerce, and few are interested in Science or Mathematical subjects. Whether this is due to peer pressure or not, is another question. So I decided to due some research about this. This is what I found:

In the premier engineering institutes, the percentage of girls usually varies from 10% to 25%. Though there are exceptions, no doubt. In the not-so-good engineering colleges, the percentage of girls is usually a bit higher, than say the IITs, but nevertheless it scarcely goes beyond the 30% mark. There are very few girls in IITs.

The percentage of girls in Commerce colleges, usually ranges around the 50% mark. Or less. I do not have further information about this. 

I am not considering girls-only colleges, especially in the Arts stream. But under co-ed, arts stream, the percentage of girls is usually higher than boys. But we have very few premier Arts institutions in the country. 

For Science courses, such as BSc, MSc, etc, again the percentage of boys is usually higher than that of girls, by a wide margin. Very few girls, go for higher scientific research. 

Same is the situation for many other courses, such as BCA, BBA(here girls sometimes form a majority), MCA, Maths/Physics/Geography etc Honours, and others. 

Finally we come to management. The situation in IIMs is even worse than the IITs. The percentage of girls usually ranges from a miserable 5% to 10%. Should this situation be accepted, and left as it is, accepting that boys in general have better aptitude than girls? Surely we don’t want ‘All-Boys’ IIMs? Do we need to create a separate female reservation quota? Though most people would argue against it. Especially the male class. Maybe reservation is not the solution. But definitely the situation needs to improve. Girls should be encouraged to come forward and pursue higher studies. They should be treated with respect, at par with boys, and given proper guidance, not neglected, as has been done in the past. The concept that girls are only fit for cooking, washing and sewing has now become obsolete. I have seen many people, who simply assume that girls do not deserve to do well, and it will only be males who will succeed. This is just pure male chauvinism.  

Girls may not be physically as strong as their male counterparts, but are definitely capable of matching them in all other aspects, especially in handling stress, mental duress, emotional strains, etc. Moreover, the environment in study institutions becomes much more amiable, with the presence and liveliness of the fairer sex. There would be much less fights, as to who should win over the particular girl as well, assuming there is 1 girl for every 20 guys. (Okay this was a joke)

More on this topic later. Have to scram. See you all later, folks. Keep commenting. Adios,
Monday, July 20, 2009 2 comments

A Trip to the Bookstore


Well, I am back at home, and all set for college to re-open. So, this is my first personal post. From now onwards, every personal post will be headed by a ‘personal’ keyword.

The topic is abstract all right. A few days ago, I walked into a famous, opulent bookstore. It showcased thousands of books, on various categories. Though books of similar categories were stacked together, surprisingly however the category itself was not mentioned anywhere. For example, the Engineering books should have an Engineering tag put up above or something like that. So it becomes a bit tough, to search a book, depending on a category. Nevertheless, as a reputed (okay, am bragging here) book hunter cum book worm, I started my search. 

I did not have any particular book in mind, at first. I had thought initially, that I would purchase a book related to my Computer Science subjects. But I soon gave up the idea. Next in my mind, the burning desire to purchase fiction grew once again. I saw ‘O Jerusalem’ by D. Lapierre and L. Collins. Was about to purchase it, but hesitated. Thought of searching some more first. 

Soon after, I came across a Japanese - English Dictionary. Was a cool thing, really. Especially because I love the language, and many things related to Japan. But the cost was 250 bucks. Should I really spend that much amount on it? And the book was rather small as well. I decided against it, especially since it was Japanese- English dictionary and NOT the other way around. Making it highly inconvenient for me. So I decided to move on.

Suddenly, a book title came to my mind. A book which I had thought of purchasing later, preferably from Kolkata, since its not available in my home town. The book was ‘Imagining India’, written by the ex-Infosys co-founder, Nandan Nilekani. I searched and searched, but alas could not find it anywhere. Finally, I decided to ask a person employed there to help people locate books. But seeing the expression on his face, when I narrated the name of the book to him, was somewhat disappointing. He frowned as if I had mentioned a Greek word. Apparently, he had never heard of the book, but said that it would be available in a few days, on placing an order. My disappointment increased. I gave up hope.

I was just about to leave the shop, empty handed, but decided to give it one last shot. 
I moved to general non-fiction category. There were a few autobiographies, and biographies, including Benazir Bhutto, and Pervez Musharraf’s. Also, on a few other Indian personalities. And, sitting on its rack, on the absolute left, like a culprit hiding from the police, was the book I wanted. Imagine India indeed. I picked it up. Though quite fat, the book was not heavy. And it was the only book still covered in plastic. As if it was specially designed for me only.

The owner himself, looked flabbergasted after seeing the book I dropped in front of him. ‘When did this book arrive?’, he asked his assistant, as if such a book should never have been exposed to the general public. Anyways, I bought the book and left the shop. Am currently reading it, and I think I made the right decision in purchasing it. Anyways, will write a book review, after I finish it.

Hope you liked this post. Thanking you all readers as always.

Take care.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009 8 comments

Yeh Dil Maange More..... marks!

Okays, contrary to what I said on Facebook, am back with a new post- Bang!
Currently am at Jamshedpur, my mother's home town. The atmosphere is quite good here. Am eager to visit XLRI. You know, every once in a while, I am going to take break from this serious stuff, and write something personal, maybe. But as for now, here is another topic for you all- Our Obsession with marks.

Right from the start of our school days, we are judged on our performance, by the basis of marks- considered as the greatest yardstick available to mankind. I am sure you must have lost count of the number of tests you have given, and will give in future. There seems to be no end for them. Of course tests are essential, and I wont go into any debate( Let Kapil Sibal do that, maybe he will stop 12th board exams next).

But the thing, is these tests create competition. An insane competition to succeed. To become the best. To beat your opponent. And smell the sweet flavour of victory. But this feeling often takes a disastrous toll on the student, especially when he/she is young. A healthy competition is fine, and no student in India is unaware of this fact. Come on, there is competition anywhere and everywhere. You cannot avoid it. You need to work hard and give your best, and leave the result upto God. Instead of worrying about the result and the marks. Except of course, we humans do exactly the opposite. We keep worrying till all our hair drops out in anxiety, or we literally tear it off our head. Sometimes, our parents do the same. 'Whats gonna happen if I dont get 99% marks this time?' 'What if I marked the answer of that 0.5 mark question wrongly?' 'What if that XYZ scores better than me this time? What will I do?' 'What if I dont get into IIM A? What face will I show to my parents? (I know the answer to this one-'Obviously your own.')

Since long back, Lord Krishna has remarked, 'Karma kar, Fal ki chinta mat kar.' (I apologise if thats not the exact translation, but it loosely signifies the same) or Keep Working, do not worry about the result. But do we really do it? I doubt it. Even before we actually give an exam, we start worrying about the marks we will get(later). Before we sit for any competitive exams, our mind contains hundreds of negative thoughts, mostly relating to failure to qualify in such an exam. It has been scientifically prooved that excessive worrying causes health problems, as well as ruins your efficiency. So why are you bothering so much on the results, when you should be thinking more about the exams itself. If you are a hard working, and have prepared your course diligently, there is no cause for concern. And even if you are a hopeless good-for-nothing student, there is still no cause for concern. After all, you are going to fail either way. Why crack your head over it?

Jokes apart, I have seen many students, becoming 'marks' fanatics. They are completely obsessed with scoring high marks. Even a difference of 1 mark is like the difference between Heaven and Hell, for them. Parents are also to blame for this. I have personally seen parents of many young students, going to school and arguing with the teachers, as to why their ward has scored low marks(mind you, its low according to them, the child may have scored 89 out of 100, for all that matter) in so and so subjects, whereas some other student has scored better. This situation is indeed pathetic. Nowadays, we live in an era, where marks are literally thrown for students to catch, in bundles. You may have read in the newspapers that students are getting 96-99% marks total, regularly. Marks have lost their value. A few decades ago, a student getting 60% was considered as a genius. Now, he will just be considered as a below average or poor student, since majority of the students(including non-deserving ones) are scoring above 90% regularly(especially in CBSE, and ICSE boards). So naturally there is cut-throat competition between the students. Everyone wants to score the highest. Feelings of hostility result as a consequence. Teachers blatantly overlook this situation. The competition is anything but healthy or sanguine.

But, frankly, how does it matter if one guy scores 91 in one subject, and the other 92? Does this mean that the one who got 92 is far better than the other? Rubbish. Its our mentality that needs to change. And we need to start early, from the basic school level. Parents need to encourage children to participate in all activities, including studies, but not get carried away by marks(unless they are indeed scoring very less). Marks is the least efficient technique to measure a person completely, I personally feel. (Recollect Taare Zameen Par) But sadly, all schools, universities, colleges, companies, etc, seem to think otherwise. I wish they would consider the other parameters of a person as well, before eliminating him/her on the basis of marks alone.

I can recall a situation, when the mother of one of my friends, went into an uproar, when my friend stood second instead of first. She caused a hangama in the school, and almost made the teacher go crazy. Poor guy, he was totally embarrased. This ranking system should be abolished, first of all. In fact, many young students have committed suicide after failing in their exams. (Some actually killed themselves just on the basis that they thought they would fail, even before the result was declared- just imagine the pathos). And countless others tend to go into depression just by scoring less. Parents scold them mercilessly which debauches their situation even more. This is one of the prime reasons, why so many people are afraid of failures. Remember, no person can truly become successful, before he tastes the enigma of failure.

Anyways, I have typed a lot for now, and must go for lunch, before my own mother causes an uproar(just kidding, she rarely, if ever does that).

See you all soon, again...

and a yeah, a Special thanks to all the guys who are reading and posting their comments in my blog. I am really grateful.

Sunday, July 12, 2009 6 comments


All right, (do I have a bad habit of saying All right every time I start?) time for another serious topic, ie Piracy. I am sure all of you must be well aware as to what piracy is? Am assuming you have some basic idea, definitely (after all the probability that you yourself have indulged in piracy is over 99%) and am not going to bother giving a lame, detailed technical explanation. (Am leaving that for the experts).

To start with, piracy in India is ubiquitous. There is no denying the fact. 9 out of 10 PC’s in India contain some form or the other of Pirated Software, O.S., etc. Pirated films, games, music cds, etc are all very common and part and parcel of our everyday life. Just venture out of your home, and I am pretty sure you will find a shop which sells pirated goods, faster than you find a shop selling fresh vegetables. ‘Okays, so we know all that already. Whats your point?’

Why is piracy so popular, you may ask? Is it not illegal? Of course it is, according to Section Something Something of the IPC, piracy is illegal and banned, and the culprit is liable for prosecution, blah blah. Oh come on, does anybody honestly bother about that? Piracy is so popular, simply because nobody actually wants to spend a gargantuan amount of money on purchasing items, which he/she can get at a fraction of the cost, or even for free. Only a dumb person would willingly pay more for an item, which he can get easily at no cost, right?

Yep, that’s the main reason. And with the penetration of broadband in India, torrents have become immensely popular. Now anybody can easily download whichever movie or game he wants online, absolutely free. So why should he walk down all the way to an ‘Original Store’ selling original stuff, to pay thousands of bucks for an item, which he can get sitting at home(and yes for FREE)? This is the reason why piracy exists and will continue to exists, unless the Government takes some strict steps against it. Yes, the policies of the private companies are not sufficient in stopping piracy.

To start with, I personally feel that the pricing policies followed in India, by International Companies, are strictly inaccurate in the sense, that almost everything they sell here is overpriced(according to the Indian consumer). Majority of the Indian population belongs to the middle or poor class category. Such people simply can’t afford the extravagant prices set by those companies. The average salary of a middle class person ranges from 15k to 20k per month. How do you expect such a man to pay around 10k or more for a software product? And quite frankly, why should he? If he can get that software for free? There is absolutely no reason for him to do so.

I will take a few examples here. ‘Microsoft Office 2007’ is priced at Rs. 4,999(last I checked, it may have changed). And ‘Windows XP SP 3’ is around Rs. 7,500. Can you imagine such items within the budget of an ordinary man? I certainly can’t. Yet Microsoft cites innumerable excuses on why they are unable to reduce the prices of their products, as they have to set quality standards, security, duty costs, updates, blah blah blah. The common man is totally unwilling to hear such jargon. Microsoft India has lost billions of dollars due to piracy, in India, and will continue to lose more, unless it brings about a change in its absurd pricing policy here.
The only ones, who can afford such products, are opulent people, and big organizations, business or otherwise. Moreover, lack of awareness, and lack of investment in the advertisement sector is also another reason for the rise of piracy. In the Western countries, huge amount of money is invested on advertising the harmful effects of piracy, and the risks involved in it. In India, hardly anyone is bothered to advertise this, and lesser number of people are willing to listen to them.

For a person, using a PC, security and loss of data do not mean that much, as they would, to say, a private company. So he is quite willing to purchase pirated products, and use them, even if his Computer crashes as a result, since he can always format and re-install applications when required. And quite frankly, pirated products do NOT always cause trouble. I have seen many computers run impeccably on pirated software and/or OS. Just because they MAY cause some trouble sometime in future, is simply not an incentive big enough for an ordinary middle class person to go and purchase original stuff. Proper awareness needs to be generated.

Moreover, the Government is quite lax over piracy. It should take stricter steps in enforcing the law and punishing the guilty, who supply and distribute pirated cds/dvds, etc. The piracy business is ever flourishing, but it causes losses in billions of rupees for all the major industries which invest here. Be it the filming industry, gaming industry, software industry, etc. Most people prefer to watch a film on their PCs for free, rather than wasting 100 bucks to watch it in a cinema hall. Similar is the situation for gaming. I suppose all of you know the costs of original games in India? They range usually from 500(low ended) to over 3000 bucks(for PS3, Xbox 360) etc. Quite frankly, no sensible gamer will waste that much amount of money in purchasing games, when he can easily get them for free(or at a very low rate for pirated DVDs).

But I also feel that games are highly over-priced in India for majority of the people. I will give another example. Recently, Sony has reduced the price of the Playstation 2 to around Rs. 6000(or less). But the price of a single PS2 game is constant, ranging from 800 to 1500 bucks. So if you buy just 4-5 of such games, you can buy a new PS2 itself, with the amount. Isn’t this ironical, not to mention quite lame? This is almost like making the refill costlier than the pen. So who on earth is going to buy original products, if the pricing itself is so messed up?

Indian consumers simply do not want to pay for software. They assume it to be freely installed and present when they purchase a PC. So most of their dealers install pirated software as a result. And most users, blatantly start using them, without bothering to check if its pirated or not. Even if they do find out its pirated, they don’t do anything about it. (What do you expect them to do, go and pay thousands of rupees to the original supplier?). In a recent survey, it has been found that over 90% of PC users , work with pirated versions of Windows(XP and Vista). This is indeed an alarming rate. But if the price remains sky high, you can’t expect any magical change to happen, in the results.

But this does not mean that I support piracy. On the contrary, I condemn it. It causes insurmountable losses and scares off major MNCs from investing in India, something which can generate adequate employment. But I also feel that this is something, which simply cannot be removed easily, especially in the Indian society. So piracy is here to stay, whether you like it or not.

Thursday, July 9, 2009 5 comments


All right, lets get back to some more serious business(Hope you liked the movie reviews).

Ragging:- The word itself sends shivers down the spines of many freshers(am talking about students who are just about to enter college, in case it was Not clear- You may argue that a person who gets fresh after a bath is also a fresher, sigh). There are many freshers who keep panicking when they step into college for the first time. ‘What is going to happen to me now? What will the seniors do to me? God, help me.’ These are but common thoughts. It’s almost as if the person is entering into a prison, about to get bullied by his fellow convicts, rather than entering into an institution which provides learning. And what is his/her fault? Nothing, other than the fact that he/she is a fresher.

So, a student who dares to enter college, must get ragged? Is that it? To many sick sadists, the answer is yes. Ragging is something which is inevitable and you should prepare in advance for it, since it can’t be avoided. This is their view. Sadly this view persisted for decades, and it is only recently that the Supreme Court has made ragging a criminal offence, with the culprits liable for prosecution and if proved guilty, can be jailed for 7 years or more. Though, this law still remains more on paper, than in reality.

Now what exactly is ragging all about, and why should it be considered as a crime? Isn’t it just a way of breaking the ice between seniors and juniors? A way, by which both groups can come closer, with good interaction between them? Isn’t it just a harmless procedure which is common everywhere? Isn’t ragging just meant for fun? The answers to all these questions, is a strong, resounding NO. Let us delve into it a little further.

The term ragging was originally coined by a group of students (started in Britain I think), who performed shows to raise money for charity. Those shows included dancing, singing, drama, etc, and were completely harmless. Very soon, it was inculcated in Indian colleges, with a far more nefarious twang. Ragging became an instant hit in India. And gradually it spread over to all colleges and universities, streams no bar. We Indians are really good at adopting anything bad, aren’t we? Ragging was given a totally new meaning. We included beating, harassing, teasing, bullying, and every possible evil deed which can be though of, under the pretext of interacting with our juniors. And sadly enough, it persisted. Nobody raised their voice about it, and the few unlucky ones who did, were mercilessly beaten. Neither did the courts take any action against the culprits then, as ragging was considered acceptable.

Ragging can have many forms, but all are equally brutal. Let us examine the various forms and stages of it:-

1) Mental/Emotional Ragging:- I would call this mental torture. There is no physical fighting, but the seniors mentally harass the juniors, either by asking them very embarrassing questions(‘Can I sleep with your girlfriend for a day?’- just an example) , or insulting them (slangs are too common nowadays) and their families. And the junior can do nothing other than listen.

2) Physical Ragging- Low: - This ragging may not actually be harmful. The senior may tell a person to sing or dance, or button up his shirt, act or mime an actor, etc. This is usually not an offense, and is considered very acceptable. Though anything you make someone do against his/her will should be considered as ragging, even if it’s something harmless like singing. After all if a person does NOT want to sing, why force him to?

3) Physical Ragging- High :- This sort of ragging is the worst kind, and more prevalent inside hostels(though not necessarily). The innocent junior is often made to strip, get humiliated, beaten up mercilessly like a convict, sometimes made to parade the hostel naked, sometimes beaten by stones and belts, burned by cigarette butts, made to lick shoes, forced to watch pornographic films and what not. (I have not even touched the more vulgar ones). The sad part is that, hardly anybody dares to oppose or stop this kind of madness. Neither the authorities, nor the other juniors are willing to take any action. The authorities fear their institute will get a bad name, and the juniors fear of getting beaten up even more. And in many cases, it’s often too late for action. We have heard of many students committing suicide, and worse, succumbing to injuries caused by ragging. Is this not equivalent to murder? How can anybody justify ragging as being just mere fun?

This cycle is also never ending, as the juniors who have been ragged, will want to take their frustration out on their juniors next year, and so on this crime continues unhindered. What sickens me is the fact that many students consider ragging as acceptable. They say its okay, if a few guys are slapped here and there, and made to do different things. Most seniors think ragging is fine and should be encouraged. This is almost like saying, torture is fine, and should be given emphasis. And this situation is not prevalent only in less known colleges, but equally prevalent in big named institutes, such as IIT’s, NIT’s, Government Colleges, etc. Are we really producing engineers, doctors, managers, or rather sick sadists and misanthropes, who would like nothing better than to downgrade and harass their juniors? If they behave like this in college, just imagine what they would do to their subordinates after getting into a job?

This is one of the main reasons why so many people complain of having bad bosses. He (the boss) may dress up smart, speak impeccable English and pretend to be a complete gentleman, but can very well be a monster from inside. It’s a mistaken belief that only thugs and ruffians indulge in ragging. I have seen excellent students, with a great intellect, indulge in it as well. Come on, you have such a bright brain. Why are you using it to cause pain to others? Ragging does not benefit anyone in any way, whatsoever. Though the Supreme Court has made it a crime, and now a national helpline for emergencies has been launched, but the bitter truth is that ragging is still prevalent throughout India.

The only way to stop ragging permanently is to follow a zero tolerance approach. Anybody who is caught and proved guilty should be instantly rusticated from the institution and thrown into jail. He should be treated at par with other criminals. And he should NOT be let off (as in most cases) with just a warning and a paltry fine. He will start ragging, again as soon as he re-enters the college campus. If throughout India, all the colleges and universities follow this approach, everyone will be scared to rag anybody. Anti-ragging squads should be formulated, and they should be active and vigilant. Many a times it has been seen that the anti-ragging committee is the one which rags people the most. Authorities need to be strictly vigilant as well, especially the wardens in hostels. Unless we take serious action, ragging is a menace which will continue to haunt India and its students in years to come.

By the way, I would like to repeat that all cases of ragging may not be harmful. But just because one is a senior, he or she has absolutely no right whatsoever to make his/her junior do whatever he/she wishes. (Unfortunately, most seniors do think this way)

Do comment, if you liked (or hated) this article.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009 5 comments

Terminator: Salvation

Okay, as promised, time for my second movie review.

2) Terminator: Salvation:-

The fourth installment in the Terminator franchise. Starring Christian Bale(Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) as John Connor, in the lead role.

All right, here’s another confession. I am a very big fan of the Terminator series as well. So much so, that I have seen T2 at least 25 times, and T1 at least 15 times. And I never get bored by watching them. (All right I did not like T3 much, but hey that’s all right).

Now to begin with, T4 has one Major difference from its predecessors. Yeah, you guessed it right. NO ARNOLD. Period. Now here is a simple mathematical formula I have derived. Have a look.


That’s about it. The whole summary in short. The film is crap, and I suggest you don’t bother listening to people who say otherwise. The only reason I actually went to watch this film, was due to the TERMINATOR brand. There is absolutely nothing new or unique in the story. Looks very amateurish, and too banal. Not too many special sequences either. Yeah, we have a few dull robots(Oh, you call them Terminators? You had me fooled) firing everything from bullets to missiles, but that’s about it.

Oh yeah, one new edition is the Biker Robots, or terminators, duh. Rather like Street Hawk racing on a deserted road. Frankly, the story is all hotch potch and confusing. Really going nowhere. For example, for almost 30 mins or so, the Good guys(humans still alive) keep hunting the second hero human cum terminator Marcus (Sam Warthrington) even though Marcus is a good guy, but due to some bad miscommunication, and due to the fact he is part machine, they keep hunting him. Stupid and obnoxious, if you ask me. As if all the director wanted was to stretch the film a little more. They have literally destroyed TERMINATOR’s reputation.

To be fair, Bale does try to do his best, but falls well short of his splendid performance in the Dark Knight. The attitude and finesse of Arnold is clearly missing in him.

The ending is equally bogus. With John getting critically injured, and Marcus offering his heart(literally and NOT Otherwise) as a replacement for John’s. So John survives to fight another day. Happy ending, and the war goes on. Keep waiting for T5 to arrive. And hope you wont have to face T6.

P.S.- Its not true that there is absolutely NO Arnold in the film. Watch T4 to understand what I mean to say. But be ready for a surprise.

Final Rating:-

3 out of 10.

(Would have been 1 had it not been for Christian Bale[He should stick to being Batman] and Ahem..)

Watch it if you ABSOLUTELY have nothing else to do. Or better, go and watch Ben Hur again, instead. Trust me, you will feel better that way.

Xmen Origins: Wolverine

For a change, I decided to do two movie reviews, as I wanted to take a break from the so-called serious topics. Both are Hollywood movies, though I saw both of them dubbed in Hindi(in the Multiplex obviously), with my best friend, Amitabha.

1) Xmen Origins: Wolverine:-

Let me first make a frank confession. I am a die hard fan of the Xmen series, starting from the old cartoon series, the newer Xmen Evolution, and the movies. I simply find it irresistible. My favorite character is Cyclops, and I was very, I repeat very disappointed, to see his character destroyed ruthlessly in the films (especially the 2nd and 3rd ones). Come on, Cyclops is supposed to be the Team Leader, and not a sore loser as portrayed in the movies.

Anyways, let’s forget about Cyclops, and come back to the latest installment of Xmen, ie Wolverine. Wolverine is a controversial character no doubt, and also the most popular(am assuming on the basis of votes it has got across the world). So now we try to learn about this mysterious guys past, and how he became what he is today: a Psychopath assassin (okay, not really) laced with an Adamantium Exoskeleton, which literally makes him an unstoppable killing machine. But he wasn’t born with one(exoskeleton). Rather it was implanted in his body, by a certain William Stryker, some crazy General, whose task is to unite mutants into forming an army. Later , it is revealed that he hates mutants, blah blah. Forget him. His character is a waste.

Hugh Jackman, as the lead character, does a very decent role in the film. But frankly, that’s about it. No other character is worth mentioning. I personally did not like the role of Sabretooth( Viktor Kreed in the film) much. The action sequences are quite good, and surprisingly so are the emotional scenes. Wolverine’s first girlfriend(I have lost track of how many girls he has hooked with) is revealed in the movie. There are guest appearances by Cyclops, Gambit, Blob, Emma Frost, Charles Xavier, Deadpool, and some other less known mutants. But neither of them has a long role(though you will probably remember Gambit’s).

The movie is fast paced, and the action plentiful. Hey, haven’t I heard that statement somewhere before? Isn’t it applicable for every Hollywood action movie? Well, yeah, but erm, still, Wolverine is kinda different you see. I personally loved the Motorcycle scene, and the part where Jackman destroys the helicopter. There are other good fighting scenes, but on the whole, not much of a story to look forward too. Hey, pssst, did you know that Wolverine and Sabretooth are half-brothers? Well, I did, since I had bought a copy of the Origins comic book, way before the movie released. Lol.

There is no point in summarizing the story, as there isn’t much to say anyways. Oh, if you insist then: Shiny claws, Dracula jaws, bad odor , mind blowing action, Optic Blasts, Naked Waterfall jump, beheaded corpse. Erm that’s about it. Don’t get me wrong. The movie is definitely worth a watch. At least its much better than most of the crap movies coming out in Bollywood nowadays.

Anyways, here is my final score: 7.5 out of 10

Rating: Good, recommended for Die-Hard Wolverine/Xmen fans.

I know I am posting this at a late time, and most of you have already seen the movie, and I am assuming if you have not, you probably wont see it in the future either. But hey, its my first movie review. So bear with me.

In my next post I will review another movie. So see ya, till then.