Friday, June 29, 2012

Movie Review: Safe

A dejected man, who is contemplating suicide, finds himself as a guardian of a young girl escaping from a bunch of hoodlums. The man is Luke Wright(Jason Statham), a ex-cage fighter who had a run-in with the russian mafia. The young girl is Mei(Catherine Chan) from China, handpicked by the chinese mafia because of her unique ability with numbers. This is the premise of this film directed by Boaz Yakin.

Boaz Yakin succeeds in delivering an engaging movie because of three reasons - the lead actor Jason Statham, interesting photography and slick editing. With Jason Statham as the hero, you expect a lot of action. Now that we are familiar with Jason's signature move, how do you make it interesting? That is where the photography and editing plays a major role. With innovative placing of the camera and cutting it quickly to different positions, the action sequences are a pleasure to watch. As for the plot, it is predictable. Still, there are a couple of pleasant surprises that catches you unawares. On a similar line, when three groups are looking for the girl and how Statham's character uses these three groups to save the girl is amusing. Boaz starts the movie from the subway where the two protagonists meet. Then he moves back to a year back showing the parallel lives of the protagonists. This part is slightly slower in pace than the rest of the movie. Luckily when the action starts, we forget this aberration.

If you are Jason Statham fan, this one is for you. If you are action fan, you too can try it. Beware, there is a lot of Chinese and Russian used in the movie where subtitles are the only mode of knowing what the characters are talking about. So, if you are in a country like France where subtitles are always in French, it is not very easy to decipher the meaning from subtitles. In such cases, you have to rely on the facial expressions of the actors.

Language: English

Genre: Action

Rating: ***

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Photos: Please don't

This was taken during the France India event. There were a group of dancers on the stage. They were gyrating to a popular Bollywood song. Even though the action of the person outside the frame is ambiguous, the girl had an innocent look on her face. The guy might have been flirting with her and she playfully says not to.

Tags: Photos

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Photos: Mehndi-ed hand

It was impossible to shoot a picture of the performers during the France India event. The boisterous crowd didn't allow me near the barricades. The variable lens didn't help either. In a crowd like this one, someone eventually walked into the frame. No amount of cropping could make a beautiful picture out of it. That is when I notice this girl with mehndi on her hands. There were little crystals stuck inside the pattern on her hand.

Enjoy the picture. Also see the picture within the picture on her phone.

Tags: Photos

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sardinhas Assadas

The past Sunday provided a ratatouille moment for me. I was taken over by nostalgia. I was at an event hosted by the Indian community in Paris. The event was a collaboration between the Indian students and the Portuguese students. Both the cloudy weather and the incessant rain spoiled the original plans of an outdoor barbecue. Eventually, the food, the music and the camaraderie won.

What interested me was the sardines by the Portuguese students. They were grilling it and serving it with bell peppers and other accompaniments. But the smell of the grilled sardines was so reminiscent of childhood days. I'm not sure about the other parts of Kerala. But in Kuttanad area, there is a certain style of cooking where sardines are roasted over an oven. Normally, we fry the fish with oil after marinating it in spices. But in this style of cooking, there are neither oil nor spices. My aunt used a banana leaf to cover the raw fish before placing it above the burning stove. It is not cooked for a long time. It is more cooked than a sushi but several notches down from well done.

It has been two days since the event. The aroma still lingers in my senses. I didn't try the dish at the event for two reasons. My aunt always served a kanthari mulaku chammanthi along with it. My mouth waters at the mention of it. And also, I love to eat sardines using my hand, not with a fork and a knife. So, some things are best left for another day.

I checked for the recipe and came across a name for the dish, Sardinhas Assadas. But I wonder what is the origin of the dish. Thanks to Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese landed in Kerala a few centuries ago. Did they learn it from us? Did we learn it from them?

Tags: Musings,Portuguese,Sardines

Monday, June 25, 2012

Billa 2 and software delivery

I was extra cautious last week. I requested all my colleagues not to set up any long-winded meetings on Friday afternoon. I wanted a relatively free schedule to walk out of the office at any time I wished. But all was in vain. Despite all the preparations you do, there are many factors which you can't influence. Billa 2 which was to be released on June 22nd was postponed. Now, we have a definite date, July 13th. Or should I say it is an almost concrete date?

The interaction with my French colleague on Thursday was interesting. No, he is not an Ajith Kumar fan. But knowing my request for a relatively free Friday, he asked me if it was okay to schedule a meeting on Friday. I replied in the affirmative. All my plans have been cancelled. I told him. Then I explained about the movie and it's postponement at the last minute. On hearing this, he started laughing. His response is reproduced below.

"What? Your movies and your software delivery follows the same pattern. You inform the inability to deliver on the committed date of delivery!"

Photos: France India event, Le Bourget

Reaching the venue of France India event was hard. You are in the center of Paris for the flash mob. From there, you move to the suburbs to Le Bourget. There is a train to this place. That is not the end of it. From here, you have to catch a bus to reach the venue. Anything associated with India has to colorful, delicious and invigorating. If you haven't figured out my adjectives, I meant the costumes, the food and the music respectively. The costumes were colorful. But I cannot say good things about the other two.

There was a moderate turnout in the middle of nowhere. It was a park adjacent to one of the small airports in Paris. The stage was barricaded. Crowd thronged on the barricades making it a photographer's nightmare. By the time I reached the venue, the people were ecstatic due to the copious amounts of alcohol consumed. There were food stalls where jalebis were being made. I hung around it for a while. But the jalebis didn't the right shade of color. So I walked away without trying it out.

The biggest dampener of the entire was the sound system. It was terrible. You could hardly hear the music. Forget the audience, the performers was not able to hear the music. The saddest part was the performance was that of Bhangra troupe. They had the right energy and synchronized steps. They had done their homework very well. With a squeaky and barely audible sound system, there isn't much they can do. After the performance, I asked them for a picture. They gladly obliged. Here is the picture for you. The name of the band is "The Asian Junction". If you are interested, google them.

For more picture from the event, try the following links
Mehndi-ed hand
Please don't

Tags: Photos

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Photos: Flash mob at Center Pompidou, Paris

Flash mobs were the overly used term, to the point of abuse, during the early part of the year. I watched many videos of flash mobs in India over YouTube. They were painstakingly choreographed, brilliantly filmed and slickly edited. Till yesterday, I have not seen one unfolding in front of me in real time. Yesterday, I had a chance to witness this phenomenon in front of Center Pompidou on the slanting courtyard.

Where does the rehearsal take place? I have no clue. But the word spread around quickly in Paris among the South Asian community and a selected few in the other communities. This is my assumption because my friend living in the other part of city was already informed about this when I called him up. You could see a lot of South Asian facing discreetly placing themselves into positions from where the entire event could be photographed. 

After watching the flash mob video of the Mumbai VT station on YouTube, none of the similar events have matched up to the excitement generated by it. Yesterday's performance was no different. The primary reason was lack of rehearsals which resulted in out-of-synch dance steps among the participants. But the level of energy was good. Even the enthusiasm displayed by the dancers was commendable.

What interested me was the activities before the actual performance. There were many photographers around, two of them were official ones. They took time to set up their gear. When they had set up their gear and the first participant took stage, I decided to use the composition with the photographer and the subject in the frame. You can see it below.

Tags: Photos

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Books: Blood Eagle

A brutal murder in the city of Hamburg has all the evidence pointing to be the work of a serial killer. The officer-in-charge Jan Fabel has an important mission of finding and stopping the killer before a panic sets in. When he investigates further, he encounters inter-departmental friction, local mafia, politicians and also businessmen. Craig Russell has written this thriller with Hamburg as a backdrop. More British than many of the British cities, it is the home of for the half Scottish half German detective.

A good thriller must prevent you from keeping the book down until the entire jigsaw puzzle is unravelled. This objective has been successfully accomplished. The book makes you restless and forces you to finish it quickly. On the flip side, the murders committed are gruesome making the reader flinch. It is more gruesome because of the detail in which it is described. The author focuses on the details. His language has a prose like quality. At the same time, the same quality makes the gruesome murders stick out in the minds of the reader.

If you are looking for a thriller with a lot of intrigue and expansive background, this is a good one. But keep in mind the book is very violent at many junctures.

Tags: Books,Craig Russel,Jan Fabel,Hamburg

Friday, June 22, 2012

Photos: Fete de la Musique, Paris, 2012

Although I learnt different seasons in school, the concept was experienced for the first time when I moved to US. There are four distinct seasons and they have their own characteristics. But Paris is taking this even further. There is something associated with the arrival of a new season. I received Muguet de Bois signaling the arrival of spring. Paris also has a way of welcoming summer too with a ritual named Fete de la Musique roughly translated as Festival of Music.

Imagine bands all over the city playing music for the residents and visitors. That is what it is all about. People are walking in the streets, coming across random bands and random music. Doesn't that sound awesome? June 21st is the day when it happens. The summer arrives. The city rejoices. If you were in Paris yesterday, then you would have realized the weather wasn't the best for such an event. It was raining, shining and cloudy. The weather conditions were alternating. But Parisians and the bands braved the unpredictable weather to have fun.

Of course, I had my camera with me. You can see one of the pictures below.

It is vague just the way I like it. It has a patch of red; again the way I like it. You can't see his face. I wanted to add mystery to the picture. He was playing an musical instrument. He has attached a sheet of notes on the top of the instrument. The patch of red is from the trumpet that was being played by another band member standing behind him.

Like I mentioned, vague was the key thought behind the picture. I wanted to make you do a second take in this picture. Tell me if I succeeded.

Tags: Photos

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

ABCD, FOB and Coconuts

Have you heard the acronym ABCD? It stands for American Born Confused Desi. In simple terms, it means the Indian Americans. This was the first of the many acronyms I came across which can be used in a derogatory manner. Before and after my arrival in US, I have come across this term in conversations. Have you heard the acronym FOB? It stands for Fresh Off boat. In simple terms, it means people like me who emigrated to US and are still raw. Yes, every group ridicules the other group. Isn't it funny?

Yesterday, I came across another term. This was not an acronym. My friend used the word coconuts to describe a group of people. Then I realized it is a variation of ABCD but used in a different country but in the same context. The kids of the emigrants who are naturalized citizens (and also raised there) are called coconuts. Why coconuts? 

The answer is so obvious according to my friend. Look at the shell. It is dark in color. But look inside as in soul. It is white!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Photos: A lady in waiting

When you carry the camera with you all the time, photographs happen without design. I was with a friend of mine in Boulougne-Billancourt area. We were sitting in a cafe sipping beer. While talking to each other, we were also clicking  pictures without a specific aim. That is when I saw this lady. The red T-shirt caught my attention. You can see the result below.

Tags: Photos

You are the master of your camera

On Sunday, I shot a few pictures with Canon EOS 5D Mark II. It was not my camera. My camera is a less powerful one, Canon EOS 550D. The advantage I have is a good lens which helps me to zoom into subjects from a great distance. I have to thank my friend and guide for picking the right camera and lens that will last  for a while. So, the Canon EOS 5D was handed over to me in order to take the pictures of it's owner and family. I gladly obliged. The camera and lens together weighed more than my gear. I had to balance myself like a pro. But I was disappointed after the experience.

I wasn't disappointed with the camera but with what the owner is doing with the camera. He was letting the camera do all the work. In Canon, there is a feature which automatically pick up the subjects. After enabling this feature, your job is easy. Point and click. That is all you have to do. But if you only point and click, why do you invest on a such a costly camera? It is a waste of money.

Even the lowest model of point and click comes in two modes. I say it because I have learnt a few tricks in the past few months. I know exactly the kind of mistakes I have committed since 2003 after I bought my first camera. These two modes are denoted in a Canon as Av and Tv. To simplify, these are aperture mode and shutter speed mode respectively. My advice is to take a second look at your camera. Use these modes. If you do not have a Canon, learn to turn on these modes by reading the manual that comes with the camera. Forget the jokes about the user manuals. The manual are very informative.

Use the aperture mode on static objects. When the subject, be it your kid or friend or spouse, is not moving, this is the best option. Like the one who taught me the ropes says, get the eyes correct. The eyes have to be sharp.

Use the shutter speed mode when you are shooting action. If you have no subjects for this, ask your friend to jump up. There you have an action to shoot. Find a long haired girl. Ask her to shake her head thereby making the hair dance. There is an action shot.

Once again, don't let the camera decide what is being photographed. You are the leader. As a leader, take charge. Instruct your camera on what needs to be accomplished. Once you master these modes, you will generate an appetite to better your photographs. Then, my friends, the real journey starts.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Photos: Fathers day

It is a delight when people likes to be clicked. Yesterday, a small girl was excitedly asking me to take a picture. It was fathers day. My friend had organized a picnic to raise awareness on the psychological effect on children as a result of warring ex-spouses during and after divorce. The girl was sitting right next to her dad when she asked me to take a picture. I took her picture. Then I asked her dad to come into the frame in order to take a picture of both of them. Father and child/children. Isn't that a great theme on this day?

But the father refused. If you are surprised on hearing this, I was no different on hearing his response. The father explained to me the situation in halting English. He cannot let me take a picture. If the picture gets published, then the girl's mother can create legal issues for him. Currently, he has the custody of his child. Though it makes him happy, it also put a great responsibility on his shoulders. He need to always think twice before he makes any decision about his child even if it is a simple thing like getting his daughter photographed with him.The thinking is not only about her well being but also about losing custody.

There were many pictures I took. This response made me aware of the fact that I could not use all those heart tugging wide eyed smiles of the dads and their kids. My friend was kind enough to run around to check who had no issue in publishing the pictures. There were many who were okay about publishing.

For all the dads, who are with their family, away from their family and struggling to keep their family, here is one for you. The picture was tricky because of the boys. There were very active and jumping all around the place thereby blocking the smile or the eyes thereby ruining the shot. At the same time, it was fun. I am glad I could get this one right.

Tags: Photos

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Books: The Most Beautiful Walk in the World

As the name suggests, it is about walking; walking in the city of Paris. But if you are looking for recommendations on routes or for detailed maps of the walks, you will be disappointed as this is not the subject of this book. This book is a quasi-autobiographical narrative of the author, John Baxter. John conducts walking tours in Paris. He had no intention of doing it when he moved into the city. The responsibility was thrust upon him by accident. Now he enjoys it.

The book narrates various incidents in his life while poking fun at himself and also at Parisians. So if you moved into the city like John, then you will be able to not only enjoy the humor wholeheartedly but also connect with the events immediately. If you are bored in this city, the book helps to give you a different perspective on how to enjoy the city. The book also points out many places you can explore. Paris has been the home of many literary figures, renowned worldwide and who were not born in France. If you have lived long enough in the city, you pretty well know who these literary figures are. Most of them are featured in the anecdotes.

Like I mentioned earlier, if you are looking for guide with maps, this is not the book. But if you want to know about the life and mind of an expatriate in Paris, this is a good book.

Tags: Books,John Baxter,Paris,Walks

Friday, June 15, 2012

Universities without campus

What does the word "University" bring to your mind? For me, it is the sprawling campus. When I say campus, it is the greenery associated with universities. With a lot of open space, it can be used for activities that fosters either interactions or introspection. But that is not the case with the universities in Paris.

Primarily, Paris is a very small city which is densely populated. Anybody looking for an apartment in Paris knows how difficult it is to sign a lease. For each opening, there are many people queueing with applications. In a densely populated city with many buildings, it is difficult to find the open space required for a sprawling campus. 

"Our campus are the jardins(gardens namely Tuileries, Luxembourg etc)". A friend playfully remarked. An ignorant me couldn't comprehend the message. For me, Cite Universitaire has an excellent campus. When in doubt, always ask questions. You always get answers. Oversimplifying the response, Cite Universitaire is no university. It is a bunch of hostels for students. Students from different universities in Paris can apply for an accommodation here.

If you analyze this further, this is good too. Instead of students going to just one university flocking together, this provides a chance for them to interact with students from different university. The more diverse the views of your peer group are, the more open your mind becomes. Don't you agree?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Photos: Mridangam Master

This photo was snapped at Maison de l'Inde, Paris. The danseuse from an earlier post, Anusha Cherer, hosted an event wherein her students performed. A crowded stage is difficult for me to photograph. So my eyes wandered and subsequently came across the image shown below. This is stereotype-buster for me. I hardly expect a non-Indian face playing mridangam. As they say, music reaches all possible barriers. Isn't that a good enough reason to photograph this?

Tags: Photos

Monday, June 11, 2012

Don't do it in 3s!

Best of 3. Isn't how we used to do it when we were kids? We toss the coin for heads or tails and determine the results based on 3 tries. Yet, 3 is not an auspicious number. Three years back, I wrote about never lighting more than 2 cigarettes using the same matchstick. Here is the addendum to that post.

Yesterday, I was at a dinner at a friend's place. The dinner was vegetarian. Don't roll your eyes. There are days in my life when I don't eat meat. While having the yummy vegetarian biriyani, I served three spoons of raita into my plate. Seeing this, my friend's wife intervened. She poured one more spoonful of raita over my biryani. She says, "We don't do it in 3s".

Who am I to complain? The raita was also yummy and went along with the biriyani very well.

Tags: Musings,3

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bollywood tujhe Salaam

I have a newfound respect for Bollywood. It has nothing to do with the renewed vigor which this community is showing towards quality cinema. But it has to do all with the escapist colorful cinema which is being churned out dime a dozen. Why? You may ask. There is a small industry in Paris which teaches Hindi to Parisians. Yesterday, I was at a dinner hosted by one of the Hindi tutors. He is returning back to Lucknow after completing a stint in Paris. The attendees were mostly his students belonging to different age, sex and color. 

The conversation before, during and after dinner were in Hindi. Imagine a non-Indian face talking in Hindi with right grammar and diction. No words can describe the feeling. The main event also had the tutor addressing the attendees in French. Then, it was the turn of the students. A student recited her short story in Hindi and then in French. Another student sang a Hindi song. After attending the event, I have only one word to describe it. The word is borrowed from my Serbian's friend lexicon. Incredible. Before you repeat it, remember to roll the "r" and lengthen the "b". When there is no words to describe the amazement, then my friend has only one word to describe it - incredible.

What has all this to do with Bollywood? Most of the Parisians, who desires to learn Hindi, are seduced by Bollywood. Yes, Bollywood makes them take the first step. Everyone who enrolls for a Hindi language course do not finish the course because this requires a huge commitment in terms of time. Do you remember the Aishwarya Rai - Gurinder Chadha dud, Bride and Prejudice? It was a Punjabi version of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Most of us in India gave it a miss when it was released. But this movie has made a much bigger impact on non-Indians. I have two friends who were heavily influenced by this movie. Then, there are fans of Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan. 

Yes, Bollywood is doing more than what we think it does.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Photos: What is that?

During Fete de la Cite organized by the residents of Maison de l'Inde in Cite Universitaire in Paris, there were food stalls in front of the building. It was open for everyone. The people manning these stalls were kind enough to let me inside the stalls so that I could shoot the expressions of the visitors, who were there to check out the food. It turned out to be an interesting experience.

The food was colorful. That is what attracted a passerby to the stalls. There was a clear pattern emerging when I observed the behavior of the visitors. First, they were surprised, then intrigued. The intrigue leads to questioning. The questioning results in answers. Then, the expression in the face changes. Some want to try it out which is usually indicated by the smile on the face. Some are still skeptic.

Here is one picture which I captured after the questioning phase. The expressions are for your interpretations.

Tags: Photos

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pappettan and Merci

If you are wondering who Pappettan is, click on this link and find out.

Metro is the best mode of travel if you are living in the Paris. I have a monthly pass and Pappettan buys it in a bunch of tens called carnet in French. The other day, we were in Bastille when Pappettan ran out of tickets. So, we had to use the automatic machine which can be found in all Metro stations.

As I stood immobilized in front of the machine, Pappettan was quick to act. He asked the girls standing behind us in the queue for help. The girls, who were French, quickly navigated through the menu options and the machine spat a carnet out. After we collected the tickets, I mumbled. "Thank you.... Merci". Then, we moved on.

Pappettan was unusually silent after this incident. I didn't have to wait long to figure the reason. This is what ensued between us.

Pappettan: You are good....very good.

Me: *suspicious in unexpected shower of praise. At the same time, enjoying the adulation*

Pappettan: How did you figure it out?

Me: *confused* What?

Pappettan: Her name. How did you figure out her name?

Me: *confused*

Pappettan: Mercy. How did you know her name was Mercy?

Tags: Pappettan Says,Name,Girl,Metro

Les grand esprits se rencontrent

I have been showing my proficiency in French to my colleagues. During the commute to work, I construct a sentence. Then, I arrive at work and tell them the sentence. They are amused by this exercise. One of them have decided to teach me a phrase a day. What does he teach me yesterday? Les grand espirits se recontrent. They are two ways to interpret this sentence. Great minds meet. Great minds think alike.

What cracked me up was not the phrase but how he taught me this phrase. Here is the what transpired between us.

He: I have a new phrase for you. "Les grand espirits se recontrent".

Me: *listening*

He: This is what you use in WC. *In case you are wondering, WC stands for toilets.*

Me: *confused*

He: You go to WC. You meet your friend there. Then you say. "Les grand espirits se recontrent". Great minds think alike.

Me: *dumbfounded*

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Photos: Skateparc de Bercy

There is a skate park in Bercy. I came across it by chance. I was with a group of expatriates on a walking tour of the 12th arrondissement. It was full of youngsters involved in various activities biking, skating and also skateboarding. It also provided me an opportunity to shoot action shots. Here is one of them.

Tags: Photos

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Photos: Loneliness

I came across this sight in the 19th arrondissement. The sight of this man provided a good opportunity for me to click the moment. I thought it highlighted loneliness. What do you think?

Tags: Photos

Pappettan gets three numbers

If you are wondering who Pappettan is, click on this link and find out.

Do you like to party? If you do, what defines the success of the party or your happiness quotient after it? Yes, you are right. Pappettan has it all figured out. That is what I learnt when we left the party organized by a member of the Indian community in Paris.

Me: Looks like you enjoyed the party.

Pappettan: *with a smile* Yes, I did.

Me: You turned up the heat on the dance floor. You made sure no one was standing by and watching. You made sure everyone was participating.

Pappettan: *nods wisely* That is how a party should be. Good music. Good food. And... *pauses* I have three numbers... mobile numbers.

Me: *stares at him with admiration and at a loss of words*

Pappettan: 3 numbers *pauses for a dramatic effect. As if the drama is not enough, he raises his eyebrows and his big eyes are even bigger now* All three wrong numbers. *now has a satisfied smile on his face*

Me: What?!!!

Pappettan: The more numbers I get, the better the party was. But they always give me incorrect mobile numbers.

Tags: Pappettan Says,Party,Number

Monday, June 4, 2012

Photos: Danseuse

Always choose a good seat before a dance performance. That was the lesson of the day. When the dancer was performing, I was scrambling for a good vantage point to click pictures. The lens with zooming capability seemed inadequate to capture the best expressions and mid-air leaps she performed. Although I tried many combinations on the camera, this was the only one I liked from many pictures I took.

I neither know the name of the dancer nor the art form she was performing. Yes, I was not attentive when the announcements were made. This picture was taken during Fete de la Cite organized by the residents of Maison de l'Inde. It was a great afternoon with food, music and dance programs. This also happens to be one of the rare occasions in Paris where Indian culture is showcased.

Tags: Photos

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Books: White Lioness

When a husband reports his missing wife, Kurt Wallander immediately senses a tragedy. But little does he know that the investigation has a bigger impact on the world events. The time is almost an year from where the last novel in the series ended. This is also the time when Mandela and de Klerk are working together to take an internally conflicted South Africa into the new millennium and usher in an era of peace and integration.

The backdrop of the Wallander series becomes bigger with this book. In order to bring the reader engaged, Henning Mankell departs from his usual style of first person narrative adopted in the earlier two books. Although the major part of the book and the plot is revealed using Wallander viewpoint, the novel skips to provide the perspectives of other players. This helps in creating suspense and also filling the blanks which is unknown to Wallander. The blanks I refer to will never be discovered by Wallander. So it is better to keep the reader informed instead of leaving them hanging after the book has finished. If I have to concise it in one sentence, this is the book where Mankell throws away the style of Le Carre and adopts the style of Robert Ludlum. Thankfully, the drama is still like Le Carre.

I was amazed at how Mankell shows an action in one continent can affect the judgement and also actions in another continent. It also critiques Sweden and his open door policy towards strangers. The open door policy with lack of protocols to deal with the influx might Sweden into chaos. It may or may not be relevant today. Anyway, that is a question which a politically savvy person can answer. Most of the twists and turns in the novel arises out of carelessness from various players. It is something everyone of us may end up doing if roles were reversed. So it is also a call to be vigilant in the changing times.

If you are a mystery fan, this is for you. If you are interested in world affairs, this is for you too. The views may be yours. On the other hand, the views may be diametrically opposite from yours. It is always good to affirm your beliefs and also to know the counter-arguments.

The other titles in this series are
Faceless Killers
The Dogs of Riga

Tags: Books,Henning Mankell,Kurt Wallander,Sweden,South Africa

Friday, June 1, 2012

Photos: Staring right through you

This is another graffiti I came across while walking through the 19th arrondissement. This was on the same wall where I clicked the earlier picture titled "I'm free". The theme has to be Africa again. But I didn't get the message conveyed by the artist. Is it defiance?

Tags: Photos

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