Book(s) I read: Alistair MacLean, Amish Tripathi, Grisham and Dan Brown

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I found this post in my drafts. I can’t believe I wrote this almost a year ago and left it in drafts… This is a long due post..

Anyway, here are the books from the reading marathon I had few months back: (All summaries are from GoodReads.Com)

1. The Guns of Navarone

Author: Alistair MacLean

This is one of the best action thriller novels I have read so far. And Reema gifted me these Alistair MacLean books when she visited Pune long back.

An entire navy had tried to silence the guns of Navarone and failed. Full-scale attacks had been driven back. Now they were sending in just five men, each one a specialist in dealing death.

I liked this book because it keeps you one edge all the time, has a gripping story, very interesting characters and background of World War II.  I will surely recommend it to anyone who likes sabotage missions, secret missions, cliff hanger moments (literally in case of this book) etc.

2. Force 10 From Navarone (Guns of Navarone #2)

Author: Alistair MacLean

The guns of Navarone have been silenced, but the heroic survivors have no time to rest on their laurels. Almost before the last echoes of the famous guns have died away, Keith Mallory, Andrea and Dusty Miller are parachuting into war-torn Yugoslavia to rescue a division of Partisans …and to fulfil a secret mission, so deadly that it must be hidden from their own allies.

This book is a sequel to the book Guns of Navarone, but one can read it without reading the first book as the has nothing much to do with first book than the characters. A good read but not as thrilling as the first one. I would still recommend it to people who like the setting of World War stories.

3. Ice Station Zebra

Author: Alistair MacLean

The Dolphin, pride of America’s nuclear fleet, is the only submarine capable of attempting the rescue of a British meteorological team trapped on the polar ice cap. The officers of the Dolphin know well the hazards of such an assignment. What they do not know is that the rescue attempt is really a cover-up for one of the most desperate espionage missions of the Cold War — and that the Dolphin is heading straight for sub-zero disaster, facing hidding sabotage, murder . . . and a deadly, invisible enemy.

I liked this book very much. As usual all the characters have their special characteristics which come handy at different places. MacLean does a good job of keeping the story gripping till the end. I loved the Nuclear submarine in which the story happens. The book is a bit slow at places but it does not hamper the story at all. I would really recommend this book all thriller lovers.

4. Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy #1)

Author: Amish Tripathi

1900 BC. In what modern Indians mistakenly call the Indus Valley Civilisation. The inhabitants of that period called it the land of Meluha a near perfect empire created many centuries earlier by Lord Ram, one of the greatest monarchs that ever lived. The people of Meluha are in great trouble and they need a hero. And the hero comes to them as Shiva. The Shiva we call as God now, he was just a man and a warrior years ago…

Great concept and interesting plot. Keeps you interested all the way. But language used by Author sounds too casual. By the time I reached end of the book, I got confused when the protagonist Shiva started doing some serious deep thinking. The image I had of him was of a powerful young leader but not as a serious thoughtful warrior. Blame the casual tone author has maintained throughout. Except this point, the story is really good. Entertaining and philosophical at times. A must read.

5. The Secret of Nagas (Shiva Trilogy #2)

Author: Amish Tripathi

The hunt is on. The sinister Naga warrior has killed his friend Brahaspati and now stalks his wife Sati. Shiva, the Tibetan immigrant who is the prophesied destroyer of evil, will not rest till he finds his demonic adversary. His vengeance and the path to evil will lead him to the door of the Nagas, the serpent people. Of that he is certain.

This book is way better than the first one.. Author has improved the story line, language and strength of characters. Finished it in one sitting. Couldn’t put it down once started. Waiting eagerly for next book in the series. I would recommend reading the series specifically for reading this book.

6. The Confession

Author: John Grisham

An innocent man is about to be executed. Only the real guilty man can save him… But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man?

This is first Grisham book I read. I picked it up at random from the library. It turned out to be a really good read. I like the writing style of Grisham. And I love courtroom dramas. The only problem with the book is that it doesn’t end even when story seems to have ended. Or may be I am not used to having epilogues embedded in the story itself. But still it is a nice book to read.

7. Angels and Demons

Author: Dan Brown

World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization – the Illuminati. Desperate to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces with in Rome with the beautifl and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and the most secretive vault on earth…the long-forgotten Illuminati lair.

I guess I am too late to the party of reading Dan Brown books. But I wanted to put this book on this list because this has become one of the most favorite books I have read.. I love the speed of the story, and the realization that it all happens in less than one day really surprised me.. I loved this one more than The Da Vinci Code.

There are many other books I have read but now I realize that I am not good with writing about the books I read long time back. All I can recall is if I liked the book or not. So I guess I will stop this list here and write about them later.

Cheers.

My top 3 (or more) Marathi and Hindi movies of all time…

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Picking up tag from DI and Reema.

Here are some of my all time favorite movies. This list is brief one. I will write a separate post for English movies. 🙂

Marathi Movies:

1. Ashi Hi Banwa Banwi (अशी ही बनवा बनवी)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0267277/

Some stills from the movie: http://www.marathimirchi.com/marathi/categories.php?cat_id=24

Story about four bachelors who need a place to live and so are forced to show themselves as married couples, a condition set by the landlady, two of them disguise as wives of other two. Best Marathi comedy movie so far. Stars Sachin Pilgaonkar, Lakshmikant Berde and Ashok Saraf. No movie can reach heights of this one in Marathi minds (or so I think) 🙂

2. Natrang (नटरंग)

This is a story of a poor guy who starts a theater troupe (locally known as Tamasha) and plays the role of Nachya. Based on book with same title from well-known writer Anand Yadav.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1590129/

 

3. Matichya Chuli (मातीच्या चुली)

A quote from director of movie Mahesh Manjarekar:

”The movie centers on a traditional Maharashtrian household and has been shot in Pune. It is based on the age-old premise of the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law tussles; it is a series of happenings in a family that each one of us can identify with. It says a lot without hard selling or aggressiveness…as you laugh, you realise your eyes have moistened because of a very subtle message and simple everyday emotions”.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0814209/

4. Harishchandrachi Factory (हरिश्चंद्राची फॅक्टरी, “Harishchandra’s Factory”)

If you are a true Indian movie fan, you will know who Dadasaheb Phalke is (Father of Indian cinema). The film is the story about the beginning of the Indian film industry, set in 1913. In September 2009, it was selected as India’s official entry to Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Film Category, making it the second film, after Shwaas (2004), in Marathi cinema to receive this honor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harishchandrachi_Factory

Other notable Marathi movies:

Dombivali Fast

Yanda Kartavya Aahe (यंदा कर्तव्य आहे)

Saatchya Aat Gharat(सातच्या आत घरात)

Hindi Movies:

1. Hera Pheri (हेरा फेरी)

Amazing comedy. I have seen this movie so many times that I have lost the count. If you have not seen this one, shame on you. 😛

2. Sholay

“अरे ओ सांबा , कितने आदमी थे?”, “ये हाथ हमको दे दे ठाकूर ….”, “तुम्हारा नाम क्या है बसंती?” ……….. One of the most popular films in Indian history. Again, if you have not seen this one, really SHAME on you 😀

3. Rang De Basanti

A different kind of movie. A must watch. Great direction, music, acting everything.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0405508/

4. Dil Chahta Hai

All time favorite movie of all college students. I have seen this one so many times, even more than Hera Pheri. It never gets old 🙂

5. Munnabhai MBBS

A mafia don wants become a doctor to fulfill wish of his father. What happens next?
Director Rajkumar Hirani always gives some message from his movies, you should watch this one to know it 🙂 .
There is another movie from same director “Lage Rahi Munnabhai”. You can try that one too.

Other Notable Hindi movies:

Jewel Thief,
3 Idiots,
Chak de,
Lagaan,
A Wedensday,
Aamir (review),
Taare Zameen Par,
Rangeela,
Daud,
Damini,
Sarkar,
Sarfarosh,
Jo jita wahi Sikandar,
Mukaddar ka Sikandar

and a lot more.

There is hell lot of movies which I like but these are the ones that I remembered now. If asked to make this list again on some other day, I might add few more movies. For now, this is enough.

English movies, later 🙂

Cheers,
Suda

Rock On !!! It simplly superb : Movie Review

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Rock On!!!

Must Watch… In Theater!!

Yes. Its a must watch movie. And preferably in theater if you like to enjoy music. If you re in Pune, try Adlabs Gold.
After Taare Zameen Par, this is the first Hindi movie I watched and I don’t feel like criticizing on anything. Even no movie is perfect in all senses, this is one which we can add to exception list.

I will keep the review simple.

Rock On, is a story of friends, who form a band named Magik. The story is only about them and it didn’t loose focus till the very end. They enjoy life, they split and somehow they reunite. Sounds old formula? Well, it is. But as I already said, add this movie to exceptions. Magic of movie is its music. The climax of movie is a song, a long one, and I must say, its awesome.

Rock On!!!

Rock On!!!

Movie keeps you on your seat from start and it not at all get boring even for a minute. Or so I did feel.
I can do with a good long description but I don’t want to spoil the fun of people who haven’t seen it.

The best thing about Rock On is its simplicity. Story don’t have too much turns and bends and twists. Its straight and predictable (only if you have that annoying habit). It has convincing and NO OMG WTF type turns. Its more like Dil Chahta Hai. May be this one is going to be another Dil Chahta Hai, i.e. all time favorite.

Okay. May be few people can find it not that interesting as I did (most probably people who think like pro critics), but for sure its fully enjoyable experience.

Voice of Farhan Akhtar is cool. It different!!!

I give this movie FULL marks.

and well earned 4 and Half stars.

Rock On!!

Grainy Photos? you need Noiseware: My Recommendations

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Most of us have digital camera’s and mega-pixel camera mobile phones and we do keep clicking photos wherever we go. Sometimes, even digital cameras fail to give quality photos due to less amount of light. In some cases, wrong configuration of settings, extra light, automatic mode of camera results in producing grains (kind of dots) all over the photo. Noise is good thing in some cases if you are an artistic photographer, but commonly its of no use to normal people.
So what you do when a photo gets grainy in low light? Curse the camera and accept the photo as it is? Well, here is a simple solution (which is free of-course).

Noiseware Community Edition

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