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Monday, November 22, 2010

Manmadhan Ambu music: Has DSP’s name written all over it

I was astonished when Kamal chose Devi Sri Prasad to take charge of the background score in Dasavatharam. But DSP came up with a neat backup job though the re-recording wasn’t the best. This probably influenced Kamal’s decision to rope in DSP for his romantic saga “Manmadhan Ambu”. The music was recently released amidst widespread speculations and a plethora of expectations. The soundtrack consists of six numbers and a theme score. This is what I thought after listening to it three times:
The first song “Dhagita thathom” starts off with a mild strumming (very uncharacteristic of Devi Sri). Slowly some peppy beats are incepted and the tempo stepped up, as we get glimpses of the familiar and infamous DSP zone. The music director seems to have been bitten by the jazz bug of late and the influences are there for everyone to see. The amalgamation of typical DSP beats and sudden jazz interferences slowly give way to the household sounds of kuthu. This makes us sit back and give up the bewilderment, as the stark realisation that this is just another DSP album creeps in. What saves this song is the man himself, Mr. K! He comes up with his trademark improvisations and makes this one a worthy listen. The composer even slips into melodious terrain occasionally to add spice to this number and gives it a Latino touch via the interludes; totally unimpressive refrains though. Listen to this one for Kamal’s class and the impressive percussions.
Next, I tuned into “Who’s the hero”, another song over-equipped with jazz influences. This one’s actually a nice attempt by DSP but what ruins it for him is the ironical combo of experimentation for the heck of it and shamelessly predictable instrumentation. You are almost able to sense the follow up and instrument preference after a line is rendered. Andrea’s horrible Tamil diction, a visibly desperate and deliberate attempt to show off her vocal range and ability to modulate are evident. The lengthy sustain towards the end is a case in point. One, it doesn’t fit in there, two it sounds horrible and three its improvisation for the sake of it. The trumpeting obsequiousness on display is horrible too.
“Neela vaanam” is the most wannabe melody I have heard in the recent past. Even Kamal’s rendition fails to save this one. The English lyrics that have been used to fill in during the initial stages of the song sound so irrelevant and stick out like a sore thumb. The absolute lack of continuity visible in the misplacement of an aurally pleasant string of notes caught me befuddled! To make things worse, we are treated to “Pallandu Pallandu” as it makes a guest appearance in the form of one of DSP’S “innovative” refrains. DSP also seems to be in love with his own songs as he occasionally steals a leaf out of his old books and slips them into his new ones. Glimpses of his tunes from “Santosh Subramaniam” and “Mazhai” are glaring here, even more so when his violin gets to work.
“Oyya Oyya” is your typical DSP song complete with words like jaggunakku and rathasaanire, which find an exclusive place in DSP’S dictionary. The beats in the background are tried and tested ones that have been successfully used in A.R. Rahman’s “New” and G.V. Prakash’s “Vellithirai”. The song features the typical kuthu rendition. DSP’s terrible sense of fusion comes to the fore as he tries to fuse folk-like harmonium notes with bassy string fill-ins. I wish this new craze among composers to begin their songs with nonexistent words sinks into oblivion quickly. The result is atrocious.
“Kamal Kavidhai” isn’t a song. It’s a rhythmic exchange of verses involving two people ruined by DSP’s ghastly fill-ins. The dialogues in the interim are intriguing and it’s absolutely heartening to see a Tamil speaking actress speak chaste Tamil! A fair bit of strain is visible though. Kamal the poet takes centrestage with this one and the end product is exemplary.
The title song has been sung by DSP himself. This cacophonous piece is complete with his traditional hooting and howling. The English lyrics make it worse. The lesser said the better.
Finally, there is the theme score which is decent enough to warrant mention. That doesn’t mean it has been spared of DSP’s signature howls and catcalls though.
To sum it up, this one’s a total slump. Just the kind of take off you would not want your movie to get off to. Hope Kamal makes up for it onscreen. And I also hope he exercises much more care in choosing a composer next time around. As for DSP, its time he gets out of the warp he has got himself into and composes tunes that atleast attempt to sound novel.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Redefining romance- The Graduate (1967)

Tamil cinema has given us a diverse genre of movies over the years. The style of film-making embraced in Kodambakkam is unique in its own way. There is a signature style of making movies here, regardless of the genre. We have had our share of stupendously creative scripts; this is undoubtedly the land of supremely talented technicians. The unrestrained potential left at the disposal of every director to explore genres has been effectively tapped to the best of abilities, without doubt. Considering the financial constraints and the ostensible perception of churning out “commercial potboilers” (if that’s what they call it) we’ve been doing fairly well to say the least.

But there’s always an exception to the general rule. According to me, action, crime, drama, horror and the like have had their green and salad days in our region. Romance is one domain that’s been craving for attention. Romance is an essential part of every single movie made here. There is not a single movie which is completely devoid of romance. Only, it’s always been horribly treated every time. Tamil cinema is yet to get a sniff of fresh air that awaits once it gets out of its clich├ęd puddle. It’s been struggling to get itself out of the “boy-meets-girl, falls in love, faces problems and overcomes them to live happily ever after” mess. Romance has always been considered divine. The darker sides have never been explored in this geographical region.

This region has had only two directors who’ve dared to “effectively” think out of the box- K Balachandar and Selvaraghavan. Though the former is one of the most celebrated directors, I have been quite appalled by the artificial and vulgar mechanisms utilized in his movies. Delicacy and poignancy are the last things on this director’s mind. The most unfortunate thing about Balachandar is his inconsistency. He comes up with blinders like “Sindhu Bhairavi” now and then. But he suddenly stoops down to abysmal proportions with movies like “Kalki” and “Parthaale Paravasam”. It’s criminal to meaninglessly oppose vulgarity. It can effectively project desired emotions and images on the viewer’s mind. After all, it’s a universal tool employed by directors all over the world. But vulgarity for the sake of it deserves unequivocal criticism. Not only does it leave a bad taste in the mouth, it robs the director of all the credit that he deserves for his creativity in the rest of the movie. The problem with KB is that he walks on the tight rope that separates vulgarity for the heck of it and the use of the same for constructive purposes. A minor error can lead to a monumental collapse. But this is one director who needs to be appreciated for his guts and his resolve to tread off the beaten track.

Selvaraghavan, according to me is an enhanced version of KB. This man has guts, creativity and is formidably audacious in his endeavors. The dialogues in his movies though, are occasionally over the top. The scene preceding the hallmark love-making sequence in 7g for instance. A beautifully woven scene except for the immaturity in dialogues. The emotions and the underlying facts to be conveyed are undoubtedly as close to reality as it can get, but the presentation which happens through the mildly unimpressive, overtly crass and overwhelmingly artificial dialogues leave a lot to be desired. The characters in Selva’s movies are people in the slums; hence his raw depiction is acceptable. But the immaturity in the dialogues are deplorable. The dialogues are intended to be just the way the characters in the slums communicate alright, but we get to see Selva’s perception of the communication under consideration; which incidentally happens to be light years away from reality.

Basically, what the audience here is missing is a simple movie like “The Graduate”. “The Graduate” has a solid script in place which rightfully assumes its position as the soul of the flick. The oblique screen writing has deliberately employed a slender streak of satire which efficiently festoons the on-screen drama. There is something about every serious scene in this movie that evokes a smile on your lip. Every moment of somber is followed by zestful reprieves filled with jest.

The script as such is very controversial and convoluted in its own way, the time of release escalating the significance of the preceding statement. The rigid mentality in our part of the world will start working overtime the moment our aural senses make out the susceptibility of the fundamental idea. I’m definitely not for copying the theme of this movie. On the flipside, it’s very difficult, nearly impossible I’d say, to adapt this theme to suit Indian audiences. But I sincerely hope that our filmmakers start opening themselves up to such different schools of thought. The casting definitely deserves mention. Dustin Hoffman as the nerdy graduate fits the role like a glove. Anne Bancroft as the lecherous Mrs. Robinson and Katherine Ross as the ravishing damsel provide wonderful support.

To put it plainly, the movie features the adventures of a newly graduated gentleman in a highly diplomatic society. It is a portrayal of the “growing up” of a boy, the evolution, the transformation of a boy into a man. The pitfalls, the consequences that arise out of his “adventurous” ventures, which eventually prove to be a hindrance in his love life forms the story. The movie’s biggest plus is its speed. This flick is furiously fast for a romantic drama. This 1967 classic will put the best of action flicks to shame when it comes to the pace of the narrative. One more factor that works in favour of the movie is the suspense factor. The twists and turns, the humps and bumps that this roller-coaster of a movie runs into are unparalleled. The director keeps us on our toes and his immaculate sense of story-telling makes it impossible for us to guess the follow up. Buzzing anticipation levels are pretty rare in romantic dramas that generally move at snail’s pace. This inimitability clicks big time in favour of the movie.

The dialogue exchanges construct the movie. The dialogues penetrate and meander in and out of the characters’ minds. The irrepressible need for diplomacy in the society then has been granted special emphasis; the consequently woven sequences result out of this materialistic necessity. The initial hesitation displayed by the graduate, his trepidations of getting caught and an inherent reverence to virtues and ideals before falling for the overwhelming prurience have been canned with finesse. The scenes at the hotel are exorbitant on the hilarity quotient. The exchanges between Mrs. Robinson and Mr. Ben, the graduate, at the hotel room are far and few, but they sure do evoke an uncanny feeling. The second phase of the movie witnesses the entry of Ms. Elaine Robinson and as a kind gesture towards Mr. Robinson, who happens to be Ben’s father’s business partner, Ben asks Elaine out; well against the wishes of Mrs. Robinson of course. It’s here that things take a wild turn and go haywire. After a few misadventures, Elaine and Ben fall in love. The climax and the racy build-up is a strenuously intertwined fabric laced with plenty of emotions, drama and gags. Editing is chic and the music beautifully sets the mood scene after scene.

Ben’s first outing with Elaine has been brilliantly conceptualized. The creator leaves your emotions hanging in mid-air- it’s something between pity for Elaine and amusement at the funny turn of the ensuing events. The movie enters many blind turn zones when the various characters get a taste of reality; these sequences bring out extreme emotions from the characters, leaving you with no clue about where the movie’s heading. The expeditious progress revs up to a rather abrupt finale though. The abruptness doesn’t take any sheen of the movie; it probably arises from a feeling that the director could have used his creative sensibilities to think of a better climax, though the end is fitting and credible enough.

Talking about inspirations and plagiarism, two people seem to have been tremendously “inspired” by this flick; Gautam Vasudev Menon and Harris Jayaraj. Any discerning viewer is bound to notice the script-wise similarities that have been “adapted, utilized and fitted in” to Gautam’s scheme of things. As for Harris, he seems to have seen the movie with Gautam; he has blatantly lifted the prominent and popular chords in his chartbuster “mundhinam paarthaney” from the BGM in a scene in this movie.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kubrick : Psycho, pervert, legend

I have always been a big fan of movies that test the viewer’s emotional stability. I have never really cried after watching a movie but a lot of movies have pulled me into their mystic web. That kind of an impact is what I look forward to. A lot of people feel that movies are supposed to be forms of entertainment. I agree to disagree.

I love passionately made movies, the kind where your thought pattern intersperses with the director’s. This wonderful confluence weaves a magical rug and the effect that results is the ideal kind of impact, the type that I look forward to every time I take a splash into the pool of the director’s imagination.

I dedicate this piece to one such director who created too much of an impact. The "psycho" who made me experience an inexplicable state of trauma and trance. The director of “Full metal jacket” and “A clockwork orange”. The legendary STANLEY KUBRICK.

There is something about these two movies that leave a lasting impression on you. The first one is a war movie and the second, a crime drama. Let me dive into details about the first one. The first half of FMJ focuses on a military training camp. The camera sways over the activities in the camp, the preparations that should eventually lead the trainees to a state of physical and mental toughness. The wonderful character sketching is the first thing that hits you hard and make you realize that you're in for something different.

The acting in the movie is effortless and the perfectionism proselytized and practised by Kubrick is evident. (One of the army camp scenes apparently had over a 100 re-takes). The guy who played the fatty was easily the show-stealer as far as acting is concerned, though the guy who played the trainer isn't too far behind. The fatty's inability to match the stringent levels of fitness and mental control evoke pity. It’s Kubrick’s dark brand of comedy at work here. A sense of comedy fills the air but you find it difficult to laugh. The emotion doesn’t translate into action. The interplay of emotions in the camp, effectively portrayed in the scene where the "joker" refuses to hit fatty in spite of a planned  attack by the other trainees underlines the fact that it’s impossible to be totally phlegmatic even when one’s pushed to such extreme conditions of hostility. It’s these emotional extremities that lead to the eventual killing of the trainer by the end of the film’s first phase.

 In this very intense scene, fatty snuffs himself after mouthing painfully nostalgic monologues that had been taught to him during the course of the training. The whole incident which takes place in an eerie room in the presence of fatty’s partner leaves us emotionally bruised. The second half of the movie is seemingly irrelevant to the first half but the legacy established in the first half is painstakingly injected into the second half. The mere impossibility of emotional unresponsiveness is subtly proved with logical backup in the form of circuitously woven scenes.

A war movie usually contains an overdose of blood spurting action, with scant emphasis on sentiments. This one has its share of hard-core action too, but this can safely be called a universal war film because it’s more about the emotional aspect of war than the war itself. The director gets into the heads of the characters and decodes it for us. It is mainly about the convoluted thought processes of the characters involved, the desire to survive and see the light of day. The screenplay is convoluted in an expressive sense and the film concludes with a sniper battle and a string of horrifying scenes.

A clockwork orange was a very controversial film at the time of its release in 1971. It was too raw and vulgar for the audiences. It is one of the only two movies which have been nominated for the academy awards in spite of an X rating. Public screening was banned and it was re-released in 2001 after Stanley’s death. Stanley’s raw treatment never came as a surprise to me but the colour tones he had chosen did take me by surprise. Very weird choice of backgrounds, the toning of the house for instance. The dialogues and the terminology used also stumped me. The choice of words of the protagonist and his gang of friends looked ironically childish; diametrically opposite to their actions.It could have been a deliberate act. Nevertheless, it seems to have paid off brilliantly; the dialogues makes you question the notions you've established about the characters as the movie progresses. You keep wondering if your assumptions about the characters are true. The characters are laconic; but they sure do make you think every time they have something to say.

The most lingering aspect of the movie is the music. The BGM can actually be totally credited to Ludwig Van Beethoven. Ludwig’s classics have been extensively used, in ways completely unthought-of. An overkill of graphic violence and nudity seems to have been employed consciously to arouse the desired influence. The rape scenes in the movie are shamelessly blatant. No effort is made to conceal the brutality involved, the director expects us to feel and comprehend to the pain of witnessing a horrifying act like rape, without any compromise. There is not an iota of sensuality in the depiction. It’s as horrible, excruciating and intolerable as it gets.

The success of the director lies in the fact that even after the protagonist commits so many unacceptable crimes, the next few scenes are painted in such a way that we end up feeling sad for the convict. After witnessing a slew of terrifying crimes being performed, who would have thought that the audience would end up empathizing with the guilty? The acting style is also surprisingly different. The way the characters converse is conspicuously different, not a wee bit artificial though. The lawyer’s behaviour and Alex’s antics are proper paradigms in support of the preceding statements.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching these two movies for their independent souls, their distinct identities. It’s impossible to classify these films into one single genre as they deal with a variety of issues. I miss Kubrick dearly. I miss his unique ability and resolute audacity to mould characters on his own terms, and his intent to be different and a cut above the rest in the process.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Raktha Charitra-Celebrates the purest emotion known to mankind

I have spent the past ten minutes pondering over how to analyse one of the goriest movies to have ever been made, justified gore I should say! The movie's tagline says it all. RGV cannot be blamed for choosing that famous title of his. The movie is just that- a bloody tale of reprisal and retribution. It’s a lucid warning- it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted and the weak. The movie is all about blood splutter and splatter. A tale of how the first leads to the second. A tale of manipulation, blackmail, loyalty and absence of the same.

The movie starts on a chaotic and a rather comical note. One of the first slides to appear onscreen after the acknowledgements is a note stating that all characters portrayed in the move are fictitious and that, any resemblance to real-life characters is purely coincidental. The next note that flashes onscreen baffles us with a completely contradictory message- based on a true story. The second one is true, the director being the sole proprietor of the knowledge about the reason behind the addition of the first! The film narrates the story of dreadfully angry men who fought with staggering levels of animosity in their blood. The story of men who knew nothing but the ethereal ecstasy that arises out of feeling blood.

The film’s theme is striking and uniform. Every technical aspect, every move and action of every single soul behind the making of this bloody classic seems to have been bent upon celebrating the most spontaneous and purest emotion ever known to mankind- revenge. Any mild deviation from this sole aim of the passionate filmmaker that RGV is, any slight digression from this universal motive, is mercilessly followed up by an extra-passionate scene that re-ascertains the code of the movie. It’s this consistency and passion, the guts and raw treatment that keep us on the edge of the seat. On the outset this may seem to be a mindless unveiling of one bleeding corpse after another, an illogical display of hardhearted killing but only a discerning viewer will be able to appreciate the method behind the mayhem.

A few delicate scenes involving intricate emotions, which may have been indifferently picturised by lesser talent, find solace in the able hands of RGV. The scene in which Aashish Vidyarthy is killed is a case in point. The last minutes of a man’s life, which display the true traits and inherent fear, the few moments that kill the ego persistent in man, have been relentlessly portrayed. The ways Aashish begs in front of the portrait of lord Shiva, who’s happens to be lord of destruction and helplessly goes down the drain henceforth after being ruthlessly slain evokes an inexplicable emotion; an emotion that’ll never be fathomed by the inferior world of words.

The climax scene has been beautifully picturised- the traits of the diverse characters involved have been unimaginably projected, with minimal dialogue. The desperation shown by the Vivek Oberoi gang is showcased by the evident spring in their steps. The director gives us a ” can’t believe myself” moment when he evokes a rare smile on our face as a gang member kicks a football back to a boy on return after the mission. The impossibly natural veil of vengeance sported by a victim of the villain’s sinister activities leaves the audience stunned. The suddenness and rapid turn of events are the film’s biggest plus- the shootout at Kota’s house and Ashwini’s execution are stellar examples.

The film boasts of a powerhouse of acting talent and not a single soul disappoints- Vivek, a thoroughly under-rated actor and Abhimanyu Singh, deserve special mention for their noteworthy performances. The director has also got the best out of Kota Srinivas, Kitty, Shatruhan Sinha, Radhika Apte and Ashwini. Radhika Apte who plays Vivek’s love interest looks gorgeous. The team will have the supremely talented Suriya and the gifted Priyamani in their ranks in their next venture, the sequel. Logically speaking; it can’t get worse, both acting wise and script-wise, as Suriya is known for being choosy.

The BGM is quite impressive and the music directors have come up with quite a good album too. The director has strategically steered clear of any distraction in the form of songs. The one striking highlight in musical score is the use of silence- the scene where Kitty is killed by Vivek stands out for the haunting silence. After a brief pause, the composers stroll into a musical landscape again thus creating a beautiful impact. The cinematographer deliberately buries himself into the blood-filled air in this movie. The torrid terrains with unlimited open spaces and never ending, ugly barren lands festooned with pools of blood have been cunningly canned to create the desired impact. Dialogues spine the movie and the screenplay is taut and racy. The director slyly employs a deceitful screenplay that hides the lack of depth in the script. Crisp editing works wonders for the movie.

If you are a fan of hardcore action, go for this one. It is sure to ruffle up your feathers. You will come out of the theatre with high adrenalin levels and desire of wanting to punch someone then and there. Rabble-rousing stuff! A truly extravagant celebration of the emotion termed vengeance!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My adventures with the Scooty and the Spikebuster

I had watched quite a lot of movies that week, entertaining ones at that. The moment I finish watching a movie, I feel an insurgent urge to comment on it. My pen, both instinctively and instantaneously, gets to work. But it was one of those rare days when my passion for cinema overcame my passion for writing. The urge to write was kicked downhill by the infinite thrust I experienced to delve into another movie. I had watched quite a few classics and a comment was long overdue. My prolonged abstinence from recollecting the highlights of those works of art by giving them a verbal form proved two things- one, the sheer quality of the movies I had been watching, as they had kept me away from my second greatest passion in life- writing (the first one, like it was for most Indian kids, was cricket). The second thing, a very queer and important fact I must add, is beyond the realms of my memory now! I assure you that the second factor is of supreme importance and that my mind seems to have lost track of the x-factor, though my inner conscience keeps telling me that it is something imperative.

But something stopped me from watching another flick- maybe the tired sub-conscious which was not quite able to appreciate the prospect of sitting in front of the monitor for another 90-150 minutes. So I turned to teen’s best friend in times of a catch-22 situation- the internet! Just when I placed myself comfortably on the couch and started breezing past political commentaries laced with satire and humour, my mom’s outline appeared behind the screen. “Enna maaa?” I said in disgust, extending the last syllable to outrageous limits to make my stance clear. She wanted to take a printout and since my Spikebuster had self-busted, I wasn’t able to connect my modem and printer simultaneously. So I was ORDERED by my dad to hit the streets to get a new Spikebuster. I painstakingly overcame the inertia that had resulted out of long hours in front of the computer. It was one of those exasperating days when I wasn’t able to hit the cricket field as it kept drizzling incessantly and it wasn’t raining hard enough for me to place a chair in front of the grill gate and enjoy it torment the streets. These incomplete things in life, painted with emulsions of deficiency always aggravated me. I love the extremes. The medians and means always end up infuriating me.

And so I took my Scooty out and twisted the throttle with all the ennui in the world as the vehicle zoomed forward. Its sudden jerk killed the intrinsic inertia and incepted a fresh lease of life. Every speck of hair on my hand stood up in response to the small drops of rain as a photoreceptive plant would stand up to the first beams of sunlight that penetrate the earth’s atmosphere. I raced to Nithya electricals and electronics, the only shop of that kind in my neighbourhood. After a brief negotiation regarding the price, an altercation I should say, as negotiation would be a diplomatic term, we zeroed in on a apposite price. I carefully placed the newly-bought object in my dashboard. My face glittered with an aura of pride and satisfaction of having settled a decent deal. The deceased inertia, the newfound zeal and an inherent voice took control over me as I took a detour and went up the incline of the newly constructed bridge instead of heading straight back home. I had always loved the view of the busiest part of my village, which was slowly moving up the ranks. It was now prosperous and portentous enough to be called a town. I could sense the village, ahem, the town, gleaming with all the pride and arrogance in the world. The bridge divides the two distinct parts of my village town- on one side is the market place and the characteristic development indicated by the economic sumptuousness. On the other side is the authentic village- the part which is trying its best to maintain the soul of my place, the identity. The village side has sprawling paddy fields, an old temple, two, no, three of them in fact, scintillating springs that silence your ego, stop you and make you salute the great one who created it and so on. I slowly descended down the bridge and bliss-filled men and women with traits of innocence looming large on their faces welcomed me into the other “world”. Children rode tyres and made strange sounds as I zoomed past. The great banyan tree stood right there, with all the majesty in the world. I paused to look at the fuel-meter. The tank was half full. My mind though, had its tank full. It was over-flowing with all positive thoughts, my mind in perfect confluence with Mother Nature. The rain turbo-charged my mind as I meandered down the shining roads, humming or should I say yelling, my favourite tunes. I presumed that a lot of curious eyes were glaring at me. Only, I was too busy to notice. It was the perfect time to ride, the raindrops rubbed against my arms and the feeling was similar to the one that we experience when the petals of flowers rub against our body. This was even better as it was soft, ideally chill and titillating at the same time.

I started behaving like a madman. I yelled and waved at the children in the street. The children returned the yells and the waves whereas curious looks were all that I got from senior pros. I got a feel of heaven as the Speedo-needle rose up to 40 and the colour green dominated both sides of the road. The visuals, the breeze, the temperature, the rain, everything around me seemed perfect. My typically occupied mind which is forever full of thoughts and ideas went blank. I forgot the vehicle, the surroundings and myself for those few moments. I was enlightened enough to experience those moments that spelt bliss- total, eternal, perpetual and complete bliss! And then the stupid Spikebuster, which I thought I had kept safely in my dashboard wrapped in a cover, slipped out from nowhere. I caught it on the verge of a fall. Some emotion filled my mind as I caught the stupid thing- something that was too mild to be termed anger. The extension of that emotion made me take a u turn. Again, the absence of thought processes and the sheer inability to think of anything, even when thrust upon by deliberation, staggered me. I wasn’t able to think of anything and my mind was devoid of any kind of thought! Suddenly, my Scooty stopped in front of a temple. One of those three I had mentioned. I walked into it and went behind it. There I saw, my gentlemen, one of the greatest sights that my eyes had witnessed. The lake, in all its glory, looked like a sea, an ocean. Waves hit the steps that were constructed on the shore with humongous force. A strong and steady breeze was blowing and there I stood as if I had been stupefied. As if the whole purpose of my life was to stand there and watch the action unwind in front of me. Quite an intimidating sight it was! The rain started intensifying as I regained “consciousness” and moved my hood over my head. I quickly rode back home and as I entered the threshold of my street, I saw my dad sporting a worried expression. He said something as I raced past him. I hadn’t taken my phone along (thankfully) and as expected, he was concerned. He said something as I sped past. I didn’t care to stop and listen because I was quite sure that he would start scolding me the moment he stepped into the house. I saved myself some aural strain and in the process, saved my dad some energy. He came back home and events rolled out one by one just as I expected them to! The Spikebuster was installed, the printout was taken and as is the case always, chaos reigned soon after.