Sunday, December 4, 2011

Canis Lupus

I have always been fascinated with wolves. Black, white grey, jungle, mountain...they have always attracted me in that mysterious way that the flame of a candle attracts a moth. Not that I have ever had the good fortune of patting or feeding one. The closest I've gotten to them is while on a trip to the Himalayas, I saw a beautiful grey female walking on the streets of a small town pretty much as though its family owned the place for generations.

I love wolves not just because I am a dog lover, but because in my opinion, wolves have more spirit than dogs. I have read it somewhere, most probably in the memoirs of the celebrated Reuben David of Ahmedabad, that once a wolf or a pack of wolves decide to hunt something down, that something doesn't really stand a chance in the world. Tenacity is a quality I have always admired in anyone, be it human or otherwise, and when that is coupled with a cute snout and a wagging tail, I just can't resist it.

There's also the fact that dogs have been domesticated through centuries of human contact and hence they behave nicely with humans. Wolves, on the other hand, do so completely out of choice. Choosing to love someone when you can maim them requires a level of sophisticated thought process.

Wolves have, I learnt from a reliable source, an aversion to fighting. They are playful and affectionate by nature. But when a wolf enters a fight, there are few that can match its ferocity.

According to Dr. Gordon Haber, a wolf biologist with Alaska's Denali National Park and Preserve, if you imagine the most unusually intelligent, emotional and sensitive dog you've ever known, that's how wolves are like.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Manos: The hands of fate

I recently came across a long forgotten movie called "Manos" the hands of fate. I regard it as the most pathetic waste of 19000 $ ever. (Yes, the budget of the movie, according to wikipedia, was 19000 $ wonly!) At first, I had confusion regarding the name itself. Was it 'Manos: the hands of fate' or '"Manos" the hands of fate'? A cursory search on google revealed that it was the latter. No explanation was found regarding the exclamation marks in the title.

Two things about the film should pretty much tell you everything you need to know about it:

1. It was made by some salesman who made it because he lost a bet with somebody.

2. "Manos" means hands in Spanish. So the name of the movie would be- "Hands" the hands of fate.

No story, no sense of acting and scenes that have no relation with each other are trademarks of Manos. Film editing is so abysmal that you yearn for the technical prowess of movies like Khooni Dracula (check the link to see what i'm talking about). The creepiest part though, is the ending where the villain selects a girl no older than 10 to be his bride. This is not the end of it: The villain happens to be the girl's dad in real life, which makes it creepier than anything I've ever seen. I am sorry, but I cannot write anything more on this movie.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Elemental Truth

Came across this on the internet, absolutely HAD to post this here:

The densest element yet known to science has been discovered. The new element has been named "Bushcronium."Bushcronium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic massof 911.These particles are held together by dark forces called morons, which hare surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.The symbol for Bushcronium is "W."Bushcronium's mass actually increases over time, as these moronsrandomly interact with various elements in the atmosphere and become assistant deputy neutrons in a Bushcronium molecule, forming a large cluster of idiotopes.This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Bushcronium is formed whenever morons reach a critical mass also known as "Critical Morass."When catalyzed with money, Bushcronium activates Foxnewsium, anelement radiating several orders of magnitude more energy, mostly as incoherent noise, since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is!

Some of the most profound quotes I have ever come across, all taken from movies/books/poems/works meant mostly for children:

1. "Do, or do not. There is no try." - Yoda, Star Wars

2. "Tut tut, child. Everything has a morale, if only you can find it." - The Duchess, Alice in Wonderland

3. "It is our choices, far more than our abilities, that decide who we are." - Dumbledore, one of the Harry Potter books

4. "What are we holding on to, Sam?" "That there's some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for." - Frodo and Sam, the Lord of the Rings

5. "If I win, I'm a prodigy. If I lose, I'm mad. That's the way history is written." - Artemis Fowl, Artemis Fowl

6. "I failed again! I don't believe it!" "That's why you fail." - Luke Skywalker and Yoda, Star Wars

Monday, August 15, 2011

Doubting Thomas

OK, I have to write this post because things are getting out of hand here at IITB. I thought I could ignore the issue of Anna Hazare and IAC (India Against Corruption) but I feel I can no longer do so. This might be because I have been forced to switch off my lights, thereby taking away some precious hours of my study-time.

For those not really following the issue closely, Anna Hazare is a 74-year old social activist who, in his fight against corruption in India, has decided to fast unto death starting from 16th August, 2011. To support him, some individuals of IITB have decided to show their support and have convinced all hostel councils into observing a blackout on 15th of August from 8 PM to 9 PM.

Being a member of my hostel council, I am expected to force others to observe the blackout and gather for a rally and listen to some rabble rousing speech and act like a nice, proper rabble by getting roused by the same. A lot of people asked me, am I supporting Anna Hazare in his drive against corruption?

I feel that there are two separate questions here and both need to be understood in the right context. First question is, do I support Anna Hazare? Second question is, do I support the drive that will supposedly end corruption in India?

As to the first, let's try to see the big picture. This is a 74-year old man, with supposedly no political ambitions and nothing to gain. And he is fighting for people the age of his hypothetical grandchildren. This image is enough for anyone in India to have a soft corner for Anna Hazare. And one billion plus such soft corners is what is troubling New Delhi the most.

The second question, however, is tricky. Ending corruption has been the dream of the Utopian idealist since time immemorial. But is that possible? I mean, why do people find it so difficult to accept that corruption is not going to go away with some kind of regulatory body? Corruption, in my rather insignificant opinion, if I may so add, is a natural phenomenon. It is basic human nature to be corrupt, just as it is to have sexual urges or jealousy. Tweaking or making some laws is not going to change that. When a person is given a bottle of champagne and is asked to drink only fifty milliliters from it, is he going to stop at 50 ml? The moment he sips the 51st ml, that is corruption. This is the true nature of corruption: the bastard child of need and ambition. Yes, too much corruption is harmful, but too much focus on removing corruption might distract us from more pressing problems elsewhere.

Of course, there is also the point of what these students are trying to achieve against corruption by switching off lights, shouting slogans for the better part of an hour and then ending up at the nearest pub on a Monday night. But that's a whole different story. Yes, I know I'm a despicable heretic.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

An indulgence of senses

The humble beginnings of Ibu Hatela - Image copied without permission (sorry) from

Well, not all of them actually. My poor nose missed out, as films don't have provisions for smell-substitution. But nonetheless, I saw a film that is very likely to remain with me, in that corner of my heart where lie Holmes and Moriarty and Prometheus and Mimir the Giant, till the end of my days. :)

The film in question was Gunda by Kanti Shah. Like the avatars of Vishnu, even in Bollywood, every now and then comes a director and a film which delivers us poor cine-goers from the evils of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Yash Chopra and Karan Johar. Gunda by Kanti Shah is doubtlessly at the top of the avatar-list.

In fact, I am not exaggerating when I compare Gunda with Mahabharat. Just as Mahabharat was comprised of Shlokas, Gunda's beauty lies in its limerick-y dialogues. Just like that epic, this one is also a battle between good and evil. Not only the good of Shankar versus the evil of Bulla and company, but also the good, nay, the awesome of Kanti versus the despicably mediocre evil of Karan and Yash.

Kanti Shah has been described by movie reviewers as a lot of things: realist, existentialist, the ultimate post-modern maverick and so on. To me, it is simple: He is to films what Bradman was to cricket. Or Casanova was to love-making. GOD. Henceforth, Kanti Shah will be referred to as "God" in this review.

God displays his super-human abilities from the second scene itself, when the villains are introduced one by one in a manner that would have made Shakespeare proud. When Bulla says he always keeps it "khulla", it very likely shows his economic and perhaps political leanings. Bulla is the ultimate liberal capitalist. Open minded. Hence, "Rakhta hoon khulla!" Even his indulgence of his homosexual/hermaphrodite brother tells you the same thing... What a stunning way to portray the depth of the central negative character in one line itself! Subhan Allah!

Ibu Hatela asks the viewer "Khaayega kela?" While he might be unnecessarily pointing towards his penis, the deeper meaning is different. Ibu Hatela is promoting vegetarianism and healthy diet. Can you think of any better way than films to instill healthy habit in people? Even in the moments right before his death he tries to promote vegetarianism by asking his to-be murderer if he would like a banana. Gandhiji must have been wiping tears of joy from beyond the grave. Hats off, God. Hats off.

And then there is Shankar. Trying to live an honest, dignified life in a place and era where murders are a public sport and rape, a national pastime. His fight for survival is a metaphor for what the likes of God suffer against the cartels of the Chopras or Johars. What a way to bring out your internal pain! Simply fantabulous!

Well, yes, there is also a story, but tell me, after reading all this, do you really need it? GO WATCH GUNDA INSTEAD OF READING THIS REVIEW!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The importance of work

I am in a village, removed completely from those things that define my existence, for a period of almost two-and-a-half months. I faced adjustment issues, like all others of my batch who have participated in this field exercise.

There is almost no electricity here. The heat is excruciating, with the temperature rising above 45 degrees Celsius. The rains provide a temporary relief from the heat, but we have to watch out for cobras, kraits and scorpions during rains. The food is not good, very spicy and very oily. I am removed from all my friends and loved ones. I see suffering the like of which i have not seen anywhere. Corruption, injustice and cruelty are in abundance. People beat their wives with sticks and small children beat dogs and puppies with rocks for fun. My belief in the governance system has completely broken down due to the level of corruption I see here with my own eyes. As if this was not enough, I have rarely, if ever, seen such abject poverty.

But none of these issues is large enough to qualify as "my biggest challenge" here. I can complain about these things to my parents, girlfriend, friends and so on and have a bit of a temporary relief. Electricity and heat were never big issues anyway.

No, my biggest challenge is surviving for two months without doing any tangible work whatsoever. Work is the most basic necessity of a human being, equally or more important, in my opinion, as food, air, water and sex. You can live without food. You can live without people around you. (I am doing it so I know it can be done.) You can live without almost anything. But take a man away from his work and see what becomes of him. Work provides justification to a man's (and of course a woman's) existence. It imparts to the worker a sense of self-respect and makes his life, in his own eyes (and this is very important), worth living. Work, any form of work, provides a man with challenges that are so necessary for not just development, but for emotional, mental and physical well-being of a person. Work channelizes - focuses - the energies of a man in a productive direction. The output of work provides a level of satisfaction that can arguably be compared with nirvana.

These were the "pull factors" or positive traits of work. There are certain "push factors" associated with work as well. This means that there are certain negative traits associated with not working. Firstly, not working is the easiest way to reduce a man's confidence level. This reduced confidence level results in a decrease in what I like to call "mental immunity". This means that the person is more susceptible to negative thoughts and bouts of depression. Long dormant insecurities begin to surface when a person has nothing to do. Worse, the person begins to take his fears and his insecurities seriously. This, as can be easily extrapolated, destroys a person from inside-out.

How do I know this? I have been fighting this battle since the last one month.

Like my father says,"The easiest way to kill somebody is to prevent him from working for fifteen days."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Do svidaniya

Yes, that is the original Russian word. Not dasvidanya or dasvidaniya or any of the words that the similar-sounding Bollywood film indirectly promoted. The word literally means "till we meet again..!" and not "good-bye" as is wrongly believed.

The word has its origins in Sanskrit. Those with a passable knowledge of Sanskrit will immediately see the string "vida" in the phrase, which is, as can be easily guessed, taken from "viday", meaning goodbye in Sanskrit.

Anyways, the reason I am using this phrase is, for the next 3 months, I am going to disappear off the face of blogosphere and perhaps, even the internet. Going for a field exercise in some village with almost no electricity/ internet access. Will see you near the end of July!!

Do svidaniya!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The boy with the panama hat

This post will take us some 18 years back. The place is Umargaon, a sleepy village on the border of Gujarat and Maharashtra. The exact location is the Umargaon Club, where a small boy, not more than 5 years old, is eagerly listening to his nana (maternal grandpa) telling him about something called "swimming pool".

The boy is wearing a large panama hat, goggles, a full length sweatshirt and a pair of dark blue jeans. Oh and don't forget sports shoes and socks as well. The kid has not seen a swimming pool in his life and he is eagerly taking in all that his nana is telling him about it.

The boy gets very excited and wants to take a dip in this newfangled swimming pool as soon as he can. He is oblivious to the fact that he does not know how to swim and he does not have the proper clothing for it. He makes a run for the swimming pool and with his entire clothing on, panama hat, goggles and all, jumps into the high end (25-30 ft) of the swimming pool.

Pandemonium is a gentle British understatement for what follows. The boy, unable to swim, starts screaming hysterically, while secretly enjoying the excitement. The grandparents are aghast, temporarily unable to figure out what to do. The life guard immediately jumps in and gets the boy out. The father of the boy is half-exasperated, half-amused. The mother is livid.

This was my first tryst with the swimming pool. Yes, I was the boy. Actually, the boy with the panama hat still lives in a corner of my heart. He signifies for me boundless enthusiasm, contagious joy and an unlimited capacity to love.

The boy is going strong now, confronting everything in the world with those trademark qualities of his and learning to be happy every moment of his life. But the world was not so easy on the boy with the panama hat. The world tried to silence him in ways more than one. At times such as those, I had to shield him and nurture him. I had to make sure the intensity of his qualities never diminished. But now, the boy is powerful enough to take anything the world can throw at him. He converts every moment of his life into paradise almost effortlessly.

In other words, initially I was the boy's protector. In time, he has become mine.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vampirism, Intelligence Bureau and the President of India - spot the connection!

I was compared with a fictional vampire today, so I decided to write a post on vampirism. The three words in the title are closely connected to each other, and there's a very interesting story behind it.

The story goes like this. Once upon a time in ancient India there was a monster called Raktabija. The catch with this guy was, for every drop of his blood that would spill on the ground, one new Raktabija would emerge. This made him a nuisance and a headache for the Gods. Nobody knew how to kill him, so they went to the Goddess of destruction, Kali. Kali did something unprecedented to kill the monster. In order to ensure that no drop of Raktabija's blood was spilt on ground, she drank his blood and sucked him dry. Every last drop of it. This was one of the first known records of VAMPIRISM in Indian mythology.

It is said that Kali tore a piece of the yellow cloth she was wearing and made two large napkins out of it. She then chose two brothers, both her staunch disciples, gave them the napkins and asked them to strangle all monsters that they would encounter on the planet. Centuries later, a certain group of people started believing that they were the direct descendants of these brothers and they started strangling not monsters but innocent travelers to rob them. These people also worshiped Kali and came to be known as thugs. Because of their code of secrecy, not unlike the Sicilian Omerta, they were notoriously difficult to catch. In order to check the menace of these creatures of the night, a bright young British officer called Major William Sleeman established the Thuggee and Dacoity Bureau, which subsequently morphed into the oldest surviving intelligence organization of the world and is today known simply as the INTELLIGENCE BUREAU. Yes, readers. Our very own IB.

In order to catch these thugs, Sleeman created a force of strong and powerful warriors. The main requirement for joining this force was, every member had to be at least six feet tall. Why? so that the much shorter average thug would find it difficult to strangle the necks of such large-bodied warriors. This cavalry force eventually did defeat the thugs successfully but was disbanded later. After the independence of India, the descendants of the warriors of this force were tracked down and recruited for a new, special assignment: The formal bodyguarding of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNION OF INDIA. Yes, even today, the Presidential Guard is selected from the descendants of those warriors that defeated the thugs. There you have, as promised - a connection between vampirism, Intelligence Bureau and the President of India.

Nice story, isn't it? It's all true.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The future

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the future. The future of Asia, and perhaps, the world. Dark hints of what is to come can already be seen in Africa. The Eagle, the Bear and other sundry animals will observe with a keen eye. Great Game, version 2.0 has begun.
PS: The image has been shamelessly plagiarized.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I'm not hungry, but I'll eat anyways

A few days back I had a very interesting conversation with a close friend about mining in Orissa and other Indian states, the inevitability of industrialization and people's perceptions about the same. You can actually have some good conversations in a restaurant waiting for food. Mind you, neither of us claim to be experts on the topic, we don't even have all the facts. All I present to you is the conversation as I remember it. Like I said, the conversation is not as much about facts as it is about perceptions and point of views. Let us call the friend as "X" and me as "M".

M: So what do you think of Anna Hazare and this morcha thingy?

X: Dude, this is India. People may start something but they are bound to lose the drive mid-way. Has happened, will happen. Nobody's got the time or energy to do dharna all day, unless it's DU/JNU radicals. {sorry to all DU/JNU friends here, I am just trying to produce the conversation in its entirety and authenticity}

M: That's interesting. If I extrapolate that, you are saying that agitation against illegal mining in Orissa and Chhattisgarh is bound to fizzle out as well, along with Naxalism.

X: Obviously. Anyways what is anyone - especially a bunch of malnourished rural poor - going to do against companies that can buy out their entire state, let alone some sorry-ass 2 acre land of theirs?

M: You mean there's absolutely no hope for these adivasis to be able to live in peace in their own homelands...

X: Come on, yaar. Be realistic. Leave aside rare earth and aluminium, most people don't understand their importance. {For the slightly less jobless friends of mine, these are the minerals that Vedanta is trying to extract from the adivasi lands.} If you're staying on top of a Uranium or gold heap, do you think anyone will let you do that? Obviously not. We're talking about a national resource here, which we need desperately to survive in the global market. If some tens of thousands of aboriginals have an issue with it, so be it.

M: See. I don't deny the inevitability of industrialization. All I am asking is, isn't there something wrong with the way our corporates are going about it? We all know that this illegal mining has become the moral and philosophical justification for Naxalism in these areas... In fact, there are people who blame mining for the rise of Naxalism.

X: Don't bullshit me. Firstly, Naxalism did not start as a reaction to corporate "atrocities". You know that it was a response by some very misguided people to governance failure in the 60s and 70s. And anyways, isn't it you who always said that any violent movement is just blood-lust trying to pass itself off as self-righteousness?

M: I do abhor violence in all forms. I still believe that fighting elections with such a strong voting base of adivasis is a better option for those who are genuinely interested in the development of the area and I also maintain that neither Kishenji nor any of his minions have any interest whatsoever in the well-being of adivasis. What I feel is wrong, though, is that through their actions, these companies are giving Naxalism an excuse. How can you expect someone to support you if you are hell-bent on kicking them out of their pushtaini homes?

X: You're taking the old line again. Those metals are far more important than any cultural-emotional sensitivity or ties that these people may have with their place, period.

M: No point debating on that subject, there's simply no answer to it. Also leave aside the environmental issue. But should not the companies at least rehabilitate the tribals before they start mining ops? I mean come on, itna toh banta hain...

X: So who's saying no to that?

M: Nobody's saying yes to that either. Nobody rehabilitated the tribals in case of the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada. Even here, no company has, as of yet, rehabilitated any tribal. And don't tell me it is the job of the government. If a company wants to mine in an area, it has to look after the people it displaces.

X: That is a point I accept. That has to be done. Anyways, let's order an ice-cream. I'm not hungry, but I wanna eat it anyways.

M: (With a smile) That seems to be the problem, doesn't it?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Appointment in Samarra

You must have heard of (or seen on the big screen) the tales of Beedle the Bard. This is something far more interesting. It is an old Arabic story and goes like this:

There was once a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to buy provisions from the market and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me.

She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city to avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me.

The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the market-place and he saw Death standing in the crowd and he came to her and said, Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?

That was not a threatening gesture, Death said, it was only a start of surprise. You see, she said, I was astonished to see him in Baghdad today, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Some pictures from the Himalayas, Dec 2010

Yes, I take pride in being one of the few crazies in my knowledge to have gone to the Himalayas in mid-winter. See the pictures and judge yourself if the cold was worth it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Movie review - Munich (2005)

Okay, why is the first post of my blog a movie review? Well, the answer is not a straightforward one. I find Spielberg's Munich one of the most reflective films I have seen in my life. I myself am a bit of a reflective person, so the way I review this movie should give the readers of this blog an idea as to what I am like. Then there is also terrorism, a topic on which I have pondered and read, having seen the horrors of it in my own country. And finally, this is an attempt to observe things with a sharpish eye, which is a skill I need to develop.

The film deals with the Munich Massacre of 1972 Olympics when 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by Black September fedayeen. As an answer, Israel sent death squads of their feared Mossad agents to hunt down the perpetrators of the massacre in Europe. (Golda Meir, the Israeli prime minister at the time, reportedly asked the generals to "send forth the boys.") The story follows one such squad, the leader of which is stoic, tough and cool Avner (played superbly by Eric Bana). Other squad members include the aggressive Steve (Daniel Craig - way more realistic a spy in this film as compared to any of his tomfooleries as James Bond) , the quiet and enigmatic Carl (Ciaran Hinds - for those who don't know, Abreforth Dumbledore from Deathly Hallows part I ), the baby-of-the-family Robert (Mathieu Kassovitz) and the fatherly Hans (Hans Zischler).

The film starts with some American athletes unknowingly helping the fedayeen disguised as athletes enter the Olympic village. (I have always wondered if this was symbolic) The kidnapping of the athletes is given a touch of reality by including news reels and clips from those times. (The only one I could recognize was of Peter Jennings) The film wants to make it clear right from the start that it does not intend to take sides: there is a shot of Arab refugees watching a TV, huddled together. The very next shot shows Israeli generals doing the exact same thing in Jerusalem.

The characters are portrayed in a near-perfect manner by the actors, with the most powerful performance belonging to the short cameo of Golda Meir by Lynn Cohen. Some superb cinematography ensures that her already strong character appears even more so. Bana plays his part well, acting the tough yet caring Mossad agent. His reaction when he hears his newborn daughter's voice for the first time is simply too good. No actor of his generation in India, in my opinion, barring a few character actors, can pull that one off. We journey across time and space with Bana's character as he kills, murders and shoots his way through the terrorist hideouts of Europe. But when the terrorists start hitting back at the team, the pressure builds up on the young Kidon leader. We see him trying to figure out what to do but not really succeeding there. After a failed attempt on the life of Ali Hasan Salameh and the death of all his team members except him and Steve (Craig), Avner becomes disillusioned with the whole operation, questioning the very relevance of what he is doing. What the film fails to show is this though: Is this transformation the result of sheer frustration? (Taking human lives is not an easy job. You can NEVER convince your conscience that you're doing the right thing, especially if you sneak up on your targets like common mobsters.) Or has he seriously reflected upon what he is doing and realized the strategic futility of the whole thing? (Critics of Mossad say that their gung-ho methods never stopped or even slowed down terrorism. Maybe.) I feel this is an important question that the film should have answered. In other characters, Jonathan Rozen's Ehud Barak will surely bring a smile on your lips.

There are some moments in the film that never fail to chill me to my very bones every time I think of them:the first scene ends with a TV reel of the photos of the killed athletes with "Hatikva" being sung in the background. As the TV shows pictures of those athletes, Mossad people are seen identifying pictures of the masterminds of the attack. For reasons that include words like ruthlessness, efficiency, coldness and fury, I find this shot giving me goosebumps every time I see the film. Some shots, on the other hand, make you think about things you've never thought of before. For example, the last but the most defining shot of the film , when Avner and his cool spymaster Ephraim (played brilliantly by Geoffrey Rush - Barbossa from Pirates of the Caribbean) have a chat in New York. In the skyline of the Big Apple, the silhouettes of the newly built World Trade Center are clearly visible, signifying the long-term futility of the entire affair and giving, for the first time, a glimpse into the mind of the director. Yes, it is the only moment when Spielberg, in my opinion, reveals what he really thinks of the whole episode. It is also, as I said, the most defining moment of the film.

Overall, a lovely film that forced me to think more than I ever had on the issue of terrorism. I give it 4.5/5. A must watch for those reflective souls out there.