Friday, May 07, 2010
I have listened to his speech once when he had come to India - and had merely known him as the author of the book about business models in the rural areas. His recent demise made headlines and along with the news, I came to know a lot of things about him - odd tidbits like the 'C' in his initials stood for my hometown Coimbatore (nice surprise) to extensive obituaries penned by the who's who of the business and academic world.
The more I read about him, the more I was impressed. From the description of him as an academic, he definitely was one I would have loved to have as my professor.
There are some professors who teach you something that you barely remember after coming out of college. And there are those whom you are grateful to for their passing on skills that prove valuable to you later on. And then comes the rare breed of those who make people consider academics as a possible career choice. Like RaviC and CK.
Monday, April 05, 2010
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Watched the movie Avatar twice. Consider it the best piece of post-modernist art I have ever laid my eyes on.
The way the Na'vi people have been portrayed shows extraordinary care. The depth of the Na'vi's understanding of nature, themselves and their deity Eywa is in strong contrast with the juvenility of the humans' approach. For instance, Jake prays a half-doubtful prayer the night before the battle to the wishing tree - at which Neytiri remarks that Eywa doesn't take sides, she just keeps the balance of Life.
Avatar abounds in symbolism - for instance, traditional wisdom is the 'hometree' which is thoughtlessly brought down at the Colonel's command. Not a frame or a line is wasted without showing the contrast between the Na'vi way of life and the human approach. The human manager calls the Na'vis as 'monkey-men' whereas the Na'vi call the humans 'dreamwalkers'.
The American foreign policy seems to have been parodied in more than one instance: the Colonel grimly announces that they are gonna fight 'terror with terror' when all that the Na'vi's have are bows and arrows and only ask to be left alone. The corporate manager complains bitterly that the 'monkey-men' (referring to Na'vis) don't seem to want education, medicine, roads and all that the humans are willing to provide. A plunder of epic proportions is clothed among niceties when it has the simplest of reasons i.e. selfishness - the Colonel says they are gonna be 'humane' in their mission to clear up the space for mining operations.
Loved this movie. Hope James Cameron doesn't take another decade for his next one.