Shades Of Words


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Cranford

Cranford - DVD CoverBeing  a huge fan of 18th and 19th century British Literature, its always  a pleasure to discover a new writer from the era. A friend of mine recommended that I read Elizabeth Gaskell so off I went to the bookstore and picked up  ‘Cranford and Other Stories’. I loved it. Gaskell’s work though entirely original is at the same time a hybrid of Jane Austin plotlines and Charles Dickens humour.  I have been wanting to read more Gaskell ever since. A few months ago, I chanced upon the BBC adaptation of  Cranford and I knew  I wanted to watch. No one does more justice to their literature than BBC.

I have always liked BBC’s books to TV series adaption and this was no different. The cast was perfect – Dame Judi Dench as the slightly mosuy but brave Miss Matty,Eileen Atkins as the prim and proper Miss Jenkins and  Imelda Staunton back as the gossiping Miss Pole.

The interesting thing about the BBC adaptation is that it does not stick to the novella that is ‘Cranford’ alone but borrows from several stroies that Gaskell based in the town of Cranford. It successfully creates a town with its own personality – a small universe in itself. There is adventure , romance and funny escapades but more importantly there are well defined characters.

Road to Avonlea
Road to Avonlea

 It reminded me very much of the TV adaptation of LM Montegomery’s novels – Anne of Green Gables and Road to Avonlea. Both of these are based in the fictional town of Avonlea, Canada and revolve around the daily lives of town inhabitants who have their share of gossiping women, naughty children, troubled doctors and well, tea-parties.

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys period television. You can also just watch it for Dr. Harrison ( played by Simon Woods)…he is kind of cute 🙂


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Fearless by Max Lucado

FearlessBeing Fearless is perhaps the most daunting thing for all of us to do. Being free from fear would free our spirit and mind and help us achieve so much more. However that’s easier said than done. That is what Fearless tries to change and preach. Max Lucado has interpreted teachings of Bible to convey that even Jesus would want us to live a life free of fear. He picks up many examples and sayings from Bible and beautifully drives home the point that being fearless is the way towards life. Max takes examples of our daily lives and tries to dissect the reasons that make us fear. He harps upon the questions that plague our minds and inhibit us all from living life to the fullest.

This is a book that will make sense to a Christ-follower as it talks from many anecdotes from Bible. For someone who is not a follower, Max tries to interpret the meaning of the anecdote and makes it extremely simple for readers to follow his line of reasoning and thought. Max also passes on the message that instead of questioning God we should place our faith in him and not let Fear corrode our confidence in God.

Overall, I found the book to be thought stimulating and a good read. However, I would also like to put in a word for readers that this book demands a serious reading and attempt at interpreting teachings of Christ. It’s not a story and is rather a way of life. As Max says, Imagine your life without fear…


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Baran by Majid Majidi – Review

Baran - A movie by Majid Majidi

Baran - A movie by Majid Majidi

Majid Majidi’s movies have always impressed me. I was amazed by the simple story about a pair of shoes in Children of Heaven and I loved the depiction of alienation of blind people in The Color of Paradise. I recently watched Baran that delved in the softer aspects of love amidst political turmoils. It depicts the conflicts arising out of Afghanis taking refuge in Iran during the Soviet Union’s war in Afghanistan. This conflict is shown subtly by how Afghanis are working on construction sites illegally for lower wages. On one such construction site, an Iranian boy ‘Lateef’ works as tea boy and he is replaced by an Afghan boy ‘Rahmat’ (who is actually a girl posing as a boy to get work). This makes Lateef hate Rahmat and he tries everything to make life difficult for him. Later when Lateef discovers that Rahmat is actually a girl named Baran, he realizes the hardships that she is going through to make ends meet for her family.

Baran, to me, was a depiction of Afghanistan’s state of helplessness amidst an uncalled for war and the oppressive regime of Taliban. It was a story of survival in such hard times. It is also about the purity of love that drives people to lose everything for that just one moment with their beloved. The silent acceptance of love between Lateef and Baran is one of the most beautiful scenes of this movie.

Baran is not as great as Children of Heaven, but it is definitely a great movie making example. Majid Majidi has subtly depicted the political and societal conflicts entwined in this love story and that’s what I liked the most about this movie. Majid Majidi’s movies bring a face to the people of Afghanistan and Iran which otherwise remain as news stories to us.

Verdict: Worth a watch