Friday, December 8, 2017

Winter Bucket 2.0

What to watch :

Thrillers keep you on the edge of your seat, where you feel the sudden jump as any suspense uncovers. How about one that makes you examine every detail with scrutiny by injecting into you the aim to discover the mystery before it reveals? Even better, how about one that uses reverse chronology at key moments exposing you to more information but widening the scope of your aim making it even more challenging to penetrate the obscurity and make every vague piece of the jigsaw fit into place? Well no need to get orgasmic having no recourse, because Identity is there for you.

Although it is not directly adapted from Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’, the plot is drawn from the structure of the novel where 10 strangers arrive at a secluded location, and are perplexingly killed off one after another. The ones alive try to stay alive and at the same time attempt to investigate and determine who is behind the killings, but as you may have guessed most of them fail to do the former. The movie has multiple twists that confuse yet excite you more and more, and a simply phenomenal suspense with a lovely, dark climax. So what identity disturbed the serenity and left behind dead bodies in obscenity? Identity is a secret. Identity is a mystery. Identity is a killer. Watch one of the finest thrillers conceptualized and filmed, Identity, the secret lies within.

-- Parshva Shah

What to read :

Wormtail may have turned out to be a rat, but do you ever wonder what would have happened if Padfoot remained the Secret-Keeper? A thrilling journey spanning four books, this Universe, written Pre-HBP, shows us the true brotherly love between the marauders, along with a tantalizing glimpse of what Harry would be if he grew up with his parents. With waves of pure power and breathtaking intensity Aurors, Battles and dramatics galore, this series is one of the best expressions of friendship and honour, along with the reality of what the fight against darkness was like.
Definitely a must read if you’re into Harry Potter Fanfiction.

Here are the links :

-- Urvidh Narula

What to eat :

+91, Juhu
Image result for +91 juhu
This new place in Juhu promises a great indian gastronomical experience. It brings to Mumbai even the lesser known cuisines such as Bhutanese. Trending on zomato since the past week, it is sure to evoke childhood memories with it’s ‘Langar wali kali dal’. Also popular for seafood, you might have to shell out almost a grand per head. Nevertheless, the food, especially the jumbo prawn, does more than justice to your wallet’s crash diet, making this a must-visit.

-- Ishita

What to listen :


Konoba is an experimental indie-pop quartet from the 2010’s. Their influences are vast and varied but certainly their latest work is reminiscent of artists such as Gotye and Alt-J with its hard hitting and quirky use of beats and rhythms, while James Blake and the Fleet Foxes provide inspiration for the softer more sensual melody based sections. Groove in for some mellow vibes and some soothing synths.
Popular songs - Smoke & Mirrors and On Our Knees
-- Nithin

Friday, December 1, 2017

Winter Bucket 1.0

What to read:

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Skin Privilege (Beyond Reach in the US) by Karin Slaughter is the sixth book in her Grant County series and was published nearly ten years ago, when a white Republican was the PoTUS. The book starts off with Sara Linton, a pediatrician, having to defend herself against the charges of medical negligence leading to death. Facing alienation from nearly the entire community, she decides to accompany her husband, who is a police chief, to track down his assistant, who has landed herself in a soup. As the story progresses, they proceed to uncover dark and potentially life-threatening secrets inhabiting the town which has been struck by meth trafficking.

When I picked up the book, I didn’t know that it was an instalment and nothing while reading it gave me cause to suspect otherwise. Slaughter sets up the plot quite wonderfully and makes a liberal use of red herrings throughout the story. Although she develops the new characters quite painstakingly, most of them fall short of being really relatable. The meaty middle of the book has been written in two different timelines which can be initially difficult to adjust to, but she does a neat job of merging them as the story nears its conclusion. Slaughter chooses to be quite gory in it’s detail of multiple rapes, tortures and brutal murders in the town. Although she ends the book with a possible cliffhanger, she hasn’t chosen to pursue this series further, but you never know.

To sum up, pick it up if you are in for a slightly long murder mystery and can deal with the chilling details that she offers.


What to watch:


A person could spend years and even decades waiting for a Western as immersive and satisfying as Godless. True to the genre in almost every way (and yet refreshingly modern in providing strong, vital roles to women), it plays like a seven-hour film without wasting a single glorious, gritty, panoramic minute. And as a bonus, not a single character is one of Westworld’s subservient cyborgs. This, here, is the real McCoy.
Godless, written and directed by Scott Frank (Get Shorty, Minority Report) for Netflix, and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, is a gorgeous and slyly subversive affirmation of the genre’s power, even if it isn’t quite the “feminist Western” it was marketed as. The series has all the classic tropes: outlaws, train heists, brooding heroes, disillusioned lawmen and bleak emp. But it also has the weight of a world in which something is out of balance. The tension between freedom and order, between outlaw individualism and functioning communities, comes to a breaking point in Godless.
Any villain worth elevating into the pantheon needs a trademark; think Captain Ahab’s peg leg or Captain Hook’s hook. Godless tells its story with a brazen willingness to try for the epic, Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) has his own mark of past harm: a missing arm. But rather than cover the absence with a prosthesis, Frank carries around his dead limb. It’s a gruesome reminder of just how much he’s able to survive.
This 1880s-set western, is filled with vim and rage, some of it from Frank and some from those who fear his wrath. When Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) escapes Frank’s gang, a small mining town populated with women is threatened by the potential cross fire. For all the shock that Godless squeezes out of just how far Frank is willing to go–and how far the amiable star playing him is willing to push himself–the show uses its seven often hour- plus-long episodes carefully, pacing out revelations about the relationship between Frank’s heedless warrior and Roy’s tormented protégé.  
More riveting still are the women of La Belle, N.M., played by actors including Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) and Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie). That the arrival of new men into their lives is a dissonance for women who’d been handling the frontier on their own is Godless’ most satisfying twist on a genre as old as America.

Where to eat:

The Sassy Spoon

This restaurant has been around since 2013 and has been tested to be one of the best locations in town for a date, if you’re thinking of heading to Nariman Point. It has a beautiful decor and a great ambience including an outdoor seating to offer, making it a good option to dine in, during the winter months.  The cuisine being largely European and Mediterranean, they have a wide menu for wines. Currently they’re offering a 1+1 offer on selected cocktails every Monday evening until Christmas eve. They’re the complete package, offering wine, delicious food and live entertainment all for approximately 1800 rupees for two.


What to listen :

The Lumineers (American folk rock)
If you’re into pop folk(Mumford and Sons kinda stuff) or if you just want to listen to some calm and slow rock songs with great vocals and guitar, you’re definitely gonna like them.

Famous songs include Ho Hey and Sleep on the Floor.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Mahishmathi Bucket

2015. The entire nation wanted to know the answer to the one question which etched itself so deeply in the hearts of all, that hundreds of speculations were formed surrounding the biggest mystery ever - ‘katappa ne bahubali ko kyun mara?’

The 2017 sequel did not only provide with an answer, but also gave commercial bollywood a much needed lesson in the art of storytelling. The movie easily became a cult favourite and inspired merchandise, an animated tv series, and now even a show on Star Plus.

But the best form of art it could turn into was surely The Rise of Sivagami’. Authored by Anand Neelakanthan, it narrates the tale of the authoritative and ambitious queen of Mahishmathi, Sivagami, but at a time when she was just 17. The book traces the story of Sivagami, a girl orphaned because the State of Mahishmathi declared her father a traitor and killed him in one of the most inhuman ways ever. Having discovered an old book in a language which only a few know now, she has embarked on a treacherous journey with the single aim of destroying each of the royals of Mahishmathi. It also traces the journey of a 21 year old Katappa, when he is appointed as the slave of Bijjaladeva. His mindset, his relations with his younger brother, and his brainwashed sense of duty. But this is just a small part of the massive storyline.

While the original movies revolved around just 6 characters in the entire kingdom (well, happy realisation), the book has a lot more of them. It has a prime minister, other ministers, noblemen entitled to land (Bhoomipathi) and mines (Khanipathi), the royal harem with eunuchs gossiping around, a massive brothel which plays a huge role in the story, a tribe of people planning a coup for reasons I won’t spoil now, pirates indulging in human trade illegally with the nobility of Mahishmathi, and a group of women who valiantly try to save women and children from the pirates.

Opening to a thrilling start, the pace slows down a bit before rapidly accelerating, taking you along on a smooth coaster of words which describe detailed settings with scenes and characters intertwined so beautifully with the plot that one is just left addicted to the book after about only 3 quarters of a century of pages. Developed beautifully, each character has its own breath, its own ambitions, its own idiosyncrasies. All characters are way different from each other, which keeps you interested all through. Women are shown in a strong light throughout the book. They are strong and proud, they don’t succumb to men, they are authoritative and can fight for themselves if the situation demands so. Can’t really praise more about them without spoilers now. The eunuchs are shown as strong and influential, which actually used to be the case in kingdoms. Most of the men, being the nobility, are their usual egotist and haughty selves, but some are sunken deep in the ocean of servitude, and there also is Prince Mahadeva, who wants to be anything else but a prince.

Achi Nagamma and her army of women is worth a mention. Goosebumps arise at their entry point in the story. If you aren’t thrilled at the scene of their entry, then nothing in this world can thrill you. There are a lot of empowered women and men in the novel, but Achi Nagamma has a separate seat among them.

Overall, the book is worth a read. Brilliant character development is the origin of the fabulous river of a story which seamlessly flows through your mind, converting it from its bored barren self to a thrilled fertile region of addictive creativity. Being the first part of the trilogy, it ends at a cliffhanger too, making the wait for the second part seem to be a long and unbearable wait!

Jai Mahishmathi!

- Apurv Tiwari