Sunday, February 14, 2010


Invictus is a beautiful film. Its a tale of how sport can unite a nation. Invictus tells the story of 2 men, 1 sport & 1 nation. And how they came together.
For some reason, this movie slipped under the radar and is yet to release in India. Given the divisive forces currently prevailing all over the country, Invictus is must watch for everyone. Sports unites, brings people together and helps in healing wounds. Thats the message of the film.
The movie is set in South Africa just coming out of the apartheid era. Nelson Mandela (in my opinion, one of the greatest human beings alive today) had just become the President. This is not the story of his struggle. Its a story of how he used the sport of Rugby (described as a game for hooligans played by gentlemen) to unite the people of his country after the apartheid had ended. South Africa was hosting the Rugby World Cup in 1995. The Springboks (as the South African rugby team was known) were considered the representative of the apartheid era and rugby was not a game popular with the largely African population. Mandela called upon the captain, Francois Pienaar, and asked his help. Inspired by Mandela & Pienaar, the Springboks went to work both on & off the field. The team entered the tournament as underdogs and went on to win the World Cup. Mandela himself attended the final dressed in the Springboks colours with Pienaar's number on his back. And after winning the Cup, Pienaar says "We had the support of 43 million South Africans"; justifying Mandela's faith in the power of sport to unify the "Rainbow Nation".
Invictus is one of the more inspiring movies of recent times. It never goes over the top or tries to over-dramatize anything. Clint Eastwood's direction; good performances by Morgan Freeman (as Nelson Mandela) & Matt Damon (as Francois Pienaar), a good soundtrack make for an almost perfect film. 

I thank whatever Gods maybe 
For my unconquerable soul
I am the Master of my Fate
I am the Captain of My Soul

Monday, February 01, 2010

Republic Day

"Bharat ke nikame batcho Valentine Day ya Friendship Day hota tou ab tak 50 sms ajata. So wish everyone Happy Republic Day"

This was the text message I got from one of my friends on 26th last month. It may have been written in jest but was pretty thoughtful. Left me wondering, does Republic Day have any meaning as such. I sang the national anthem when the President hoisted the Tricolour, watched the parade. And spent the rest of the day watching India take on Bangladesh. Otherwise it was just another normal holiday for me. Didnt really feel much patriotic ferovr as such.
Just wondering...