Monday, June 28, 2010

Eudaimonia : Some of the things that make me happy-daisy

I saw this at Rebecca's lovely blog Sewing in the Past, and couldn't resist joining. It sounds like something right up my sunny street. According to Rebecca, "Eudaimonia" is a classical Greek word commonly translated as happiness. I love how the word rolls round my tongue as I say it. Someone should write a fantasy story where there is a land called "Eudaimonia." I can just see it now: " The Chronicles of Eudaimonia." Ahh, I would totally buy it! Actually, it just occurred to me that I might be the only one to buy it. Ah well, enough waffling as my professor would say.

The rules of the Eudaimonia game state the I should list ten things that make me happy. Only ten?? I can think of twenty at least! But to preserve the sanity of everyone daring to read this post, I think I'll do a little cutting and scrapping. After all, if I have the time and boredom with my current situation, I could always do a longer list. Lists supposedly reveal an orderly mind, which is why I have a mania for doing them. The more lists I make, the more people will overestimate me.

Back to the point. Here are ten things that make me happy, in no particular order except for No. 1.

Period Dramas!
I'm forever moaning that I was born in the wrong century. Then my brother asks me incredulously if I would manage to survive without deodorant. I have yet to come up with a satisfactory answer to that perplexing question.

Fields of flowers

Fields of flowers make me so happy. Forget candy and ice-cream; if I could spend a single day in such a colour-lush field, I think I'd be good for an entire week.


Just looking at a map puts me in a happy-contemplative mood. Who doesn't like maps? Whenever I see one I enjoy wondering about the strange places and the unexplored (for me) regions that beckon temptingly. And I like to think of the people inhabiting those unexplored regions and what they are doing at the very same moment I am looking at the map. Strange? I prefer imaginative.


'Nuff said.

Reading a good book.

Note the emphasis on "good" part of "reading a good book." Not all books make me happy. But oh boy, when I find that exquisite treasure, a soul-satisfying read, my mood levels can stay at "bright" for days.

Mysterious paths.

Don't you love mysterious pathways? I always wonder where they could lead to. Perhaps at the very end of one I could find a princess locked up in a lonely tower or an abandoned outhouse. Ahem. Well, at least I would have had a scenic walk.


Ahh, the sound of a pen scratching on paper is like the melodious strains of Bach to my ears. Please note, if the last sentence hasn't already aroused your suspicions, that I am very unmusical. That being said, writing is one of the greatest pleasures in my life and I can't imagine myself without it.

 Happy people

Seeing someone else happy lifts my mood instantly. Rejoice with those who rejoice and all that.

Friends and family.

That's actually two, so now I've officially cheated. But I view my friends as family and my family as friends, so they are one and the same thing IMO. Cough. But squeezing in only ten things is so haaard!


Aah, forget happiness. Jesus gives me real joy, pure joy, which transcends all happiness and remains within me even in times of trial and tribulation. The joy of the Lord is my strength indeed.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mixed Signals : Why Girls (sometimes) Stupefy Guys

I had a day off from work this week and I squandered it shameless on re-watching North and South. On second thoughts though, I don't think that counts as squandering. After all, this is only my second time watching the series. When I first watched it in its glorious entirety, I was so drunk with amazement that I solemnly made a pact with myself to watch the series at least once a month to refresh my aging memory.

Note to self: Pacts are obviously disregarded by a certain girl named Marie.

Anyway. I forced invited two of my Jane Austen and BBC- loving friends over to watch with me. After all, it's much more fun to have partners who can swoon on cue with you whenever John Thornton walks across the screen. Which, I'm happy to note, was pretty often.

But my friend raised an interesting point. We were having a friendly tiff because she claimed she didn't like Margaret, while I did. After wondering briefly which planet she was from, I asked her why she didn't like Margaret.
" Because she gives mixed signals!" came the prompt reply.
Mixed signals?
Oh yes. Of course Margaret heartily detests John Thornton at first sight. That is the way of all True Romance stories. But the fact that she is undeniably attracted to this just as undeniably hot mill owner throws a shining spanner in the works rather. Margaret intends to snub John Thornton for the rest of her life. Yet, by the end of Episode 2, he proposes to her. Why? Well, not because the screenwriter dictated that he must, if you're going to throw the literal answer at me.
We all understand that Thornton is a businessman. He weighs the pros and cons carefully. He is not the sort to go charging where fools fear to tread. He despises dubious activities such as speculation. Yet he proposes to Margaret, a girl who the viewers know cares nothing for him (yet).
So what is the reason for such reckless behaviour?
Mixed Signals.
Margaret declares to her family that she does not find JT ( yes, I've dared to abbreviate his name) a gentleman ( in other words, attractive). She makes sure he knows it too. And yet, he asks her to marry him??
Well, there is that dinner where Margaret appears in a dress that makes her look like a boiled cabbage. She actually shakes hands with him (gasp) and smiles at him ( greater gasp). She then throws him one or two interested looks.
Ye-es. There is something there all right.
Then, at the scene where the strikers are rioting, Margaret screams at him for being a coward, and tells him to go face the strikers like a man. Ouch. The next second, however, she adds ," Take care."
No wonder Thornton was a tad befuddled. Especially after she runs after him and tries to "save" him. Or at least that's how it looks like to everyone but her. After all, Margaret's probably the queen of impulsiveness who likes to act on her feelings. And if her feelings are mixed, then so are her actions. Which result in-
Mixed Signals.

Let's move on to another confused couple. Guy of Gisbourne and Marian. My friend also didn't like Marian because she said Marian was guilty of the same crime as Margaret.
Yup, the dreaded Mixed Signals.
Marian is in love with Robin. That's an undisputed point. But what's also undisputed is that her feelings for Guy are not all straightforward and above board. Real Life rarely is, and while I am in no way saying that Robin Hood resembles real life (feel free to disagree with me), I am saying that it's understandable that Marian is attracted to and cares for Guy.

While Marian can defend herself by saying that she's leading Guy on while helping Robin, I don't think she regards Guy the same way as she does the Sheriff. After all, the Sheriff knows she detests him. No confusion there. Is it any wonder that Guy thinks she's falling for him, despite the fact that she unceremoniously jilted him at the altar?

Which brings me to the point of this whole post (at last!). Mixed Signals are dangerous little fireworks, ready to explode. We must be very careful about the impression we as girls are leaving on guys. I myself am guilty of sending off mixed signals, and I sincerely pity those poor perplexed boys who probably spent many a half-hour wondering what I was up to. Well, let me not flatter myself. They probably only spent a minute in wonder. But why did I do it?

Past experience has taught me that guys who show interest in me generally lose that interest once I tell them the truth i.e that I'm not into romantic relationships at the moment and am concentrating on my relationship with God rather than focusing on guys. I myself would like to remain friends, but I've realised that my stance is not going to earn me any brownie points with them. Hence I shamefully resorted to Mixed Signals to keep their interest. I think a bit of pride was thrown in too.

However, now that I know the danger of mixed signals, I've decided that such actions are not Christian. After all, Jesus was always transparent with everyone he met. Such transparency resulted in many of his followers deserting him, and some were annoyed at his gentle but firm stating of the facts. If this is a WWJD question, then I know the answer.

Henceforth I will be as transparent and as truthful as I can in my words and actions. It will obviously not be easy, but the Christian life, as Jesus warned, is not easy. However, it will be much more worthwhile and rewarding. And I will not trade my relationship with God for a relationship with any guy in the world, even if the guy happens to be John Thornton. :)

* Screencaps from RichardArmitageNet.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Foreign Film Review: Faith like Potatoes

Considering that the World Cup is playing right now, I thought it would be fitting if I posted a review of a South African film. And not only is this a foreign film, but it's Christian too!

Ahh, what a great combination. Wish I could see more like these. But anyway, before I sink down into extensive meditative happiness, let's take a look at the story.

* "Frank Rautenbach leads a strong cast as Angus Buchan, a Zambian farmer of Scottish heritage, who leaves his farm in the midst of political unrest and racially charged land reclaims and travels south with his family to start a better life in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. With nothing more than a caravan on a patch of land, and help from his foreman, Simeon Bhengu, the Buchan family struggle to settle in a new country. Faced with ever mounting challenges, hardships and personal turmoil, Angus quickly spirals down into a life consumed by anger, fear and destruction. Based on the inspiring true story by Angus Buchan the book was adapted for the big screen by Regardt van den Bergh and weaves together the moving life journey of a man who, like his potatoes, grows his faith, unseen until the harvest." Written by Frans Cronje

*Synopsis from IMDB. I'm sorry, but I seem to have misplaced my DVD temporarily. 
The real Angus Buchan was alive at the time of the film's release, and is now an inspirational speaker. His faith and his commitment are an inspiration to many, and is a lesson to me in perseverance and passion.

I really connected with this film because I was in Southern Africa when it released, and I watched it with my church. It felt so good to watch a movie with real African people in it, with situations I could understand because I had grown up with them. Well, I hadn't grown up on a farm (worse luck for me), but I could understand the wonderful accents and I had an appreciation of the African culture and history that served as a backdrop for the film. 

Why do I love films like these? Why do I feel a deep love and affection for films like Faith Like Potatoes?

Well, apart from the fact that they are foreign, and therefore serve to remind us that other cultures exist out there, these films also show the power of good, wholesome entertainment. Unlike the great blockbusters which rip money out of our pockets faster than we can save it, films like FLP make the experience worth our while.
And instead of showing glossily beautiful people with more money than brains, these films focus on real people. It's the realness that ropes me in.
And the faith angle don't hurt either . ;) I loved Angus' spiritual journey because I felt that it was akin to my spiritual journey. I too, was very Angry and Bitter, until God's love washed all the hurt and the rage away from me. I still wonder how I could've been that way, I feel like a completely different (and better I assume) person now.
And I apologise if this post seemed to be a little on the ranting side. While I have no problem with blockbuster movies or the people that watch them, I do question the need to have a new one coming out every week. And I have a long-festering problem with Hollywood. I wish that depth and substance would be a more present feature in Hollywood films. But perhaps I am asking for too much?
According to Global Creative Studios, the studios that produced Faith Like Potatoes, the DVD was released in America on April 7, 2009, and can be found in most retail stores like Walmart, Target, and sites like and Christian book distributors.

Here's the trailer for FLP. I highly, highly recommend you watch it. 
*Only caveat. There is language used on occasion, especially before The Conversion. 

You can also find more information here at the film's website :

Friday, June 18, 2010

Francis Schaeffer and the Push for Intellectual Christianity

Like I threatened promised, here's a more serious post. Seriousness is a good thing, especially as it's for such a good cause. And one can't dine on sugar candy forever.

So without further ado...

There are some books that are, you know, essential reading for Christians. Like the Bible. ;)

 Another book, or books I consider essential reading for Christians, are the books written by Dr. Francis Shaeffer, Christian philosopher and founder of L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland. His books were found in five imposing volumes in bright colours that fascinated me as a child. However, I hadn't read his books until last week.

I recently read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and I fell in love with one of the lines. It says : Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.

In this case though, God nudged the book into my hands. I was hanging around the church library, waiting for the service to start, when I randomly plucked a book from the shelf and began thumbing through it. It was titled He is There and He is Not Silent, and it was by Dr. Francis Schaeffer. I was intrigued, but I thought to myself, "I have about twenty library books sitting on my shelf at home. Let me get through them first,and then I'll come back for this one."

Such were my thoughts. I went in for the service, had a great time, then headed back home with my crazy, but wonderful family.

While I was in the car I glanced down absently at my hand, which was clutching my bag and a book. Wait. A book?!

Sure enough, He is There and He is Not Silent was practically affixed to my sticky fingers. Well! I had been carrying it around church all this time, and didn't even realise I was going so. I guess this probably means that I've become so used to carrying books around, that I don't even notice when I do so anymore. Rather a happy thought.

Anyway, I decided to treat myself to some Christian philosophy. And here arrives the juicy meat.

Christianity, Schaeffer says, is intellectual. It should be intellectual. As Christians we have been blessed with brains and we are clearly meant to use them.

Schaeffer points out the philosophic necessity of God's being there. Man, he says, is personal. As he writes," No one has ever demonstrated how time plus chance, beginning with an impersonal, can produce the needed complexity of the universe, let alone the personality of man."

Very well, then. Let's take the stand that man has a personal beginning. So?

To have an adequate answer of a personal beginning, Schaeffer writes, we need two things:

1. We need a personal- infinite God ( or an infinite-personal God).

"Without the high order of personal unity and diversity as given in the Trinity, there are no answers. On the side of God's infinity, he stands alone.
All else is brought forth by creation, so all else is dependent and only he is independent. This is absolute on the side of his infinity. Therefore, concerning God's infinity, man is as separated from God as is the atom or any other machine-portion of the universe."

"But on the side of God being personal, the chasm is between man and animal, the plant and the machine. Why? Because man was made in the image of God."

Schaeffer also points out that God didn't create us to love Him. He is Loved and He is Love. Schaeffer writes," If not for the Trinity, we would have a God who needed to create in order to love and to communicate. The Persons of the Trinity communicated with each other, and loved each other before the creation of the world."

Whew! Wonderful stuff isn't it? And FYI, this is only up till page 11, and, I haven't even included most of his argument. I just wanted to show what a wonderful book it was. And I'm planning to diarise my trek through this book in future posts, so stay tuned!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Voyage of the Dawn Treader Trailer- a Delicate Dissection

I was all set to write a more serious post today to counteract my previous frivolous posts. But the Voyage of the Dawn Treader trailer completely blew my noble intentions out of the water. Or should it be sucked them in?

Anyway, I have my tumbler of H2O ready with me, my feet are barefoot and my hair is tied away from my face. On with the picking apart!

* I would hereby like to say that these observations will be totally objective. "Would like" is the operative phrase.

* If you don't agree with my observations, please comment. I like to hear different opinions from my own. It would remind me that I'm not as great as I think I am. Joking, joking.

Because I strive to be orderly, I'm breaking my thoughts into bullet points.

1. I'm so happy Aslan has several appearances in the trailer! When I watched Prince Caspian, I was annoyed that Aslan got so little screen time. Considering the fact that he is the one who binds all Narnia together, and is the most integral part of the story, those barely-ten minutes were like a slap in the face. I actually stayed behind to watch the credits in the theatre, hoping Aslan would pop up somewhere. But he didn't. Part of the reason why PC didn't work for me was that the absence of Aslan made everything seem chaotic and disorderly.

2. I wasn't expecting Lucy's face to morph into Susan's. In the novel, Lucy sees a more beautiful version of herself in Coriakin's book. At first my purist soul was dismayed, then as I reflected on it, I realised that it does make sense. I remember the one line in that scene where Lucy imagines Susan being jealous of the beautiful Lucy because she was always referred to as the beauty of the Pevensie family. And such a problem is a very girl thing; even plucky Lucy suffers from low self-esteem on account of her looks. Though as an aside, I think Lucy's very pretty herself, and nothing in the world can make her more beautiful than she already is.

3. Caspian's hair. Should this even be a bullet point? Nevertheless. I saw Ben Barnes' interview for the Dorian Gray movie, and he'd been sporting long, Legolas-style locks. I guess they ditched the extensions because the trailer shows him having the same length as in PC. The mustache and beard make him look way older and more kingly, which is good as Ben always looks five years younger than his actual age.

4. The White Witch. I am so tired of her. Maybe this is just me. I mean, VODT the novel has no epic battle, no blood-curdling action. Well there is some, but VODT on the whole is more pastoral than the rest of the Narnian books. The producers probably need some more action to draw in the crowd, but this scene could only be a dream. After all, this is a trailer, not the entire movie.

5. Edmund's having issues. Sigh. I was bemused by Peter's issues in PC, and now Edmund's taking up the mantle of angst. Why? I've always relied on Ed's wry humour in the novels, and now he's gonna go angsty on me? Nooooooooooo....

6. I can't wait to see Eustace! Will Poulter looks so right in the role, and I'm glad they decided to cast him. Though I was disappointed to see no more than two seconds of him, I'm hoping the movie will grant him a grand share of the focus. After all, VODT is the intro to one of the characters that lasts the longest in the Narnian series( he's in VODT, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle).

Well, I've drained my water to the last dregs, and find no more energy in me to go on with the bullet points. I think I'll just wait till the movie comes out. It's going to be a long wait. Let's pray it's worth it.

* Thanks to NarniaWeb for the gorgeous screencaps!

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader Trailer

It's the week for trailers it seems. First Aisha, now Voyage of the Dawn Treader.



Now that we've got that bit of pure joy out the way...

First Impressions:

1. Aslan's back!!
2: Edmund's grown up!
3. Lucy's so pretty!
4. What on earth is the White Witch doing here? Wasn't she dead way back in TLWW? I guess some things just never die.
5. Surprise: Peter and Susan make an appearance!
6. Visually stunning.
7. Music, not so much. I miss Harry Gregson Williams!

Here's the trailer. I might post more about it later.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Aisha 2010 trailer

The trailer for Aisha ( the Bollywood version of Emma) is finally here! I must say it looks like a fun romp, very akin to the American style chick flicks. Which, I am obliged to say, is pretty different for India. Chick flicks have never been a dominant genre in Bollywood, for the simple reason that they don't rake in as much cash as the supposedly "family" oriented films do. The Bollywood chick flicks that are out there are mostly indie; I remember the Phooja Bhatt-directed Holiday, which is one of my personal favourite B'wood films, and a sweetly satisfying chick flick.
Female-dominated films are not very popular in India sadly to say, and most of the pop-corn "block-busters" are actually aimed at largely middle-class young men who have money and an apparent aversion to depth and substance in films. Not that I'm defending chick flicks, but I would like to see more female-centric B'wood films.

Anyway, back to Aisha! Abhay Deol looks so freaking adorable. I guess I never paid him much attention until Dev D, when I realised that he was deviating from the normal Bollywood star route and opting for more interesting films. I'd watched his first film, and he didn't leave a lasting impression on me. Now, however, I can  sense an added maturity and depth to his acting that was previously hidden beneath the easy-going smile. And his dimples don't hurt either. He and Sonam seem to have great chemistry, based on the trailer.

As for Sonam herself, she  appears to have grasped the spirit of Emma. I'd previously only seen her in her first leading role in the lush and haunting Saawariya, and her character was one of those sweet, vulnerable types with hauntingly dark doe eyes . Aisha, of course, is a completely different role, and I'm curious to see how Sonam will handle it. Emma has always struck me as a difficult character to play, and while Gwenyth Paltrow remains my favourite Emma, I think Romola Garai has been the most successful in showing her transition to maturity in the 2009 BBC version. I also enjoyed Alicia Silverstone's portrayal in Clueless, so now I'm waiting to watch Aisha before giving my verdict. Sonam seems to have it together though, as she's actually read the novel and recently remarked in an interview that she hated badly done movie adaptations of books.

I've already spotted the people who I think are going to be Harriet, Jane Fairfax and Mrs. Elton. As Aisha is a Bollywood film ( unlike Bride and Prejudice), this movie will be mostly in Hindi. Didn't really care for the dancing in the end though, it looked too American and very un-Bollywood.

Oh, well. I guess this is all just enjoyable speculation until I get to actually watch the movie. Aisha is set to release in August.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Madame La Style is proud to present our very first intrepid fashionista: Fanny Brawne. Yes, dear readers, I am still under the influence of the very spell-binding Bright Star. In all honesty though, a well-done period drama merits an entire post on its costumes. Actually, any period drama merits a post on its costumes.

What makes the Bright Star costumes even more interesting is that Fanny is a self-proclaimed fashion-lover of the first stare, and spends hours over outreagously pretty creations. Bright Star is practically an orgy to sewing; I had to quell the urge to run for my needle whenever a scene of Fanny sewing seriously flashed across my scene.

Here are a few of the simply lovely dresses and hats I had to share. I was going to do them chronologically, but realised that this would be rather spoilery, so I'm just hopping alone whichever path I choose.

The white dance dress: I really love the dress, but the Elizabethan ruff puts me off completely. Fanny actually adds the ruff to stand out from the rest, and it's part of her own sense of smile, but personally, I was never a fan of Elizabethan ruffs, or as I call them " lace dog collars." Still, her hair is done really nicely and I love the butterflies in her hair.

This dress actually looks very similar to a fashion plate from La Belle Assemblee for the year 1818. Considering the fact that this movie is set primarily during the years 1818-20, I was amused to see how they practically lifted Fanny's dress design from this fashion plate. At least we can't condemn them for historical inaccuracy on this one.

Fanny also has some gorgeous spencers (short jackets), ranging from adorable to fantastic.


Throughout the film, Fanny's costumes alternate between beautiful to outrageous to some which strike me as scholarly:

I'm not sure if these two pictures are one and the same dress; Fanny has a lot of dresses that look similar, and I don't have the DVD on hand to verify. However, my eye was caught by the intricate detail on the back of her dress; I love those ribbons worked in a sort of reverse corset style, and the delicate sleeves. Such details make what seems like a simple dress into a subtle work of art.

What I call Fanny's "home" dresses:

One dress which I absolutely loved, and which I wouldn't mind seeing on myself someday:

  I'm afraid I couldn't get a very good picture of this dress, but I love the deep wood-brown colour and the almost Arabian air surrounding it.

And Fanny's hats! They are to DIE for I tell you! My eyes were as wide as cartwheels as I went from gorgeous hat to even more gorgeous hat.

This is my very favourite hat. I love the conical brim and the ribbons tied in cheeky bows at the back. I wouldn't mind prancing around poetic geniuses in this.

The sombre, yet haunting hat below looks a lot like a poke bonnet, though I'm not entirely sure. Poke bonnets were fashionable throughout the 1820s I believe.

I adore all the hats in this picture, even Thomas' comical top hat. The hats actually all appear to share a similar basic design, but are embellished with ribbons and feathers in such artful ways that they look totally different. This reflects Fanny's personal style; though many of her dresses and hats have basic designs, there are always little feminine tweaks that manage to look both pretty and distinct.
Such personal style is admirable. You don't need to be decked out with bling or lug along bronze and brown Louis Vuitton bags to draw attention. Take a basic dress or top, and work something special into it; sew ribbons or bright trimmings, or collect antique buttons and fasten them in interesting ways and places on your clothes. Fanny's dresses and hats might seem simple and sweet at first glance, but closer inspection reveals the detail and care taken over the clothes. Such small, delightful touches bring a feminine and graceful air to clothes that is more attractive than all the gaudy diamante in the world. ( Yes I couldn't resist giving a sermon ).

Well, Madame La Style bids you farewell. Au revoir dearies!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Diary of a Beautiful Relationship : Partie 1

What I love about the Bible is how I learn something new and interesting every time I read it. No matter how many times I read a passage, there's always some fresh insight, a gem of understanding imparted to me. I've been reading the Bible, since, when since I learned how to read, and even passages that I've read a million times are still new and fresh, especially when God points out something I never noticed before.

Like the story of the Good Samaritan for example. When I was handed out the passage at my Bible study; the first thought that shot through my mind (I'm ashamed to say) was, " I've read this a gazillion times already!"

As usual, God shocked me by opening my mind to something I had not noticed before, though, like I said, I'd read the passage to rags ( or so I thought).

The Parable of the Good Samaritan
 25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
 26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
 27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'[c]; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[d]"
 28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
 29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
 30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
 36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
 37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
      Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

What struck me more forcibly this time round, was the Samaritan's behaviour. He did several things that demonstrated true love and servility.

1). He empathised with the wounded man. Instead of condemning him, saying " He brought this on himself," he " felt pity for him (verse 33).

2). He acted on his emotions. Instead of indulging in a brief fit of histrionics, and then moving on, the Samaritan instead "went to him"(verse 34).

3). He tended to his most immediate physical needs first by bandaging his wounds (v34).

4). He was generous with his possessions, using his oil and wine to heal the man's wounds and loading him on his own donkey.

5). He provided him with shelter (verse 35).

6). He made future provision for him (v35).

This, then is what loving your neighbor looks like.
" So who is my neighbor?" one of my friends asked. We decided that the answer was everyone. Everyone is my neighbor, regardless of social status or wealth. As I read over the story of the Samaritan, I was arrested by Jesus' last words.

" Go and do likewise."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Aisha 2010 - Rising Expectations

Details of the Bollywood film Aisha were released on June 8, and I came across an article from Enchanted Serenity of Period films that provided more information.
To be honest, when I heard last year that there was going to be a Bollywood version of Emma coming out sometime this year, I was not duly impressed. Bollywood and I have been having a frosty relationship of late, and I enjoyed turning up my nose at this news. What did Bollywood know of Jane Austen? Yes, I know there was a little film called Bride and Prejudice, but to apprise those misguided few out there, B&P is not a Bollywood film. It was directed by Gurindher Chadha, who is British-Indian, and while it stars Bollywood queen Aishwarya Rai; it has not been produced by a Bollywood film studio.

My icy scorn thawed somewhat when I heard that Sonam Kapoor was going to play the part of Aisha (Emma). Sonam is practically the only young B'wood actress I have a modicum of respect for. Unlike most of the new up-and-comers, she actually appears to possess a brain, and has presence on screen. Added to this is the fact that she's read Emma, and ranks it as one of her favourite novels.

Even more pleasantly surprising, is the fact that Abhay Deol is going to star opposite her. Abhay's star has been on the rise, especially with his film Dev D, which was a critical hit and earned him many glowing reviews and praise in a year when every Bollywood movie appeared devoid of anything approaching substance. I personally can't wait to see how he and Sonam relate on the screen. I think Sonam matches well with any actor, but Abhay's talent raises my hope levels to unnatural heights. I'm expecting promising things from this duo.

And if you disappoint me yet again Bollywood, I will take a long vacation from you! Consider yourself forewarned!