Kung Fu Yoga – Frolic Entertainment

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I didn’t understand the purpose of those TV shows and reports on digital and print media outlets which were vociferously asserting that Kung Fu Yoga was gonna be a cult movie, especially in light of its cinematic endeavor to connect the cultural history of China and India together and present in front of the audiences something fantastic to savor the beauty of both action and historical knowledge.

Well, I dont think Kung Fu Yoga is so generously enlightening historically. Moreover, I can’t deny the fact that the movie has somehow lost the point of being cognoscenti about Indian culture and largely it revolves around what I tend to call “Treasure Hunt” type of expedition, in a snow-capped cave, and in the remnants of Indian fort in Rajasthan.

Kung Fu Yoga bears close semblance of Jakie Chan’s formerly best known movies based on the subject line of treasure-hunting, in which Jakie, along with his friends, expedites hidden treasure in the relics of ancient caves and we also see how this fellowship lands in trouble and then fights with the goons to their escapade to safety.

End of the story.

Kung Fu Yoga, as I conclude, seems to be the sequel of Jackie’s earliest movies like Chinese Zodiac, Armor of God, and Armour of God II: Operation Condor. All these movies are based on searching hidden treasures while Jackie and his friends, during their expedition, deal with many bad guys and their fate finally prevails when they successfully accomplish their mission.

STORY LINE 

Jackie Chan, a famous professor in archaeology, with his friends, forms a fellowship with a young Indian professor Ashmita and her assistant Kyra . They carry out a mission to find out the lost treasure of Magadha in Tibet. This team comes across Randall who happens to be somehow related to Magadha dynasty, which he believes has somewhat afforded to him the prerogative to lay claims on the hidden treasure, now a mission of Jackie-led team to find in Tibet. After skirmish with the goons of Randall, another encounter in Dubai and India, Jackie’s team finally finds the treasure.

That’s all.

BEST PART 

Best part of Kung Fu Yoga is appearance of Jackie Chan, and if the reports of various media outlets are to be believed, the chemistry of both Jackie and Sonu Sood is the key attribute of the movie galvanizing audience’s response. Well, I dont think so. After watching the movie, I have found nothing so exciting as talked in previews and some reviews of the movie on certain websites.

For me, the movie is one time watchable, but if you expect some catchy kung fu actions by Jackie, then you won’t be disappointed. Chan’s fisticuffs with bad boys and his fights with Sonu in the climax are pretty decent, though the action choreography could have been lot more better, as I, for some strange reasons, tend to believe so.

Maybe I still miss old Chan.

CONCLUSION

Kung Fu Yoga is overall a watchable movie and you will surely love cool and fun-witted actions as typical in various Jackie Chan’s movies. However, I have missed “YOGA” type of thing in the whole movie and kind of thought that maybe Jackie or any Indian cast would demonstrate some Yoga related stuffs, but nothing sort of my belief happened.

Directed by Stanley Tong, Kung Fu Yoga, can give you pretty decent entertainment to spend your Weekend greatly.

Year 2016 in Flashback

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The year 2016 is gone for good.

I felt a bit emotional over its forever farewell. But if the truth to be told, the past year was full of difficulty for me. I got an employment in a company that was insensitively callous toward employees.

Worse, it proved to be a blot on my financial situation, literally brought me on the brink of starvation, for the employer refused to pay remuneration on the set date.

But after one year I don’t feel like cursing the employer, for what happened with me was the result of what I tend to believe now, was the career mistake, something that is the order of the day with most of the individuals these days.

I joined another company. I felt over the moon for a few days as the job required me to utilize my skill in the genre I had no previous experience of. But very soon once the bloated enthusiasm of mine was brought to its (impending) deflation.

I had to leave the job due to severity of mental annoyance, especially the experience felt as if I was sentenced to an eternal confinement of something that makes escapade seems impossible.

Took sigh of relief when I tendered my willful resignation.

The exit from the last employer ensued an outcome of something I never ever imagined in my life. I remained unemployed for, say nearly 3 months! Yes, I was jobless for the three months.

Reason? I do not know what was the real reason, but I guess I was not mentally prepared to be in a job at all.

As a result, I halfheartedly attended some interviews. While some turned down my candidature, I turned down some of the job offers. No it was not retaliatory kind of externalizing my frustration. I sort of didn’t like my credibility as a writer being questioned and that my salary to be judged by pedantic interviewers, who said my being jobless can’t qualify me to demand the salary as per my expectation.

Then I realized – when you are down in life, or out of luck/job, guys in wolf-skin take the helm of being the judge of your character, or better say – the cultivator of your future.

So, I remained jobless for 3 months. The mental stress, with each passing days at home, was getting close to what I tend to term now as ‘excruciating’. I was actually turning myself into a kind of freak. Sometimes I felt I was getting paranoid due to overwhelming frustration that I was acquiring day by day sitting at home, doing nothing.

I know I was not good enough how to track jobs, as most of the time I expected recruiters call me, for that was the only thing I thought I could prove my worth to the prospective employers.

Then I went to my hometown. My parent forced me to come down there. They wanted me to attend certain worships. Most importantly, Durga Puja was round the corner. This festival is celebrated at my hometown quite fervently.

It had been four years since I attended the festival. Therefore, I could not refuse their persistent demands to come to hometown. Moreover, I was not making any headway either in terms of finding a new employment.

At hometown I did enjoy the festival. However, certain things happened that I had never imagined in my wildest dreams. Hate to say that I can’t disclose them here, but I swear I went through the avalanche of vilification.

My fault? I was jobless.

I became eyesore to some (not my family) who thought of me as an indolent fellow rejecting jobs as if I was scared of them. I tried to make them understand but eventually kept mum, believing when you’re out of money, you’re dirt-bag, for others.

I was not hurt that people made a fun of my unemployment. I was bruised deeply by the mockery of those I held close to my heart.

My worship was cancelled as my family was short on money necessary to perform the worships.

In the meantime, I made a habit of worshiping deity, Durga. I read DurgaShaptshati every day, even though Durga Puja was over. As far as I can remember now, I may have missed worshiping her on one or two times.

After living more than a month of humiliation at my hometown, I came back to Delhi, hoping to find out a new job.

I got a new one.

I cant talk much about the new job. I have started doing it recently. But I am sure of the fact that this is incredible, much to what I wanted always. To be in the position where you are supposed to build future of your peers by helping them fare well in their forte is something I wanted to have in my job.

Back to old year 2016.

The conclusion is – the past year was full of unpleasant events for me. May be I was running out of divine luck or possibly my inability not to read between the lines, or may be I was too stubborn not to subjugate myself to the gloating of others, or probably I actually did not want to be in job at all.

However, the past year taught me a very, very, and extremely very important lesson about living a life without money. It taught me how to be seriously responsible in life and not to take things badly on impulse.

I tend to believe that the past year has been quite an edifying experience, rather than telling it that it was unsavory to an extent.

The past year was like a guru to me, which helped me come in terms with the wisdom, that when things are to happen, they manifest anyway. You have no control at all on certain things fated to appear in your life, in any form.

I may sound like a fatalist, but the kind of experience I went through in the last year I tend to believe that there is indeed something called destiny and there is God somewhere looking after us in some other ways.

All the best to the year gone by. All new hopes and expectations for the year 2017.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, READERS!

New Employment and The Unseen Expectation to Deliver

new employment tension

I was offered a job to manage the team of writers, to ensure delivery of contents is punctual and streamlined.

I truly appreciate this new opportunity. Thanks to divine almighty or my fortune-favorite mascot, I have finally got something that I think is perfectly resonating with my ability to manage team of his relatively less-experienced subordinates, train them how to get along with the (writing) process by showing ways they may have never experienced before.

I understand that when you become a team leader, there is always this unseen expectation from people in your employment. They perceive of you as the enlightened, a capable resource to get ongoing processes streamlined by using his wits and resourcefulness. An individual supposed to innovate things.

Even though you are given this ‘carte blanche (freedom)’ not to act hastily to deliver what’s been expected of you, but still, seized by this strange thought – I get this feeling that my position holds significant ground, something not to be taken lying down. Therefore, those around me, quite expectedly, will show some respect.

But this is not what I meant as the feeling. I sense that I am being watched, expected to deliver, and to say you very frankly, this is the feeling where I find myself somewhat ambivalent as to whether I have enough pluck to stand the volts of the unseen expectation.

What if things slightly go awry? Will I be subjected to howl of official derision?

And if something happens like that, will I be able to shield the prestige and honor of my position from those eyes, now holding my image something like “He’s not the right guy we’d expected” type of reaction.

But aren’t they right, somewhat, or absolutely, subsequent to the mis-performance from my end? This is because people get themselves driven by the feelings what they subjectively deduce from the (kind of) “impression” a source conveys.

From whatever days (just two) I have served in this new organization, I think I have had enough time to get the ins and outs concerning what I am supposed to deliver, according to ‘expectation’.

But if you ask me, it is one thing to understand the process, quite another to deliver, on practical ground. Isn’t it?

But that’s not the point of my concern. I mean to say, these two days are some of the most important days of my career as a writer for the reason, that I have gained experience of something I always thought of ‘impossible’ to materialize.

Indeed, to be a team leader is the most precious privilege I have ever had the honor of witnessing. To lead those of your counterparts with relatively less exposure to writing than that of yours is an opportunity to prove to your inner critique (I’ve been the most brutal critique on myself), that you’ve got something tremendously powerful in you.

What it needs to get up and act is a slight friction and you will see it sparking a blaze!

When I was being offered to lead a team of writers, I was constantly skeptical. I was not trusting my instinct, that this job is going to be okay, considering the years of experience and my relevant exposure to writing. I was not believing that my acquired experience will afford the guts required to lead a team.

I was skeptical not because I thought I couldn’t manage the team, but I felt doubtful because of my zero experience in the job.

Now that I have worked for two days, I came to know of a very common, yet highly unnoticeable fact, that we tend to be afraid (or doubtful) of something we know nothing of. One more thing, I have realized that taking a challenge is indeed a risky venture of pushing your limits quite an inch farther, to test your ability whether it could stand to occasion.

The beauty of this current opportunity is that I am getting disabused of the (preconceived) delusion on myself, that I could not be a leader: a huge mistake caused by negativity that I wittingly kept on feeding, as I was afraid of entering into a new role I acquired no (relevant) experience of.

I fully understand that these two days are no worthwhile, neither can they inflict any positive impression on my Resume (CV), but what I truly believe is the fact that I made a big mistake in the past by not trusting myself, my ability, as a writer. Now that I am in, God willing – the expectation to excel myself is already kicking in. I hope to get better, and better. It’s just matter of time.

The point is, how can you learn swimming if you do not step in water, sometimes swim upstream?

Skiptrace: Watch it for Jackie, He’s still loaded

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At the age of 62 when most film actors think for retirement or they get confined into homes due to ‘no-job’ situation, you can find Jackie Chan still full of energy, workaholic, playful, loaded and playing entertainingly with goons. And hey – he’s still at his best.

Skiptrace gives you the same Jackie we used to love, and he is still the same adorable actor whose rib-tickling slapstick we have been a fan of. You will find 62-year-old Jackie in this Hong Kong-Chinese-American action-comedy-movie escaping his arrest with his American partner, Johnny Knoxville, and helping his former partner, Yung’s daughter, Samantha (Fan Bingbing), as she was caught up with Victor Wong’s mischievous conspiracy and so, she seeks uncle Jackie’s help to find Johnny and get him back to Hong Kong to Wong so that she could escape being shit-canned.

Storyline:

At the start of the move, we see Jackie Chan (playing as Hong Kong detective, Bennie Chan) in hot pursuit of crime mogul, Metador, only to find his partner Yung at a high tower, his body strapped with time-bomb jacket. Detective Bennie tries to save Yung but he chooses release to his (imminent) death, and so, in the process before he jumps off the tower to his death, he gives Bennie a wrist watch, saying “protect my daughter”, a promise Bennie was sworn to fulfill on moral ground as well as for friendship’s sake.

Later detective Bennie is woken up to a hard knock at the door of his home and finds that it was his friend’s daughter, Samantha, who later shares with him her concern over Johnny Knoxville (playing as Connor Watts, a conman, and gambler). She begs Bennie to find Connor for the safety of her job. Bennie promises her after some gentle rebukes as to why she did let herself into trouble of that dangerous kind.

Bennie uses his resource to track down the hideout of conman Connor and is being informed of his location in Russia. As a matter of fact, Watts was kidnapped from Hong Kong by Russian goons and was brought to Russia to account for his involvement in impregnating the daughter of Russian crime leader. Bennie saves Watts from the Russian crime boss.

Now there follows a deadly yet hilarious and bumpy adventure of running away from the Russian and Chinese gangsters using different routes to avoid the gangsters as possibly as they can. We find the duo taking routes involving snow-capped mountains of Mongolia and many other places of spectacular beauty, including Gobi desert.

During the escapade, Watts many times tries to dodge Jackie to flee away from his grip, but he couldn’t manage to get very far, and ends up with his captor Bennie, grudgingly.

When the duo reaches China, Watts and Bennie, by the time, were good friends-cum-partners, and here at the Chinese border, Watts does something mischievous to draw attention of border police force. The plan succeeds and both finds being ferried in police van to Hong Kong for the trial of their crime. As the fortune has it, the van is ambushed by the Russian mobsters, but Bennie and Watts, during the fights, manage to escape from them.

However, Watts leaves Bennie leaving a note which reads about an important clue that might lead to the apprehension of Wong. Actually, the clue was a smartphone which was non-operational until fingerprint of its user is placed on the device’s screen. Both the fugitives conclude that if the phone is handed over to Hong Kong police and Wong is forced to press his finger to open the device (which allegedly contains the secrets to the arrest of Wong), he (Wong) will be proven guilty. Then and there!

Since Watts has left Bennie with the cellphone, alone detective Bennie manages to find Wong at an old ship. Surprisingly, he comes across Yung, his former partner whom Bennie saw jumping off the tower and getting killed in the explosion. At the ship, a heavy (but typical of Jackie’s acrobatic style of) fight starts, and we see Watts, after heart-change through wise-counseling of an old Chinese man, joining Bennie in the fighting with Chinese gangsters.

Meanwhile, Yung reveals himself to his daughter, but their reunion short-lives, as the ship starts to sink, thereby creating panic amongst the people onboard. Later, we see both Yung and Bennie trying to save Samantha who is drowning inside the water-filled cabin of the ship.

Samantha is saved, but Yung, and this time for real, chooses his death, for the reason not explicitly revealed in the movie.  I guess Yung felt remorseful when he found his old buddy, Bennie, still holding the wrist watch he gave to him when he faked his death.

At the end of the movie, we see detective Bennie being led by Samantha and Watts to a serene farm rearing Alpacas.  Bennie loves the place, and seeing alpacas he expresses joy as if he was over the moon. He meets there with partner, Leslie for whom Bennie developed a soft place in his heart.

END OF THE PLOT.

Should you watch Skiptrace?

I believe Skiptrace is one of the finest comedy movies of Jackie Chan. Though somewhere I missed Owen Wilson and thought that if it were not Johnny Knoxville, then Owen would have been an efficient replacement for him, considering Owen was a terrific partner with Jackie in Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights.

Likeable things:

Skiptrace has decent fight choreography, but if you are used to watching Jackie’s oldest formidable form, the one he displayed in Thunderbolt, Wheels on Meals and Legends of the Drunken Masters, then you will feel disappointed. Oh, common man! How can you compare today’s Jackie with his former version when he was young and full of adrenaline rush. That’s highly unlikely to happen, but I tell you, even in this movie, Jackie played around with bad guys really cool.

Additional info:

Name: Skiptrace

Lead casts: Jackie Chan, Fan Bingbing, Johnny Knoxville

Director: Renny Harlin

How did you like Skiptrace? You can share your views in the comment box below. Thanks for reading.

#GST Passed – Headway for streamlined taxation, a need long overdue

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After tumultuous political juggernauts, years-long pendency and judicious persuasion, the time-sensitive approval of a rather highly anticipated GST (Goods and Services Tax) has finally come to a surprisingly happy reality, subsequent to the upper house of Indian parliament (Rajya Sabha) having taken cognizance of the dire needs of the bill.

As self-explanatory as it seems, the GST passage affords semblance of ‘Joie De Vivre’ moments nationwide; specifically in political turfs, wherein the cleared GST symbolizes jollification of a rather stalled parliament, which sometimes turns itself as a house of witless outcry, squabbles and slur-mongering of a far-fetched political rivalry.

As a matter of fact, the passage of GST now poses to be India’s rapid headway towards manifestation of a rather streamlined taxation environ in light of the fact that country has long been over-pressurized  under cumulative burden of variant taxes implemented State-wise across the nation.

Consequently, it has given rise to inflexible scenario, too difficult to maintain compliance with, as businesses had to queue up to receive tax approval for boarder’s passage of their logistics being transported through fleet vehicles.

As of now a business company, on sufferance, undergoes accouterments of allied taxes such as:

  • Central Excise Duty
  • Additional Excise Duty
  • Service Tax
  • Additional Customs Duty (Countervailing Duty)
  • Special Additional Duty of Customs

…to be complied regardless of the time-consuming modus operandi of the processes involved.

Now with the implementation of GST, all the discrete tax bifurcations will be subsumed into one broad category, thereby abolishing the worrisome tax compliances for good, sigh of relief for Indian industries of variant business sizes. (Note: India has two distinctive tax categories: 1. Direct taxes 2. Indirect taxes). 

In addition, logistic transportation via boarder to boarder of state-destined areas will no longer be subjugated to the obduracy of compulsory monitoring by security personals at state’s boarder to vindicate if the goods bear appropriate tax compliance.

GST clearance is seen as linchpin factor in spearheading the economic growth trajectory of India, considering its path will no longer observe the mandatory tax compliances separately as taxation on goods and logistics will be unified across the nation, which is suggestive of the barometer to gauge the economic-sensitive market of India.

 

If Robert fathered Jon Snow, why does he take after Eddard? Demystifying Game of Throne

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Remember the scene of bed-confined Lyanna pleading Ned Stark not to tell Robert Baratheon about the new-born child?

After watching Lyanna whispering into Ned Stark about the infant, imploring him to maintain anonymity of rather ‘surprising revelation’ (for Ned, of course) and share it with none, including specifically Robert Baratheon, I was surprised by the secret unfolding. Most importantly, what flummoxed me most was the scene when the child’s face slowly reappears with that of Jon Snow.

The point is, has Robert fathered Jon?

We know both Ned and Robert loved Lyanna very much, and Robert was emotionally pissed off at Ned for having her buried in the crypt of Winterfell.

To Robert –

“She should be on a hill somewhere, under a fruit tree, with the sun and clouds above her and the rain to wash her clean”.

It shows Robert’s deep-seated love for Lyanna, oblivious to him that he inadvertently impregnated her with a son (I am just extrapolating).

I raised the similar question on Facebook in the fan page of GoT, to which my post was responded by people. The respondents said it was highly unlikely that Robert might have fathered Jon Snow, considering he was born a year and a half after Lyanna was kidnapped by Rhaeger. Another respondent said Robert would’ve killed the child if Ned didn’t proclaim him his bastard child.

Well, my point is, Lyanna was betrothed to Robert. Kidnapping doesnt afford the implication that she carried Rhaeher’s child. If we go by that assumption, we sort of conjure up the picture of the scene wherein Rhaecher may have forced himself on Lynna and she, as a result of that forced sexual intercourse, born the child, Jon.

Frankly, I hate arriving at this conclusion, because it seems out of the context, even though some may lay claim that it is logical, on prima facie.

Why?

First thing, since Lyanna was betrothed to Robert, I am sure they may have got laid one or two times, or may be more than that. So, the impregnation should be seen as a natural occurrence, regardless of whether Robert was unaware of it.

But the most puzzling thing is, Jon looks very much like Eddard Stark (read the book) and this is where my logic falls apart. Wife of Ned, Catelyn Stark,loathed Jon considering his close resemblance with Ned.

And here is the conundrum of all the riddles – if Ned may have fathered Jon, then in whose belly?

I guess, that secret remains to be unfolded, and when it will be revealed, that will be sort of earth-shattering reality. This is because, I sort of feel sympathetic about Jon and do not take lightly when he is called ‘Bastard”, a stigma he’s been silently bearing since the birth.

High time R.R Martin penned a mother to Jon, a royal honor this fabulous character of GoT deserves!

(Those believing Lyanna was not betrothed to Robert, must read this – Lyanna Stark

Now, here is the story of my belief. Suppose Robert fathered Jon and if that actually appears based on my extrapolation of the scene (where the face of the child reappears with that of Jon), I guess Cersei Lannister will have another mighty contender or heir to the throne of Iron Gate alongside Daenerys or Tyrian Lannister.

Jaime Lannister seems to be at the bottom of food chain, for now. But I highly suspect if the Imp will make his way to the throne successfully, regardless of how eloquent he is. I hope he has realistic grasp of his weakness at the moment and will not do anything stupid that may jeopardize his condition as Hand of Queen to Daenerys.

Daenarys is one of the most intelligent, power-hungry characters of GoT. I loved her fights and willpower of not letting herself to be the victim of circumstances. Despite being widow, her entire journey from start to until now (season 6) is testimony of her commendable grit and tenacity. I admired her for granting mercy to Tyrian even though she knew that her State’s predicament was brought forth by none other than cruel Lannister clan.

Meanwhile, Daenerys and the vagary of her three fire-puking dragons can wreck havoc on the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms. This further mounts up my apprehension about whether Jon Snow could be able to lay claim on the Iron Gate, considering the rival who is relatively more aggressive and have huge army of slaves boarded in the fleet of ships bound to the Lord of the Seven Kingdoms with the single most purpose – lay claim on the throne by whatever means necessary.

However, I also suspect mood-swing of Daenerys at this moment.

What if she abdicates her ambition for iron gate? It is because of the fact that she was miserably failed to restore peace in the Slaver’s Bay, at which Tyrian, her advisory, mocked and cautioned retreat from the pursuit of being queen of any kingdom.

I know that was merely said in jest by Tyrian, but it was implicative of Daenerys’ lacking required skill to rule. May be she claimed the iron gate, but then what?

Will she be able to rule it? OR, will she anoint Tyrian as King, her Hand of the Queen?

Lastly, what about White Walkers? Will they find out Bran? Will they resuscitate Hodor? What if they assail on the Lords of the Seven Kingdom?

Let’s see what season 7 entails for us. Like other fans, I myself is dying with speculation of this intoxicating complexity of the show.

Winter is coming!