The Olympic Games are easily considered the world’s most famous and respected and anticipated sports competition where more than 200 nations take part. The modern Olympic Games are leading international sporting events which features both summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athelets from around the world from many different countries participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are held every four years, with both the Summer and winter games alternating by occurring every four years but two years apart.
The new 2020 summer olympics will be held in Tokyo in Japan from 24 july to 9 august’ 2020. This will be the second time for japan to host the summer olympics. The next will be the ‘2022 Winter Olympics’ which will be hosted by China in Beijing. Participating in olympics games is a matter of great honour as well carrying great expection for every individual athlete where they represent their respective countries.
Olympics games include all kinds sports and athletics. For example, winterOlympic games for snow and ice sports, the Paralympic games are for athletes with a disability, the Youth Olympic Games for athletes aged between 14 to 18.
The International Olympic Committee or (IOC) was founded in 1894, which led to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympics. The creation of modern Olympic games was inspired by the ancient Greek culture, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.
Today Olympics are a very prestigious and much loved event on a worldwide platform. The ultimate dream platform for every athlete.
‘Grave of the fireflies‘ is a japanese animated movie released in 1988; made by ‘Studio Ghibli’ based on a 1967 autobiographical short story by Akiyuki Nosaka. The story follows the journey of two siblings- Seita and Setsuko in their desperate struggle of survival in a town in Japan during the second world war.
This is one of the most saddest movies i have ever watched. There are many movies based on war but ‘grave of the fireflies’ will really break your heart. Rather then focusing on war it focuses on a personal, individual point of view. There isn’t really much room for spoilers since the opening scene in the movie along with Seita’s narration makes it pretty clear that there is no happy ending for the two children. The plot itself is very simple but the execution of the story and the way it is presented aims for the viewers to experience grief, compassion and frustration with every move. It makes you want to reach out to the children, bring them home and give every bit of happiness you can afford.
‘Why do fireflies have to die so soon?’
While living on their own the children catch fireflies in a jar to light their small shelter, but the next morning setsuko finds them dead and in grief and frustration asks her brother- “why do fireflies have to die so soon?… Why did mother have to die?” As Seita watches his sister burry them, the lifeless pile of fireflies resemble piles of deadbodies.
Fireflies in the movie symbolise many things; like the small moments of joy the siblings experience even in those dark times. The short lifespan of the fireflies also draws parallel to the short lifespan of the siblings, at the same time also makes us realize they are not the only ones. Even the firebombs dropped by the American planes resemble glowing fireflies, but the most obvious one the movie represents is that of souls.
I had to pause the movie several times to catch my breath, and could think of nothing else for weeks. One thing i could not get out of my head was who is to blame for the cruel fate of the children? The farmer? The aunt? The politicians? The doctor? The more you think the more you realise its impossible to put the blame on one shoulder, it was nobody’s fault yet everyone of them was responsible. While its easy to assume and accuse of selfishness, of cruelty, lack of humanity, it only takes a second to understand that every other character was too going through similar hardships. The story of Seita and Setsuko is just one of many.
As the movie ends, you’ll carry the memories of seita and setsuko with you for life as they become a part of you.
Unfortunately many people still assume anime is childish and cannot tell the difference between cartoon and anime. What is even worse and foolish is the absolute wall of judgement that prevents them from even giving it a try. Hopefully this will convince at least some of you to watch this masterpiece.
“Flood of fire” is the final book in the “ibis trilogy” by Amitav Ghosh.
The story continues… as old characters take on new persona, new journey driven by different goals in mind; side characters taking the centre stage by following their heart giving the story a different dimension and depth. Even with our obvious knowledge of history Ghosh still manages to keep us readers on edge. We never know what to expect, how the war is going to affect the life of those characters we’ve been following since the first book.
The story in this book losely dances around four central characters- Kesri Singh, an indian sepoy under the British regime; Zachary Reid, an American sailor of mixed race; Shireen Modi, a widow who travels to a foreign land in search for her late husband’s illegitimate son; and Neel Rattan Halder, a rajah(zaminder) who had lost everything.
As china stands firm with ban on opium trade, tension rises high with british India. with no resolution to keep feeding the greed, the east india company declares war in the name of free trade!
We look at the story from the perspective of some characters past, through filtered time frames. Like the previous book this too begins from “Deeti’s shrine” long after the opium wars are over, but we are taken back to step into the past right before the war is about to begin. We go through political upheavals, frustations, scandalous affairs and personal greed . Ghosh’s wordplay creates a historic world that thrives inside those pages. Its almost like reading an epic saga on its final showdown.
The journey aboard “ibis trilogy” ends here. Its was the journey of a historical ride. Through the story Ghosh really abducted me and took me to places and events i never cared about or gave much thought to prior reading this masterpiece. but now it almost feels as though i have been there myself, as i see them with such depth, knowledge and many different perspectives at once.
History is history; we seldom stop trying to imagine being in a time and situation that marks something importent in history. In ‘sea of poppies’ we went on a journey abroad the ship ibis, in this second book from the ‘ibis trilogy’ the winds of opium trade takes us to Canton in China of 1838, into the storm of opium war.
Following the stories of ‘Neel’ an uprooted zamindar, ‘Deeti’ a woman on run from fires of sati, ‘Paulette’, ‘Kalua’ and other shipmates we get to know what happens after their escape to a new land in search of a new life, rewriting their destiny. The story begins fron ‘deeti’s shrine’ along the way clashing with new stories, new characters new lives, new direction. The narrative mostly follows the journey of ‘Neel’ and ‘seth Behram Modi’ a merchant who has build his fortune from the opium trade. The busy crowded herbours of Canton and the struggles of those who live there. Personal and emotional bubble colliding with political and economical space. Ghosh writes through the eyes of a global perspective. Mixing characters from such different backgrounds who would have never met unless the circumstances.
‘River of Smoke’ is nothing short of a masterpiece. Its like a rainfall of memories; cultures, languages, lives tangled with one another. So much detail that its impossible to remember everything. From the intricate designs of ‘Anahita’ , details of different art, of every brush stroke, different kinds of flowers and their many different names wisteria, tiger lilies, rhododendrons, chrysanthemums; picturesque details of the town’s geographical location, the river, the mountains the harbour, the shops, every corner of 1838 Canton is brought to life. Reading ‘River of Smoke’ is like taking a walk through captured photographs of memory lane.
Amitav Ghosh’s “sea of poppies” is one of the best books i have read so far. The first of the ‘Ibis’ trilogy, this book really is an unforgettable journey back in time.
Centuries ago in a British India this book introduced me to people or rather characters who will stay with me forever, becoming a part of my own character and who i am. Most important of all ‘sea of poppies’ has made me look into our history in a way that can never be found in any history book and taught me so much more than just facts. Things like: no matter how different our external circumstances are like our social standing, caste, class, gender, religion, nationality or even language; we as human beings are not very different from one another. Friendship can come from unexpected places.
I am not trying to sell this book or writing a book review but merely wish to share what i felt during and after i ran through its pages. Amitav Ghosh truly is a wonderful writer. Before this i had read ‘shadow lines’, another one of his brilliant work but after reading ‘sea of poppies’ i’ve found new respect for its author whom now i admire intensely.
This is my first blog ever dedicated to sharing and appreciating art in all its forms. At last, calling out to fellow books and art lovers to accompany me in this journey and we might just discover something new.🍀