Ashish Vaswani
#Spoiler Alert: This is only if you've watched Gravity, the latest space thriller that has taken the world by storm. For those who haven't, please go do yourselves a favour and watch it. NOW!

I would have missed watching Gravity like most other flicks, had it not been for a good friend* who egged me on to watch the trailer. One look, and I knew I had to catch it, first day, first show. I did. And boy! What a wise decision it was!

With Alfonso Cuarón,  Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, all coming together, the result was expected to be sensational. And though the world is going gaga over the concept, the technical innovations and the beautiful background score, I connected with the movie on a very emotional level. Especially after multiple interactions with a very creative bunch of friends who study mass media. Cuarón's references to life, rebirth and the underlying visual symbols that he's used to represent the same are simply mind numbing.

Note: The following observations are not mine. I have collected bits of trivia from various sources online and otherwise.

-The human gestation period is nine months long and is divided into three trimesters. The movie is 90 minutes long and features three major locations- the ISS, the Russian space station and the Chinese one.

-The explosion and the resulting debris represent the conception of a baby, with the Russian anti-satellite missile symbolising the sperm and the satellite itself being the egg. A little difficult to interpret, I know. But don't judge me!

-Sandra Bullock's character, Dr. Ryan Stone is shown to be dormant and laid back as long as she is referred to by her last name. However, the moment Clooney's character, Matt Kowalski starts addressing her by her first name, she gains a certain level of confidence in herself which pushes her to get over her past and do something more meaningful with her life.

-The foetus-like position that Dr. Stone is shown to be in, during one of the scenes, resembles an actual foetus, second trimester onward.

-There are references to abortion when Dr. Stone decides to give up and turn off the oxygen. At this time, it is her own belief (in the form of a self-conscience-inspired hallucination of Kowalski) in herself which helps her overcome the pessimism and chart her way back to life.

-On touchdown, water, earth, air, fire and wind are the first elements that Dr. Stone comes into contact with. Exactly the same elements that are believed to be responsible for the genesis and sustenance of all life.

-Though Bullock's character is shown to be atheistic, the first words that she mumbles are, "Thank you!" This could be a reference to her renewed belief in a higher power. Her first few steps resemble those that a baby takes when it first begins to walk.

Though there are some other spiritual connotations as well, who would've imagined that a movie about a disaster in outer space could have so many hidden messages? Hollywood and its sheer brilliance never cease to amaze me.

*Thank you, Tania! ;)
Ashish Vaswani
We've all been waking up to gloomy headlines that tell the same old story of a tumbling rupee, for quite some time now. On the idiot box, Arnab and company have ensured that we keep questioning ourselves over our shopping habits, by inviting a slew of panelists who leave no stone unturned in trying to blame the PM, FinMin, the RBI or their local sabziwaala for the so called economic downturn. Then we have the regular staple of petrol and onion jokes, which keep popping up on Whatsapp and Facebook notifications, to keep reminding us of the deep trouble that we are supposedly in. Are we? Maybe not just yet.
Ashish Vaswani

She was the one, I’d known since long,
well aware, she didn’t feel the same.
Why then, did it never seem wrong
spending hours with her thoughts, in vain?
The happiness would show on me
each time her thought raced my mind;
A fool could tell she was special,
even if he were blind.
They said I was being silly
and this was a stupid waste of time,
yet I paid no heed and penned my foolishness
in senseless rhyme after rhyme.
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Ashish Vaswani
The media was abuzz last week with news of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a certain Mr. Kamlesh Vaswani in the Honorable Supreme Court, asking for a blanket ban on freely available pornographic content. This basically means that if the SC passes a verdict in its favour, watching porn in India will become a criminal offence. Even though the premise behind the litigant's concern is based on shaky ground and I personally do not endorse it, the fact that I share my surname with him, has invited considerable ridicule from friends. I apologize to all those whose sentiments have been hurt. To compensate for this, here are some quick tips on using proxy settings on your browser, just in case!
Ashish Vaswani
I've always been an information junkie. News, trivia, senseless water cooler banter- useless bits of information that I can easily do without- end up grabbing most of my attention. More than white papers, novels and hardcore pieces of serious writing. So much so that pulling off an all-nighter jumping from one link to another online, is not unusual. And owing to my increased obsession with Twitter, this is becoming quite a habit. Plus, with the addition of Quora and Coursera on the list of sites to visit before I hit the sack, there is a colossal amount of information that I'm exposed to.
Ashish Vaswani
Ashish Vaswani
Spent some time last night watching Narendra Modi speak at the India Today Conclave, and I must say I was completely awestruck. The man's much talked about confidence and conviction are sure to soften even his biggest detractors. Keeping his infamous past behind him, Modi has single-handedly managed to transform the face of Gujarat over the past decade. In spite of my apprehensions for the party which he belongs to, NaMo is my choice for the country's top job.