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Slumdog Millionaire

This is the story of a young man from the slums of Mumbai who eventually gets onto a ‘Who want to be a millionaire’ show.  The film shows his journey from childhood to getting onto the programme and it shows us how and why he knows the answers to those prize winning questions.

I was very moved by the film and eventually allowed a few tears to slowly roll down my cheeks.  The emotional journey was predictable and surprising at the same time.  It’s such a big story told in colour and conveying a great sense of the noise, smells, chaos and energy of the location.    It gives the audience a sense of the hustling, and associated risks, required to get anywhere.  What I hadn’t anticipated was the way in which despite all that they have against them they are not free to be visible as they embarrass the authorities by their simple existence. 

The lead characters need to figure out how to fight the system yet remain invisible and unthreatening.  From the outside it seems that they need creativity, hard work and some luck to make it to adulthood.  From the inside it must be a battle of hope and motivation to see through their reality and encourage the constant struggle.  Without this it would be easy to be overwhelmed by their circumstances and giving up on hope.

Of course this is true all over the world and the bigger the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ the more risks people will take to get their bit of the pie.   This reminds me of a famous rapper’s motto – “get rich or die trying”.  I now have a better understanding of why rappers (etc.) go on about where they come from because to become successful from such a start says a lot about determination, creativity and application of self.    

However our hero is not motivated by wealth or fame but love.  He met his love as a young man, recognised her as that, had the courage to seek her out when they lost touch, and then do what is necessary to secure their future.  He could not have done it without the help (and hindrance) of his brother.  In the end he loses a brother and gains a lover.   

In some ways it is a simple love story, boy meets girl, overcomes trials, they end up together and live happily ever after.  But the interesting characters, location, sense of hope over adversity, the juxtaposition of kindness and cruelty, presence of neglect and nurture makes it a captivating narrative that keeps you alert to everything on screen.  We in our ‘safe’ western environments need to absorb some of that ‘can do’ spirit when things are not perfect in our lives.  Like many of us, the hero does not look like a stereotypical hero, but action speaks louder than words and he walks the talk to make things happen. Encouraging, uplifting, informative, entertaining and a little sad.




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Its interesting how some of us are able to ignore the changes we know we need to make in our lives.  I am thinking here about how we may treat our loved ones, ourselves, what we spend our money on, who we spend time with (etc.).  We may know we need and want to make changes but sometimes it is easier to carry on as normal.  And then, something out of our control comes in and makes us take note, forces us to respond.  We might choose to say ‘yay or nay’ but we can no longer ignore the choice.

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What a week!  These guys have changed the face of history.  They dared to believe they could achieve what had not been done before.  They were told they were too young and had not been in their game long enough – needed to wait their turn.  

Yet they possess great self-belief based on real ability. They were able to keep themselves going when others doubted them.  With focus, determination, hard work and lots of talent they have won the race and secured a place for themselves in the history books.  They could not have done it alone.  Having demonstrated their gifts to those around them they have been supported by their own very loyal team; despite criticism from their peers and the opposition.  Both have a strong family base to retreat to and be nourished by.

Of course, there are no guarantees.  Winning is the first step, legacy is a whole different ball game.  That requires delivering again and again.  But it’s symbolic for all of us.  When/If we’re made to feel different and out of place we can use that to motivate us to move forward, to dream big.  Stepping out on a limb is scary but to fulfill your calling – that’s incredible!  It gives us the audacity to hope for a better future for our world and to strive for excellence.  Passion – calmly executed.

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Fun and free

On saturday several of us had a lovely evening in the audience of a live radio show.  Although it was done on a whim by the time I got there I was very excited to get in.  Of course they issue more tickets than they might be able to accommodate so the advice is to get there early.  Many of us turned up just in time and was at risk at being turned away.  After the queuing comes the security checks. Then we were in a bit of a holding bay – not sure if we’d get in or be forced to watch it on a live feed.  Twenty  numbered strangers stuck in a small room hoping their number comes up and anxiously eyeing everyone else.  What will happen next?  The minutes pass as a few more enter the room.  A few more minutes.  An announcement.  Numbers 1-20 can go in – hurray!  Looks like we’ll get to see the show after all.  By the end I think everyone gets in.  And so we got to cheer and laugh at Nicolas Parsons and the Just A Minute crowd including Paul Merton and Graham Norton.  It was hilarious – especially the part talking about new year’s resolutions!  Yes it will be out around Christmas time. Fun, free and very enjoyable.  Have you been to any fun and free things that you are happy to share?

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furniture delivery

A month ago I ordered some furniture on a buy one get one free offer.  To my surprise only one was delivered.  Sometimes its not the size of the problem to sort out but just having to pay attention to something that should have been so simple.  Its bad enough that I had been waiting from 7am as they need a 5 hour window.  Anyway I phoned the delivery people who then told me to return to my local branch where I paid for it.  At the branch they were a bit flummoxed but tried to sort it.  Thankfully it was early and not busy so the assistant made a few phone calls to try to resolve the issue.  I need the furniture in a week’s time so can’t wait another month for delivery.  I tell her this but aware that it is not her fault.  Eventually she lets me know that I can leave the store while she continues to get to the bottom of this.  I appreciate this as I have other stuff to be getting on with.  I later receive a call saying there is nothing they can do I’ll have to come in and start the whole process again. No, that’s not what I want to hear.  I decide to let it go and plan to go in tomorrow to re-order.  Next she calls back to say that I don’t need to come in as they will reorder the items for me. Okay there is still a delay but I will get them.  An hour later someone calls to ask me if I can be in for a delivery in two days time! Yes, definitely.  I am so pleased.  No need for the various back up plans I was brewing as it should be sorted by the end of this week.  Surprisingly I get yet another call asking me if I am happy with the service!  Well at the moment I am ecstatic but that assumes both items will be delivered on Thursday.

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Open Forum

Hello and welcome.  Thanks for looking me up if you’ve just got my newsletter. You can add comments to any of the existing posts or introduce something new here.  I should be able to turn the best comments into posts  – with your consent.  Use your real name or another name – its up to you

Looking forward to it

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