Monthly Archives: April 2020

Run Forever

Documentary film on Nicky Spinks and her incredible attempt at completing the double Bob Graham round of approximately 132 miles in under 48 hours. Bob Graham round is a fell running challenge in the English Lake District, covering 42 fells in 24 hours which is approximately 66 miles. So Nicky does the double i.e 132 miles. This particular challenge is named after Bob Graham a local resident who in June 1932 broke the 24 hour barrier. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Graham_Round

Fell running, also sometimes known as hill running, is the sport of running and racing, off-road, over upland country where the gradient climbed is a significant component of the difficulty. The name arises from the origins of the English sport on the fells of northern Britain, especially those in the Lake District . It has elements of trail running, cross country and mountain running, but is also distinct from those disciplines.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fell_running

Pity that we do not have fell running in India, otherwise with its bountiful mountain ranges, it will be a boon for the bored city runners. By the way, with corona virus ravaging the world at large, don’t see city races coming back soon. Fell running, or trail running is the sport to be, going forward. To be with the nature, challenge oneself against the mountains.

Nicky Spinks is a cancer survivor so that makes it all the more creditable to have succeeded in the challenge. It is a huge leap for faith for all cancer patients to have somebody attempt such audacious challenge.

Beautiful movie, with lots of breathtaking scenery of the English country side.

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McCabe

McCabe by Edmund Naughton (no image found anywhere) is a western fiction book. McCabe is a larger than life hero, having moved to a small nondescript town called Presbyterian Church. The town had this church, one main street, couple of dining bars and that’s about all. When McCabe moved from Bearpaw to Presbyterian Church, there was one dining bar owned by Sheehan. McCabe damaged that monopoly by building his own dining bar with gambling tables. Out comes Mrs. Miller a whore looking to establish herself in Presbyterian Church. She had also come from Bearpaw, where she apparently learned that this town had some zinc, so good prospects for business. McCabe slowly falls for her. He is also a ace gunshot by the way. So when the mining company tries to buy out the entire town, problem starts. They send somebody to negotiate, it fails, then they send gunmen to finish it off. Not much of a story in the book. Apparently this book was made into a movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmFMpg_fgIg directed by Robert Altman and it became a huge hit in 1971. The book was published in 1959 by the way. Edmund Naughton (1926-2013) was an American writer and McCabe was his first book. He wrote 5 more books, “The Pardner” in 1971, “A Case in Madrid” in 1973 and “The Maximum Game” in 1975. Two more books were directly translated into French only.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Naughton

Goodreads 2/5

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Unbreakable: Western States Ultra

Amazing documentary film on Western States Ultra featuring some of the top notch ultra runners in the world – Anton Krupicka, Killian Jornet, Hal Koerner (two time defending champion of WS 100) and Geoff Roes, unbeatable at 100 miler. The movie also features Gordon Ainsleigh, the first runner to do the WS100 in under 24 hours way back in 1974. There is quite a lot of footage of the actual trails, which is quite good and then there are whole of snapshots about each of the above runners’ background, their families, their work etc. what motivates them etc. Tremendous amount of crew support is there for the WS 100 and probably requires humongous amount of organisation and co-ordination. No wonder WS 100 is ranked among one of the topmost and most coveted ultra races in the world. The movie is quite brilliant, it follows a linear pattern, the camera work is quite good considering that most of the shots were on a rocky path requiring quite a bit of hand eye foot co-ordination. Required watch for all runners around the world. This is the stuff that legends are made of. The winner came in 14.07 hours, which is quite incredible is’nt to run 100 miles in that time. Crazy.

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Cape Wrath Ultra

Cape Wrath Ultra in Scotland, an epic trail run of 400 kms divided over 8 days. Goes through some breathtaking scenery of Scotland, hills, water streams, mountains, valleys etc. quite magnificent landscape.

Guess going forward trail running will be the most favored one because you have less number of participants, you go through some breathtaking trails, you feel with nature, you breathe the fresh air of the mountains. City running with thousands of running jostling with each on narrow streets are going to be passe.

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Breaking, 2019

A short film by Alicia Grullon where she herself plays the role of UN High Commissioner for Refugees and mandates deployment of UN peace keeping forces to the US- Mexican border, for protection of civilians & children & women in armed conflict. UN is mandated to protect people feeling armed conflict and climactic changes. She says people don’t just leave homes and walk miles on journeys that could be fatal. This has got some resonance with the Indian migrant workers walking 100s and 1000s of kms in brutal Indian summer to reach their homes in villages after the entire country was locked down in a 4 hours notice. Indigenous people from the five continents will be protected directly by the UN instead of the neo fascist states, the film states. UN will also eject the permanent council member states or states that have profited from the colonisation. This of course, is a fictionalised account of what should happen in the world today, but connects immediately to the masses. Brilliant short film by Alicia, this is what is required in the world today. Big corporations have taken over the world resources thereby pushing the indigenous and forest tribals to the marginal living. Democracy which is supposed to be for the people has become for the big corporations.

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Afronauts

https://www.vernac.media/

Afronauts, a short film by Nuatomo Bodomo, a fictionalised account of a Zambian albino being the first person to land on the moon ahead of the Americans. The Zambian preparation is much simpler with a lot of song and dance and some inspirational talk. It is an aspirational movie on the realm of possibility.

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At the Beach

https://www.nfb.ca/playlists/5_shorts_project/playback/#1

A short documentary created by the National Film Board of Canada, burns victims go out to the beach and enjoy themselves in the water and open air. Because of their burn wounds, which are life long, it requires a lot of courage for them to expose their wounds out in the full public view. Its a breaking of barriers kinda thing for them. Very beautiful of such a momentous occasion to be captured on film.

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The Perilous Journey of Maria Rosa Palacios

A short movie made by the film maker who attempts to document the journey traversed by her great grandmother Maria Rosa Palacios when she went from Chota to Guayaquil in 1906 to work as a domestic help when she was barely 14 years old. It is not a period film, in that sense, as the film attempts to recreate the route with a couple of interviews thrown in. It would have been great if the film maker had found out the exact house where Maria Rosa started working and interviews with their descendents. There is no narration either of the route taken by the great lady. Some few breathtaking scenery of Ecuador is shown.

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Children of the Nomad

https://www.nfb.ca/film/children-of-the-nomad/

A short film on the indigenous people of Canada, the nomads as they are called made by Evelyne Papatie who narrates the story of her family from her great grandfather to her children. Travel is a huge motif for nomads and in latter day, the bicycle is used as a metaphor to travel to places to achieve the impossible. Wonderful short movie for those interested.

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Strike from the Sky

Strike from the Sky by Alexander McKee – one of the best books on the Battle of Britain fought in 1940 over Great Britain. Had it not been for the British air force fighters and their stubbornness, Germany would have won this battle of Britain between July to September 1940 since Germany had better air superiority than Britain at that time but it was British refusal to give up that resulted in defeat for Germany. Battle of Britain probably turned the tide against Germany because previously France and other European nations had meekly caved in.

Adolf Galland, a German commander of that time quotes in the book “Indisputably, Germany had air superiority at this time, but the decimated English fighter units flew with stubborn courage. The battle put up by the British fighter pilots deserves the highest admiration. In numbers, often inferior, untiring, fighting bravely, it was they who, in this most critical part of the war, undoubtedly became the saviors of their country”

at page 254, “Under the often casual and superficially modest air which the British wear in public, they are an extremely proud and arrogant nation. They believed they were unbeatable, in any circumstances, by any force on earth. They had been seriously annoyed by suggestions that they were decadent, but were not prepared to resort to argument. They had been incensed by the assumption, amongst both friend and foe after the fall of France, that their end was near; they were not prepared to argue that either. And fortunately – gloriously- even enjoyably – there was no need to do so. The situation provided them with the opportunity of proving everyone else resoundingly wrong by direct action. It was with almost savage pride that they set out to resist what seemed an overwhelmingly powerful and triumphant enemy. It was this feeling which gave that summer its epic quality, and it was this feeling which won the battle.”

German air attack against Britain was a precursor to their sea attack and land invasion against Britain, to batter down their defences to make it easy to invade that country. Refusal of British air force fighters to give up resulted in Germany looking eastwards to Russia which was to prove their nemesis in World War II.

 

 

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Aftermath: The Remnants of War

https://www.idfa.nl/en/film/a5e99788-3bf0-40d5-a5f1-51b48f7f0161/aftermath-the-remnants-of-war

 

Heart rending documentary on the aftermath of war – the mines in the France Germany border from the world war II, the dead bodies in the war of Stalingrad in what was the final push of Nazis, the terrible Agent Orange inflicted by US on an unsuspecting Vietnam, the mines from the Siege of Saravejo, in 1992-93.

Terrible impact of the war on millions of people, many years after the war has ended. Children in Vietnam were born with deformities even many generations after the war ended due to dioxyn the most terrible herbicide sprayed by the US forces to flush out the communists from the Vietnamese jungles. The price of war is paid by innocent citizens of many countries.

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Gobi Desert Ultra Marathon

Brilliant documentary on New Zealander Lisa Tamati running the Gobi desert ultra marathon in 2010 a gruelling 250 kms stage race through some of the toughest terrains in the world, steep hills, desert, sand dunes, river crossing, bamboo forest, swamp, path full of stones, rocks, pebbles in temperatures going upto 55 degrees centigrade and down to below sea level. Only the craziest of people can attempt such mind numbing feats. Its part of a series of running in desert in various continents, called Racing the Planet a series of 5 ultra marathons in Gobi desert, Georgia, Namibia, Atacama desert in Chile and Antartica (source https://www.racingtheplanet.com/) .  Lisa Tamati has herself run a lot of ultra marathons over the last 25 years (source https://www.lisatamati.com/). Good documentary to watch for those interested in extreme endurance sports

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holding of AGMs

MCA has issued a circular dated 21st April, 2020 allowing companies whose financial year ending is on 31st December, 2019 to hold their AGMs upto 30th September, 2020. Otherwise they would have to hold their AGMs by 30th June, 2020 i.e. 6 months from the close of the financial year. This is because of the covid crisis, the offices are all under lockdown since mid March and the audit of those companies is still pending. So this is a good proactive move by MCA instead of asking companies to file for extension of time to hold AGM. MCA circular is given below

Click to access Circular18_21042020.pdf

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Showing Up

A documentary on a free fitness project in Boston called the November project that encourages people to come out and run and their tag line is “Showing Up”. Just showing up gives you more confidence that you can attain your goals and be a different person than what you are. They have given a few examples of people from differing backgrounds with difficult conditions – one was a double amputee, another was about to commit suicide and many others had esteem issues, family problems, weight problems – all of them come together as a big giant family and run. Running makes them free and more confident. Nice documentary.

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The Source

Documentary on Courtney Dauwalter, an ultra runner professional. She is a kinda star in the ultra running scene, having come first or broken the course record or both in most of the ultra races that she has run. Tremendous will power and a great problem solving ability that takes her through. She has run a lot of races as per her wikipedia profile. Good to watch for runners

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