Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Chaos Theory.






Have you ever heard of the chaos theory?
It is a science.
It tries to determine underlying patterns in chaotic systems. Weather, Ocean Currents, that sort of things. Well, it turns out that there are few things more chaotic than the beat of a human heart. Speeding up, Slowing down. A pretty face, A flight of stairs.
It's always changing depending on what's happening.It's an erratic son of a b***h. But underneath all that bump-a-ta-bump mess, there is, in fact, a pattern.


A Truth.


And it is love.


The most important thing about love is that we choose to give it.....And we choose to recieve it.
Making it the least random act in the entire universe.
It transcends blood, and it transcends betrayal.
And all the dirt that makes us human.


This year-end, Figure That out.


P.S: my VLC media player has a red cap on its icon(with a fluff of cotton at the end), Though I still have no idea how on earth that happens every year. And I am wearing woollens. So yes, All Is Well.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Hum toh Aise Hain Bhaiyya -6

Remember this?

"Centuries after we decided we were one nation, we still have that to prove.Somehow the fact that the Indian state transcends regional identities has been an idea too difficult for our masses to fathom.And therein lies the problem. A problem so vast and so maddeningly complex, elucidating it feels completely and wholly out of my reach. I can only feel it. And bleed for it."

This mad, mad greed for separate states goes beyond any kind of logic. What goes even beyond that is normally sane, educated and liberated individuals abandoning all sense to give drive such demands.The Centre, removed from this mob-frenzy might have displayed some judgement, but I suppose it's just difficult to disregard all the lobbying that must necessarily have been present.And I also suppose that stating that the Centre should just pack off KCR into nowhere would be too naive. :) But seriously, I thought survival was something every Tom thought off before walking out on his parents.

Clearly, sometimes, some Toms are just too distraught. And desperate.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Birth Pangs

I live in a crowded, ever-shifting locality, and though it had never been a cause of concern for me before, for the past few years I find that I've tired if it. As much as I love food, I'm tired of the new, newer newest restaurants that keep opening up. I'm tired of the new buildings that forever keep rising.And I feel angry every time that I look up skywards to see only smog and none of the stars that I've spent a childhood trying to count. Environment is something I'm truly concerned about, especially since last year when I experienced the warmest winter of my life. But I digress.

Sometimes, there's only so much of change that's good and as a blogger whom I read put it, "Change is often over-rated, and the known and comfortable past too under-rated and vilified."
Increasingly, there's a feeling that I tire of change itself. Not change as in newer experiences into which I gladly and a tad foolishly still jump into, but change as in a continuous movement.

But more than anything, I'm tired of a changing mind. Things that I hated earlier, I turn to again only to find that I like it after all. Perhaps you would remember this post where I wrote about my reaction to The God Of Small Things. The heavy pessimism still weighed down on me, but surprisingly I could just glimpse the beauty beneath the terrible reality. Sample this:
"When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That's what careless words do. They make people love you a little less." . But what's painful is when you look at things that you loved and find that you don't like it after all. That hurts. Maybe this book was about having the maturity to have understood it. Maybe before growing up, life is about growing out of  the birth-pangs.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Nothing Crushes Us.

Dear Leslie,

It's spring again and more beautiful than ever. More beautiful than it had ever been in twenty years. More beautiful than anyplace I've seen in twenty years. Last night I saw the moon fairy again. She shone down our tree-top home, a moon-beam double bright. And I longed to speak to the squirrels again, but it was night and they were asleep. In the quiet I heard the stream gurgling, over the stones and festered lilies.

I've been love-sick and torn. My wounds unfaded, fresh and raw. Early morning today I saw again.You in your corduroys and converses, refusing to grow up and telling me stories. Of kingdoms whose kings were cowards.And new lands discovered. Monsters fought and defeated.Gentle giants won with love. I felt again. Your warm breath as you outran me to our lair.

Today afternoon, years later, I played again. Hide and seek with the brambles.And the bluebirds that return only after winter fades. It was the same bluebird, I think.

Its strange that Today, when I ran back twenty years, I felt only the fluttering in my heart as I looked, once more, at a Queen's land.  I would never exchange that brief summer in an enchanted land for all the sparkling diamonds in the world. I wouldn't trade for all the magic in the world.

But I wouldn't trade the pain too. The pain and the senselessness.

This Twilight, as I sat nested beneath our tree and you beside me, I saw you speaking to the golden squirrel.

You smiled.

You hadn't ever left him.

And then, as the purple faded from the sky, I fashioned myself a crown again. A few wings. Light enough to fly me to another universe.

The king will return from exile.

Ready his palace.

Love,
Jesse.

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Calcutta Bus.

I'm in love with Calcutta Buses.

"That's smart" my alter-ego argues.
"Smart?"
"Yeh. Smart to like something that in any case you are condemned to. Like the subjects you research on.""Or a hurricane-destroyed home."
"Whatever."

So there's this thing about buses, you get a lot of insight into people. Mostly it centers around how principled some are of not patronising deodorants.Though sometimes you might also get a glimpse of an intense belief that Dada is just about to return to cricket. But even beyond that, if you care to look hard enough, travelling in buses is also about sensing just that faint betrayal of wanting more. More than having to travel miles and miles in crowds with place barely enough to stand.

Today, returning home late from Salt Lake, I was stuck in jam at the Bypass.Usual journeys from Salt Lake smooth enough. But then, this was an unusual one. So, stuck beside the Hyatt Regency,I chanced to look up from my cell. There was a dinner in full swing at its lawns. And staring at the splendour, an entire bus of people.

Sometimes, just very, very rarely, Dreams find a way out of hearts and into the chilly air.



This was written yesterday, 11:45pm and left unpublished because blogger decided to play truant.

No more be done:
We should profane the service of the dead
To sing a requiem, arid such rest to her
As to peace-parted souls.

Lay her i' th' earth,
And from her fair and unpolluted flesh
May violets spring! I tell thee, churlish priest,
A minist'ring angel shall my sister be
When, thou liest howling.
Shakespeare, Hamlet.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Realisations.

I wish I could call my blog a Happy blog too, but it isn't and if I tried to make it so, I would be being a hypocrite.


All the last two months I was literally leading a 7 am to 12 midnight existence, I finally realised why I write what I write. I love writing. It's as simple as that. And strange too, coming from the only writer in an entire family of Doctors. I'm a kind of a black sheep in that sense, but that's totally by the point.

I write out of compulsion. What I write maybe senseless unorganised crap, but writing it shall be. And besides, very sadly enough, there's little, too little scope for me to indulge in all the things that I think are wonderful. Painting, photography.

And there was also another realization. If you deliberately concentrate on the better parts of your dreary life ( yes, they will be there no matter how dead you are), If you consciously make an effort not to let your lows spill into places you keep returning to every few nights and is invariably the last thing you see before you hit the bed, then you still have hope.

My posts had taken on a monotonous shade of grey, and I don't think I like that anymore.

Because, if there's something you love, its always worth the effort to make it happy, isn't it?


Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Beaten Road.

Let's just say I'd lost my way. And life can lead you to strange paths. The roads I traversed are not worth documenting but I just felt like announcing, "I'm Home".

A crashed hard drive and lack of time and energy made me almost forget the look of my blog, but the writing couldn't be forgotten and though most of my scribblings would seem sadly out of context, I might publish some of them.

To newer ways.
Cheers mate.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Great Bollywood Trick.

I don't understand what this 'Kaminey' versus 'Dil Bole Hadippa' debate is all about. What I don't understand even more is why should there be the same intellectualist noise every time Yash Raj comes to the theater. Its been nearly a quarter of a century guys. Now Grow Up.

If you paid money for Dil Bole Hadippa people, you paid not to see Godfather re-invented. You paid knowing full well what was to come. No scams being run here. And I am bored. Of reviews from Hollywood- struck wannabe reviewers. Hell, I don't even know which newspaper is paid how much for each.

This will sound familiar, but yes, we have fantastic cinema. Not international cinema, not worldwide cinema, but absolutely fantastic cinema.

And if exotic India sells, Why not sell it? We need money.[ Let me see you debate me on this ;) ]
Sell exotic India. Sell sarson ke khet. It'll fetch you crores by the acre. Though apparently, in recent times, Shit-covered-India sells even more.

Years ago, Yash Raj brought along DDLJ, the NRI audience was discovered and Bollywood could never remain the same. It now had to cater to the Indians there instead of only Indians here, though of course it wasn't as if Indians there had confetti for brain. But the brains would have known that there were better movies to be watched with the same money. So the maestro tugged at the heart and Lo! Behold! The Great Bollywood Trick was born.

The Great Bollywood Trick culminates with Dil Bole Hadippa. And so does the trademark method of bringing back something from the gone romances. So we have to have Raj with his mandolin, the Veer- Zaara touch with Veer and 'Jhaapiyon sa desh hai mera.'

Just for the record, Kaminey just stopped short of just having been a really good movie. Just. The cinematography was bad. The realism is understandable, but it was wanting. And oh, it could have done without the blinkers-strapped Shahid. I mean that part was way out of the way, if you get what I mean.

I don't have any issues with my country basically consisting of people who like mush with an overdose of song and dance(preferably Bhangra). I like it too. Just as I like deep, issue based movies of foreign origin. Though if issues are what interests you, look deeper. DBH has them too. Light-hearted, breezy, but there.

Aaj discowale khisko, bhai desi beat bajaani.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

When Illness is a Mercy.

There comes a time in the lives of all mediocre people when they are dragged down into their own abysses for no reason in particular. Daily, everyday chores weigh heavy. Tiresome, cumbersome jobs needed to be dispensed with replace what is usually a joy.

In straighter words, you are stuck in a rut.

What do you do to pull yourself out of it?

You find yourself an inspiration. Even if you are talking about dreary, dead places and desert sands of dead habit. Remember. In another time you would not have believed that this was impossible. You would have laughed at the unwillingness of another to make an effort to pull himself out of habit. It wasn't an effort for you. Your spirit jumped into a new adventure everyday. How fast we scorn. You should have measured the amplitude of courage required.

You brush the dust off from old dreams. You convince yourself that they still remain and are not something that was foolishly wanted.

But most importantly, you tell yourself to wipe out that cynical smile that is playing on your lips as you type. Even forcefully if you must. You also remind yourself to stifle the half of your mind from whence originates all cynicism. That is the half on whose sword lingers blood of a mangled quarter of the other half, and Massada should not fall this time.

An illness, a body racked with aches and a fever has a strange way of recalling old determination.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Shadow and The Soul.

Tonight, I saw a dark shadow in the caves. This shadow came to me as a reminder, playing hide and seek in the crevices and behind stalactites and stalagmites. I was being invited to a game, someone whispered. If I could catch that mist, the fog, then knowledge would be mine she promised.

I smiled. Wryly, and barely. But I smiled. Why would I want knowledge? Is a battle within the heart not enough? And I Ignored. I looked around for exit as I remembered I had been doing before the shadow went swooshing past. Touching me with her coldness and threatening me with the unknown. Oh I like the unknown. I crave for the unknown. Did she think she could have scared me?

And again, the mist went swooshing past.I could have so easily grasped her had my hands been outstretched. But they weren't. I had heard of the legend of Dr. Faustus. No, I did not intend to sell my soul. And knowledge brought suffering, it did. So I turned again, blind and fumbling, but the exit was lost.

I was not hopeless now. Hopelessness had become a way of life a long time back. Then she took pity.


"You are ignorant" said she
"I know" shot I " Even though it does not bring me to the fools paradise"

She left.

Then the shadow came to rest and spoke :
"Knowledge brings pain, and it brings you medicine so that they may be healed.
Knowledge will make you aware of the chains in which I have bound you. Yet it shall teach you how to slip out of them. "

Without darkness there can be no light.
The earth rotates.

The shadow was me. The lost soul was me. Within the globe of my heart, one half sleeps and the other acts. Then upon awakening, the sleeping half condemns the acting one as it prepares to fall asleep. They tear at each other. Carnivores, blood-thirsty, ripping apart the womb fated to encase them.

I still fumble for the exit. It still eludes me.




“Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough”
- Jean Paul Sartre.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Sea.

Sitting at the window seat of a bus on the Sealdah flyover thrusts the picture of vast humanity below you. It's fascinating. Everything moves. In continuous, unbroken waves.

There are three types of people that I spied in those waves.

The first were The Conformists. Obviously in the majority. They are the ones who surround me and suffocate me. They confuse morality with convention and we know them to be capable of terrible cruelty. Tell me, would they understand a genius genius differently?
The society does not respect them.

Then I spied, dotted all over the expanse, The Confronters.
Some found inclusion here by choice, and others in their callousness.
Do you know what happens when enters a microcosm in a macrocosm to create ripples? The macrocosm is disturbed.
So it re-groups itself and retaliates. It punishes the one who in deluded belief of being a society unto himself dares to disturb. The macrocosm would push these to its very periphery and deny them access to the core.
The society is weary of them.

Then of course, as the law of the universe dictates, there must be a group who has achieved a perfect balance. I think that the world was created in end September or start October and this is the reason behind it being doomed to be ever looking for the perfect halfway point. Neither entirely here nor entirely there. And so, finally, I spied The Non- Conformers.
They, the wise ones knew just precisely how to fit in their differences which did not ripple the waters. Or at the very least, did not start ripples which extended far.
The society is thrilled by them and it thrives on them.

But then again, I spied something else. Dots even fewer than The Non- Conformers. They embodied perhaps the one true characteristic of the waters in which they were born. They were the ones fluid and moving. They fit in neither of the three groups, and yet they perhaps found a place in all three.
They were the ones who did not know their place. Indeed, they did not know if they had one at all.

And then, a light turned green and I moved on.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Through the Looking Glass.

In the post before last, I spoke of choices.

Now that post was very inarticulately written, but as S told me, it's all the age da.Maybe it happens to all, but currently, it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturbs me sometimes.And many more things besides. I still have steps to tread before I develop a distinct apathy that makes survival a happy affair. Though in alternate stages of my oscillation I doubt if I haven't too much of it already.

Do we choose the coloured glass through which we look at life ? Or maybe they are presented to us, gifts or curses as we make them out to be?

I look at life through Red coloured glasses, and this shouldn't come as a surprise, given that I've literally bathed myself in this colour since age 8.

Which coloured glasses do you look at life through? Find here.

Then share.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Being Free.

And so two countries celebrated another year of freedom.

Are we politically free?
Are we economically free?
Are we culturally free?

Are we free to spin our own illusions?

Are we free to at least proclaim that we are free?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Of The Many Firsts.

Tis' a season for travelogues and train journeys.

Yesterday was the day I traveled, for the first time ever in a local train. It was not a choice and I was out of options.

The station at Garia stank of rotten fish and shit. Small holes broken into the concrete clogged with squishy dirt in water with flies hovering over them. Not a pretty sight. And I had to wait for 45 minutes before I could board a train. I drank in every sight. A portion of the platform was covered in chicken blood and feathers. Killed for food, presumably. The flies were densest there.The food stalls surprisingly had less of them.

People might have seen spirit in people there, waiting for hours under the flimsy shade, mostly with heavy loads, usually goods to be sold, and often of weight capable of bending spines. The will to survive as it were, to fight. People might stand applaud courage they see. Courage to carry on. Carry on in all that misfortune and brokenness .

There are people who write of pain. I myself tried writing of it, and that was the point of realization. We can hardly write of pain without romanticising it. Just like we cannot write of the past without romanticising it. Remember the time you were ostracised in a juniour class? Bet it wasn't as nice then while you went through it than it is now when you write of it. Ruskin Bond did say it: " Looking back on boyhood years/ Even unhappiness acquires a certain glow"
No, you need to have truly fantasised about pain to imagine that it can intoxicate you. You need to have been truly insulated from pain to find it heroic. I envy you. You've felt hurts maybe, and slights also. But pain? I doubt.

The people I saw too did not have a choice. They suffer and endure not in heroism, but in necessity. Their sufferings are not awe-inspiring. Anyone placed in their shoes would find that they could continue to exist. It is the most ancient and primitive law of our existence.

Choice. That key-word.If your Choice to live your life a certain way brings you to hell-holes, I give you a standing ovation. That is why Mother Teresa is her. And indeed, so are countless others, all unsung. If your choice to be a vigilante takes you to our borders, we the people who sleep stoned at night give you another ovation.But if you arrive at our borders to fuel your hearths at home, we know that the day something else guarantees that, we shall no longer sleep safe.

They had to carry on. For the alternative to that is obliteration.

We sit, comfortable in our houses warmed by the heat of their bodies, and then we talk about Art. Literature. Poetry. And oh, we talk about the misfortune of their existence, hoping we could do something to change it. Then the more conscientiousness of us go home, stopping at the local NGO to drop off some notes, hoping to make some difference, as of course, that is all we can do.
And then, there are some people like me, who blog about it, every once in a while as the realization strikes them. Doing so eases a guilty conscience, maybe.

The drunks at the overhead bridge in Park Circus were no Devdases, pining away. That is their way of life, they know no better. They have never known any better.

Never mind, Never mind.


"With great power comes great responsibility" - Uncle Ben.


P.S : I'm not too sure of the point I'm making. Actually, I'm not sure that I'm even making one.
Confused, Confused, Me, Me.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Of Careless Decisions.

This day, a year back, I became a blogger.

It was a carelessly made decision, and it showed. I didn't care, there was no one to read it and I definitely intended to keep it that way. Then I realised that other blogs existed in the blogosphere too and I started to read. Reading made me comment and somewhere down the line my blog started being read too. The initial comments made me wonder. Comments were commented on the readable. So I tried my hand at better expression, and to another wonder, I was not as inarticulate as I considered myself to be.

This blog has seen me through a terrible year, and after a brief high of April-June, the slide has seemingly begun again. So it is only fitting that I remember its first Birthday. (Ah! the selfish alter-ego intervenes: you need it to see you through another long time.)


Happy Birthday, dear blog, and may you live for evermore.



"Through language we explore experience, emotions, the very essence of our existence. Unless all that we think and feel can find expression in natural, coherent words, we have not come of age."


All the growing up that is left, I'll do it with you.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Yet Again.

Two more friends leave. Kolkata is fast becoming a lonely place.

And surprise oh surprise, a phone call was missing. I do not doubt that it shall come in whatever number of days it takes to reach Bangalore from Calcutta by train along with the words 'packing' , 'hurry' and 'sorry', but it is a terrible thing. To be the only one left behind as it were, while the other parts of your world march off. And march off together.

I am told that I'm often too hard on people. I suspect that it is usually on friends. And I fear that jealousy forms a large part of it.

Makes me feel very, very, small.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Brokeback Mountain

Somehow, I had missed Brokeback Mountain when the world seemed to be enraptured by it, and so after a conversation with a friend I finally sat down to it.

After the first watch, all that remained of the movie was a collection of images and a realization that never before had I been so utterly moved by a love story, for that is what it is, titles of a gay cowboy movie be damned. It is the story of a shared love, love that is not once called love through a lifetime, because it yet does not know its own name and also perhaps because it is denied by its own preperator.

The second watch still left me dazed , the sheer power of Lee's imagery is incalculable. Jack and Ennis barely speak, their dialogues, especially Ennis' are at a bare minimum and yet they wash you totally with a deep, gnawing, longing.

After the third watch to-night, I think I can finally begin to understand the different layers on which this movie is fleshed out.

What is truly heartbreaking is Ennis' tragedy of not knowing himself, He is as stoic as the mountains among which he had come to love, and in his confusion he has learnt to lock himself within his eyes that do not once overflow. He is unconnected and out of sync with the world, and in his happiness with Jack we discover his vast pain. It's not easy being different, and Ennis' difference nearly bleeds him out. 'Its a film about hearts - broken or otherwise. It's pure romance.'

There is something forlorn and broken about Ennis even as we see him in the opening scene, and he walks with a head bent forward, weight on his sturdy shoulders, all his worldly possessions in a brown paper bag. The brown paper bag would re-surface at the end, when again, he carries all that he has in this world in a brown paper bag- Two shirts, remnant of the only love he had ever experienced .

And he has an enormous capacity for love, coming even from his abandonment. Through his life he makes terrible sacrifices for jack, quitting jobs and forsaking his marriage, not mentioning about his jobs for nearly 20 years, and claiming , when Jack turns up after his divorce that "It's a mistake."

As the story opens, in the silence of Jack and Ennis for so long after they first encounter each other, we see a foreshadow of the course which their love shall run- silent and intense. They are
actually placed in the role of a husband and a wife by the foreman who employs them; Ennis is the camp tender, while Jack is the man, who goes out herding sheep and instructing Ennis "No more beans." But because of Jack's complaints, their roles are more effectively reversed to that which suits them more. And indeed , in Jack we see tenderness and affection, and in one of the most haunting scenes of the movie, watch out for Jack's expression when he dabs Ennis' wounds with hot water.

One late evening, over whiskey, as they always have it,
neat,
Ennis speaks of his bringing up and slow abandonment by
his siblings, and though he bears no bitterness, its understandable enough that Jack is the first person he's ever mentioned this to. ('Hell it's the most I've spoken in a year.")
Perhaps there is a consciousness of having spoken too much, for Ennis seems partly ashamed of his now exposed brokenness. There is a ghost of a smile that never does come, inhibited like all other emotions in him. Yet he shall soon learn to open up to Jack, however briefly or rarely.


Four years after they went their own ways, they re-unite to a heart- wrenchingly beautiful kiss, this time initiated by Ennis. And Ennis chalks out a plan for them to able to keep meeting over fishing, making it obvious by his easy lie to Alma "We was fishing buddies" that he had thought about it long before he heard from Jack. Ennis' plans, unlike Jack's adheres more to practicality, and gives their relationship scope to exist in midst of cruelty that Texas, even today, meets out to Jack and Ennis. But Ennis' practical plans can never quite fulfill Jack's longings and he blames Ennis for a half-life in the climax of the movie, a climax were vividly Ennis' confusion of himself is brought out.

The two parts of the movie were Ennis is faced with the reality
of losing Jack, draws extreme physical reactions from him.
The first time , he breaks down sobbing uncontrollably in
an alley, the second time when Jack states " I wish I knew
how to quit on you " Ennis falls down to his knees, both
trying to escape from him and cling to him. Ennis might be in a state of cognitive dissonance , or denial, but sure as hell Jack wasn't to blame- "Its because of you that I am like this. I'm nothin, I'm nowhere. " This is Ennis' fear in seeing a murdered homosexual as an 8 yr old. He has painfully tried to carve out a safe path for himself and jack and nowhere does his scarred psyche and need for Jack become as vividly apparent as here.

Here also, there is a flashback, and those who have read the story would understand it in all its enormity:
Proulx writes, "What Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand was the time that distant summer on Brokeback when Ennis had come up behind him and pulled him close, the silent embrace satisfying some shared and sexless hunger. ...Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives. Nothing marred it, even the knowledge that Ennis would not then embrace him face to face because he did not want to see or feel that it was Jack he held. And maybe, he thought, they'd never got much farther than that. Let be, let be.

This is a saga of an intensely complex emotional relationship, at the end of which we are left crying for the broken survivor: Jack is lynched to death as Ennis had feared he might and the closing shots are wonderful in their duality.

Ennis, finds a shirt of his which he had 'forgotten' on the mountain, in Jacks closet, still smeared with his blood, and within a shirt of Jack, also smeared in his blood. And in one of the rare moments of luxury when he allows himself to release his emotions, he feels jack's shirt with his cheek. We find the same pair of shirts in the very final scene of the movie, only, this time, the order is reversed, and it is his shirt which encloses Jack's. Perhaps Ennis is at last ready to commit, and maybe even protect Jack, but it comes a tad too late. Both times, their shirts, and metaphorically, their relationship, hangs within a closet, from which it could never emerge, and perhaps their only rightful place in those times.

Beside the hung shirts, we find a picture of the Brokeback mountain, framed within a postcard, which for Jack, is almost a pretend place, "where blue birds sing, and there's a whiskey spring" ; and just beside, framed within the frames of the window, is the landscape of America, certainly and cruelly real.
Both these frames are enclosed within another frame, that of the screen, and we realise that the movie is offering a choice- we can choose any of the two frames.

All through the movie, Jack and Ennis' love is shown against the background of the river, sometimes running and frothing, other times, calmingly present, yet immeasurably large and always pitted against the squalor and mess of Ennis' home and the lack of freedom in Jack's.

There is no doubt that the movie is a powerful lobby, and because it appeals to our hearts with images, rather than mind with words, we are left just all the more vulnerable.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Notebook.

I have been coming across many good movies, all one after the other and I wonder why. This Isn't quite like how things happen to me.

Watched 'The Notebook' , a conventional romance in every way except that its so much more beautiful. At the end of the movie I wanted to stand up and award Robert Fraisse with the Oscar for best cinematography except that he probably wouldn't attach too much importance to it even if I e-mailed him one. There aren't any layers to this, and watch it simply for a visual treat, or maybe when you are down and out and low and lonely.( So in hindsight I probably watched it at a wrong time)

What is it with the Romances? Hindi or English, they are all the same and yet they never fail to bring a spring in my step. And oh, did I mention that it's set in the early 1940's? and again, what's with me and the past? Period Dramas or Historical plays I lap it all up.

I remember S suggesting I see '13 Going on 30', but the future and their projected sciences merely intrigue me, they don't captivate me, enthrall me, make me wonder at what once was.
There is certainty and comfort in the past, the future brings mere doubt.

It rivals 'A Walk To Remember' and that, my friends, is saying something.

Watch it, and discover what it is like to long to visit distant lands and want to see beautiful places, hold them in still pictures and yellowed albums.

Monday, July 20, 2009

17 Again.

One of my very late night movies, and loved every moment of it. There's something about no honks, loudspeakers, mothers popping in forever for just that little errand or a younger sibling asking "aisa kyun hua?" (why did this happen?) that makes a late night movie on a small screen memorable. But this did go beyond the 'Me Time ' I always keep craving for and getting so little of.

For those who havn't watched it, as I know most of you havn't ;) this tells the story of Mike who as a high school Basketball champion, now this was also one of the reasons I loved the movie- I used to play basketball in school, and it still remains close to my heart though alas I play it no more, but I digress. So to continue where I trailed off, Mike was a star athlete with a full college scholarship imminent. He seemingly had it all, when, right before the championship game, his girlfriend Scarlet informed him she was pregnant. In that moment, he made the decision to throw everything away (including basketball and a chance at a scholarship) and proposed to her, only to regret it 20 years down the line when bitter at his professional life he thinks that he might have had a better chance at life had he been to college.

So enters a mysterious janitor who gives him an opportunity to live back his life but "To do it right." Mike , transformed back into a 17 yr old lives a part of his high- school again, setting many things right ,before finally at the same basketball match, he throws it all once more for Scarlett.

And so we realize that maybe the best decisions are the ones made by the heart.

And at the fag end of my life, I will want to have lived my life like Mike. Knowing that if I am given the chance to be 19 again I will not have done anything differently.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

To See Eternity In An Hour.

(The luminiscent dial of his watch told him it was 3.00)


It wasn't easy. Returning home after another futile day . Endless rounds of begging had almost ripped him apart. If only he had money for a drink. All images of him worming would blissfully fade away. Rather like those streetlights which seemed to stretch on forever into nowhere. Or maybe like those stars that seemed to be looking at him, twinkling down sadistically.

Those stars, and a decade went swishing past. The twinkle in Annanya's eyes far outshone anything heavenly. Some years blurred.... Sayan, and the same twinkle. He would be there at his doorstep too. There simply wasn't enough courage to face that faith.

"Baba....ekhono chakri pao ni? chinta korish na.... kalke to sure"
( Papa... you still didn't get a job?? don't worry. Definetly tomorrow)

Some tomorrows never come.

Every drunken laughter mocked him. Every smile made him cringe. When had he lost it all? And why?

Sayan..... he felt repulsed.
An old man lay shivering. He passed on.
The cold air knifed at his lungs, rather like his grief that cut through him, slicing him, wounding him, over and over.

"Baba..."
(Papa)

He was passing through the beach now and he could feel the coarse sand grinding beneath his shoes, his last pair. He thought he spied a couple in the distance, and muted voices carried through the waves brought him words like 'love'; 'forever' and a jaded, cynical smile spread over his face.

He passed on.
Perhaps, over the sounds he had taught Sayan to hear in a sea-shell, he could hear Ananya's recital, A 16 year old voice speaking at an elocution:

To see the world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour

He understood what that meant once. Not anymore.

The world, maybe in another world might have been his to see and show Sayan.

Eternity...Rather like the vast sea before him, streching on, changingand mutating with each new wave. Rather like the world around him that transformed with every new beat of his bleeding heart. Rather like every ray of the Sun, each that brought more light to the forsaken.
Rather like Sayan his only Hope and Love.

And Love?

Ananya could yet come again

A fiery red broke out on the horizon.
He would wait till the red faded into full daylight.


(Beyond the fog, the could barely make out the steeples from which the church clock was striking four)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Thought.

Its often only after the very tiring days that so many little reflections on life hit you. However its not always that you realize that these little nuggets were always there, right behind in the recesses of your mind and that it has just come to the fore in definable clarity and that there is no newness to it after all.


Que Sera Sera : Whatever will be will be.
There was a fly fallen in the ink pot of the Boss.He takes it out from the pot and places it on a fresh piece of blotting paper, to watch it dry itself and prepare itself for flight. But just before it flies off the Boss places another blot onto the fly, so that this time the task of drying itself is more arduous.Yet the fly like all mortals fights for its survival and raises itself for another time before a third blot wipes out its existence.
The fly has no consciousness of the boss and the blots are for it bolts of fate that keeps striking him down, with which he is utterly incapable of fighting, yet he fights unknowing that his existence is being overseen by a stout robust man over him.
We are different. And for us the knowledge that the ink blots shall drop on us are more terrifying than the drops that do eventually fall.
So we live our lives from one blot to another.


Whatever you can do:
There is this thing about your life just starting, you, very much like the fly think that you are responsible for your future and are filled with an overwhelming sense of enthusiasm and drive. You are determined not to make the wrong choices, you are determined not to slack off, you are determined and willing to start putting so many things on the backburner. Then you look around you to the many friends who have already gone off chasing dreams and your resolve turns stronger.

Then what happens??


'Hota wahi hai jo manzoore khuda hota hai.'
(only that which the God shall will will occur.)




P.S : Refernce to the fly taken from a short story by Katherine Mansfield

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Of New York and just a little more.

I wanted to save up New York to watch it with my friends, but that was not possible, and so I watched it alone, feeling lonely right through Junoon. And then 9/11 took over and I no longer missed anyone.

There are better movies made to depict racial profiling by the USA after 9/11. And there are better movies made on songs of friends. If I want to watch the earlier,I'd watch Khuda kay liye. And if I want to watch the latter, I'd watch Dil Chahta hai.

Speaking of Dil Chahta hai, there comes a time, and sometimes far, far too soon than u've ever imagined when you feel that your friendships aren't quite what they were not too long back. The differences that provided such newness and sparking conversations have just been reduced to frustrations at not being able to put your points across and you find yourself increasingly biting your tongue on a late night phone-call because your brain is numb with 12 hours of learning and you still have another 4 hours to go before dawn when you can finally go to get some sleep before it starts all over again.

Not that you like it. You were the one who would take joy in all your differences and say " Friends don't have to be alike . They have to know how to enjoy their differences together." Not to mention newer friends with whom you find it easier to converse, simply because they seem more on the same plane. And you are ashamed of yourself because, in your hearts, this is traitorous and you don't have the guts to talk it out with your friend because of the unsureness that you have been feeling for nearly a year now.

We find comfort in those who agree with us. Growth in those who don't.

???

P.S : Just when John's finally learning how to act, along comes another to claim his discarded crown.
P.P.S : Isn't it the same new york which KJo shoots??

P.P.P.S: For my readers:- In school our classmates named the three of us Amar, Akbar and Anthony. We however named ourselves differently. After DCH- Akash, Siddharth and Sameer.

Who am I ?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Saw it. Finally.

And managed to see a little bit more than its sheer beauty.

I saw the basic being at the very core of all our shrouds of civilization in Mr. Button , when stunned at the death of his loved wife and the deformity of his child that might otherwise had also been loved, his irrational senses compell him to almost drown his child before Benjamin's destiny leads him to the Old- age home.

I also saw that the essence of any kind of relationship, of life itself that has to be shared, lies in meeting midway. As Caroline and Benjamin realise after a beautiful ballet class, he growing younger and she older. That is a profound philosophy. We may bend backwards and forwards and maybe all the ways in between, But real understanding would come only when you meet exactly halfway. Anything otherwise would be unfair.

We all want to be different. To stand out. To be looked at. Stared at. Admired. But being different is difficult. Especially when you are really and truly different. Not different in the ways we know, in having only Prada and Gucci and Puma. But different in ways that are inexplicable. Being different in the mind. Being different in the body. Being handicapped. Then it cuts and bruises and we can ask for nothing more than normality. Ordinariness.


And of course, I saw that everyone does different things.
Some are born to sit by the river.
Some are struck by the lightning.
Some have an ear 4 music.
Some are artists.
Some swim.
Some know buttons.
Some know Shakespeare
Some are mothers and,
Some people dance.

I know Shakespeare, but he is not enough.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Mother with her Son.

It's officially monsoon now and I'm still baking and broiling. I thought the worse was over when April was, But no, June still roasts. The weather's been so much on my (and everybody else's) mind I can hardly think of anything else. And for most of those load sheddings that I still endure, I could of think nothing except the people who overuse their A.C's so that I have to sit with my books in the balcony hoping for an occasional waft of cool breeze.

But today, returning home 1 in the afternoon, I saw something.

A malfunctioning ATM door of Punjab National Bank.

And sitting there, at the steps, in the cool draft of the AC within,a mother with her son. I don't think I've ever seen a broader smile on an urchin before, or more relief on the face of someone with a hand stretched out for alms.

Come all the load sheddings that may, I'll keep in mind that picture of a Mother with her Son and feel blessed for the sluggish fan that rotates in my room nearly 20 hours a day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Apocalypse

I can't stop ranting enough about my exams. As soon as one's over, I'm staring at the other in the face. But the one next month (exactly 15 days and 6 hrs away as I type this *faint*) is the most important of them all. Now I usually don't freak out before exams. Correction. I never freak out before the exams. Never as in never have in the 13 yrs of my schooling. And believe me, looking at the amount of studying I do for them, that's saying something. But I digress. so , to repeat,I never freak out before my exams. But this academic session, as I look around at my brand new classmates, I am starting to feel like I have a lot of reasons to freak out. I'll tell you why:

There are exactly 4 types of people in my course:

The Weirdos: before you call me rude,I didn't name them. My friends did.(fine friends I have, still indulge in kindergarten name-calling) They are exactly five in number, move around in a group, are cold (make that icy)and they even have separate notebooks for their electives. Alone and effortlessly, they make me feel very,very inadequate.

The Cool Dudes: they are the ones who spend all their free time in the auditorium(our cafeteria stinks),take turns testing the willpower quotient of the weirdos( last count, the wierdos were left unshaken) ,yet manage to come for exams with the syllabus complete.They are the majority.


The "Kichu pori ni":( translated- did 'nt study anything) They hang out with the cool dudes in college, do all their studying at home, are hypocrites to the last degree and come with their syllabus complete AND revised.

The Library-worm: I alone inhabit that category. I sleep in class( just sometimes), and use my free-time to raid the library and study as I see fit. Most of the time its extraneous because loving the subject as I do, I find the syllabus incredibly and hatefully dependent on rote learning. So I look up stuff related to what I should be studying(but don't)and just Read. Extensively and voraciously. Doesn't help too much with my exams though and I end up for them with an incomplete syllabus, hoping for the best.

You would've noticed , category 4 is the only one where people don't study and being alone in it has thoroughly shaken me up.So I'm thinking maybe I should panic. Maybe it will help. Maybe it will shock me into studying.

15 Days to go. Will it??


P.S This post was composed on 18.06.09 ; 1.45 am but left unpublished due to load shedding.
P.P.S In this unbearable heat ( averaging 40*C) we are having an average of 3 hrs load shedding everyday.

Another day of fruitlessness, and I'm tired.Don't take it to mean that I've worked my ass of over my files of research, because I haven't. But I did open up my class notes and and wondered if at all it was possible for me to get round without having to do everything as copiously as the others have done.I wanted to plan some selective studying too, but ever since I 've given my ICSE exactly 3 yrs back, my plans have perfected a way of falling flat on my face.

I'm just weary of the system I've been seeing since the past year. There's simply too much of rote and that when the course has so much more to offer. There are vast areas that could be explored if simply there wasn't a do or die situation always hanging in the background. I mean obviously we need to be tested but there should be some elements of applicative study too involved.

Its important (and preferable to me ) that the examinees expand their knowledge to include a comprehensive idea, a kind of an overall view of the bigger picture.

But we don't do that. Instead we commit to our memory specific portions so thoroughly that we can recite them cold after being shaken up at 1 in the morning.If at all we are lucky to sleep that early.(I'm not talking about me here. I'm off to dreamland by 12.30)

I'd just like to go library tomorrow and read up something good. Something really nice.

It will wait.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Believe it or Not.


I would never have believed this, when I started writing my unread blog in 2008.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Farewell At Howrah.

Another friend departs. This time to Mumbai, a charmed city. And obviously, there are usual promises, but as always, these will lose significance, fade.

It's something like standing on a platform at the Howrah station, waiting for your train among chatters, excitement, reminisces and maybe, some tears. It comes and you wait for it's departure with the twin feelings of dread and hope.And then it leaves, with the sound of the whistle you've grown to love so much since your childhood. Only, this time, you are on the wrong side of the iron strips.

Soon you are left standing alone on a deserted platform, looking round with a lump in your throat, and a head filled with years worth of memories to other platforms,where more separations, more uncertainties await.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Quest.

I want to be able to write. Beautifully. I want my words to move you, inspire you and make you want to lift up a pen too. But I'm no good at it. Thoughts rush into my mind every time I sit at this page, a whirlwind after the other, and I can never grasp them and fit them into my chubby fists, just like I could never quite catch the colourful bubbles at the entrance of New Market, then with chubbier fists. I do not cherish a dream of being published. Yet I feel like an author every time I hit the publish button. I want to mould my words into perfectly ordered paragraphs but again I fail.

I fail repeatedly and yet I persist. Even at the cost of scorn and laughter I carry on. Because, someday I'll want to be able to produce words effortlessly. I'll want like what I've written. Now I don't. I think that whatever I write is either too mushy, or too drab. Sometimes I feel, they are too contrived and sometimes , too spontaneous.I'll want to read that something in perfect balance, perfect harmony, written by me.


But for all my quest of perfection, I think my half-baked efforts are worth chronicling. And worth displaying. Because failure is beautiful. Its beautiful in its inherent humanity. Its beautiful in its ordinariness that shows me as an unremarkable human. It is the last, ultimate proof of my mediocrity. And that is why, much as I want to, I do not take off so many of my trashy posts, mostly written in my earlier days of blogging. And I continue to write more of it.It is, for me, a harsh lesson in reality.

And that is why so many unfinished drafts still lie, littering my dashboard. I deem them too ugly to show them light.

This blog was always meant to be personal, never private. But now I find lines blurring. And I realise that I need to pull in my reins once again. Perhaps I'm afraid that the more I enter into the private,the more deplorable its content shall be. Putting something into black and white makes it a final, irreversible reality. And then I wouldn't be able to shut my eyes and ignore things, believing that if I ignore them for long enough they shall go away.

Would it be possible for me to write about the deformed and ugly that is me without cringing while re-reading it?

Till the day I can't, I must continue heeding the lines I drew a long time back and watch my life chronicled through detached eyes.


(words did find their way through my fingertips, and I re-wrote this post on 7.06.09 ; 11.55 pm)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Letter From My Mind To My Heart.

Dear Heart,

I am ambitious. I aspire. Aspire to reach higher levels of knowing, understanding and omniscience.
Yet I find myself chained. Chained by you, who have such inexplicable rein on our master. Everytime I reach out for those great philosophers whose thinking and discoveries so enchant me, you pull me back into the mundanity of your existence and the trifles that are the definition of your being.

I exist to expand frontiers of the vast human empire of knowledge. To raise man from the abysmal depths of darkness and the terrible fate of ignorance into the light and life of reason. To chronicle his efforts as he has through centuries, floundered, groping inspite of my guidance, because you have blindfolded his eyes and dimmed his faculties.

I resent you. Resent you for dragging me into ruin, aiding the rotting and rusting of my capabilities, stifling me in the pursuits of idle joy and momentary pleasures.

I have, for 18 years of my existence, watched in horror,as you have, again and again overpowered me with your tendency towards the simplistic. You have thwarted my repeated efforts to break through your chains, to travel the untraversed world, pulling me back into the comfortable embraces of familiarity. I look at you with disgust as you are awed by the half- baked thinking of your peers, being incapable of comprehending anymore. I sneer at you everytime you expand with pride at a well-done for a petty task. And I only pity you as you find fulfillment in little beyond the animalistic instincts of survival.

You have continuously angered me and frustrated me and I have borne it patiently, because I know that you are handicapped as you are doomed to be. I have cringed as you have put forward your diseased and jaundiced views to me, hoping I'd accept them, as so many times I almost have. So many times that you have gagged me as I have attempted to speak out the truth. The truth that I know owe to minds around me, Truths you have silenced forever.

For 18 years I have been forced to co-exist with you, and now, in finality,I evoke my fundamental rights to freedom and free existence . For too long have I grappled foolishly, hoping to find a way out of your deadly clutches- those that have poisoned me all the years I fed and nourished it.

And so,now,On this day of history, I declare myself a sovereign and free from your bondage.


Regards,
Mind.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Afghan Girl.

It is said of the Pashtuns that they are at peace only when at war.

I had seen her picture way back, in school. I knew her as The Afghan Girl. I thought she was hauntingly beautiful. And she is. Only, now I know that her beauty haunts because of searing pain that comes with being a refugee.

A shattered and devastated nation finds expression in more than numbers and statistics.

Read how she was lost and found in the debris here.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Late Night,

and I am, uncharacteristically, awake.(3.23 a.m).

Memories are better abandoned every time they bring only pain instead of wet smiles she remembered. Last time she visited the hazy past, there were better fruits for her. Leaving forever and leaving forever are two different things. The first brought her anger and resentment, the second brings a void. And it is yet too early to decide what is preferable.

But even through the numbness, a realization seeped in. Unlike the real ones, bittersweet endings always leave hope.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Hum To Aise Hain Bhaiyya -5

And so we enter the last phase of the great Indian carnival. And by far the most important development in the phase last was the arrival of the dimpled Gandhi in the arena.Never mind that the left remained frosty and frozen. I quite like the insistence of Congress that no matter what the ratio of composition, Manmohan remains the prime minister. Besides me liking the man,that's called having a backbone.And personally I don't believe that UP is a battle lost. Back here at home things do look extremely good for TMC. Watch out for the day the darling sister arrives. There'll be an entire country's worth of people welcoming her.

Btw, has anyone told Mayawati that she is in the danger of fast turning into her party's symbol?

Kolkata is steeped into the the election fever, comletely geared up for the conclusion of the greatest and most wonderful exercise in democracy,no matter how flawed, the world ever witnesses. The KKR plight helps extremely.That reminds me, all ye Kolkatans who tune into broadcasts from South Africa, the action is happening here . Cricket's very own deep throat with news, masala and entertaintment from within. Im not reccomending this for shahrukh khan fans though.Trust me u'd rather not hear about Dildo.( :D)
This blog has more action than the entire edition of the IPL put together and if this mystery man is to be believed,(which he is, considering how the athourities are in a tizzy) then the stadiums there are far more empty than shown on Tv, with cameramen specifically instructed to show only the filled portions. Really? And some of the names are going down in history too. Ive never seen better ones.

And so with this and that I shall wait for the 13th as India shapes her destiny.... again.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Theorising.

Why does SRK wear the keffiyeh?


a. he likes wearing it.
b. he wants to experiment with table-cloths.
c. subtle advertising for his look in 'My name is Khan'
d. he's not aware that this look went out of fashion a year back.
e. his designer is not aware that this look is very last-year.
f. he wants to hide his surgery scars.
g. he wants to go back to his middle class roots with the gamcha look.
h. he secretly uses it to wipe perspiration when no-one's looking.



Ans: h

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Keffiyeh.


He's ubercool. Seriously. Even if he's trying to look like a 20 year old in real life too. And even if in some, disenchanted moments, I feel that he's a pompous big-mouth.

Above, he's wearing the keffiyeh (an Arab scarf). And everywhere that Shahrukh goes, the keffiyeh is sure to go.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hum To Aise Hain Bhaiyya- 4

"nine out of every ten people on this earth" says Carlyle, "are fools."

" how flawed democracy is as a concept because it helplessly relies on the rationality of the masses who are inherently irrational and are so deluded that they are sure of their own rationality and infallible judgment. "
(quoted out of context)


My search for an understanding of our democracy keeps pushing me into uncharted waters. :)
Sure, principally men are fools but democracy is, very simply defined, a system of governance, that has, through the trials and errors of history, been recognised as the best.Its not a debate on whether men have the capacity to choose what is best for them. Though incidentally , as Dumbledore told Harry, we do have a knack for choosing what's worst for us.
Its a question of the right to choose what we want that forms the keystone of the entire , massive , framework of a government that's by the people. They might for themselves, choose a government that throws them into the 19th century, or go back to the Harappan Civilization in a quest for self- sustenance. But if that means that they are happy at having beaten the recession ,then hey, democracy's worked. Though of course no one's going to like it without electricity, and personal computers and sales and motorcars and yada yada yada.

I remember the discussion a few of us were having the other day, where most of the people present so animatedly favoured congress.Once inside the ballot room though , they might push a thumb as easily for BJP. And that, in my eyes is the sheer beauty of our democracy.We choose freely what we want, without fear or favour.Even if its an extremist, separatist and up-in -the arms agenda that we vote for, we've got only our conscience, or the lack of it to answer to.And India has always, overwhelmingly, and completely chosen moderation over extremism. Throughout.Though its violence that catapults radical leaders. It was Godhra that made Modi.And I fear that 11/26 shall make another one.

Are we really free? I ask. I know that I am.But the rest?? The real India as i like calling them. Are they free?? Is there coercion and force and threats and bullets that, unknown to me force ballots? By all that I've come across, No.Though of course, my memory reminds me, the biryani that a party served at elections last in lieu of votes can be sufficiently called manipulative. But as I think deeper, its probably not.We vote for what's important for us, and if I think that a biryani that I have once in a red moon is incentive enough, I vote for that biryani.Period.


P.S : above quote taken from here

Friday, April 24, 2009

On A Personal Front.

Eliot knew something about my city, Eliot did. After the warmest winter I've experienced in my living memory And the cruelest April in 3 decades, I've really,truly and finally woken up to global warming. even though my neighbours are apparently unaffected. mere samne wali khidki mein They still sleep under those warm, soft fur blankets( no I'm not making this up, you can send it to Ripley's ).
So so thankfully,things have picked up from Jan and from the two exams that are over to bigger two that are coming and numerous twenty minute walks to neverland in the sweltering Kolkata midday heat to guarantee myself some bread and butter, to other stuff like espanol and reading things I had lined up for a long time and many more besides, I finally have something to do. I had experienced an absolutely horrible last half the year before, the likes of which I hadn't experienced in nearly two years preceeding that, and tis' not a fate I would wish on many. All work I had was non- stop nonconstructive activity from nine in the morning to five in the evening, often stretching to six or eight at night when I returned home, too exhausted to do any more, all building of myself gone to the dogs,and no light on the horizon. That hasn't changed by a large degree, but it has, and for now, it'll have to do.That was actually when I started this blog,sloppy as it was then, dripping with soggy, stupid posts. That too hasn't changed by a large degree but then again, it has. (:D)

One of my great, heroic ambitions in life is to stop procrastinating.Now, if you know me, you'll realise that's one tall order.But for now, I've procrastinated procrastination,and I shall take solace in that, though sadly, my experience tells me its not for long.As I see it,life is about to pick up further and id welcome that. from last April to this, it was a sea-change and not one that was particularly pleasant.But now, off I go to things that scream my (loving) attention.

On my book stand: 1. Inheritance of Loss
2. Shantaram.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hum Aise Kyun Hain??

Everyone is qualified to comment and opinionate on the great Indian democracy. The one Great, redeeming factor of the shambles that is our way of life. From rickshaw wallas to peons to the corporate honchos to the industrialist czars, all shall exercise, and all shall decide.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter.

Easter time, Easter time,
flowers bloom at Easter time.
There's a little bunny...........




Today, returning home, I saw the late spring flowers bloom. Reminded me of another day forgotten. sigh.



My ayah knows more than me about politics and as she told me the other day, she has already decided whom she'll vote for. She's voting for Mamta Bannerjee because Mamta has reduced her monthly train fare from Rs 220 to Rs 25. I'm happy for her. Considering that I've never been much of a fan of TMC, it might sound strange, but for all I care, she can even vote for Shiv Sena, Goonda sena, Mawali sena as long as they work for her upliftment. She is India in majority and I'm glad that the India in majority is changing. Becoming aware. Change, Obama wanted. Change, India needs.And we are but small agencies.

This brings me to another pertinent question: Vote for the candidate or vote for the party??I'd rather vote for a deserving candidate who'd see to it that my locality is not filthy but then looking at the bigger picture, ultimately a candidate will track on his party's ideologies. So it might make more sense to vote for what you believe in. Want.


Still Knowing.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hum To Aise Hain Bhaiyya- 2

This is in a continuing vein of my quest for political awareness. Turns out that a home upside down has its benefits after all. I found an Outlook dated last November with a cover story on Leftist Politics, which I (not unusually) devoured. Though its kind of embarrassing that I had to turn to that after 18 years of living in West Bengal. And from what I could gather,(which wasn't really much) I think that the Left is prone to dragging the economy towards the 20th century. 19th even, if only they were given half the chance. Though this is not to ignore the CPI(M)'s efforts in singur,and as they make no mistake in crowing about, they probably helped in making India reasonably crisis-proof in these worst of times.

But this might not have been such a great achievement anyways if we regard congress' socialist agendas. That certainly should have helped. Try coupling that with the red-flag waving party goondas I see round my city enforcing bandhs and placing banners and defacing my freshly painted walls, I find it a sorry picture. But in all fairness, had I lived in UP, I might have been saying the same for Congress. Never I mind. I'll just focus my attentions at what who's done and proposes to do.

On hindsight, the election tamasha dipped a scale lower, with Modi calling congress a budhiya and gudiya in turn. Methinks it was directed to Sonia and Priyanka respectively. Kudos to Congress for having always maintained the dignity of the electoral process and high offices. If anything, I can garauntee that we won't ever hear abuses being sent forth from 24, Akbar road.

They just won themselves another point.


Upcoming: An IPL post that has been brewing( like so many other posts) in my drafts for a long long time.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Misconceptions.

Caught me saying that renovations take roughly a week?? Perhaps its just as well I abandoned maths. Its taken my home a conservative estimate of 20 days and still going strong. I'm no longer at the brink of insanity. I toppled over a week back. Whatever little is left is sustained by the smell of fresh paint.

I'm in love with smells- kerosene, petrol, turpentine. Wet earth after the rains. And oh, dust blowing before them. Hot, strong coffee. Unfiltered. Hot wafts of freshly baked cakes.The chilly stark smell of deep winter.........

I'm revising my earlier opinion of Meera Sanyal. Turns out she didn't quit her job at all, but has just taken a leave. That doesn't really take a He-Man courage. Though I stick to my statement that we need educated, young blood. So in a sense I'd still be rooting for this independent candidate had I lived in south Mumbai.

Well, someday......

P.S I think I finally managed to correct my blogger clock. :D ( yay me !!)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hum to aise hain bhaiyya.

This is going to be the bloodiest election ever in the worlds largest and most thriving democracy.Ask me, I actually feel happy for it every time I cast my glance westwards ho(:D).An added incentive? I've just received my voters Id card. Though I still don't know if I`'ll vote and for whom.Politics in India is pretty disillusioning. Add petty and selfish to that too. Centuries after we decided we were one nation, we still have that to prove.Somehow the fact that the Indian state transcends regional identities has been an idea too difficult for our masses to fathom.And therein lies the problem. A problem so vast and so maddeningly complex, elucidating it feels completely and wholly out of my reach. I can only feel it. And bleed for it.


We don't need Shatrugan Sinha claiming that he is the "asli " bihari babu. We don't need a family of Thackerays claiming that Maharashtra is for the Maharashtrians. We dont need Varun( I find it shameful that he puts Gandhi after his name) wanting to cut hands and gouge eyes to prove his Hindu credentials.We don't need politics of hate and politics of shame. For all the seats that it may win, it only leaves us more bloodied and more scarred than before. Actually Im not even sure of that. It may win some seats at the regional level but to succed at the center we need secularism. Ask Rahul. Ask sonia. Ask priyanka. I don't think they'll be playing any kind of regional card soon. Over and above any kind of practical reason and benefits that it may entail, it is just not the legacy they've inherited. I do think that their beliefs and political ideologies have been shaped right from the pains of being a colony through the trauma of partition and the pangs of the indo-pak wars.


Though that is not the reason we should place congress in the circus at the centre.I just find it extremely heartening that the farmers are given such predominance in all its policies.If you look at the 1.1 billion population of india of which nearly 800 million is rural, I think that makes more sense than hankering after our IT industry which I think will manage to sustain itself anyways. Apparently India Rising and India shining somehow doesn't feed these stomachs and that's why we have all these farmer suicides.


Ive been pro congress since I was 8 I think, though then it was because it was the only name familiar to me. Im still very much pro congress though Id like to see and evaluate the kind of results acheived over the their past tenure before pushing the ballot button. Right now, all Im saying is that their manifesto looks far better than the Hindutva policies I see floating around. The muslims do not stay on in india at the mercy of the Hindus who were kind enough to take them in. It is as much their land as it is of them.


More than the Lalu Prasads ,we need the educated, young blood in the thrones of power. Not that I hold Lalu's lack of eductaion against him or am making a mistake of underestimating his shrewdness. A case in point is Meera Sanyal, contesting elections in south mumbai. for her I say she's got the guts. Not everyone would ditch a high profile career to descend into the murky cess pool of indian politics. ( she used to head ABN Amro) . Its taken her courage to do that without any chance of winning.She'll get what, some 10,000 odd votes from the likes of me?But she'll make herself heard. She's made a start.


And that heralds new beginings.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Klutz.

That was me, at my Spanish class today.Don't you ask me why do I have to learn it when I have trouble enough with the four I know. It was my idea of fun. Actually, that's the problem with most of my ideas- they rarely turn out the way i think they will. But that's not saying I ever regret them. It started off innocently enough( the course silly, not the class ), the fun I thought it would be, before nightmarish tests made it a big pain in the wrong place. But then again, that's not saying the incomparable joy of knowing something new and undiscovered faded. Its pretty much still there and is primarily responsible for dragging me off my bed at unearthly hours two times a week, every week.But I digress. So there we were, the very few of us ( majority being already disenchanted ) translating conversations into Spanish. I managed. Or so I thought before the check revealed gaping mistakes in my conversation.One that, for example, implied I change my name and identity from time to time. Though this is not what embarrassed me. Ive seen people do worse.
Trouble reared its ugly head in the form of my teacher asking me and another person to read out the conversation in Spanish. You might understand why I thought it would be difficult to do so. Anyways , to cut a long story short, I realized that there was no way I could have read out the part of the receptionist without making a fool of myself and so I wanted to take the part of the other character- a certain Mr Garcia. Guess what I end up saying?

Me: " May I take the part of Mr Gracias?"
( Gracias in Spanish means Thank You)
Roar of laughter.
Me: (mumbling) "uh, sorry. I didn't mean that. I meant Mr Garcia. sorry"
My Teacher : "De Nada, Miss perdón"
(perdón in spanish means sorry)
Another, bigger roar of laughter.

Fun enough for other people.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool.

I spent almost the entire day trying to dream up a prank. And though I thunk and thunk, I wasn't successful . Well I could have fooled my cousin, but he is 7 yrs old and I don't think he counts. Though according to him, he makes a fool of me everyday( by doing things like telling me that my mum's calling me and when I discover that she isn't, there i am, the standing fool :D) . You'd think I would have wizened to this by now but the fact remains that if my mum's really calling me, then it'd get really difficult to explain why I didn't turn up.But I'm falling off the track.I also tried to fool N who just stared at me in the face and questioned: "April Fool??". Now that's embarrassing. It doesn't help you know. People are too aware. Perhaps the year next I'd dream up a perfect prank, the kind that seems too believeable not to believe. Something that might last as the memory of memories. Or I might just save myself all that trouble and fool people a day before or after- " advanced April Fool"; "belated April Fool."

nice??

My friends seem to think that I don't call them up or otherwise contact them for months on end. Now that's pretty strange because as far as I remember I'm the one doing all the calling.Though you wouldn't want to place your bets on someone who can't remember birthdays. But to be fair to me, thats nearly all that i've ever forgotten.And when people call up in moods its always smart not to challange them. Especially if they've got career breaking exams staring at them in the face. Not that im the one to fight on petty things but I do wish that the inherent beauty of flawless truth could have been exhibited.

Maybe another day.



Best of luck.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Soulmates.

"Sometimes, in course of our life's journey, come messengers of our soulmates from unknown parts of the world, to enlarge the kingdoms of our hearts. They arrive unbidden. But there comes a time, one day, when they no longer answer to our call. Departing, they edge our life's fabric with an embroidery of flowers, leaving our days and nights forever enriched."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Holy Mess.

There are people and there are people.The first category of those who feel affinity towards and hence inhabit pigsties. I admire them. Their prowess at being able to extract the one piece of paper from piles of scribbled ones, important ones, ticket stubs and pamphlets that they got at the Sealdah station amazes me. They can have every piece of clothing from their wardrobe in a heap on the balcony railing and yet be able to tell the clean ones from the dirty ones (I secretly don't believe that but if this is what they claim, who am I to cast aspersions on their level of hygiene?) I simply marvel at their ability to sleep and snore on a bed that has a bedsheet not washed in weeks. And I find it profound that the only inanimate object given some semblence of respect is the PC/Laptop. These superior beings usually land from Mars.


And then there is the second category of people . Lesser beings like me, who, out of circumstances are forced to inhabit pigsties. The circumstances in question maybe (a). Having category 1 type of people in family or (b). renovation/ painting job in the home that turns it into a pig sty.


Circumstance (a) is unfortunately permanent. You are stuck with it for life. Yet if you are as resourceful as I am, you realise that there is a way out of it. Divide your home in pigsty/non-pigsty zones. Even if your room is the only non- pigsty zone, it really helps. Encroachment can be avoided by use of vocal chords. I have extensively used it over the years and this was the only reason I did not win Indian Idol 3.
Circumstance (b) is temporary and lasts roughly only for about a week. But if circumstance (a) combines with circumstance(b) then this do ki shakti throws people like me completely out of focus.


Any kind of mess throws me out of gear. It reduces my ability to concentrate. It irritates me and agitates me. I find it difficult to get any kind of work done, let alone the studying I should be doing for my exams starting on the 16th. My surroundings are directly proportional to my productivity and I feel disturbed if I am in the midst of cacophany.I empathise very very strongly with any one in Rani's position in Chalte Chalte. That ought to explain it all.


P.S My crap writing capabilities though, I am baffled to say, remains cooly unaffected.

Kudiyon na dariyo kar manmaani

badhiyo na mudiyo kar naadani.



belated Happy Women's Day.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

ME.


I play
I love long drives
I sing
I indulge
I celebrate valentine's(
well, not exactly)
I own a guess (someday........)
I like quick money
I cross limits
I lie
I break rules
I splurge
I bunk
I eat junk
I trek
(or at any rate, plan to)
I study
(before the exams, yes)
I am aware
I question
I have opinions
I elect
I count.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Untitled - 2

(......contd)


Her face was blackened with smudged kohl and coagulated blood. From this distance it seemed impossible to distinguish.Her hands bore wounds from where the broken glass bangles had cut her skin and from where the rough coconut ropes had bound her wrists, leaving them raw.Both just about distinguishable.Her foot was bare. Not at all unusual in this part of the country where all except the sahukar went barefoot. Her loose, soiled sari was soaked with blood- receding as it flew down, originating at her neck which was sliced. This clearly visible.

Swearing, Prasad brought out a spade from his toolbox at the banyan tree and started digging just next to Padma's body. She had bewitched Kara's land when she had walked through it late the previous year and now the crops wouldn't grow this year. There had been whisperings ever since she was born- an ill fated birth which saw the death of her father and within a week of that, her grandmother. "born at amavasya- what types are born on such nights you tell me?"whisperings which continued even as she grew up- "even uses maaya to learn her lessons Sita told me."
why of all places did they find only his field to dump her?

(to be contd)


P.S. I certainly did not get up at the crack of dawn to write such crap. there something wrong with my post time format and it seems that its just as stubborn as I am.And it actually had the audacity to display that changing time was illegal. Beat that.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Untitled.

During the summer afternoons in the sleepy village of Mau, life slows down. Unbearable heat rises up in waves, enveloping all. Hot humid air from which only the homes protected by dripping jute provide protection. The sun beats down merciless and unyielding on the vast, arid, flat plains. Humanity retires from work, seeking respite in the intoxication of sleep. So it has been for centuries. So it was on that dusty afternoon.

Prasad lay under the dense banyan tree, half reclining,half sitting. Beside him lay a steel tumbler and an earthen pot containing the only kind of cool water known to him. In a distance only a restless crow cawed restlessly. As Prasad was slipping away in blessed drowsiness, the hot air wafted a heavy smell towards him. Dense and rotten. He cursed at this extra hand of work, conjecturing that he would probably have to dispose of a dead rodent. Usually, the hawks found in the vicinity would have done it for him, only his field was thick with unripened grain. Walking on for a few feet, he sighted something far larger than a rodent. Reaching the corpse, he surveyed it disinterestedly.

(to be continued)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Debt.

Congratulations, Rahman. This was a credit due for 17 years.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Billu Barber

Id still go with the old title, even if I have to fear for my life,or worse, my money,in case the hairdresser down my street decides to sue me. I always classify movies on the basis of the repeat value it has for me. I'm no less a sucker for thriller or action than any other fan, yet I wouldn't put any suspense- packed thriller down on my list of favorites if I'm not going to watch it again.(which I usually don't, given that the suspense expires in a single watch). Favorite for me is evergreen, much like Rishi Kapoor in main shair to nahin which looked so fresh even in Hum Tum.

Its nothing much really. Just a simple story endearingly told.And a type that you can watch anytime you feel like going far from the madding crowd. And its a Priyadarshan movie. And its got SRK who actually repeats a dialogue from LBC. Well okay, not verbatim, but close enough. I think He's the only one who can get away with it and even sound better the second time round.And its a feel good movie so you wouldnt be compelled to look beyond whats shown on the screen.And its a movie which you can enjoy with a gang or without.

If you don't remember the last time you left a movie hall feeling warm in spite of the air-conditioning, go watch Billu.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Back to books.

See how fast I renege on my resolutions???? :D But Ive been doing what I like best- reading.With the deathly hallows went out a small part of my life and two sunday mornings back, I suddenly realised that almost for 3 years Ive read no book that has absolutely enthralled me. So I dug out this old old list of books Ive been meaning to read since the donkey's years (and please dont ask me how could I still be in possesion of such an old old list) and set out on a quest to beg,borrow, steal and scour gariahat for them. Once in possesion of them I read them like the one possesed.

ANGELS AND DEMONS.- The only one of Dan Brown I hadnt read so far and shall I say the best?
Especially the parts with the absolutely wonderful rhetoric on science Vs God. Slick, modern, shocking( Im making it sound like a sci-fi movie, and its got a hidden motive- to make you read.) This book has made me put Italy on my list of places to visit and no, this list is not dictated by the monetary concerns other sensible people might find prudent to include. My bro finished this book with indecent speed and I simply refuse to believe that he read it cover to cover( he's the type who'll watch a movie on a computer backwards. My personal opinion is that he can't stand the suspense), though in his defense, he does read with insane speed.
I just hope they dont decide to make a movie out of it.


BOYHOOD DAYS- Arguably the best of the lot. chelebela is entirely my type of a book. I find such charm in colonial india( contribute it to my lack of knowledge on the bengal famine, black hole etc etc, though I did see Bhagat singh). Ive always known, and known particularly that translations can at times, be as ruining as movie adaptations but inept and inarticulate that I am in bengali this is the closest I'll get to tagore. He never disaapoints. My earlier trysts with him include reading some of his letters, translations of few verses of geetanjali and the Valmiki Pratibha.


A TRAIN TO PAKISTAN- Quite similar to what Ive heard from my grandmum about those worst of times. All through the book I pictured it on the lines of the godhra riots. Not the type of book id like to read just before sleeping. But perfectly fine all other times of the day. Especially if you get an unexpected day off because of a bandh and you don't( for a change) have exams breathing down your neck. Id say Kushwant Singh is losing his touch. Or maybe its just the constriants of a weekly coloumn. With my limited capabilities in being able to write, Im in no position to comment.


THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS- Depressing to say the very least. Its too dark, too gloomy, and too real. Well ok, even A train to pakistan is too real but this book has a kind of heavy pessimism that I completely disliked. Id say what ive perhaps never said for any book before,no matter how disliked( not that there were many anyways) : I wish I hadnt read it.


UNACUSTOMED EARTH- the latest addition to my list. Not good . Not bad. Readable but nothing beyond that. I expected better from the author of namesake.


None of the books enchanted me as I remember even the mystery Enid Blytons used to.
Maybe i was looking in the wrong places.
Or maybe, Ive just grown up.



P.S Not at all related to the post here but speaking of Enid Blyton made me remember Spiderman and my favorite line from my favorite part (part 1).

"With great power comes great responsibility"