December 16, 2008

What's in a name?

I say it's all in the name.

I love my name and I can’t be happier that my parents have good taste.

Now that I have made my thank you speech, I would like to dedicate this post to everyone in this planet (and beyond) who’ve had the misfortune of having lived and who are living with the most dreadful names. This one’s for all you people.

I remember reading somewhere that you are what your name is. A name is so important in defining a person. And in most cases it is the one thing that you live with all your life.

In this post I shall talk about the people who I know in person, people who I have seen walking around in the schools and colleges where I have studied and a select few I have had to work with and a couple of people who I know off. I love you all I have the utmost respect for each one of you.

Jijo. J. Jajan – This poor mallu friend of mine had a name that was so bouncy and slippery and he was just like that. Short, stout and with greasy hair smelling of fish all the time. He was the target of all insults and ridicule throughout his school life (am sure he is still being poked fun at wherever he is right now). Imagine him in some exotic country where the alphabet ‘J’ is silent or pronounced as ‘H’- Hiho. H. Hahan. My god, Santa would probably like to adopt him as his personal assistant.

Jetty Jean Joy Kutty - Another mallu (what is it with some mallu’s and their names) person who studied in the college where I did my undergrad. She was very silent always. Initially I didn’t know why she was like that, but when I got introduced to her, I knew the secret. How can someone be an extrovert with a name like that? People always had this thing of shortening a person’s name and calling them while in school or college (even now?). Imagine how it would be to call her. Any which way you try and truncate the name; it either sounds corny, cheeky or just plain stupid.

Latha. K. Lund – I feel so bad for you girl. In fact I feel bad for your dad, Mr.Lund. But on second thoughts, I don’t feel bad for your dad. If he had to live all his life with a name like that, he should have had some sense to not add his name as your surname. And for a girl to have that as her surname is just plain SAD. In school the teachers always had this annoying ritual of calling people out with their full name and initials while the roll call to check the attendance. No wonder you always had a proxy person say ‘Present ma’m’ in the morning. Get married or move out to a country where people don’t understand Hindi.

Brooke Shields - She was my junior in college. Slim, dark and a very nice person no where close to her namesake celeb. I guess her dad must have had the hots for the actor and thought it a good idea to name his daughter that, so every time he called her, he got his share of joy.

Infant - I met this man a few years back and he was 39. And he introduced himself as Infant and I was like, Get out of here. You’re kidding me. Felt the whole time I was with him and people calling him by his name and all I could picture was this man of 39 sitting on his office desk with a feeding bottle and a bib. I couldn’t sleep for a good one week thanks to all the nightmares.

I met a friend from kerala. He told me the secret behind some of the most bizarre and weird names from malluland. A couple get married, say John gets married to Jincy (Yes, Jincy is a name and I didn’t make that up) and they have a kid. What do you know, it’s a boy. Now comes the part of naming the boy. They take the first two alphabets from the dad’s name and add the first two letters from the mom’s name and voila they have a new name: Joji. It doesn’t stop there. They need to add the name of their village, the name of their street and the name of their house. So in the end the boy’s name is: Joji Kutty Thillaberambil Vincent. And by the time he learns to spell his name he is a 40 yr old Infant.


A good friend’s grand dad when he was working in the US of A had a girlfriend who he just couldn’t forget. So what does the old man do, name his grand daughter that. And no wonder she is grand pa’s favorite. This helped her with a lot of pocket money and our best friend.

Some more names of people who I don’t know really well, but know off: Steffi Graf, Michael Jackson, Mother Mary (I know you are devoted and all that, but how can a new born be called Mother Mary), Rajnikanth and finally Madhuri Dixit (her dad’s surname is Pundit).

Now that I have spoken about all this. How could I not mention the various Baby Mami's and Puppy Mami's in an Iyer family. I remember this very old paati in my family who was still called Baby when she was 92. It is not an affectionate name, but their actual name that is Baby and Puppy. To top this there are the chaachi's and the chachu's. Lallu's and the paapa's. 

And after all the love, I just want to add this special note of hate to the guy who typed my name on my voter identity card. I don’t know how in the world he ended up typing that, maybe he sneezed while typing and just didn’t bother correcting it, or maybe he didn’t sleep the previous night and dozed off on the keyboard, or maybe he couldn’t type, maybe he was blind, maybe it was a new born who was given the duty to type names on voter identity cards. But whatever be the case he typed something that has made me think twice about taking the card and going to a voting booth and admitting I am in fact that person. Yes, the name of the card reads: dfhkuyhdi!!! (That little son of a…)

December 12, 2008

Short Series - The letter

I don’t think I can stop thinking about you. In fact I don’t think I want to….

He sat down in a coffee shop and began writing a note to her.

There have been times in my life when I have met a lot of people. Some have stayed on for a while and some left in a hurry. But you’re the one person whom I love (d) with all my heart and I don’t think I have ever felt this way before.

I have wanted to do this for a while now, but never really got along doing it. Enough is enough. Today, I just want you to know how I feel about you.


Taking a deep drag from his cigarette he continued writing.

I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight. Because my feeling towards you had already started before I even met you. I saw you smiling when I saw a text from you; I pictured the glint in your eyes when you laughed while talking to me on the phone. The way you spoke to me in your mails, I could sense your presence next to me and the words flowing effortlessly. Meeting you was the only thing left.

The cigarette had gone off by then. He lit it again and chucked the matchstick aside. Looking at the smoke, he smiled to himself and exhaled the smoke. His eyes were moist.

What is it that am going through? If I have to put words to this feeling that am experiencing, it would have to be ‘Peaceful Pain’. I feel happy every time I think about you and it’s painful when you are not here with me. I want you to see how happy you make me and I want to see that smile on your face. I know I can make you smile.

Would she even read this? Would she understand? Those were his thoughts. He stopped writing. He read the lines again and again. Slowly and then he read it out loud. He paused and stopped in places where he wanted her to stop. He closed his eyes and saw her. A smile escaped his lips. She still had this spell on him.

I remember the time when we sat in my house and spoke. About life, about the many things we want to do in life, about our goals. I remember the passion in your eyes when you told me the things you wanted to do in life. It all seems like yesterday that you were with me and now when I think about it, it has already been a while since I saw you or heard from you.


He was feeling emotional now. His hands were trembling. The third cup of coffee that he had ordered was now cold and almost over. The packet of cigarettes that was on the table next to him was almost over. He closed his eyes again and was thinking about what to write next. He slipped into a zone, a comfortable zone and was shaken back to reality when a car began honking loudly. He settled down and continued writing.

I want you to know that I will always be there for you and I want you to be happy in life. I want you to go out there and achieve everything that you always wanted to. I want you to know that everything that I have ever told you I meant with all my heart. I want you to…I want you.

He took one long look at the letter and sighed. He folded the letter and scribbled 23 on the back of the cover.

He placed the cover in a bag. There were a bunch of covers in that bag. He placed this one next to number 22.

December 11, 2008

Short Series- Showdown

‘There is no us. There never was. And please don’t call me again or try and meet me. It’s over’. Those were her final words. He could still feel the intensity of her voice, the look in her eyes. It ended as suddenly as it had started.

‘I have always wanted to show you this place’, Anoop said while holding Maya’s hands. It was love at third sight for Anoop. He saw Maya for the first time at a friend’s wedding. She was the bridesmaid and Anoop just had to be the best man. They hit it off so well like young teenage girls in a washroom. They had so much to talk about and so many things to explore.

‘I don’t get it man, you see a girl and you know her for three days and you say you’re in love’? Avinash barked at Anoop. That was the second showdown in as many days between the two men. Anoop had made his mind. He was ready to leave everything for his love. His true love.

Maya was everything that Anoop ever wanted in a girl. In fact Maya was someone who everyone would fall for in an instant. It had to be her eyes. Those big brown eyes, sparkling like a rare diamond every time a smile escaped her lips. Her hair falling soft on her thin face. The way she nonchalantly brushed those thin strands off her eyes with her fingers. The nose ring… Maya was sensual.

The last three days had been the best three days of Anoop’s life. He had never felt this way before. He had never felt attracted to someone so much before and here he was smitten completely by the beautiful Maya.

It was on the fourth day of their time together when they decided to go on a drive. Maya loved long drives, sunsets and the mountains. Anoop decided to surprise her when he showed up at her doorstep at 4 in the evening with some lovely orchids. He could see how happy she was to see him there. Her surprise was made even more fruitful when Anoop asked her to get into his car and they drove away towards Anoop’s farmhouse near Malay Hills, a 100km journey from Maya’s house.

The music in the car was Maya’s favorite. Anoop made it a point to do everything to please his lady love. He had remembered in detail every little piece of information that Maya had given him in the time that they spent together.

Anoop had his eyes locked into Maya’s expressive eyes and for what seemed like ages didn’t want to look elsewhere. Then it happened. Crash! A loud thud and the windshield came crashing in close to their face. Anoop ducked to avoid the broken glass from hitting his face and Maya. He turned around to figure out what had just happened and he brought the car to a screeching halt.

There was blood all around the car, the windshield, the seat and on the tar road near the car. What did he just hit? Anoop got out of the car and stood there confused, shivering and sweating profusely. ‘Maya are you alright?’ he asked. Maya. Maya. Where was she? What happened to her?
Maya was lying motionless in the next bed next to Anoop. She refused to talk to anyone. She had a fracture on her leg and bruises on her pretty face and elbows. Anoop on the other hand had three stitches on his chin and a dislocated elbow.

“I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt that man. I didn’t see him there’, Anoop was trying really hard to convince Maya of the unfortunate incident. ‘You didn’t see him there coz you were not looking Anoop. You were supposed to look at the damn road’, Maya was trying to make her point across, but barely managing a squeal. It was a difficult time for both of them. And they were dealing with it in the way they knew. Their friends decided to stay out of it and left the two alone in their beds and walked away promising to come and look them up the next day.

For three months after the accident, Maya refused to neither meet Anoop nor answer his calls. Anoop was left wondering why Maya was acting this way and he was feeling let down, disappointed and deeply hurt with the whole turn of events.

And the day when they did meet it made Anoop’s world crash in front of him, with him feeling sucked in with great force. Maya had come to his house on a Saturday evening dressed like she would on any given day. Lovely, sensuous and breathtaking. She stormed out of her car and walked towards the door. Anoop was on a phone call with a client and he stepped out with a cup of coffee and the phone to his ear. He saw Maya and didn’t know how to react. He could barely talk on the phone. He was overcome with emotion and it was a surprise that he didn’t think would ever happen. ‘I guess I might have to call you back’, Anoop managed to speak these words to the client who was on the line and disconnected the call and placed the cup of coffee on the table next to him and walked slowly towards her.

Anoop gave her a soft smile. Maya looked cold. She seemed cold and she acted extremely different.

‘There is no us. There never was. And please don’t call me again. It’s over’. Those were her final words. It ended as suddenly as it had started.

November 30, 2008

It's not the same anymore...

Tear drops and candle lights
Bloody souls and sleepless nights,
Death is just the beginning
It’s not the same anymore.


Fatal minds, the scars they wore
Casual walks no fun no more,
Smoky plumes across the clouds
It’s not the same anymore.


Heads do spin when bodies crumble
There is madness in this jungle,
Debris burn and birds don’t fly
It’s not the same anymore.


Sounds they were, oh, so haunting
Posing casually, guns they were flaunting,
Danger lies around the corner
It’s not the same anymore.


Women, Children- Young and Old
Lives are way more precious than Gold,
Terror has an ugly face
It’s not the same anymore.


Tempers flare and people stare
Need a place to hide, but where?
My heart is heavy and too numb
It’s not the same anymore.

November 26, 2008

Huh what?

The time on my clock shows 2 a.m.

What am I doing up so late? Staring at a piece of paper and listening to some music.

All I want is you. My mind keeps saying that to me. I have no clue what that means.

I can feel the wind. It must be cold outside. I’m wrapped in my blanket with the fan switched off. I’m not about to sleep. I need the gentle sound from the fan when am sleeping.

Guitar strums and cigarette smoke. Old monk rum and drum beats. Bob Marley and Beatles.

It’s all like fine wine. The older it is the better.

Tell me, tell me, tell me.

I just want to write what my mind wants me to. I don’t think I want to stop.

The ashtray is flooded. Jimi Hendrix looks like he is anemic. Maybe he is just dehydrated. ‘Here you go, Jimi. Some water’. This might help you.

You’re such a mean old man. Oh come on. She’s a go getter. You’re such a dirty old man.

Do you think you can get away with this mess that you have created?

You’re such a mean old man. You’re just a dirty old fag.

November 21, 2008

The Big Secret

The Pavement Baba never spoke much. He believed in the saying ‘When you know quite a bit… Shut Up’. He was a man of actions. In simple words, he was someone worth watching.

With his simple dressing style, captivating smile and intense eyes, he was a nice man whom you could see while walking on 12th Main Road. A green bag hanging from his shoulders, jeans rolled up almost up to his knees, a branded pair of sandals, packet of beedi and a book for company, the Pavement Baba was a man with just one mission- Never have a mission… though a vision might help on the long run.

Every once in a while, one can find a group of people standing around the Baba and talking eagerly. He had a knack of saying just one line which would be the answer to ten questions from five different people. Such was the power of his words. To share Baba’s beedi is like understanding the purpose of life… or Baba was generous that day… or one was just plain lucky.

The Baba had slightly longish hair that started from a rather big and wide forehead. Brown eyes and a sharp nose and a smile oh so radiating all the time. His mouth had a sole purpose, to help him smoke his beedis, to continue smiling and to occasionally speak. Food, coming to think of it, either Baba never ate or the food never liked him.

It was always a mystery as to why the Baba wore his jeans or any trouser folded up to his knees. A number of people had tried to find the secret or the bigger meaning or the absolute truth behind the phenomenon, but they always failed crashing all their beliefs.

One day while a bunch of people were sitting around Baba, a kid managed to draw enough courage and asked Baba the reason behind the way he wore his jeans. Baba quietly smiled, then lighting his beedi, took a deliberately long drag from the beedi and exhaled… Looking directly in the eyes of the kid Baba smiled and said, ‘The reason kid… is silence…a dog… and a Silencer’.

Everyone sat there mesmerized wonderstruck and confused with the response. Baba then got up from the pavement and began to walk. That’s when the group of people gathered there understood what the Baba had meant when he spoke those words.

Baba limped his way across the street with a huge burn oh his leg. ‘ It’s coz of all the energy’ someone commented, ‘No, it’s coz of the endless hours of meditation’ someone said, ‘I’m sure it’s because of all the beedi he smokes’ another person barked, the kid who was silently observing all this slowly said, ‘It’s because of a dog and a silencer’.

Baba turned around from across the road and smiled. ‘True Son. True’, he said softly and limped away into the darkness.

November 12, 2008

Pavement Revelations

The vehicular cacophony from the road was music to his ears. The rumbling sound from his tummy was the perfect percussion. Sitting on the pavement he wrote.

The words started to flow as he paused to let the moment sink in. The sky was blue and clear like a young lady’s eyes, the air smelling of crispy somosas and cheap cigarette. Putting the scribbling pad on his thigh and biting the tip of the pencil he was holding so dearly, he was watching the sights and sounds around him.

A eunuch with flashy bangles and marigold on her hair swayed her way towards him. She placed a hand on his head and blessed him or at least he wished she had. On the contrary she now stood next to him demanding money. He didn’t want to give her any and continued his distant stare into nothingness ignoring the presence of a rather dusky, brightly draped eunuch in a saree that was riding high unto her ankles. This continued for a while and the agitated woman then cursed him under her breath and walked away showing him and the few people who had gathered around an ample view of her flat chest and hairy arms.

As the evening sun slowly began setting behind the tall buildings, he could see the moon playing hide and seek with the clouds. He stopped everything that he was doing and continued to gaze at the beauty of the white ball that was playing tricks with him. A smiled escaped the corner of his mouth.

The scribbling pad now had a lot of doodles. Of little boys in sweaters, of mothers holding the hands of their little ones and walking on a street, of dogs lying under push carts selling tender coconuts, of the eunuch smiling and posing like a model.

“All that a man has to say or do that can
possibly concern mankind is in some shape
or other to tell the story of his love-
and to sing; and if he is fortunate and
keeps alive, he will be forever in love.”


He remembered Thoreau’s words that he had read in a book recently. They made so much sense, he thought to himself. Or maybe they always made sense but it was only now that he had the clarity that he could understand the essence and the meaning of those lines.

A kid with bright wide eyes came closer to him and was amazed looking at the doodles on his pad. He stood there mesmerized with a smile and pointed at one of the doodles & said something like, “Dog. Alsatian?” Was that a question that he was asking or a discovery that he just did? He wondered what it would have been, but smiled at the kid and showed a couple of tricks he had learnt from his father. It was simple, the tricks. How to make a police officer from a tea cup and how to draw a person’s face with all the numbers from 0 to 9. He was amazed looking at how his father could make something so real with such ease. And he felt the same effect and joy on the kid as it was his when he was small.

He folded the pad and placed it back into the bag he was carrying. He lit a smoke. He walked away from the pavement as he saw an elderly couple walking towards him. He always felt that smoking in the presence of elders was in some way being disrespectful and he didn’t want to do anything to annoy them or spoil their evening walk. As he walked through narrow lanes, he could see the neon lights beginning to light up the streets and the shops. There was a lot of activity on the street. He saw a bright light coming from one of the shops that sold antiques. He loved that shop. He could get some of the most amazing things from there and his house was in fact full of little things that he had bought from this shop.

The shopkeeper was a friend and he waved a friendly hello and continued to explain the working of an old grandfather clock to an eager customer. He knew his way around the shop and hence didn’t bother waiting for a sales person to direct him. He went to the corner of the room, where he knew was a drop down ladder that took him to the attic where a lot of antiques were dumped, stored not dumped according to the owner. He moved to the dimly lit attic and his nostrils were immediately filled with the smell of old rugs, dust filled books and lamps and rodent pee. He smiled to himself remembering his conversation once with the owner about cleaning up the attic and him moving in to that place filled with absolute treasures. He saw an old book dumped alongside kashmiri shawls and half-broken temple idols and some old furniture. He lifted the book and dusted the cover. The dust from the book moved up like mist with the moonlight coming into the room from a broken down window pane.

“The works of Thoreau”, it said in big bold typography.

On a sudden he knew what was going to keep him occupied.

November 03, 2008

Nirvana

I was lying there, stretched and sprawled on the floor with my eyes closed.


I saw a big tree. It was the only tree.


I saw the silhouette of someone sitting under that tree. The place looked isolated. It seemed to be in a place that people normally stayed away from. The air was still and there was no movement on the tree or the leaves. There was an eerie silence and the sound of silence was overwhelming.

The sun was setting and the orange glow was harsh but soothing at the same time.

I moved closer.
I saw something. I saw someone.

The man was sitting with his legs crossed and his arms on his thighs. I was certain he had his eyes closed. But all I could see was his back. I moved closer. Looking at that person had a calming effect on me.

I had a lot of questions on my mind lately and something made me feel that the solution is just around the corner. Sitting under that tree.

I went around the tree to now face the man sitting under the giant branches and the still leaves. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing. The man… sitting… under the tree… was Me.

I stood there with my mouth wide open and my eyes literally falling off the socket. ‘This can’t be happening’, I thought to myself. ‘How is this possible’? The voices in my head were LOUD.

There was something about looking at a peaceful Me. The closed eyes, the slight smile escaping from the corner of the lips, the body that felt so light like it could fly any moment. It was divine, it was blissful and I could feel the happiness that I was experiencing looking at Me.

For the first time in what seemed like a really long time, my muscles relaxed and I was comfortable with the whole concept of observing Me. I decided to sit back and enjoy this little trip.

It wouldn’t have been long before I spotted a white bird flying out from its nest in the tree. The bird was white, so white that it seemed like someone had emptied a bucket of white paint on the bird. The bird’s eyes were red. With its long wings, the bird swayed elegantly from the tree and flew towards the sky. When I looked up to see the bird flying, the ground below me caved in and I began to fall. I was feeling so light. I was plummeting with great force and intensity. I was petrified. Then I saw the silhouette of Me also dropping just like how I was.

During the fall, the only thing I could feel was my heart beating real fast but my body feeling so light. In fact it made me feel like there was nothing on my body except the beating heart. In the course of the fall, I was turned upside down and I could see a bright yellow light? Was it a yellow lake? Or a Sea?

I fell head first into the yellow light. Immediately I felt a heat wave flow through my entire body. From head-to- toe. It seemed to take its own time to burn my body. I could feel the heat. It was intense. But with every inch of the wave moving across my body, the feeling was just unbelievable. I felt so much joy, I sensed peace, and I felt I was being liberated.

When my body was immersed into the yellow light the heat was way too much to handle. I could sense a glow of that light on my face. I closed my eyes unable to face the intensity of the light and the moment. Just when I was enjoying the heat and the peace it gave me, the light stopped. The bright yellow that engulfed me and which had reached my toes, stopped. Then the next instant like it was being sucked out of me, it shot right up from my toes towards my head. This time the light became a bright red. As the light was moving in such great speed through my body, I could feel a certain chillness in my body that was soothing. The red spark was now moving upwards with greater speed and it reached my forehead. It stayed there. My temple was throbbing from the intensity of the spark. My body was cold.

While the spark continued to stay at my forehead, it was just mind blowing. My body was cold and I was flooded with waves and waves of bliss. It felt like there was a waterfall of nectar in my body. I could feel the sweetness of the substance. I could feel the elixir.

Then in just the same intensity as it had when it was sucked from my toes to my forehead it went above my skull. It stayed there for a fraction of a second and all I could see was one big gigantic red ball of fire in front of my eyes. Then it was zapped away from my sight and it was gone.

‘What just happened?’ I asked myself as I tried connecting to make sense of the whole incident. The tree, the white bird, the meditating Me, the drop into the underground world (paatala), the yellow light, the heat, the red spark, the chill, the joy, the bliss and the experience as a whole. It was orgasmic.

I feel light now, I feel happy now, I feel peace with myself and the world around me.

What just happened?

October 19, 2008

The effective art of cutting and pasting

There is something about sitting late night in an edit studio watching the monitor as the film is getting done. The way you look at shots and sequences over and over again. The way they still don’t make it look redundant.

The voice over that keeps coming on during the edit: cut, paused, stopped and chopped at various places to ensure that the voice matches the shots and is in synch with the music and any other background score that you have in mind for the film.

I have sat in edit studios a number of times in the last six years and every time I sit in a studio it has been unbelievable. There is something about looking at the screen hours on end, trying to make something productive out of all the shots, stock that you have. It makes me feel like a sculptor. I make something look beautiful out of just the raw stuff.
It makes me feel like God.

When I walk into the studio, I have so many thoughts in my head. I think about all the many things I can do with what I have. I think about all the many things I can bring to the film. I think about my client. I think about the editor who am sure hasn’t slept in the last 72 hours. I think about the many hours of studio time that I or my company might be paying for. I think about my friends who I haven’t met in a long time. I think about the studio assistants who don’t get tired of the many I times I ask them to make coffee for me or to run down the street to buy me cigarettes. I think. Because I get paid for my thoughts. I get paid to think.

In the last six years I have met so many people. Editors. They are one of a kind. Most of the editors I have had the pleasure of working with, have been amazing people. Extremely soft spoken and I have always felt they talk less, because the lesser the things to edit, the better a film looks. Maybe they have adapted that kind of a lifestyle.

Some of them think.

I only wish all of them did. It makes my job so much easier. But do I really want to take the easy way out here? I don’t think so.

There is something about sitting in a studio and having an argument with the editor. He does his job, and am trying to do mine. “A dissolve here would work just fine”, I bark at the editor while I light my smoke and stare at the screen with a blank expression. He would look at me like am committing the biggest sin of my life. “A dissolve? You must be joking”, he would snarl back frothing. In the end after repeated effects and arguments we would settle for a fade.

Its little things like this that makes my time at a studio pleasurable and worthwhile. The amount of things one gets to learn. The various tools one gets to understand. This one’s for all the editors I have worked with.

The End.

(I know you’re smiling now. Fine it’s over. Burn the DVDs and send me the bill)

October 13, 2008

It was 6 in the evening...

I was sitting next to the glass overlooking the busy evening traffic on 12th Main road. The sights were not something new to me. I have sat there by the same window with a coffee and observed people and vehicles on the road. But it felt different today. It felt extremely different.

As if someone had shot a video of the busy traffic and was playing it in slow motion for me to sit and watch. Cars were moving past me, with their headlights on high beam. A cyclist was trying to avoid the puddle on the road that was present thanks to the confusing weather pattern that this city is blessed (cursed) with. An old couple walking hand in hand and all that was missing was an old kishore kumar or Rafi’s song.

Suddenly everything stopped. Everyone stopped. The slow motion was over. Someone had pressed the pause button. They knew I was watching. They knew I loved the whole scene that was being played before my eyes. The coffee tasted lovelier than always. The mosquitoes seemed to have taken a break to watch this movie too. Didn’t feel a single one of those blood sucking thingies on my skin for what seemed like a long time.

“Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man. Play a song for me”. I don’t think am sleepy and I don’t think am letting anything come and stop me from experiencing something that I have never felt before. This was completely insane.

Where is my beer when I need one? There it was. On the footpath. I could see how cold it was. I could sense the chill from the other side of the road. Bliss awaits me and all I need to do is cross the road and take it. Cross the road when everything had stopped or so I thought.

Bam. Bam. Crash.

I was lying on the road with my back on the tar road. My head felt funny. My hands were too numb. My leg. I think. Was bleeding? Missing? I don’t know.

“Are you ok?” I heard a voice. A girl’s voice, calling out to me. I opened my eyes. The sun was directly on me. I couldn’t see anything. Everything was dark. I closed my eyes.

There were people around me. They were looking at me. I felt like I was in some zoo. With people paying up at the entrance to come watch me. Perform.

Hindustani music was playing in the background and there it was. The old man smiling at me from the adjacent bed. He was singing. He was the singer, whose voice I had been hearing all evening?

He had a cardiac arrest. The poor old man. He was singing so well. I missed him. I will miss him.

Suno bhai sadho…. suno bhai sadho…

October 02, 2008

Satisfaction Guaranteed

'Done', said the voice.

'That's it'? he asked quizzically. He had been there inside the room barely for ten minutes and now it's over. That's not what he had heard. He had been eagerly looking forward to the experience. He had dreamt about it. He had fantasised about it. Even rehearsed the whole event in his head a million times over before he could get himself to come there. And now like an overblown bubble, like a monkey on heat, it was over.

He felt like he had been cheated. He felt completely let down. Tears slowly formed. His eyes became moist. His lips began to quiver. His hands trembled as he reached for his jeans. The people who entered the room moved back. No one knew how to react. The man standing closest to him ducked for cover behind the red couch that was placed strategically for the comfort of the customers. The others quickly followed his actions. His knees felt weak. His stomach was getting queasy.

'This can't be it. This really can't be....'

He screamed. With his face buried between his palms. His whole body was shivering. He felt a hand tap him on the shoulder.

'That would be 500 rupees', the voice said.

He lifted his head up. There, he saw her standing in front of him. Her hair looked neatly in place. Better than his. He was sweating. She was surely not amused with his melodrama.

'Pay up and beat it mister. I have more clients waiting', she said.

He reached for his wallet with great difficulty. He took the money and offered it to her. She pointed towards the cash counter where her assistant was waiting with a stare. The assistant had bright red lipstick on. She had very big bust and it seemed like they were heaving with all the anger. She looked more like a man. She snatched the money from him and showed him the door. He could barely walk. He literally crawled out through the door. The door closed behind him.

He inched his way a bit more. Flashes of the french movie he saw a few days back came flooding. His temples where throbbing. With all the courage he could muster, he turned back. There it said, the sign on top of the door....

"Amazing Matilda- The salon experience you will never forget".

September 26, 2008

Special Memories of Special People

It was early evening when I decided to walk at the park near my house. I stepped out wearing a simple t-shirt and a pair of jeans that was crying for a wash. It had been a while since I did that. Wash & Walk.

I heard the familiar sounds of the horse-cart that picked and dropped school kids. The guy who managed the cart was a friend of mine. That’s coz I used to take the same cart to go to school back in the time when I was in school. He stopped the cart got down and smiled at me. His face all wrinkled now. Years of drinking had made his breath smell like the cheap Monitor whiskey that he drank all the time. He moved closer to me. He was hunching now and he walked slowly. I smiled and waved at him. The kids sitting in the cart were noisy, as all kids were in the evening, all geared up to reach home and play. The old man asked about me, what I was doing, about how my parents were and told me that his health had been pretty bad lately. I remembered his son. A little boy who used to drop milk packets in every house at 5 in the morning. He worked hard and went to school upon insistence from my parents. The old man then told me that he would come by my house later since it was holiday season for the kids. I smiled and continued to walk. I knew why he wanted to come home.

The park was pretty crowded that evening. The weather was nice. The sun setting slowly behind the distant mountains that enveloped the area like a bowl. The sky was orange. It was glowing. An old couple with their walking stick were walking slowly on the path that surrounds the park. Stopping and smiling at friendly faces that they have seen over the years. A bunch of kids were playing cricket. With red bricks lined up one on top of the other leaning like the tower of Pisa as the wicket. I smiled. Thought to myself, some things just never change.

The lady who sold flowers was sitting by herself near the park gate. That was her spot. She must have been in her mid 30’s when I saw her first. She was dark, plump with a huge bosom. A friendly smile always lit up her face. There she was sitting & arranging the flowers from the sheet on the floor. I used to enjoy watching her fingers work magic on those flowers. Tiny buds when touched by her would blossom into fine garlands. The way she used to call out to customers. Her smile. The sweat was dripping from her forehead like pearls. She would take her saree and wipe the sweat. She saw me walking past and called out to me. I smiled and walked towards her. She was more than happy to see me. I had not been home for a while now. I went and stood next to her. She beckoned me to sit down and screamed to a little boy in the next stall to get a bottle of ‘Color’ for me. They never called it a cool drink or a soft drink. It was always Color and they liked to call it that. She started asking me about work. She wanted to know how much money I was making. That was a common thing with people like her. They wouldn’t understand if I told them that I was making advertisements or I was aspiring to make a movie. But they always want to know how much money I was making. Strangely any amount that I tell them makes them happy. She was telling me that I had lost a lot of weight and that I need to take care of my health. And the one question that she would always ask me, if I was married or when I’m planning to. I spent some time chatting with her and decided to continue with my walk. She wished me well and asked me to drop by anytime to pick up flowers for my girlfriend or my wife when I get married. Promising her that I would surely get all the flowers for my wedding from her I moved away.

The sun by now had almost sunk behind the mountains and it was beginning to get dark. The kids who were playing cricket had all left. I stopped by the tea shop to have a chai and a smoke. A loud film song greeted me when I entered the chai shop. The owner must be in his late 60’s was a man with a lot of words all the time. I used to get very annoyed back in my school days when I stopped at his stall. If someone asks him the time, he would end up giving a lecture and talking for hours. Such was his personality. When he saw me walk in and ask for a chai, his face lit up. I could see him push a couple of people standing near the cash counter and walk towards me. He knew me very well. But I guess his age got the better of him when he couldn’t remember my name. I could see it in his face that he was trying real hard to remember my name. How could he not remember? After all, it was my friends and I who gave him the maximum business. He barked at his assistant to make that chai a special one and add a couple of biscuits along with it. I smiled and told him that it was not needed. But he insisted I have one at least. I lit my cigarette. His face shrunk. I think he took it upon himself to ensure that I stay clean all my life and my action disappointed him. He did well to hide it. He shook his head in a way that made me realize that he was not happy with me smoking. I squinted my eye indicating that I needed one pretty bad, but am not really a smoker. It didn’t work though. He started smiling again when I stubbed the cigarette and tasted his special chai. After twenty minutes of telling him where I was living and what my job was like and yes, how much I was earning, I offered to pay for the tea and smoke. But he refused and told me that I was his guest and he thanked me for coming back to his stall after all these years.

I began my slow trudge back home. I began thinking. Who were these people? They are not family. They were not people I saw everyday. But they are such a huge part of my life. I enjoy talking to people, I enjoy meeting new people. But it’s people like this that makes life such a joy. They don’t expect anything, they mean well and they pray for you. They want all good things to happen to you, more than their kith and kin. They are wonderful human beings. I think about all these people who occupy a special place in my life. I think about them all the time.

The old man with the horse cart, the flower lady, the chai shop owner, the dabbahwallah who brought my lunch box to school everyday, the bus conductor who worked in the route that I took to go to college for three years, the waiter at the coffee shop that I visit frequently, the bartender from my favorite pub, the guy at the juice shop, the shopkeeper across the street from my house, and many more who I have known over the years.

I reached home and saw my mom talking to the man who brought the groceries to my house everyday. She was smiling and talking to him about me. I stood there smiling.

September 11, 2008

Randomness

Thirteen stations
Twenty seven tokens
Fourteen litres
Nineteen bicycles
Ninety seven letters
Sixty words

What the fuck am I typing?Randomness is a wonderful feeling. I thrive on it.
I mean I could just sit here all day, look at the people walking in and out of the coffee shop, continue sipping on my coffee and lighting a smoke every now and then. But...

There she comes again. That little brat. She has been doing that all evening. I have only been here in this cafe for the last six hours. Not moved an inch.

Is it really possible? She sent me a text. I guess so. But then again, I couldn't be sure.


Eighty eight songs
Thirty six heads
Fifteen coats
Twenty cups
Eleven names
Seventy dogs
Ten texts
Fourteen calls

This is insane. Am sure that's what the person serving coffee is thinking. He has done this over and over again. He has seen me here almost all the time. Everyday. I don't disappoint him. she walked in slowly. Her hair flying swaying gracefully thanks to the wind. It was drizzling outside. I could see a few drops of the rain on her face. She stood there next to the elevator, wiping away the droplets.

Is it really possible? She sent me a text. I guess so. But then again, I couldn't be sure.


I know what you're thinking. Another one of my random ramblings. But look closer. Not so close dumbass. I mean not with your nostril sticking on the monitor.Now, that's better. Do you see it? Do you? I have been doing this for the last four years. Writing stuff here. Posting things. I have a zillion other things that I have written on tissue papers, on the back of bills, on scribbling pads. It's there. Somewhere. I don't post all. I don't want to. I choose not to.

But why would you care? You come to this page to see if there is anything interesting. I disappoint you on most days. Then there was silence.

Someone asked me once. Why do I write? I say, coz I have nothing better to do. Then the smart ass that she is, asked me, I thought you didn't want to write anymore and that's why you quit. I say... someone didn't flush in the loo. That disgusts me.

Do you care about the comments on your blog? What do you want me to say? I do. Like, yes. Sometimes? Or else I would have de-activated the possibility if I didn't want to. But that doesn't stop me from writing, posting and sharing what I want to. There are people out there who know me. Who know the real me. Who know the person I am. They don't quite care if I write a suicide note or a love letter. They don't care if I say Screw the world or screw you.

Screw you. She said and walked away.

I should stop doing this. I should stop this random crap. I read your mind. Didn't I?

Five years, meaningless, mindless, mind fucked, Clueless, happy, strange, sad, angry, hurt, posts, more posts, more... it's been there. I have beent here. So have you.
It's been good. It's been crazy. It's been one interesting journey so far.

Randomness is fun.
I had a wonderful time. Maybe we should do it again sometime.

September 08, 2008

Bloody Mess

As he was sitting in that room with a bright white tube light above his head, he felt uneasy. White light was not his favorite. It made him really uncomfortable. It always made him close his eyes. It reminded him of things that he wanted to forget.
In a fraction of a second there was blood all over. It was red, dark and it was oozing quickly. He shook his hand as a reflex and a few drops fell on the floor. It made a circular pattern on the white floor.
She walked out calling his name. She looked small and petite with a blue skirt and a tiny blue cap. She had a tray in her hands that was grey. She looked around the narrow hall and called his name out again. A little louder this time.
The blood was now dripping onto his arm. The white cloth that he had used to cover the cut was now bloody. He had held his hand up closer to his body and so a few drops had fallen on his shirt. The sight made a little kid sitting next to him, hold on to his mommy close. She held her hands over the kid's eyes. So that he didn't have to see the gore.
Machine gun sounds and people screaming. Blood smeared on walls. Blood on the floor. Blood on the ground. Bodies lying around. Strewn all over the place. Organs scattered everywhere. Pain. Death. Life. Death. Blood. Devastation.
They ran. Faster with each second. Their breath getting faster. Gasping. She held his hand as they ran past people on the road. Pushing an old couple. A cyclist slides and avoids a roadside stall. Crashing into a car. Honking cars, rude motorists. Crazy man walking his dog. It had to stop.
She called his name out loud again. He got up and walked towards the door outside which she was standing. He had come to see the doctor. She gestured him to come inside. There he was. With a deep intense look on his face. He was looking at an X-ray. He nodded his head and turned around. He was disfigured. There was blood from his neck. His eyes were missing. A piece of his tongue was lying on the table. He walked slowly towards the man.
The girl kept looking at him. She looked like she wanted him to know something. But what? Her black dress was swaying with the air from the ceiling fan. He looked up to see where the air was coming from. He looked down and she was gone.
It was all too sudden when the old lady held his shoulder from the back. He turned back. She was breathing heavily and her forehead was wet. It was her sweat. The little kid walked across the hall. He was happy to see her. He wiped the sweat off his face and looked up at the lady. She was smiling. He walked upto her. He helped her wipe the sweat off her brow. He wiped the sweat on his shirt. He bent down to look at the shirt and there was blood. His jaw dropped and when he looked up to see the old lady, she was bleeding from a deep cut on her head.
He began to throw up. All over the floor. All over his dress. He just couldn't control it. It was all too scary. He had no clue what was going on. He closed his eyes and screamed. He screamed but words failed to come out of his mouth. He had three of four people looking at him. They didn't react. They had a blank expression on their face. No one cared. No one bothered. No one was alive.
The bell rang. It was gentle at first. It began to get louder and louder. There was now a pattern. He could hear people laughing. The laughter was evil. It was sadistic. The bell became even more loud. He got up. He walked towards the door. He was still in a daze. He was disoriented. He opened the door and his maid was standing at the door. She walked past him and entered the house. She said, "You can go back to sleep now. I shall clean up and lock the house".

August 31, 2008

I Hope I don't fall in love with you

It's just strange. This feeling.
Too fast too furious.
But love every bit of it.
Why does this have to happen?
Why now?
Meant to be?
Another way to get hurt?
Been there. Seen that.
Is it?
Maybe not.
But could be.
Should it?
Instincts say otherwise.
Heart is all over the place.
Mind is a bit clogged.
Fingers seem to be doing overtime.
Smiles & tears are the same family.
Fear is just an angry relative.

August 18, 2008

...................

If wishes were wild horses, they would want to make love to
unicorns.

August 12, 2008

Thanks for a lovely evening

25 kids stood in a semi circle. Innocent faces with a lot of stories. Shy, eager and overjoyed. They stood there with their hands clasped with their own or the girl standing next. They always spoke in unison. They laughed & smiled in a group.

Little kids, they know so much. Little kids they make us understand so much more.

"Happy B'day to you
Happy B'day to you
Happy B'day dear AKKA
Happy B'day to you"

They sang, they giggled and clapped their hands in glee.
It's christmas for them.

Santa Claus had come to see them with a nice big bag. Food & Drinks to quench their hunger and thirst. But Love to quench their life.

Thanks for a lovely evening.
Happy B'day.

August 06, 2008

Do beedi ka samay


I have tried to understand the concept of time for a really long time now. After all these years, I have realised and come to a conclusion that such a concept doesn't exist and it's just a term. My interaction with people from different nationalities, origin, race, and color has given me a better understanding about this term and also helped me a great deal in my research on the theory of 'Do beedi ka samay'.


This theory is a revelation in understanding the behavioral pattern of the human species. Why 'Do beedi ka samay' you may ask?


While working closely with the tribes of Tippasandra, Bandra, Byappanhalli, Kuniyamuthoor, Sundakamuthoor, Kalasipalayam, Murgespalya, Lal Chowk, Subhramanyapuram, Kovilpatti, Kuppakonamuthoor and a lot of other palyas and puthoors, the one common factor that I have seen is Beedi. Everything starts and ends with beedi. 'Hey, come. Sit and have a beedi'. ' Am sorry to hear about your mother. Here this is a special beedi'. Beedi before you go to sleep and beedi immediately after you wake up. A beedi with your chai and a beedi while you work. A beedi in the hand and a beedi tucked behind your ear for future consumption. So, talk about time with these beedi idolizing crowd, time is also measured in beedies. When I explained one of my concepts with them, a wise old man after taking a deep drag on his beedi said, 'Do beedi ka samay'. The gathering said in unison, 'Do beedi ka samay', and there was a loud roar. I was offered a beedi as a token of appreciation.


The wise old man's words kept haunting me for a long time. 'Do beedi ka samay', he would say, while smoking one. His voice would echo in my head. He would also have an evil villanous laugh. The laugh kept getting louder and louder as the days went by. One night while sleeping, I heard the again. The laugh was loud and haunting. I woke up startled, breathing heavily and drenched in sweat. I couldn't take it anymore. I got up from my bed. The tribal mosquitoes didn't like it either. They wanted my blood and I wanted answers.


I walked aimlessly as far as my legs could take me. I couldn't continue like this. Aimless, lost, confused and haunted by the wise man's words, I was losing it. My legs gave way and I fell to the ground. I don't know for how long I was unconscious. A hand was trying to push me. It was shaking my fragile body. 'Sirji, Sirji', I could hear a mumble. I groaned. With great difficulty I opened my eyes. The sun's rays were piercing through my eyelids. I shielded my eyes. After what seemed like ages, I finally managed to get up and sit. My head still aching, my legs bruised and bloody and the voice of the old man still loaded in my brain. I wanted it to stop. I wanted to leave. I wanted...


'Sir ji, Doctor saab ko humne bulaya hai. Woh do beedi ka samay mein aajayenge'. I got up. My eyes popped on the floor, when I heard the man say that. I took my watch and saw the time. It said 6:20 am. I began to wait. Did he mean the time from when he said it? Did he mean from the time he saw me unconscious. God. It was too much to handle.


I was looking at the watch. I was looking at the man. He smiled a reassuring smile and lit a beedi. Ah, first beedi, I thought. He took a deep drag, spoke to me and the others who had gathered around me and then let the smoke out. He stubbed the beedi after that with his fingers. Oh, No. That's one beedi down? I wondered. But instead of throwing the beedi down, he placed it behind his ears. He began to write something on the sand, squatting while he did that. You always smoke a beedi squatting, that I learnt from the tribals, which a french friend of mine still practices till date. After talking to the group for an additional twenty minutes, he took the beedi from behind his ear and lit it again. This he continued leaving regular intervals. Till finally the beedi was over. Ah! Am I getting to understand something here? Maybe, just maybe I was getting closer to the elusive secret behind 'Do beedi ka samay'. I looked at my watch. It was 7:20. One hour for one beedi. That's it. I had cracked it. I had finally cracked the secret behind the wise old man's words.


I was hysterical. I was elated. I was going insane. I got up from the ground and started jumping, screaming, going red on my face. Tears swelling up in my eyes. I held my hands over my eyes, buried my face in my palm. I cried. Like a baby, like a mother who had just given birth, like a father during his daughter's wedding. I cried for another beedi ka samay.


As I looked at the puzzled, quizzical faces around me, I began to smile. I looked at the wise old man who had come while I was crying. He was glad to see me smile. I looked at him and said, 'Babaji ek beedi milega?'.

August 04, 2008

Long time now

It was 4 in the morning. He was sitting at the terrace of his house. The morning cold was piercing through his skin. He sat with his hands wrapped around his knees. Like a little boy he was staring at the sky. He had been doing that for a long time now.


He recollected the people he had met a few days ago. The smiling faces, the many stories, the beautiful landscape that he had seen. He smelt the air- it smelt of love & hospitality. He had always been a people's person. He loved meeting new people in life. He had been doing that for a long time now.


He thought about his first crush. The way he used to walk his dog outside her house to get a glimpse of her when she came home from school. With her hair tied in a pony. Her crisp blue skirt swaying in the wind. She would turn around and look at him before she entered her house. He turned away when she did that. He had been doing that for a long time now.


He remembered the day when he smoked his first cigarette. It was on his friend's birthday. There were a bunch of kids from school wanting to experiment. He wanted to blow smoke rings. He wanted to hold the ciggie between his fingers. He had been doing that for a long time now.


He took the tissue paper and started writing. He let his thoughts wander. He let his guards down. He felt comfortable doing this. Sitting by himself, immersed in his words, he could explore the magical world of words. He had been doing that for a long time now.


Getting close to people. That was his speciality. He had nothing to hide, he had everything to share. He walked around with his emotions on his sleeve. And he always had the time for others. He had been misunderstood. He had been blamed. He had been hurt. But he continued. He had been doing that for a long time now.


The hot coffee that he was sipping on was getting cold. The water in the glass was cold. He liked it that way. He went through the text messages on his phone. He smiled, he shrugged, he shook his head. The old lady walked past him. He smiled. He had been doing that for a long time now.


He checked his watch. He observed the chaos on the road. He saw the dog chasing a motorist. He saw the watchman lighting a smoke. He saw the waiter clearing a table. He saw a bunch of adolescent kids discussing about the girl in the next table. He waited for her...

August 02, 2008

A houseboat named Pink Floyd

As the sound from a machine gun rattled in the distance, I was sitting under a tin roof with an afghani. There was hot 'Chai' brewing from a vessel that looked like it had seen and been in the midst of a few dirty wars. "This happens all the time", he quipped between his breath while focussing on the boiling liquid. All the time? I thought to myself before lighting a cigarette. How do they manage? How do they lead a normal life with so much terror around them? I am from the south. A region that had always been a safe zone in the history of India. The region that had not seen any major war, communal riots, terror attacks, nothing. Maybe the region was not worth it, maybe the people were far too evolved right from the beginning, maybe they just couldn't care less, or maybe they cared a lot.

"Your chai", the afghani man offered me a cup with a lot of stains. Was it blood? I just felt I was overreacting and let it be. I smiled and took the cup from the man and took a sip. The tea was sweet. Like how a tea is supposed to taste. Like how all teas taste.

Walking along the lake, I couldn't but stop and think about all the smiling faces that I had been seeing from the time I stepped foot in this land. For a place that has seen so much terror, so much violence and lots of blood and gore, it was the most beautiful place I had ever been to. The sun was shining bright above my head. It was 7 in the evening and it was still very bright. The lake was filled with colorful 'Shikaras' - these boats where tourists and locals alike take time to just sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful landscape and rejoice. 'Indian Palace. Dekho magar piyar say. with music', read a sign. It caught my eye. I moved with my backpack in tow and the camera hanging from my neck. That's where I met Sajid Hussain. Old man, wise man, man who knew 8 languages. There was more chai, more stories and more smiles.

Gulam hassan was a man who always had a lot to say. Always. He was a cabbie. Two daughters and three sons. He would proudly say about his family. He was a real man according to him. A real man is one who doesn't shy away from bullets, from fights, from problems and has a lot of kids. As he starts to talk, he can't stop from showing off his bullet wounds on his legs. Militant attack, he said lighting a cigarette that he borrowed from me. With his cell phone constantly ringing and him constantly smoking, it was a little crazy to see the car just move. There is no concept of road sense in that land. I don't think they even think such a concept exists or is needed. People honk all the time, two wheelers always had three or more people on them. No helmets, no seatbelts, no signals, no accidents. I was certain I would have been killed. But am alive to narrate my tale.

Ak Daleel Loolekh. A story of love. That was the name of the kashmiri movie directed by this person whom I met next. Aarshad was a very interesting person. Calm, composed and measured in his conversation, but gets very emotional when he gets talking about his land, about India and Pakistan. In his words, "I was 14 when on one day after a militant attack, I attended 20 funerals in one day. Friends who played football with me, neighbors, schoolmates, family. I woke up the next day feeling like a 44 yr old and not a 14 yr old. My life has changed since".

In addition to the smiles, the madness on the roads, the breathtaking landscapes and the unbelievable hospitality there was also another thing that was there in abundance. Army - RAF personnels with machine guns and their bullet proof vests. They were all over the place. Tankers, bunkers, wired fences crop out of nowhere in the city. Apparently there is one guard for every 11 people in that land. That is some serious security. People are not bothered by their presence. They are not bothered by the movement of the locals, there is so much harmony in the chaos that I witnessed there.

Smiles, warmth, splendid scenery, chaos, gorgeous women, cold security guards, talkative cab drivers, friendly boatmen, great room service, a house boat called Pink Floyd, mouth watering kashmiri food, friendly soccer matches, interesting conversations, wild imaginations, lots of local talent, annoying clients, solitude, harmony, loneliness, crowds,fantastic poetry, crazy journalists, long walks, late nights, lovely lakes, green trees, love and more love.

Every single person who I met in the one week that I was there, all had a story behind their life, behind who they are now, who they were then and who they want to be from now on.

That was Srinagar for me.

July 18, 2008

Maya Memsaab

"Don't think my bike is going to start. Why don't you go ahead, I'll try and get the bike to start and follow", he said, with the heavy rain pouring over him. It was 10 in the evening and he was getting back home from a cafe. It was just his usual routine. He would finish work; ride his bike to the cafe two roads away from his house. Sit there alone or with a bunch of friends and discuss the day's happenings with them. He loved doing that. He loved the quality time he got with his friends.
The rain was being ruthless that evening. The roads were deserted and the occasional bike or car that passed him, were moving pretty fast, splashing the rain water that was now mixed with the drain that was overflowing onto the road. He loved the rains. But that was when he is sitting dry in his house or even in a cafe with his hot cup of latte next to him, a good supply of smokes and a tissue paper. He could sit there and look at the rain for hours on end. He could even get lost when in those moods. Time can go to hell, he would say smiling. It was just way too beautiful to leave and go.
As the rain got him drenched from head to toe, he was stranded on the side of the road near the footpath. The rain was getting heavier now and his bike wouldn't start. He spoke to the bike often. He liked it. He knew she liked it too. "Maya", he would call out, if she didn't start with the first few kicks. She would immediately listen to him and start. They play that game every now and then. If he forgets to give her a wash during the weekend, well Monday morning would be fun. She will have a face that only he can understand. They were made for each other. He would say, "Oh, come on. It was Sunday. It's god's day. I just wanted to chill and not do anything". She would then give him a hope that she was about to start and then stop. I think it's that time of the month for me. He never got upset with her antics. It was just way too playful when both of them were at it.
"Maya, come on. If you need a wash, this is surely not how you get it. Its sewage water for crying out loud. I swear, get me home and morrow morning you're surely going to get what you want. But rite now..." That's all it took. She was up and ready to go, for as long as you wanted her to. They reached home, but not before a handful of call taxi's sprayed them with water all over.
The chemistry that the two shared was something that words won't do any justice. He came to the city four years back, with a master’s degree and nothing else. He never had a bank account. He didn't have a place to stay of his own. But he came in to the city a day before his 21st birthday. His phone ran out of currency twenty minutes before midnight and he was stranded in his cousins house because it was pouring heavily on a bloody April evening and the few friends that he had in that city didn't really want to get wet that evening and so they decided to cancel the plan. "Well, 21 is not a bad number", he thought to himself when he was walking down the steps that lead to the drawing room on the first floor when he came down from the terrace of his cousin's house. He was 21, just out of college in the big bad world. He had been doing small jobs here and there, radio shows and freelance work to make enough money to get himself some beer and pay for the exam fees and not to forget his short films and music videos that was so close to his heart. He had also served coffee in a cafe while he was still in college. Life was completely insane at that point of time. Now he has to do something and he has to do something to make the world stand up and take notice.
"Type my name on Google and you would get a million hits. Pictures of mine, interviews of mine, news and information about me", he would tell his friends during one of their many (infact during every) coffee meetings. A small tea cup in hand and a lit smoke, he would gaze into nothingness and tell his friends, that he is set to make it big and he would surely.
He was kneeling down on the ground, wiping the drops of water off Maya. He took extra care every time he came close to the mirror. He saw his reflection on the rear view mirror and smiled, adjusted his hair and smiled again. Like he was posing for the cameras that were clicking. For the million people who were looking at him and waving, trying to grab his attention for one second. Flash.
"It's the 13th of the month and you still haven't paid the rent. When can you pay?", said a female voice in the background, making him snap out of the world that he was in and come back to earth. So here he was washing Maya at one moment and stuck with the house owner's wife the next. She was big, at least 100 kilos. She didn't care whether there was electricity in your house, or water. Give her the rent and she would smile. No smile otherwise. A phone call on his cell phone gave him a reason to leave that place, only after he made a sign that was more like; I shall pay the rent either today or by tomorrow. The lady gave him a stern look and walked inside slowly, because she couldn’t walk any faster.
All set for a new day, he sat on Maya and smiled. Ten meters down the road, pshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. A loud hissing sound and the bike was sliding to the left and then to the right. Maya had a flat in the rear wheel.
Maya Memsaab always had the last word.

July 14, 2008

The Act

Ext. Busy Street. Evening.
Shot of a busy market. Lots of activity. A fruitseller (male) calling out to his customers. Fresh fruits in his cart. He seems over excited. A little girl holding her mother's hand and her stuffed toy, tightly. The mother is busy bargaining with another vendor.
A cyclist carrying a huge load cycles past people on the street. The camera follows the cyclist as he goes past the people and follows him till he turns around the corner of the market.

The camera pans across the street capturing everything. One shop to another. One cart to another. Expressions of people. The sun shining bright above their heads.

Cut to

Ext. Coffee shop. Evening.
A writer sitting in a table in the corner. Quietly looking at the street overlooking the coffee shop. A lit cigarette on the ashtray. A coffee going cold on his table. He writes in a tissue paper. A few photographs are scattered across the table.

A young couple in the next seat. Looking suspiciously at the other tables. Stealing an occasional kiss. A special moment.

Cut to shot of the writer, chuckling to himself as he takes a deep drag from his cigarette. The smoke fills the screen.

Cut to

Int. Hospital. Evening.

An anxious father waiting outside the operation theater. His hands clasped across his cheeks. Head buried behind his long locks. A nurse walks past him. She is in a hurry. Her hands holding a saline bottle. Her forehead drenched in sweat.


Cut to
Ext. Dark alley. Dusk.

The sun setting slowly behind a tall sky scraper. A black man dressed in a blue sweatshirt with a hood and a pair of jeans waiting impatiently.
Foot steps. The puddle of water from the rain that had just stopped is disturbed by another pair of legs. A lean man looking flushed enters the scene. His hands inside his trousers. He is carrying a bag. He looks at the black man and signals him to come towards him.
The black man moves slowly. Looking around to check for any company. Any movement.
They exchange a parcel. They walk away in the same direction from which they came.


Cut to

Int. Restaurant. Night.

A man is sitting with his fiance. She looks radiant with a red sleeveless dress. Her long neck, her pearl necklace. She smiles at him. The man takes a small box from his coat. A diamond ring. And gently pushes the open box towards her.

ECU of the woman. She is overwhelmed.
CU of the man. Smiling.
Cut to

Ext. Graveyard. Night.

A small boy standing next to a pyre. The flames reach high into the sky. The silence is unbearable. His eyes are moist. They are red from all the crying. His body shivering. It's cold. There is chillness in the air. He kneels down before the fire. He takes the sand from the ground and applies it on his face. He begins to wail. He is bawling. Uncontrollably.

Quick flashes of the crowded street. The coffee shop. The Hospital. The dark alley. The restaurant.
The shots come over and over and over again.

Cut to
Int.Edit Studio. Midnight.

A man (editor) gets up from his chair. Stretches his arms and legs and walks out of the studio.
He lights a cigarette and looks at the sky. A lone star shining bright.
The smoke from the cig covers the star. The star disappears.

ECU of the man. He looks blank. Expressionless into the camera.

He doesn't blink. Long, excruciatingly long ECU shot of the man staring into nothingness.
Cut to

Ext. Road. Day.

A man standing in the middle of the highway. Cars and motorists and trucks whizzing past him.

Cut to
Ext. Coffee Shop. Day.

Shot of the writer giving the final touches to a sketch.
Sketch of a boy kneeling down in front of a fire with words written on the page.

" I see life as scenes, I see people as actors, I hear voices as well-rehearsed lines...

July 06, 2008

The perfect dream

It was a lovely evening. The sun was just about to set behind the tall skyscrapers. They were sitting on the 97th floor of a building having a quiet romantic drink. The sky was orange with a slight mix of grey. The big orange ball was slowly but surely going down. In a little while the city would light up with the million lights and a different energy would take over.

He moved close to her, holding her hands and smiling.She loved that smile on his face. Everytime he smiled, she would fall for the dimples on his cheeks. She didn't have to say anything. He looked away and was thinking about Bombay.

The next moment they were sitting having coffee in a coffee shop in Bombay. The rain was pouring down and there was a chillness in the air. She was dressed in a black sleeveless dress and he was in his usual shirt and a pair of jeans with a green jacket. He could see that she was feeling cold. He smiled and walked from his chair and placed his jacket over her shoulders and hugged her from behind. Softly kissing her cheeks. She felt comfortable, she felt secure
and she felt the love he had for her. She knew how much he loved this city. The life of this city. And he always used to tell her there is everything for everyone in this city. But she also knew
one thing more, the more this city gives you something, the more it takes it away from you. She looked in his eyes. They didn't have to talk. They were having a conversation with the eyes.

She had just taken a break from her job and was now spending time with him. She closed her eyes and thought about her life when she was in paris. When she was exploring the sights and sounds of the city and working on her documentary. She was thinking about the beautiful buildings, the sculptures and the interesting people she met there. She was thinking bout her friend with whom she spent sunday afternoons going around town in her yellow scooter. She was smiling to herself. She opened her eyes and she was there in the narrow street near her house. She was standing there with a book in her hands. She saw him walking down the street. The pebble stone pathway never looked so wonderful. As she saw him walking towards her with a bunch of tulips. She loved tulips and he knew it. He walked upto her and hugged her gently and offered her the flowers. She sniffed them and she felt beautiful. He held his hands out to her and
she took it. They walked down the road, watching little kids playing in the park. She wanted this so bad. The whole time she was in paris, she had missed him. She wanted him to be there with her. She wanted him to see her work, she wanted to share all her stories, she wanted her friends to meet him. She felt complete. As they were walking, they saw an old monk sitting in the park and meditating. He remebered the monk. It was the same monk who travelled with him when he was in India. He remembered the conversations they had. He remebered the tattoo that he got after meeting this person. He saw the tattoo on his right shoulder. He felt the words. OM MANI PADME HUM, it said. She knew the story. He had told her after he came back from his trip. It was a life changing trip. They walked towards the monk. They went quietly and sat next to him. They wanted to meditate with him. They sat on the grass next to each other and closed their eyes.

The monk touched the two of them and they were in tibet. In the monastery. It was his dream to live in a monastery. To get some answers for questions on his head. He wanted to go away from everything for a little while atleast. He didn't want technology to stop him, he didn't want people with him. He didn't want time to be a hindrance. He just wanted his solitude. He wanted to live life. He wanted to feel life. He wanted to understand life. As the monks started to chant, he felt the energy. The hair on his neck was tingling. His heart was beating faster. He felt the heat being generated in his body. He opened his eyes to see her looking at him. She didn't know what was going on. She was slightly scared. He held her gently. To reassure her that
everything was going to be ok.

While he held her close, he could feel that they were being airlifted. They were floating gently in the air. They were going higher and higher. They could see the monastery, the monk, the cattle, the green fields down below. They were gliding towards peace. They were gliding into the clouds. They could feel the clouds brushing against their faces. It was magical. It was perfect. They decided to rest in the clouds. She felt the softness. They could see nothing but sheets and sheets of white. It was all a dream. It was the perfect dream.

July 01, 2008

Love at the tenth second

It's raining outside. The gentle drizzle that began a little while ago has turned into rain.

It was quiet a little while ago. But the amount of people that trickled into the coffee shop ensured the silence was broken.

I was hungry. The coffee and the burger ensured that my hunger was satisfied.

The ashtray was empty. The cigarettes that were smoked ensured there was ash and cigarette butts all over.

The wallet had some change. The little beggar kid on the road ensured that I ran out of them.

The streets are wet, the place is packed, the hunger is gone, the ashtray is full and there is no money.

As I continue staring at the cursor on my screen, I see a pattern. A pattern that has happened before. A pattern that will happen again. I smile to myself, look around and see the faces around me. Some immersed behind their long locks and their mobile phone. Some glaring straight back at me and a couple of faces even staring at my screen. A little kid walks upto me and asks for a matchbox. I look at her innocent face and wonder why would someone send a little girl to my table to ask for a matchbox. "Unbelievable retards", I curse between my breath and smile at this little girl. Her eyes were lovely. They were wide open. It was round, with a slight shade of green. I could see myself in those eyes. I could get lost looking at them. I bend down and go on my knees. I put my hand out to her and ask her name. "Ananya", she said with a few fingers in her mouth and drawing patterns on the concrete floor with her tiny toes. I lift Ananya up and ask her, "would you like to sit with me for a little while"? She smiled. A smile so radiant, I was in love. It was love at the tenth second. I heard someone call her name. I turned around with Ananya in my arms, to see a table with four people smiling as they sipped on their coffee. I smile back. One person got up. I didn't want him to come and take my love away from me. Not so soon atleast. The man walked upto me. He said, "Is she being a brat?". Brat? I thought. No way. She was being the angel she is. I smiled. "You can have her. But would you by any chance have a matchbox?". I was thinking, I would give you the matchbox, would you give her to me? I wanted to give everything I had and just walk away carrying Ananya in my arms. I was thinking where I would take her. I was thinking about the conversations we would be having. I was thinking bout the rhymes that I could share with her that I learnt back in school. I was thinking about... "The matchbox", the voice said and burst my bubble. I offered the box and continued to look at the innocent smile of my love. The man walked away leaving her with me. I thanked my stars.

She kept looking at me. She kept smiling. I kept looking at her and I was smiling too. Ananya, felt there was no need to talk. We spoke a new language. Silence.

She took my phone that was lying on the table and asked me what it was. I told her it was a cellphone and you could talk to people with it. With her sweet voice, she said "I thought you speak with your mouth". I loved her even more. Pretty, Sweet, Radiant, Intelligent and a sense of humor. It was all too beautiful. "My papa has one too," she said. I asked her what her papa had. She pointed at my phone. I didn't know what to say, so I smiled again. She found that funny. Guess she had never seen someone who was smiling so much. She didn't know the spell she had cast on me. "Do you have a motobike", she asked me. I bent down and took my huge astronaut's helmet and showed it to her. I was too proud of it. I wanted to impress her. It was our first date after all. She saw the helmet and she saw me and chuckled. I was conscious now. She didn't like the helmet? She doesn't like the shape of my head? Relax man it's just a little girl, I quickly told myself.

Her papa came again. Placed the matchbox on my table and came close to Ananya and lifted her away from me. He smiled again and walked away. As I watched my love being taken away from me, I felt a sinking feeling. I could see her jet black hair and her head bobbing up and down while her papa walked away. As she came to the gate, she turned back. Her eyes met mine, it felt like time just froze. She smiled and blew me a kiss. It was love at the ninetyeth second for her.

Bye Bye Blue Sky

It was a typical blue sunny sky
A young girl glides across the streets dressed in blue
The blue suede shoes fitted her tiny legs beautifully
Blue box in hand, she was floating through the narrow lanes
School children in tiny blue skirts
Giggling and tasting their blue Popsicle
The girl was looking for the blue house
The big blue gate with a board on it, she was told
She observed a blue bicycle lying on the grass
Blues was playing on the stereo from a house
A grumpy dog with a blue collar was barking loud
She turned blue with fear
The mailman walked in with a blue envelope
“Blue Lagoon” it read on the return address
She placed the blue box on the mail box
And walked away singing “blue blurred boastful bodacious boggled bogus boiling”

June 24, 2008

Journey

"Wham", a nice kick in the butt, is what he needed to realise what he had been doing all along. He was always game to explore, to experience, to learn and to understand. His search had kept him occupied for a really long time. But the path that he had decided to take to reach his detination was full of new oppurtunities that he was willing to take with both hands. He dabbled a bit with almost everything under the sun. It was getting a bit too hot to handle. The sweat dropped from his brow. He looked up, he flinched, the rays were hitting him pretty hard. He closed his eyes. It felt lovely.

It is time to move on he thought. His bags are packed. All set for the new journey.

June 12, 2008

Kannamma

The great poet Bharathi who lived in Tamilnadu wrote lot of poems addressing Kannamma his sweetheart. "Kan" in Tamil means eye and Kannamma is the darling who is as precious as the eye or 'the apple of my eye'. Possibly this is one of his all time best. There is something magical about the word kannamma. Everytime I say it.. There is a twinkle in my eye, joy in my heart and happiness in my soul. There is no other word that has the same effect on me like this one.. A special tribute.

Here is an English translation of the poem.

I am the rushing light to you,
And you are the eyes that see for me.
I am honey that spreads sweetness to you,
And you are the honey bee to me,
Words do not form in my mouth,
To describe all that is good in you,
And let all that is good in you flourish for ever.

Oh my darling Kannamma,
Who is the shining light of the sky,
And who is the brimming nectar of the world,
You are the musical Veena to me,
And I am the fingers that play on it to you,
You are the golden chain that is worn to me,
And I am the new dazzling diamond to you,
Whichever side I see,
I see the light of your eyes.

Oh Kannamma, who is the great kingdom of life,
And who is the basis of all my living.
You are the rain that pours from the sky to me,
And I am the pretty colored peacock to you,
You are the drink to me,
and I am the cup to you,
Luster of knowledge shines from your shining face, my darling.

Oh Kannamma, who is a beauty without any faults,
And who is the taste that drips inside my mouth.
You are the white full moon to me,
And I am the spreading sea to you,
You are the beats of the music to me,
And I am the taste of music to you,
There is no limit to your taste , my darling,
Even when I think and think again.

Oh darling Kannamma, who is like the pretty eye,
And who is the nectar that is packed,
You are the breeze that flows to me.
I am the flower that opens to you,
You are the words that I speak to me,
And I am the words that ring in your heart to you ,
How will I describe your beauty, Oh my darling ,
who is the ray of the sky that loves,
Oh darling Kannamma who is the wine of love
And who is the endless taste.
You are the love to me ,
And I am the magnet to you,
You are the holy books of Veda to me,
And I am the blissful knowledge to you.

Oh my darling Kannamma who is a great soul,
Whose taste ebbs when I am in passion,
And who is of the form of music.
You are my soul Kannamma,
And I am your heart beat, Kannamma,
You are like the wealth to me , Kannamma,
And I am like the fund that is saved to you,
Oh beauty which can never be measured,
Oh rays of gold that spreads everywhere,
Oh darling whose smile is like a blossom of jasmines.

Oh Kannamma , who is the pleasure that beats like waves..
You are the twinkling stars to me,
And I am the cool full moon to you,
You are the valor to me,
And I am your victory,
Oh Kannamma, nectar of my mind,
You are the sweetness of the entire world and the heaven,
Rolled in to one person , Oh darling.., mine.

June 05, 2008

Muse

As she stepped out of the passenger seat of the car, the engine came to a halt. The rattling of the windows and the cacophony that was on earlier had stopped. Time didn't.

It was just three days ago that she had flown down. He had been visualizing her arrival, the smile on her face, the look in her eyes, the way her hair would cascade down her forehead and the way she would tie it in a bun when it did, the conversations they would have and the hugs they would share. He was a dreamer, she was full of surprises. He was a lover, she was a mystery. He was her friend, she was his destiny.

There was a little bit of tension during the drive to the airport. Words were spoken less, but lots were communicated between the two. The gentle music playing in the car stereo was enough to bring a smile on her face. As he was concentrating on the road, his mind was racing. What would it be like in a few minutes from now? How would he feel when she gets down from the car and boards her flight? Are things going to be the same? Questions like this, he thought always came at the right time. Made him come back to earth. He had always been someone who walked around with his emotions on his sleeve. He never held back. He spoke his mind. She was no different.

They had been friends for a while. But their bond felt like they had known each other forever. Their friendship blossomed because of their love for words, their passion to explore, their aim to make it big and their drive to achieve.

"Kannamma", his soft voice called out to her. She turned around with the innocence in her eyes that made his heart skip a beat. The sudden rush of blood to his temples made him lose it for just a bit and it showed. The car swerved to the right and the driver of the adjacent car on the road gave him the look. "I had a wonderful time", she said. And when you see those eyes when she spoke, you would know that she meant it. He smiled, placing his hands on hers. There was silence once again. The song changed.

"You better be free when I come," she had told him before she came. Without a blink of an eye he had said yes. But he knew his work had its own special way of messing things up for him. But her presence, he felt would change everything for him. He had always been the hardworking type. Work was always something that he was proud of. He was passionate about. And he knew that she was too. In fact, even more than his. He would sit in the terrace atop his house, with the cold monsoon winds caressing his face. He would sit with his legs folded, his hands wrapped around his knees, looking up into the sky and seeing the stars. He would think about how she loved her work, about how proud she made him feel with the kind of things she had achieved. "You still have a long way to go Kannamma," he would constantly tell her. And she knew what he meant.

"Things are going to be different in a few years from now and I don't have much time", she said sipping on her cold coffee. The cream from the coffee left a trail around her lips. She took time between her words. And every pause from her made him realize the depth behind those words. His eyes completely meeting hers and his hand on hers. He would gently run his fingers on the back of her hand in a reassuring way telling her it was all going to be ok. She had her own thoughts. He felt like he didn't know what was going on in her head. He wanted to. He wanted to be a part of her world. The world that was making her say those things.

The phone beeped. The light was shining and he ran to see what the message said. "Come soon. Am waiting for you", it said. Without him trying to do anything he smiled. It was instinctive. Even if the whole world had come crashing down at that time, he wouldn't have cared less. He was happy. There way joy and lots of it at that.

The drive to the airport took longer than she had expected. But for him every wrong turn he took, was in a way giving him an extra five minutes with her. He had always been good with directions. But somehow he didn't get it right this time. Maybe he tried too hard. Maybe he didn't try hard enough. Well, there are more questions to think about on his drive back, he chuckled to himself.

'It's cold", she said, shivering in the cold night standing on the highway. The tiny plastic tea cup clutched between her fingers. Her face turning a shade white thanks to the chill air and he could see a hint of a pink spot on the tip of her nose. "The tea is hot though", she said and smiled. He was standing next to her, taking a deep drag from his cigarette. "Take your time love. We have all the time in the world", he said. She looked at him sipping on the tea and smiled. The traffic on the road was less and there was not much noise. One could hear the cold wind.

“Cleaned you guys up didn’t I?” she said and laughed loudly. She was rubbing her hands in glee before taking all the monopoly money that was used as poker chips. He was a silent observer. He loved the game, but there was no doubt what he loved more. He walked up to the door and stood there outside the house while he heard voices from the group inside the house. The sky was clear and the few stars that were visible were shining bright. He wondered where the other stars were. “Iyer,” a voice called out getting him out of the world of questions that he was getting into. He turned back to see her standing there blowing him a little kiss and smiling beckoning him to come next to her. He just walked slowly, all the while looking at her, at how happy she was and how happy she made him.

He had told her before to not worry about anything in life smile. “Rubbish,” she would say nonchalantly. He wanted her to understand that he was always going to be there for her. “Life is not all rosy and you know it as well” she would say when ever he said something about just taking it easy. She had so many things in that little head of hers.

He received a telephone and he left work. The bike ride to the coffee shop had him thinking again. Standing at a traffic signal, he was just playing back the happenings of the last few days that he had spent with her. The smiles, the words, the emotions, the sharing, the caring, he could go on with those thoughts. Another call on his phone made him snap out of the new world that he had found. The world that was for him and her with the others entering and leaving the stage were like actors.
“Your latte sir”, the waiter called out. He loved coffee and he loved spending time in coffee shops. She did too. It was all these, the number of things they had in common that made him smile and wonder where she had been all these years. After taking a gentle sip on his cup, he looked up to see her. She was lost in her own world. She wanted to go home. She wanted to get back to her world. She was missing her life. He knew that there was much that he could do to help, he felt bad for her. It broke his heart to see her upset or sad. There was no way he would let that happen. Not before, not then, never.
He sat in the car and wore the seatbelt. He knew he needed support for this drive. He had a sinking feeling. He knew this was the hardest thing he had ever done. He hated goodbyes. He was never comfortable with them. Somehow he just didn’t want to let go. He just didn’t want her to go. They reached the airport and she had made it right on time. This was the moment. She stepped out of the passenger seat of the car; the engine came to a halt. The rattling of the windows and the cacophony that was on earlier had stopped. She walked away with her little bag, dragging those wheels on the concrete floor. He stood there looking at her. She never stopped, his feelings never stopped.
Time didn't stop.

He got back in the car, holding back his emotions, holding back his thoughts, holding back… when he heard a beep on his phone “I had a lovely time. You are very special to me. Will call you once I land.”

May 25, 2008

Absolut Inspiration

It's just strange the amount of things that you learn over a weekend. Mind-blowing things that would change you for the rest of your life. We might all come across a number of people in our life, some just come and go, some stay for a little longer and some stay with you for the rest of your life. Along with these people come a lot of other things. Some that you choose to take, to keep and some that is going to be with you for the rest of your life.

The main idea is to just let these people teach you along the way. Every little they know and everything they know. Since knowledge or Gyanam is the only thing that has the power to let you understand life the way it is supposed to be experienced.

My life has been witness to a lot of change in the many years (few?) that i have been in this world. Changes that has made me who i am today and the changes that is going to make me who I would be in the years to come. It is important for me to understand that who I am and who am going to be is all superficial and is subject to change. If I want to and If i let it be. Let it change me. For the good of me. FOr the good of people close to me and for the good of this world.
Every person born in this world is here for a purpose. karma. To fulfill what he was supposed to do in his previous birth that he had failed to, or maybe the karma that he has generated thinking about and doing things that maybe he was not supposed to. But that is not what am trying to get into at this point of time.

I have been having a lot of questions in my mind lately and the answers am sure would change the way I look at life and the way I look at people. I was not confused. I was not disappointed and I was not really searching hard enough. But somewhere deep down I needed those answers to only help me get to the next level.

This weekend has got me closer (if not complete) to those answers. It has been given to me. Most of it in codes that needs to be decoded by me. By my actions. It's come at a time when I needed it the most. Am extremely thankful to that special person for helping me get those answers. I have made a promise to myself that my actions from now on would surely decode those many important answers that was tranferred. At times all it took for me to understand was just a look in the eye, a pat on the shoulder and a smile. And at times it took a few stories, a few detailed explanations. But the essence has sunk in. Slowly its making me feel rejuvinated.

The recent past has been a little turbulent. At the work front, at the financial front and at the family front. But it has also made me understand that there is no point in being bogged down by all these things and the life has to go on. Infact one has to be compassionate about all these things, but there are things that are more important than all these .

My purpose in this life is to co-exist with all the worldly matters and a lot of things beyond. I have set out on this unbelivable journey and I have the light guiding me. I have the supreme force leading me on.

Like someone once told me " I drove for miles and miles and wound up at your door. I've had you so many times but somehow I want more.." Yes, I do want more!!!

February 26, 2008

Jootha Akbar - The eternally crappy movie

Let me get one thing straight before I end up writing this piece. I have never seen a movie that is so unbelievably crappy in my entire life and I think in the next filmfare awards this movie wouldsurely win the award in all the following categories, "Meaningless", "Crappy", "Worthless", "Waste of time" and the most coveted of all "Waste of Money".

It requires courage, prowess, patience, aptitude, knowledge, passion and of course, loads of currency to attempt a movie like "Jootha Akbar".

I heard the movie costed a whopping 40 crores to make. Oh, come on, when you have so much money to blow, I suggest Ashutosh should have probably given it to some charity organization. That would have atleast made some needy, innocent and homeless people happy. Because at the end of the movie, the only happy faces that I saw were of those who were glad the movie (read junk) was over.

Ok now here is my review on "Jodha Akbar".

Set in the sixteenth century (Yawn), Jodha Akbar is supposedly a love story between a mughal emperor (Akbar) and a Rajput princess (Jodha). But unfortunately this movie is all about disturbing outfits, and extremely weird topis. The jewellery apparently is specifically designed by Tanishq!!!

Ashutosh Gowariker, I think has a thing to start all his movies with the voice of Amitabh Bachan. A map of India drawn by a 4 yr old just five minutes before the actual shoot captivates the audience from the very beginning.

Some scenes from the movie in no special sequence, order, style or class:

1. The war sequence- What the??? The aerial shot of the battlefield (with 20 people in weird armour, weak horses and baby elephants on either side) set the tone for the film. Popular movie review websites and critics compare this scene with the initial battlefield scene from Troy. You must be Shi**ing me!!! Apparently the casting crew couldn't find enough people for the scene at the time of the shoot and most of the crew who didn't have any work that day also dressed up and were a part of the scene.

2. Hrithik taming an out-of-control elephant. It’s hair-raising. - For the elephant maybe. Cheap graphics and over acting from the supporting cast ensured a hearty laugh for a select drunk few at the movie hall. In an interview given on a popular channel by the director, he says that to get this shot in the best possible manner, Hrithik was made to sleep in the same shed as the elephant for ten days. At the end of the ten days, the elephant could identify the snoring sounds of Hrithik and his bowel movements. So everytime they had to shoot this scene, Hrithik would secretly produce those sounds and the elephant would then ACT like its about to beat the crap out of Hrithik, but only the crew know that the elephant, Hrithik and the entire unit would watch WWE every day to practise those deadly moves.

3. Hrithik's Naked torso act- Ok. Hmmm.. actually, errr, we have received information from valid sources close to the director that this scene was requested by Ash. Apparently that was the only day Junior B was not present in the sets and she was to have actually done another scene of her sitting in front of the Krishna Idol praying and singing bhajans. Since she got bored doing that, she requested Ashutosh to have Hrithik remove his rather long sherwani? that he keeps wearing throughout the movie and do a little show for her (and yea to all the female fans) Apparently this particular scene has received tremendous support and fan following from the pubs down in Brighton.

4.The confrontation between Ila Arun and Ash at the kitchen- Ila Arun shouldn't be talking. Maybe she should have been made to walk in and out of the frame with those big round eyes. Her eyes were more expressive and venemous than her lines. The huge vessels in the scene were again a major source of entertainment for the drunk friends. And thanks to this scene, the "Elephant Actor's Association" had called for a strike and didn't come for the shoot for one week. They felt that they were fed less than the humans.

5.The immediate sequence, when Ash is asked to taste the food herself by Ila - This scene makes you wait eagerly to see who eats the most. The expression of the supporting actors are laughable. The scene kept going on and on and on and on... Made a lot of people in the movie hall extremely hungry, since by then the time was already 1 in the morning. (and still no sign of an intermission in the near future).

YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! Finally a couple of scenes later Ashutosh must have realised its been a really long since these guys are sitting on their butt and he was kind enough to stop the movie with more torture to follow very soon for a short intermission.

6.The sword fight the very next morning, between Hrithik and Ash - I think Mr. & Mrs. Smith is an all time favourite movie of Ashutosh. The chemistry, between Ash and Hrithik was disappointing. Maybe Junior Bachan was present at the sets. Ash reportedly used to practise lifting the sword more than actually performing any stunts with that. Hrithik on the other hand has this extremely stupid smirk everytime he would come close to Ash during the stunt.

7.The Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah track- Hmmmmmm. Long. Very very long. Just like the movie.

8.The fight in the climax- Ok. I think Ashutosh spends a lot of time watching Hollywood movies. I think he wanted to shoot the fight like the sequence between Brad Pitt and Eric Bana from Troy. The point being WANTED to. But it was miserable (like the entire movie).

Ok now moving on to more stuff from the movie. This is a review of Jootha Akbar, it's going to be long (just like the movie) so kindly adjust.

A.R. Rahman’s music...Ah, this I think I would enjoy writing about. Rahman's background score for the movie is the only saving grace of the entire movie (ok, now wait a minute.. that's a compliment) I think I could say the background score was decent and not laughable. Azeem-o-Shaan Shahenshah reminded me of Michael Jackson wearing an Olodum T-shirt and doing weird groin movements. Jashn-e-Bahara is a song with decent lyrics and tune,but please buy the sound track seperately if you need to enjoy the song, because the song has been butchered to bits with its strange picturisation. The execution of Khwaja Mere Khwaja is the one part in the entire movie that I enjoyed the most. I was rolling on the floor laughing. It's supposed to be a scene where a bunch of Sufi singers perform before Akbar. There are totally four people who sing the song in the video and all of them sing in the same voice (A.R. Rahman's voice). The main vocalist (in the video) has a nose that would surely BLOW you away in every sense. I have absolutely no clue why the cinematographer kept zooming in on his nose (which were pretty strange) the whole time in the video. They were tilted in a 45 degree angle and if you actually looked at the screen a little closely, you can infact see the hair inside his nose. The expressions of the supporting actors in the song were....errrr..STONED? I still have a major doubt what Ashutosh must have briefed them while shooting the scene. Ashutosh if you are reading this, I would like to tell you that am a great fan of your movies and your directing & storytelling abilities, (Swades, Lagaan.. they were nice movies) but what in the lords name did you tell the actors? And for all Hrithik dance fans this is the only song in the movie where he dances (atleast does something).

Certain aspectss of the movie I feel could have been done better:

1. Direction
2. Storytelling - Screenplay
3. Acting
4. Casting
5. Cinematography
6. Editing - Especially the parts where graphics have been used and actually in chopping the movie.
7. Stunts
8. Art Direction

Have I missed anything?

On the whole, Jodhaa Akbar is, without a shred of doubt, The WORST HINDI MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN IN A REALLY LONG TIME.

Some important tips to people who still want to watch the movie:

1. Never, I repeat NEVER watch this movie on a sunday night. You won't be able to wake up on monday morning to head to work.
2. The perfect movie for young couples on two counts. One, there won't be people in the movie hall and two it is really long. You could easily sit and discuss America's political situation.
3. Never go to a movie hall where the movie is screened on the second floor and above. Chances are you might want to jump off during the movie.
4. Never take your kid to the movie. Chances are he/she would hate Indian History.

But after all this I would have to say one thing more. I surely enjoyed the music that was playing in the men's loo.