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”