Sunday, October 25, 2009

Confessions

There are million of topics to cover. Still, I’ve decided to write about my mother. It has something to do with recent “developments” around me. She turned 57 yesterday. And we celebrated it for the first time! Birthdays aren’t a big event in our household especially after my younger brother’s demise that happened too soon and too long back.

Lately, I haven’t been good to her and of course, I feel bad about it. And the worst thing is, she never changed a bit towards me. I did the changing part. The same old love, the same old care, the usual insecurity about my future. I wasn’t this bad when I was a kid. She used to call me “bangaar baaley” which in Tulu translates to “Golden Kid”. I hardly troubled her with my studies because I was an above average kid in school whereas my younger bro, Sai, was terrible and a pathetic student. He kept my poor amma (mom) on her heels.

But times change, don’t they? Today, he is the blue-eyed boy who picked himself up and made strides to book himself among the brights whereas I left the corridor of success to wander in the delight of carelessness. I don’t blame anything or anyone for my current state of disarray but the only one person who really suffered was she. She placed huge hopes and labor to realize her dreams of seeing me like my former schoolmates and friends are now.

She was supportive even when I told her I wanted to be a writer. My dad didn’t had a clue how a writer becomes a writer. But she had her doubts and those doubts took the better off her. She was misled into believing that writers or academicians had no “healthy” future. Remarkably, she didn’t coerce me into engineering. I was just listless so I must admit she just did her part of a good mother, accompanying me to colleges for rounds of application and cut-offs. She was always there trying to catch up with my quick steps.

I didn’t complete my graduation. Let alone complete, I didn’t attend even college properly or appeared for exams. Instead I was lost in my world of words and poem. I was sinking in the quicksand of world cinema. I used to bunk college to attend film festivals all over Mumbai. I did everything that I was already doing in Nashik but at least I was studying well there. Here, I was a thorough truant, possessed and a confirmed variant. Ultimately I left engineering for good in 2008.
She is a pious lady so she was appalled when I decided to discontinue practicing the religious rituals I was used to since I was a kid. That too disappointed her a bit but she never wailed or made a big fuss out of it. Although at times, she did made it known that maybe, I was paying for disservice towards God. She thought my mind was clouded. I just laughed it off and I still laugh.

Even on the day of cancelling admission, I remember her talking to the clerk with poignant expression and asking her “whether “it was common for students to leave engineering?” She is naive but honest. I exploited every bit of it.


She is beloved. Everyone loves her. She used to be crowded by my friends during school days whenever she came for exam paper checking day. Even today, my colleagues at office seemingly feel that I’m the “bad guy” in the play. They are right, nonetheless.

One of my closest friend, Afzal, lost his mom last week and I saw him cry for the very first time in our five years of contact. I can’t even fathom the kind of lost he must be feeling. How can you ever replace someone as vital as you mother? Will I be able to make it outside if there isn’t a mother inside my home? Was I really not a mama’s boy and just pretended to be papa’s champ? Questions kept flooding and are still flowing in. Mothers are just great and that’s exceptionally natural.

So, yesterday, I decided to cut off from my usual classes and decided to surprise her by taking her to an eatery nearby and it was one great affair. While Its funny how I never took my mother anywhere because I was busy with my movies, Internet, poems and words. Sai was the one doing the things a son is supposed to. I was busier calling him “amma’s pet”! By the way, she wanted me to visit my barber as a birthday gift!

I wish she lives a happy life and find a day to see me as someone I want to be-contend and free. But she is of the old mode so it will take time and I’m going to make the best of that time available. I’m going nowhere. I’m just going to change.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wake Up Byd (Bollywood)

I’ve been waiting for Wake Up Sid since I saw its promos during Kaminey. It was released on Gandhi Jayanthi and I went to watch it yester-evening. And I knew this movie would have a bit of me in it just like most of my fellow youth out there!
First of all, I was glad that Bollywood is coming out of age and encouraging movies like these which isn’t “family-oriented” in general sense of bollywoodish speaking! The story is about a guy named Sidharth (Sid) who is the only son of a wealthy businessman and is not sure about his present or future, let alone his life. He is just happy spendthrifting his dad’s money on friends and lot. Then he meets this girl named Aisha who had somehow fulfilled her dream of coming to Mumbai from Kolkata and wants to lead an independent life of her.
The boy who is much younger than the female protagonist [which is't a norm yet!!] and has failed in his final years exam of graduation! The movie takes us through the unaware innocence of Sid’s hedonism and also through Aisha’s perceived emotional dependence that she initially doesn’t realize until the day Sid is about to move out of her life! Every guy has a bit of Sid in him and every gal has a bit of Aisha.
So you get the exact picture here. The movie is not the usual B’wood masala. It’s not novel either. If you follow cinema, you surely must have come across such movies where the boy is totally confused and lost about his career or what he wants to do with his life. Karan Johar who produced this movie is one of the “young turks” of Bollywood who will flirt with such ideas that are not only refreshing but even palatable in many ways, at least to the urban GenNext crowd, mostly college going kids!
This deviation started with the success of Dil Chahta Hai (DCH) by Farhan Akhtar who successfully made a movie that not only made college movies cool again but started a trend of sort. And I’m absolutely delighted with this new dawn in B’wood.
Wake Up Sid is a perfect tribute to the essence of Bombay (or Mumbai, if you like) and sings ode to the city with thousands of snaps throughout the movie. I guess its one of the kind, at least to my narrow knowledge where Mumbai is shown in such bright light. The music was awesome and Shankar-Ehsan-Loy rocked again. They did their magic with DCH earlier and this time too, they didn’t disappoint.
Its time Bollywood wakes up to such cinema and am glad she's yawning her way out of stupid formula movie with running around the tree thing!! Wake Up Bollywood!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mahatma

In 30 minutes time, we’ll be passing Mahatma Gandhi’s 140th birth anniversary and will step into just another common day. But before that happens, I wish to do something with this remnant left of a great day that’s celebrated not only in India but also all across the world.

I admire Gandhi like no one else. To me, he defines humanity. His life, as a votary of stark truth, makes me ponder if at all, someone ever in flesh again can ever emulate him, at least on such a global scale. He is an inspiration, not only to legions of legendary greats like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu but even to millions of unnamed hordes we’ll never know.

It’s a bit amusing to see my fellow colleagues talk about Gandhi as he was a villain of sort who partitioned India during independence. Foremost of all, they don’t have their basics cleared. They don’t read, nor wish to read and get a strong part in argument. They just believe the folklore we are so accustomed to where Gandhi represents a guy who gave up a huge part of India on its eastern and western side to some guy in Saville Row suit!! Obviously, I can’t argue with them and get make them see things in a brighter light but it’s all right as long as I don’t lose my cool and I must say, I haven’t yet.


No leader, be it spiritual or political, was able to bring such mass movement. He wasn’t under anyone’s patronage and still managed to bring about such a huge following which hasn’t died even today. Before him, India had northern leader, southern leader, western leader and eastern leader but he was the first to rightly call himself the national leader. He was never the one for photo finish. He hardly got any honorary recognition that contemparory leaders are so used to. He was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize for a record five times and each time he was brushed aside due to political reasons. Britain and Sweden had a cordial relationship and didn’t want to ruin it for some “seditious fakir” in dhoti!

At last, after India got her independence in ‘47, the Nobel committee decided to nominate him again but before anything could be done, some guy shot him dead. The Nobel decided not to give the Prize to anyone that year as a sign of recognition to the pacifist soul. He wasn’t the one who unfurled tricolor on that “tryst with destiny” night. He was far too busy in Bengal trying to douse communal fire. A man who could have lived a fox life with a lapel that says, “I’m a lawyer”, decided to change course of his life in truth and eventually lives of millions and billions henceforth.

Today’s generation is a bit loose on fact files and knowledge. They think history is dead but the truth is even present is dead if we don’t get in touch with our past. They will always come up with loopholes and try to upfront their line that Gandhi was flawed. Well, he was flawed like any personality in the whole annals of history but at least he had the courage to accept it and move on rather than stay accustomed to the clich├ęs of greatness and covering of demerits. He didn’t leave behind him a filial political dynasty that other freedom fighters mostly do. It’s irony that Nehru family ruled India under the pseudonym of Gandhi!

Gandhi was, and is, and surely will be the Mahatma, no matter how much our so-called urban GenNext dislike it. Like Einstein said, “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”

Its time India wakes up to what Gandhi was up to, he wanted India the way he was; austere, honest, self-reliant, moralistic, persevering and courageous.

By the way, i’m 5 minutes count down to next day, a new start, a new midnight that has its tryst with truth.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Loving you


What is there to love, except,
some words of wit, cadence of praise
in bountiful lores of delicious taste,
a beguiling line of face called smile
and thunderous call called words
blood flowing like ink of life
writing stories of endless pain and plight
and cute ears that listens to mine,
and sweet sight called gaze of eyes
that cries and begets my lies
every single line, every single time.