Friday, February 26, 2010

Thank you, Sachya!

This is the first time I’m going to write about a sport which coincidentally is like a religion in India. If I start lampooning this “colonial” sport then this blog will not end so I’ll get to the point with no further ado. However, this sportsperson is much above the sport for me here.

History was made yesterday. I’m blogging about it today.

Sachin Tendulkar scored 200 not out against South Africa, the highest ODI score ever! There are many reasons why I find it irresistible not to overlook this feat. First of all, the last best record stood at 194 runs and not many would have bet on Sachin to surpass it. He not only did the unexpected but also came back to field in the next inning with full gusto, inspite of all the wear and tear that must have took place while batting. Secondly he did it at the ripe old age of 36. Thirdly, Sachin is a little bundle of joy for a divided country like mine where UNITY is a luxury in real meaning of word.

Lots of people dismissed Sachin for overstaying his welcome in the team and that he should retire gracefully. In fact, I was one of them, notwithstanding my lack of interest in cricket in general. But with this knockout, he cements his place not only in the team which nonetheless had no qualm whatsoever in keeping him in as he is essential as always but also in the annals of our memory for as long as we live and for generations ahead.

Yesterday, the whole of India celebrated as we all understand the fluency of Sachin’s wrist strokes, patience and the beleaguering calmness of approach in executing every shot. No language barrier for any of us, just euphoria of unleveled magnitude.

I’m pretty active on Twitter and the kind of exultation it displayed yesterday couldn’t be missed. I didn’t miss it. Like my friend Ivo from NYC tweeted yesterday, “Something just happened and all of India just had an orgasm.”

It doesn’t take much effort to understand the kind of reverence we hold for a person like Sachin. He has been unequivocally stayed non-controversial and the only time I remember him being controversial was when he uttered, “I belong to India and Mumbai belongs to all Indians…” and I stood by him like millions others on this so-called controversy.

Long Live Master Blaster…..

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hippie in Me

One of the biggest regrets I have in my life is that I got late. I got late by not minutes or hours or years but by decades. I missed the Hippie Movement that rocked the world in the 60s.

I never fit in anything I do today. Be it at work or home or any miscellaneous things at large. I’m a perfect misfit so may be I’m born into the wrong generation. Its no surprise that my tendency to stay unkempt give rise to the word “Hippie” everywhere I go!

This introspection or rather a superficial retrospection got kick started last weekend when I watched Ang Lee’s “Taking Woodstock” which revolves around the time when Hippies were making their presence felt, not only in their solitude and insular state of life but also in their gregarious flocking towards the finest of music, smoke and drugs.

The last time I asked myself these questions was when I watched Sean Penn-directed “Into the Wild” that follows Christopher McCandless’s solo journey into the white of Alaska and his eventual death from wild berry poisoning at the tender age of 24. That movie too made an emergent impact on my psyche and kept me glued even in my subconscious array of thoughts. I know this sounds exaggerated but you don’t know me. Neither do I!

The funny thing about these movies is that they both star “Emile Hirsh”. I’m pretty sure he is one the vanguards of Hollywood for future, thanks to mature acting and daring choice of movie scripts.

Coming back to me, I think I got late. Or else I too would have swayed to the beats of drums and strums of guitars and ripples of Sitar! As far as growing my locks is concerned, it isn’t an issue (no matter how much my Ma tried to taunt me to chop them off!!) and for career or any other societal bonds goes, I’ve been disconnected from the real world since I came to know of its existence.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Meeting school friends

I’ve been avoiding school friends since I dropped out of engineering and joined English Literature. Honestly speaking, I started avoiding everything that relates to engineering memory, school included. But yesterday, on Valentine’s Day, I decided to forego my past and attended a small get-together of 8 friends from school and the funny thing is I hardly interacted with them during my school days. I’m happy I took the decision to join them.

The whole thing was Aasif’s idea who is one heck of a zealous guy and he decided the venue too. I must have reached there by 6 or something and was shy like a squirrel. The reason was simple. I know them all and have a bit of history with almost all of them but haven’t kept in touch since leaving school. So breaking the ice was all formal followed by the release of laughter and ridiculous jokes and leg-pulling session that carried on for the next two hours or so.

I usually sound nostalgic whenever I speak of my school days because they weren’t exactly the best days of my life like I keep reiterating in stressful office. But I can’t deny the fact that it wasn’t bad either. I was reticent, pedantic, stupid and boring when I was younger and the people I met at the get-together remember me by the same profile. They didn’t expect me to be frank and jocular like Lejoy (my best buddy from school and former-colleague) or Aasif so I made the most of silence and my stupid smirk, paused by speeches on issues around us that almost killed the gathered joy!!!!

Talking of the friends I met, most are well educated in the sense that they earned their degree and some are even contemplating PG and whatnot so I’m dragged to self-pity for my degreeless status! But like Anu says, “Its better to kill yourself than pitying yourself.”

After this cheerful meet, I’m sure there is no better way to celebrate a day with long lost friends and acquaintances. Valentine Day hardly means anything to my eternal singlehood but I must say yesterday’s V-Day was the best of all time. Hope it repeats itself again and again in the coming days too.

Prison makes beautiful CINEMA!

I just finished watching a movie you most probably haven’t heard of yet. It’s a French movie called ‘Un Proph├Ęte’ (A Prophet) and is nominated for Best Foreign Language at Oscars this year. The movie is about a guy in prison who rises from nobody to somebody by the time he completes his sentence. Needless to say, the movie is great or else I wouldn’t have dedicated a blog to its sake.

But the real reason behind my blogging here is the “prison” part of cinema and the question that why does it fascinates us so much. I mean to say, I seem to get a touch when I’m watching a jail-related movie be it ‘An Innocent Management’, ‘Lock Up’, ‘The Baader Meinhof Complex’, ‘Hunger’, ‘Papillon’, ‘American History X’, ‘The Counterfeiters’, ‘Dead Man Walking’ or ‘The Green Mile’.

In fact, my all-time favorite movie, “The Shawshank Redemption” is about prison-life, in and out. “Midnight Express” is one such movie that comes close to the very best of all. In Hindi movies, I found "3 Deewarein" (3 Walls)to be a perfect execution of a brilliant story that entangles three different personalities.

I believe the attraction to this kind of movies arises from the fact that we relate to the characters on the screen. We understand why they feel the angst of screeching their nails on the slammer wall. Somewhere in us, we see the rationality of not being there in a prison but at the same time also understand the volatility of reaching there if we get caught on the wrong side of law. After all, everyone wants to be free but when you are locked up, all you have is free time.

Prisons are wonderful. Wonderful, in a sense, it is just like our life. All we have to do is get accustomed to it. Just like in our life. We get accustomed to our mother’s love; get accustomed to schooling and education, followed by jobs we love or hate and then to societal obligations. All this happens exactly the same way in a prison too. The guy who gets used to it survives.

There are not a lot of directors out there who can handle the intricacies that comes with making a movie on cell life. Its very difficult to capture the essence of a prisoner in captivity where his body is interned but his mind is free to wander like Javier Bardem’s character does in “Before Night Falls” or to show the humor of escaping like in “Stalag 17”.

Coming back to ‘Un Proph├Ęte’, I want it to beat the German masterpiece ‘The White Ribbon’ which is the overwhelming favorite at the Oscars that will be announced on March 7, 2010.