Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A close encounter of the only kind

Last week, I met producer Jon Landau. The guy who helped create movies such as Titanic and Avatar that eventually amounted to more money than some hapless countries’ entire economy. We spoke for about 22 minutes. This was the first time I was face-to-face with a Hollywoodian. To my utter delight, he brought along that Oscar he had won 15 years ago for Titanic! Placed on a glass table, the gold statuette acted as if it wasn’t eavesdropping on our conversation. The interview went far better than my low expectations. And I amassed a few things that afternoon.

One, it’s possible to be humble despite being phenomenally successful. Two, it’s possible to be humorous despite being phenomenally successful. Three, we should be humble and humorous even if we aren't phenomenally successful. Four, I shouldn’t have asked Jon to let me hold that relatively heavy Academy Award in my hands. Five, I shouldn’t have said - “This is the closest I’ll ever get to an Oscar!” Six, we two shouldn’t have laughed on my foolish comment.

Saturday, March 24, 2012



They don’t know what your eyes have witnessed

They don’t know where your mind got lost
They don’t know how different things are
They don’t know who’s responsible
They don’t know whether you’re right or wrong
They don’t know what your skin has gone through
They don’t know in which direction your fate lies
They don’t know when you’ll find the light
They don’t know whom to pray to
They don’t know why your tomorrow shall end
They don’t know what you could have been
They don’t know you.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Au Naturel

A few weeks ago, he used to cry inconsolably while asleep. In reality, some mosquitoes must have bitten him but in the world of subconsciousness, the itchy pain miraculously transforms into special-effect films where he engages in losing battles with love or King Cobra or something. That was then. As of now, he’s having these very disturbing (and recurring) dreams in which he always finds himself stark naked. As far as he knows, he’s neither a closet nudist nor a potential pornstar. However, he is greeted by awkward stares from colleagues and “What’s-the-small-deal?” woofs from street dogs. Throughout he guesstimates all the reasons behind this embarrassing indecent exposure. Since he doesn’t get any straightforward explanation for his wardrobe malfunction, he acts along and tries to keep up with Christopher Nolan’s concept of Inception. On waking up, he wonders why he forgets to wear clothes in his dreams. After much deliberation with his memory, he arrives at a conclusion. Maybe, just maybe, Mowgli is responsible for this ironic change from PG-13 to R-rating. During his childhood days, whenever Gulzar’s Jungle Jungle Baat Chali Hai Pata Chala Hai Chaddi Pahen Ke Fool Khila Hai Fool Khila Hai... played, he used to imagine himself as that fool with boomerang. (In all probability, if ever there was a jungle boy he wouldn't bother with a wooly underwear as much as Disney did!) He even started having one-sided conversations with animals. So much for an ambition! Perhaps history repeats itself—wearing absolutely nothing—when the person in question dozes off.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Walking on a curvy road, she had no idea what was heading towards her. Out of shock, she closed her eyes and turned sideways. Meanwhile, someone grabbed her while the bus kissed her back leaving a souvenir of dust on her kurta. She recovered only to find the obnoxious six-wheeler dismissively gone and the person who saved her life, vanish.

(N.B. There are far better short stories here than the one you just read.)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Caught nowhere, doing nothing

Punctuality matters but it’s never too late to try once more. All one needs to do is go out, spread wings and fly away. And while one’s at it, keep a chute handy. After all, life is too short to waste on measurements. One could be a few dozen year old or so but a millions of seconds older. Mathematics behaves in hysterical ways with people who are afraid of it.

Our hero in question is one such character who’s afraid of numbers. As a result, he often misses that person he could have been. It’s a disease of sort lately—the symptoms aren’t visible though. Except when he’s suppressing his tears while watching a sullen movie or taking a warm bath. Otherwise he’s someone who appears to have figured everything out; even supernovas and black holes that bother Stephen Hawking at nights. He tries to spend his life in reverie, making up stuff. Blending PG Wodehouse and Philip Roth together in his skull is his favourite hobby. His brain is activer than it should be. He imagines a lot in order to give John Lennon a chance. But sometimes even his imaginary friends turn out to be real and that’s when he realizes how f—ed up he really is. Aimless contention is the key. Or safe words, if you will. He fails to give up and tries way too hard at times. In hindsight, he’s well-acquainted with himself. And that is something not many can claim for themselves. In more aesthetic terms, he knows he sucks. As a kid, he looked up to Mowgli and Mario 'cause they were always pretending to fly. The funny thing is he still does.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The grapes are sore

They say life teaches us lessons. I can’t second that. In my opinionated experience or experienced opinion, ulcers teach us lessons (we never wanted to learn in the first place… or last, for that matter!). You see, humans are by nature, morons. We don’t know what we want and we won’t get what we receive. For instance, you’re not getting what I’m trying to say here. Relax. Neither am I.

Anyway, the sole purpose of this blog post was to share a priceless lesson I learned recently: smaller problems defeat bigger ones. It’s just a matter of distraction, not perception. Like you wake up one morning feeling happy that your dreams failed to throttle you to death, scratch your balls and brush your teeth. Out of excitement about nothing, you hurt your own inner lip with your own toothbrush with your own hand. It hurts so bad and bleeds that you wish you’d died in your sleep itself. Whatever, like I said they always say, life moves on. But what they forget to mention is that a tiny ulcer just took birth.

This cankerous development ruins your existence, especially while having spicy food. In desperation, you marry ‘ulcer’ and ‘cure’ by googling them together. Unfortunately, you learn that there is no foolproof remedy. Everything seems like a stock market—pure speculation. To add puss to your woes, you learn that even scientists haven’t figured out what exactly triggers a mouth ulcer. They’ve done numerous researches but none leading to an unanimous conclusion. At this juncture, you do what you always do when you walk out of options: RUN TO AMMA!

As expected from a South Indian mother, she recommends coconut oil. You’re under too much pressure to disagree with her philosophy that coconut oil can cure EVERYTHING. She then applies while silently praying to million gods to intervene in this territorial dispute. Hopefully, it will go away. But in one case out of ten thousand (yea, that one is mine), it decides to stick with you. You’re tired now of having trouble while brushing, rinsing, eating, laughing and talking gibberish. In other word, living.

With every passing day, the spot grows greener and more reluctant to ointments. You try to inform yourself that God Himself is conspiring against you. And after all this melodrama, you wake up one night to find your worries gone. No, the ulcer doesn’t go away. A new sore pops its hideous head out on the tip of your tongue diverting all the previously-showered precious attention from your inner lip.