Sunday, September 30, 2012


What do you desire from life? Other than happiness? Will greed always lead to Greece? Are you content with the fact that you're not dead yet? Where exactly do you see yourself 10 years from now? Heaven? Hell? Home? Dead in office unnoticed by the peon? How come Rihanna doesn't like my lies? Which year shall ultimately mark the unification of an idea called India? Whom do you love the most? Does money matter? Why are Naxals the villains when they don't even have malls to boot? Was that you who once thought Orkut was cool? Is that you who thinks Twitter is cool? What were you doing last summer? Aren't we supposed to be wise? Will you let poor people get near you without scaring yourself? Would you hold my hand even after my palms turn sweaty? Can you gift her an orgasm for a change? Do you believe in stars? Do you want to be a star? Won't you be glad if your enemies vanished at once? Will you miss them? Should Obama get a second chance? Shouldn't PM Singh retire for good? Isn't it funny to have a Bengali-speaking Bangladesh but not an Urdu-speaking Pakistan? Do you converse in Smile? When are you going to watch all the stuff you eagerly downloaded? Will your Facebook friends be your pallbearers too? Why are mothers the way they are? Why aren't we the way we should be? Shall Hinduism survive the lure of the so-called organized religions? Whom were you referring to in your terrible poem? How many tigers have you saved till date? You no me? Will Mumbai Metro operate before or after the world ends? Is Ryan Gosling where Brad Pitt once was? Are you so broke that you fantasize money while masturbating? Why are we alone when there are more than seven billion of our kind out there? Where are the Mayans when you need them? Does music leave you entranced or drained? Have you fallen for that very person who doesn't care about your existence? What happened to Monica Lewinsky? Is she still good at blowjob? How many migrants should be sent back to where they came from? Do you snore louder than you whisper? Is it fair to support Tibetan and Balochi resistance while conveniently overlooking Kashmiri aspirations? Will refugees ever have a roof to call their own? Is black the new brown? Who's going to bully China? Can you do what you always wanted to? What are politicians really excellent at besides human failures? How come I've got more Pakistani friends than Indian ones? Would you travel far and wide before getting lost in time? May a Bhaiya call you a Chinky when you're actually a Madrasi pretending to be a Ghati? Why is North-East not explored when it is not explored? Will Sheldon ever come out of his nonexistent closet? To what extent are we stupefied by Internet? Why is the eternal Gulzar growing older? At what instance disappointments transform into nostalgia? Who are you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The tale of a seat

It was an overcrowded train as usual. He was standing near the window reading newspaper as usual. From the corner of his eyes, he noticed an old lady with a small suitcase entering the compartment. He thought someone will stand up and do the needful but nobody did as usual. At this point, he decided to be the hero. He smiled at the old lady who reminded him of his grandma because she promptly smiled back. Then he proceeded to ask the fourth guy on the nearby seat who was barely sitting to vacant the place for the "senior citizen". That guy just gazed at him and then the old woman and then looked at the window. The decision was made: He won't give up his hard-won precious seat for no old-timer! Strangely enough, the old lady wasn't expecting much and signaled to him that it's OK. But it wasn't. How can our hero let such a gross inequity take place like that? He decided to proceed further and take matters into his own hands which were holding a newspaper a few minutes ago. He went closer to her and clapped so as to garner attention. No matter how packed a bogie is, this strategy always works thanks to years of being accustomed to goods-sellers-on-wheels. Almost everyone turned their heads towards our hero. He then loudly said, "Brothers and sisters, this is my grandmother. She's not well and can barely stand. I'm hoping somebody from you will offer her your seat...." Even before he could finish this extempore speech, his newfound grandma almost laughed and wanted to blush but geriatrics didn't allow her the permission. In the end nobody stood up to offer her a usual.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Blowing the trumpets

Since gods don't discriminate, faith—like dicks and breasts—comes in all sizes. They claim that it can move mountains but if you observe closely, it moves long restless queues ahead. With Ganesh Chaturthi being celebrated on full volume, one can understand how faith functions in this country. First of all, there are no set rules. Idol worship, not Hinduism (because modern Hindus have no idea what it's all about), allows us this liberty. You can decorate the statue, put up ugly political hoardings, collect unaudited funds, create ruckus on the streets, play Bollywood songs that have nothing to do with the Elephant God and get away with it. Even the otherwise sane people don't bother to question any of the above mentioned idiocies as the reason is pretty simple: Beliefs work in mysterious ways. I've got nothing against Lord Ganesha. He has always been my favourite superhero. Also, he's cute and keeps his lengthy nose out of my business. And unlike his devotees, He doesn't believe in rat race. Maybe this has to do with the fact that Kroncha is too fat to move! I simply adore him from the huge bottom of my heart. I wish i could say the same for those who worship him and then mercilessly kill elephants for their ivories. Experts often note that Al Pacino inspired Big B when the truth is Ganpati was the original angry young man who disliked his dad. Anyway, things aren't going to change anytime soon. In noisy times like these, i just wish The One With 108 Names was a Buddhist or something.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Choooo Chweeeet!

   Bollywood seldom impresses me though it's definitely going through an interesting phase. And keeping in line with this emergence of a promising era, Anurag Basu's Barfi! is a delightful break from the usual crap. This film proves that there is hope. For a decent script to be transformed into a lovely cinematic experience aided by excellent performances. We're well aware what the majority of actors do in Hindi films. If you aren't, let me fill you in: They do everything except act. Perhaps it's beyond their dignity to put in a few hours of practice to get into the character before getting out of the vanity van. It's a shame that Michael Fassbender's penis knows more about acting than them (pun intended, of course).
    Speaking of intentions, the ensemble of Barfi! decided to do something different. A beautiful story was already in hand. All this project needed was a team that would bring something new to the table. Turns out that's exactly what happened. The cinematographer literally painted a picture. The musician who is often accused of plagiarism came up with the finest motif of all time in Hindi cinema, not to mention the soothing background score. Everything seemed in place. Acting was indeed a notch higher. Ranbir, Priyanka and Ileana—not to forget the rest of the cast—delivered an unforgettable buffet of moments.
    Speaking of memory, several instances make you laugh but the ones that will make you cry shall remain memorable. A story about a deaf-mute boy who can't be portrayed by any other actor except RK. No, Hrithik did a superb job as a semi-retard in Koi...Mil Gayi but this screenplay by Anurag had Ranbir tattooed all over it. And the young achiever couldn't disappoint. He doesn't have a single dialogue in the film but he says a lot with his Chaplinesque body language. His place as the finest actor of our generation is getting cemented. Steadily.
    Speaking of steadiness, PC is a gem battling glamour more than autism in the film. She merits mention for her thorough choice of scripts and gritty roles. Complementing her is the Bolly newbie Ileana D'Cruz. Not only is this Telugu star gorgeous but also one heck of a performer. Ileana proves why Nargis Fakhri wasn't as good a debut actress as her celebrated lips. I hate giving away the plot so I'll just refrain from doing that but this song here is almost a spoiler alert. It pretty much sums up the mood of the entire film. My friend Demet once informed me that love is conditional. Barfi! disagrees with her. And so do i.
    Speaking of deeds, innocence often pays a huge price and more often than not, the transaction is done in age. Also, human disabilities don't matter as long as your heart beats without a purpose. This romcom slyly points towards the fact that we're simply lucky to have limbs and a voice and ears to ignore what others are saying. Yea, i must be sounding lost in sweetness as i don't even remember the last time i went head over heels for a Bolly flick! Forgive me but some movies make you fuzzy and compel you to hug strangers outside the theatre. Barfi! is one of those.

Monday, September 17, 2012

True love and false hopes

    Does Natalie Portman know that she's an angel? Or would she spend the rest of her life under the delusion that she is just another Jewish Hollywood-legend-in-the-making? Whatever be the case, i simply adore her. I suspect in her real life, she looks no different from the person she appears in her reel life. To me, she is the purest form of femininity. I love her so much that I’ll kiss her even if she has her dental braces on. The fact that she won’t let me is a different story though. 
    The talented 31-year-old Oscar-winning actress is exactly four years and 11 months older than me. In terms of success, she is 86 light years ahead. But what has age and time and fame got to do with innocent love? Besides, how can Natalie get married to someone else when I'm a better someone else? For those who don't know, she got married to that ballet dancer from Black Swan in June. I'd admit that i saw it coming. And her visible baby bump while receiving the golden statuette in February was the ultimate clincher.   
    Natalie and i were meant to be together. In an alternate universe, of course. And the worst part is she knows it too. Whenever she smiles, my monitor screen lights up. To be honest, it's damn scary! In fact, it's sad to witness how beautiful she really is. I'm so obsessed with her that even my imaginary girlfriend resembles her as long as i keep my eyes shut. I don't know what I'll do to her if i met her. Or for that matter, i dunno what I'll do to myself. i pity Natalie 'cause she could have had it all. Needless to say, here 'all' stands for me.
    Enough of Grade A rubbish. I wish her and her son Aleph the best of health and existence. While I'm at it, i also hope Natalie someday realizes how much i pretended to love her. Anyway, this long-distance thing with her ain't working for me.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

On defending a structure

    There are three kinds of people on this planet: those who admire Aakar Patel, those who resent him and those who haven't heard of him. The fourth kind is still in the making. For the beginners, he is someone who arouses attention more than anything else. Although his views are rigid at times, they don't vacillate like most other writers' do. If Destiny had a Child from a surrogate mother named Controversy, Aakar would be him. However, he's not the bad guy here. 
    Just that he simply doesn't give a damn about being the sugarcoating good guy who is liked by all. His writings throw light on topics we care not to discuss. Or too ashamed to even talk about. He presumptively owns an excellent nose that digs out subjects of mass digression. Be it on caste, religion, riots, regional identity, music, society, entertainment or just bare philosophy. It's pretty obvious that his sole intention is to bring forth the possibility that a mainstream columnist can and should write what has to written. And while doing so, he prefers to be honest to himself first and his readers, second—if not last. No surprise this journalistic idealism doesn't always get appreciated and often backfires because being the straightforward guy that he is, he rarely sees himself as the eyes of his beholders.
    Yes, his articles sound drunk sometimes. But he punches his way through to the final round and delivers obscure inputs too. Over the years, there have been several contentions related to his columns, the most recent ones hovering over his decision to praise South India over North, not to forget that 'deplorable' article on Bollywood biggies and Sachin. Even his harmless conclusion that crowned the restless yet intellectual past of Kolkata over Mumbai's present didn't go too well with the public.
    What people don't seem to get is the fact that India and the elements that make it an undivided country are distinctly divisive. And trying to homogenize those crumbs won't serve the purpose. 65 years is a blatant proof of that approach. At the most, it will procrastinate on the uncomfortable questions that needs to be asked whereby disgusting answers will start to flow. In simpler words, he's facilitating healthy discussions on the very platform that loves to kill time with words: Internet.
    There is a spark of knowledge in this guy that masquerades as wisdom. He pretends as if he doesn't know the sort of impact his sentences have almost every weekend on the Twitter (a den prone to unnecessary outrages and trending topics). And to make matters sorrier, he doesn't even bother to be on the social media. After all, Dalai Lama and Pope tweet regularly! Aakar's not on Facebook either.
    The reason why I'm writing this piece is not to be his mouthpiece. I haven't met him yet but I've heard a lot about him. Folks in my office who have worked with him have nothing but nice stuff to say about their former editor. He was known for his vision and uprightness. I feel that the so-called literate class of India is better off with somebody like him chiding our sagacity. His insights may occasionally appear biased but then so are ours, aren't they? Just because he refuses to take a middle path and decides to accompany his intuition doesn't make him an incompetent fool. On the contrary, i think an Aakar Patel who compels others to speak out their mind for a change is a must. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The return of our jungle boy

Dear Mowgli, wherever you are, my thoughts and this codswallop I'm about to write shall always be with you. You were grossly underrated. For someone who fought Sher Khan—who most might not know was actually a British agent in disguise—on his own thus accelerating our freedom struggle, you don't even have a proper citation in our history books. If somebody as vague as Buddha or a Jesus (both of whom never wrote a single memorable word in their entire life) can get elaborately detailed, then our little hero deserves a far better treatment. Here's a guy who grew up amongst the wildest of animals, spoke their language fluently, adapted their way of life, left close friends like Baloo and Bagheera for that gaon ki gori Radha. But what followed next was ugly as well as inexcusably real. Apparently, Radha ditched Mowgli compelling him to have second thoughts (and that too in his mother tongue, Wolfish) about his decision to leave the good ole jungle for a human failure called society. Besides, it was too late and he ended up as an alcoholic who couldn't even afford the luxury of calling himself a poet. Remember he can't write a word just like those two rockstars i mentioned before? Well, that's karma. Speaking of which, Radha used to be my first crush nearly two decades ago. And Mowgli is what i used to look like then. At least that's what i keep telling others. Anyway, to set things right, Mowgli should be awarded a posthumous Bharat Ratna along with Dhyan Chand. One yielded a boomerang and other, a hockey stick. Sachin, like his retirement, can wait. In the meantime, we should gain pleasure from the karmic fact that Mowgli and Sher Khan reincarnated to become Calvin and Hobbes.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

On a time machine

I keep revisiting my childhood; not because i have an eidetic memory (which i don't, anyway) but because some of my finest days dwell deep down in my past. They weren't colorful as such. They weren't poetic either. They were rustic for a while before getting fondled by urban chaos. Despite all that, they had an innocent charm about themselves. Or maybe I'm thinking too much and creating images that weren't there in the first place. It's fine, i assume, to ponder from one thread of long-forgotten incident to another. The trouble, however, begins when you start living more in your yesterdays and stop looking forwarding to your tomorrows. We are part of an age where imagination is dirt cheap but petrol, shit expensive. So one has to think twice before choosing their mode of transport. I prefer mind-traveling. After all, our generation is way ahead of its time machine. To be honest, i don't know what I'm writing here but the voices in my head suggest that it's OK to be lost in words. Nobody cares what you wrote but people care far lesser for what you haven't.   

Monday, September 3, 2012

More pointless than ever!

There's no point in putting the Paris in comparison. It's peerless.
There's no point in flashing your middle-finger to barking street dogs. They don't get it anyway.

There's no point in resisting weekdays' laziness spell that primarily occurs during working hours.
There's no point in crying in front of those who don't care; especially mirrors and monitors.
There's no point in talking to you. You've already convinced yourself that you aren't a fool. 
There's no point in arguing with the clouds. Always carry an umbrella.
There's no point in staying online on Twitter and criticizing your overindulgence at the same time.
There's no point in searching for your soul on Google.
There's no point in recco-ing films to those who tolerate cheap cinema.
There's no point in debating with someone who believes Reshammiya is the best singer of all time.
There's no point in criticizing an unseen film. Critics earn that right after going through the pain.
There's no point in advising a fool. On a second thought, there is no point in advising anyone.
There's no point in acting smart with time. It has got all the answers—even of the unasked questions.
There's no point in preparing a friends' list. They'll leave later and you'll be left with a dumb list. 
There's no point in having a staring contest with one's troubled past. 
There's no point in wasting a breath on stating that life is pointless.  
There's no point in asking a beggar or an Indian politician to declare their real assets.
There's no point in praying to God on weekends as She goes for shopping on Her off-days. 
There's no point in judging others. They aren't an art form. Just human scum like the rest of us.
There's no point in starting with "Personally..." as almost everything we say is on a personal level.
There's no point in discussing religion just like there is no point in discussing religion.
There's no point in furthering this utterly stupid blog post.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Honesty, the best policy?

   Loneliness can make a person lie, especially on the Internet. The relentless need of companionship might compel people to not only enhance their online avatar but also change their realities at least in words. The protagonist of this film does exactly the same and pays a cinematic price.  
A still from the film
   I M 24 follows a 42-year-old balding writer who is known for his honesty. Well, that was the case before he falls in love with a much younger aspiring beauty queen. To make matters worse, his friends decide to help him win her affection. The premise is pretty clear though: He’s not the guy she is looking forward to and she’s not the girl he should be looking for.
    Directed by Saurabh Shukla, this movie is bound to find resonance amongst those who spend a lot of time on social networking sites. After all, only they realise how different they are in actual life from the image they display on the web.
    The screenplay could have been much tauter had some basic loopholes been taken care of. For instance, if a stranger tells you that he composed the music of Rockstar, you’ll at least Google once to confirm no matter how ignorant you are about Bollywood. To add insult to injury, it’s happening in the big bad world of cyberspace! Also, would the societal balance be maintained if the age of the protagonists were to be interchanged? Like, if she were 42 and he, 19?
    This has to be Rajat Kapoor’s finest big screen performance till date. He simply slips into the character and doesn’t deviate an inch from his graph. Manjari Fadnis is adorable as his love interest. Ranvir Shorey fits the bill as his hyperactive best friend. And Neha Dhupia’s non-mainstream performances tend to better her mainstream ones. Forgettable songs notwithstanding, this is a one-time watch thanks to sincere acting from almost everyone present on the canvas.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

World Green Day Day

Today is the day we unanimously celebrate a musical magic called Green Day. Coincidentally, today also marks the day the title of their popular song 'Wake Me Up When September Ends' automatically turns into tweet for countless non-fans (because it's easier to count the number of fans); not to forget Facebook status updates of those glorious disciples of copy-paste who won't even bother to give credit to the aforesaid rock band. Anyway, everything is forgiven and forgotten and f—ed on Internet. Besides, thanks to our insomnia, not many are going to turn into desi Rip van Winkle and sleep the coming month out. That's simply not going to happen. But somewhere deep inside us, we hope it does. Like fall asleep and skip a month or two? Wouldn't that be something? I mean, other than death itself! Whatever. By the way, please don't forget to wake me up when this world ends in December.