Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Clouds and their conspiracies

Wife likes to believe that she holds some power over the weather. Husband can't help but play along. And to his dismay, every morning, while leaving for work, it begins to rain. Thus forcing him to acknowledge that the sky—if not the entire universe—conspires against him. But then, he can't be late for office either. So he sets out with his umbrella knowing pretty well how ineffective it is in keeping one's pants dry. However, just as he's about to leave the room, Wife says something to effect of "The rain won't trouble you!" like Lady Indra would have. Husband nods and smiles at her pretending to be grateful for her divine intervention. As soon as he gets out of the building, the rain stops as if on cue. He looks back up at Wife standing near the window on the first floor. Both her eyebrows rise together, forcing his face to fall down. After all, as always, rainfall will resume once he's moved out of her sight. Something she isn't aware of.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Well, a sher can

Everything that i wish i was.
Unafraid of anything that faces him.
Even a herd doesn't startle him as much as NGC would prefer.
Lazes through the day sunbathing.
Never has a bad mane day.
Fornicates with half a dozen lioness and Africa knows what else!
Oh, here's the best piece: doesn't bother to hunt at all.
What are the fierce lionesses for?
Has the lion's share of meal, nevertheless.
Sleeps for more than 16 hours.
Baby-sits the cubs but for a short while.
Healthy, gale and respected by Disney's.
Unless he belongs to Sanjay Gandhi National Park.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Frozen news

My amma and papa don't get along very well but they share a lot of similarities. For example, there are seriously demented characters from both ends. As if mental illness runs in the family. But one particular specimen stands out for her sheer bonhomie. Malamma. My mother's eldest sister who had a nervous breakdown at a rather young age after her husband passed away leaving her with a son to fend for. She had a not-so-colorful life but the people who took care of her had it worse. Eventually, she ended up in our house in Bombay and that's when i came in close contact with her. A gentle soul (under heavy medication), i remember her muttering words to herself. Between sleep, food, staring at TV and petty chores (and several pills, of course), there wasn't much to her existence. Oh yes, there was one thing she was very fond of: newspapers. Actually, newspaper. There was this Kannada daily that she got hold of someday when i had just entered secondary school. And she continued reading that particular edition for several months—if not years. I don't remember the exact time period of her fascination with news she can't use. But i do often reminisce how we used to jokingly ask her "Are you done with it? Or is there still some breaking news in there?" with no response whatsoever. Paying attention wasn't her forte so it didn't matter how many times she read that paper nor how many times we tried to be funny.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Walking the distance

Him: "Do you want me to kiss you? I can do that. Although i've seen it happen in movies, i haven't done it before. But there is a high probability of us getting it right. On top of that, the nocturnal beach is going to help us too. However, there is a catch here. As soon as our lips collide, the space that separates us will be filled with an intimacy that will alter everything that's between us. We'll never be the same again as expectations will roll in and make themselves at home...."
Her: "God! You think too much and talk much more. Alright, just keep walking then."  

The next morning he woke up in his house with a mix of regret and relief. He was sad for being such a control freak but glad too that he didn't plunge in like others would have in his place. Whichever way one tilts the argument, both of them learned last night that a smooch can't possibly last longer than a laughter-filled conversation. 
In the meantime, the dried sand were engrossed in a deep kiss with his sandals.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Calm down,
get up,
walk beside yourself,
look ahead but don't stare and hurt your eyes.
Not worth the unease, you see?
Don't talk if you don't wish to,
just make sure you aren't still
or dead
or consumed by memories.
Whatever happened shall make you strong
—if not stronger;
wait and vouch for the future.
In case possibility reckons, do destroy your own negative thoughts:
nothing more, nothing else. 
Trust me, it's alright.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ladies and gentlemen, please board

In reality, there's no point in criticizing a bad movie. People are going to watch it anyway. The tough part is to drive the public towards the cinema hall to grab a good film. This is just the way things are and has got nothing to do with India. We are inherently lazy and intellectually inert so the tendency is to avoid whoever speaks the truth. Give us glossy love stories and OTT action anyday because we don't get to witness them in our otherwise bland life. However, once in a while an endeavour like Ship of Theseus walks along and hypnotizes us with questions, answers and the silent space between them. It doesn't try to be different but it is not the same either. One can not only relate to the characters but also to the situations they are in even though they are facing existential dilemmas of their own. It can't be missed. Sorry. Do yourself a favour, watch it. In any case, it has a limited release and ain't available on torrent either. Who knows? You might emerge out of the theater with an enlightened smirk on your smug face.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

An act of fruition

The famished monk won't throw stone at the tree. Not because he can't but because he's willing to let the wind and time combine to do what they are supposed to. On the other end, the benevolent old tree can take a few blow. It's used to the abuse by now. However, the enlightened soul has to set an example although there's no one to document his deed. After waiting patiently in the shadow, a fruit falls down and he partially fills his stomach. Even if it took a long while, he's not furious at nature as hunger and anger aren't good for each other. Something he knows very well and something the tree loves to test.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Flying sinews

Let's get started with facts. Bollywood stars aren't very popular for completing their homework. Expecting them to lose weight or gain an accent or be anything but themselves is too much to ask for in most cases. This sad premise compels us to acknowledge the grit Farhan Akhtar employed to create  Milkha Singh out of him. Going by the black & white photographs, the celebrated athlete appears a lot leaner than Farhan. But then, why not capitalize on the rare chance to let one's sinews scream out? And they did as expected in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (BMB). After all, the entire movie is a tribute to a man who wouldn't overestimate his ability to fail. So having a chiseled torso and arms wouldn't hurt. Rhetorically, at least. Furthermore, he strains and pains to succeed in a period independent India was barely waking up to international competition. The film is wonderful since Hindi cinema has been allergic to biopics in spite of having millions of candidates to run a script on. Having said that, BMB could have been much crispier. Just because your husband is the director doesn't mean you should chuck your editing job. (For the record, PS Bharathi did faaaaaaar better in Rang De Basanti which was directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra too.) If the climax wasn't as intense as it turned out to be, the whole endeavour would have fallen flat before the finish line. Nobody wants to be a guinea pig of an excessive filmmaker's indulgences. Coming back to Farhan, his acting skills remain open to question but his commitment can't be interrogated. Sacrificing two summers for a role is genuinely something no actor in our country is heard for. Cricket doesn't need a film to continue its stranglehold in the country but other sports don't enjoy such luxury. From that perspective, BMB continues what Chak De! India and Paan Singh Tomar ignited. Our generation is in dire need of heroes. For the time being, even those from the world of celluloid will do. A biopic on Dhyan Chand next, someone?

Hearts, interrupted

There are movies you like and then, there are movies that like you. Lootera falls in the latter category. It begins as a film but ends as a painting. Also, if a picture speaks a thousand words, a canvas speaks for eternity, right? Absolutely. Still, the dialogues are so few and far between. And interestingly—or rather coincidentally—a painting in this specific piece of art (painted by the supremely gifted Vikramaditya Motwane of the Udaan fame) plays a key role. Set amid an era when zamindars ended up as losers and lovers maintained a winning distance, a conman manages to steal some invaluable pieces of history. While he's at it, the innocence in him robs a strong yet vulnerable girl off her heart, peace and future. The worst part is she loves him even when he's hurting her the most. Maybe love, like cinema, works in mysterious ways. What works for this sincere film though is it has a heart-wrenching tale to share. With as many pictures—and as few words—as possible. The background score punctuated by songs fill in what the protagonists are too stubborn to express. If you remember Raincoat, you might recollect that the room in which it was shot consumes you with a certain amount of claustrophobia. What Motwane does is he keeps claustrophobia out of the room for the most part. Inside it, Sonakshi Sinha delivers THE captivating performance of her life. Given the scale she exhibited, calling her promising is an understatement. Ranveer Singh, on the other hand, tries his best to fit in perfectly as a guy who is far removed from his personality. The first half is flawless while the second half stumbles a bit. Overall, it combines to form a colossal work of art. However, some love stories are meant to end prematurely. But when they do, they leave the spectator with grief as well as a thirst to start all over again. Lootera is one such adaptation.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A modern-day loser

Every morning he wakes up feeling like shit. This is before he has tea. Later, he somehow gathers strength to look at himself in the mirror. His face reveals way too many questions and his bloodshot eyes, way too many answers. Trying to figure out what drove him to today, he continues to stare at all the possibilities. Not a thoroughbred narcissist but being a human nonetheless, the staring contest remains winnerless. At last, he asks out of curiosity what has he done to make this world a better place to live in. After a lot of permutation and subdued bitterness, he arrives at the same point with the same answer: "Hmmmmm....nothing!" At that instance, the tea's spell on his eyes goes for a toss and the modern-day loser in him promptly goes back to sleep hoping to wake up when today is over.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Life is more of a punctuation and less of a word.
Life is a brilliant joke that others fail to laugh at.
Life is all about waking up at a place where you don't have to ask yourself - "Where am i?"
Life is everything about nothing. 
Life is a poor trick gone miserably funny.
Life is fair as long as you're winning.
Life is changing whether you'd like to be a part of it or not. 
Life is beautiful even if it's a lie.
Life is a long series of "Sab theek ho jayega" being told to each other.
Life is as young as ever but you are getting old.
Life is touching others without molesting them. 
Life is the greatest scam of all. 
Life is an attempt at ditching the highlights and going live instead.
Life is all about moving from one Google doodle to another. 
Life is what happens when you're trying to figure out what concerns you the most. 
Life is already lonely with friends. Imagine how it would have been without them. 
Life is like going all the way to Paris but not visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Life is an occupational hazard too.
Life is very dreamy. And then we wake up.
Life is happening to each none of us.
Life is so freaking cold that i can feel it in my sneeze.
Life is a good art but a miserable artist.
Life is like a box that effectively hides those non-existent chocolates.
Life is uncomplicated. For a lizard who does nothing but meditate.
Life is chess with added colors.
Life is indeed wonderful… in movies!  
Life is an eternal struggle, particularly when you're unable to control your bowel movements.
Life is all about seeking those few people who'll remark "So good to see you" and mean it.
Life is wonderful provided everyone is equally unhappy. 
Life is only as sorted out as others think.
Life is an attempt at dark humour.
Life is more than just waking up with a face you don't want to claim.
Life is too long to let others decide your mistakes. 
Life is miscalling, where are you?
Life is an overrated bitch and death, a momentary twitch.
Life is your greatest love story.
Life is letting your past seep into your present and destroy your future. 
Life is something that usually happens to others.
Life is basically a film with horrible cinematography. 
Life is like a simile.
Life is bootiful when your enemies are greeted with boos.
Life is the slowest way to death.
Life is simple but quotes about it are pretty complicated.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Unfinished verses

Once upon a rhyme, there was a poem waiting to be written. So many things happened around it but nobody came close to finishing it. Perhaps the literature was conspiring against the poets. Whatever be the excuse, the poem never got penned in its entirety. Since it couldn't fully take place, it couldn't fully die either. Immortality stayed out of question. As an aftermath, it remained hanging somewhere in the middle. For what words are worth, it still is. The world seems to be falling apart and whatnot. But it is yet to fulfill its destiny. Something doesn't feel right but who's to blame? And everybody in the room is leaving happily ever after.

Friday, July 5, 2013

One-eyed wonder

The greatest difference between pigeons and sparrows is that i've never seen the latter fight amongst themselves for food. At least not on my window sill. I feed both of them daily. Separately. In my case, sparrows are the early birds who get the grains instead of worms (for the record, they are pakka vegetarians unlike what most of us assume) while the pigeons arrive later for the same. Given the depleting state of the little birds—along with monsoon frogs—in our city, it's heartening to see them mark their attendance without fail. And like i said earlier, they don't have petty quarrels. They are tiny and cheerful creatures. Pigeons, on the contrary, exhibit a behavior obnoxiously close to what humans call assholes. Plus, they make SHITTY enemies. And they are very delusional. Have you seen them follow an absurd ritual of turning round and round on the spot? They believe it'll create tornado or something. Idiots. Speaking of which, two pigeons got into a tussle for some reason this morning and in the brutal heat of battle, forget their border and tumbled into my kitchen. It was so intense that one of them deftly poked its beak into another's eye. At that very moment, the fight came to an end and both rushed out of the window. Only to return a few minutes later to finish their breakfast. One with two eyes and the other with just one.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I'm not the kind of person who'd feel better if an enemy trips and falls flat on his/her face. I'm not an albino angel with wings either. Just that i'm too lazy to build enemies and much lazier to check what exactly they are up to. Never really had that sort of time and energy to invest. Having said that, my engineering background—failed engineering background, actually—allows me the exclusive thrill to see what's going on in the job market. And here's the news: I experience a bit of relish at others' (read: engineering students') expense. After reading that nearly 80% of the one million Indian engineers graduating every year are not real engineers in Mint, i'm feeling better. I'm supposed to be indifferent but no. Sorry, not happening. What a relief to know that engineers in India are sub-standard and companies are fed up of rampant mediocrity! As a result, they, like me, are now prepared to be underpaid for job's sake. Whoa! Blame it on the system. When youngsters enter college as engineering students only to bundle out as engineering students, what else can one expect? In my defense, i dropped out of college in my second year with a dismal scoresheet to boot. I could sense that i goofed up big time. But at least i didn't turn into a hapless techie. Not that i'm a Grade A journo today but there's a lot of scope along with hope. Math ensured that i'll never become a decent Electronics & Telecom engineer. I would have eventually joined the queue of wannabe engineers who never made it. Needless to espouse, it's better to be a wannabe film journalist.
PS: Since i started this post on my non-existent enemies, let me end it on an existing friend. I can't boast of too many non-virtual pals but amongst the minority group that i'm proud of, Tushar heads the list. And the most admirable thing about him is he has never asked me—not even once—why did i quit engineering. He simply never bothered to know.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The patent of discovery

Who discovered fire? No, really. The anthropological answer would be the quintessentially sexy Stone Age Man. But what if it's inaccurate? More so, what if it's false altogether? What if it's just another myopic (if not misogynist) propaganda? And what if it was a woman who discovered fire? Because the conventional theory states that someone with testicles thought it'd be a great idea to rub flintstones and see what happens. This particular scenario drives us to believe that fire was an accident even though it wasn't one. Even the history book illustrations make sure that there are two hairy guys hanging out with flintstones dangerously close to their nuts. Besides, how do we know for sure it wasn't a chortle of hairy girls who patented the art of setting the house on fire? The fact is our society has always been a male-dominated one and for reasons abysmally biased. For instance, it's Evolution of Man as if women don't evolve. One doesn't have to be a feminist to glance into the very sexist structure of the way we look at our past—both imagined as well as real. Going back to the fire, it's hard to believe that a guy discovers fire and then asks his live-in girlfriend (since marriage wasn't in vogue then) to not only handle it but also go ahead and cook food. It's like giving away your greatest discovery to someone else just because you're an affable bum who doesn't like to patent stuff. Prometheus be damned, something must have happened then. Just that we might never visualize what exactly.