Thursday, December 24, 2009

Assassin's Creed

The night was jeering upon me. The droplets falling from above didn’t soothe the soul. Rain generally had a calming effect on me. Not this one. Every raindrop felt as hard as a stone targeted directly on me. I was heavy. I carried the burden of loosing someone. The moments of shock and grief had passed. What remained was the after effect, the realization of the fact that this has actually happened. And that wasn’t smooth.

The street lights were dim, or at least the pouring rain made them feeble entities. Darkness had always been more alluring to me in life. I liked the dark. Ever since childhood, I embraced darkness much unlike other kids. I liked the challenge of finding my way in the dark, I liked the uncertainty darkness threw at us unlike light, where everything was finite and tangible.

Yet I wanted to move close to reason today. I wanted to be rescued. I wanted…………

My name is Balthazar. You shall not get specific details about my existence. My survival depends upon it. I have faint memories of my child hood, my upbringing. I faintly remember my mother’s angelic face. I remember my vision from the cellar, of the men who sprayed bullets at her. I remember the agony and guilt in my father’s eyes. I still remember the one statement he made, “We shall live”. I remember the train journey along with Dad that looked like it would never end. I remember at least 12 different names against my photograph in Passports of various countries. I remember being taught “what was necessary to learn” by Dad, since I missed most of my schooling. I remember surviving alone as a teenager in alien environments, sometimes clueless about when I would meet my dad again. I remember watching children of my age playing from a distance. By the time I was 15, I realized I could understand and speak 9 languages. But I seldom spoke. I listened.

On a cold winter night, I saw father breaking through the door. He had been hurt. It was a bullet wound, I wasn’t surprised. I had figured out what he did for us to survive. Father recovered soon, and I expressed my wish to accompany him for his “trips” going further. I saw him controlling his emotions. He agreed. I shall remember the one thing he said then. “Be fast in your thoughts and actions, always. Your conscience will never be able to catch up with you.” I remember, hearing Father cry and scream that night. The loud monologues were a mixture of guilt, anger, intoxication and helplessness. The bloodline had caught up with the inevitable !!

I don’t think I was taught to handle weapons. I did it on my own, several times learning to do so after seeing father in action. What was more important was stealth. My childhood concept of the darkness applied here. I was the darkness nobody was supposed to see through. After my third outing, I was finally given the chance to complete a mission. The modified Remington sniper was cold and calm, almost inspiring me. The aim was ruthless, not bothered by stimuli.

The bullet wrote the history. I was born. I was the “Assassin”

I have often read about people fond of travelling, writing memoirs about their visits and anxiously looking forward to exploring new destinations. During my professional pursuits, I must have scourged the world, yet never quite enjoyed any locales. My work was to disappear, and not sightsee, much like the rabbit from the magician’s hat. Do you think it enjoys the experience ? My records stated myself having worked for nearly all the intelligence units, a few small governments and some ruthless corporate deals. Reputations never overwhelmed me, I had seen it all.

Fate has a tendency of going wrong when you are not looking. On that particular night. Now it all comes back to me. It was a set-up, a defection. Bad guy kills the bad guy and becomes the good guy. In this case we were the hunted at whose cost the CIA were looking to clear their name. They set us up on a goose chase, trailing behind to go for the actual kill. Escaping was the only option and we were good at it. At least I thought so. A bullet made it’s way to my father’s left thigh. He spoke amidst the pain. “Billy, I’d rather die in your hands than be left for the torture. Make it quick and make it painless.” I had never unheeded father’s advice, but this was near impossible. I looked around, they were closing in. No escape. “Be fast in your thoughts and actions, always. Your conscience will never be able to catch up with you.” The voice echoed. My father, my teacher, the only connection between me and my existence.
I embraced him. “Good bye father !!” My last words were deafened by the sound of the bullet.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Dreams !!!

Dreams !!! What are they made of?? How do they occur???

I thought of writing this ever since i had a nightmare, a week back. And while i struggle to put forward my words together i realise there is no subject as infinite or abstract as this.

First, for reality's sake lets delve into the ideas of the masters, Freud, Sketel etc etc !!! Freud's "Interpretation of dreams" presented several theories which challenged the evolution of thoughts in the human mind, over-mining a more cause and effect relationship between our actions and thoughts and the impact they carry upon our dreams. Symbolism (dan brown, you cant touch this) was a high point, though blatant references are made on representations of several sexual acts even sodomy, incest etc... Ewwww !!!! But true !! And then sketel went along later disassociating with his teacher and made several connotations for sexual references, such as cleverly devised words for pervertness or hysteria !!!
Too much of sex they got into isnt it ??? Why is that?? The only reason i can think of, is that all of these are neo classical theories or devised a little later in the early 1900s !!! Understanding that dreams are a representation of our ultimate fantasies, desires and fears, most of the time, the only activity that comes to my mind which joins these three line of thoughts is SEX (war also came into my mind, but the respondents to our oldies' surveys were the gentry mostly, not assassins and no mad-cap Hitlers for sure) !!! Hence the realisation, hence the interpretation and hence the hoopla !!!

Lets look at perspectives from a new viewpoint, a fresher scenario. Lets look at the current generation and understand the implication of our dreams !! We definitely have more to desire for, more things to fantasise about and much more to fear !!!

The modern day hedonist has a lot of fantasies and things he would desire for - Sex (of course the primal instincts will rule till the age we turn into robots and our mechancial di**s would ask for a version upgrade for engaging in intercourse), Fast Cars, Riches, Food ( its true), material possessions, et cetera!!!
The modern man also has a lot of fears, fear of death, fear of wars, fear of falling behind in the rat race, fear of non-performance (contexts are upto imagination), fear of bosses (various), fear pf loosing, fear from the ghosts of the past and the ghouls lurking in the future, fear of bomination from the society because of non-confirmist thoughts et al !!!
Let me ask you. Have you ever had a dream, which made you feel sorry about the fact that you dreamt it? Did you see yourself committing a dark act, a sin, something you cant imagine your self doing under the weirdest of scenarios? Thatssssssssss the range of the human mind !!!
I was often told, to go to bed with a happy thought, and that would make way for happy dreams !!! That didnt happen. I still start the end of my night, imagining myself in an utopic situation and analysing my path to get there !!! But later, as sleep covers me in it's misty blanket, the sub conscious self takes control and i realise i am not the master. I must give in....give in to my dreams. For good, bad, sinister or ugly, they are truly creations of my own !!!
P.S - There are these NO DREAM nights too, maybe you are too tired to dream during your peaceful siesta, or have too much to bother about as you wake up, to remember what you dreamt of last night !!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sid Woke up !!!

The promos for Wake up Sid started appearing on newspapers more than a month before its release. It was a new age idea i suppose which definitely worked in attracting people to the whole "lazybones - coming of age" concept of the movie. And when it released, the whole hoopla fizzed out a bit. Because anybody who saw it, realised its just another "coming of age" movie, an attempt which has touched minor aspects if you truely see. Havent we already seen all of that already? Yet the treatment is fresh in whatever little the director gets to exercise his creative prejudices upon.

Firstly, Ranbir Kapoor does well. He takes to the role of a rich spoilt south Mumbai kid, as a fish to water. The innocence, naughtiness, immatureness and lost boy emotions are all at the right place. He along with Konkana make a fab pair who interact pretty well but their whole development of the chemistry is killed rather sacrificed to accomodate Sid's story, which isnt very well handled as well. One cannot help but feel dejected, when you look upon the manner in which the story directs Ranbir Kapoor towards Konkana in the end. Truly, much better was expected outta this. Konkana on her part got a tailor made role, and did justice to it. The glamour part...well you cant have everything, can you? But she still managed to look fairly decent, and me being her lawyer, why are our actreses supposed to look va-va-voomous everytime??

The support cast have done their bit, though this is out n out Sid's movie. However the ever so talented Supriya Pathak must have rubbed the script writer and the screenplay guys the wrong way. They have made a mockery out of the mom in the movie !!! Understood that she has this habit of blurting out broken english, but even in the emotional scenes which require her earthly charm and motherly touch, all we get to hear is bad english. This totally goes down unaccepted and her better presence could have given the movie some relief. Anupam Kher is restrained and compact. The chubby girl is adorable, reminds you of one of your girls in the pack, whom you always treat as a guy buddy. Rahul Khanna as by habit is wasted again (certainly in a more dignified manner this time compared to Love Aaj Kal !!!).

The movie had it's moments though, be it Sid's outburst, or when he comes to meet his mom after landing up on a job, they are definitely well enacted. What leaves you with a sour feeling is when you want more out of it and are left with a half baked product. I mean what was the use of all the retaliation, when the victory was just so small !!! Sid adjusted, but never was faced with a veryyy tough challenging situation to prove his mettle. But who is to be blamed on this then? If you touch a genre as dynamic as "Coming of age" you need to do and show more. The life of a "rich south mumbai kid" might have been left unexplored earlier, but even the best of lazybones amongst the masses will fail to connect with this boy. Is there a "Sid" in all of us? Well in parts yes, but when did you try to show those parts which would connect to the audience !!! All we are subjected to is the fancy cartoon obsession that is reflected in the cute t-shirts (i loved them though !!)

Decent attempt really, nothing like what i would remember until next year !!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Depictions and Contradictions

Durga Puja just passed. It has always been a time for celebration in my life. As until now, the festival denoted a long trip back home. However that was not to be this time around. So the festivities were carried out largely in Mumbai and i must thank my Bong-o-bondhus :D for the same. After a delicious traditional meal, when we laid back chatting, an interesting topic came into foray for discussing and delving upon, the origin of Mata Durga !!

I wasnt an expert on hindu mythology, but knew my ramayanas and mahabharatas wid elan though !!! The stories we listen to during our growing years remain with us somehow and that forms a base for all answers we ask at later stages in life. Thats what i found out, after the discussion, which was healthy, though took a wild turn midway and some heat to go with !! There were two schools of thought. It all started with one statement. My friend said that Durga is Lord Shiva's wife. I disagreed with him. My point was Durga was actually derived from a divine source, long since the hindu's have identified and worshipped as "Shakti" or energy, to complete a particular task (killing Mahishasur the demon God), and she was the divine answer to all the prayers of Devas (the immortal Gods).

However somehow it is also allusioned that she was a fiercer form of Parvati, Shiva's original wife (Wikipedia mentions it and i disagree). My arguement was, keeping Shakti above all, Durga and Parvati might be considered as two tangents drawn from a single point, but they arent one alike. They are parallels, and a third and more fiercer depiction is Goddess Kali, who is denoted with Destruction, Time and the eternal Change phenomena. Now would you consider all the three to be one self ??? Is the answer, "Yes", because the source is the same??

My friend brought in a different facet now.

He said the whole transition and dual self can be compared to the Spiderman-Peter Parker's contrast. You will have to say, Spiderman is Mary Jane's boyfriend. Isnt it ?? They are the same person, end of the day.

I begged to differ. Peter Parker knows when he is Spiderman and Spiderman knows he is originally Peter Parker. Firstly this situation is that of the same person doing two roles. My justification is about completely different entities (Parvati, Durga, Kali) bound only by a single source - Shakti !!! Even if i am to overlook that, a change of form is a change in the person itself !!

Hence there is no recollection of any event or activity concerning another life (also refer to the schizophrenic effect of Niki Sanders in the earlier episodes of "Heroes").

There was a big justification awaiting to counter this idea of mine. My friend sure had decided to hit the nail at the right spot.

He asked me to recollect the most famous image of kali. I did (am putting the image below, for a clearer idea).
He said the image mentions the time when Kali went berserk with killing, and nobody could stop her. Finally the Devas pleaded with Lord Shiva to stop her as he was her husband. Shiva lay dead on her way, and Kali has her tongue coming coming out, because of surprise and coyness for having stepped on her husband's body (an act of sacrilege according to Hindu customs).
This was truly what was told to us as a part of the regular dosage of childhood mythologies, and i even believed in the same. However there were more points to contradict the same too.
The blood red tongue, which has resulted from Kali drinking the blood of demons, protrudes more than one would do as a result of coyness or an acceptance of surprise while commiting a mistake. In ancient texts references are drawn out for this position - mudra, as mentioned, that Kali here, gives a true depiction of the "Khachari Mudra", a stance which defies time (Kaal) and Space (Shiva himself). Hence, she protrudes her tongue not as a sign of surprise but because of her tremendous confidence in her self. She commands respect and fear and with this act wants to signify the importance of her supreme being. Allusions are also pointed towards this sign denoting death of the human individual ego.
The discussion ended though the topic is still debatable. I believe even now, Hindu Mythology is open ended. Finite conclusions can be drawn but alternate suggestions can never be negated.
A final touch to the topic, would be quoting Ramprasad Sen, a Kali devotee, in a poem where he mentions the complete contradiction of Kali's image to that of a mother, as she is nothing like what a mother should be expected to be:
"Can mercy be found in the heart of her who was born of the stone? [a reference to Kali as the daughter of Himalaya]
Were she not merciless, would she kick the breast of her lord?
Men call you merciful, but there is no trace of mercy in you, Mother.
You have cut off the heads of the children of others, and these you wear as a garland around your neck.
It matters not how much I call you "Mother, Mother." You hear me, but you will not listen."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rendition of an unforgettable meeting

The phone rang mercilessly. I knew I was going to be deprived of my few golden hours of slumber. The clock showed 6.09am and the number displayed on my screen wasn’t a familiar one. I picked up the call.
“Still groggy in the morning as ever, aren’t you?” The voice was vaguely familiar, yet I wanted to be sure before blurting out any of my guesses. Who could it be?
“U do remember my voice, don’t you?”
I got irritated over not being able to recognize, the morning blues were getting on to me, “Well NO, I don’t. You mind explaining?” my voice hinted anger.
“Hmmmm…that’s too sad, anyways Shreya here, would you need more details ?”
I felt a heartbeat missing for a moment, I cursed myself mentally, for having been so rude and immediately apologized to her, “Shreya, I’m so sorry, I couldn’t get u, well wasn’t expecting you to call, I mean how could I, it’s been what, like ages?” “Where are you, how are you?”
“Hmm ages it has been Somu, I’m in Bombay and we need to meet up, that is if Mr. Busy Bee is free.”
“Yeah, yeah, for sure” I did a mental calculation, today was Saturday, and the afternoon wasn’t occupied. “How bout lunch, where are you putting up?”
We decided on a mutual place, exchanged pleasantries again and I hung up.

I stretched back on the bed. I could give the gym a miss today, my lazy self ruled again on the weekend. Although I ached to go back to sleep, I couldn’t help but wondering if the last 5 minutes actually happened in real time. Shreya called !! I went back in memory. Well there were so many memories of her that i shared, and in so little time that we spent.

She'd said her name should not mean credit worthy, it should mean freshness. She'd said she was against the theory of evenings making people sad, as she loved spending time looking at the setting sun, She'd said Rahul Dev Burman was sent to earth so that he could create music and go away to angeldom, she'd said she would ideally want to see a cut mark on my left brow, coz that makes guys look sexy, She'd been hysterically wild after her first tryst with Jack Daniels and cursed me for turning a Vodka person to Whiskey, even though she'd barely finished a peg of any spirit in her life and mostly held the glass to give company, she'd said love wasnt forever, it was a feeling and we needed to enjoy everybit of it till it prevailed, she'd said she loved me today but was unsure about tomorrow, literally, She'd cried on my lap looking at her tickets for Milwaukee, she'd laughed her guts off when i told her i'll meet her next when i would be 45 with a bald patch resembling an egg, She was a livewire, she could not be fazed out, could not be understood easily and could never be forgotten. She'd said we will not be in touch as it will definitely pain. And we didnt.

She'd said......I'd heard.....and life had played mischief with two souls, sometimes appeasing and sometimes the eternal pain !!

The meeting was for lunch, but that is barely what we had in mind. She hadnt changed a bit. The smile hadnt lost the genuineness neither had the eyes lost their glow. We were awkward to start off considering the time we had met each other after but soon found each other in the same craziness. The old camarederie was back, the way we'd left it.

There had been an abrupt halt on her smiling face, she said this wouldnt last yet again. I asked her to keep faith in her heart and memories in her mind whenever she thought of us. She gifted me a DVD of "Izaazat", a not so celebrated movie we both had liked and i'd commented to her that she quite resembled the free bird "Maya" i saw in the movie. I didnt have a gift. I loved her. Wasnt that enough ?

We parted...only to meet again...sooner this time. Life does spring in good surprises...and today i was a believer.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Kaminey - A Review

The best movie of 2009, as the tabloids say. Is this how one would like to remember “Kaminey”? For truly, this has been a year full of duds and movies that have raised expectations but simply did not match up to them. And here comes a movie that sweeps the masses and classes all alike not to forget the highbrow critics. I did not see a review of “Kaminey” where it was rated below 4 stars on 5. And then truly, does it need any ratings, reviews and stars to impress you? The answer is NO. Figure this out, the “stars” of this movie aren’t the lead pair of Shahid and Priyanka, even after pitching in career best performances. It’s the characterization and the plot that takes your breath and the cake away. Take for instance Shahid Kapoor. The guy was a perfect catch for Teeny Bopper romances, slowly tried to get his foot hold into a more adult genre and bombed miserably with “Kismat Konnection” and comedy capers like “Fool n Final”. He however showed promise and a lot of restraint in his recent offerings like “Jab we met” etc. and probably this landed him in this double trouble whodunit. And boy, what a performance. Guddu and Charlie stand out as different as Chalk and Cheese and all the stammering and stuttering is done with perfect elan. Priyanka Chopra provides perfect foil to her Marathi Mulgi character and one can’t help but wonder, how well she gets into the skin of Sweety. She cons, fakes and lies, but all with a positive intention of deep love and desire. The interaction scene in the train between her and Shahid is truly touching.

Hmm.. coming on to the other “leads”. Amol Gupte as “Bhope Bhau” is superb. It actually doesn’t seem like his first movie at all. He is a complex character but all his actions positive or negative meet at a common denominator of his leverage out of the whole situation. The scene when he toys around with Mikhail is brilliantly executed. “Tashi” the suave smuggler is another likeable character. He lives large and parties hard but you can see is rough and unpolished side once he is rubbed the wrong way. This leaves us with the 3 bong brothers, uncanny, insane and completely off the hook, they remind you of the Madcap gangs you have seen in umm..well..some Hollywood movie..but which one?? Actually, they can fit into any of the legendary gangster movies you would have seen, they are as wild as any of Tarantino’s characters and their depiction in “Kaminey” is outstanding. Mikhail is immediately likeable as the stylish and angry young bong with a soft heart and great love for his friend Charlie. Their camaraderie looks very warm and natural. The entry of the veteran bong bros in the open jeep with the newly bought Automatics and Mikhail’s corpse in the side seat during the climax is min-boggling. For me, it is the scene that truly stands out amongst everything else in the movie. As and by the movie progresses you realize you are getting pulled into a quagmire of many stories running parallel, yet you keep asking for more, your interest keeps dwelling in deeper and deeper. Slowly the stories converge and a befitting climax to end it well…I’d say.

The songs help in the progress of the story rather than acting as deterrents. I was literally caught in a trance while watching “Dhan Te naan..” on the big screen even after having heard and seen the song so many times on the idiot box. The red lights, the mood and the energy…mind blowing…evil. However the romantic number by Mohit Chauhan went chop chop under the editing table and possibly that is the reason why you get to see it after the end credits. Sad but acceptable.

The director has his moments of artistic glory. You see Charlie from a camera angle, where he is caught in a net and the next moment the other angle shows him sitting beside a fisherman who is actually entangling his fishing net. Charlie’s flashbacks, the young Guddu throwing money on the present Charlie’s face, Charlie’s depiction of a race horse, are all motion pictures that can be conceived by a genius as Vishal Bharadwaj. These pieces of cinema are not ones you come out of the theatres and say “Paisa Wasool”. They are beyond it.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Creative Inspiration means something to me that makes me truly sit back on my couch and pay attention to and then fall in awe and love with the idea of genius. One such brief romance with poetry came when i saw "Four weddings and a funeral". It's a scene where fellow mourners gather in the church for a funeral service of a jolly bugger. His best buddy doesnt find lines more be-fitting than to quote W.H.Auden, in one of his poems, "Funeral Blues". Here are the lines:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

The next bit of inspiration comes from the song i've long since become addicted to much like the singer was addicted to drugs. Kurt Cobain...a rare talent. I know the song can be earlier credited to David Bowie, but once you hear the haunting melody of the guitar towards the end of the song you will fall into a trance that only Niravana can create. I remember very early, a friend told me everytime he heard Nirvana, he doped. I somehow cant detest his views. I know what the feeling is like and its one of the best forms of bliss i've experienced/felt as a human. I dont mean to preach drug abuse but the combination of {Niravana/A few other tracks in the background - Dope - Shack near the Sea - Fellow dopers engaged in meaningful conversations heading towards abstract emptiness and nullified expressions later}, actually creates an impact on you that sanity in its vaguest sense can never encroach upon. Following are the lines of the "The man who sold the world". Beauty, thy name isnt woman alone !!!

We passed upon the stairs,We spoke of was and when

Although I wasnt there, He said I was his friend

Which came as a surprise, I spoke into his eyes --

I thought you died alone, A long long time ago

Oh no, not me,We never lost control,Youre face to face,With the man who sold the world

I laughed and shook his hand,I made my way back home,

I searched for form and land,Years and years I roamed,

I gazed a gazely stare,We walked a million hills --

I must have died alone,A long long time ago.

Who knows, not me,I never lost control,Youre face, to face,With the man who sold the world.

The last bit of mention is forMr. Jules from Pulp Fiction. What a movie. And what characterisation !!! The narrative is perhaps the best that i have ever seen and the dialogues still cause flurry and goose bumps !!! If any one has wondered about why Quentin Tarantino is so celebrated, please do see this movie and if you have already, please watch it again :D !!! The movie has dark humour, plenty of bloodshed and enjoyable to the last bit. Another director on the same lines is Guy Ritchie, who arrived wid a blast wid Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, but poor Ritchie boy lost his marbles post his thing wid Madonna, and am yet to see a better product from him. Hmmm...brings us to the original subject. The best dialogue from Pulp Fiction. A criminal/cold blooded Hitman, reciting a verse from the bible before killing his victims. The last time he does that, there is an explanation, and somehow even he thinks for the first time about the implications of that statement, the metaphor etc... Truly Fabulous !!! Read it, then watch the movie to understand, if you know wat i mean:
Jules: "There's a passage I got memorized. Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you. I been sayin' that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, it meant your ass. I never really questioned what it meant. I thought it was just a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before you popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin' made me think twice. Now I'm thinkin': it could mean you're the evil man. And I'm the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here, he's the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could be you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth. The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd."
Until next time and until some more thoughts.....

Friday, August 14, 2009

For her....

Conversations cease midnight falls
I lay on my bed gazing at the sky
The dim lit aura, the hiding stars
Laugh at me, I don’t know why

I hold fort and I ask them
What is it that gives u glee
They answer back and promptly tell me
‘Tis a question, that we should ask thee

Why the laughter, why the joy
Why the blush on your face would never go away?
Have you finally found the happiness
That you were looking for night and day?

I think back and I wonder if it’s true
Is it a hallucination or is it actually you.
The mirth and the laughter, the usual healthy banter
The stupid nothings that you whisper thereafter..

How I look forward to the constant flow of words
How my ears stand up at the slightest hint of your voice
How knowing you has truly been a blessing
How I can say I’ve just about found solace.


Friday, August 7, 2009

Cheers to Su-pal !!!

I know a very sweet couple !!! Maybe they are the sweetest couple i know amongst my friends!!! They are my best buddies from B-school.
Today they complete 4 years of courtship and i stand testimony to the fact that it has been my pleasure to have known them over this period. I have seen them in the best and worst of moods, caring, loving and funny and dependable as a friend each in their own unique way !!! They are as different as chalk and cheese and yet so compatible. When they argue while i am around i tell them not to as it would have a bad effect on me just as it happens on children when parents do the same. Their relationship has somehow had an effect on me to have belief in this institution of love. Else the heretic i am, i would have moved farther from reason much ago.

So, God, please do bless them with infinite years of togetherness and love. Amen !!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Love Aaj Kal aur Hamesha !!!

One of the movies that was eagerly expected for in this season, finally made its way to the screens, and the proud producer will have all the reasons to laugh his way to the bank, cause Love aaj Kal has indeed met with glorious reception from the audiences. Imtiaz Ali has now taken a position where in his reputation precedes him, a credibility, very few directors possess in our industry of cinema. The movie had all the necessary ingredients to arouse and catch your attention. So they got their basics right !!! Good foot tapping music that topped charts, interesting starcast and the whole modern look and feel to the movie. But how does one feel after watching the movie? Read on...
The subject of the movie, isnt daisy fresh. Infact you can put it in the "commitment-phobia and end mein sab theek ho gaya" category if you may like. Its the treatment to the subject that is novel. The director draws parallels in relationships of the heart, in different eras. First up we see the dapper Saif playing his usual heady concoction of the metrosexual uber cool "Dude" with the right (30%naughty, 10% confused, 30% charming, 30% cocky) expressions. He now defines the word "Perfect" for this stereotype even with new blokes like Ranbir Kapoor breathing down his neck for competition. We see heady flashes of two people fallin in love and drifting apart and everything seems to happen and decisions are taken in split seconds after listening to the brain and not the heart. Deepika Padukone almost spoils it with her Ice maiden demeanour and mouths dialogues rapidly without a flicker of emotion. However her efforts show considerable results as the film progresses and you are fine at the end of the day to accept her as this practical modern lady. I think the director packs a killer punch when Deepika calls saif right after the wedding to speak to him. Saif delivers all the lines and does that scene brilliantly, deepika is left stranded, and thereby Imtiaz Ali hides the leading lady's handicap of non-acting in her most crucial scene and you are ok with it to see her with tearful eyes and Saif stealing the cake!!!
Rishi Kapoor narrates the story in the retro mode and you are subjected to the Sardar Saif who abandons everything for True love and shows the purest of devotion for the same. The dude does a good job but clearly doesnt look 100% convincing as he did in the langda tyaagi (Omkaara) mode. I wished Ranbir Kapoor played the retro character, it would have been absolutely thrilling then. And why did they settle for brazillian Giseli Monteiro, to play the meek punjaban with hardly any dialogues and credited with the worst song in the movie, if they at all had to prove a point to anyone??? However the second half did run a few reels unnecessarily with some continued elaboration on Saif's "Golden Gate" plans !!! Finally realisation struck, the parallel lines met at a commonality of Love triumphing over everything else and the narrative ended well.
I was shocked to see Rahul Khanna's condition in the movie (Let God not put my best of enemies in this situation !!). Another sad part was the under utilisation of such a powerful resource as Vir Das, the stand-up comedian.
Things that really stood out in this movie are casual interaction scenes between Saif and Deepika, they seem very comfortable, and you are left with a happy feeling when you walk out of the movie halls. All in all this isnt another Jab we met types roller coaster, but is definitely recommended for its fresh appeal !!! 3 cheers Mango people !!! As Harleen's father says "Decide ho gaya !!!" :D

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reality Bites...Ouch !!!

I lay low yesterday...had been food poisoned !!! Rather food poisoned myself due to stray eating, somehow i couldnt resist with!!! While i did take a day off from office and was spread across my bed, i continued with medication and my frequent visits to the hot seat, decreased, bringing me back to normalcy. I couldn't bring myself to playin my new DVDs widout company (was rather plain lazy !!!) and my fingers were sore and didnt want further exercise on the play station. I tried switching to the idiot box for a change and was then subjected to one of the most obnoxious and ghastly "reality" shows of all times - "DADAGIRI" aired on Bindass TV !!!

This show as they claim, has indeed taken adventure-reality shows on to the next level. When i say next level i do mean several levels down the pit. There are a bunbch of freaked out contestants who participate in "Tasks" or "challenges" proposed by the senior Gurus. These tasks are so fool hardy in nature, it makes your guts crawl. For example ther was this task of driving a cycle, without a seat on a river bed. The ground was so uneven that even with two feet firmly on the sides, movement looked difficult, forget two feet on the paddles !!! The contestants suffered and suffered endlessly, only to find them selves in another task which involved licking cowdung off some object, face endlessly in sh** !! Meanwhile forget words of encouragement, the "gurus" were egging them with endless bull sh** remarks, "abey dum nahin hai?", "pathetic", "mard nahin hai kya? ladkiyon se haar gaya?" etc etc... There were two of them if i remember correctly, the first one being a middle aged body builder with the diction of a toddler and constant grimace on his face, mouthing abuses. The second was a "babe" with skimpy clothes and vampish make-up and she tried being at her snooty best. Truly, i was testing my patience and after a while couldn't bear up anymore. This brings me to the question, why are we subjected to such mediocricy ?? This show truly is an insult to any average person's emotional intelligence. The bunch of kids participating in shows as such, either havent developed a sense of self-respect or are ready to sell their souls for "stardom" something they shall never achieve through this medium. Or lets just agree on a plain fact that they are ignorant. In that case, isnt it the channel's responsibility to not subject viewers to this melodrama? All this show case of torturing participants at initial stages of selection started off with Roadies, but well within limits, and even then Raghu Ram pushed it a bit too far. And these idiots took a leaf out of MTVs book and straight away designed their own version of Adventure reality !!! Its understood that you may need to be stern and strict with teenagers and young participants to keep their attitude in check for such programs or see if they prove their mettle, but Dadagiri's histrionics, has nothing to do with either. They are taming meek lambs and sending them to the fields to get jacked.

I recently saw a panel discussion on one of the news channels regarding the destruction of moral fibre of the society through airing shows such as "Sach ka saamna" (a meek version of The moment of truth, where anywhich ways REAL tough questions arent asked as they would prove to be unconstitutional) and the social activists went rant...rant...rant, leaving poor Rajeev Khandelwal and his 7 rehearsed lines of justification in agony !!! That is PRIME TIME, attracts attention and hence such a furore !!! How come nobody cares a rat's a## about what shows like DADAGIRI do to our youth, which is a bigger case of concern and issue? Forget viewership and fan following, the mindset is set to get hijacked !!!

PS - On a healthier note, "ISS JUNGLE SE MUJHE BACHAO" has Negaar Khan upping the TRPS and being enuf eye-candy to the bored participants and viewers to last atleast a week at bare minimum !!! Opps ...did i say "Bare Minimum" ??? Not for your attire Negaar !!! ;D

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Amrit a good friend of mine has just about introduced me to this tagging option.
This one i believe is a chain of sorts..forgive me folks if i goof up.

Ok, the game is to complete this ABC thingie. It is an interesting doubt about it. So here it goes. Please read the rules carefully !!
Now the rules:
Link the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
Share the ABCs of you.
Tag 3 people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
Let the 3 tagged people know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
Do not tag the same person repeatedly but try to tag different people, so that there is a big network of bloggers doing this tag!

So, here’s the ABC of me…
A – Available/Single?
Single and NOT Available
B – Best friend?

C- Cake or Pie?
D – Drink of choice?

E – Essential item you use every day?
Cell Phone

F – Favorite color?
Black, Blue
G – Gummy Bears Or Worms?
Worms, they are cuter :D
H – Hometown?
Puri, Orissa
I – Indulgence?
J – January or February?
January. Everybody's in a party mood all month
K – Kids & their names?
Not yet, but i'd like to name my son, Raj and have girls swooning over him
L – Life is incomplete without?
M – Marriage date?
Will announce before the world gets redundant
N – Number of siblings?
O – Oranges or Apples?
Oranges...actually all citrus fruits
P – Phobias/Fears?
Necrophobia - fear of death
Q – Quote for today?
"Isn't it far better a day than yesterday already?"
R – Reason to smile?
Actually i dont need too many reasons to smile..
S – Season?
T – Tag 3 People?
Umm... 2 for sure...i'm new gimme a shance !!!
U – Unknown fact about me?
I love dancing...alone :P
V – Vegetable you don’t like?
Bitter Gourd
W – Worst habit?
Over optimism
X – X-rays you’ve had?
A few, been operated twice !!
Y – Your favorite food?
Z – Zodiac sign?

Am tagging two people...hope they have as much fun...

Pruthesh - my bro, best form of the word "child prodigy" as i have understood. read his blogs and u shall understand.

Sanket - another maverick and good friend.

Hope to increase my circle of friends and fellow bloggers here soon !!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Tintin has remained as one of my favourite comic book characters. This adorable reporter's character was sketched out as early as 1929 !!! There were other brilliant side kicks as foul tempered Captain Haddock and forgetful Professor Calculus along with the delightful Snowy !!! Geting hold of all of tintin's adventures was a childhood goal i aimed to achieve. The books are a collector's treasure. Each window looks to have been drawn with terrific expertise and an eye for detail. Herge (real dude was George Remi under the pen name) was a master artist. My favourite book is "Prisoners of the Sun" and i still remember the picture where the llama splashes spit into Captain Haddock's face !!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Translating Thoughts

I would not be a regular blogger yet again, i kept cursing myself over the last few days. I havent been. But i need to change. i need to pen in my thoughts more often. The return would be unleashing whats deep inside me, a creative vent you can say. Agreed i'm no Socrates or Archer (radical comparisons aint it??), but even the normal human being is a bundle of complexities which he/she randomly pays attention to. However, once the realisation comes, there grows the unrest (khujlee, as some of us colloquially would call it!! :). Then it could take various forms. As from personal experience and hearsay, i remember a person who'd write poetry. The need for turning a mellifluous statement into a verse, came in naturally to him. If at all the statement struck first, he had this unbeateable urge to translate it into a verse. That's how he made poetry. Fiction writers often have this habit of taking notes at various times during the day, exploiting the scenario with creative modifications and coming up with brilliant sub plots.

The oldest practice of blogging which dates back to the days of innocence, was maintaining diaries. You could never dream of publishing your diary, but writing in it was fun. Girls generally wrote their deepest secrets, crushes and other wishlists. For guys, after a point writing a diary became a sissy thing to do. So no matter how many G.I.JOE stickers you ornamented it with, no matter how many cool lines from hollywood movies you wrote, your diary had to be a secret.

I remember my diary. It had these top ten lists for possibly everything in this world. Music, Food, Movies, Cricketers, Friends !!! I was the critic, the reviewer and the final decision maker. Maybe this habit of reviewing, categorizing and prioritizing things came this early in life. Now what i feel important about this activity of opinion making is to take things in a positive stride and the key is being passionately involved in it yet be as less judgemental as possible.

Today when i read novice "reviewers" making derisive comments on our cinema, it feels sad. And to think that their ratings matters a lot to a lot of people, who choose to see the stars against a film's review rather than be interested in the subject, its indeed an act of cheating though willy-nilly. Their might be an arguement on this saying that thoughts are invidualistic, but if we are appreciating (or de-appreciating for that matter !!) art and creativity over here, our thoughts have to match Somewhere !!! Will somebody then explain me how a particular piece of cinema gets so differently reviewed in different forums ??? Hello !! I want an outline and highlights of a movie, not a post mortem !!!

Until next time.....sayo nara !!!

P.S - will be putting my blog online now, lets see wat brickbats i have in store... !!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A New Start

I had this profound thought of blogging one fine morning !!! And that was way back 2 years. Being technologically (perenially) handicapped, i could not however operate on the same. The wish to be back on blogs has come back, and here i am writing again, after having debated severely over the cons of Blogging !! Sorry guys !!

When i start this i also wonder what to write on !! My surroundings (mumbai's been a leaky cauldron in the rains), recent shows on television (Rakhi Rocks !!), new movies i'm looking forward to (Accio--- Potter), my state of mind (dont even get there !!), book reviews (phew !!) etc etc... And..... EUREKA !!! I will write about all of em !! So read on.... home away from home has been dripping since quite some time now. As clearly stated in a research, if even a fraction of the rain waters could have been saved until now, there would not be a water problem in the mahanagri (maximum city) !!! Showers have been the order of the day. I miss the rain kissed beauty of mother nature and am restricted to visions of open potholes and battered roads, with vehicles moving at snail's pace in traffic jams.

Television has been a big let down in recent times, with the infusion of n number of reality shows. While Roadies has been deteriorating with quality with every next version, other shows have simply dissappointed. Recently "Raakhi's swayamvar" has caught many an eye and is one of the best laughter inducing shows in the right spirit far better than the laughter challenges elsewhere. F.r.i.e.n.d.s and Seinfeld re-runs save the day but a lot more's left to be desired. And the bandwagon of saas bahu just took a brief exit from the spotlight to accomodate more "meaningful" genre of shows, full of non-actors, loose scripts ultimately resulting in viewer's dismay (i tried watching a show called Bhaskar-Bharti, hilariously not-funny !!!).

Movies, the other solace have somehow resumed across theatres recently post the strike. The last sensible comedy "99" was truly good. "New York" was fresh and hence liked by most while "Kambakht Ishq" was yet another mindless Akshay Kumar disaster. Looking forward to the releases of "Love aaj Kal" and "Kameeney" while the eagerly awaited Potter Boy's 6th celluloid drama has already unfolded in indian screens (gotta catch it fast).

If you are a fellow hedonist like me, you would understand the importance of books at this juncture. While Aravind Adiga pleasantly surprised with "White Tiger", I went back to more indian roots by completing the "Feluda" series by the Master, Satyajit Ray. Looking to read "The winner stands alone" although i'm never convinced about Coelho's interpretations.

Hopefully i shall write more and more regularly. Until then...bear with me !! :D