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