Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blossoms of monsoon

One rainy night, he looked out of his window and then peeked into himself. The contrast between crowd and loneliness was evident like never before. He pondered for a minute and then took out his smartphone to foolishly text "I think I'm falling for you!" to an unsuspecting female friend. She, on the other side of the town, picked up her cellphone in return and read his loud message under her noiseless breath. Since chivalry was synonymous with this guy, it was bit of a shock to her to receive something as straightforward as this from a person like him. Well, love indeed makes people act in irreversibly weird ways. So she too decided to act weirder and didn't reply a word. But then she couldn't sleep either and the same was true about her poor cellphone. After all, she kept reading the message again and again as if it revealed her entire future. In the end, she replied "Think again!" unlocking a brand new gate of conversation.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Taking giant leaps

Lance Armstrong may have cheated at the Tour de France but his testicles are a pair of inspiration for millions out there. Like he once said, "One small step for man, a giant leap for steroids." Actually these are not his actual words. They were something to the effect of "If I can beat cancer, i can bloody beat anything—even WADA!" Alright, he never really said them either. But you get the point, right? Oh, you don't? Well, if you aren't aware YET, Lance has been stripped of all the titles he won between '98 and '05 at Tour de France on charges of doping. But what is interesting (and nonetheless, hypocritical) is that the other cycling championships he won during the same period remain his. At least for the time being. In any case, it's difficult to gauge a guy who fought testicular cancer only to bounce back into the annals of legends. Now, with this shocking news of his court-martial spreading far and wide, cycling as a sport is going to suffer the most. After all, we've got to keep in mind that bicycles are the vehicle of the future as the oil is depleting and horses won't continue to tolerate human nonsense. If this notion sounds farfetched, so be it. But what's more contemporary is the fact that Lance proved that it's humanly possible to win the most gruelling sporting event on earth seven times in a row (drugs or no drugs). And what happened to him also shows that in the race called life, even doping doesn't help.

PS: Coming back to another Armstrong named Neil to whom the original quote is attributed, i hope he takes a halt at Moon on his way towards Heaven. If those conspiracy theories are false, he was the closest a human could get to the farthest point possible for the first time ever. I didn't know you were alive and now i learn of your demise. Ignorance is a bitch. RIP, sir. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

'Help' yourself to it!

     A whodunnit usually doesn’t carry the burden of ethical or social lessons but this movie chooses to do the exact opposite. It begins with a bright day in the Capital but eventually ends up throwing light on the darker and narrower mindset of a well-fed society when it comes to dealing with underprivileged servants inside their spacious home. At the same time, the plot makes sure that the audience has a different perspective for a change too and involves a pair of British eyes to do the job.
A still from the film
     Set in Delhi, a rich yet dysfunctional family is preparing to welcome a foreign guest with aplomb. But within minutes, it becomes apparent that this guy has been robbed of his money. And toeing the line of Bollywood clichés, the needle of doubt points towards the domestic help. What follows is a trail of misdemeanor on one end and helplessness on the other—both connected with moments of laughter, awkwardness and ultimate closure.
     For a debutant director-writer, Prashant Nair has heralded a promising start though he could have focused more on the characters than the predictable climax itself. The reason being simple: the people in his film are flawed, real and engaging. It could have been any other city in the country but these folks shared the same Indian sentiments; unabashed hypocrisy being the most evident.
    The casting is near-perfect. At times, Lee Williams reminds you of Martin Henderson from Bride and Prejudice. Anjali Patil’s dusky features coupled with an elusive performance as a maid steals the show. However, it is Lillete Dubey and Kulbhushan Kharbanda who convincingly exhibit the charm of a disgruntled couple. Victor Banerjee is present as well as absent on the screen.
     In a nutshell, this is the kind of story that needs to be told as its moral echoes today in every Indian household that employs a servant.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Where are Jack's sparrows?

The birds outside my window haven't figured out what exactly is their problem—the fact that I'm a human or that they aren't. In either case, they have an upper hand. They can fly away any given time whereas I'll be stuck here in my four-walled cage fondly called home. Besides, nothing can stop these tiny creatures of nuisance from the nature's inimitable gift of chirping; especially during dawn. They tell us something but we don't get it. Our syntax differs. But they won't give up until we learn whatever they are trying to teach us. Meanwhile, they love to mock us. Don't know how but the early morning somehow always appears hilarious to them. Perfect harmony results between the empty sky and the boisterous little fellas. And they just can't stop laughing at our world and then follow the act with an item number. At which point, these brownish toys realize that they have a khi-khi-khi song to sing in chorus and move their tail in accordance with their bony wings. What a marvelous sight! Katrina can learn something from them. For instance, dance like there's no YouTube. One more admirable aspect is their utter outspokenness. They don't even defer to pigeons and crows of the city. Adaptation is one thing and adoption, totally another. Maybe this is also the reason why sparrows don't welcome the sun like they once used to. The language remains unlearned and the lessons, untouched. Time is running out and they are flying away. Perhaps the beloved sparrows too have left for the wild fleeing this doomed city.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Caught in the heist

Sometimes, you look up to someone as your role model and then they goof up. That's what happened with Fareed Zakaria. As of now, the celebrated columnist has been given a clean chit on plagiarism charges and reinstated too. But he's not the first to steal something from someone and pass it off as his own. Nearly everybody does that. Like we show off an iPad as if we invented it. And if my memory serves me right, Prometheus stole the fire and put it up on eBay for sale—thus angering both Olympus and that hapless Stone Age guy who rubbed flintstones. Talking of anger, Rajat Gupta must be feeling deeply sorry for himself as he didn't even rob a dollar. The lecturer in him was just sharing knowledge. Oops, bad luck. The greater trouble, however, is that overachieving folks like him had already reached the pinnacle of their field. And what they don't realize is that they are harming those they once inspired. I don't know much about insider trading but i see how plagiarism works. After all, I'm pretty active on Twitter (not as much as I'd like to but still). On the timeline, the day someone starts plagiarizing your lousy tweets is the day you actually arrive. On the contrary, nobody needs to arrive on Facebook. The reason being very simple: Famous-quotes beget one-liners beget copy-paste. Personally, i don't give a damn about credit as long as I'm getting paid for my lame tweets and blogs (which I'm not). At the end of the day, we'll be forgotten like the rest of them. Only our work will be remembered and if we are lucky enough, shall get plagiarized too.

"You plagiarist, you stole my f—ing quote!" - what one Anonymous said to another

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hue, us and them

    There is no point in teaching darkness a lesson or two in racism. It won't understand. In any case, almost every little thing under the sun has a grey shade. Unless you are in Antartica. Moreover, only penguins have the right to see things in black and white. That's also why they choose not to fly and play chess all day. No kidding. But what recently happened in Wisconsin and what's currently going on in Assam as well as Myanmar tells us that we are NOT living in a colorful age. Those on social media might beg to differ thanks to their over-dependence on Photoshop but lame jokes apart, racism is a grievous human shortcoming. Taking into account the way our stupidity appears now, our species may never rise above this narrow mindset. 
     Of course, there are moments when we get hope. For instance, when Usain Bolt stretches mankind's limits on the track and is loved by everyone, irrespective of their skin tone. No wonder he is the greatest racist of all time. Errrrr, i mean he wins race and all? OK, chuck it. On a serious note, how about Mario Balotelli hugging his foster Italian mother after winning the match? And there are many more examples—especially from the world of football because UEFA may have discarded the B&W patched footballs but Europeans are still mired in racism—where tears jerk and colors turn into celebration. Wish i was talking about Holi here but I'm not!
     As a Liverpool-loving adult, i think there are very few openly-racist players who play as good as Suárez! YNWA. As a cricket-loving kid, i was ignorant as well as racist (lethal combination) as i felt all black people lived in a faraway nation called West Indies. But to compensate this notion, i used to discriminate against red ants and adored black ones. My grandma played a small but significant role in developing this psyche. She told me that black ants are good omen. I guess that's why i keep seeing these tiny creatures today even when they are not around. 
      Being from a country which literally gave birth to racism, i don't know what is politically correct. Because a majority of my country(wo)men wish to be fair. What they don't acknowledge is the fact that despite all their lightening products, they'll still be black folks with brown skin and whiter-than-Anushka's armpit. This is also the reason why irony dies a painful death when Indians accuse others of racism. But let's get real for a minute. Humankind is inherently racist. A few words, said or unsaid, won't change that. 
     On a more serious note, black isn’t the color of hopelessness. Hopelessness is too hopeless to have a color of its own. And Wimbledon is white whereas the term 'blackmail' isn't. Fortuitously, unlike racism, racial jokes are always colorful. Having said that, it's difficult to figure out where exactly inclusion ends and segregation begins. While we are at it, shouldn't we ask ourselves whether Coldplay's Yellow was a special tribute to their Mongoloid fans? Ergo, everything is not fair in racism.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dinosaurs and Speilberg

Ever wished we lived in a Tarantino movie for a change? Not everyone would agree with me (insofar, not everybody appreciates excellent cinema either) but life is indeed wonderful…in movies! And if it has a bit of unanticipated violence attached to the bloody script, who'd complain? At least, not me. You see, the thing is my life's irrefutably bland. Colorless. I'm as dull as they come. Or go or whatever else they do. But my thoughts keep me fresh. And one such train of thought took me to a station where i pondered about the possibility of our life being based on a movie. You never know. What if we are part of an extended film we're not aware of yet? The name of these movies might differ for sure. Having said that, titles can be very misleading too. For instance, 'Anand' was actually more about sadness than mirth and it was disappointing to learn that 'Shame' is not based on Tiger Woods. In any case, long live internet as crooks like me don't breathe as effectively as they can download. In the meantime, I'm eternally grateful to all those faceless seeds out there who make downloading a reality. It's a world of parity on web where there is no rich or poor. Everybody is just sharing the fruit of cinema (illegally, of course). I'd also like to remind you that they forgot to mention this in religious texts but recco-ing others a good movie takes one closer to heaven. Because God is free of criticism and She finds cinema particularly cool. Besides, what's the point in critiquing bad movies? People are going to watch them anyway. The real trouble is to get them to watch the better ones. Besides, there will be folks reviewing the movie reviews in a perfect society. After all, cinema is meant to offer us relief—a false belief that (almost) everything will end well. Luckily, some movies just stay with us to whisper the secrets of an unimaginable world which we shall never get to enter in. Even if Tarantino wants us to.

PS: In case you come across a list titled '100 Greatest Movies Of All Time' and don't find Anand in it, something's horribly wrong.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Those awkward moments....

That awkward moment when your future interrupts your past.
That awkward moment when a housefly whizzes around in the office.
That awkward moment when Sharapova's opponent grunts louder than her. 
That awkward moment when an Indian mother asks "WHAT?" instead of "Who's THAT lucky girl?".
That awkward moment when you utter the right thing by mistake.
That awkward moment when you're all set to sneeze but your nose ditches you at the very last instance.
That awkward moment when you type emoticons using a typewriter.
That awkward moment when you see someone gorgeous and James Blunt's ominous song starts messing with your head.
That awkward moment when someone takes ROFL way too seriously.
That awkward moment when you get stuck in between Judgment Day and Qayamat Ki Raat. 
That awkward moment when you acknowledge in you the presence of an individual you used to hate once.
That awkward moment when you're trying to act cool with a toothpick in your mouth but accidentally choke on it and die.
That awkward moment when you introduce Rabindra Sangeet to a Bengali.
That awkward moment when you say "You cunt" instead of "You can't" in a hurry.
That awkward moment when hatred miraculously turns into unparalleled sympathy. 
That awkward moment when the camera fails to detect your face but effectively detects Che's on your t-shirt.
That awkward moment when you participate in the mutilation of an otherwise decent joke.
That awkward moment when you're hit by a speeding ambulance. 
That awkward moment when you notice a grammatical error and curse yourself for taking Pink Floyd's lyrics earnestly.
That awkward moment when the Devil sneezes.
That awkward moment when you rectify a typo and feel better about your miserable existence.
That awkward moment when you remark 'Bahut boob' instead of 'Bahut khoob'.
That awkward moment when you nearly kill yourself in a freak accident but survive to tweet the tale.
That awkward moment when khoon and pasina meet each other.  
That awkward moment when Federer goes "Aila! Sachin!" on meeting Tendulkar.
awkward moment when Bhishma is having second thoughts on death.
awkward moment when not killing yourself is as bad a decision as killing yourself.
That awkward moment when you're greeted with "You aren't dead yet?" instead of the usual silence.
That awkward moment when you really wish your eyelashes stopped falling down at once. 
That awkward moment when you chance upon your old poems and realize how much you sucked at it…and sadly still do.
That awkward moment when you laugh all the way to the bank only to be greeted by a long queue there.
That awkward moment when Mourinho pokes Vilanova on Facebook.
That awkward moment when an idea covers multiple victory laps inside your head and then grows too fatigued for any more use. 
That awkward moment when nature miscalls.
That awkward moment when someone takes a dig at your ugly nose.
That awkward moment when "Why the hell are you talking?" keeps echoing in your head when you're talking.
That awkward moment when life comes a full rectangle. 
That awkward moment when you mistake “I respect you” for “I suspect you” and grin like an idiot.
That awkward moment when Katie Holmes sees a couch. 
That awkward moment when your friend pokes you on Twitter. 
That awkward moment when you tweet a typo only to correct it with another typo and then promptly commit suicide.
That awkward moment when you say "Take care!" to a doctor. 
That awkward moment when you read your stupid blog post but don't delete it as you're too busy redefining awkwardness.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Minding skills

   If my niece is quiet, it means just one thing—she's asleep. Her Majesty is seven and counting and VERY curious. Though cuteness comes easily to her, she can be bothersome at times. Actually, most of the times. Maybe children are nature’s way of reminding us how irritating we once were. They can be wonderful too (as long as they don't belong to you!). Little kids fail to realize how innocent their questions usually are. This is what innocence must be all about. You know, that magical instance when you smile at a cutie and that cutie cares to smile back. Yes, they can be incredibly idiotic as well. But then, they do know how to enjoy such moments!
   During my childhood days, i too was like that. I used to poke finger into the eyes of those who tried to pull my cheeks. One good habit i regret giving up. But i was dumb enough to believe that I'll grow up someday. Besides, when i was young(er), i pictured myself in various avatar but none of them was busy slogging in front of a PC. Life.
   Coming back to my cousin's daughter, i don't know what to do with her. She loves to pester me with profoundest of questions. Who can possibly better them at imagination? As the result, i take the liberty to brainwash her. For instance, I've informed her about the Mayans' plan to take over the world coming December. OK, that was ridiculously futuristic. How about some history then? Thanks to me, she now knows how Mowgli along with his jungle friends fought the British Raj and won us independence. She is also convinced that a gun will scare away the ghosts who trouble her at nights. She laughed when i told her that moon is a racist country.
   Fortunately, both of us don't take each other seriously. However, my amma believes I'm creating my clone out of her. She thinks i don't know how to talk to toddlers. Well, ma, believe it or not, i too was a kid once! I know how it works, alrite? Alrite.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Reflections of an atheist

An elderly person seated beside him was wearing his faith on his sleeve—a plastic badge with godman’s mugshot. This triggered sarcastic thoughts in the young lad. Looking down upon the old man, he smirked to himself: “These folks create God out of humans.” Thankfully, he didn’t debate. Che’s over-sized face on his t-shirt wouldn’t have appreciated the argument anyway.