The highlight of an otherwise dull day was standing next to Ang Lee in a washroom. Yes, you can claim that I piss and tell. Who cares? He's one of the finest filmmakers to ever grace the world of cinema. To top that, it was one heck of an extraordinary experience though it didn't last very long. I was just going about my business when the corner of my left eye caught a pale figure. And when I rubbernecked to see who it was out of curiosity—because the whole room was empty if you exclude me and he could have chosen any other spot—everything came to a standstill. The time crystallized for a moment and I stopped urinating out of sheer awe. Kegel would have been proud of what I did to my bladder at that very moment. In fact, the urine in my system went back to where it came from. The worst part, however, was that I've never been more tongue-tied before in my life. If I knew what was going on, I would have said something to the effect of "Sir, I'm going to tell my grandkids someday that you and I pissed together once upon an era". Alas, this memorable dialogue was not to be delivered. Besides, he had this Zen monk smile on this face while accomplishing what he arrived there for. I'm happy that he smiled back at me. I'm happier that I kept my foolish thought to myself. I'm happiest that I didn't bother to accomplish what I arrived there for.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Sunday, October 28, 2012
I'm weeping while I'm typing this piece. No, I'm not the sentimental kind for sure. Just that my amma feels it's a cool trait to cut onions sitting nearer to my PC. Funnily enough, she isn't shedding a single teardrop. Perhaps mothers have struck a secret deal with the most consumed vegetable on this multi-tongued planet!
Speaking of tongues, what language are your dreams made up of? It could be very different from the one you think in. Better still, it could be anything from your mother tongue to English. Yeah, I do realise that English has become the debut language of a considerable amount of Indian populace. But we can't overrule the reality that English is and will always be a foreign language. They won't ever accept us the way we embraced their so-called language of angels. Having said that, it wasn't forced on us so the colonial baggage is just a historical conjecture. On the contrary, English makes us feel better about ourselves but then, so does ignorance. Progress has a price to pay. However, what gets my goat is the fact that there are some of us who are in perpetual denial of where they come from. They simply detach themselves from every shred of ethnicity as if it's an incurable disease. They feel that it's a natural side-effect of being cosmopolitan. Anyway like they say, to each his own. But if that is so, it's high time we owned what is truly ours. After all, a language doesn't take as much time to perish as it takes to birth and evolve. Especially in a dream city shrouded in absolute fakeness.
Still weeping because my Tulu isn't good enough for amma to acknowledge the kind of pain my untrained eyes are battling as of now. Or maybe she just wants me to stop being such a smartass—who loves preaching others on how things are—and log out of the virtual world to go take a bath on a Sunday.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
As a kid, I was surrounded by morons. Well, nothing has changed since. Yet sometimes I miss the morons of that era. Also, I've got to point out that the last millennium was a thing of beauty. And one of the reasons why this was so could be blamed on a friend I had. She was this little girl named Amu who was scarcely five-year-old. She had this rather cute habit of referring to herself in the third person. For instance, she used to blurt out stuff like "Amu school gayi thi" and "Amu acchi bacchi hai". No doubt she was a bundle of ridicule but somehow managed to stay immune to our curiosity. Her carpenter father wasn't very bothered by her manner of speech either. But now, when I look back (something I do a lot given the fact that I'm growing old at a rather fast pace), she comes across as a person who can teach us a thing or two in speaking our mind. For real. After all, Amu didn't disguise her thoughts with words. Although it sounded entertainingly weird, she told the way things are. How many of us do that on an everyday basis? No wonder most of our grudges mushroom from the core reality that we don't tell others what we really want to convey. It could be anyone from our parents to our siblings to our friends to our colleagues to boss. We always say things in installment because we inanely believe in diplomacy even though we don't know shit about its finer nuances. Simply put, we stopped speaking our mind as if we've forgotten the language or something. But then, that was what made Amu unique. Our friendship with her grew eventually and she became a part of our group. It was great. Until she said something like "Amu ko khilao na"—leaving us wondering whether she's hungry or angry at us for not inviting her to play!
Friday, October 19, 2012
The white flower placed over her ear
greets you even before her face does the same;
Some personalities are loud, some insane,
Many are considered few amongst the rest,
Some are overlooked nonetheless.
But she's neither of them: unique yet not subtle.
She talks with the command of an age she hasn't grown yet
— youth and life and pain and strife and truth;
In any case, you end up listening to what she has to say.
It's difficult not to pay attention when her questionnaire makes your day!
There's a mischievous laughter that echoes
despite her words not intending so.
Maybe that's the beauty of an innocent soul,
coiled inside that cast of a tough modern girl.
The classic maternal touch is evident like a 24-hour sun
When she feeds you while you pretend to be famished,
or about to die
and even when you're not.
All you've got to do is ask and whine a bit,
her drawer never disappoints you.
Like her heart and eyes, it's always full...
Perhaps finding a friend with food is oasis personified.
Perhaps finding a good friend today is life personified.
NB: This doggerel (if you don't wish to call it a poem) is dedicated to Avantika, a dear friend and a lovely colleague.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
I met Sudha Murthy yesterday at a book store. If you aren't aware of her yet, i not only doubt your general awareness but also your general existence. Seriously. I don't know about you but i feel that she is doing something truly meaningful with her life. No, I'm not referring to the almost three dozen enlightening books she has written so far. I'm talking about the kind of philanthropy she's involved in. She travels like anything and goes into the remotest of villages in order to help them in best possible ways—education. On top of that, she redefines that hyphenated word called down-to-earth. Simplicity comes naturally to her charming personality. I spoke to her for about 12 minutes and within that time frame, it became quite obvious that she doesn't invest in having two faces. In her case, what you see is what you get is what you deserve. And she's ridiculously rich though it's hard to believe so in her presence. The reason might be pretty simple: She doesn't portray herself THAT way or maybe she is THIS way. Like most of us, rich folks were poor once but few remember that on finding fortunes. Perhaps Mrs. Murthy is one of those very few. She effortlessly discards the invisible barrier and the mischievous gleam in her eyes conspires with an innocent yet impish smile on her face. She's a polyglot who speaks with alacrity and undeniable honesty. Maybe rich people aren't supposed to be like that. Or maybe it's my indoctrinated middle class mentality blabbering.
PS: I hope she found my questions interesting (or weird) enough to feature me in one of her stories in future.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
The worst part about being a two-bit wannabe film journo is you have to keep reminding yourself that you're a two-bit wannabe film journo. Though you can choose to be sincere about your job, one of the drawbacks of being an honest journalist is not many acknowledge your integrity. Furthermore, irresponsible citizenry is forgiven but irresponsible journos aren't. In the end, it all boils down to two genuine matters: byline and money. Now, byline is a word we use for credit but nobody actually cares about it except that guy who wrote the article. To common readers, it doesn't matter who wrote what. They don't bother with the lonely name stated at the beginning or the end of the printed piece. Talking of money, there's a reason why a journalist's job involves constantly changing jobs—apart from being a journalist! Money is always THE issue with any given publication. No wonder journalism, at present, somewhat lacks the urge in resurgence and ideal journalism is nothing more than an oxymoron. Nonetheless, writing shouldn't be confused with reporting. A writer doesn't have to tell you the way things are. Some tasks are better left to journalists. Khushwant Singh knows this perfectly well as he might be older than journalism. Notwithstanding the facts, my experience as a wannabe film journo has taught me one rhyming lesson: Your views aren't necessarily the news readers can use. And coming back to my financial status, I'm a poor man's journalist who wants to die rich. But at the same time, i also realize that the trick is to avoid trading one's invisible soul for visible bylines.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
I just had an ugly fight with my inner demons. Don't ask me who won 'cause i didn't. During the course of the action, i realized that I'm a victim of two extreme realities: truth and fiction. They say that we have an inner child. But if you believe me (which i doubt you would), there's no such thing as it. On the contrary, there are little demons in disguise. They want us to get things done. Since they're captivated and in no position to act for themselves, they prod us to think and get manipulated. And this melodrama only worsens our case as we grow older. These proverbial demons are the reason why we have the so-called kid in the frame, not vice versa. This may sound untenable but no matter what, try not to let them grow up.
Friday, October 5, 2012
Robert Pattinson is four days younger to me. But he was recently voted the Sexiest Man Alive by a British magazine for the fourth consecutive year. By doing so, he beat the likes of Shakti Shetty, Johnny Depp and Ryan Gosling to the podium. Now, I've got nothing against him. I think he's a fine vampire who got cuckolded by someone as tepid as Kristen Stewart. And just three years ago, he was seated rather uncomfortably behind Brad Pitt at the Oscar ceremony and he smirked every time the camera panned on Brangelina. Almost seems like a decade ago. Perhaps with new age comes newer kids on the Holly block followed by the newest definition of sexiness. Anyway, Western publications conveniently presume some countries don't exist at all while selecting their man (or woman). Because at any given period of time—if i commit suicide—I'd be unanimously the Sexiest Man Dead. Enough of cribbing, I'm glad at least Time magazine maintains some standards. Like last year, i was ranked 101 on their 100 Most Influential People list.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
This is a poem. It might not appear so but it is. What you're currently suffering is an accumulation of several random thoughts that would have loved to be expressed in rhyme or a limerick but thanks to my limited skills, they seem content with being prosaic than poetic. Let's just say: This is how poetry in demotion looks like. Whenever my thoughts digress towards an incomplete poem, i somewhat try to stick to the plan of finishing it off in one stroke. In the meantime, my mind plays with the voices it never hears in the first place. However, that idea never materializes. Something has to happen in the middle of nothing and I'm left with everything but excuses. This is an excuse too.