Dec 30, 2008


“Life is not a series of gig lamps symmetrically arranged; life is a luminous halo, a semi-transparent envelope surrounding us from the beginning of consciousness to the end.”
Virginia Woolf

So this friend of mine called me up yesterday to catch up and stuff and watch a movie at her place. Till I landed at her place, chose a movie out of the Palador 5 movie collection set she had borrowed from a generous friend and landed into this completely surreal world of “Away with Words”, I had no idea that this could be one of the most interesting bit of my holidays.

The movie is a directorial debut of Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle. Now the reason I chose to start the post about this movie with Virginia’s quote is because somewhere the movie reminded me of her style of writing, free flowing, in a “sequence” in which you remember them in your mind, which is necessarily not how they happened... “Stream of consciousness” is how this style of writing is described. The movie,ofcourse, goes far ahead as it’s completely dazed, if you can understand what I mean. It is WONDERFULLY shot, but that doesn’t come as a surprise as this guy is an acclaimed cinematographer. I wouldn’t delve into details of the story but I found an extremely interesting review and a gist online. You can read it here if you want:

Anyways, my personal favourite quote from the movie is when Azano (one of the two protagonists) says that there was a sailor who had all the plans and directions, but after three years he realised he was in the same position. I (Azano) feel the same way. I have been right where I always wanted to be. It’s kinda interesting.

Another interesting bit is that the other protagonist, Kevin, says that he can only remember the way to “home” when he is drunk...

So do check out the movie if you can. Like a said (somewhere!), I am obsessed with wanderers and this movie is about them and by one of them!


Like expected, I didn't do ALL the constructive things that I had planned to do during these unexpected holidays (except for filling a PF form in my old office: if that’s counted as a constructive thing!). I also watched re-re-re-re-repeats of Simpsons on my laptop!!! So basically I have no "intellectual" stuff to post for my second postcard!

Just some faltu observations:
1. I almost hate the book Shantaram and his character but as a matter of principle I don't wanna leave the book mid-way (which I once did with Madame Bovary: worst book I have ever read!). So I am still struggling somewhere in 600s. I think a lot of people would agree with me when I say the author of Shantaram is highly narcissistic. It is not a bad thing but somehow, I just feel that to elevate his character he sometimes goes pretty ridiculous and somehow I always sense an exaggeration in his accounts. Anyways, the one thing which I love in the book is his descriptions when it comes to Karla, the woman he "loves" (one character he has etched out nicely)...Somehow I feel he is most honest when he is talking about Karla.

2.There is a road I never wish to take,
There is no sky and there is no ground,
The plants are cracked and there is no soil,
Sometimes, when I am dazed, I wonder,
If I am already there or heading there.
Your eyes look into mine to put back dreams.
Then you turn away, without your address.
Where do I find you now?
Am I on that road, which has no sky?
Can you let me know?
I am waiting...dazed.
Is there somewhere I could find a way to home?
I feel lost.
And I am scared to land on the ugly road.
So let me know, if you can,
I want to know where I am.

Dec 29, 2008


I am almost on a movie and books marathon as a part of my "big fat holiday" which began yesterday (in dire need of some good movies). For this particular holiday, I decided to stick to a friend's advice that the most important thing in life is to be comfortable and "happy" in one's own company and that is what I am trying to do ;)... Anyways, so I thought some observations should find their way to my blog.

Just some scattered ones; here and there.

1. I watched three movies yesterday: Sex and the City, Break-Up and Mumbai Meri Jaan. The movie which makes it to this post is Mumbai Meri Jaan. Not that it is a spectacular or a brilliant movie, but topicality always scores and the movie had some interesting screenplay moments (Yes! I have a thing for screenplays). The movie is based on the bomb blasts in Mumbai local trains couple of years back. It is a “tribute to the resilience of the city”. The whole point is that watching the movie after Mumbai has been through its second and the most gigantic tragedy, it all seemed a bit ironic to me...
The movie is predictable, ends on a predictable note. BUT there are some really interesting moments which are worth mentioning. There is a scene where reporter Soha Ali Khan (who worked for a channel called TV NEWS which has a logo similar to TIMES NOW!) has lost her fiancĂ©e in the train blasts and has her editor and colleague over to her place to plan a “story” around the whole incident with her as the protagonist... The moment that I am talking about is there is a shadow of Soha’s face on the ground on which the editor and the colleague stomp after presenting the script. I thought that was interesting. There is also an interesting chemistry between the Paresh Rawal who plays an old cop on the verge of retirement and who has lived all his life playing a “silent actor” in the whole drama and a young cop who is living in a massive greyscale trying to figure out if he wants to be the silent actor or play an actual role in the drama. The other character worth mentioning is Irrfan Khan who turns into a hoax bomb caller from being a simple buffoon of the society who gets kicked at everyone’s expense. So that’s about the movie. It ends, like I said, on a clichĂ© scene where everyone in Mumbai is observing a two minute silence to pay a tribute to those who are dead. I might have not called it ironical, per say, if Mumbai hadn’t seen what it recently witnessed.

2. Just the other day, this friend of mine mentioned an article written by Vir Sanghvi where he compares the Joker of The Dark Knight to the terrorists that took Mumbai by storm recently. It’s an extremely wonderful article and a good observation. Read it here:

3. Was flipping through The Economist yesterday trying to find some interesting stories amongst the boring political stuff and luckily stumbled upon this small article on the poet Seamus Heaney (pictured). Here is some stuff he says which I could relate to! :

“Good poems are not willed into being but come from things remembered with a certain aura.”

“Poems can also be unpredictable and unbiddable creatures. They can arrive at all hours of the day and night, and woe unto the poet who is not ready to receive them.....But when a poem has come through, and has been tested to its limits by revision and repeated re-readings, it can seem as solid as an iron bar.”

Dec 27, 2008


Had stumbled on a beautiful thought when I woke up today,
Left home hiding it in my arms,
I smiled as I looked at it .
It’s quite fragile but somehow I managed.

Let’s catch up over coffee or a beer,
And will let you meet the thought.
It might look like an invisible bubble to you,
But wait till I make you see it.
You surely would fall in love with it.

It looks like a stone which has been picked up from a faraway land,
Brought home as a token of happy memories.
It smiles exactly how the tree near my window rustles against the glass panes.

Dec 23, 2008

Into The Wild with Christopher Johnson McCandless

“What if I was smiling and running into your arms, would you see then what I see now?” asks Christopher when he is falling in the lap of a much romanticised and beautiful death according to Sean Penn’s version of the life of Christopher Johnson McCandless.

There is this secret impossible wild bizarre blissful dream in almost everyone’s heart. There is one in a million who lives that dream. Christopher was one of them. Rest, like me, often secretly imagine going “into the wild”.

Christopher Johnson McCandless (February 12, 1968August 18, 1992) was an American wanderer who hiked into the Alaskan wilderness with little food and equipment, hoping to live a period of solitude. Nearly four months later, he died of starvation near Denali National Park and Preserve. In 1996, Jon Krakauer wrote a book about his life, Into the Wild, which inspired a 2007 film of the same name (with Emile Hirsch portraying McCandless).

The movie is insanely beautiful. The story of course overshadows the beautiful screenplay. The most beautiful scene is the moment when Christopher is staring at the sun and taking his last breath.

PS: I was quite surprised to see few cynical reviews on how Christopher lived his life. "Insane", "Stupid" is how some think of him. This is beyond my understanding. A dreamer/ a wanderer is beyond petty adjectives, Anyways I guess the world is an ironic place with more useless cynics and less fascinating dreamers.

Dec 11, 2008

Purple Flowers

You were waiting in the bright sunshine,
I refused to walk back from the night.
All I ever did was to look at the sky,
Searching for you in each star I could find.
All the way I walked, it was beautiful,
It was empty, all the way I walked.
There were, however, some beautiful purple flowers.
I walked amongst the flowers and landed on the moon,
I looked for you there but found a moment,
A really small but exhuberant moment
I packed it in my bag and explored the moon...

Dec 7, 2008

Tumhari Amrita

My friend called me up last to last week and asked if I am game for a Hindi-Urdu play called Tumhari Amrita on Saturday. I just vaguely remembered that I had seen Shabana Azmi in an ad of this play in Bombay Times several times. And as I am a huge Shabana fan, I said yes without thinking twice. That week, as we all know, the time stopped in Mumbai and the play eventually got cancelled.

Anyway the play was staged this Saturday. I had almost lost the excitement to watch the play but had to go as someone had already got the tickets and stuff.

When we entered St Andrew’s auditorium, my curiosity and excitement levels were constantly on an upswing. I spotted the the stage which had two chairs and their respective tables adjacent to each other with a bunch of papers on each table. There were spotlights above each table. Absolutely no other prop. The director (Feroze Khan) came on stage along with a resplendent Shabana Azmi and a poised Farooque Sheikh and paid one minute tribute to all those who lost their lives during the recent Mumbai attacks. I found a brochure on my seat which described the play as "A poignant love story told through letters spanning a period of thirty five years. This lyrical journey in time and space, chronicles the lives of two very different people, who cannot live with or without each other."

After a few minutes the actors appeared on stage again, this time as Zulfi and Amrita.

Then began a journey, a beautiful, emotional and an involved journey. Though I wouldn't take you into the story of the play (which obviously means that it’s a highly recommended play), I just want to mention some really beautiful characteristics of the play.

The play is an adaptation of an English pay called Love Letters (A R Gurney). It was first staged on February 6, 1992. There is just one setting in the play and two acts.

The entire play consists of these two characters reading out letters which they have written for each other. The story navigates 35 years of the two characters’ lives. The most beautiful part of the play is the words. It is an extremely beautifully written play (by Javed Siddique). The lines were beautifully woven like chime to the air. Both Shabana Azmi and Farooq Sheikh were just superb in the play. The modulation in Shabana's voice as she grows from an innocent young kid to a playful, bold teenage girl to a creative and highly emotional woman is just mind blowing. The play had me engrossed in each moment. I was overwhelmed when I came out of the theatre and was extremely touched by Amrita's predicament.

So those who haven’t seen it, go catch the play when you can . I am looking forward to watch Aapki Sonia which takes forward the story of Tumhari Amrita with exchange of letters between Amrita’s daughter (played by Sonlai Bendre) and Zulfi.

Dec 3, 2008

An ode to "study table"

I recently had an experience of a real “small joy” in life. I realised that something was missing in my life since the time I shifted to this Lower Parel flat...My diary entries (in an actual physical diary) had taken a backseat. I was taking donkey’s years to finish the books that I was reading.

So there was something wrong...And just few days back I figured that I spent last one year without a “study table”...I know it might sound really childish but a study table has always been an almost indispensable part of my life...Back home in Delhi, I have spent soooooo much time on a study table pretending to study, reading newspapers,magazines,novels, making cartoons, painting, cursing the world, dreaming,dreaming, dreaming, sometimes actually studying and most importantly flowing the ink of my thoughts on paper (the thing I love most in life)...Even when I came to Mumbai, I stayed at this Parsi guy’s PG where we lived in a rat hole kinda place but our room was huuuuuge and most importantly we had the good ol' study table there...not one but two of those lovely creatures..And so my tryst with the “study table” continued...

However, I missed it badly since last one year....But thanks to this friend/colleague of mine who told me that she is getting new furniture at her house and wants to dispose off her computer/study table. I gladly accepted the offer.

This is the inaugural post at the “study table”