Dec 29, 2011
"To admit that Breakfast at Tiffany's is one of your favourite films, these days, is to out yourself as the emotional and intellectual equivalent of a cupcake."
I absolutely love the way this writer has written about 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. Well written and an interesting take. Read the article on Guardian.co.uk here
Dec 27, 2011
It was hard to believe that after years of experience, most of it terrible, I could still get so affected by those little things that lie on the periphery of love. Why did he disappear into thin air? What did I do? Should I message him? Should I call him? Should I write a blogpost about it? At one level, it is a very easy choice. I really don't care about being alone. Really. No, the grapes aren't sour. I have tasted them (No pun intended) They are lusciously sweet. What I miss is honesty. A bit of transparency.
My mind is interestingly complicated enough; I can't attempt to read someone else's and vice versa. I say things like how they are, on my side atleast. And like a friend said today, "Human egos are overated." Yes. I am in this for a short while and I don't feel the need to hide when I am happy or when I am sad or when I am confused or when I am hysterical. I don't particularly enjoy being scared. If I am so cautious and confused, it is all because of experiences, most of which have been terrible, like I said. Not that I am complaining. Not at all.
Even if it is normal, I will find a way to make it slightly weird. I do over think. I do panic early. But I settle down quickly too. That is who I am. I still am crazy. I still am romantic. I still am hopeful. I am a bit bottled up. But that is because I have the potential to be a genie. I am so proud of anyone who is out there with their feelings, hearts tucked up beautifully on their sleeves. Hearts are meant for that. Not to be wrapped under layers of secrecy. Hearts want to feel, they want to be felt. They want fresh air. Mystery is over-rated, (unless its for a better purpose). Not when you are starting a story. Or even vaguely attempting to. And I am not even remotely interested if there is no hint of a story, however short-lived. It cannot be that difficult. Make an effort.
I am absolutely in love with these words by a lovely lady: "These are feelings, man. Feelings must be felt. And expressed. It leads to better productivity. It unleashes creativity. It protects the ozone layer. And ultimately contributes to better sex lives." Natasha Badhwar.
Dec 25, 2011
I was dressed up in anticipation of a new love story
In a pink cardigan
The substitute of red, for the day
Stood on the edge, all through the train ride
Hair flowing against the wind
She had a walking stick in her hand
Far way, she was climbing up the steps
Feeling each step with the bottom of the stick
A young boy came like a true stranger
He looked just like a long lost friendship
Held her hand
No questions were asked
He dropped her where the road was flat again
I thought this was the perfect day
But there was more
A little girl stepped on my ugly green painted toes
I didnt even feel a thing
It was like the usual carelessness
Of someone you fell in love with too soon
But then she turned back
Oh man, she was an angel
She gave me the most magical smile and said sorry
Me, who barely ever smiles at strangers
Can you imagine how perfect the day was
I smiled at her, like I would just take her in my arms
And kiss her cheeks with all the love left inside of me
She got down at a station
Turned back and smiled at me,again
I felt like a bunch of flowers in a lover's hands
I did not know who to thank for such a wonderful morning
And then he forgot to call in the night
And I couldn't help but smile
It wasn't even ironical anymore
It was the most perfect day
Dec 15, 2011
Thanks to stupid Freud and his Oedipus complex, I have always blindly loved my father. Even if I am angry at him, I call up my mother and bitch about him or worse, vent out my anger at her. However, I will be 27 tomorrow and I realized that even though my father dominates a lot of practical aspects of my life, emotionally, I am my mother's daughter.
Actually, me, my mother and my maternal grandmother- we form a sort of a circle. One is a typical Rajasthani woman, with her obsession with colour yellow, who has stayed in Jaipur all her life with her gorgeous husband and four kids; another shifted her roots to an alien and monstrous big city to move in with her husband and a new strange family and another one who moved from one metro to another in her twenties, to start a new chapter in her life (if not a new life altogether). But all three of us are just the same. Wild, resolute, stubborn, loving, crazy, rebellious, sweet, honest, liars, impulsive, emotional, manic depressives, addicts, rooted, free, lonely, attached, mothers, daughters.
A lot of things have been passed on to me by these women as a legacy and some of them I have imbibed and snatched from my mother over the years. Her metamorphosis into this immensely powerful and independent woman, her blind faiths, her lost of innocence, her fall to a child like state, and then her grand rise from ashes like a phoenix, have been the most inspiring things in my life.
While my father has taught me the value of hard work, principles, innovations, good health and savings accounts, my mother has taught me how to actually live and more importantly, how to really love, and all this, without ever preaching anything. This 27th birthday is most definitely dedicated to my mother.
Dec 9, 2011
Like the slow death of an era.
It was a moment of nothingness,
I could not even talk about it,
How do you fill nothingness into words.
The empty sentences dragged on,
Danced in front of me,
It was like a deja vu,
Of a badly lit night,
Whose dawn I am still waiting for.
It could even be a nightmare
Where I am slowly degenerating,
Hoping that someone would wake me up.
Feels like a block of ice,
Eaten alive by sunshine,
If its reality,
Then I can wake up.
The clock has rusted off however,
The time we crossed is a universe now.
And the lump in my throat is now stuck forever,
Drinking moonlight to gulp it down,
But then again, if its a nightmare,
Moon is always far away from my reach.
Nov 21, 2011
"Most of my pictures are grounded in people. I look for the unguarded moment, the essential soul peeking out, experience etched on a person's face. I try to convey what it is like to be that person, a person caught in a broader landscape that I guess you'd call the human condition."
Picture: Afghan Girl (Sharbat Gula) by Steve McCurry
एक ज़िम्मा रखा था
ज़िन्दगी बहाने का
फ़िक्र आज़माने का
एक फ़कीर की फरियाद की तरह
शाम की विरासत
रात ने लूटा दी
वोह पानी की तरह बही
अब कश लम्बा हो चला
कुछ पल मेरे होठों पे रुका
तुम्हारी नज़र की तरह
अब वोह भी उड़ गया
खुले आकाश में
जो बादल से बंधा था
अब रात नहीं
कश भी नहीं
तुम भी नहीं
हर एक कश में
एक ज़िम्मा रखा था
One of the strangest tales ever. It is even more astounding than the story of the couple who killed and butchered someone and then had sex in front of the dead body. That actually was strange from gruesome violence perspective and we have seen and heard more than enough examples of that by now. This is strange in the pure sense of strange, if you know what I mean. And not just the end part where the husband and wife killed themselves but their whole story has a somber Hitchcockian vibe to it. The things that they have been doing like shredding books they have read into pieces and then eventually throwing them away. They started shredding when they realised that their books were being circulated in a public library after they had disposed them off. Slowly getting rid of all the furniture, all the "material" possessions, spending their last few Days at Taj and then methodically taking their lives with a brief suicide note. The newspaper report tells us about the estrangement of boy’s family with the couple who even refused to come for the last rites.
Ofcourse, it defines bizarre but the funny part of it is that at the heart of it, it seems like just another existentialism tale. From whatever the report says, it just sort of seems clear that this is what they always wanted- an escape. I am obviously not here to do any psychoanalysis of the story but just that it has been with me so far. Haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I can almost feel peace and also smugness on the faces of both the husband and wife. Just imagine what they must have spoken about before hanging themselves. Or they may have not spoken at all before their final moments. It is just so mysterious, bizarre and don't get me wrong, but a damn interesting story. I am flummoxed and impressed.
If this was a movie, I would want Stanley Kubrick to direct it. Slowly building the labyrinth and then never revealing if there was ever any purpose to the tale at all. Taking me closer and closer to the protagonists' minds and then throwing me off just when I thought I was close enough to figure something out. I would want the movie to put a sense of calm in me and at the same time make me want to pull my hair out.
PS: Must read the whole report in Mumbai Mirror. Its an excellent news report, from a journalistic point of view too.
Nov 10, 2011
Nov 8, 2011
I love the term "deep recesses of my mind". I don't even remember where I read it first but I just loved it instinctively. However, most times, these "deep recesses of my mind" is my normal state of being. Always feeling things a bit too intensely. For me, it is much better to be cocooned in a tiny hole, absorbed in my own world rather than reaching out, trying to make myself heard.
I sometimes feel scared of leaving the city because what if love changes its mind and wants to see me one fine day when I am not there. But then again, this wait is stifling beyond imagination.
I would rather admire love from the distance and write poems about it. It is too intimidating if it is any closer. Just writing innumerable diary entries about its beauty and its ugliness is better, may be. And probably what I have been calling heartaches and heartbreaks all this while, are, again, just a state of being. Probably one that is beautiful in its own way. It makes me fall deeper in love ironically.
I am, however, ready to take the plunge, to the bottom and see what all the fuss is about. If I meet love there, we will probably start a new world but if I don't, atleast I would not be devoid of all that I could have possibly or impossibly known and felt. So, may be, I will stay quiet for a while. Atleast will stop shouting. Will go with the mundane flow while staying true to the "deep recesses of my mind".
PS: And I refuse to believe that life can be so predictable. Come on. It cannot be :)
Nov 6, 2011
Vidya Shah is a classical and a sufi singer who gave a riveting performance on the first day of the recently concluded Literature Festival. While William Dalrymple read out some spicy and some sombre proses from his book 'The Last Mughal',Shah sang four lovely and amazing classical compositions in between to bring alive the Mughal era. I fell in love with her voice instantly. She almost stole Dalrymple’s thunder that night. She was mesmerising and had a dash of confidence in her music and a dash of shyness in accepting accolodes. It was just wonderful to have spent that one hour listening to the music and her voice. To know more about her and to listen to her voice, check out her blog here.
A professional cellist, this British charmer presented a spectacular one man show for ‘The Finkelstein’s Castle’ on the second day of the Lit fest. For this performance, he played the cello, he sang, he played every character of the play and he charmed, ofcourse. Genius is all I can call it. I was impressed right at the beginning but then he managed to elicit more and more appreciation by each and every scene. Must check out his performance if he comes back to town again. Check out his website here: http://www.matthewsharp.net/
The beautiful Spanish flamenco dancer, Iratxe Pazos, that I met today at Art Loft during a beginner's workshop on Flamenco dance sweetly confessed that she moved to India because of her lover, a tall dark and handsome Indian boy (who sweetly accompanied her to this workshop and even tried a few Flamenco steps). Now Pazos wants to introduce Mumbaikars to the Spanish dance art form-Flamenco, which is a broad term for a variety of Spanish dances. She took us through various videos of different types of flamenco, origins of flamenco, its importance in the everyday lives of Spanish people and contemporary versions of the dance. She taught us a few basic steps and then went on to give an amazing and sprightly performance herself.
Incase anyone is interested in knowing more about this art form from her or want to learn, she can be contacted on:
Be Flamenco: email@example.com Phone number: 9920636690
(Picture courtesy for Flamenco Dancer: nonprints.com)
Nov 4, 2011
by the stream, and kick the leaves
as we always did, to make
the rhythm of breaking waves.
This day draws no breath –
shows no colour anywhere
except for the leaves - in their death
brilliant as never before.
Yellow of Brimstone Butterfly,
brown of Oak Eggar Moth –
you'd say. And I'd be wondering why
a summer never seems lost
if two have been together
witnessing the variousness of light,
and the same two in lustreless November
enter the year's night…
The slow-worm stream - how still!
Above that spider's unguarded door,
look – dull pearls…Time's full,
brimming, can hold no more.
Next moment (we well know,
my darling, you and I)
what the small day cannot hold
must spill into eternity.
So perhaps we should move cat-soft
meanwhile, and leave everything unsaid,
until no shadow of risk can be left
of disturbing the scatheless dead.
Ah, but you were always leaf-light.
And you so seldom talk
as we go. But there at my side
through the bright leaves you walk.
And yet – touch my hand
that I may be quite without fear,
for it seems as if a mist descends,
and the leaves where you walk do not stir
Oct 28, 2011
A little arc of sunlight on their heads
Made them look like angels
Or lovely little devils
The mother filled her empty bag
With vegetables and glory
She looked at the idyllic sky
A soft viola played
A famished father called out
A lover collapsed in his beloved’s arms
And died a hundred thousand times
Flowers flew out
Butterflies lazed around
Birds took a cloud ride
Clouds took a sun roller coaster
The fruits were ripe
And none were forbidden
Shy girls gorged on them
Some even wrote poems
This is a bit of what happened,
When I saw you smile
Oct 25, 2011
One day, supposedly like any other day, she awakens to find a letter in the mail from him. Firstly, no one writes letters any more. Secondly, he definitely doesn’t. So she knows." http://thisconsciouscollective.tumblr.com/
Even though watching The Whistleblower at a late night show was not such a good idea as my sleep was infected with vivid nightmares. However, probably that was one of the aims of the movie. It is based on the true story of Kathryn Bolkovac, an American police officer, who had joined the gender department of the United Nations in Bosnia.
The movie was shocking at various levels. It brings alive on the screen the absolute horrors of the human trafficking issue, which, as we all know, is not limited to that part of the globe. It is almost ubiquitous. And what the movie made me realise was that we hardly get any news about human trafficking crimes which just shows that this issue is always swept under the carpet. I had not read up about this woman's story before watching the movie so like a naïve watcher and going by the title of the movie that justice was eventually meted out to her. But to my utter amazement, the movie told me that this woman is still jobless and nothing came out of the whole case. Even if you do Google search now, you will realise that very little information is available about her. Just four five lines in Wikipedia and a few interviews which ironically happened after the movie. A must watch. By the way, its the directorial debut of Larysa Kondracki. Highly impressive!
Tarsem Singh's ambitious project, The Fall , is like soothing music for the eyes. It flows like a poem. It is so beautifully shot that you want to pause and absorb most of the visuals. The great screenplay and cinematography are also accompanied by a sweet and interesting story of relationship between a little girl with fractured hand and a heart broken film stuntman who wants to commit suicide. There is a fascinating concocted story within the story. Gradually, the fantastical becomes reality and the reality become fantastical. This movie has to be watched for its beauty, for its glory, for its story, for its clever innocence and for the little girl Alexandria (played by Catinca Untaru)
Oct 12, 2011
Oct 10, 2011
Oct 9, 2011
Oct 4, 2011
Sep 18, 2011
Have you ever felt something slipping through your fingers- a wedding ring or sand or water or happiness or optimism or life. People often wish that life was a scene of a movie- someone was directing it as a rom com probably-light-hearted with a happy ending. Probably even a melodrama, albeit with a happy ending. Sometimes I wonder what if my life was a book written by Haruki Murakami. Magic realism and an abyss for an ending which has no end. That would be truly spectacularly strange. Strange in all its glory. Not the sarcastic strange. Every feeling at the deepest level and yet so fucking distant from reality.
Anyhow, what else. Have you ever felt that you have just so much to offer to people or probably to someone in particular and yet you are so caged. Caged with thick invisible bars. And the world would call you something nasty if you broke the fucking bars which dont even exist. You will act insane just because you dont want to be called insane. When did mystery become such a negative word, I wonder. I don't know what you are thinking, it could be romantic if it is romantic. If it is not romantic, then for sweet devil's sake I should know. Right? That was rhetorical by the way.
I absolutely love it when strangers smile at me (not the creepy ones) or at each other. Or when you get to hear some stranger's entire life story during the course of a train journey from Mumbai to Delhi. One night of a chance encounter in a bar leads to zillions of nights together. How do you reach out to a stranger with whom you identify with like you have never identified with someone before. It could just be a window to gaze through and see yourself from a distance. Or probably someone as human as you are, waiting to melt into someone's arms.
Why are we so afraid to admit that we are dying to love and we are dying to be loved.
Also, a random someone could probably give you some of the life's biggest answers and I would never call that a chance encounter. Well, its a strange strange land!
PS: The new name of the blog is inspired by this wonderful composition by Elliot Goldenthal:
Sep 10, 2011
Blank, crisp and precise.
No bottled feelings.
No painful cries.
Like freshly melted glaciers,
Not the stale river.
It floats in the thin air,
While I avoid all contact.
It settles down on my bench,
Sits their lonely and hopeful.
It slowly sips the dew drops,
While I drink some rum.
The whiteness of the paper gloats.
I fall and I fall,
Until there is no hope.
I finally take it in my hands,
And read that splendid blank love letter.
Sep 7, 2011
I changed the name of my blog from Absurd to Yellow Boots last year. This was mainly for two reasons: I loved the title of the movie (which was in the making at that time) and it was a sort of a tribute to one my my MOST favorite directors Anurag Kashyap.
I finally went for the movie yesterday, brimming with expectations. The promos had been promising and more importantly, its an Anurag Kashyap film. 15 minutes into the movie, we were introduced to the main character Ruth (played by Kalki Koechlin) and various other characters. I was patient and waiting for interesting events, plot, characters et al to unfold gradually. Next few more minutes into the movie, more characters are introduced and I was still being patient. Half of the movie was over when I started to have my doubts.
The movie falters at various levels. The wishy-washy plot coupled with loopholes deteriorated the condition of the movie. Kashyap gets some of the finest actors on screen and then throws them into a blackhole, never to be retrieved again. Come on, how can you get Piyush Mishra in the movie and give him one dialogue. How can you give a 5 seconds "special appearance" role to Rajat Kapoor. How can you make Naseeruddin Shah's character such a dispensable part to the plot. All these characters' "special appearance" seems like a mere gimmick. Its like Karan Johar using getting Kajol and Rani Mukherjee to make a special appearance in the dance numbers of all his movies! That is still alright. Those are Karan Johar movies but Kashyap doesn't really need to resort to such tactics.
Some really interesting characters emerge but they are so half baked that you feel bad for the awesome actors playing them. Two such characters are Chutiappa (a local gangster) and the massage parlor owner (Don't know her name). Some characters do zilch for the plot or the movie. One such character is the guy who appears twice to collect bribe from Kalki and we are never explained why. Altercations between Kalki and her druggie boyfriend are vague, uninteresting and forced!
On the brighter side, the movie has been shot beautifully. The cinematography is excellent. But somewhere the movie is hollow. At the risk of using a cliché, I would say it definitely lacks the soul. The final twist in the plot does nothing for the movie. Its contrived just for the sake of it. It tries to shock but it doesn't. Nowhere in the movie, the protagonist evokes any kind of emotion (except for making you really irritated with all the above mentioned reasons). She is definitely not strong or riveting as a character and as an actor, for that matter. Overall, a highly disappointed movie from Anurag Kashyap. However, I STILL am a big fan. Can't wait for his next movie.
Sep 5, 2011
Sep 3, 2011
Sep 1, 2011
I had sort of stumbled upon a movie called Friends with Money a couple of years back and for the first time Jennifer Aniston was no longer Rachel for me. That was her best performance that I had ever seen (This was followed by The Good Girl ofcourse, where she has once again done a splendid job). And recently, thanks to a friend, I discovered the movie Lovely & Amazing which is by the same director who created Friends with Money-Nicole Holofcener. It is an extremely sweet and sensitive film which tries to delve deep into the female psyche and explore its grey shades. It stars extremely talented Catherine Keener (who features in all Holofcener films till now), Emily Mortimer, Brenda Blethyn, Jake Gyllenhall (who plays the one of the lead characters in The Good Girl too opposite Aniston) etc.
The film mainly deals with female insecurities through a mother, her two daughters and an adopted black daughter. The best part is that somehow Holofcener manages to justify so beautifully what apparently look like irrational insecurities. It is a sweet little movie which is not too dark and yet it doesn’t just scrape through the surface. It goes as deep as it can while leaving the audience on a positive note. Holofcener is definitely quite an interesting filmmaker and I am really looking forward to watch some of her other movies including the most recent one, Please Give.
Aug 23, 2011
Aug 10, 2011
It is for those of you who have not watched the show 'Just Shoot Me' and have missed this awesome and cute song (By Lauren Wood) that comes with the end credits-Life keeps bringing me back to you. Its probably the shortest song I have ever heard. There is no full version of it. Its absolutely lovely and one of my favourites. So play it here
Aug 8, 2011
Write some verses
So that I can read them
Its been long
I miss the words
Flowing in my eyes
Coming from a distant land
Which is so close to me
A chance encounter is asking for it
Mystery is asking for it
Pain is asking for it
Love is asking for it
A strange night is asking for it
Some other friends too
Are asking for it
So write a lovely poem
So that we all get to read it
My favourite poet
Jul 29, 2011
It is difficult to manage life
It feels like the void is emptier than ever
But then for how long does it go on like that
Till I convince the muse to come back
Explain to her that its a bit difficult for me to exist without a muse
Its not that easy to find a new muse you know
But its getting tiring now
How many times can you expect your old muse to crawl back
Most times, she doesn't, right
Then there is no liberation
It feels like hanging on a loose thread in a parallel universe
You can hardly avoid people then
When there is catharsis, its easy to ignore useless parts of life
It is like walking with your blinders on
Everywhere, all the time
It is easy to extract moments out of life that way
But now I feel old, really old
And a bit tired to succumb to the temptation of tempting the muse back
Cant even go out looking around for a new muse
Its not like you can place an ad for a muse in a newspaper
Yes, you are right
Why do people call this state 'writer's block'
I don't know
Well, I don't know either
It should be called I-have-no-muse-state
Love and muse can be different you know
For me they were some
Now I am not sure about both
What was it that made that person your muse
Well, that is not a polite question to ask my friend
It was mainly her poetry
Which in turn was inspired by an invisible muse
I hope I never meet her muse
I would have if I didn't love her at the same time
I will try and not fall in love with my next muse
If I find one
I am too old now
Might die soon
Would have loved to write some poems before I die
But that muse of mine has left the house now
I lock the doors at night now
Don't want her to enter when I am not prepared
Actually I don't want her to enter ever now
So whats the plan now, till you actually die
Will pursue decadence
Pure false pleasures of life
I think its time
But I would have loved to write more poems before I died
Okay. So write to me if your muse comes back
Or if you find a new one
We will do another interview
Jul 26, 2011
Jul 21, 2011
This week's recommendation is 'Heima', a documentary on the Icelandic band Sigur Ros which returned to Iceland to play a series of free, unannounced concerts. Honestly, I did not even know about Sigur Ros before watching this out-of-the-world documentary.
There are just so many things which you should watch this documentary for. First and foremost is definitely the music, which is commonly and universally described as "ethereal" and I simply do not have a better word to describe it. It has this awesome pristine quality to it. I could actually, and I really am not exaggerating, feel it running in my veins, dissolving gradually. It is really beautiful.
What made the documentary more special is the way they have managed to capture Iceland's gorgeous landscape and merge it with Sigur Ros' music and make it one. The music and the landscape are entwined like two soulful lovers. It is so beautifully shot. Each and every recording, live performances, interviews.
It is an ABSOLUTE MUST WATCH. It will most definitely stir up your senses and incase you were unaware of Sigur Ros' music till now, like me, you might just make them your official favourite band. Just watch a beautiful world with the most beautiful landscape and the most melodic sound unfold in front of you as you watch this. Enjoy
Watch the first part here
Jul 8, 2011
About the weather,
about the music,
about the colorful umbrellas,
the creased raincoats,
this gorgeous scene from my office window,
this vast expanse of sea,
this humble rain trying to assimilate itself in the sea,
morning reading of Emily Dickinson love poems,
someone who might be in Paris right now,
chai in disposable plastic cups,
the canceled party,
clogged railway tracks,
pigeons in the hiding,
a song by Gulzar,
Blue nail paint,
and yellow rain boots :)
Jul 1, 2011
So shut up and scream
So shut up and scream so loud
So fucking loud that those in the gutters can hear you
After all, it would be their prayer
A tribute to the half soul that is not paralysed
You sick bastard
You follow the world blindly from morning to evening
Only when the night comes you are not scared
You are not scared to fly on top of the skyscrapers
To jump around in cesspool of pure dirt and grime
You then butcher those who kill you during the day
But how does it matter
You would resurrect them again with the sunshine
You would worship them
You would rub their backs with your trembling hands
You would sleep on their feet
You would giggle with them
You would ignore the paralysis
You would drive through the gutter
You would scream but you would not hear
But then the night would come again
When you would mercilessly kill them again
You would invite your gods to celebrate
And your beloved would worship you
You, after all, would be the ultimate hero
The paralysed soul would ease up a bit
It won’t clutch you again till the sun touches the earth
But when it does
It would you whip you so hard
So fucking hard with a lash
You would hope you lived no more
But then you will get up
And come what may
Come what may, you will bring them back to life
One by one
With your tender loving hands
And with your half paralysed-fucked up-useless soul!
Jun 27, 2011
THIS IS GOING TO HURT JUST A LITTLE BIT
One thing I like less than most things is sitting in a dentist chair with my mouth wide open.
And that I will never have to do it again is a hope that I am against hope hopan.
Because some tortures are physical and some are mental,
But the one that is both is dental.
It is hard to be self possessed
With your jaw digging into your chest,
so hard to retain calm
When your fingernails are making serious alterations in your life line or love line or some other important line in your palm,
So hard to give your ususal cheerful effect of benignity
When you know your position is one of the two or three in life most lacking in dignity
And your mouth is like a section of road that is being worked on
And it is cluttered up with stone crushers and concrete mixers and drills and steam rollers and there isn't a nerve on your head that aren't being irked on.
Oh some people are unfortunate to be worked on by thumbs,
And others have things done to their gums,
And your teeth are supposed to being polished
But you have reason to believe they are being demolished.
And the circumstances that adds to your terror
Is that it's all done with a mirror,
Because the dentist may be a bear, or as the Romans used to say, only they were referring to a feminine bear when they said it, an ursa,
But all the same how can you be sure when he takes his crowbar in one hand and mirror in the other he won't get mixed up, the way you do when try to tie a bow tie with the aid of a mirror, and forget that left is right and vice versa
And then at last he says, That will be all, but it isn't because he then coats your mouth from cellar to roof
With something I suspect is generally used to put shine a horse's hoof,
And you totter to your feet and think, Well it's over now and after all it was only this once,
And he says come back in three monce.
And this O Fate, is I think the most vicious that thou ever sentest,
That Man has to go continually to the dentist to keep his teeth in good condition
When the chief reason he wants his teeth to be in good condition is so that he won't have to go the dentist.
By Ogden Nash
Jun 25, 2011
James Franco starrer Howl is an interesting amalgamation of Alen's peotry (Howl) recital, the court case against the "obscenity" in the poem, Alen's important relationships, Alen's interview and Alen and Howl's vision expressed through surreal animation.
Honestly, while I was watching the movie, I was just mesmerized with the poem more than anything else. At each and every point, I kept thinking that it is so fucking relevant today and its almost a crime to not have read it till now. The entire film-making-acting part got overshadowed completely with the poetry recital session. The discussions in the court were interesting. Critics are portrayed in two categories-one those who get orgasms by just censoring, critising literary texts and the other camp of those who accept writers the way they are. They delve deep and deep in trying to understand what a writer/poet is actually trying to say and accept the fact that writing, especially poetry is open to all kinds of interpretation.
Anyhow, forget all that. For now just read 'Howl' if you have not read it before. Click here
Jun 24, 2011
And watch one of the clips from the show here
And this one is one of my favourite songs:
Jun 14, 2011
The first time I ever took an escalator was in one of the malls in Gurgaon. I was in college that time. While my two friends easily stepped onto it like they were born to just hop onto elevators, I kept standing there just visualizing how easily I could trip or probably even get crushed somehow and die a slow painful death on that scary escalator. As I was getting all gory with my visual details, a security guard LITERALLY picked me up and planted me on the escalator's first step. It wasn't so bad after that. But even after years and years, it is truly an outlandish sight whenever I get onto an escalator. It is like one of those do or die situations for me when I hop onto it and get out of it. It is a like a mini-mission-accomplished moment and I really wish somebody knew what I went through during those few seconds and would give me a mini award for that. I am sure there are other weirdos like me.
About lifts. It is a different kind of phobia. It is basic claustrophobia. Most lifts are so tiny. Even if they are slightly bigger, a lot of people get into them. And then you experience a few seconds of extreme uncomfortableness. People don't smile at all, which makes the situation worse. Those who even know each other just avoid any conversations in the lifts, usually. Everyone keeps staring at the numbers which tell you how many more floors it would take for you to finally get rid of the mini-trauma. If you spot someone cute, you can't even check them out because lifts , like I said, are effing tiny. Whatever you see in those stupid films and TV commercials about subtle flirting with eyes and shit between a boy and girl is complete nonsense. That never happens in real life lifts. Lifts lack that character. If you are stuck with someone with a case of a BO, then you are doomed. It is smelly claustrophobia then. And if you are someone crazy like me and devil forbid, the lift ever gets stuck somewhere (It is a hypothetical adaptation of a true story) then you are fucked. It will take you many many days to use that monster again.
One thing I am not scared of is stairs. Plain and simple stairs. They shouldn't be spiral though. There should always be a railing next to the stairs. And it shouldn't be raining while you are climbing steps. In all these cases, you can trip on them. And you can trip real bad. You can even break your lovely bones. You can break your teeth. You can get a bump on your head. But in all normal circumstances, I do not have a phobia of stairs.
Jun 10, 2011
Jun 6, 2011
So "this week's" recco are basically this two great write-ups on two great people. Both great in very very different ways. Both are HIGHLY undeestimated, even now!!!!
More on the people later. For now, I will simply post these write-ups for you
Eric Bana: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2011/apr/21/eric-bana-hanna?INTCMP=SRCH
Virginia Woolf: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/jun/04/virginia-woolf-the-hours-michael-cunningham
I will get back to you on why have I posted these..Do read them. Like I said, these are brilliant write-ups on brilliant people!
May 27, 2011
"I always feel this pressure of being a strong and independent icon of womanhood, and without making it look my whole life is revolving around some guy. But loving someone, and being loved means so much to me. We always make fun of it and stuff. But isn't everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?"
May 24, 2011
Just the new muse
And a faceless delight
You are the poet's pain
Not the desire
Love is knocking pretty hard
But the door is already ajar
Dreams are cluttered
And the vision is blurred
Let the poet sleep for a bit
Let the chaos spread some more
The night is way too long
And there is way too much hope
Let this just be a tryst with words
Feelings, as you say, are flimsy
And the poet, I hear, isn't feeling well
May 17, 2011
For the butterfly that was cocooned
In a shell, warped, heavy and claustrophobic
Lack of love made it worse
The shell was rude and indecipherable
Glass eyes, plastic smile
That’s all she was accustomed to
Near death, near life
Her world was all about empty lies
Too much longing and yet pride
It actually cracked open
But it was night
A lovely moonlight shone on her
Though flowers weren’t that bright
They snuggled upto her
And she felt like a stranger
With the warmth of winter
Treasured the shell for all it was worth
It might come handy in rains, she thought
But for now
She was soaking it all in
The flowers, the moonlight
And the rain
May 16, 2011
I have to confess that after recently watching Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation I was almost angry at Coppola for not telling me what did Bill Murray whisper in the teary eyed Scarlett Johansson's ears at the end of the movie which left her beaming. I wanted to be a witness to that intensely private moment of both the protagonists. But alas, Coppola left me out. However, the more I thought about the movie and the end after I switched off the screen, the more I fell in love with it and the fact that Coppola allowed me and the other audiences to witness that crucial, lovely and private moment only from a distance.
"Lost in translation" is almost a ubiquitous phrase if I can loosely substitute "translation" for "interpretation". We are in "Lost in translation" state almost all the time. Atleast I am. Its like a definition of a poem, which is open to so many interpretations. It is a definition for a writer like Murakami or Marquez (both my favourites) who often leave us wondering with their dexterity in weaving magical web of words. However, do you really want to arrive at a close-ended interpretation of a poem or beautiful stories by these writers. Or would you rather enjoy their open-endedness and then explore various versions of "translation" in your head. Isn't that more inetresting?
Just imagine me knocking on the grave of one of my favourite poets, William Blake and asking him as to what was he thinking when he wrote a particular poem. What were his exact thoughts at that moment. I think he would want to punch me on my nose for disturbing him for something so silly. And I would seem like a journalist for Aaj Tak or India TV for asking the most ridiculous questions ever. Why would he want to explain why he wrote what he wrote. Tennyson wouldn't want to describe 'Lady of Shalott' to you ever. He did that already, in his poem.
Murakami creates a guy in 'Nausea 1979' (one of the short stories from Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman) who is a serial flirt, who only has affairs with married women and then one day he develops a bizarre vomiting disease where he would vomit everyday. There are prank calls too. It happens for 40 days and then it never happens again. Was there ever a relation of his vomiting with his serial flirting with married women. Murakami wouldn't answer that. You shouldn't even ask that. It is just interesting as it is. Open-endedness is one of the most beautiful things in life according to me. I wouldn't ever want to disturb that to arrive at one single fucking boring conclusion, especially if I feel the writer doesn't want me too.
Its the funniest thing to ever ask someone to explain their poems, short stories etc. How can you explain that to someone. If you don't get it, its absolutely fine. Live with it. If you like it, then interpret it as your private moment. But don't ask the writer to re-create/re-enact/re-explain the private moment of their life when they wrote that particular poem, story or novel.
When I was doing my graduation in English Literature, we had atleast 10 books by critics on one novel by a particular writer. All with their own "translations"/"Interpretations". I would always enjoy reading all and never believing in even one. Because there is nothing right or wrong with any of those. Its each individual's own version of someone else's words and that's how it is intended to be Or so I think :)
May 10, 2011
And I totally mean it in a good way. I am weird. I have always been fascinated with old age. When people in their 20s actually dream about what all they want to "achieve" in their 20s-30s-40s (some even go on till 50s), I like to think about my 40s (which is definitely my retirement age). I can already see myself living in a sea facing house (If I am not rich even by that time, it could just be a tiny shack but that's absolutely fine with me :)).
Oh, it will be a super romantic life, with absolutely no "Work". The hugest stack of books. Movies. Some really awesome music. Coffee. A huge collection of wine glasses and a huge collection of filled and empty wine bottles, some of the most awesome ingredients to cook up some divine food.And before I get carried away and reveal my other secret ideas for the retirement plan, let me introduce you to the point.
Here it is.
I can already feel this whole old age vibe gradually (sometimes at a snail's pace) slithering all over me. It just sort of envelopes me with this awesome calmness and happiness which cannot even be described. This is a really nice place to be in. And I just hope that as the days and years increase, I enjoy nothingness more and more. So take your grumpiness, questions, complaints, demands etc somewhere else. I might not even be listening! :)
PS: Traveling to Sula Vineyards next weekend to start the retirement fund! :)
Apr 27, 2011
A number of ideas have been somersaulting in my head lately. Ideas, words, string of words, stories et al. Obviously, I am not even in a state to separate bad and good ideas (If there is anything like that). They are actually flowing in the most purest form, without any external trigger as such, except for inspiration.
There are weird and bizarre things that inspire me to write. Right now, it is love :) And an immense amount of it. Like Peggy Olsen from Mad Men would say, "I am in a wonderful space right now" .
Anyways, keeping the ideas scribbled on a sheet of paper for now. Will have loads to flesh out, hopefully, out when I get my new laptop next month :)
Apr 21, 2011
Apr 1, 2011
to take me in your arms once
Rested for eternity, I will be
The wings would evaporate
Would want to fly no more
I would save Icarus
And other tormented souls
Days are the tangled years
Mixed with each other
Trying to solve the puzzle
Of a vicious cycle of fear
How much would it actually hurt
to take me in your arms once
Mar 31, 2011
I often feel that I am a much better writer if I am able to make the audience a dispensable part of my writing. On another level, somewhere, deep down in my heart, I know that some day, (probably even posthumously..hehe) someone would be reading all the personal stuff that I have been writing since a number of years only for myself. And I have to confess that I want that to happen probably. It is a weird feeling.
I am writing all this (probably cryptic for many) stuff because someone recently said something really nice to me. People find themselves in other people's words sometimes. I hold onto words of many writers, many film directors and of many regular people too. For example, I strongly feel my entire life revolves around or can be summed up with this Haruki Murakami's line: "Chance encounters keep us going." And somewhere of these people makes a tiny or huge difference to my life. But the point is even if we are all alone , somewhere we are so deeply connected and many a times deeply connected to people we don't even ever meet.
I know there are many people out there like me who are sort of living an ambivalent life. On one hand, there is this deep desire to be loved which is the core or center of life and on the other hand, this feeling of extreme claustrophobia and detachment the moments someone tries to come too close. I have constantly suffered from this. I am not saying that its necessarily a bad thing. It is a weird kind if loneliness which sort of makes you take up a lot of interesting stuff when you are trying to ignore it or sometimes even trying to explore it...
Mar 28, 2011
Before I even get into the movie, I would like to start with bitching about Imax fucking Wadala. How can a movie which is supposed to be seen in 3D is not in 3D in a theater which is specifically created for 3D! That was just the beginning of a rather horrible and dizzy roller-coaster ride!
I have to say that the idea behind the movie by Zack Snyder was definitely interesting. The layers of reality, fiction et al was interesting. However, the overall story and all the actors (including the Paris Hilton look-alike and behave-alike protagonist) completely failed whatever good could have come off it.
The movie kicks off with what looks like a cliche sequence of a step-dad violence shit. It was shot really well with only background music and no dialogues. Somehow, I thought it was interesting and will lead to somewhere interesting. Then all hell broke loose. Like I said earlier, the whole journey from there to the mental asylum to brothel cum dancing place to fantasy fighting sequences and then back could have been interesting. But it all seemed so effing farcical. The girls were all so gay with names like Baby Doll, Baby Pea, Blondie and Rocket. The plot was just so shoddy. They do try to connect all blurry dots at the end but it doesn't help. The action sequences of this petite little "baby doll" fighting with zillions of super creatures could have been a little fun to watch in 3D but even that punch was missing!
Another funny thing was that "Baby Doll" was supposed to rescue everyone including herself before the "high-roller" arrives which will "de-flower" her. Funny, unintentionally!
Anyhow, its a interesting concept gone to waste, or so I think :)
Ohhhh btw, John Hamm (aka Don Draper of Mad Men) plays a special appearance of a baddie but again, completely wasted!
Mar 25, 2011
Ciao and happy boozy weekend :)
Mar 22, 2011
I have always been scared of sharing the place with a stranger roomie. So initially I thought that I would find myself a small little place. However, staying all alone scares the hell out of me. Yes, I am weird! And more than any other philosophical reasons, I am one of those who suffer from a mild case of insomnia and thus can be woken up by the most silly noises doing their rounds in the middle of the dark nights. So I either sleep with the lights on, sometimes even with the TV on on occasions when I have to stay alone. Anyhow, I am ready to overcome this as my last option. (I have only two options, I just realised) So lets get back to the first option. Getting a new roomie. To keep life simple and uncomplicated, I want only a girl as a roomie. And as me and one of my closest friends/current roomie realised that we are not very gifted in having a lot of female friends (I have no idea why) and definitely can't think of someone who could be my next potential roomie.
But in any case, I had spread the word and one contender did drop in like the ray of a bright shiny star in the black of the night. She loved the house apparently and was satisfied with my answer to her question "If I had any sort of issues" (I think I had convinced her that I am not a psycho and I am myself a practitioner of all the evil vices that possibly could exist so basically I don't have issues) She however found a bigger better place in the better Bandra West. So I am back to square one.
And the lazy bum that I am, I find it painful to call brokers and then actually go out to sort out my life. And my current apartment and me are so in love with each other that I am finding it pretty hard to break up. Its the best home in Bombay that I have ever stayed in :)...And let me not even into the amount of memories that I have here...Anyhow, I guess its time to de-sentimentalize a bit...And move on!
Mar 10, 2011
I love theater but I still have only managed to see a handful of plays (about 15-20) in my 5 year stay in Bombay. Its a pity really. But whenever I do watch a play it never ceases to amaze me. On one such occasion, which was actually the recently concluded Prithvi Theatre carnival, I saw this 20 minute short called “Aaj Ki Baaki Baat” which is directed and enacted by Jaimini Pathak. He serenaded the jam-packed Prithvi auditorium with his narration and enactment of the ageing Bengali Poet. It was an extremely well-written play but according to me, the performance was what over-shadowed or rather gobbled everything else. Pathak was immaculate in his performance, speech (which was extremely poetic) and expressions. I was, like many others in the audi, simply mesmerized. Fortunately, I bumped into him outside when I asked him for a cigarette lighter and found the perfect moment to praise him for his superb act!
Last night, I had another fortunate opportunity to see a great play and a great, extremely great, performance by him for the very famous play 'Mahadevbhai' written and directed by Ramu Ramanathan. I had heard extremely good things about the play which has already had about 200 shows and my expectations were way too high, both from the play and the performer. The play is about Mahatma Gandhi's confidante, friend and assistant Mahadev-bhai. First and foremost, it taught illiterate people like me, so many things about a person who always remained a shadow to the “father of the nation” and happily so. It brings forth his accomplishments, his talent and his complete devotion to Gandhi. This is obviously interspersed with India's struggle for independence. So we are tickled with the memories of those boring history classes when we first learnt about Quit India, Dandi March, Non Violence etc. This time they are all woven into Mahdevbhai's story and what an effect that has. It is one of the most well written play I have seen. Especially loved the ending where Pathak talks about what Mahadevbhai would have written in his diary after he died. It was extremely beautiful.
Now a special word for the performer. The presentation of the play is similar to the short that I mentioned earlier. Pathak is the narrator and also enacts the role of almost 20 other characters of the play. Spectacular, isn't it. Not for a second, he falters. It was simply a delight to watch him. At one moment, it was so uncanny, someone's mobile phone rang in the theater (Yes, people in India still don't have play watching manners) and he just came to the mike and said “shaant shaant shaant” and it was actually a part of the speech that he was giving while enacting one of his many roles. I don't know how the two things happen together. It was interesting! So, he was an endearing narrator, often evoking responses from the audience and an actor with a myriad of characters bundled into him for the duration of a little more than two hours. Simply fabulous.
BTW, just got to hear that the play had received “scathing” reviews when it was launched from some stalwarts including Mr Vijay Tendulkar. I was quite surprised to hear that. However, even that's interesting. I don't know, sometimes, some really iconic stuff also evokes mixed reactions from critics, which is absolutely fair as all forms of art, is subjective.
Well, I am, OBVIOUSLY, no critic. Just a humble viewer. And I think Mahadevbhai (and Jaimini Pathak) is an absolute must-watch.
Mar 8, 2011
The world mocked her convoluted life instead
A little pleasure and more distasteful nights
An extravagant walk with no one in particular
She dropped all the coins like stones in the sea
The no one in particular didn't even notice
Smaller the nights, more messed up the dreams
One where she floats in the sky
One where she flies in the sea
With no lover in sight
she walked out of the dream
The night was over but the morning refused to say hello
A fake bright face was turning into yellow
There was just a corner now
And a lovely picturesque twilight
This is where I ought to be, she thought
And there she was, to borrow Virginia Woolf's line
Mar 2, 2011
of realizing how real
the world is already.
Time is Eternity,
ultimate and immovable;
everyone's an angel.
It's Heaven's mystery
of changing perfection :
changes! Cars are always
going down the street,
lamps go off and on.
It's a great flat plain;
we can see everything
on top of a table.
Clams open on the table,
lambs are eaten by worms
on the plain. The motion
of change is beautiful,
as well as form called
in and out of being.
Next : to distinguish process
in its particularity with
an eye to the initiation
of gratifying new changes
desired in the real world.
Here we're overwhelmed
with such unpleasant detail
we dream again of Heaven.
For the world is a mountain
of shit : if it's going to
be moved at all, it's got
to be taken by handfuls.
Man lives like the unhappy
whore on River Street who
in her Eternity gets only
a couple of bucks and a lot
of snide remarks in return
for seeking physical love
the best way she knows how,
never really heard of a glad
job or joyous marriage or
a difference in the heart :
or thinks it isn't for her,
which is her worst misery.
Feb 28, 2011
Feb 25, 2011
Courtesy: I'm Not There
Feb 24, 2011
Not bearing good tidings
But a strange undecipherable warning
I wasn't sure if it was moving at all
It gave Hitchcockian vibes
It finally came where the crowd was
Each looking at the other with suspicion
There was a background theme
But hardly any noise
Surprisingly, there was no jostling
Though, each one got into the train without a smile
I tried a lot to unravel the plot
But it was sticky and wrapped in many folds
The train looked like it would gobble us all
Like a slithering poisonous snake
It started moving
Everyone was restless
But they maintained a no-expression look
I decided to look outdoors
Breathe in fresh air and fresh thoughts
There were no murders
There was no life
We reached safe and sound and resumed our lives
The train, once again, was moving with a screeching noise
Feb 22, 2011
I'm not There definitely qualifies as one of my most favourite movies. Inspired by Bob Dylan's life, the movie weaves an imaginative web of characters. Obviously, I HIGHLY recommend the movie itself. But this week's reco is the wonderful screenplay of the film which you can download and read here.
Its a beautiful script. Most of it reads like poetry :) Ciao