Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Okay for Valentine's Day

So, Valentine's Day is a marketing tool conceptualised in the 15th/16th/17th century and turned very conveniently into a sales platform for chocolatiers/florists/gift shops.
So, it's an artificial celebration; an unnecessary obligation.
So, love is supposed to be something natural and not enforced by the media and assorted society and it should be celebrated and venerated and exclamated every single day.

But you need to have one day in a whole year when you are eligible to expect magic. You need that free pass to dream, to go along with silliness and let your heart rule your head, as timidly as it can.You should be allowed to flutter at the prospect of some red, some pink, ribbons, sparkle, surprise, the illogical and the superfluous.  After all those 364 odd days sitting in the cellar, number-crunching and filing records that are sealed shut, your heart deserves to go forth into the sunshine and do a stupid little dance.

So, whether something or not happens to you this Valentine's Day, just go with it. Singles, enjoy the vicarious pleasure of urging couples on dates. Couples, just please go and make some singles happy by treasuring what you have. Whether you live it or not, pretend or create, make them believe in magic.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Word to the self-assumed unwise

Relax. No one knows everything. You only know what you have experienced and that forms your telescope, periscope, magnifying glass to the world. There’s a lot out there and you can excavate it, slowly, at your own pace, in your own way. You watch mindless teen dramas when you should be reading the classics and you weep over photographs of poached rhinos. You get excited over lip gloss and frantic about economic reforms. You cuddle a million pillows while you sleep and you hesitate before shaking hands with strangers. You stammer sometimes and you wish you had more opinions. You can't get the gist of that grandiloquent article you read but you can offer an informed analysis of 'Gangnam Style'. You want to be loved and you don’t want anyone to know it. Everything that seems huge and terrifying and frustrating will disappear someday, but may your fears be gone before that. You are passionate and you are truthful and you are deep and you are light. You are you, exclusively and uniquely.

Relax. You can only be in one place at one time. So you are here. You be present here before buying a waitlisted ticket to there. No one ever looked good doing splits across continents, time zones and mind frames. You are local and you are global. You are such a mélange of feelings, thoughts, ideas and ideologies. You are a creation, a work of art. You feel eons away from the person you want to be but be satisfied-you are beautiful, special, wonderful, yeah, yeah, yeah but more importantly, you are complete right now. You are alive and you’d better be alive fully, in this little x sq ft of a box that has been presented to you. You have time and you have space. Your mind and soul are capable of accommodating infinite possibilities that your body can only dream of. Absorb the moment and employ it to your advantage. Breathe, open your eyes as wide as they can get it and soak in the technicolour.

Relax. You are loved. By at least one other soul in the world. And if that’s not enough, wrap your arms around your shoulders and give yourself a warm hug. Because you’ve earned it, because you’re worth it.

Oh and you need sunscreen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

'All Alright' by Sigur Ros playing in the background

Stop talking about writing and just write.

Can of worms.Why does that phrase come to mind?

So write abstractedly. Write under aliases and psedonyms. Just go write that book then. Fiction! Go forth, fictify. Stop dreaming about donning nautical striped espadrilles and white-white costumes and sitting on the floor of a yacht. Or even if you do, write about it.

But isn't silence the highest state, what we should aspire to?

You're far from silence, dude. All those bells clanging in your head. All those pop ditties. All those dramatic cinematic sequences.

Okay, okay.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Love Will Not Die, Gypsy...

My father passed away on Christmas 2011. It was a hard five months before that, with his illness and my parents' and my collective despair but he fought bravely. The dark situation brought us closer, made us realise our love and faith and brought us to squeeze as much as possible out of life. Books, music, movies and conversation helped. But his agony was too much to bear, for he was a liver of life. So eventually his passing turned out to be his liberation.

But of course, it's terrible, excruciatingly painful for us, the ones left behind. Me, I remain the sole custodian of his world now, the beautiful world he created and invited me into. So, it's lonely. Particularly to sit and write here in this room without him being always just a few feet away, always accessible.

But having known him and known his love, I know he'd want me to celebrate his life. Hence, is born, my second blog, one dedicated to his memory. It's a blog to absorb and adore all the ephemeral beauties of life, to all those who've loved and lost our person(s) to the World Beyond. We haven't really lost them. They live on within us.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Everything's Going to Be Alright

Soprano voices rising together in harmony, echoing across the railway tracks, far enough to sound other-worldly, close enough to warm this chill.

Hot baths, clean water, freshly washed hair.

Music sharing, the old fashioned way. As old-fashioned as syncing an iPod can be.

Movies to watch. So many movies to watch.

Endorphins from running a little extra everyday.

Telling stories-real, made-up, written, oral, imagined and lived.

Dreaming. Tomorrow will be bigger, better and alright.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wow this Kolaveri...

No, it's not just because I am a known Dhanush fan. Or maybe it is. Been a fan ever since I met him almost 8 years ago at Landmark where he was serenely browsing for music and I went all, oohh I know you. He signed my first (and so far only) autograph ("Be Yourself!"). I think this was just after his second or third film had released and he was becoming this quiet sensation, with this huge Metro Plus article out about him.

He's a brilliant actor (I want to write a movie for him!) Among all his films, the madcap 'Mappillai' included, loved 'Aadukalam' (more so for the first half of it though). 'Pudhupettai' too. But what makes me a fan and so Dhanush-wannabeish are also the facts that he's so Chennai-ly charismatic and charming and funny and watchable and how his face wears perfectly all those songs and emotions and expressions that one rarely gets to display out loud. Like those rage-filled looks he gives people onscreen (probably not the best idea- all those broken bottles in 'Mayakkam Enna'). Like those dreamy, blissful, gleeful smiles he gives himself in 'Yathe Yathe' as he cycles ever so slowly behind the heroine. Like that totally absurd Chinese costume and dance in 'Theriyaama Parthu'. Like dancing with abandon to 'Otha Solaala'. I want to do that on Mount Road.

Anyway, this song or rather anthem (, seems to define our day and age. It feels so Madras-Chennai-Madras, the Tanglish confusion of words describing our state of mind. When I listen to the song, I think beyond love failure. I dedicate this song to Chetpet bridge traffic, N.H. Road potholes (approx 7 at last count), Mylapore's beautiful chaos, Valluvar Kottam road's crests and troughs-more troughs than crests, the weird sounds that my car's been making and yet braving through it all, to that sewage water that's almost reaching my doorstep and mixing with my bath water so I have to take baths in my gym, to my friends' bad romances, bad blood and bad judgement, to my desperation to see movies after long crazy days, to seeing a friend's ex and genuinely wishing her well but wondering what to tell him, to my best friend's disco fever which has been wet blanketed by the new 11 pm curfew and thus driving us to perform impromptu 'Kilimanjaro' dances, to fiscal issues, to hours at the pavement shop 'taking xerox', to my troubles, my peoples' troubles, to the big heavy issues and the little tiny scratches . These tholas might not induce kolaveri but they make me want to laconically sing along to these supposedly 'misogynistic', self-deprecating, peter-making fun of lyrics that are often so nonsensical in places that they make absolute, perfect, technicolour sense. So that is why I, a girl, a half-peter and not exactly lovestruck soul can relate. That nadaswaram whine, the slow beat and the lackadaisacal vocals are making me do one comedy dance in my head.

No wonder there's an actual street sign flashing: "Why this Kolaveri? Drive safely". Our kolaveri may be expressed, unexpressed, subdued or impulsive but it's there. And we deal with it. We laugh at it.

Now didn't someone say "Comedy is tragedy deferred"?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bonjour, Bonsoir, and Seriously Starstruck on the Promenade

SwatKat and I headed for a half day to Pondicherry. It was purely official, much in contrast to my usual Pondy sojourns-she was receiving her carte de sejour (I don't even know if it's the correct one but I just had to use that phrase somewhere). At this moment she is in the process of fulfilling her most heartfelt dream: Paris.

So, we set forth enveloped in a sort of afternoon calmness. The AC temperature was just right. Someone else was driving. Her mum was chaperoning us. The drive was smooth, the snacks just adequate enough, and Pondy was before us even before we knew it.

Ahhh Pondy in August, Pondy in the evening, Pondy in the breeze and amidst clouds and amidst a sense of bliss both around and within. There was just something in the air. Something I had experienced only once before here, during my first (conscious) visit to the town-the relaxed vibe, the living history in the colonial facades, and the sea, oh the glorious sea. And since SwatKat was looking at these things properly for the first time, I saw them all anew as well.

Passepartout (heh!) in her hand, her gorgeously addictive DSLR in mine, we prepared ourselves to wander. After drooling over three cuddling puppies on the pavement, I was determined to show her the famed cafe, the one with the impeccable service (Refer previous post 'December '10-January '11 Part One: Funny').

A bunch of tourists popped out of a cab in front of us. The group included one tall friendly looking young man whom I exchanged a vague smile with. After walking ten steps, SwatKat squeals and informs me that that was Kunal Kapoor.

Now everyone who's seen Rang De Basanti has crushed on (guilty as charged) the handsome and talented actor who plays a sensitive, sweet artist. Some straight boys I know too. But there's more to Kunal Kapoor in my perspective. From what I've seen and read, he seems to me the Real Thing-humble and genuine. I also heard he flies planes. So, he's cool. But not just for that. My serious obsession has been with the song 'Chinnamma Chilkamma'. As you know, I'm half-Telugu and fully uninitiated with Andhra music save a few ancient songs my father makes me seek out and of course the power-packed, masaledaar 'Ringa Ringa' (NOT the Hindi version). But 'Chinnamma Chilkamma' introduced me to the coolness of (half my) roots. It has verve. It has attitude. It has SWAG. And thus embodies the very essence of my ideal item number in my head. The kind I want to dance to on my birthday in my drawing room to scores of imaginary screaming fans. And my Mum.

So naturally the performer in said song is one to be saluted, fake badness and all.

Anyway, back to Pondicherry. SwatKat and I are walking about near the rocky beach, on the pavement, she trying to convince me that that was Kunal Kapoor and I, without my glasses, insisting on sure proof. When one wanders without glasses, one routinely waves at the wrong people or ignores the right ones. (Bipasha Basu shares this syndrome-the non-glasses wearing. She believes in imagining people to be more beautiful than they actually are. So, I'm in good company). Hence, I was for a moment doubtful that we would have gone and said "Hi, Kunal" to Ishant Sharma or something. (Not that they really look alike, but you know what I mean).

After a lot of pacing and debating (and some intermittent photo taking. The boardwalk looked BREATHTAKING-all golden hued and glorious) we found our feet shifting towards where Kunal Kapoor was. He was finally standing alone and not surrounded by the gang of all hep, cool, totally intimidating people. Mumbling a few hellos, me going "We're fans", we got our picture taken (by his considerate friend). We had a conversation, er, okay, four deep meaningful lines, about the weather, Pondy, his reason for being there, his hair, etc. Whew.

The picture has turned out pretty sad. He's not smiling, my eyes are closed, SwatKat could look better. But it's not about that.

When your heart wants to do something and your mind goes "Umm...Ah...Well..You see...", just go do it. Stop thinking sometimes. You could lose a moment.

The service was great at the cafe. Amazing. SwatKat took a million brilliant pictures of me and I was in photo heaven too-her, the yellow walls, the sea, snap, snap, snap. The ride back was one of high-ness, heartfelt conversation, lots of music-fueled discussions and bittersweet feelings of saying goodbye to someone you've grown addicted to because they jump into your reclusive life and fill it with noise, nonsense, beauty and love, love, simple love.

The height of achievement would be to look over your shoulder at the end of each day and simply say, "I lived". You squeezed the honey or the lemon juice out of the big mixed up fruit that is life. You maximised it. Your hair wasn't perfect but you danced. You made a big red balloon of your heart and set it free to fly across the blue skies. Now. Now. Only now matters. No regrets of the past and only hopes from future.

So I'll tell Kunal Kapoor about my fondness for 'Chinnamma Chilkamma' next time. Heehee.