Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Pardon the pause

I finally learnt to stop saying I was a fourteen year old at heart (because that tended to actually transport me not to the carefree spirit of a fourteen year old but instead to my actual state of mind at fourteen year , which needless to say, was not altogether too pleasant). I learnt to be 21, but at a slower pace. Something like the reverse of dog years.
Now now, there's no need to bring out the shrink's card. Here's the deal: Some people just take longer to grow up. And they need to stop scrabbling for reasons to prove that it's okay. Word of advice: If no one is giving you grief about not having a map, it is okay!
It's not about worrying about passing the deadline to wear orange-pink nailpolish and barrettes or watching Hannah Montana reruns. Or wrinkles, taxes and looming questions (c a r e e r , m a r r i a g e , l i f e) in ghostly block letters ( like those characters you have to retype to verify your access to some site) I'm talking about slowing down the ageing process by asserting my right to MORE TIME. (Ah, how beautiful those two words sound) Let's say it once more: MOOOORRRE TIIIMME.
I think I've been really lucky to have been granted this plea, this gap year (or years?) from plotting a course. Of course, it's not easy. I am wracked by restlessness and self-questioning. But that's only when I don't have to pack my bag for college the next day.
I revel in the little pleasures that time offers me, like those extra Gems that you find when you thought the packet was over. I absolutely delight in making my bed, serving ice cream to my father, managing to attend a full day of college and having my notes in order. My biggest thrill is my daily workout. And the icing on the cake is primetime TV (Conan! Desperate Housewives! The Big Bang Theory! Friends- yes, forever!)
The point is, I wouldn't have been able to appreciate these little things when I was actually in school. And undergraduation. It's taken me my whole teenagehood to get to this stage where I can value my teenagehood. So, I believe I do deserve the time to get it right. As hard as it is to do so.
Talents have been explored and then abandoned, perhaps to be picked up again. Plans formulated and then crumpled up, perhaps to be drawn up again over fresh paper. All the mistakes made, all the angst fading away, replaced by pure awakeness.
I'm too old to be a child prodigy or be an adolescent superstar. I'm too old to even be living the high school life. But, maybe, just for me, teenagehood is allowed to extend to 21.
22.
23?
If there's one thing drawing class and age has taught me, it's that I can't draw straight lines

Saturday, November 7, 2009

All things bright and beautiful

Oh it's messy alright but everything is so gorgeous when it rains. In Chennai, that is. Chennai becomes the most beautiful city in the whole world when it rains. The most romantic, the most clean...life just becomes..better when it rains here. Maybe the whole washing down of the city washes away the irritability and weariness that January-October summer has. Lightness, peace and a definite sense of newness floods the city. And I'm not saying that just because I'm wearing my favourite denim jacket after a year. A feeling of change, of rebirth, of starting over after a good heaven-ordained laundry service envelops the air and the human gift of transformation seems more evident. It's time to begin all over and be anyone you want to be.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Two souls met...or merged

Oh wow, yesterday was just wonderful. The beach, the waves, the moon and me. Or just the ocean and me.
Firstly, despite being a native of the city with the second longest beach in the world, I still get fully excited everytime I go down to the beach and commune with the salty water. Maybe it's cause my mum was never a big fan of bringing sand back home into her spotless living room (I do sympathise now) or maybe now it's because I play chauffeur and can't handle the parking/crowd etc.
And there's the other thing about Marina not being exactly the most hygienic or desolate spot in the world. For life, for local flavour (molagga bujji, lovers from all walks of life cosying up every few metres, lip-smacking roasted corn, noise) you go there. But for peace, quiet and a long-overdue rendezvous with nature's magic? Nuh-uh.
So when my friends and I (after a long unexpected wild evening involving being stranded in a mechanic's garage en route to a wedding which we missed most of after which we ran into the cops and not in a nice way) rushed to a rather secluded beach, almost as if in much-awaited relief, I got my wish.
And it just happened. As if on cue, we all fell silent and surrendered to the awesomeness of the sea. The relentless pacing of the waves set the background score and I fell deep not into silence, but into a beautiful conversation with this greatness surrounding me.
The moon overhead was not full enough but made up for it by being encircled by a large halo which felt like a spotlight over me. I stretched out my legs, least bothered about my fancy wedding-specific clothes being sunk into the sand. I wanted to drop back, lie down in the sound but last night was not a time for the moon. It was me and the ocean, meeting after a long long long time.
Everything that had been on my mind for the past month or so swirled around in my head and the sea just took it all. Square, heavy, material thoughts evanesced in the face of the sea's vast all-encompassing space. This is where I belonged. Not in cramped restrictive spaces. Not within walls, physical or psychological. Free, the cloak of breeze within and without me, sheltering and liberating me to be all that I am. That is, one with the ocean and all that she stands for.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Kids

Kids are highly interesting.

They suddenly appear at your elbow, staring at your computer while you scratching your head while squinting at a 91 page pdf about Communist hardliners in the early 80s and what they said to Gorbachev and why can't they say it in English oh it is English man I need a dictionary.

You look down at them, peering up at you, the small and warm things. They are so..comfortable with their bodies. It wasn't that long ago. How can you have forgotten? They lean on your shoulder and breathe down your forearm, totally indifferent to norms of social distance.

You need to entertain them. But somehow you don't know what normal kids like. Especially these days. You were always entertaining yourself with imaginary celebrity cartoons and horse rides in the Mexican desert as a kid. Oh, and alone.

So you look through your C and D drive. Um, no not those photos of your class trip. Or that folder with all the collections from 'Marc by Marc Jacobs'. So the older one takes over your computer (after politely asking) and plays something called Pinball which you didn't even know existed in your computer.

You attempt to educate the younger one (ah, the only thing you seem to know). So you take out that ginormous atlas you have and begin by pointing out where India is. But he seems more interested in the animal illustrations that accompany it and calls out all their names. Not bad. Even though that's not a donkey with a pouch hopping over Australia...

The atlas somehow is shut and now you two are racing small cars over its surface. He crashes into your car over the flag of Ghana. "License!" demands our young enforcer of the law. "I don't have one", I mutter sheepishly (ah that's me, always adding the twist like a good obedient student of scriptwriting that I am). "Okay, five rupees" says he. And you fork an imaginary amount over. Yikes! Five years old and he knows about corruption.

The game continues, with innumerable car crashes and somersaults and red lights and eventually you move over to pay some attention to the ten year old who has achieved impressive scores on Pinball. You show her pictures of your social awareness trip and then of your former college, rather wistfully. So many pictures. Why are you showing her this anyway? She comments about the make-up you've worn in one photo and that is why you, bespectacled, ponytailed and home clothes-clad look um, different right now. Observant children these days.

You politely excuse yourself and the dignified ten year old apologises for having interrupted the collapse of the Soviet Union. You turn to your computer screen, black and white words and things that happened long ago. But the police officer demands another car crash and you succumb.

Auditory fixations

I have a genetically acquired syndrome.

It is a problem. It really is.

As you are well aware by now, I have an obsession for music. Thanks to Trilok Gurtu who declares that he feels nothing for music as it is not something you can love or enjoy. It is so much within and yet all-encompassing that it surpasses words.

Okay, but this is not the problem.

My computer is in a corner of my father's room. My eardrums are throbbing right now because Benny Goodman's 'Sing sing sing' is blasting at full volume on youtube. The tiles on the floor are going to crack because my foot just cannot stay still. And across the room, neither can my father's.

The obsession, the need, the desperation to be surrounded by music at all times and of all types is really not the issue. The need to share it is.

My mother, alas, is not very musical. She gave up on the flute after one lesson. Don't get me wrong, she likes to sing and likes a choice few songs based on their melody or danceable quality alone. But she does not go crazy. She prefers the music to be turned down low so that conversation is feasible.

But for my father and me, the music IS the conversation. We're silent but it's as if Gene Krupa's frenetic drumming is communicating all that we need to say to the world. As loudly as we can.

My mum gets up and walks out of the room. But we want her to stay. We want her to listen. We like a witness, someone to fall in love with the our music so that we can discover it through their eyes and fall in love with it all over again. Someone to listen. Because we're saying so much. Through Benny Goodman, Caterina Valente, Xavier Cugat, Harry Belafonte, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Rosemary Clooney (my father's words). Through A.R Rahman, Gregorian chants, Bach, U2, Alizee, Cheb Khaled, Juanes, Paolo Nutini (my words). And though I enjoy his world as well, he does not really relate to mine. But doesn't complain about the iTunes so I search for Caterina Valente and Los Paraguayos and Cole Porter on youtube to make up for it. Not that I mind. I'm starting to like big band stuff. Or whatever it's called. It's just too much fun to name.

Of course, it doesn't help in finishing my assignments very much. iTunes, you are to blame if I don't finish my Cold War analysis due tomorrow.

Or maybe not. It's all hereditary.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fun's got a new name

We were taken to a village yesterday as part of a social awareness component in our course. I don't know about the social aspect, but I'm certainly more aware. Of the fact that clear blue skies exist at least.

And that there are people who offer you something out of the nothing they have. And so you end up with two roses.

And that there are people who drop all that they're doing and take you around the village in a whirl of enthusiastic banter and no sign of weariness.

And that there are people who appear so peaceful and laidback that you never would've guessed that they are responsible for transforming hundreds of lives through sheer persistence.

And that bus rides are mad fun, anywhere, anytime, especially when accompanied with a bunch of unselfconscious mental teenagers singing and dancing in their seats.

Forget the scorching Tamil Nadu sun, the lack of a shower in twelve sweltering hours and my obstacles in interaction thanks to halting Tamil. I want to go again!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Bubbles and water (Thanks, Alizee)

I have learnt something from my friend K, despite having ragged him for the same.

I have learnt to appreciate the beauty of having long baths.

There's something to be said for setting aside an hour (in K's case, four) for a cleansing of the physical, mental and emotional kind. Because that's what a long bath does to you. Especially if you do it right.

I'm the kind who spends half the week taking three 4 minute showers a day, and the rest of the week, baths that would put a slow motion feature to shame. It's fun to have all that time only to oneself. Nice not to make compromises. Quality time with oneself. Accompanied with the soothing nature of water. And of course an assorted mix of soap, shampoo, a loofah, besan and other exfoliants.

Music! Particularly the sedative variety. Or acoustic easy listening. Pachabel's Canon, 'Si tu no vuelves' by Miguel Bose and Shakira, 'Pehli baar mohabbat' from 'Kaminey', and sometimes Bach's Fugues.

The point is the slowing down. Feet get special priority. After all, they've been carrying me around all my life. They deserve a lot of attention-scrub, scrub, scrub.

My mind wanders. The previous day/days forgotten. Sounds echo and the water swirls around, leaving me to dream and let go. From water, indeed, we are born. Or reborn.

Lazy reviews

Frost/Nixon

Chilling. Impact. Power of media. Downfall of one man. Life's worth of achievements discarded thanks to a few 'mistakes'. Disturbing. TRUE.

Kaminey

Cool quotient. Fun. Mad. Rollicking. Action. Real. Mikhail-Charlie's friendship. Talent. Shahid Kapur redeemed for all those rom-coms. Vishal Bharadwaj proves his mettle ALL OVER AGAIN. I have to be cliched, but 'Dhan te nan' sums it up.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Public Enemies

I watched 'Public Enemies' last night and much as I was floored by Johnny Depp's style (and Marion Cotillard's sweetness and of course, the romance between the two), I was left feeling rather disturbed. The violence in the film rankled. And I'm the person who loves 'Desperado' and 'The Godfather'.

Maybe it was because it was based on a true personality. Maybe it was because I didn't like the way they glorified this bank robbing, ruthless murderer. Or maybe because I can't digest the fact that oh, how sweet, gangsters have hearts. He swears beautiful things to his girlfriend but doesn't think twice about gunning down cops and bystanders, simply because they were in the way.

Maybe I sound too girly or pacifist but I didn't leave the theatre feeling comfortable. It was a good film, Michael Mann, just with a bad feeling.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Where is the rain?

Seriously, it's time. Summer has dragged and yanked and left us with diminished patience. Now's the time for pretend-autumn/winter and for Madras to fake a semblance of romantic ambience. (I'm sorry but the second longest beach in the world does not seem to contribute in that area)
I know, I know, the monsoons have failed, etc. But come on! This is what I've been looking forward to since...well, the 'winter'.
I want rain and its accompanying magic. I want teasing breeze and broody skies. I want to stare out of the window and not see insipid endless white sky. I want it all and I want it now (Couldn't resist Queen, now could I? Insert shameless grin here.)
So, rain on down, now. Perhaps the Native American nature songs I'm listening to might help.
Or I might be accidentally calling out to the wolves, I'm not sure.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Genre-unbiased

I am reading a book that is so me, albeit with technological inputs that I, who seek the organic, actually find enthralling. The book is 'iPod, Therefore I Am' by Dylan Jones. It charts the history of the iPod as well the author's 'personal journey through music'.
I can't seem to find the exact sentences he has beautifully composed, but it's something along the lines of if a song can be a little house you live in, the iPod allows you to build pleasure palaces to lose yourself in. He also talks about how he additionally loved soul and jazz in an era when punk was the norm. And with the invention of the iPod, he unabashedly listens to The Clash followed by Miles Davis and to The Beatles after Kanye West's 'Graduation' album.
That is so me! A friend of mine pronounced that I was not liking The Doors (or was it Led Zepellin?) the way it should be liked if I also like (cough) the unashamed adolescence of Enrique Iglesias. I am sorry but I cannot give up Enrique! He takes me back to this special desk in my 9th standard classroom where I sketched storyboards for my own movie scripts while the Physics teacher droned about how we would not be able to breathe during tenth. (So not true for all you ninth standard students out there)
Sorry for the digression.
Anyway, the point is, in this era of globalisation (I can't believe I actually used this word in Estarra. Globalisation is the current by word for anything. Blame everything on globalisation.), and networking, we can afford to intermingle. No one needs be punk or goth or gangsta rap anymore. Take a little of everything and create something all new and different. Fashion allows it. (Chanel with Sabyasachi, Dior with Ritu Kumar) So should anything creative!
My Mattafix swings, Moby glides, Kailash Kher stirs soul, MJ whispers (or screams), Hindi movie music clangs and jangles and of course, U2 continues to be my mind-altering drug.
And I'm afraid, no Backstreet Boys. But there's Enrique. No Slipknot. But quite some Rammstein. Peaceful coexistence. Imperfect definition. Who needs definition anyway?
I rest my iPod.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The geek strikes back

Just when I thought I was out to take on the world and be a grown up, life laughed me right in the face and made its own decision for me. And well, I'm not complaining.
It's back to college and back to academics in a long-forgotten way (my three years of UG in an art field was academic all right, only rather sporadically. Being a nerd was a bad thing. Something you had to play down.). And ooh, it's a girls college. That took a while to get used to after being an ostensibly boys college. The madness was missed for a few weeks (I'd never seen so many girls in one place in my entire life) but now I'm realising that girl madness is equally enjoyable.
And aha, the library is delightful. I'm foreseeing a lot of adventures to be had. (I can see K somewhere, rolling his eyes and groaning at my inability to be anything remotely fun. According to modern teenage adolescent standards he means)
My recent addiction (beside sticking my nose in musty shelves of books) is writing with an ink pen. Unfortunately, I have not yet been presented with the opportunity to pen dynamic love letters by candlelight or eloquent and much sought after opinions to heads of state. So far, I write history notes with it, when they are dictated slowly and still, my mother refuses to embrace my gorgeous (once even pronounced 'sexy') scrawl. She thinks handwriting should be curly and big like an 80's hairdo. I prefer a chignon. Of course, everyone can see the 80's hairdo clearer and she thinks that's the point.
Anyway, back to fountain pens. Ah the fragrance! The fragrance of ink is intoxicating. The ink pen's results have to be earned. A ballpoint pen is easy, sometimes a floozy but an ink pen is a lady. Whether she's Oliver or Cartier (or whatever those fancy pens are that are not found in my corner stationery shop).
So, I'm back to square one. More like fifth standard (considering the use of aforementioned writing instrument). Education isn't all that bad after all. Especially when you nearly give it up. That's when it actually becomes attractive. The real process of education begins and 'getting an education' ends.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The way he made us feel

There are some things in life that you take for granted: oxygen, the Pyramids of Egypt and Michael Jackson.

Symbols of culture are meant to last forever, irrespective of the fact whether they are made of marble, stone or flesh and blood. They are compasses around which we function. A comfort to us through jokes and references. It's enough to know that they are there. It’s taken for granted that they’ll live forever, larger than life.
I remember the 4 year old me watching my older friends handling a precious copy of the 'Dangerous' album. I stared back at those famous eyes on the cover, wanting to be let into this seemingly prohibited adult world of pop music, wanting to be released from nursery rhymes. And soon enough, I was.

For 8 year old me, Michael Jackson was MTV and MTV was Michael Jackson. Sure, there was Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Puff Daddy (way before he changed into P.Diddy) etc. But there was no one BIGGER than the soft-spoken, twirling dervish with the fascinating music videos. He was not only the best dancer I had ever seen, or the singer of the relentlessly catchy songs but he was also THE definition of the music video.

It was not just the combination of phenomenal talent and charming personality. He was an assurance of the fact that something extraordinary existed beyond the uncomplicated beauty of movie stars or the pure and simple talent of other musicians. Michael Jackson pushed the boundaries of our senses, leaving us awestruck. That was true entertainment-where our questions were silenced and our senses surrendered.

We borrowed our icons from generations past. Elvis was far too gone for us to call him our own. Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Freddie Mercury far too ghost-like to be missed. Our idols were young and full of life, Michael Jackson being the embodiment of energy.

Our generation is one that took things for granted. We were convinced of our immortality-the generation of living in the moment, of Eminem's offensive lyrics and Paris Hilton's frivolity.

Now, we come face to face with our fragile humanness. The person who seemed to live forever, who seemed to live it all, has moved beyond his physical state.

His extraordinary life and aura make his existence seem almost mythical. The controversies and stories that surrounded him earned him reactions from ridicule and disgust to sympathy for the child-man who was most probably just misunderstood.

As the music channels flood us with images of the energetic young Michael dancing like there was no tomorrow or urging us to make a change, as fans across the globe shed tears and make shrines for the King of Pop, as music legends grieve and as music lovers vow to not mourn him but celebrate the existence of such an icon amongst us, one wishes that MJ would see the love that we have for him and know how much he meant to us, the generation whom he shaped.

Was he a child prodigy teaching us 'ABC', a teen dance icon who warned us against 'Billie Jean' or the King of Pop who was one of the few who successfully used music to 'Heal the world'? Whatever hat he donned, all we now have is the burning memory of a mythical legend who rocked our world in more ways than he ever imagined.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A matter of urgent attention

One thing that's starting to give me a jolt these days is the fact that we have only one life. Each.

No, I'm not going to say 'Live it up' and 'Live for the moment' because that's just a little hard to do.

What I mean is that it's just one. One single life. Per person. But nobody seems to realise it. People study things they can't comprehend, take up jobs they hate, spend money on things they barely need, marry people they can live without and let go of people who made their day. Leave that all aside, do they realise that there's a last date for this immortality. Why do we live as if every day is worth no more than a white board and our existence some kind of felt tipped marker?

It's just one life. It's not like you have three. Yours. Not your mother's, not your father's, not the neighbour three houses down the street. It's not about instant gratification or the rise of ME culture. It's just the fact that you were put down here with an x amount of potential and it would be the highest crime to waste it.

Even if you do believe in reincarnation, it's not like the you that you are now will ever be the same next time around. You are this person and who says someone else is more important than you? You're the movie star of your own life. You're not a loser or winner. You're you and you should be fully so.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Whims and fancies

Hello, it's June. Already? Where are the days going? I don't mind. Do I remember? But it's okay. What day is it? Does it matter?

New music: Attended the Earthsync concert and was swept away by the tidal wave of Shye Ben-Tzur and troupe. Rajasthani folk-Qawwali-Hebrew-poems-flamenco...what! I never even knew you could fuse so many things and manage to sound devastatingly beautiful.

Mystical experience.

New book: Alright, alright. I am a victim of 'Twilight' fever as well (a little late). I'm jealous of the fact that Stephanie Myer's collosal success originated in a dream she had of a girl and vampire conversing. Why can't my dreams be less about being late for exams long since passed?

However, my library is continually out of stock of the Twilight books and so I have painfully managed to read only the first three, the space between them being equivalent to the time it takes a snail on cough syrup to reach from Madurai to Leh (see, not as bad as Kashmir to Kanyakumari). 'Eclipse' is far more exciting, full of backstories and legends (who isn't a sucker for legends?). But after harboring a fascination for vampires, 'Eclipse' has caused me to develop a crush on Jacob. Oh come on, Edward is way too perfect! Jacob is rough and tumble, impulsive and downright daring. Which brings me to my second new obsession...

New book 2: (inhales) 'Gone with the wind'. Yes! I know! I've always shied away from (most) classics, judging them by the captivitability of the first few lines. Scarlett O'Hara's description got me hooked. I never knew the book could be so funny in parts, so relate-able. What character development. Okay, I've not finished it yet. Only halfway through and so far not enough of Rhett.

(Do I sound too crush crazy? It's okay. Only fictional or non reachable characters so I'm excused)

New movies: Spanglish.

What's eating Gilbert Grape?

Marvin's room (how could Leo diCaprio be so phenomenally talented right from the beginning?) The Wrestler.

What just happened.

The English Patient (W-O-W. Not just Ralph Fiennes! Juliette Binoche is adorable and I find the sweet relationship between her and the bedridden Count Almasy heart-wrenchingly endearing. I don't know why.)

Enemy of State (my current huge crush besides Jacob- Will Smith)

Charlie Wilson's war.

The Bucket List.

And left to watch: Atonement, Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind... annnnnd... Gone with the wind. Once I finish the book.

New addiction: Cadbury's Dairy Milk Shots. Have you TASTED them? The ads are gross (heads exploding in a burst of liquid chocolate) but the shots! I think the alcoholic equivalents have the same effect.

New state of mind: Be reborn each day. Didn't Gandhiji say something about that?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Reaching backwards

I think the reason why people have kids is to relive their childhood.

I don't think that's such a good idea.

I'm at that stage where I miss my childhood (though I hated a lot of it-I was late every day of the year in 5th standard. The uniforms, tests, sometimes scary teachers, etc) but I miss the organised protective atmosphere, the living day to day.

Actually, even high school was good. The fact that you were let loose at 2:30. The shelteredness of the neatly arranged chairs and benches. Your dependence on the fact that you could pull the plait of your best friend in front of you whenever you were bored. The fact that you could exchange looks with the person behind you when Maths sir began limits and continuity. The looks of 50% self-amusement and 50% frustration that cannot be replicated in any other situation but twelfth standard maths.

Yeah, so well. Imagine me, and then imagine those who are further away from childhood. They start to want to live it all over again-discovering the world all over again. Unlearning the rules and the shapes and colours and assembling them at a much slower pace. Who wouldn't want that!

There must be a solution to this feeling. An alternative rather than adding to the population or ending up with a kid when you're not fully grown yourself.

Childhood is so short that later you wonder if it was all a dream, whether it was real or not. So you spend the rest of your life, trying to reach at it from bits of your memory, like stuffing your hand through a jar, trying to pull out bits of confetti which flash, revealing colours and patterns that feel so familiar.

Oceanic bliss

There's so much running through my head that it adds up to total, blissful silence.

I think that is one of the symptoms of being over exposed to art-reading far too many books, watching far too many movies, absorbing, absorbing things you want to talk about, things you want to question that finally you decide to stop the dissection and just allow the waves to crash all over you, salty and overwhelming. Delicious.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lose yourself

You get used to things. You make new memories. Things don't go back to what they were; they go forwards into something new. And it's interesting because the future is a surprise. And that's the best part about it.

I can't believe the number of movies I've watched this summer...

Doubt (brilliant)

Confessions of a shopaholic (surprisingly, I enjoyed it)

The Sisterhood of the traveling pants 2 (better than the first movie but NOWHERE close to the books! NOWHERE!)

7 Pounds (disappointing)

The other Boleyn girl (evil gets what it deserves)

Before sunrise (magical)

Before sunset (magic killed)

Half of 'A good year'

Half of 'Made of honour'

Twilight (the first movie I liked better than the book it was based on)

Adaptation (eerie for some reason)

And more to see:

The notebook (heavily recommended)

He's just not that into you (hey, I don't pretend to be intellectual)

Rachel getting married

Tahaan

The Duchess

And books, oh it's been a long list as well. This. is. the. life. Seriously, all I've been doing is entertaining myself of late.

The thing about reading is the fact that no one else can see what you're reading. I mean, yes, you are curled up on a sofa or hunched up under the covers with a bound tome with a catchy illustration on its cover but what can another person see? A book is like an invisible portal that sucks you in and you're in a different universe visible only to you.

It's not like knitting or painting or playing video games. The images, people, places are all within the space of your mind. And outside, you appear still and silent, lost to this world but ever so absorbed in another.

It's kind of like watching movies. Or sleeping. Or travelling. It's all about getting lost, losing track of your conscious self.

Is there a job description that fits that?

Ha ha. Will get back.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

:(

My best friend is leaving.

I'm not going to be able to see him everyday, fight with him through nasty messages over the phone, have him rifle through my wardrobe to pick out my clothes for fancy occasions, watch him spend hours collaborating with my mother to torture my existence through nagging, be the cause for my overweight through unnecessary consumption, not reply to my senti messages, sit in the front seat and pretend he is a human GPRS, be demanding when I'm drifting, make me jealous by hanging out with other people, exasperate me with his indecisive shopping, chatter with me nineteen to the dozen even though he's the quiet one, make hilarious jokes with the most stoic expressions, honour me with the privilege of being his secret diary and basically be my the boon and bane of my existence.

How do you tell someone that they've changed your life?

How do you take back all the mean words you've ever said? How do you explain that all the times you fought and all the times you kept away was because you cared? How do you convince them that though you may have a lot of important people in your life, there are some people who just cannot be replaced? There are only some people who can be a built-in brother, sister, best friend, what have you. Who fit like a glove. There are only some people you can hate to love and hate to hate. There are only some people who can turn your life upside down and walk right back in and continue in the same cycle but it just does not make a difference because you're so comfortable. How do you go back in time to pay more attention, be more patient, listen and just absorb?

How do you say goodbye?

He's going back to where he came from. He's going back to where he's supposed to be. But why do you sometimes feel that three years are equivalent to a whole lifetime?

Because those three years are when you grow up. Those three years are when you need someone beside you to define you when you're blurred, take a crayon and colour your greys, stir you when you're dormant, challenge you when you want to give up, aggravate you when you're dull. Make you fight till you feel alive.

Maybe there's a long way to go. There's e-mail and mobile phones (thank you, technology) and other things which might be invented. There'll be visits.

I guess the problem lies in not seeing the end till it comes. You live life in the moment and you miss the big STOP sign ahead.

I can't formulate the words right. My theory was that we don't say goodbyes. But this is something internal. It's a goodbye to life as it was. A change in the way life has been. But change is supposed to be good, right?

Sometimes it doesn't feel good.

Exhale. It'll be okay.

My friend, all I can say is:

I don't want to start saying mushy things (oh, hello, wake up call, I've said ENOUGH in the above paragraphs) so I'll just tell you to LEAVE NOW before we start our usual boxing round. I'm sure (okay, I HOPE) we won't be doing any of that over long-distance. We'll be meeting (or have met) loads of interesting people who will change our lives more than we can imagine. We will find shoulders to cry on and signposts that direct us. But I'll remember the three years. Where we attempted to grow up and instead tumbled (a lot). It was comical and painful, riding that skateboard.

But it was a lot easier with you being the elbow pads.

(Cornyyyyyyy! But true)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

POA

First Sunday of being unemployed. Ahahahaha.
Life stretches out like a blank slate-it's oppressing and it's actually starting to be exciting. The unknown is thrilling.
Here's my agenda for life (er, today):
1. Upload photos on Facebook (Guilty as charged. Sunday is time for confession)
2. Upload allllll the songs my friend has generously bestowed upon me from a cute red Easter egg pen drive.
3. Attempt to dust and sort out all the gazillion books that are stacked ominously under the drawing room sofas that have STILL not been restored to their rightful place after the termites were exterminated (Terminate the Termites! Ooh...that's a slogan)
4. Attempt to decide to run up and down the stairs with the determined intention of burning off all that I have chewed.
5. Stop biting nails. And fingers.
6. Read all the lovely books I've borrowed ('Love in the time of cholera', 'Animal farm', 'Beirut Blues', 'Oliver's story' etc)

Unemployment. It doesn't sink in. It still feels like there is another round of exams around the corner. Or the next semester. I keep slapping myself and saying : "Helloooo! There's nothing more. College is over. O-V-U-R ! (:p For Star World viewers)"
I'm trying to compare it to how I felt after school. But at least then, I knew I had to get into college. It's different now. The set agenda that everyone has to follow has run its last level. Now it's adaptable.

At least I'm not one of the confused ones. See, I already made my agenda.

For today.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today is good

Wide open spaces. Summer afternoon haze through rectangular windows. Lying on the ground in the centre of the empty upstairs drawing room, listening to Queen, feeling liberated in the companionship of your own self. Walking on the sweltering streets of Chennai, under the suffocation that is undeniably April in Chennai with an old friend whom you haven't hung out with in ages, talking about 2012 doomsday. Uplifting. Discovering a xerox shop you had passed by a million times and never noticed. Talking about college ending with the relief that everyone doesn't hate everyone else anymore. Corn, corn, boiled corn with chilly powder. Cold water straight from the fridge drunk quickly and desperately. A long bath, the first of many during the long day. Sunlight, unceasing sunlight, pinning you down helpless until you surrender with a smile. All the negotiations you tried in the years before, cast away. All the escape routes you dreamt, abandoned as uncertain applications submitted to the universe. All that remains is you and the summer- depressing, dominating, debilitating. And inevitable. A rite of passage. A feigned love motivated by expectations of surprises...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Love...is such an inadequate word.

What do you say of a song that grabs hold of you and possesses you more than your awareness of your own self?
What do you say of a piece of music that is both outside and inside of you until you no longer feel your physical existence?
What do you say of the swell within your heart which transfers to the swell within your soul until you just want to take off like a helium balloon?
What do you say when you cannot physically touch, see, taste or hold something that has you in a tight grasp and doesn't seem to let go?
What do you say when a sound washes over you like a wave and still leaves you thirsting for more?
What do you say when you feel the sun and the stars so alive within your soul that you are unable to contain them and the only alternative is to explode?
What do you say when 5:49 minutes of music becomes your reason for existence, the definition of your very being and for the existence of all else?

What do you say?

If someone asks you, you say:
"I love this song"
knowing that words will never suffice.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ice cream cones and candy treats



These are buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi, Spanish modernist architect.





This is how castles look in Estarra.













This is how life should be.

Summer school of life

Bonds don't break; their elasticity wears thin.

People don't change; they shed their skins in the summer.

Words don't illuminate; they restrict.

Love isn't work; it's natural.

Don't let it go; let it fade.

Don't try; just be.

Friday, April 10, 2009

U2 is back! Baaaaaaaack!

Breathe
16th of June, nine-oh-five, door bell rings
Man at the door says if I want to stay alive a bit longer
There’s a few things I need you to know
Three
Coming from a long line of
Traveling sales people on my mother’s side
I wasn’t gonna buy just anyone’s cockatoo
So why would I invite a complete stranger into my home
Would you

These days are better than that
These days are better than that

Every day I die again, and again I’m reborn
Every day I have to find the courage
To walk out into the street
With arms out
Got a love you can’t defeat
Neither down nor out
There’s nothing you have that I need
I can breathe
Breathe now

16th of June, Chinese stocks are going up
And I’m coming down with some new Asian virus
Ju Ju man, Ju Ju man
Doc says you’re fine, or dying
Please
Nine-oh-nine, St. John Divine on the line, my pulse is fine
But I’m running down the road like loose electricity
While the band in my head plays a striptease
The roar that lies on the other side of silence
The forest fire that is fear so deny it

Walk out into the street
Sing your heart out
The people we meet
Will not be drowned out
There’s nothing you have that I need
I can breathe
Breathe now
Yeah, yeah

We are people borne of sound
The songs are in our eyes
Gonna wear them like a crown
Walk out, into the sunburst street
Sing your heart out, sing my heart out
I’ve found grace inside a sound
I found grace, it’s all that I found
And I can breathe
Breathe now

"There's nothing you have that I need,
I can breathe. "
Such a brave, powerful line. You can't just say it offhand. I can't say that I have truly LIVED; I have a long way to go before I can look back. But I can't wait for the day when I can say:
"There's nothing you have that I need
I can breathe"

Friday, April 3, 2009

Being is underrated

So, what are you going to do after college?

Give me 50 p for every time I hear that question and I'll be Slumdog Crorepati. I can't take it anymore. I can't take myself anymore.
Why can't I just sit tight and BE in one moment, completely? No, my mind has to be at home when I'm waiting my turn in the viva, it has to be in college when I'm at home, it has to be in this time last year or this time next year. When I'm hot and sweaty in college, I want to have a bath. When I have a bath, I want to eat. When I eat, I want to sleep. When I sleep and wake up, I want to watch a movie. When I'm watching the movie, I want to be doing something productive. Aaaargh. Shut up. Stay. Live.

'To be' is a verb. It is a verb that has been considered in the past as a choice (Ask Hamlet). It is an activity. It is an action. If I 'be', it means that I am doing something.
So, that's what I'm gonna do. That's my purpose in life.

Problem is, I have this mental snapshot of what it is 'to be'. It is this beautiful, heavenly place. And in that mental snapshot, I am content without being disappointed or wanting more.

There I go again, living in the future.

Be here. Now.

(This blog has become a sort of pep talk to myself!)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Broken strings

In the beginning of this year, we lost one of our classmates.

Today, on the last day of college, as we stood teary-eyed, taking pictures while our professors surprised us with cake, reaching out to one another in a kind of desperation, a kind of wistfulness of having wasted three years of not getting to know each other better, today we lost a junior of ours to another bike accident.

It doesn't feel like so long ago when our classmate passed away. I still remember the disbelief and shock. The fact that someone you took for granted, who was supposed to be part of the background picture , familiar and present is never going to be seen again. It hits you that you should've waved at him when you had the chance. You could've spared a second of a 'Hello'. Isn't it strange that you end up having a lot to say when you realise you can't say it?

When someone you know leaves the face of the earth, you expect the earth to stop turning atleast for a bit. You expect the news to talk about him, you expect life to take a pause. When your world has a lost its sense of normalcy, how does it continue for everyone else? Shouldn't it take on a shade of grey? Is it inappropriate to think of exams, food and routine? Everything seems much more cloudier.

But the world continues to turn. And you, the one who's been left behind, have to turn along with it.

It's easy to say 'Be strong, move on'. You will, eventually. But how does that assuage the pain?

You will have to remember that while you shed tears and lament the cutting short of a young life, he is on another plane right now. He is tranquil and he is far from suffering and all the bondages of the human body. He is free.

It doesn't help your loneliness and the sense of absence that you feel. But do not mourn for him, for his loss. Because he is beyond any definition of loss. Beyond all these boundaries and barriers that condition our fragile existence that we take so seriously. He is with the true reality now and we continue in the illusion, till the time we join him.

And as abstract as I sound, it does make me feel better.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baby, farewell

If I'm less than sunny, don't mind me. That's just how it is in Estarra. I'm only happy when it rains, etc.
A diary is a diary for a reason. Don't worry. And on a happier note, I am practising to not expect and to live entirely in the moment and not hyperventilate about not getting printouts on time or submission at 1 pm. (Breeeaaathe eaaassy.)

Anyway, now I'm okay. Thoroughly thrilled myself at the stationery shop. I guess what shoes is to normal chicks, I get slack-jawed when I stand before shelves of envelopes, Cello ballpoints, folders, sharpeners, blank CDs and the rest. I probably wanted one measly stick file before I reached the venue. But when I get there, I'm like "Gimmmmmmmmeeeeee!"

Putting the final touches on my final project. The one that has undergone a million changes, a million opinions. The one that has made me cry. The one that has made me a zombie. The one whose umbilical cord I cut tomorrow when I hand it over to the department. It's a magazine and trust me, it is not as easy or as frivolous as the word sounds. It sums up my childhood fantasy (wherein 'Triple Moon', a weekly read was well, unread) and my obsession and collection of Vogue, Femina Girl, The Record, Elle, etc. Yes, it sounds shallow and materialistic. But I have had a lifelong affair with magazines and tomorrow I submit MY VERY OWN magazine.

Wish wish wish wish me luck. But at the end of the day, I'm sending it off into the universe on its own. Not gonna care about opinions anymore. NO SIREE.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Me me me

Looks like January was my expressive best.

Here's something I've always wanted to say to the people (person?) who've called me self-obsessed:

I am.

Yes, and I should be. I'm the person I know best. I'm the only person whose feelings, thoughts, abilities and dreams that I know completely. I know ME-body, mind and soul. And yet there's so much more to know. A process that began the day I was born and will continue till the day I die.

Life is wonderful. Life is discovery. But...I am the life. My life is the only way to know the life outside. And the life outside is the only way to know me. I read because I want to understand myself. I want to travel because I want to find myself. I watch movies because I want to relate. I love because I want to love myself.

So what's the opposite of self-obsessed? Self-detached? You think you are self-detached. You with your gyms, and your fashion, your clubbing, your crushes are self-detached?

Your choice of words amuses me.

If I bore you, leave me alone. If you understand, please feel free to join the self-obsession. It's much more exciting than your man-made creations.

"There would be no me if there wasn't you, there would be no you if it weren't for me"

-Rachid Taha, 'Tekitoi'

Pages from my diary: January 21st 2009

11:02 am
"I just enjoy driving on my own these days. Maybe it's the solitude, maybe it's the time I have all to myself. Maybe it's the fact that I'm surrounded by people and yet I am alone. Not lonely. Alone.
Also, the fact that I can see the sky, the sun, the dusty roads, the movement. But not the people.
I wonder what it's like to be in the world and beyond it.
I am obviously not ready to give up the comforts of the world-my home, my things, my books, my music, love of parents and friends, my bed.

2:37 pm
I really need to organise my thoughts.
I should stop I-ing now.

5:28 pm
Indistinguishable hours blur into days
Uncredited breaths, one at a time, ignored
The silent decision to pull through
is remembered at a time when its necessity is forgotten
You forge on, blindly, mundanely
Pat yourself on the back

I think the problem lies in the fact that I'm confused whether to renounce or succeed. I unconsciously make a list of qualities deemed vital to either of these two distinct personalities and I land nowhere between the two, a semi-silent confused and confusing enigma to my own self.
This medley-fied nothing thus follows no one but seeks approval from everyone. Has opinions sometimes. Voices them, rarely.
I am scared to analyse the mess for it leads to depression but I find myself thinking about me more often than not. Though I know that a week or a year from now, I most definitely would not want to read this trash.
So, what do I write about when my heart has not been twanged by any major earthly issue?

Do not fear me, I am solitude
Seek nothing from me, I am love
Search not for me, I am happiness
Live for me, I am God

I sit back and revel in my brilliance. I pack my bag without saying a word to the world. I live a life so invisible that I myself rarely acknowledge it.

Am I so detached from this life that everyone so boldly embraces that I cannot formulate a simple, fictitious tale even for the sole purpose of distracting myself?

Yes, that's probably it"

Pages from my diary:January 15th 2009

"I must overcome my fears. The tiny fears. The pressures. The hesitations. The unnatural tensions. The things I hide from. I must ignore these and go with the flow. Be unafraid, unattached to the past, free and unfettered, following my heart as it bobs ahead in the breeze, delicate like a balloon, follow it up and down whichever path it chooses, for the heart is a flighty, whimsical object, belonging not even to myself.

See, I can't help it. I just HAVE to get abstract.

I wish my mind could become as silent as my tongue. As still.

But too many questions, too many impulses race across its blank canvas like a million points of light."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The bigger picture

Advertising has got me thinking.
No, I'm not talking 'creativity' or Bill Bernbach or David Ogilvy. I'm talking about the new Tata Dicor Ad.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa8SelN6U-4
The music, Enya-ish first caught my attention. The visuals, breathtaking of course. But it's the Big Idea : "If you looked back on your life, what would you remember?"
That did it for a copywriter such as myself.
I mean, that basically sums up the question of my existence. The question I tried to stop asking not so long ago. The question whose answer is irrevelant, in the scheme of things, if there is a scheme to it all.
My life is not meant to be at a computer. My life is not my bag or my fancy phone or my perfect height and weight or the digits on my marksheet. Life is not the number of friends I can count or the dates I have or the zeroes in my salary or the venue of my wedding.
It all adds up. But what am I going to remember? What I possessed or how I felt?
We were put on this earth for a purpose. I'm not saying we were meant to help the poor or take on Superman's responsbilities. The world does not need saving. It has been doing its creating and destroying all by itself, probably even before our souls were born.
This beautiful Earth, with its coral reefs and its cliffs by the sea, the austere elegance of its snow and the unforgiving exqusiteness of the desert, the imperfect beauty in peoples' faces, the purity of their song and dance, the sheer divinity in human love. This is what we're doing here. We're here to experience, to celebrate the agony and ecstasy of it all. It looks like one big mess but dig deeper, look higher, walk further-there is a perfection in its madness. And all we can do is stare in awe, fall to our knees at its glory and simply absorb.
And when you think of your Maths test tomorrow, think of the infinity of the blue sky.
As you walk home, exhausted from a day's work, enjoy the colour and noise on the busy street.
When you worry about bills, remember that you will be taken care of.
Your purpose in life is to live. And that's the secret.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sunday evening dream time

My back is aching sitting at the computer for so long, translating Spanish documents. (Oh boy, am I loving this work, reconnecting me to my long-lost passion for the language. But it's TIRING!) I'm thinking of this place whose photo adorns my desktop. I WANT TO BE THERE!!
And I'm listening to 'Marudaani' and feeling all romancy and yearning for a place I've never been. Mostly, it's Greece. Though I should be listening to 'Zorba the Greek' to satiate that itchy feeling. But that's not such a romantic tune, is it now.
(Insert sigh here)
I should shut up and listen to 'Naaka Mukka' instead.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Don't have anything witty to say

I'm sneezing my eyes out. Real bad case of the common cold. And to top it all, one of my dearest friends backed up his car, accelerated and blew a huge cloud of dust into my face as I was standing nearby.
Thanks, Punky. I'm sensorily challenged right now. Can't see, can't breathe, can't taste. And thinking is something that is coming from the fringes of what I can call a brain. So please excuse the disjointedness of my current existence.

Why is it that the time I have a million things to do, I end up blogging? And when I don't, I'm off somewhere else. It's not because I'm a social butterfly (I'm not even a moth). It's not because I'm inventing cures for diseases (I so need one for the common cold!) in my free time. Why, I can't even remember what I did last weekend while I remember the roll numbers of everyone in my classmate, the exact order of the Mughal emperors and the names of their assorted children and wives. How useful. What an employable feature to put on my resume.

Sneeze again. Sixty hundred and eighty three at last count.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sisterhood Unexplored

Why don't they have enough female buddy movies?

I just watched 'Outrageous Fortune', one of those hilarious 80's movies. Starring Bette Midler, it features two madcap aspiring actresses on a crazy caper after a double-crossing man. They hate each others' guts at first but end up bonding big-time after discovering what a swine their common lover is.

Okay, so Hollywood has 'Thelma and Louise'. They have 'Friends'. They have 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants'.

What does India have? It's always 'Yeh dosti' with two guys. Or it ends up being unreal "He's my best friend, yaar" 'Kuch kuch hota hai' style. Even 'Jaane Tu..' could have packed a little more meat into the friendship between Jai and Aditi.

Where all the female best friends? (and I don't mean the heroine's hanger-on flunkies) Isn't there a solid story involving two (or more) interesting girls who do not have a bond because of some connection with a guy? (Yes, I said that before you could say 'Har dil jo pyaar karega'.)

I'm looking to new Bollywood for an answer.

Sunday

I'm studying Visual Communication.

They should give me a degree for lying in bed, watching movies all day.

Really.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A lot to say, more to do

Don't even ask! These past two weeks have been unbelievably hectic. Back to college and it's been one endless flow of powerpoints, stick files and furtive messages to rant or to re check submission timings and protocol. And it's not about to end anytime soon.

Why am I up so late? Well, I was suddenly hit by a creative bolt as I lay awake, tossing and turning. With a bunch of leftover print paper (I use the unused side to be environmentally thoughtful) in my hand, I began making lists-first for my final project, then for what I want in life and then to K's birthday plans. I realised that with a blank sheet of paper to mind map and with a computer, you can actually take over the world. (something Ra's been trying to tell me for the longest time. That girl can make a calendar with MS Word!)

Movies. 'Dilli 6'. I was really disappointed. Perhaps my expectations were too high, considering I've been waiting to see this film for the past three months or so. But it was really not what I expected. The songs were cut short(A.R.R-THIS deserves an Oscar! Honestly, 'Arziyan' is one of the most beautiful songs I've heard in recent times. And 'Dil Gira Dafatan' feels like MY song.) But what I really felt was missing was a solid, strong storyline. The cinematography was beautiful, the cast perfect and the intention felt pure. But seriously, the story seemed to meander all about the place and was frustrating to watch. It felt like there were three separate stories being combined.

The Oscars. Ah. I cannot say more. This time, I was not the only around here watching (I never miss the greatest show on earth). The theme seemed to be India and I think everyone's said all that can be said and more about A.R.Rahman (Seriously, we Chennaiites deserve a holiday in commemoration of this) and 'Slumdog'. What was really cute was the way Dev Patel was taking care of the little kids.

Oh my God. The most beautiful part was the way they brought out 5 previous winners to felicitate a nominee each. Sheer goosebumps! Robert DeNiro describing Sean Penn, Shirley MacLaine offering praise for Anne Hathaway and Marion Cotillard's heartfelt salute to Kate Winslet. Anthony Hopkins for Brad Pitt, Sophia Loren (!!!!) for Meryl Streep. Wow wow wow. Of course, I was thrilled to see Kate take home that statuette. Who doesn't love her?

Anyway, now I'm slowly falling asleep (why couldn't this happen back in bed?) but I'm going to hold on to the creative connection that I'm feeling right now. Take advantage of it, absorb it, create, create, create....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Romanticising

Gerard Butler. 'Phantom of the Opera'. 'Music of the night'.

Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

"Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar"

How can something be so darkly beautiful?

"Let your soul take you where you long to be..."

Ok enough. You have work to do!

"...You alone can make my song take flight"

Yamma. Must shut up and must study. Have to do a case study on 'Sting journalism, news media and privacy'.

It's like being splashed by a muddy puddle while you're swirling in the delicate evening breeze.

Accurately reviewed-Dev D

http://www.hindu.com/cp/2009/02/13/stories/2009021350140400.htm

Yes, this is how the movie actually was. Sudhish Kamath puts it in much better words than I can.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What's happening yo

I crack myself up when I attempt to sound gangsta rap-like (SEE! Even that sentence sounds pathetic!)

I apologise most insincerely for the hiatus. It's been an after effect of too much work (fulfilling), watching Dev D (tormenting) and general missing the workplace now that college is going to reopen (mixed feelings).

Dev D. Oh what can I say about Dev D! Abhay Deol is too cute, Kalki was highly interesting and of course the music was remarkable. But no no, I do not recommend happy sunny children to watch it. Though I liked the ending a lot. So, I suppose I would prefer Dev D to Devdas (though I have never and will never GO NEAR the latter)

I've been topsy turvy of late ("little high, little low, anywhere the wind blows"-thank you, Freddie Mercury. Your songs have always seemed to describe the phases of my life)I'm not depressed, thank heavens. But I'm just in that plateau, that limbo that often happens when you move from one experience into another. It's that time when you've gotten too attached or accustomed to something and are finding it hard to let go even though you know you love the place you're going back to. But I must say I simply adored my work experience and the people there. It's so nice to be needed for the very thing that is an involuntary compulsion for you to do (writing) and to be in a place where you can be yourself so completely. I've met such beautiful people that I'm going to miss not seeing everyday for the next two months or so.

Anyway, I'm in a good mood as of now. Woke up to a call from my aunt who seemed to be going through something similar to what I was feeling. So we had a nice cross-venting session and that propelled me to get out of bed.

On the friends front, K is on the threshold of some important decisions and I wish him luck from the bottom of my heart. I really pray things work out for him because he really deserves it.

I like this feeling of being poised in front of an unpredictable road. It's exciting! Like O said, one doesn't want to know what the map ahead is like. So avoid astrologers!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Masala Time (well, in a new-wave sorta way)

Dev D I want to see Dev D I want to see Dev D.
I don't think I've been so excited before a release (since the early Hrithik Roshan days, that is) This and Dilli 6. I want to see.

I love the colours of Dev D (after the music and the madness of course). Can't wait to see the modern take on a story as boring as it's "traigedie, traigedeee".
And I love the romantic dreaminess of Dilli 6 (from what I've seen). Of course, I've always had a soft spot for Dilli, though I have barely experienced it.
So release your films fast, people! Someone's waiting!

Friday, January 30, 2009

5 current loves of my life I don't think I'll ever get over

I'm in the mood for five. Let's make a wish list.
1. Veg Tandoori platter
I really really really am craving for it. Cauliflowers, paneer tikka and potatoes all smothered in a kind of tandoori chilly paste oh my god I'm going to faint. This must be true love because it has occupied the most dominant portion of my brain for the last THIRTY HOURS. I am clearly insanely fixated.
Something is very wrong with me. I told you I needed therapy. Oh mind, distract please!

2. My bed
I cannot get enough of you. No, I just can't.

3. My pillow

4. My quilt

5. zzzzz

5 Step Plan to get over someone!

Out of popular demand (okay, one person's demand) I have come to the conclusion that some things in life require some sort of step-by-step procedure. In this case, it is getting over a crush that you don't want to have.
During the course of highly stressful counselling sessions, I formulated this plan to get that person out of your head when you can't get them out of your life (or move to another planet). This is for the cases of unrequited crushes/crushes you don't want to work out/crushes you CAN'T see working out/or just plain getting over someone when time doesn't do its trick

1. Decide. It's now or never. Do you WANT to get over this person? Sometimes, some people purely enjoy the rush of a crush and don't actually want to let go. In such a case, you need to give yourself ONE TIGHT SLAP and tell yourself to SNAP OUT OF IT.

2. Make a list (IN YOUR HEAD ONLY) of all the reasons why this person will be so mismatched in your life. He'll/She'll be the yellow in your orange, the whatever jaal colour you hate with whatever sublime colour you will. He/She is NOT the missing jigsaw piece. Maybe it's the fact that you're so inseparable. Get a dog. Maybe it's their sense of humour that you love. So watch Vadivelu videos on youtube.

3.Don't call or message. Really. Out of sight slowly becomes out of mind.

4. Immerse yourself in movies, music, food, work, friends and YOURSELF! Movies work best (particularly Bollywood early 2000's trash/comedies/Pink Panther). Music is a close second. (DO NOT listen to any kind of love song. You will always twist the words around to fit your situation. Rammstein/Dapaan Koothu will do.) Food is not usually advisable but what else do you do when you go out? Especially in Madras!
Yourself-very important. Treat yourself to a hot bath, a body scrub and some Vaseline. Run like nobody's business...RUN from your crush! SLEEEEP. Maybe when you wake up, it'll be a bad dream.

5. Tell your friends not to talk about it. Seriously. The name is prohibited. Enough. Over. Talk about how hot Hrithik is in 'Jodhaa-Akbar' (I cannot think of any female equivalent for this. Sorry, guys)

6. Get busy with other people.
This is not as indecent as it sounds. It just means you have to start realising that other people exist. Like your FRIENDS, hello? Hang out with them. Let them make you laugh. Spend time with your parents. Talk to new people. SIGHT different people. Watch TV and continue the same.

So there it is, mes amis? Easy as pie (NOT). Strict adherence to the regime will 95% lead in desired results.
The rest 5%? Maybe it's true love. Go make a movie out of it.

Of dogs and underdogs

Okay I saw.

And I prepared myself to be unexpecting as I sat in the theatre with a bag full of very cheesed out popcorn, my three insanely raucous friends beside me and my equally chatterbox of a mother. We sat in the jam packed theatre. I was already enjoying myself thanks to a super-long promo of Dilli 6 and some rather interesting PSAS. Hmmm. I'm getting into the advertising groove.

And the movie started. It didn't seem very captivating at first but then...

I was blown away by the scene where the kids are playing on the airport runway and 'O Saya' fuses into the scene, full-throttle. After that, I was hooked, goosebumps and all.

You cannot deny the power of this film. It is not a perfect logical, entirely plausible story. It is not an entertainer. But it takes those very values that we hold on to despite the chaos of our world-the values of hope, love, truth, beauty and infuses them in a tale of good v/s evil. And who can resist the triumph of the underdog?

It's like a great painting. It may seem grotesque to some, poetry to another. And it has different interpretations for everyone. But the end of the day, you can't really ignore it because there's something we identify with it-its pattern, colour or because it resembles a beacon of hope that makes you think life is worth all its nonsense.

The music? WOW (I really can't think of a better word) It makes me proud to just breathe the same air and be in the same city as the musical GENIUS. It MAKES the pain, the beauty, the catharsis of the movie.

The cast? Outstanding. Dev Patel is chillingly real as Jamal. And the kids? Oh my God. They can rip your heart into pieces. Where have they been all these years??? Most of the first half was filled with disturbing images of children living so off the edge because they have no other choice.

The second half was slightly too fairytale-ish for me but it was gratifying enough. I think I'd kill myself if it turned out otherwise. It's not life-changing. It's not art. It's a feel-good film with an interesting non-linear narrative, good dialogue, amazing music and an impeccable cast.

The film overall doesn't define India as such. It could be any story actually. But it does imply the range of the colour spectrum it is.

Overall, a must watch. For the kids. For Dev Patel. For A.R.Rahman. For hope.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

That movie

Going to watch the much-acclaimed super-hyped film of the season that's becoming a fever across the globe. Ha ha, I don't even have to say the name. It's become a byword, a conversation-starter, a conversation in-betweener and overall compulsory watch for everyone. Caught bits of it in office once but am going to properly watch it on the big screen this evening. I hope it doesn't turn out to be like what happened to me and 'Taare Zameen Par'. I expected sooooo much that it I was slightly disappointed. Of course, it was a great film, so different and exploratory- a breath of fresh air. (And of course I cried a bucketload during the song 'Maa') But I didn't enjoy it as much as I expected-because of the over hype.

But I'm sure this won't disappoint.

Musicwise- the world should hear A.R.Rahman's OTHER masterpieces! They would give a him an Oscar every year for those. But my pick of this flick(maybe I shouldn't use such a downgrading term) is 'O Saya'. Perhaps it's all because of the train-like beat, earlier used (at a much slower pace) in my all-time favourite energy-booster 'Chaiyya chaiyya'. There's a certain delicateness to 'Latika's theme' (the humming version) but I don't really like 'Jai Ho'. Maybe if I watch the movie, it might all change.

Anyway, will come back and tell you what I felt. Or probably not. EVERYONE has an opinion about it and you're probably as tired of it being everywhere as I am. Though I'm not at all tired to hear about 'Dev D' and 'Dilli 6' (DYING to watch those!!)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If life was a weekend

Would we appreciate those two days?
Would we dream of our bed all weeklong, clinging to our blankets in the mornings, refusing to open our eyes and cursing the sun?
Would we seek our friends thirstily and make a million plans and throng the theatres like we do?
Would we attack food with as much pleasure and abandonment and claim the TV for our own and growl if anyone steps in front of it?
Would we?
I doubt it.
Weekdays were made for us to appreciate the weekends.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Books from books

Hey check this out! I found a problem to my solution.
This artist Margi Laurin takes old library books on the way to the pulper and turns them into journals. So, you get book jackets and other interesting pages of a book interspersed with notepaper.
How cool! That would DEFINITELY inspire some major writing. Imagine if you get a journal with the Princess Diaries cover or Twilight or 'Many Lives, many masters'. And it's eco-friendly.

Though I highly doubt those books will ever go to the pulper.

I should start making my own customised notebooks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Writer's Block Talk

I am now getting some allergy to all kinds of paper. Seriously, this is probably just a manifestation of my laziness but it's happening and I can't seem to shake it off.

I mean, I just can't write anything worthwhile in some notebooks. I end up doodling abstract aliens or sketching cartoonified girls or writing song lyrics all over the pages. So I end up, taking a fresh page each time...only to fill it with more doodles. So not helping the environment.

There are some books I CAN write in. Unfortunately, those happen to be my journals. Which I cannot use for any other purpose.

So I wind up with stacks of half-used notebooks, which ultimately get used as scribbling paper for exam study sessions (I HAVE to write down the points as I 'study') There is no tragedy for a notebook greater than being used as a study scribble pad. I mean, class notes is good. But study scribbles? My deepest apologies to all the notebooks that have ended up thus. It was not intentional.

Well, I can't blame myself either. Maybe the vibe wasn't right. Maybe we just didn't gel. (Oh I feel a bad joke about ball points and gels coming along. SHUT UP. NOW.)

So the actual work I'm supposed to be doing? Not happening, seeing as I'm getting too accustomed to typing. (Maybe that's another excuse for not working because I don't get the computer often enough)

This is not good. I used to be the kid who loved the actual process of writing. I was addicted to it. I used to even fill up fee forms for classmates.

I don't think that's something that can die out so easily.

Traveller

What is it about walking/driving/riding a bike?
Is it the unconscious act of concentration? The manoeuvring of self or vehicle through the chaos of traffic while your mind travels on a completely different terrain?
Is it the fact that you're all alone in a sea of humanity, faces you see unseeingly, faces you shall never see again?
Is it the moment of privacy, the pause in your schedule where you are forced to do nothing else but cover a distance?
Is it the fact that you are exposed to sun, sky and wind, dusty roads and restless feet, noise and the collective commotion of a city's frustration, ambition and desperation?
Is it the movement in your otherwise non-adventurous life?
Is it the rhythm of your footsteps, the routine of moving wheels, the procedure of the traffic signal, the unspoken order followed by strangers together in a moment of mundanity?
Maybe it's just that it reminds me so much of life itself.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My new best friend

Finished reading 'The Palace of Illusions' last night. Was a much better version of the Mahabharat compared to the one I read in school (sex and violence in meaningless repetition). Maybe because this was entirely from Draupadi's point of view. But it wasn't her so much as the wisdom shining through in parts. The parts where Krishna speaks. And of course, the end was really beautiful.
Another thing I liked about the book is that it portrays the glorious Pandava princes and their queen in all their weaknesses. And okay, they were war heroes, but it also talks about how much emptiness they had to endure afterwards.
Which makes me think again of something. We can't say "Oh, look what the world is coming to" . The world has always been this way! Nonsense has happened, and man has endured. War is pointless-people readily going forward to kill strangers who have done nothing personally to them. Ready to lose their lives for someone else's cause.
Of course, wars are fought to protect oneself more often than not. But still. Isn't the ability to negotiate what makes us human?
It's been happening since the Mahabharat. And we still haven't found alternative solutions? Or even if we have, we still resort to our modern versions of astras and arrows.
And the weirdest part is that it is all written, it is all supposed to happen, as Krishna says. But why are these horrible, terrible things supposed to happen?
Anyway, I have nothing new to say on the subject of war and peace. And there is so much I don't understand of karma and life. I wanted to talk about the book.
My favourite character is Karna. Not because I was captain of his house in school. Okay, maybe that's why. But come on, he's so different! The other Pandavas are so boring-all heroic. All of them are supposed to be so black and white. He's the one who's tormented, surviving such a messed-up life, no clue about where he's coming from or where he's going, hanging out with this bad guy who's so nice to him. This is where the age-old question arises. "If he's nice to me, how can I hate him?" Plus, I'm sure he would've been super cool looking (despite being way too blinged-out with the numerous earrings and all.) and super intelligent.
I think if we'd met, he could've taught me a lot about getting over myself and I could've found him something better to do than waste time fuming with revenge.
I'm sure Amy Macdonald's song would befit this situation.
"I wish I'd known you before"
Seriously. Things would've been so different. Except I doubt we could adjust to each other's eras. I would've had to wear a sari and I would've not been allowed to hang out with him anyway since well, he would be a guy. And I highly doubt it would be possible for him to traipse about Chennai heat in his golden armour.

Somewhere I probably belong

Ever felt like you have no choice but to fall silent and feel the winds of a world within you?

As if the frenzy of activity outside you is the one that is static while the train of your brain moves faster and faster, further and further away?

You remind yourself that you're breathing.

You're somewhere else, outside this body, or far too deep inside. You're either extra sensitive so that everything hurts or completely numb so that everything bounces off.

Where are you?

Are you....?

I may be lost but this time, I'm okay with it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Time is living me

In an attempt to fuel the brain, I am taking a break from Meg Cabot (not much of a choice since I finished all the Mediator books and the Princess Diaries and don't really like her novels). So, besides picking up (and ravenously finishing) Carmen Bin Ladin's story, I also reluctantly surrendered myself to 'The Inheritance of Loss'. I really hoped there wouldn't be too much of description and more conversation, more about people. I think Jhumpa Lahiri's descriptions are the only ones I don't skip.

But I found this poem prefacing the actual story...and I feel like I finally found something that sums up my state of mind. And voila! It's a poem I can understand!

(I love the last line in particular)

Boast of Quietness

Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors.

The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside.

Sure of my life and my death, I observe the ambitious and would like to understand them.

Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air.

Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack.

They speak of humanity.

My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of the same poverty.

They speak of homeland.

My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar, a few portraits, an old sword, the willow grove's visible prayer as evening falls.

Time is living me.

More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude.

They are indispensable, singular, worthy of tomorrow.

My name is someone and anyone.

I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn't expect to arrive.

Jorge Luis Borges

Friday, January 16, 2009

When you're falling

I think if you put your mind to it, you can achieve ANYTHING.

If you're determined enough, you can write that masterpiece you've always wanted to, you can lose 50 kilos or you can become the President of the United States.

You can take your depression and stuff it down the drain. You can take your past humiliation and throw it to the winds. You can ignore all the naysayers; you can be Superman.

But it doesn't matter if you've got nerves of steel, if you're sleepy, you just CANNOT fight it!

Slap, slap, slap. WAAAAAKE UPPPPPP!

Don't hurry, stay happy

I'm in a very peculiar state of mind.

I think this extra tooth is giving me some gyan. I kid you not. There's something to be gained out of mind numbing pain I guess.

Besides the fact that I'm learning to destress and stop chasing after greatness (ahahahaa) I'm enjoying the contentment of being single. Really!

Okay, honestly speaking, I don't know how long this phase is going to last. But I shall enjoy it till then!

As an objective observer, I have been analysing my friends' crushes, old and new. Ah, crushes. Crushing rushing crushes. The ebb and the flow, the exhiliration and the crashing down. And also, the rare exciting possibility of two people managing to like each other at the same time. The 'Jaane Tu..'s and the 'Jab We Met's.

Thankfully no 'Ghajini's and 'Dev D's.

But there's something to be said for detached celebrity crushes or crushes on distant unattainable angels while you savour the free delicious taste of singlehood.

Anyway, I can't even begin to describe how it feels to finally reach this state even though I've felt it fleetingly before and EVEN THOUGH I have no clue if it's going to last longer than this day. But it's there! And I'm alive to feel it.

And no, K, I'm not high but I can imagine what it would be like to be a renunciate.

Weeeeelll, in a more i-love-everyone-detachedly-and-from-a-distance-way. Which is what a renunciate is. NOT.

Maybe it's all because of the tooth.

But atleast I'm far from depressed.

I'm single! Wheeeeeee!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dance Baby Dance

Something's happening to me. I'm feeling so filmy it's not funny.

I jumped up on top of my bed and was dancing to 'Chhaiyya chhaiyya' this morning. And I want to dance some more, over exaggerated expressions and hands flailing.

Maybe this is my spccial talent-the ability to give myself into music and dance Bollywood style with the least trace of shame.

Does that count as a hobby? A hobby no one should be allowed to see and that cannot be put down on a resume?

Well, it makes me happy.

God bless Bollywood.

Next on the list: 'Banthan' from 'Kurukshetra'.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This I ask for your love's sake, Amen

I asked God for wisdom....

He gave me a wisdom tooth

Monday, January 12, 2009

And they'll meet one day

There is a new song in my heart.

It's called 'Mr Rock n roll' by Amy Macdonald.

It's really touching.

And so true.

Life's like that. Art imitates it.

So called Mr Rock And Roll
Is dancing on his own again
Talking on his phone again
To someone who tells him that his balance is low
He's got no where to go
He's on his own again

Rock chick of the century
Is acting like she used to be
Dancing like there's no one there
Before she never seemed to care
Now she wouldn't dare
It's so rock and roll to be alone

And they'll meet one day
Far away
And say "I wish I was something more"
And they'll meet one day
Far away
And say " I wish I knew you, I wish I knew you before"

Mrs Black and White
She's never seen a shade of grey
Always something on her mind
Every single day
But now she's lost her way
And where does she go from here

Mr Multicultural
Sees all that one can see
He's living proof of someone
Very different to me
But now he wants to be free
Free so he can see

And they'll meet one day
Far away
And say "I wish I was something more"
And they'll meet one day
Far away
And say "I wish I knew you, I wish I knew you before"

He says "I wish I knew you, I wish I met you
When time was still on my side"
She'll say " I wish I knew you, I wish I loved you
Before I was his bride"

And so they must depart
Too many more are broken hearts
But I've seen that all before
In TV, books and film and more
And there's a happy ending
Every single day
And they'll meet one day
Far away
And say "I wish I was something more"
And they'll meet one day
Far away
And say "I wish I knew you, I wish I knew you before"

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Distract Me

Ok you know what?
There's a point where you're rock bottom, in this weird place in your head AND you've got this horrible bitter taste in your mouth thanks to fever medicine. The only thing you're looking forward to is taking down that box containing your video game (within minutes you're going to be playing Tetris, just like in the good old days when you're only troubles were Quarterly, Half-Yearly and Annual). You open the box and find that your Gameboy's screen has melted.
I mean, it LOOKS like it. It's all coated with some circular formations and even though it's switching on, you are just not able to see anything anyway.
I started bawling.
I mean, come on, that's all I'd been looking forward to of late! Remember, my big decision and all-to find a hobby, something that would distract me and make me happy and NOT stress me out. Seeing all these guys in office playing Death Race and suchlike games reminded me of how that could be a possible hobby. I mean, it's not worthwhile like tennis or oil painting but it's SO STRESS-FREE!
And I can't WRITE as a hobby. Hello! I do that all the time, here and in my diary and in my internship and EVERYWHERE. That's like my COMPULSION in life. I need to find something ELSSSSSSSSSSSE!
And I really don't know why I broke up with my guitar. I really am too scared to pick him up again. I'm sure his strings are all rusted. It's just after my depressive full-on songwriting phase from 15 to 17, I haven't really properly played. Except for like the only two or three songs I remember. I guess it's because it reminds me of all those pathetic unrequited crush days.
And Spanish! I haven't felt those words on my tongue for a long, long time. Even though I can still sing along to all the Enrique and Shakira Spanish albums
I shouldn't be losing my talents. I really shouldn't.
Maybe I don't deserve to have a new hobby. Because I seem to be wasting all my old ones.
Grrrr. Not fair.
But how could the screen have melted??????????????? It's not FAIR!!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The worst (best) sms forwards I have received

Okay, everyone's telling me to cheer up. I am trying. And how. Don't say I didn't warn you.

1. What is the opposite of Rajeshwari?



RAJESH DONT WORRY!!
Eppadi..?
( I. LOVE. THIS)

2. Vivek calling Mu.Ka.Stallin at night 12'o clock...
hello, mu.ka.Stallina?
MS: Ama...
Vvk:nenga verum muka stallina illana naku muka stalinah? Good night pa
(It's a good question...)

3. Easy ways to kill an ant:
Mix chilli powder with sugar and give it. After having that the ant will go in search of water somewhere near a water tak. When the ant goes near the tank, push him into it. Now the ant was fully soaked in water. It will go to dry himself near fire. When he reaches near fire, put a bomb in the fire. Then u admit the ant wounded in the Bomb blast in ICU. Remove the oxygen mask from his mouth and kill it. Ha! Wat a criminal mind!

4. What is the difference between 1st night & last night?
If U sleep on flowers, it is 1st night!
If U sleep with flowers on U, it is last night! a dandanakka a danakkunanakka...,, :)

5. Sardar went 2 purchase indian flag.
After a few minutes d shop keeper was unconscious.


Y ???

bcoz sardar asked him
"Show me some other colours"
(I don't really approve of Sardar jokes because Rabbi's a Sardar and so is the PM so they are obviously not dumb but this one's funny.)

6. Heart is like a perfume bottle.
If u never open it, nobody knows ur fragrance. If u keep it always open soon u'll loose fragrance. So, Act wisely! Gud morning

7. Love is for life, life isn't for love. Love may fail in life, life should never fail in love. So dont spoil life in love, but dont forget to love in life...
(Thanks for the advice..I think!)

8. Tamil Nadu= funny state..1 rose rate 5.00 1 kg rise rate 1 rupee enna koduma Cm..
by girlfriendku rose kudukama avunga ammavuku 1 kg rice kudupor sangam...
(Rice is a good choice)

9. Imagine...
U R in a boat which is sinking.
Sharks n Crocodiles all around U!
Wat can U do 2 save urself?




very simple,
"Stop imagening".
Gud eve ;)