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.


Swat said...

Wow. Am such a fan of your writing. Beautiful just like you. Snap. Snap. Am so glad you recorded that day in words. Bestest memory created that day for me. Thank you for being part of my really special days. I always want you to be a part of it. Always. Swatcat purrs with bubbly love.

..SwatCat.. said...

Wow. Am such a fan of your writing. Beautiful just like you. Snap. Snap. Am so glad you recorded that day in words. Bestest memory created that day for me. And Kunal was such a pleasant surprise for both of us. :D Thank you for being part of my really special days. I always want you to be a part of it. Always. Swatcat purrs with bubbly love.

Anonymous said...

Awww. Bubbly Love is one of my favorite drugs... its illegal now.. bummer!

Anonymous said...

why isnt my comment posted ????????????????