Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Mirage

The promised land so near
He kept on waging the battle
Every corner carefully turned
Every step watchfully kept
He arrives, exhausted.
Eyes wide, mouth agape
The promised land conquered
And then he saw it for what it was
The promised land so near so far.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Some Random Musings

Over these one and a half months that I have been at home, an appreciable time has been spent talking to Sreeni, a friend from Cal. We have had some nice discussions on everything under the sun, right from the typical banter, to cricket, to music, to movies, and to life. It’s been a pleasant surprise to know that we have a lot of common interests.

So, anyway, this post is a sort of a comment on this post on Sreeni’s blog. Being a part of that discussion, I thought I might as well write about it too.

I know that the idea of ‘living in the moment’ is somewhat idealistic. But then again, isn’t the idea of labeling things ‘idealistic’ or ‘realistic’ akin to seeking an easy way out? And anyway, who decides what’s idealistic and what’s realistic? I think, by hoping and waiting for a better life ahead, instead of working towards a better present, we are guilty of indulging in escapism. It requires considerable tenacity and courage to come to terms to the fact that this moment is what we have. I suppose we all have this insight and hence coin terms such as ideal and real in the first place. I was talking to Sreeni about Al Pacino’s famous speech in the grand finale of the movie Scent of a Woman where he says, “I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew it. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard!”

Of course, this does not imply that we go looking for problems to prove to ourselves that we are on the right path. But, I guess it does mean that we should not retreat from following what we think is the right path, just because we face a difficulty or two doing it. I have seen ordinary people around me do it. There is no reason we can’t do it for the entire stretch of our lives. After all, happiness is not something to be bought. It’s something that we have to excavate from within ourselves. And then again, as I read somewhere, “Human Beings exist to be happy, just as birds exist to fly.”

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Heil, Hitler!

Let human beings die
Let Mother Nature cry
Let blood colour hands thy
Throw them off buildings high
Go on, give it just another try

Do that, let me sneer in mirth
He said, "Of Impunity there is no dearth"
Do that to get rid of this dirt
Can't you see that flag fluttering on Our earth
And that star on the sleeve of His shirt?

Oh! Don't tell me you don't know!
Of mind dumb and of spirit low!
It isn't that I really want them to go
But just give him another blow
'Cause one Adolf Hitler said so

This poem was all that I could come up with as I went to my room that night five years ago, when I had just been shaken up by Roman Polanski's The Pianist. This movie, stills from which continue to haunt me, is perhaps the best movie amongst all those made on the Holocaust during WW II. Adrien Brody's performance was mind numbing and the scene in which he plays the piano after being found out by the Germans would remain etched in my memory for ever.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


"Yesterday", said V. "S called me to tell me about it. I think everyone from our batch knows by now."
"I doubt it", remarked M. "He wasn't a very social guy, was he? To be truthful, I know he counted me as one of his closest friends, but I always felt like there was very little of him that I knew. But then now might not be the appropriate time for this discussion. Not when we head towards his funeral"
V looked out of the window as the yellowing eucalyptus trees sped past him. He was still unsure about how he would react once he sees R lying lifeless. The R he was used to seeing was always buoyant, laughing, cheerful, and full of life. But then, as M said, how much of him did they know?

He looked around in awe at the array of lights that blinded him. Blinking, he tried to recall the happenings of the past few years. He had just been run over by a speeding sedan, but R felt no pain. There wasn't a soul to be seen and the silence rang deafeningly in his ears.
"So, this is it", he thought to himself. "It has ended finally, has it?"
"What?", rang a sonorous voice in him.
"Life. My stay on earth."
He waited expectantly for a response.
"Do they miss me? Does anyone miss me?", he thought to himself.
And then it came. He felt himself thrown into a tunnel of blinding light, and the tunnel ended as abruptly as it had begun.

He stood in his room. Unmindful of his presence, his mother went on with her chores. There were creases on her forehead, he noticed, wondering whether they were there when he was alive. Pained but helpless, he looked away. He saw his sister conversing in whispers with his aunt. An air of tragedy hung over the house, consuming everybody.

"He was a 'nobody' really. I was talking to M' the other day, and she didn't even remember him from school", said A.
"Well, I don't agree with you. He might not have been active in your social circles, but he had a whole world inside him. I knew him inside out", claimed K.

R was strangely indifferent to this conversation. They didn't matter to him in the true sense of the word. Just as he had not mattered to them when he lived. He remembered his aching desires to be someone else. Someone who was liked and was good enough to claim his rightful position in this world. He remembered his aching desire to move away from being mediocre. He remembered the long nights he spent hating himself for being who he was.

But it mattered no more. All of this seemed distant to him.

(To be continued)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

It Ain't a Lot

I often wonder about how and why my life is unfolding the way it is. These days when I am quite far from my home - both the real one and the adopted one - I have thought quite a lot about what I would want from a life well lived. So here is the list:
  1. Coming home everyday to a fridge full of fruits - Plums, Oranges, Apricots, Pears. The package basically
  2. Coming home to a place that doesn't ring with a 'deathly' silence. (Sincere apologies to Jhumpa Lahiri for any Copyright infringements)
  3. Having access to all English and Hindi music ever made.
  4. Having access to all episodes of all English sitcoms ever made.
  5. Someone to talk to about books I have read and movies I have seen
  6. Some cricket on television every time I switch the boob tube on
  7. Nostalgia
I wonder if this is too much to ask for. What about just the sitcoms though? Do-able, eh?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Some Thoughts and Some Cinema

It's been some while since I wrote anything at all - on this blog and otherwise. Partly because I didn't have the time and partly because there isn't practically nothing to write about. Just the other day, I was discussing with a friend about the direction our lives would take (or could take, if you wish) . What followed was what I had not expected really. We didn't have to think too hard to arrive at the answer. Maybe this is because this is what we always aimed to do - Reducing any amount of uncertainty from our lives. All that effort and all that blood and sweat so as to rid our lives of that element of the unkown. Now it seems a little too overdone to be truthful. From where I stand currently, I can see my life (give or take some) as it is going to unfold before me. I take it as not being a very pleasant situation. Anyway, it's been a couple of days (four to be exact) since my mid terms got over. Over this short period of four days, I have seen about 10 movies and downloaded about twenty new songs-many of which sung by artists (or bands, if you like) I had never heard of before. The movies I saw include Almost Famous, Dazed and Confused, Wedding Crashers, My Bollywood Bride, Baaton Baaton Mein, School of Rock, and around five more, naming which I can see now is pretty inconsequential anyway. Of these, the one that enamoured me the most was Almost Famous. Strangely enough, I always assumed I had seen this movie somewhile back in the past. Apparently I was under the impression that it starred Drew Barrymore, who plays an obese girl or something like that. As I am writing this, I think I remember that was Never Been Kissed. Anyway, Almost Famous is a beautifully done movie. Some of the dialogues are really amazing as is most of the screenplay. You might say it is another feel good movie and so what's so special about that. To that I would say that this is one of those rare feel good movies where at least the characters - if not the screenplay- seem plausible. William Miller, the name of the character who plays the teenaged Rock journalist writing for Rolling Stone comes across as a shy, protected kid who knows he is not one of them. Kate Hudson, in her role as Penny Lane, is all class. I guess she gets this from her mother, the legendary Goldie Hawn. I guess the chemistry between the charcters of William Miller and Penny Lane is much more apparent rather than that between Penny and Russel Hammond, the lead guitarist of Stillwater - the band that William Miller interviews for Rolling Stone. Overall the movie is quite heavy emotionally and, yes, preachy in some instances - but there's nothing that you can't nod and pass off. I have my reasons to be biased in the favour of the movie as the characters in the movies talk about both my favourite book and my favourite music - them being To Kill a Mocking Bird and Simon & Garfunkel respectively.
Another one that caught my eye and some of my imagination is this movie that one of my friends on campus recommended - Dazed and Confused. This one is about the last day of High School. Yeah, I can see you rolling your eyes and shrugging your shoulders saying, "Big deal. They have been making those movies ever since the camera first rolled." Agreed. It has all the works of a typical high school movie. The bullies, the sex, the girls, the drugs, the 'token black guy', the football, and the quarterback who couldn't care less about the game. But this movie is different from the cliches you might have in mind. Firstly, they don't try and make a story out of a setting when there exists none. This transforms the movie into a collection of anecdotes from the last day of chool, where nothing great happened-just regular high school stuff. Yes, there are people smoking pot, there is the odd drunken brawl, and there is the odd kissing scene. But all of it is in a remarkably real setting. So, nobody dies in this movie. There is no white guy who is a 'racist pig'. There is nobody who is preaching his lungs out to the audience about what to do and what not to do with one's life. This makes it a really pleasant movie to watch. It is wierd sometimes how not having a story can work wonders. Speaking of which, I believe, all of us have similar lives where we would like to have a story to tell where there isn't any. At least I would. But then there are certain times, like right after I watched this movie for the second time in succession, when I feel that not having a story is the best thing that could happen. I would save that for later since this is by far the longest post I have ever written, and I am bored. Also, I have a class today morning at 9:45.
This was fun though :).

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Just A Thought

Just wondering how many of us end up doing what we can do rather than what we want to do with our lives. I sure belong to the former category and it is not a very pleasant place to be.