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Archive for September, 2013

I once dated a pro boxer, hands down, the strongest man from my dating history. Yet, this lad never laid a finger on me. I figured he was so fully aware that he could crush me in minutes if not seconds that he exercised his caution to the fullest even when he fumed in anger, even when I broke up abruptly, without any real reason. 

I recently got to know about Ms. Quin Woodward Pu and her brutal takedown on a guy she had dated for approximately 20 hours, now I do not know what is the back story of this and that.

But I realize this. 

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Being a writer of sorts myself, I understand that I have a strong control on my verbiage. Which means I can build you up and tear you down with my words, and while my boxer ex was often cautioned by his trainers to never exert his force on his woman, or anybody for that matter outside the ring; you see my mentors who were busy brushing up my APA, my MLA and my interviewing skills, they forgot to mention it to me that when I use my words, I must too use them with caution in my personal relationships. They told me you represent the journalism profession 24/7, conduct yourself thus, which meant, never pledge political alliance infront of people you don’t know much, don’t pledge any kind of alliance anywhere, never wear clothings with logos etc. In essence, they told us, never stop being a writer. And we never did, do.

Twas so invariably ingrained in us that indeed it is not intuitive for us to separate our individual self from being the writer, as for me the difference between me and me being a writer is a null set. But I still have to understand the effect of my words on other less versed or not as verbally creative humans. I have to assume the responsibility for my words, and the hurt they can invariably create.

As a writer I love the sound of my words. I love to express myself in them, I love the sound of my voice when I repeat my crafted story or when I declare my love to someone so flowerly. But as a writer, (yes, after some errors) I also realize the power and negative effect of my words post a break-up. That just because I have an inherent power which doesn’t really seem threatening in the traditional sense, like boxing etc, it does not mean that it is not as fatal.

Someone said the pen is mightier than the sword, needless to say writers must also understand that the people they fall in love with, and later out of love with should be protected from their sometimes very brutal words. We are a passionate bunch. If you are in love with a writer, or involved with one, understand this person will invariably write about you at one time or the other, don’t take it with the greatest of malice or the greatest of joy. Take it with a grain of salt. As a writer I can too be very creative in my insults. And sometimes go overboard even when it is not much required. What they failed to let us know in our creative writing classes, although not too intuitive should be a lesson learnt by ourselves.

And I hope all writers realize this. We won’t get jailed for verbally putting someone down, as someone who violently beats someone down will. But verbal abuse is also abuse. It can also tear up people to their core. And shred their souls. Let’s just face it, why leave scars on someone’s soul, a soul maybe once you even hoped to love, or actually did love. 

Besides, just calm down and let Karma finish it/god take care of it.

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The Lunchbox (2013) is a phenomenal movie, it opens with Bombay’s ever popular much acclaimed one-of-a-kind dabba (lunchbox) service. Without going into the synopsis. I am finally happy to see a movie revolve around Irrfan khan, not adorned with the chocolate boy looks, nor the rugged ones, this everyday looking man is an actor, class aparte and a natural. Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui are also remarkable, and quiet the naturals this movie demands. If you are from any other part of India/or outside of India you will be appalled by the Mumbai(Bombay) lifestyle. If you are a native, this movie will feel as if a looking-over-the shoulder and into the life of someone you see everyday. 

The movie has all the components of what constitues a great movie. The voice over, the “Deshpande aunty” we never get to actually see, who sounds adorable throughout the film, but with whom the heroine will communicate and share her dilemmas all throughout the film, she is almost like her go to person, with whom she hand-selects all her problems to be discussed. The movie has a compelling mise-en-scene, set in a middle class Bombay and reflecting the ways of everyday Bombay, unlike most bollywood movies, this movie does not have the usual songs or elaborate sets, which helps it in retaining its realistic bit and the romanticism element of the Mumbai life. Except for the time that Ella requests aunty to play songs from the movie Saajaan(1991) upon finding out the name of the man who eats the food she prepares.

The movie and its actors are experts at catching and orienting the tiny details and idiocracies of each of it’s characters. The movie is subtle, and moves at its own fine pace. It has the symbolism of food as love, and reaffirms to the age old “the way to a man’s heart…” 

The movie in essence is truly Indian, the Deshpande aunty cleaning the ceiling fan, while it still rotates, as the woman is superstitious that her husband who is in comma will die the day the fan will stop. The kind of love, so subtle and unspoken without really ever a physical cohabitation between the actors, but develops over food and the notes exchanged via the lunchbox. The observations of everyday life from the protagonist’s point of view, truly all smell as Indian as the Indian monsoon. The movie is real. Very real. 

The end is abrupt, which I like. This movie does not belong to the classic genre, beware not all your questions will be answered. Infact the beauty of this movie lies in its unanswered bit. 

Recommended. And hopefully this makes as the wild card entry nomine for Oscars representing India.  

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You’re casting …

You’re casting pearls without even getting a pork chop in return.

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Loosing My Religion

I have spent four years of my life pretending to love a god I doubt exists, I had spent some 17 years before that going to the temple to please my parents. And now away from a god-loving country and in a country with too many gods to count, I still have a bittersweet relationship with “god”. 

Now, I pray to a god I don’t believe in. I don’t know why I do that, maybe it is the action of asking for something, saying it out loud, and sometimes not out loud, but it works. But who does an atheist pray to? does he really mean “god bless you” on your sneezes. Ask me, I am an athetist of sorts. But I wouldn’t be able to tell you that. 

I pray. I ask. I get. I stay happy. But what do I know of god? and what does it know of me? 

Sometimes when my life overwhelms me, and I let it get to me. I go out on my terrace and watch the stars. They help me realize I am smaller, way smaller. And my problems are maybe negligible. When I have the overwhelming ego to leave something to be remembered by, I remember my footprints on the sand. As hard as I try, they are always washed away, it doesn’t matter how strong I make my castles. The waves are always stronger. 

The universe is always bigger. And it makes me feel small, small, not insignificant. 

Nothing I have will last, nothing I will do will survive the times. But I will still do what makes me happy. I will still love, write, eat and fuss over the ones I love the most. Because to me, to love is to care. It is not a blind ordeal, and the most unforgettable people are not the ones who did me wrong, but the ones who never left my side. Ask, them. They are a silly bunch, but I love them. 

And even when the whole world changes, and my outlook changes on it a hundred folds, I will still try and retain some of my core values. 

I may be loosing my religion, but maybe I am gaining a better sense of myself.

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I recently took a lap dance class, other classes on the menu were, yes, pole dancing, and club dancing. Club dancing? what is that? You see five years ago, our idea of seducing a man was a private belly dance, because let’s face it there is nothing more sensus and sexy at the same time. And now as I accompany my friend for the lap dancing class, as he insists that he wants to give his boyfriend a surprise on his birthday. I too learn a few moves. 

But there is something wholly feminist and empowering about this dance. Hold on, hear me out, before you pull out your moral guns on me.

All types of ballroom dances, have the men leading their women, not so much in other places. If nothing else, twerking, lap and pole are a reflection of our modern day vulgarity, yes, but independence too. And well they do turn the opposite sex, men or women. So what is wrong in them afterall? We have more sexually liberal women now than ten years ago, you don’t have to hush up your sexuality among friends and as a woman you too get a hi5 for every land you conquer. 

But to be a good kid, I too took a ballroom dancing course in my freshman year, ofcourse to acquire skills much needed in the “real” world. Nah, I just took it because I was sort of talked into it. Needless to say, I haven’t much used my waltz in the real world yet.  But while my old friend at college, tells me she just registered for her last semester, add ballroom dancing to it. I am struck with a possibility. 

Isn’t it time options of Pole Dancing, Lap and even Belly be added in the college curriculum. Look at the dance department at any university, and you will find the normal ballet, tap, jazz, west african and waltz, for a more general study ballroom will be opened to the non-dance majors. Yet, why isn’t anyone teaching lap or pole? What is the difference between a wall streeter who sleeps with all his/her bosses to progress in his/her career and a prostitue who dances around a pole and makes fuck to the highest bidder by the end of the night. 

A degree? 

And mind you, I am not by any degree bitter at either. 

You could argue, that an individual who puts themselves thru college don’t have prostitution on their future agendas. But count me the amount of sugar babies in any given graduating class, and mind you I have known some with higher GPAs than the ones whose real daddy or loans paid for their education. So why aren’t we going with the times?

Because, the times they are changing’

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I have friends who are starting new businesses, portfolios and even movies. They all have varied interests, and they all come from different backgrounds. Yet, most of them have one thing in common, they all want me to like their pages on facebook. And I know, I am not the only one they pursue. There are plenty they chase too.

And I mean really?

Not just their pages, but pages of people who are their relatives by marriage! 

Friend: Hey are u still outta FB?

Me: yup, why?

Friend: wanted u to like a page.. my bro in law is making a movie 😛 but any way

Me: Ahan

Although I end at “ahan” what I really really mean is, pretty please don’t do this to me. Yes, I know my one like doesn’t make or break you. But I really maybe don’t like it. Heck I don’t even know what your soon to be very lucky brother-in-law is about to make in the name of a movie. And what do I say? maybe I am a very conceited cinephile? Or atleast let me watch it first to like it and recommend it later?

Then come the party promoters. Who want you to invite everyone on your list to the ladies wednesday nights. No thank-you! The music makers. No I do not understand your shred! I really can’t even tell good from better, or your best work from your worst tracks. And you want me to follow you around and get mindless group updates?-that I never actually check. Not only that, first you make me like your page, and then ask me my opinion on something I honestly have no clue about. 

Same goes for some girl-friends, some too shameful to ask for likes on their pictures! “Hey, can you like my profile picture on facebook?”

Really? No, seriously. Really?

How can you stoop that low?
Like.. like.. no man!
Now, when you don’t like the aforesaid content requested by all these people above, not only do you feel guilty and a half-assed “friend”, you actually feel like an asshole.

If you checked the history of my facebook likes, I am also guilty of liking one too many wedding pictures and baby pictures, as a way of saying “congratulations” when in all honesty, knowing atleast one of the two people getting married, I am aware it is an absolutely ridiculous idea. But I will like it. Sometimes I will like a friend’s couple’s picture even when the relationship is only going in one direction, and thats down south. Yes, yes, just to make their girlfriends happy. 

The worst of all of this is the RIP Grandma statuses, with some 187 likes? I don’t know what to do when situations like that arises. Is this a dark popularity contest? I mean how morbid is this? Whose dead grandma got the most likes and comments? I don’t even know how to react to those, but send in a personal message to the one who made the status offering support and condolences ie if I know them like that. Alrite, I understand facebook like any other social media is often used to inform and update people in one go. But I do not understand the like phenomena.

I am guilty and charged. I am guilty of liking the FB pages of the books written by professors I never read, but who are just handsome unattainable men. I am guilty of liking kids I honestly don’t find cute, but I know their parents do, like all parents do. Or even wedding pictures that are guaranteed to fall apart within years if not months. No, I don’t wish them bad. Couple’s pictures that are just liked to calm down edgy jealous girlfriends. Yes I do this and more.
But what I do more than anything else these days is, stay away from Facebook. 

Because I figured, the best way to not lie is not be around a like beggar. 

 

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I love this scene, because this is real. It is a direct attack at India’s corrupt judiciary circus. It is true, you can’t send them on trial here. It is futile. You can’t fight them, the media screams, the people march all over the fucking place with candles in their hands, the trials run their errands and rounds. And in the end? They all get to get away. This dialogue is so surreal. I am in love with it.

(Kapoor, Rishi, perf. D-Day. Advani, Nikhil, 2013)

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