Tuesday, December 22, 2009
It is that time of the year again...when one takes stock of one's life and then refuses to decide if one likes what one sees or not. Resolutions are a thing of past, one gave up making them long ago. You see, resolutions demand some pretence of action and effort. One prefers to dream, and hope...one can always pass on the responsibility of those to fate, or Providence or parents or partners or the company or the next-door-neighbor. Anything to shrug responsibility, anything at all.
One is always overcome by a tinge of inexplicable sadness on New Year's eve. If one is alone, that is the gripe--the disgust and loathing with/at felt at the thought of ringing in the New Year (with a capital N and a capital Y) with bad television. If one is with a bunch of friends, it is always the problem of whom to hug and wish first, if to hug and wish anyone at all. Why do we make a big deal of it anyways? It's not like anything is going to change just because we change a digit or two in the dateline. One still has to go back to work Monday morning.
New beginnings are such a myth. Or maybe it's just the wannabe cynic in one talking. And here one was, thinking one was the optimist. Maybe one is. (Or maybe like everyone else, one is just confused)
2010 should be fun still. One will have a new sister-in-law to look forward to. The now extended family should be fun. One also has the time to be spend at home running around for a much-looked forward to wedding of the much-loved (and the only) brother--which one thinks is an excellent excellent way of beginning any year. However, there is also the cringe-inducing parading of self as the "next-in-line" thing. And middle-aged aunties pulling cheek and saying "now that your line is clear, we should not wait any longer to get you married" thing. Ah well. Collateral damages. One might as well pretend to have made one's peace with it.
One is guessing the next year should give one ample topics to write about. One can almost see a book title "Attempts to Get One Married and Other Horror Stories". Maybe one should start approaching publishers. If one is going to suffer, might as well make some money out of it.
One is hoping to put more posts in 2009 still, so one will defer wishing one's dwindling readership a happy new year (referring to one's readership as dwindling, gives one the false reassurance that one had a substantial readership to begin with. Ah, there is comfort in denial yet).
Saturday, October 31, 2009
I miss blogging. So much that I think I am beginning to make a conscious effort to get back to writing. I miss those friends I made here. I miss the comfort of writing. I miss the joy in the realisation that I have been read.
I don't know how many times and with how many friends I have debated the purpose and pointlessness in blogging. I think we blog for the same reason that we get into relationships, or get married--because we simply want to share some tiny part of our lives with others. Not because our life has been great or consequential to the world and the grand scheme of things, but because our life has been lived. We want someone to be our witness, someone to acknowledge that we existed, that we lived. And when we cease to be, we want our life to be validated in that memory of us that is stored in the other's mind.
Perhaps, it is that validation that I miss.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Yeah yeah, so you guessed it, I am going to be talking about Love Aj Kal. Eventually.
Meanwhile...life has been, well...lifey. It's all been wonderfully busy and banal that I don't find a single thing to sit down and blog about. Unless you count out my newly acquired obsessive compulsive need to play Typing Maniac on Facebook at least 17 times a day. For a person who can neither spell nor type, it is amazing why I would even like the thing, let alone be pathologically addicted to it (in case my employers see this, the previous line is inserted only and only for its comic value, and is really no where near the truth. I have excellent typing skills and my spelling powers are what give Oxford English Dictionary so many sleepless nights).
But well, life as an almost grown up does weird things to you. And I have had to be horribly grown up the last few days. I even get back from work and cook dinner. Please to be noted, I said COOK. Not eat, not order, COOK. But the frugal life of a single working woman does come with some perks. Access to fast internet, for starters. Weekend movies for another. And if you still have a little bit of Culture Studies hangover, the inability to watch a film without being able to analyze it to bits. Even though the last one is not much of a perk.
It was with this baggage that I watched Love Aj Kal. As movies go, I think I have seen worse. It was not a bad film, in fact it has got all the ingredients for a minor multiplex hit--hot looking leads, who play characters with cool jobs and inconsequential families, and a no-frills take on
love relationships. So, then what? Then it is the same old, same old. The meet, they make out, they go their separate ways, and then discover that their happy place is in each others arms, thus reaching the bottomline, “ one true love theory: hence proved”. Finis. Everyone goes home happy.
After watching Love Aj Kal, we (me and the fellow boarders of the house) went ahead to watch Socha Na Tha. It was after that that the AHA! Moment hit. I like Imtiaz Ali films, they are smart, classy and very urban. And with the exception of Jab We Met has these enlightened females patiently waiting for the guy to grow up and realise that they are in love. Nice, but that is not what the aforementioned AHA moment is about. One could almost argue that they are not moralistic. But there, lies the subtlety of the man (The man in question being Imtiaz Ali. Try to keep up, will you?). It is in the realisation that he is not really breaking new ground, or saying new things in his films. He is, in fact, only selling very old wine in newer bottles (This adage is essentially meaningless, you realise that? How is that a bad thing for the buyers, if someone is selling old wine in new bottles? Doesn’t wine get better with age? So shouldn’t old wine in new bottles be a steal? But before you accuse me of digressing...)
Look at Socha Nah Tha...it's a film about essentially nothing--at the end of the day, Viren and Aditi go through all that trouble, confusion and Goa trips, for what? So that they can get married to exactly the same person that their families originally wanted them to get married to. So with Jab We Met. The dadaji says the kids are in love, and in love the kids are finally. And then we have Jai and Meera, the latest caricatures of Love 2.0, the modern age man/boy and woman/girl. They are smart, sexy and very career oriented. But eventually they decide to that love and marriage is after all what matters, careers be dammed. The film began and ended at the same place...they spilt because their work did not allow them to be in the same country. At the end of the film they walk away hand in hand into tall grass, but what about the bridges half-built in San Fransisco and frescoes half dusted in Old Delhi? Collateral damage of true love, I guess.
So as Gee summed up in her usual lucid fashion, our man Imtiaz Ali is only a more intelligent version of Karan Johar. But given that Karan Johar makes considerably more money than Imtiaz Ali, the word I'd use is probably subtle. Either ways, his films are funner. And much easier on the eye ;)
Thursday, July 02, 2009
"Stop repeating the same thing. I know it won't work. I know there is no future for us, and yes, I know that both of us have too much baggage. But you know what? That still does not change anything for me. I love you. I don't have anything to do with your past, and I know I can have no part of your future. But what we have today, I want that to be mine. Is that asking for too much?"
"Listen...we have to talk..."
"You are leaving"
"But why? I told you I forgave you! You cheated on me, but I still forgave you. I took you back, and now..."
"That's just it! You forgave me. You didn't get angry, you didn't shout. You cried your quite tears, and then decided to forgive me. I can't live with that. I can't look into your eyes and see all that hurt and broken trust...if I stay, it will drive me insane"
"You saw the hurt and broken trust...but apparently you can't see the love that is still there"
"That's the problem, I will never feel whole again"
"We can't keep doing this, to us, to the people who love us. They, at least, deserve better."
"But what about us? Don't we deserve to live this love?"
"We should have thought of that 2 years ago...before we got married"
"But I still love you"
"I know. But we can't keep meeting once a year like this for the sex and the realization of how incomplete and broken our lives really are. We are now parts of two different wholes..."
"Yeah...so do I."
"Yes. I have"
"But why him?"
"Because I see a future with him, damn it!"
"Yeah, a future. Something you never saw with me"
"We've been through this before. I like you. I really do. I may even be in love with you. But we'll never work out. We're too alike, too unstable"
"Yeah, and that similarity was enough to give us one night, but not half a chance at a lifetime together, huh?"
"There are other things--things like, stability, like balance, compatibility..."
"Yeah...fuck that too."
I wanted to write this as a he-said-she-said kind of a thing, but when I actually started writing, it made more sense this way. This, in a very rudimentary and crude way, is my first attempt at fiction. While there may be liberal influence of reality (and not always just my reality), no one thing is based on any one real event. Any inference or similarity, may or may not be intentional, but will always remain anonymous ;)
You may now proceed to pass judgment. Or leave comment. Or not. Whatever. (appears not to care by whistling to nothingness in a nonchalant-ish fashion, while hiding her crossed fingers underneath her table)
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Sigh. Such is life. But then, such life is the good life.
There is hope for this world. Yet.
Friday, April 10, 2009
We would watch enchanted as our grand uncles, the formidable men of the house, would build the fire and toss the cashew nuts in heaps into its crackling goodness. This, of course, was done with great panache of seasoned showmen for the benefit of us impressionable kids. We would then watch enchanted, as the cashew nuts, with which we used to play a caroms till the day before, crackled and spluttered in the fire.
Occasionally, one of the more "grown-up" and hence, more adventurous, amongst us kids would dare thrown a small log into the fire, to be immediately chastised by the real grow-ups. But the immediate increase in respect and popularity amongst us lesser (and younger) mortals made it worth the mild reprimand.
The smell that rose from the fire--a heady mixture of smoke, cashew nuts, and a combination of firewood and dry leaves--was made more palpable with the collective excitement of us kids. And just about when we are about to lose our heads to the smell, someone in the grown-up party will declare that the cashews are just about done. The fire, if it was not breathing its last already, is killed.
And then begins the part that was my favourite in the grand ritual: cracking the nut, and of course, eating it. It used to be so much fun to watch the mighty men of the house go squirm squirm-twitch-twitch-and-jump trying to hold the hot cashews, while trying to get the outer (and now burnt) shell-like skin out, and get to the nicely roasted nutty bit inside. (This, of course, even the most adventurous amongst the kids never tried. The hot embers looked mean enough for all of us to stay away!). The whole house would smell of roasted cashews, and happiness.
Smells are such funny things. They are always lurking around the dark corners of your mind, waiting to jump at you at delightfully unexpected moments with equally unexpected memories. And I'm so glad :)
Monday, February 16, 2009
Or perhaps, you wonder if you have such depths to pull yourself out from. Wonder that if you try and dive into it, you will only realise the shallowness that is inside of you. Is that so bad--this lack of distance between the surface and the self? The skin-deep being the only presence and nothing else that is real?
Aren't memories a twisted trick that our mind plays on us? Or perhaps it is only to protect us from our own past selves. It is easy to remember yesterday fondly. To think of our past as a long lost friend, with whom we lost touch with somewhere. Someone you can bump into at a curious bend, and feel a surge of happiness, a rush that comes from meeting our once lost self.
Do you wonder? Or perhaps you are so rooted in the details of everyday that you don't have the time for such flights of whimsical imagination. Perhaps, you like to think you live in the reality of today. Perhaps you even believe that there is a reality of today.
What does that make me in your eyes? And what does that make you?
Saturday, January 10, 2009
To the list of new year resolutions that I made, I thought I should add writing more too. But then I didn't because I didn't want to reduce writing to something that I have to "plan" to do. It should be something that comes to me, something that I do for the sheer pleasure it.