Saturday, December 26, 2015

Charlie- our lurking alter ego

I had to be told by the visibly baffled ushers that the movie was over, all of it including the last syllable of the end credit. It's been a while since a movie has had this kind of an effect, that the blank screen seemed alive, long after the moving images seemed to have breached its contour. The movie in point being "Charlie".
The way it started in an abstract manner made me think it was only a matter of time before things would go above the audience's heads, alienating them in the process. 

It's always about the initial few minutes as far as a movie goes. You've got to pique the viewer's interest and allow him take the trip you've in offer, dovetailing his imagination with your narrative in these precious initial minutes. Otherwise, predisposition sets on them as they decline to get on board and resort to next important things like checking the reclining extent of their seats or getting up to add some butter to the popcorn tub.

So as I was saying, it started abstractly, but with every passing moment the sense of intrigue enveloped me. Soon there I was, moving in tandem in my head with the stroke of the artist's brush on his canvass till the last stroke that led to the incredible painting, the movie was.

Charlie is a celebration of the spirit of wanderlust, eponymously named after its protagonist. It talks about his constant travelling, warming us up to his psyche through the perspective of people on whose lives he's left an indelible impact; enriching one albeit.
So we embark on this journey to find Charlie along with Tessa, who's intrigued by one of his creations with the brush; yup; he's an exemplary artist who makes sketch trophies of people, the only footprint of his available to her at all. As fate would have it, she comes across men, one after the other from the sketches. With every first person anecdote endorsing Charlie, a dot gets connected in her mind that's attempting the big picture.

He's like one of these exotic birds, which doesn't confine itself to one sanctuary. It belongs to the sky and the sky to it, flying mockingly above frontiers. He loves touching upon a myriad lives in his journey, oh so nonchalantly. But never lets to be touched back, in his characteristic inoffensive way.
A zephyr, that bristles its way through the hair strands cozily to leave without a trace.

From the account of the burglar who came to burgle, who he hitched along to burgle with after a drink to the cutting of a marinated fish(ersatz cake) on mid sea; commemorating the birthday of an unlucky hooker who breaks down to only be held by him to be told-"The sea's got enough salt and can do without your tears", we travel along with Charlie .

Here’s this bohemian spirit in all its prowess, stopping a suicide victim with great difficulty to only negotiate a postponement to kicking the bucket. He sells the experience of magic mushrooms and the sight of a cloud crowned peak, to justify the postponement .
Once she likes the new habitat he gets her acquainted to, he barely tries to check on her in a fiduciary way. In fact he tells her how she could just roll down from the mountain top on her Enfield, to an assured end if this wasn’t working. But that’s him, this unobtrusive person who lets people be.

There’s this beautiful scene in the movie, where a lovelorn septuagenarian is overwhelmed after being introduced to the lost love of his life-a nun now, by Charlie. This man locks himself up and asks to be let alone  curtly, when Charlie goes in search of him. Charlie just smiles in an empathetic, un-offended manner. That moment, you understand his reverence to space and privacy- A cornerstone to his nomadic life pursuits.
In another uncanny episode, Charlie advertises his demise on a leading daily’s obituary column to check the turnout for his funeral and the extent of emotion at display. He later tries to reason out with his baffled wellwishers on his hoax of a funeral over drinks, sufi music and wisecracks.
For a fluid entity like him, intimidated by the very thought of settling down; knowledge of another female constantly on his toes is an unsettling feeling with the fear of permanence it brings about. So he indulges in a cat and mouse game with Tessa; notwithstanding her earnest efforts at catching up to him.
And it doesn’t help that he doesn’t have a permanent residence,uses mobiles, laptops and constantly hitches a lift to commute from place to another; leaving behind no digital traces for her.
The movie ends with Tessa and Charlie coming together in a festival over a glass of lime juice finally, courtesy his tip to her about his whereabouts. The union happens in an unhurried, mischievous manner without much adieu, like the epiphanies that happen to us over the course of the movie.

This is that kind of a holistic movie where nothing stands out like a sore thumb screaming for individual attention despite their superlative contribution to the film- be it the blemish less performance of the two leads, Gopi Sundar's ethereal score or the auteur’s  skilful narration of the convoluted plot in an endearing manner. Every element functions as a cog in the wheel.

Overall, Charlie is the personification of our organic self. That part of us that comes alive at the prospect of constant adventure, travel and bonhomie without the need for any form of societal validation. An alter ego that endorses leading a life without an ambition; making life an ambition in itself.
An alter ego that doesn’t delve on the consequences of an act or the accruals of a deed, but lives every moment till its last drop. One that is so preoccupied with living an experience and monkeying to the next one, to take stock of petty things like success and failure. A good Samaritan who touches upon lives of people he bumps into; not because it's good; but because it is cool.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Foot notes

It's beautifully enigmatic as to which among the two is an encompassing entity, the water or the pear shaped vessel that it's poured into.One is the rigid, impermeable vessel that's shape giving
Other is the flexible, skilfully deceptive water, that’s shape taking. It’s in the head as much as in the perceived emotion attached to one's object of musing.Beauty indeed is in the eye of the beholder.

The other day I was at my pet temple, part of a daily ritual. The lord's deity's has pretty much remain unchanged since the first time I'd gone; embellished with ornaments to value higher than the GDP of a third world nation on some days or modestly dressed up to look like a working class demigod on some; depending on the whims & fancies of seasonal festivities. Basically over the years, I've got acquainted with the deity and its opulence well enough. Well enough to not be awestruck and familiar enough to overlook some facets. Contempt or not, familiarity definitely does breed indifference, even to the most amazing of manifestations.
This day was special than generic, courtesy the epiphany it entailed. My eyes directly went for the lord's feet, his lotus feet actually. That's when I realised its nonchalant prowess and the sway it would have on a soul at a designated time. It was ironic that the most beautiful and divine part of the deity, should be the lord's naked feet made of black stone, the only un-embellished part. It made me realise my insignificance in the larger scheme of things, a feeling usually reserved to stargazing.

I was overwhelmed by a stream of emotions that rolled down the cheeks as tears; a moment I realised anxiety and peace could co-exist. Anxious by the guilt of taking this piece of infinite energy for granted. Guilty by the gratuitous reverence of featuring it alongside daily routines like brushing and bathing. Peaceful that my soul had found its beckoning, a higher authority to surrender my ego without much adieu. A supreme personality whose awareness made obeisance such an organic process, The lord's feet that day taught me a lot more about spirituality as a concept in a matter of minutes, than my post puberty life had in a whole decade.

When I was bastardly enough to round off the Lord to generic significance, you could imagine the reverence I would've attached to my parents. Familiarity definitely has bred copious amounts of contempt in this case, all the more given the fact that my workplace ain't different from my home. My parents have become a daily feature in my life, not that it's such an outlandish thing for other people. Just that it doesn't help that I'm a pesky private person, who could buy privacy on e-bay if traded.
So having to interface with dad in an informal space and in an official capacity sort of screws the head in terms of demarcating mind spaces for familial fondness and hierarchy stiffness; that too under the same roof.

Reverence here is a very thin line to tread in terms of parents; given the fact that its exercise happens in an informal set up and isn't as extramural as paying obeisance to the lord, in terms of spontaneity. After growing up, parents become your friends and directing gratitude and reverence to people you have inconsequential tete-a-tetes with; is a strange...rather evolving concept that happens in a subtle evolutionary manner in sync with one's emotional maturity as an underlying thread.

The habit of touching elder's feet was imparted at an impressionable age to me as a part of a doctrine directed at preserving an elderly culture aged multiple centuries. As I grew up; I tweaked the habit to fall in line with my moral code. So I stopped touching the feet of all and sundry based on the underlying rationale that age doesn't lead necessarily to nobility. Rather I fell at the feet of people I looked up to in terms of virtue or as an act of expressing gratitude. So touching my parent’s feet became a regular ritual. A purposeful act of expressing gratitude in the process of receiving their blessings. Deep inside I figured out that; this was a process of preserving my ego by knowing to surrender it at one place. Contradictory?      Well, not exactly.

Ego if founded well is a virtue than a vice. A luxury only the honest can afford. Like other resources it is expendable. This act of knowing where to let it go, who to surrender it before is a wonderful process of discretion which lets one to preserve it, in the process allowing him to expend it manifold times by the leverage attained.

In short the places we surrender our ego, charge it for use at other places.
Who better than my parents to feel humble before. Letting go off my ego at their familiar, yet congenial feet is a therapeutic process that makes me a more thankful individual with every iteration, reassuring them of my reverence and love. In short, it’s an humbling experience that lets me be proud.

Touching your soul mate’s feet is altogether  a different experience. The firmness in your hold shows her the extent of your devotion. The manner you run your fingers on her feet, caressing them radiates passion. The process by itself lets her know in an un-fussy manner,the vantage point you've given her in your life. 

At a surface level, they are the ones we have regular exchanges with- verbal and non-verbal, latter flattered popularly as "making love". So to intersperse a superfluous reverential act into this kind of a peer-to-peer ecosystem earmarked for beings, celestial and elders is a rather cerebral concept.
This barter for solace at a loved one's feet is a subjective process, endorsement to which depends completely on how romantic a person one is.
If obeisance to Lord's feet marks surrender to his inundating authority and the parent's feet exudes reverence and gratitude. The beloved's feet in the romantic syntax, represents reassurance and security. There is no overwhelming sense of the divine authority, a visible generation gap, a spiritual pursuit nor a affiliating bloodline; which makes the act of touching the feet of one's beloved all the more special by the sheer exercise of autonomy sans conventional endorsements.
A pure, unadulterated display of love.

It took me a while to figure out the myriad emotions involved in the contour of the feet that I was tempted to put my epiphanies down. Probably in all likeliness these are mental escapades of an abstract person, who takes pride in ensconcing in the cozy confines of his over indulgence. Or probably not. In which case, there is a layman sanctity attached to the process of bringing down one's upstream faculties like the head and the hands in contact with a downstream faculty like the feet of another person as a mark of reverence. 
It's a beautiful process of bowing down by an evolved entity, a wonderful creation in himself in an endeavour to enshrine his reverence for another magnificent entity who managed to tug at his soul strings. 
To me, feet of an important person is a sanctum sanctorum of sorts-to tame my ego, direct my gratitude and cultivate congeniality. To others, it might just mean a shoe size or a pending session of pedicure.

Monday, December 21, 2015

On Spirit of Chennai- in flood & blood

Source: Dr. Mithun James

Torrential rains to us till now have meant a motley set of dissimilar things depending on our stake- no drying clothes on terrace, no light pants on roads, no school or no open air events. The 'us' here refers largely to chennaites, though could interchangeably be used to describe the hoi polloi of most Indian cities in general. The farthest we've gone to despise rains has been when it's disrupted an ongoing cricket match at a home venue, the single sacrilegious act an average Indian can't tolerate. 
'Rain enough to flood or dry enough to famish, but never rain on a home venue match', goes the popular indian sentiment.

As far as Chennai goes, it’s never rained on our parade. At least, not on the ones that really matter. Even on those fleeting occasions, the showers have only had prowess enough to fell elderly trees or make translucent white shirts obscene. If anything at all, the monsoon has evaded this part of the country year after year snobbishly.

She's been this city, who's always had a dispassionate third person account to an aftermath of a calamity or an insurgency in other cities, through news channels. Even when the tsunami had sprung a surprise at her on a generic Sunday morning a decade back, her fortress remained largely impermeable. Who knew good old red tapism with some clerical errors and a 50 cm downpour for a couple of days would bring her down like never before.
Call it providence or nepotism to north India; but both the forces of nature and fringe elements have hitherto been rather kind or should I say, indifferent to her, notwithstanding the opulence of her endowments or the diversity of her populace.

National attention has always come to her in rationed quantity as a scavenged leftover, taking a multi crore scam or a Kamal Hasan movie’s ban to scream into the national media's ears for acknowledgement of her existence.

Blame it on phonetics or the font, colour or the culture; the north-south relation has always been a plummeting affair. Over the years, the tepidity has been subtly vented out through unsuspecting populist processes like caricaturing, stereotyping, ridiculing and mispronouncing with ersatz entitlement.

To an average north indian, anything south of the Vindhyas is Madras and every living being, Madrasi. This is one intriguing conundrum, that most North Indians marginalise a South Indian as a Madrasi (after the erstwhile name of Chennai) despite there being many other attention worthy South Indian cities than Chennai. Chennai to its credit has been behaving like an adolescent coming to terms with the extent of his faculties.

The spirit of Chennai has been a largely jingoistic concept founded on infantile credentials like CSK, Marina, Saravana Bhavan and Satyam. It's always pitched itself as a middle-ground between cultural conservatism and cosmopolitan trappings.

Chennai has been this lackadaisical metro, content with its runner up status behind Delhi and Mumbai, disgruntled but surreptitiously so. It has all along taken respite in one-upmanship battles between Sambar vada and Vada Pav or  Bessy and Juhu, to keep its glory afloat, flimsily albeit.

It takes a heartbreak to make a man out of a boy. And it takes a disaster to consolidate the spirit of a land.
The rise of Japan after Hiroshima or Gujarat after earthquake being case in point.

The city for the first time succumbed to nature's fury and tumbled to a standstill. Mobile towers short of fuel, floating cars, flooded roads, islanded houses, perennial power shut downs, vestigial electrical appliances  were apostles to nature's cryptic mockery at human pursuit at building a utopian civilization, all of which came down in a tumbling manner like a deck of cards.

A natural calamity devours through the veil of urbanization; turning lands to naked strips reeking with primal ambitions of food, survival and shelter, in the process reducing concepts like GDP, gold prices, interest rates, loss of pay, year ends, audit, fitness, politics to redundancy of gibberish extent. 

When pushed to a corner, the nemesis that doesn't break us makes us stronger than before the impetus; in the process increasing the pain threshold.
Which is exactly what happened with the floods. 

It brought together the residents to dovetail their aspirations to a common purpose of helping the city rise up on its feet again, giving it a personality of its own for the first time since its conjuring. They vicariously lived through the turmoil- limping, recovering and rising along with it; behaving similar to individually insignificant parts of a behemoth machinery, on their road to recovery.

By the time the national media arrived gratuitously like cops in the climax of an eighties movie , the nature’s fury had receded paving way for the city to pick itself up on its own without reaching out for help. This self sufficiency after one of its most cruel rendezvous with nature, was Chennai’s way of reiterating its autonomous jurisdiction to the national media which was content on making saleable vanity projects of sensitive news from rest of India.

The floods helped in forging the spirit of Chennai beyond a cliché, helping it come of age from a boisterous city content on flaunting and finger pointing to a self sufficient one with empathetic inhabitants, who would individually fall to make it infallible.

A city in general is defined by its characteristic infrastructural traits, the political ecosystem, sporting franchises representing it, flagship landmarks and primary goods that it produces. But it always takes a single occasion of unanimous display of ownership by its indigenous population, to come into its own; truly and tangibly.

In the coming days we might go back to signal hopping like apes in traffic, queue up outside liquor shops, curse the sun's tyranny on humid days and wear yellow jerseys to CSK matches as a display of pseudo solidarity.

But we would never forget those dark days when we were there for each other with dogged resilience to see the light at the end of the tunnel together. Those dark days when we realised that Chennai meant more to us than just an address, an indelible identity to relish.

Monday, November 30, 2015

To Mumbai with Love

Visit to discover Indian blogs

He was at the Chhatrapati shivaji airport, Mumbai after a tumultuous flight, a little shy of two hours from Chennai, thanks to the inundating monsoon. If it were tails instead, Trivandrum Airport, Kerala would’ve beckoned him. Heads it turned out. Mumbai it was.
He hopped into an Ola cab that took him to his hotel in Santa Cruz, after much dilly-dallying, notwithstanding the native driver’s hold over the city’s expanse. But Mumbai is every bit its moniker- mayanagari(mystic city),  with its characteristic enigma punctuating across every route, making cab drivers as naive as their commuters, getting them lost almost everytime from Pt A to Pt B, in Pt A, in Pt B and from Pt B to   Pt A. In short, getting lost is a famous way of commuting in this seemingly “GPS proof” coastal manifestation.

His room was right out of a Wes Anderson flick-cosily laid out, picturesque with dim-sepia lighting and an abstract mural occupying a good amount of the wall. This was a perfect place to ensconce in denial of productivity, which exactly was his trip’s objective-“To unwind”.
This was a trip he was saving up since the last few months. He was this classic loner, who felt lost amidst friends and therapeutic behind the door of seclusion. He really didn’t have an itinerary in mind like most people visiting cities for the first time did. 

He was this creature who got his bouts of high from impulsive decisions and instinctive indulgences irrespective of the consequences they impregnated his experience with. Visiting famous places, memorials, landmarks and celebrity houses were passé to his sensibility. For someone who tossed a semi-oxidised five rupee coin for a talisman, when faced with a need for decision-making, the haphazard nature of the trip was not surprising.

Once done with the sumptuous breakfast, he went on Tinder, his new found obsession- a dating application that essentially connected promiscuous individuals on the strength of their pictures. He had met with good amount of success, courtesy his Adonis looks and his alluring ways with words. Mumbai was no exceptions to his ways, he had matched with a girl within a matter of few minutes on Tinder. They had exchanged numbers and decided to catch up at an uptown cafe at Andheri. She had offered to pick him up from his hotel and he was never shy of taking advantage.

He wanted to wear his favourite black muscle fit-mandarin collared shirt, but was a little conscious around his love handles. So, he indulged in a chain of workouts that included push-ups, crunches, burpees and suryanamaskars in the ploughed space between the bed and the study table. While having a shower, he was contemplating the set of topics, metaphors and facial expressions he could dole out on the date.

Mansi, a Juhu-based psychiatrist, his first acquaintance of the trip had arrived at his hotel, half an hour past their agreed time, thankfully so, since punctuality wasn’t his forte exactly.

‘Hi. Had issues with finding the hotel? You look lovely by the way.’, He chuckled as he got in.

‘Thank you. It was fairly easy to come here. Just got stuck in traffic. Seems like you’re beyond the photogenic looks too’, she blushed.

‘I’m going to take that as a compliment’

‘Was meant to be’

She had a nonchalant-one handed driving style which he found to be amusing, given the fact that he didn’t know to drive a car. They were stuck in traffic regularly.

‘Chewing gum’, He offered

“I was expecting on the lines of chocolates”, She giggled as she took a couple of pellets.

‘I’m surprised that you were able to find my place without getting lost. My cabbie was circumventing around for a good time before we got lucky.’, he said’

I would’ve too, had I not lived a street away.’, she confessed

‘We could’ve had our rendezvous on your terrace’

‘And what exactly Am I going to introduce you as to my dad?, she asked,’ The Kamal Hasan doppelganger from Chennai I’ve acquainted from Tinder.’

‘I wouldn’t mind that. But he might.’

They both burst out laughing. The cacophony of FM had paved way for small talk. They were a good two kilometres away from the cafe, but were already smitten enough to walk hand in hand to the rhythm of their heartbeat.

After an hour long drive and endless flirtation the cafe arrived. He got out first and opened the door for her. ‘A jaw line to kill for and chivalrous too’, she flirted as they walked in.

 Biscotti was a connoisseur’s delight, every square metre. The tastefully built, sensually lit and smelt of fresh pastries and brewing beverages.

‘ This is such an ethereal place. Thanks for bringing me here.Mansi.’, he said settling next to her in a couch built to propagate lackadaisicalness as a way of life.

‘Pleasure Man. Glad you liked it’

She ordered two cold coffees with a copious amount of whipped cream, good enough to nullify the effect of the push-ups and burpees. She was this petite little gorgeous creature-almond complexioned with thick eye brows and a pout that resembled a small fish articulating well constructed analogies. Together with those librarian glasses, she could pass off as an intellectual, on the red herring of her persona alone.  

Under the yellow lights of the cafe, he for the first time since they met; actually took stock of her flawless face and realised the magnitude of his luck.

‘ How gorgeous do you look! I could hope for endless depression to just be on your couch.’

‘Wow. So you could actually flirt. I thought you were one of those attractive men who were completely impotent with regards to flirting. Don’t even wish for a rendezvous with a shrink.’

‘Given your height, should we call you “Shrunk”?’, he giggled ’Or how about “Minion”?’

‘Shut up. It’s not like you’re a six footer’, she blushed with her nose tip turning pink.

‘That is a cute name. I’m going to call you “Shrunk” here on.’

‘I’m curious with your profile description on tinder which reads,” Here for Genuine friends. No hook-ups”. Like really? ‘, he asked sarcastically.

‘I just joined yesterday. My friend made me. Been single for a while now since my break-up last year. I’m a little naive in this domain. So yeah. Looks like you’re a Tinder veteran.’

‘I’m no veteran here. Its just simple logic. First look at the tacky logo of a red flame for the App. If that is not suggestive enough, your profile picture farts out in red concentric circles every time you try to match with some one. But still you wanted genuine friends from here. Mansi, my gorgeous shrunk?’, he fell on the floor laughing.

‘Agreed. White Flag. Please stop it man. If not for me, atleast for the hazelnut cold coffee I bought you’, she sheepishly begged.

They left Biscotti and got into her car parked at the isolated parking lot. She pulled him towards her and planted a wet kiss on his lips, the duration of which was interrupted by his gentle retraction to his seat.

‘I’m sorry. I really find you adorable. Have been wanting to do this since the time you  clumsily went about excavating the whipped cream. I’m sorry’, she apologised.

‘Mansi. Did you notice the beat cop who just went past us? Well, I did’, He continued ’ Every cell of mine has been wanting to do the same since the time I saw your face under the yellow light.’ Saying this he pulled her towards him and ate her lips passionately, with the fervency of a marooned survivor devouring through wild berries.

‘That was serene. We didn’t even go downhill. Yet felt like we made love.’, he said.

‘Mutual. It was less carnal and more romantic. Given the fact that we exactly know each other for a little less than six hours, that was intense.’,she said holding his hand firmly with her head cradled on his shoulder blade.

‘Could you drop me at Andheri Metro station. I’ve never tried the metro’, he asked.
‘Sure. But do you really want to go?’

‘Looks like.’

They had reached the bridge overlooking the metro. After a long hug, he got down and walked into the metro. This was getting really heavy for his nomadic spirit that got intimidated by the very thought of settling down. Since his bitter break-up a couple of years ago, he was content with philandering around. There was a point beyond which he let no one in. But this girl was looking right through him like a psychic. His head was dichotomised between letting go and going after. He conservatively picked the former.

‘One ticket for Santacruz’, he told the guy at the ticket counter.

‘Make that two Bhaiyya’

‘Mansi!’, he couldn’t hold his excitement on seeing her. He broke down to tears.

She got the tickets and the wallet he had left at the counter. Took him away from the counter before he could create a bigger scene.

‘So, someone really wanted me?’

‘I’m sorry Shrunk.’, he cried incessantly and hugged her tight.

‘Look at your size man. Stop sobbing like a kid please. I’m not leaving you even if you want.Have your wallet.’, she said trying to lighten the mood up.

He wiped his tears and clenched her hand tight. ‘What happened to your car?’

‘Its safe man. I knew you would be happy on seeing me. But this was beyond my imagination. Your such a sweetheart. Your facial hair and sarcasm are so misleading.’

They got into a train. It was scarcely crowded given the hour of the day. She was glued to him and could actually hear his heart pounding heavily.

‘This is late.Why are you in Mumbai? Business or Pleasure?’


‘How many girlfriends do you have?’

‘Had one. Have a lot of ongoing flings. But looks like I’ve found one.’, he gave away

‘Oi Kamal Hasan doppleganger, are you proposing to me’

‘Looks like’

‘This was a day and a half long-weekend trip and the least I expected was to fall for someone. 

Its severely unreal!’,he observed

‘I know. Hail Tinder’

They got off at Santa Cruz station to only return back to Andheri station to get her car, that was parked on the road.

‘Would you come to drop me off to the airport tomorrow’, he asked caressing her feet with his hands. This was a habit from his previous relationship, where he touched the girl’s feet when disturbed.

‘I’ll consider. What do I get in return?’, she asked playfully

He removed his bracelet from his right forearm and slipped it onto her arms.

‘That thing meant a lot to me.Good enough?’

She smiled ear to ear and hugged him yet again. Hugs were the most traded commodity between them since evening. But neither of them was complaining.

Love You , read a SMS from her after reaching his hotel that night. He kissed his phone’s display and didn’t respond.

She had picked him up from his hotel the next day. They had an early dinner at a restaurant enroute airport. They had reached the airport an hour before his flight’s departure time.

‘I know this is crazy fast. But last time I took close to a hundred days before deciding to get into a relation. Well, It didn’t last. So hours spent on getting to know a person and the longevity aren’t so linearly proportionate after all. So I’m going to take this leap of faith.’, she said holding his hands,’I love you.’

‘I really don’t know what to say. You know I’m crazy about you. I’m getting late. I’m going to go back and give you a call unless you want an encore of yesterday.’

‘Goodbye love’, she said planting a kiss on his lips.

‘How do you decide to indulge in heavy duty PDA everytime the cops are around?’, he smiled pointing towards the airport security personnel.’Bye Mansi. Mumbai would never be the same again. So would Chennai.’

She waited till he got into the airport and left bemused.

She willed herself to not check her phone to see if he had replied. It had been about three days now. She hated that she was constantly checking his 'last seen at' status and yes, he had logged in just five minutes ago. Yet she couldn't stop herself. This sinking feeling to find absolutely no communication from him was becoming unbearable, almost torturous.

And then, just as she sat down in her chair, her phone vibrated. With her heart thudding in her ear, she unlocked her phone and stared at the screen. Finally! It was his message.

But when she opened it and read it, she nearly stopped breathing. She didn't know if he was joking or not.
The message read,

 Shrunk, found an organisation to put up with my shenanigans for a fat CTC in Mumbai. You’re teaching me to drive.
PS: I Love you.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Of Break-ups & Gods

Visit to discover Indian blogs
She was this person who trusted in proverbial good things- Gods, Love and others that added on to the posterity of folklore.
She was this naive deer figuring out the extent of her freedom in the wild, seeing deer in predators and enigma in abyss. All it took was a mild aroma of goodness, even if it was a conceit, for her to be lured into. She was hopelessly bullish about the goodness in men, that it made her myopic to their ulterior motives.

She loved her family deity. Was enamoured by his virtues & prowess from her bedtime nostalgia. This made the church visits an integral part of her daily routine. When she could only see the magnified manifestation of minor good in men, God in his altar was kept at a dizzying height in her mind.
Tall, dark and dove eyed; she was this disturbing influence on the men population around; who were as fascinated as intimidated by the effect she had on their spiked testosterone levels.
The relentless pursuit and passes of hordes of men around, had become a predictable feature like the bout of spasms around her neck. Both were pains in the neck though, one figurative and the other, literal.

She finally cherry-picked a guy out of the herd; charmed by his novel proposal and calm demeanor. There's something about ghost rumors and committed women, both alienate men population. As the word of her being taken went around, the flux of frustrating men reduced.
She took him to her pet church regularly and tried to get acquainted to his temple with equal fervour.

Their initial period was spent in the same un-refreshing manner as every other couple around. Together they added to the active income stream of every coffee shop and movie hall in their neighbourhood. And the time came, where words lost utility in conversations. When the taciturn made words impotent, bodily unison made up for lost frequency at his behest. Her naivety below the belt was compensated by his zealous expertise in the region.
Till then, she was the person who took the initiatives as far as the functional aspects of the relation went; from conjuring to expending on a plan-while he was the laid back partner who sleep walked as if bestowing a favor upon her.
But once they got physical; he started devouring through her with the passion of a cat raised by a vegetarian household, at its first encounter with meat. He had exhibited relatively lesser excitement on the day she agreed.
The following phase in their relationship made her a guinea pig to his carnal experiments in the name of extrapolating love. She was treading through this hitherto foreign path with guilt and intimidation, while he was a sweet toothed kid in an unregulated candy store. It's astonishing to note how an Indian girl's position in a relationship becomes vulnerable after getting physical.
The regular visits to each other's places of worship slowly receded to insignificance. Wall corners in theatres and empty houses became regular features; relegating coffee shop conversations and late night tete-a-tetes to a distant past. She started to feel the distance between; the crevices beneath and the void around.  

Like the mobile phone that tried to own the conversations that happened through it. She was always his means, never the end.

After a lot of musing & bitterness, she pulled the plug off the relation. His reasoning fell on deaf ears. His desperate attempts were met with newfound coldness of indifference, a recently acquired trait. She had moved on from him completely, laying to rest her relation besides her former self.

The following phase involved a lot of unanswered questions and unrequited emotions. The halo around her God had disappeared. She had brought him down from the dizzying heights of his altar, to an accessible vantage of debate; after he failed to have her back when she fell off from her failed relation. He was a fallacy built on collective story telling routine of septuagenarians.
She was this adult, who had outgrown the emotional connect to her toy friend from her childhood. His traits and prowess were a joke she would belittle as childish. Belief and hope had paved way for cynicism and awareness.

She had turned into this formidable predator;that embraced the wild with its intrinsic dangers and saw deer in other predators and warnings in opportunties. All it took was a mild aroma of goodness, even if it was true, for her to suspiciously deconstruct in disbelief. She was hopelessly bearish about the goodness in men, that it made her myopic to their underlying goodness.

Monday, November 16, 2015

His 'ex'pression

Visit to discover Indian blogs

It doesn't matter what left the table first;
The moment taste for seafood goes;
The cooked fish or the interest;
For all that lingers is stench. 

She was puny;
He called her petite.
She was childish;
He called her cute

She wasn't really alluring;
H called her unconventional.
She wasn't really honest;
H called her diplomatic.

She was getting familiar;
He called her compatible.
At loss of words, they copulated;
Made love, He manipulated

With his euphemism running out;
Taciturns became deafening silences
From missing each other;
They had gone to missing from each other

The day had finally dawned upon;
He decided to end their story.
To only be left behind by her;
To end it's epilogue.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Love- field notes of a moviebuff

Love should probably be the most inexplicable emotion ever fathomed by human mind. Imagine something which could be the vast universe and the speck rogue comet.Love is exactly that. It's meaning could be exhaustive, accommodating the entire gamut of emotions and at the same time compact enough to be conveyed with a blushing cheek.

It could be complex enough to remain undecipherable over a life time; 
Simple enough to be mastered before puberty. 
It could elude with the deceit of a downpour evading a famine hit land;
While endlessly rain into overflowing tanks. 
A ruthless miser to some;
An indiscreet philanthropist to some other.
An intoxicant to some;
An inspiration to some other
A irrevocable injury on some; 
An antidote to some other. 
A permanent scar on some;
A badge of honor on some other.
A mirror to one's soul to some;
The wall before the mirror to some other.

I'm this sort of a person who talks in movie metaphors over dinner table conversation. Also, most of my learning and epiphanies have happened at the behest of moving images.This piece is an effort at enlisting some manifestations of love; in all it's glory through some celluloid cult classics that've intrigued and inspired me to write this.

Ennu Ninte Moideen is based on a real life story that happened in a rampantly casteist Kerala. It eulogises the trials and tribulations of Moideen(a muslim) to win the hands of his beloved love interest,Kanchamala(a hindu) for over a span of close to three decades;that only saw their love accrue endlessly . Fate mercilessly conspired in their lives- as the sharp end of the stabbing father's hand. As the apathy of casteist parents who dug their heels deeply in their respective stances. Finally as the the whirlpool, that dragged him to his death. Kanchanamala till date leads a celibate life as Moideen's widowed wife.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona presents love in it's enigmatic opulence. It tells the story of two friends, Vicky and Cristina,who fall in love with the same man; who's life is already spiced up by the tantrums of a reclusive wife. Narrated with characteristic Woody Allen nonchalance, this movie makes a passive endorsement to bohemian sensibilities of a man's ability to love two women at the same time with fervent reciprocation. It uncannily portrays how soulmates compliment and complete each other.
What starts as a promiscuous pursuit; turns into a endearing masterpiece that manages to make one actually root for the threesome.

Punnagai Mannan celebrates the redemption aspect of romance.It reiterates the fact that every end ushers a new beginning sooner or later. It narrates the story of a guilt ridden guy, who happens to accidentally survive a suicidal leap with his lover that consumes her life. With the passage of time,another woman walks in to his life from the same place he tried to end it once. She inspires him to love again.He resists and then eventually reciprocates back.After all,light at the end of the tunnel needn't be of a fast approaching train's everytime.
The movie ends on a tragic note, with the couple getting killed in a freak accident in the same suicidal cliff that the story began from. A testimony to irony, that  fro the jaws of death and killed him at the threshold of another beginning.

Titanic is a tragedy; which talks about the conspiracy of fate in one's life. It brings Jack, a lowlife on board of one of the most ambitious vessels built, the infallibly perceived Titanic. Over the course of journey he happens to fall in love with the aristocratic Rose who's ruing over her engagement. Their lopsided romance grows from strength to strength with every passing mile sailed, for fate to play spoilsport in the form of an iceberg that breaks the vessel and their relationship. Every time the movie plays, our hearts sink along with Jack and the plank.

The Holiday is about two lovelorn women, Iris and Amanda who swap homes to hold their lives from crumbling apart.The movie traces the journey to their self discovery in the process of finding love in their new homes. It talks about the impact of travel and nature on widening a person's perspective. The movie's soul is surmised in this wonderful monologue by a teary-eyed Iris reminiscing about her failed relation-

"I understand feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible. And how it can actually ache in places you didn't know you had inside you. And it doesn't matter how many new haircuts you get, or gyms you join, or how many glasses of chardonnay you drink with your girlfriends... you still go to bed every night going over every detail and wonder what you did wrong or how you could have misunderstood. And how in the hell for that brief moment you could think that you were that happy. And sometimes you can even convince yourself that he'll see the light and show up at your door. And after all that, however long all that may be, you'll go somewhere new. And you'll meet people who make you feel worthwhile again. And little pieces of your soul will finally come back. And all that fuzzy stuff, those years of your life that you wasted, that will eventually begin to fade."