Monthly Archives: December 2008

Contentment..a lovely feeling

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I have wondered from time to time what contentment would feel like?, you know its like trying to define your Utopia, or your idea of it. 

 

Being from one of middle class traditional hindu families, I have never celebrated festivals like Id or Christmas, not even socially have I got to celebrate these, as my circle of friends which was almost non existent did not celebrate them either. So holidays to these festivals was spent at  home doing nothing, or just doing the left out errands. This time Christmas was slightly different.

 

One of my cousins had come down to India, from the US. He is one of the people whom I have been very close to, he lived with us for about an year, and also as kids we have always bonded, over games and the innumerable fights we have had. Anyways, he had come down, and we decided to host a get together party for him and his wife at our house. It was supposed to be just our first relatives, all my father’s brothers and sisters and their families. With few people out on their annual vacation, the count had come down to around 20 of us. Me being a little too held up at work, was kind of not in the party mood.

 

People started trickling in from morning, even though the plan was to meet for lunch. Its fun talking to my uncles, and aunts, I have always loved my conversations with them, its always filled with laughter. There is something amazing about a loud laughter coming from old people, its like telling us whats wrong with you, when we after seeing so many ups and downs in life can laugh our hearts out, why can’t you young ones do it.  There is this is mystical feel to the laughter, when it is around people you care, you begin to get sucked into it. So the grumpy me kind of eased into the day, with chuckles and by mid day I was laughing out loud.

 

Food is always a big thing in our households, as most of us do enjoy eating. You can be eating a common dish, something you eat everyday, but you put some 20 laughing mouths in a hall, and feed them something even ordinary, it begins to taste heavenly. And when it comes to good food, in such an environment, the feeling you get is just truly unexplainable. So there I was eating an extra helping out of my plate, a dish which I generally do not prefer, feeling the taste on my tongue. As I was looking at people whom I have hated and loved at times, with kids around enjoying one of the odd occasions when they get to be pampered by us, lunch kind of just moved up a couple of notches in my view.

 

The evening too ended up being an open court, for hot topics, ranging from religions beliefs, to finance, to even gender bias and divide. Of course nowadays none of the discussions at my house can end without bringing up the topic of my marriage, or the idea of possible suggestions for a suitable bride. Anyways it so happened that this day, it kind of hardly bothered me.

 

At the end of that day, when I went to bed, I had a thought in my head, how amazing contentment feels like.

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Books, Movies, etc

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I have been highly irregular with respect to blogging these days, and the worst part was that, when I read posts on my reader, my mind was too restless to even consider reading the entire post. Reason, a very hectic schedule at work and wierd timings making it even more unbearable.

Anyways mood today has been great, and I guesss its time I spoke about what I have read and what I have seen over few weeks. I tried to diversify my interests in books, picking up things unknown, and on various subjects, and results have been a mixed bag.

Into thin air – John krakauer
I picked up this one, some time back, thinking this was on of the books by “On the Road” author, but when I came home and found out it wasn’t I had kind of slipped it to back of my shelf. One of these days, I picked this up from the shelf, and started reading, this is about the toughest season of the mount everest climb, and a real life travel memoir, if you want to say that. To say the least, I loved the book, A genre I had never read before, I could picture every single detail the author had highlighted about the climb and the descent. The feeling of the pain, the hardships, the joy of the climb, is very well told. I guess a very good read.

Lunatic in my head – Anjum hasam 
I think I had read about this one some time back on Piya’s blog, and it was on back of my mind, and when I saw the book during the landmark sale, I just picked it up. This one is set up on the backdrop of north east India, Shillong to be particular. I generally like these kind of books, because it gives a great insight to lifestyle of people from different parts. This is inter woven collection of three stories all interlinked in a way, which you realize as you get deeper into the book. I felt the book was pretty average, and I continued to read it only because I had started it, through out the book at no place I felt excited to continue reading. So I guess all in all pretty disappointing venture.

The ninth life of Louis drax – Liz Jensen
This was a book I picked up totally based on my instinct, this was again a genre which I had never attempted before, a psychological supernatural thriller. I agree this isn’t a thriller as the cover claims, and neither supernatural in the true sense, but then a very effective one. Even though it is not one of those books, which you can take away a lot from, but then a book which kept me excited about what happens next kind of way. I felt they could have emphasized a lot more on the emotional aspect of the story, but then may be the author wanted to write more of a thriller. One of those books which can be easily turned into a movie.
 

Speaking of movies, I have been watching a lot these days, both English and Hindi, like books they too have been a mixed bag for me.

Annie Hall
I have never seen a Woody Allen movie before, and this was my first experience of him. I knew he was a ‘different’ film maker, somehow I had never watched his movies. One thing I loved about the movie was the narration style, something I found unique with the movie. The idea of the characters breaking of from the story to speak to the audience excited me. His choice of subject was also extremely good, trying to show the complex intricacies in a relationship. However I thought, the screen play could have been better, and also the story could have been a little more. Final feeling, good, but nothing great.

Romance
One thing that caught my attention was its tagline “Love is desolate. Romance is temporary. Sex is forever”. I wanted to take the risk, it could one of those shady porn movies, or something which really talks about the subject of isolating romance from the physical relationship. Idea of a man loving a person just for love, and having an aversion to the sexual relationship kind of intrigued me. At the same time, idea of a woman, who wants to consummate in her relationship, but having to just settle for someone else, just for the sake of ‘it’ also excited me. It does have a lot of nudity, unimaginable to watch with friends or family, or even your partner if you were me, but then I would still watch it for the concept.

Kung Fu Panda
I am a big animation fan, and this was on my must watch list from a long long time. Idea of Kung Fu, and an animal kingdom setup somewhere in china, was a big draw. Some sequences in the movie are too good, the fight sequences are very well animated, specially the one involving chop sticks and the momos. But the story is a big downer, nothing special, in a way passable movie

2 days in paris.
I saw the movie, only for one reason, Julie Delpy, the director and actress in the movie, she is the leading lady from the movies Before sunrise/sunset, both movies which I like a lot. This is an English movie, and has a lot of French in between, many dialogues I couldn’t make out at all, and in a conversation based movie [which I love always], I felt miserable not able to make out what they were really talking about. Anyways as I did not get most of the movies, I will refrain from commenting about the movie 😀

Oye Lucky Lucky Oye
A surprisingly likable movie, is how I would put it. The actors have done a great job, the actress looks beautiful even though she is just for few scenes, and has pretty much nothing to do, after a long time I felt her as someone genuinely my type ;). The real winner of the movie is screenplay and its slick editing, not even once I felt bored, or had no urge to even go fetch something to eat. Even though the story is ordinary, the treatment given to it is high class. The other big plus point in the movie, is its casting, if they had gone for some star, I think it would have ruined the mood of the movie. If any of you have liked movies I have liked before, you would love this one.

Dil Kabaddi
A boring movie and a complete dud, I kind of lost interest after first 30 minutes, and kind of lazily skipped the rest of the movies, just listening to dialogues, as i read few blogs, and chatted with my friends on gtalk. One good new thing in the movie is that, for the first time, I see a commercial hindi cinema, isolating sex from relationship, and treating it as just another aspect of human life. Causality with which the subject is dealt with throughout the movie is definitely a new thing in this movie. One advice though, please do give this movie a skip, totally not worth wasting your time.

Sorry Bhai
A movie which got good reviews, so kind of had low expectations from it. The movie is very slow, very less story, not great dialogues, and average music. 3 good things in the movie though, 1. Sharman Joshi, I think he has given a very honest performance, kind of liked his acting in this one. 2. The leading actress, Chitrangada singh looks too good, and again, 2nd person to get into my list, which seems to be easily accepting people now a days. 3. Wit in Boman Irani’s dialogues, some of them are genuinely funny, and some over the top.
What would have really made this a great movie, would be some really interesting conversation between the lead pair, I mean these kind of emotional movies, need good words, and deep ones, somehow I found that was lacking in the movie.

Accidents

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Some relationships end in an accident, and some begin with one.

Wait, may be not accident..more like incident..

po-teh-to, po-tah-to does it really matter?.

Worse are those relationships, which end up becoming one.

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Guys look whose there on my blog pure pursuits..checkout the insider’s view.

Random Randomness #50/08

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Random Shocks:
I am one of those people who hardly get any surprises in life, kind of one who has a predictable days, day after day. Forget pleasant surprises, I seldom have unpleasant ones either, not that I want one. Today I kind of had one of the worst shocks in life, imagine being called in the middle of your lunch, by your company’s country president’s PA, and being told he wants to meet you immediately. Yep Immediately was her choice of word, and with layoffs being the flavor of the season everywhere, it was the worst shock I could every get. 

Let me tell you this guy has never met me in my almost five year stay with this company. The next 10 to 20 minutes were the worst feeling I had ever. Anyways it turned out to be a surprise and not a shock, and a pleasant one. All is well that ends well right :).

Random feelings:

Currently I have been watching two sitcoms on my laptop, both having different age group for central themes. One is set up around the teenagers life, “That 70’s show”, and the other about married guy’s humorous take on life, “Everybody loves Raymond”. When I watch an episode of ELR, I relate to his character so much, it gives me a feeling that I might be becoming a family man, makes me wonder why I like the kids humor so much, is it the time?, kind of questions.

Then I switch to an episode of 70’s show, I kind of fall back decades and feel so into the teenage life, the angst of the crushes, the tryst with booze, everything. Amazing way to be young and old at the same time

 

Random realizations:
Speaking of young people, have you ever felt teenagers are so very young?, if you have I think you are hitting your quarter life crisis. I guess I shouldn’t be ashamed to say I have hit one :). Just the other day I asked someone their age, and 19 came the reply, instantly I felt, wow 19, so young. What happened to me people?, I was one such, young 19 year old, when did I grow this old?.

 

 Random fears:
Speaking of  getting old, lately I have had a feeling that I am afraid, I am not sure of what, I am not sure from when. I guess I have been afraid of things from a long time. I do project a sense of cowardice, don’t I?. But to be honest, it is true, somehow I am afraid of doing things which are new, I don’t like to just accept unknown things.  Given a situation, I seem to be looking at, what bad can happen in it, rather than thousands of good things which can come out of it.

 

Random Repeats:
Here’s how a typical conversation repeats
I am so and so, from so and so company, you have been chosen for a free <fill in any commodity here>, it has these these facilities, can I ask our agents to call you for providing further details”. I would reply “sorry, I am not interested”, I will get the reply “why ma’am?

Ma’am???  Every time, either they have to get their ears checked, or I have to change my mobile phone or the network. How the hell does my voice sound feminine. Let me clarify, I have a slightly hoarse voice, still people think that I am woman. 

It never stops puzzling me.

Leftovers

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From where I sit, the place looks a little pale, one of those café’s which has kind of lost its race with its neon glittering, over crowded counterparts. I assume, the place must have had its loyalists, but today not many seem to be around. May be it had to do with the hour of the day. The grand clock on the wall, showed a little past 10. It was that time of the day, when it was well past breakfast but a little away from lunch. Not many people hang around the old time café’s during this hour of the day, unless they are one of those who hang out buried in a book or a laptop. But today I can see none around, it is just me.

I lay there, on an empty coffee table, with fresh stains of leftovers around me, living me with a feeling, that may be I am one too, a stain, a leftover stain. 

A sudden gush of wind caught me off guard, turning a few pages backwards, taking me along.

I can see an young man, may be in his late teens. The impatience of the youth eminent in the rhythmic noise his cell phone made, with its every touch, to slightly damp surface of the table he sat at. The morning dew formed a layer of tiny droplets, giving a fresh and bubbly look to the otherwise worn out table of the yesteryear’s. I guess he was waiting for a text or a call, he made it a point to flip open his cell phone, in case his mobile forgot to signal him, when whoever he was waiting for, made a contact. He spent a really tough 90 minutes here, occasionally sipping a cuppa, or a vigorously tapping of his legs firmly onto the ground for a few minutes and then getting back to his monotonous and frustrating wait. Finally, after about what it seemed like an infinite wait, his phone is ringing. 

I am being an eavesdrop today and picking up the eager voice the guy is sporting, 

“I think today is the day, I ought to tell her, I need to come out of the hiding, its been weeks since I have been leaving her gifts, things I am sure she has enjoyed, leaving her with words which she cherishes the most, I have been giving her clues to find a way to me. This has got to end today, in fact this should have ended by know, its well past her time here, and here I am waiting, with no trace of her”

Ah the wind yet again, as though it does not want me to revisit the whole of it. Taking me forward, well past the lunch, right into the time of the day I love the most, the dusk.

I see her, a lady well past her prime, hair crowned with a bunch of gray wisdom. There is something about her eyes, burning red in color, and swollen out of their sockets, indicating sleepless nights or hours of crying. Her face looks void of emotions though. She does not look like a regular here at all, this was not the time the or the place for a person of her age. I surprisingly see a sense of fitting in, as though she has accepted this. I see her reaching to her bag pulling out a plastic bag, it seems to be loaded with things which I cannot see from where I sit. I wait in hope that she pulls things out one by one, just when she is about to get the first item out, I see a young girl approaching her. I guess she must have been here to meet her young friend, I prognosticate.

Now that I can here their conversation, I let myself flow to into her voice

“Oh I am not sad at all, I know she left us happily, after years of struggling, I had given up the hope that I would see her smiling again, but something changed in the last few days, she seemed to be happy, may be it had something to do with this bag I found below her bed, may be this is where she hid  all her happiness, I guess I met you at the right time, I would be really happy to see her last bit of happiness being spread across the numerous children at the orphanage which you guys used to visit, I guess she left us with no regrets.”

The powerful wind at its work again, behaving as though it exactly knew the cue when to turn the pages over, and interrupt my narration. 

I lay there, on an empty coffee table, with fresh stains of leftovers around me, living me with a feeling, that may be I am one too, a stain, a leftover stain.

Untrue.

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I knew instantly,

The day,

That began

With a lovely dawn,

was not the beginning,

Of a lovely spring,

Rather,

It was an onset

Of the tropical days,

To follow

 

I knew instantly,

The the first sect,

That  began,

With a great philosophy,

Was not the beginning,

Of a lovely thereafter,

Rather

It was an onset

For a number of them

To follow.

 

I knew instantly,

The first discovery,

That was made,

With a love for peace,

Was not the beginning,

Of a comfortable life,

Rather

It was an onset,

For bloodshed and violence,

To follow

 

I knew instantly

That the first baby,

That was conceived,

Into this lovely world,

Was not the herald,

Of a flourishing mankind,

Rather

It was an onset,

For the hatred and terror

To follow.

 

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I have hardly written anything negative, specially when it comes to poetry, basically I am one of those types who believes if I keep avoiding the bad, it will somehow go away, yes you could call me an escapist. Couple of people asked me how come I never wrote about the Mumbai attacks, I did not, and I really did not want to, because I do not want to be that guy who writes about things and then slowly with time forgets the terrible act against mankind.

Today here I have written something, and for the first time, I really want every line of this poem to come out false. And I am sure each one of you want these lines to be untrue, down to each word.

The topic over at Sunday Scribblings this week is “I knew instantly”, and here goes my attempt

 

On a totally different note, when I was thinking of what the poem should be titled I came up with untrue, but it lead me to a confusion of sorts, why untrue, why not call it False..I am not able to pin point the difference, but untrue speaks a whole lot of other words, then false..doesn’t it?