Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Way too much to do. Not nearly enough time. A long long list of deadlines to chase down.

6th Semester has BEGUN, and look what all it dragged in! College fest slated to happen soon, and I'm on the core organizing team. Every day is a flurry of activity. Meetings, sponsorships, brochures, presentations, management, more meetings, lists, events, responsibilities, delegations, more lists, budgets, venues, deliberation, decisions, more meetings, more lists, pages, dossiers, emails, prints, dirty business, cross-references, more meetings, more lists, horse-trading, negotiations, approvals, authorizations, more meetings, more lists, money money money...Classes, assignments, files, projects, more assignments, more files. Phew!

Life is on a roll. I feel alive. Every last bit of the puzzle is falling right into place. It's all so perfect, it's unreal.
I *must* be going crazy.

Theatre: Broken Images.

Director: Alyque Padamsee
Playwright: Girish Karnad

You know how they say that a book should never be judged by its cover? This would be another instance where what you see is something entirely different from what you walked in expecting. To put it succinctly, nothing you read about it will give you any idea of what the play actually is.With names like that of Mr. Padamsee, Mr. Karnad and Mrs. Shabana Azmi attached to it, one comes to expect brilliance. And the experience does not disappoint. However, it is all executed in a manner that can leave you either mildly confused, or pleasantly surprised.

Conceived as a psychological thriller, "Broken Images" is the story of Manjula Sharma- an unsuccessful Hindi writer who earns great fame, recognition, money and accolades by writing a best-seller novel in English. Having defended herself against public accusations of betraying her own language and identity, she is now haunted by her own "image". An awakened conscience perhaps? Or a Freudian alter ego. One is kept guessing till the very end. Mrs. Azmi being the only character, the play is essentially a one hour dialogue between her, and her own image on an LCD screen. With little or no room for improvisation, the timing had to be absolutely perfect. The elaborate portrayal of a multitude of emotions and delicate voice modulation had to come together like clockwork. And from beginning to end, it was flawlessly executed. The script makes several intriguing allusions along the way. With immense stress on intricacies embedded within the dialogue itself and minimal audio-visual clutter, this one does not seem to be made for the masses. Yet, there is much to be appreciated about exactly that fact.

Featured recently as part of the National School of Drama's Bharat Rang Mahotsav in Delhi, this would be one of the better cultural experiences I've had. Sadly, I could only make it to only one of the dozens of performances that were part of it. I suppose being able to meet the cast and crew backstage, does make up for it. All thanks to a certain friendly neighborhood scribe.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I met Shabana Azmi today. She's brilliant.
Also, she is disturbingly more beautiful in person.

Original(more vociferous) post later.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


The ego
and the cold,
cold night.

Collisions were never
known to be...

this hollow.

The Checkpoint.

Over the last one year, I have discovered a brand new world, in a manner of speaking. Venturing into the blogging sphere has changed my life to a considerable extent. Reaching out to a multitude of  the most interesting people I have ever come across, with such ease, being able to project thoughts, having the opportunity to share ideas, and getting to know people from all over the world has been an experience so wonderful(on so many levels), that I find words to be grossly inadequate in expressing it.

Through this practice, I have also learned what it is like to see your writing slowly evolve, right in front of you. From edgy, angst-laced soliloquies to quiet ruminations. From cryptic stances, to declarative inferences. And looking back at it all, you realize with a shock that it isn't just your writing. It's you, who has evolved into a different person. That, is the beauty of it all. At any rate, having an anthology of thoughts has done me a whole lot of good.

With all that behind me, I'm looking forward to what lies ahead. Something different, something new. Reinvention after all, is essential to life. Cheers to a year of  personal creative freedom, and the opportunity to practice it.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

And they even threw in some Baphomet.

So, the man who captivated me for ages and years, the one who haunted my imagination for the longest time, the one whose wit and charm I have been enamored by and obsessed with, the one who made history with the words "Elementary, my dear Watson", Sherlock Holmes-of the insurmountable talent for the art of deduction...

...is now Sherlock Holmes-The Action Hero in Love. 

And this, is why I never watch movies based on the books I like. The world is supremely disappointing to my imagination.

Amusing Pop Culture Moment of the Month #2.

The fine young women who chose to post the color of their underwear as Facebook status messages, thereby confusing the other half of the world enough to elicit a substantial dent in Googleland. All for a cause, dearies, all for a cause. Spreading awareness about breast cancer was the exact idea inextricably weaved in the cause&effect / intent&result. Sure. This innocent bystander has been amused greatly by the ensuing comments and resulting claims of righteous indignation in emospeak, right under "leopard-print" and the likes.

On the day the word poppycock was redefined, we stood on and watched. In fact, all out of brimming and overflowing respect, a label has now been dedicated to it on this blog.

I feel that the internet explosion has changed the way the world functions, and the intricacies of changing social dynamics are far from being sorted out. Truth be told, I come across jarring instances of the same every other day. From every random pimply creep with a shirtless picture of John Abraham on the orkut homepage(now Facebook too), over-zealous half-acquaintances who pretend to be my new BFFs by the power vested in them by Mark Zuckerberg, the many times that I have introduced myself to a complete stranger only to find out that not only do they know who I am, they also know what music I listen to and where I was on Saturday night, to the fact that I never knew my neighbor of 7 years before she sent me an add request. But what really makes me spell M-U-R-D-E-R is the aforementioned emospeak, which has transcended the internet. eVRyTYm i wk up 2 c n sms tht reedz lyk ds im lyk sooooo pisd, i wnna pt a nyfe thru smthin! lyk, uknw wht i mean?!!! lyk criously!!! "lyk" deserves the most painful death possible. Ripped apart, limb by limb, in slow degrees.And then this one person says to me that my use of the language is "uncool". Stupid is the new cool. Yo! Excuse me while I asphyxiate on fluffy pink cotton candy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Faustian Barter.

Your ages traded
with demons and gods,
the debts remain
do bear in mind.

Even if you tread
the earth like you own it,
it's only leaden feet
you drag behind.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Joy to the world!

All of my world-weariness, jadedness, and other forms of general cynicism aside, eating condensed milk straight out of the tin is one of the few perfect pleasures left in life.

Pardon the title of the post. But I knew it. This being-happy-with-a-vengeance business is making me not just STRANGER, but CREEPIER. And I'm in one of those moods. So THIS is what I give to you :

This, right here, is the reason why my driving tutor quit his job and moved to a remote village. It is also the reason why the rickshaw-wallas in my locality shudder and go poof at sight. And what gave my mom diarrhea, the first and only time she sat in a car I was driving.
I'm drowning myself in The Cardigans, The Cranberries and Garbage. And they go wonderfully with condensed milk.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Quest.

I'm scouting desperately for a piece of music that hypnotizes me. The sort that fills you up, makes the air seem heavy, has you imagining sparks bursting out of the windows and puts the whole world on fire. The supposed Richard Halley brand of music. The closest I've ever come to finding it, is this :

I've been in love with Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 since before I can remember. But, I seek more. 
Recommendations, anyone?

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Farewell To Arms.

Author : Ernest Miller Hemingway
Genre : Historical Fiction
Rating : 7.5/10

"If people bring so much courage to this world, the world has to kill them to break them. So of course it kills them. The world breaks everyone and afterwards many are strong at the broken places. But those that it will not break, it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these, you can be sure it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry."

The book surprised me. After what seems like ages of having read works with too much matter and too little art, too much to think about and too little to visualize, I had lost my patience for Hemingway. Particularly since my previous experiences with him have been limited to his short stories, which I am a fan of. Yet, those were all small doses. And I had lost my taste for prose that makes you hear the chirping of the birds, that compels you to imagine the color of the flowers and the chill of the breeze it speaks about. About little details like the bits of paper strewn around the sidewalk, the glint in the bartender's eyes, and the likes. But this brought me back. With it's rich narrative and almost a constant digressional strain, that drifts away from everything you would expect from a book written about the first world war. It took me a while to warm up to it, but once I did, I enjoyed it thoroughly. The ending surprises you with it's abruptness. It grips you by the throat and haunts you for quite some time. Which is great, because I never liked happy endings anyway.

Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Author : Gregory Maguire
Genre : Fantasy
Rating : 7.7/10

Though there is a lot to be said about this book, I will refrain from doing so. Mostly because only after reading it does one understand why it garnered vast measures of applause and criticism, equally. At any rate, both won it a fair degree of fame. This is one of those pieces that come along once in an odd while, to only be either loved or hated, with nothing in between. It is not a book that can be recommended, for it can only be discovered.

To draw a background, Wicked is the story of Elphaba- a green-skinned girl who grew up to be the Wicked Witch of the West. Yes, the one from the Wizard of Oz, which is probably the single most widely known cinematic product after The Sound of Music. It is about the entire convoluted series of events that lead up to her encounter with Dorothy. Her birth, her growing up into a young lady who would later attend Shiz University as a student, a wry and ingenious account of her days as an angst-laden, precocious youth,  the things that caused her to give up the course and the pursuit of a normal life, her experiences and experiments, and her eventual face-off with Dorothy. Through the course of the story, Maguire weaves a delightfully intricate tale binding all the previously known characters of Oz in a completely different manner. The characters are very well formed, and it all comes together through interleaved political allegories, social dynamics, the intricacies of family, and satirical constructs. If there is one thing the author has to be credited for, it is his impressive use of language and an imagination that leaves you in awe, on occasions far more than one.

Not all will pick up this book, few will finish it, and even fewer would like it. But the ones who do, would  find themselves with some very good reasons for doing so.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Deck the hall with... err.. nevermind. #$%$%

It's 50 minutes into the new year, and the new decade. I'm at home, listening to Lady Gaga(again) and dancing in my pajamas. Also, I'm attempting to leap 5 feet into the air, and simultaneously catch the feat on tape. I have a gargantuan stash of processed chicken and chocolates in my refrigerator. Next, I  shall watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail for the nth time. Which, may I add, is the absolute height of brilliance in film-making.
This is the kind of life I live these days.

Je veux ton amour 
et je veux ta revanche.

Hardy HAr HaR hAR! I will be happy. Even if it does make me... STRANGER