Monday, 29 August 2016

Life and its calamities...

I used to think that life gets easier with time. We learn more about ourselves, we discover our strengths and weaknesses. We become wiser, calmer. So, the going must get easier, right?
How wrong I was! No, sir. Life does not get easier, no matter how prepared you think you are. It isn't just that the game gets bigger, it changes. And it changes you. You settle the dust around you, only to melt in the flux again. You learn, and then unlearn. You fall, and then pick up. The haze stays where it is. You are forever nebulous, searching and groping in the mist.
I am a traveller by nature. I am here, but not really here. Somewhere, something is constantly begging my attention. There is some mystery i am trying to unlock. Some world where my presence is needed. I am vital to its existence. In this astral plane, I have travelled so far and wide that reality mostly fails to amaze me.
I do not know how many people truly connect to what I feel. But what sets me apart from everyone else is probably this 'mind palace' of mine. I suggest everyone find their 'mind palace'. What's more, Sherlock would be really proud of you.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A Life Beyond Now..

I wonder at my travails and perils,
At my existence, at my core.
I resemble it all, I am like none of it;
All ways lead there, nothing takes me home.

So I wonder, amazed at the symmetry;
I wonder at the silence, awed by its gravity.
Nothing feels quite enough, everything fades away;
Anything I touch melds into me, eating away at my soul.

Pain is a cage, happiness it's prisoner.
Life is possible in complete misery,
Or complete bliss.
Never somewhere in the middle, never somewhere too far.

And so I labour on,
Hoping to find me one day;
And hold on tight, never let go,
Until no arrows can find me anymore.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Silver Snowflakes

Light in the mist;
A hasty smile to stop my world.
Everything is better with a little hope,
Every dread bearable with my chin up.

I see you standing at the end of the road,
I see the silhouette of silver linings;
Trying to reach out,
Urging me on through the ice.

Life is hard, hard on kindness
Holding on a struggle;
But there I see you again
Waiting beyond fears and pain.

And then I see it.
Where the road was taking me;
I smile through the last thorn,
And find you waiting by the clouds.

PS:- This is dedicated to Stefan and Caroline, who currently define all things mush for me.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Mayhem in Multitudes: How PK made me stop and look around..

Mayhem in Multitudes: How PK made me stop and look around..: I am skeptical about Bollywood. Weary, to be precise. We, as a film-loving nation believe in cinematic liberty like no one else. We do not ...

Mayhem in Multitudes: Why 'The Fault in our Stars' would never work for ...

Mayhem in Multitudes: Why 'The Fault in our Stars' would never work for ...: The John Green phenomenon. The Nicholas Sparks tearjerkers. Their universal appeal is something reminiscent of Erich Segal. Teenagers find ...

Why 'The Fault in our Stars' would never work for me

The John Green phenomenon. The Nicholas Sparks tearjerkers. Their universal appeal is something reminiscent of Erich Segal. Teenagers find themselves at once lost and found in Green's emotional miasma. It seems like they have spent a better part of their lives hoping for a 'Green'-esque dilemma and heartache. Nicholas Sparks has a similar effect, except his readership transcends all age-boundaries. When The Fault in our Stars and The Notebook first appeared, they resonated with such intensity with a sizable bulk of the reading world, one would have been forgiven to have thought that all future of mankind hinged upon our emotional epiphanies.
Thus, it sometimes bothers me deeply when I myself unable to empathize with the basic premise of these modern-day masterpieces. There is a certain amount of willingness to be manipulated that is required in order to become a part of this world. And I staunchly refuse to do so every time. How could I possibly understand what two terminally-ill youngsters find comforting in each other? Its too private and isolated a feeling for me to comprehend. I would never know what to say to them in life. How could I then understand their predicaments in film? In a strange way, I presume it would be insulting to them to have us claim we 'understand' them and 'feel' what they 'feel', thanks to the genius of a film. I could never do it. No movie will ever be good enough to explain what they go through day after day. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is the closest that any such effort has ever come. Even that is hardly enough. The dramatization of our physical short-comings and genetic handicaps has always made me uncomfortable. We will never truly understand the tumult of a mind and body calmly requesting euthanasia. The abject horror of having your lungs clamp up, and then looking at others to bring you back from the brink of death. We will never truly understand what it means to live a little less everyday.
So, what two terminally-ill cancer patients find in each other is too deep and pure for any of us to understand. It is a thing to be appreciated from a distance, awed at and respected. All the while admitting that our minds could never really connect with their superior ones. That it is their affliction which makes them wise beyond their ages and perfectly in tune with what they need. They have a clarity of purpose which will take us years to achieve, because they have stripped their minds of all illusions and false hope. Their awareness of mortality makes them better judges of people and emotionally ahead of their peers.
My detachment from all things delving too deep into the human psyche rests on this premise. Its not just that I will probably not like what I find, I will never understand it. The same way no one could ever understand what exactly drives my instincts in life. That is why love, rage, pain fascinate us in all their tragic forms. Triumphant love makes up for all inconveniences, sometimes even death.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

How PK made me stop and look around..

I am skeptical about Bollywood. Weary, to be precise. We, as a film-loving nation believe in cinematic liberty like no one else. We do not count our classics in terms of the intricacy of the plot, or the multi-layered performances delivered. No, no, no, no. That's not it. Which one rendered you speechless with laughter and awe? Which one got the loudest whistles? Which one made you go back for more mind-numbing theatrics? That's how we judge the pulse of the audience at large. Its something close to voodoo in essence, primarily because no one knows how exactly it works. But it does. This is essentially the way things have been for as long as I can remember.
So it could not have been a shocker that I went into PK rather unwilling. The last thing I needed was a garish fiesta, complete with too much color and much too little logic. Imagine my surprise when I found myself loving it within the first five minutes. A Bhojpuri alien who comes to our world to hold up a mirror to look into ourselves. How did Rajkumar Hirani even come up with it? Here is a man who has silently witnessed the idiosyncrasies of his own people and chose to show it in a way he knew we could never resist. Laughter, tears, and a whole lot of soul-searching, PK had more punch in its script than any five recent films put together. One of my favorite scenes is the one where PK ends up in a church with a 'thali' for aarti, hoping to meet the Big Boss himself, God. People chide him for his questions and his actions, while they are themselves floundering spiritually.
PK uses reason to explain his continually failing endeavors. He is earnest in his quest for this foreign entity he can neither see nor feel. He is almost a scientist on the religious journey of the ages. He collects data and carries out experiments to corroborate the data. He bathes in the Ganges, rolls around on the ground, walks on his kneecaps and even makes carefully apportioned donations. His patience begins to give way when despite his tireless efforts, nothing gives. The only few fruitful exercises to come out of this hot pile of mess are PK figuring out the defensive uses of 'God Stickers' and his ingenious methods of obtaining accommodation and clothing for himself. He takes the idea of ATMs on the side of roads and turns it on its head, where the apparent needy become the providers. PK's unassuming ways and palpable pain at his predicament are anchors in a film which dangerously treads the boundaries of sanctimony and patronizing. Every time the story even seems close to lapsing into a moral interlude, it is brought back on track by its witty humor.
Watching PK flounder, grope in the dark, fall, and finally find himself and his way back home is akin to watching the growth of a child into a adult. Like life does to all, it leaves PK a little battered, a little heart-broken, a little cynical and a little cheated. But on the whole, PK changes a lot less than he changes around him. He questions, he doubts, he refutes, and we are better off for it. But even after a horror of an experience the first time, PK still believes in the goodness of what he saw on this 'Gola' and comes back, this time prepared and with company. And herein lies Hirani's true greatness. It is he who despite everything, believes in the inherent goodness of people. He is yet to make a film where he does not drive this point home. Never has this been more apparent than in PK, where the mirror he holds up to us is at once naive and sinister. Yes, this is us. And yes, this is how we would look to an outsider. And yet, we are endearing in our follies, irresistible in our gaffes, hopeful in our pitfalls. And this is how I came out of a theater with a twinkle in my eye and a helpless smile. Knowing that my current version was still fixing bugs, while the reloaded version waits somewhere in me to take over in time.