Viral Pandya – That sounds like a really cool name

Yesterday afternoon, a colleague of mine asked me

“Machaan, have you heard of Viral Pandya (he pronounced it right..not like viral as in viral fever)”

I was like “Ya man…I’ve heard this name. Isn’t he some famous advertising dude.” Pardon me man, because my networking skills are really bad.

But I had heard of you…as this really kickass art guy who has won a lot of awards and all that.

But then he showed me your post.

And I was shocked. Like in Rangeela…Aamir says no..”I shocked”..ya..that kind of shocked.

I was shocked at various levels. Actually not shocked, but some mixed emotions.

One was…shit..why is this famous art guy accusing us of something which is totally baseless.

But then I thought about it from your point of view.

Yes. I admit..it does give you some kind of kick when you spot the original of something. Something that is generally popular. Like even when we suddenly spot the original version of a song or a TVC or a scene in a movie or a picture…we go like..”Dude…check what I spotted. and everyone gushes and bitches about it for sometime. I agree it’s fun. It’s a kind of a kick.”

So let’s leave that part.

But usually we do that with a few set of people we know…in private. Laugh about it.

But you decided to post it on FB. But that’s ok. It’s your wall. You can do as you please.

Infact, I am quite motivated by what you did. See how influential you can be man. I am also planning to post this on my wall, after completing this. I mean what the hell. If you feel something, you should say it. Say it openly.

But then you jumped the gun. Shot off your mouth. We all do it.

And when we realize we screwed up, we kind of shut up. Tuck our tails back…and say sorry whatever and get back to life.

So when we told you the actual story of what really happened, we expected you to kind of shut up, tuck your tail and get back to life.

But no. You seem to be of another type. This part onwards is when we start feeling a bit puzzled. Because dude, you are not like us normal folk.

Then we realize, oh yes, you are different. You are trained to think ‘out of the box’.

I really became inquisitive about you. So I googled about you. And stumbled upon some of your ads.

I must admit. Some of them are quite mind blowing. And yes, I share your feelings on this one. It’s sad that they had to be with strange logos. Like I wish the world got to see it. So much effort gone into it. But sadly, it’s only earning you awards.

Like the one where you have so painstakingly arranged grains, lentils and all, and it forms the image of a dog. And it’s about Vegetarian food for dogs, for some ‘SM Store’ in Pitampura.  I thought it was quite kickass. I mean so what if this kind of a treatment has been done some zillion times where small small things are arranged, and the larger picture is then something else. Just out of curiousity…what was this? A poster? If it was, then was it instore. I don’t think so. Because if it was then the ‘Pitampura’ is totally unnecessary. Because they are already there. So it’s pointless. But if it was for other places outside the store. Then don’t you think its kind of too small to read. Ya, I agree it will totally screw up the layout. It’s for awards right. Then fine, because they usually see it from close quarters.

Sorry, I digressed. Ya, I also came to know you are the jury member for One Show. Yipeeee…congrats on that. It must be quite a proud feeling.

Just out of my experience, I want to just point out a few things. I don’t know much about awards and all. I haven’t won many. Since you are into it big time, I just wanted you to know a few things. What I hear from other industry folk, it’s a bit sad for some of them.

Apparently, a lot of young interns from art schools are engaged in doing these things. these pain staking things like arranging those grains and all. They sit and slog for many days doing that. Of course the idea isn’t theirs. They are only used for executing it. Because the ones who come up with that idea, don’t have the skill or talent to do it themselves. So they ask these young fellows to spend half their lives doing such stuff. They promise them credits. And they are made to believe that those credits can then give them a great career ahead. So poor chaps fall into this trap.

But no. Nothing happens. Because even after years, they don’t grow up in the system. They just remain mute executors. I’ve even heard that sometimes they don’t even get the credit.

I hope you are giving them their dues. Because they spend their lives doing only these kind of posters for SM Store, they are quite clueless about real brand work. Oh yes, going by your moral standards, you surely must be.

Ya, real brand work is boring. I don’t know if you’ve tried it…but it’s quite an uphill task. Because there are too many people with too many opinions. And you know budgets, market realities, building a brand, reaching out to consumers and all that jazz, can be quite a bummer.

But then there are a whole bunch of people out there who’ve dedicated their lives doing this stuff. Ramming their heads, killing themselves, to get their stuff through all this, and still manage to do some work that people out in the streets end up loving.

Sadly man, these chaps aren’t the ones who are celebrated. You know, they have never been to Cannes, drunk at the gutter bar, or seen their names on One Shows. Nothing.

The only thing that concerns them is ‘what’s good for the brand’.

And if they happen to spot something that seems like a good idea for the brand, they will find a way to make it happen for the brand. It could be a cause, a song, a play, a celebrity, anything. Or sometimes a picture.

They know their brand. And are passionate and pretty selfless too about it.

Those 86 people out there, are defending that my friend.

Lastly, I feel, it’s still better to search for a picture that suits the purpose of your brand, than search for a logo that suits the purpose of your award.

Remember….SM Store, Pitampura.

By the way, Viral Pandya is quite a cool sounding name.

And I’m not copy checking this shit. It’s not for an award.

Kabali – Don’t review God

o-KABALI-facebookImagine standing in front of a tornado that’s fast approaching you at the speed of 280mph. And you stand there ready to dive into it. You stay put. All willing to hitch a ride. The tornado arrives with some dizzying surround sound. Engulfs you. And carries you to a spot which is the epicenter of an earthquake. And then suddenly ejects you out into outerspace..where you are floating somewhere between Neptune and Uranus.

I think such an experience cannot be called ‘watching a movie’.

So when a lot of them seem to be let down by ‘Kabali’ because of high expectations…I feel sad. Because I feel their expectations weren’t high enough. They weren’t willing to let go….and probably wanted to be sitting close enough to the ground…and maybe take them only as far or as high as a giant wheel can . Where they still get to see ‘familiar things’ around them. Like spotting their school from up there. Or point around towards some parks and roads which they’ve seen from close quarters. And get all excited because they are now seeing the same from as high as a giant wheel.

Kabali is certainly not that.

Don’t go, if you are in it for a movie. Don’t go if you are in it for a story. For screenplay. For familiar emotions being replayed. Don’t go for technical brilliance. And certainly don’t go if continuity, logic, brilliant performances, a coherent story, great character sketches all come in as prerequisites that first need to be fulfilled and tick-boxed before you are ready for the ‘take-off’.

Don’t go if you are not willing to ‘let go’.

Go only if you are willing to get carried away. And be swayed and swung and spun and churned and thrown around by the only superhero we know who exists for real.

He’s here in his newest avatar to take you on a heady trip you’ve never experienced…not here as a cuddly grandpa to sit you down and tell you a story.

And yes, he and we, want no time wasted before we’re in the middle of this trip. Because he knows and so do we that we’re here only for that trip. Nothing else. Rest is mandatory.

Yes, since he’s decided to only meet us at movie halls, he’s engaged some mere mortals who have sat down and put together some mandatories for that to happen. If you are going to be stuck there…then you are missing the ride. The larger picture. The madness. The heady giddy mix of all things Thaliava…all things Superstar…all things that we are in it for.

I have been watching every movie of Rajini ever since he made my brain understand that there are some things in life where every part of your anatomy can be given immense joy at the same exact moment.

There is nothing more supreme than this euphoria. Everything else is a means to it.

And ever since, after having watched every movie of his, he’s only left me behind with this feeling that makes me pissed off with the people who contribute words to the dictionary. Only because they haven’t invented a word that can fully express what this feeling is.

This feeling has now grown with passing time. And now this feeling has somewhere crossed the line and now has the audacity to make demands.

‘Expectation’.

‘Expectation’ makes you the higher one. Makes you and your imagination the elevated one. And then someone has to rise above to meet it. It is great when you have it in some cases…and it’s absolute stupidity when it comes to some other things. And certainly impudent and immodest when it comes to Rajini.

kabali hi resTo me, ‘Kabali’ is a return of sorts. Right from the credit title. Where it’s back to where the ‘Superstar’ phenomenon all started. Back to those little led lights that tries to illuminate that feeling on the screen. A feeling so euphoric, that we’re unwilling to accept any word that the dictionary has to offer for it.

Rajini gives this feeling a new journey. A new path. Rajini reboots. Restarts. And goes back to a place where it all started. Back to that place where he walked into that dingy stage at the ‘Gubbi Veeranna’ theatre. Where he played the character of Ravana in a play.

A time when people queued up only to see him. He was there to show you how menacing he can be. People came to watch that. Nobody came to see the story of Ramayana. Everyone knew it. They came there to lose themselves and travel along with him.

Over there people knew the story. Over here I feel we need to assume it. Either way, the fun is only in travelling along with him.

He’s back here playing an evil baddie. He goes about killing everything that doesn’t suit his taste. Who or what he’s killing doesn’t matter or shouldn’t. Why he’s killing too shouldn’t. That part is ours. To fill it up on our own.

Half of what Rajini does lies in our imagination. Whatever he was fighting…we weren’t fighting the same enemy in our heads. We were fighting our own. He just gave us the manner in which it needs to be done. And we loved it.

We’re only back here for a refresher course. Not for a movie. To learn from a man who teaches us as to ‘how it’s done.’

And then…we now have to come back to terms that this is a movie.

Tiring.

Tiring to interact with people who still see him as an actor. And as an actor who acts in movies.

And then to see some reviewer say ‘his age is beginning to show’. I wanted to laugh out loud. Like the way Rajini laughs. I only want to ask him ‘where or when was he trying to hide it?’

“He’s not moving in the same speed. Not picking up the guns with the same swiftness.”

Now show me a 60 something man doing that with even half that speed. Fuck that. Show me a 20 something anybody who does that with one hundredth of that swag or style.

Infact he adds a whole new body language. That I think is nuance.

Chuck it.

Ok…now coming back to what if ‘Kabali’ were a movie.

After the previous two disasters, Rajini has understood the dangers of the tried and tested. The very idea that he now stars in a movie like this sends out a strong signal that he’s moved on.

Rajini has chosen a guy with right kind of sensibilities.

Even if he doesn’t have the right sense.

Pa Ranjith’s desire of seeing Rajini as a menacing gangster who probably should have been in ‘lock stock and two smoking barrels’, is absolutely mind blowing.

The mind-blowing part of Ranjith pretty much ends there. And is then taken over by Santosh Narayan.

Santosh is sensible enough to understand that all the bullshit that Ranjith serves and all the awesomeness that Rajini radiates, needs a separation.

His job is now then to become a guide of sorts to bring our attention back to the screen at the right moments.

Which comes in the form of a siren. A siren that summons us back. A siren that has been programmed to release the dormant endorphins within our bodies..asking us to drop our popcorn, leave our phones alone, stop our pee midway and rush back in time to succumb ourselves to the God on screen.

Kabali_2834894fAnd It is in these parts where Rajini takes it upon himself to more than make up for the mistakes committed by his mere mortal crew.

It’s only then when it strikes us.

That we were here only for him. Nothing else matters.

Chennai teaches us everything

Don’t give fodder to the North Indian South Indian divide debate. 
Don’t give fodder to the politicians about how they branded stuff with Amma stickers. 
Don’t react to the photoshopped Modi’s picture about how the central government tick marked its duties. 
Don’t give fodder to the bad infrastructure the city has. 
Don’t give fodder to that channel that sensationalised the disaster with bad graphics. 
Don’t give fodder to the looters at Cuddalore who waylaid the relief trucks. 
Don’t give fodder to the insensitive tweets by the so called representatives of the North Indian community. 
Don’t give fodder to the media that woke up so late.
Don’t give fodder to the Rajdeep Sardesai’s guilt trip of the media.
Don’t give fodder to the memes that compare this to the Paris disaster. 
Don’t give fodder to any superstar’s retweet of your concerns. 
Don’t give fodder to celebrate any star’s humanitarian efforts to bring about a change. 
Don’t give fodder to encourage postmortem debates on the situation you are all dealing with. 
You need nothing of the above right now. Because you are right now making the entire world realise what humanity truly means. 
We are learning from you. Every single Minute. 

Truly inspired. Respect. 

Kosambari

kosumbari1I have always felt that this dish should have shot to fame with brands trying to patent it. It’s my own stupid notion, but I feel that it suffers from its own simplicity and modesty. Much like the women who make it

Cucumber, coriander, coconut, split green gram dal, green chillies, salt and a dash of asofotieda. Its all too simple to be celebrate it.

But it’s special because simple isn’t that simple.

The sixty odd year old lady opposite my house probably knew something that she never told me  about.

‘Manjunath Aunty Mane Kosambari’ (Manujunath Aunty’s House’ Kosumbari) has something that I can never ever recreate.

Maybe it was the perfume of the Nandi Diamond Agarbatti engulfing her house. Or the smell of jasmine flowers that crept into those pulses from her puja room.

Or the fact that despite the enitre colony changing their floor tiles, she still chose to shine her red oxide floor every month with coconut oil and coconut fibre.

Maybe it has to do something about her house being the only house in the entire colony that still rests only on the ground floor. (There’s something about an only ground floor house with ivory window panes).

Maybe it was the Bhimsen Joshi’s cassette on her tape recorder blaring ‘Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma’ that did the trick.

When the food is good, you start to like everything around it. The person who makes it, the flooring, the color of the walls of that house, the curtains, the plates, the spoons

I would wait for ‘Ganesha Habba’ to arrive, when she would call me over to her house to see the decorated ‘Ganesha’ idol in her house, and seek the lord’s blessings. And I would jump at the opportunity only because I could get a taste of ‘Manjunath Aunty Mane Kosambari’.

Uneven pieces of cucumber, chillies smashed on stone, abundantly chopped coriander with stem, roots, mud and all, coconut carelessly grated with the traditional hand-grater, along with splinters of its shell, mixed with split green gram dal soaked overnight, and rock salt, mixed in a manner that proved that she never prepared it with the kind of love that mothers are now famous for.

traditional coconut csrapper

She never bothered to respond to my compliments “Aunty, kosambari thumba channagide’ (Aunty, the kosambari is superb). It had little to do with modesty, and more to do with lack of experience on ‘How to handle praise?’.

She would turn red behind her ears whenever I praised her humble dish. (It’s not like she made some special basmati rice vegetable pulao cooked on slow fire for hours. It was just a random salad that every ‘kannadiga’ household should be able to make with their eyes closed).

I could never understand why these women would behave this way. Infact, a lot of kannadiga folk are pretty much like these. Its not in their ritual to invite guests over for a feast every other day.

Guests would arrive only during festivals, dussera, diwali, sankranthi and ganesha. Apart from these it would only be a random visit to invite them over for the thread ceremeony of their child, or a grihapravesham or a wedding. It wasn’t a ritual for guests to pop over for dinner or without any other agenda.

The talk would mainly consist of the host coaxing them for a tea. Or a coffee. Or a uppittu.

And it is expected of the guest to say “no no…we are full. Just now we had coffee and snacks in Latha’s house”

And the host would coax further saying “swalpa thogoli …swalpa”

And the guest would say “ok..half plate..or quarter tumbler coffeee”

And the host would return with a full tumbler and a full plate of snacks.

And the rest of the conversation would only be spent on coaxing and cajoling from the host’s side and the guest slowly giving in to the delicious snacks.

This however, would never graduate to the guest praising the dishes anymore than a customary “thumba channagide”.

It was complicated. Because if the guest praises anything more than that, he is hinting at ‘give me more’, which would mean ‘I’m a glutton’. Because he had just declared that he had eaten to his full, in some random ‘latha’s’ house.

And the host would silently conclude that ‘her dish wasn’t good enough otherwise they would have asked for more.’

I feel a million dishes that deserve praise have been lost in this ritual of modesty.

And the host would ignore the praise and coax them to have some more.

But I still find this ritual charming and endearing.

I would wait for Manjunath Aunty to disappear into the kitchen before puckering my lips and shooting mini-darts of the coconut shell chips into obscure shadows on the red oxide. And crunch on her muddy coraindered kosambari.  And scream for help till I could no longer take that lonely chilli that arrived in my mouth without warning.

She would reappear from her dingy kitchen with a tall steel tumbler of water. Just in time to rescue my watering tongue, eyes and nose from her inconsiderately imbalanced chillies.

“ayyo paapa, sorry, nimmagilla idu tumba ne kaara alla?’ (oh poor you, sorry, you people aren’t used to so much spice right?) she would express her concern, suggesting that her dish isn’t up to the mark.

I loved the spice. The sting on my tongue. But I probably could never express it.

I would gulp the water and then seek blessings from her ‘Ganesha’ idol, before I dived back into the kosumbari container that was called ‘dhonne’, a cup made from dried banana leaves. 

Yes, the ‘dhonne’ had its part to play in the taste too. I could smell that faint scent of raw bananas as I slurped the watery residue of the kosambari. A kind of summary of all the flavours that went into it. A magic potion that was a heady mix of all the ingredients. The part I hated the most. Not because I didn’t enjoy it. But because it signalled to me, that the dish was now over.

It’s been many years now since I have tasted “Manjunath Aunty’s Kosambari”.

I have tried it many times now. I have googled recipes and followed them to the tee.

I’ve tried preparing them carelessly, carefully, artistically, intuitively, meditatively, and every other ….ly.

And then served it to myself in the humble ‘dhonne’.

They all taste sexy.

But it just doesn’t taste like ‘Manjunath Aunty Mane’ Kosamabri’.

Every time I sip that juice in the end, I realise that there is something missing in it. One tiny little thing. But I can’t put my tongue on it.

I realise that the identity of every state lies in its simplest of dishes. Dishes that follow the same recipes and add the same ingredients. And dishes that are so simple that it forces the cook to add a little something to it just to gain a satisfaction of having done something ‘extra’ to it to deserve all that much advertised ‘mother’s love’.

Something so little, that if it were to be taken away from them, it would be such a bland world.

I’m happy that I can never ever crack that recipe.

One day I will…..

116I was standing there on the top of some mountain in Cape Town. The view around me was absolutely stunning. So instead of just cocking up and just enjoying the breeze and having a beer, I pulled out my phone and started taking pictures. I pointed it…framed it and took a picture. Then moved it a few millimeters here and there and took another picture. Then walked a few millimeters ahead and took a picture. And a few millimeters behind and took another picture. Then i scanned all the pictures to see which was the best. They were all good, but which was the best? I couldn’t tell. Then I thought to myself, suppose I were to take a print of this, which of these 4 would I take a print of? Maybe I should see it on a larger screen and then decide. So I kept all 4 of them, so that ONE DAY…ill go through all of them and decide on which one is the best and then send it to make a big print. And then get it framed and put it in a room. A room of a house which I will buy, ONE DAY. And then put this picture there….actually not just this picture. Infact Ill create a wall of nostalgia….ONE DAY and frame many such pictures of stuff that I have taken all my life.

b7d14f843407ccb1ed2f09ef15f7e907I remember, suddenly ONE DAY, I took my camera and went to this adda of mine many many years ago, and clicked pictures, random pictures of all the assholes who I hung around with, and wrote notes behind these photographs, and thought to myself, ONE DAY, when I’m doing nothing spectacular, I’ll pull out all these pictures and stare at them, and read all these stupid notes, pour myself a drink and think about these bums. Just for the fuck of it.

ONE DAY, many years ago, I walked into blossoms ( a bookstore in Bangalore, that gives you this feeling of ONE DAY…I’ll sit and read all these books), and stumbled upon some Amar Chitra Katha Comics. I saw one comic ‘Kesari, the flying thief’. I knew I had read this. Like ‘oh fuck-Kesari the flying thief…like Kesari the flying thief’ kind of reaction. I had forgotten the story of the comic that I returned to the library with a fine of 2 rupees, after 2 weeks. And I had forgotten the story. This was not on. I picked it up immediately to quickly recover from this severe amnesia. And what I do I see below it…”Chittarandan Das’. Ya….I think I remember him too. Was it the comic or was it my history book? Anyway, it was seriously sad that I did not know Chittarandan Das’ story…someone important in our history and noone even wants to make a cool movie on him. OK…Chittarnadan Das..I wont let you down. I wont let you remain unforgotten. Rani of Jhansi..shit….what was this now? I remember a school teacher of mine had dressed up like her in a school play of mine with background music like ‘woh toh jhaansi waali rani thi…’ I need to know more. Oh no…Tales of Shiva, Gandhari, The fool and his disciples, Tyagaraja, Birbal the just, Tenali Raman….no. I cannot exist without remembering these stories. I needed to read all of them. Again. Why? Why..because maybe there are many mini mini ads in them that I can whack…or make full blown stories….remix them and make them unrecognizable and do some feature film. Fuck the purpose…I took all of them. Some 300 of them, so that ONE DAY, I can sit and read them all at one go…and become a super improved version of myself.

I had preserved the ticket of the Metallica concert that I attended. A bit torn …but so what. Why? Dude, it’s Metallica…and I need to profess my absolute love for them. This is not a ticket…it’s the ticket of the first rock band that I truly fell in love with. I head banged alone at home, playing their tapes every afternoon, on the loudest speakers that mankind had invented (ahuja). These tickets need to framed and mounted with 10 inches of white space all around them and hung on that same nostalgic wall of mine in that room of that house that I am going to buy…ONE DAY.metallica

I had by now accumulated several of these ONE DAY items.

ONE DAY..I’ll plant these seeds of this special Cactii (that I picked up in that trip to Rajasthan…or was it Himachal…or no no..it was Soul Santhe) that brings peace into the house.

ONE DAY…I’ll restore these vinyls that I had inherited from my father-in-law.

ONE DAY…I’ll visit these restaurants bookmarked on my Zomato

ONE DAY…all these recipes my mother had handwritten taking notes from my grandmother on this special pink book.

ONE DAY…I’ll repaint all these cashew tin boxes that I have collected from Indigo Airlines, with quotes from Bruce Lee and Gandhi and Bob Marley and make them into cool looking visiting card holders. Ok..ONE DAY I’ll have a cooler visiting card and that ONE DAY…I’ll learn how to paint…and then ONE DAY..I’ll learn how to take off the paint from tin boxes and repaint on them. I have Youtube videos saved in ‘watch later’ for that.

My pop sent me to this cricket coaching camp conducted by Syed Kirmani. I sucked big time. Bowling was pathetic. batting was okay. So all they made me do was fielding. I was good at fielding…but who cares if you field well. Its assumed that you are supposed to field well. And then I see Rajyavardhan Rathore pick up gold at the Olympics for shooting. Fucking shit…maybe I am damn good at shooting. Ya…that’s my calling. How would I know, if I have never shot from a rifle ever. So…ONE DAY…I’m going to just try my hand at Shooting. Or rowing. Or squash. Ok…shooting it is…you dont need to move around too much. So ONE DAY..I’m going to go and try shooting…or maybe Archery? Fuck…why did my school not have anything to do with Archery.

I have recorded this program on my Tata Sky Plus….’Trading with the stocks for beginners’. Maybe, ONE DAY, I’ll watch it and figure out how to make more money than the chaps at Infosys, who just overnight got a 200% increase in their salaries. And then they print their figures in dollars, so that you can take out your calculator and multiply it by 62 or whatever….I mean its great that they are doing this. But why publish it? For what joy? OK…so ONE DAY..I’ll watch this program and figure out how to become a multi millionaire.

one dayONE DAY…I’ll assemble this 6000 piece Lego Fire Station, that I picked up ONE DAY.

ONE DAY…I’ll go to the racecourse to figure out what the fuck exactly happens there.

ONE DAY…I’ll try this cocktail that I have saved on my evernote.

ONE DAY…I’ll open all these apps that I have saved on my cellphone and give them a good shot.

ONE DAY..I’ll do a movie marathon of all these dvds that I have filled half my house with.

ONE DAY…I’ll attend this heritage Bangalore walk at 6:30 am to figure out what is this heritage that I dont know about?

ONE DAY…I’ll open this 3000 page book on ‘How things work?’, a book a salesman sold to me 12 years back because he wanted to pay his college fees with the commission he earns from these sales.

ONE DAY…I want to know what the fuck happens at Bangalore Theosophical Society?

ONE DAY..I want to google and figure out what is exactly asafetida….a salt, a mineral, a fruit or a vegetable?

Then ONE DAY….I saw this article, in Times of India supplement, yes, that glossy supplement with aloe vera and power yoga and new trending stuff articles.

Staycation.

That was one new article.

A vacation where you just stay at home. Don’t go anywhere and just sit at home and do stuff that you always wanted to do…..ONE DAY.

So…I decided to take off for 20 days and dedicate it to this sole purpose.

‘THE ONE DAY I’LL DO THIS….STAYCATION’

Did it work?

no room for nostalgia

1287-20130125-NostalgiaOldDays

I have nothing that I can call my own

I wish I hadn’t grown

My music is on spotify

I have nothing to glorify

My granny’s recipes are on youtube

Sorry dear cousin, I now know you aren’t the best on the rubik’s cube

Sorry Mom, I’m throwing away that book of kolam design,

It was only yours, but it can’t only be mine,

Dear Uncle, Don’t ask me what you want back from the states,

Those times have gone,

Hershey’s is available down the corner, and so is Toblerone,

Do you remember my colony friends?

How we used to pool in money and get video cassettes on rent,

It’s now a click away on this awesome site called Torrent,

Dear School friends,

Our favorite hangout, the idlis and by-two-coffee we used to share,

They have busted it on Burrp, Zomato and Foursquare,

We have nothing now we can call our own,

They say we’re not young anymore,

We’ve grown.

Our favorite waiters in our favorite bars have moved on from that drudgery,

They now say that you can find them in a micro-brewery,

Dear friend, remember that fight we had when I asked you to return my cassette,

and you didn’t care,

They now have a simple button for that problem,

It’s called ‘share’.

My old photographs are all stuck to each other

and get ripped apart if i try

Like they are all shy

they’re either blur or out of frame

but i know they’re dying out of shame

crying and screaming “damn!”

why weren’t we taken with those fancy filters on instagram

my scrabble, monopoly and every other board game

in front of temple run and fruit ninja seem so lame

even that brilliant binoculars seems to have no room

now that i have a smart phone with 10x zoom

but when im all about to throw these things away,

they look at me in this peculiar sort of way

and ask me one thing for which i have no answer

are you sure all this new stuff will give you something that is nice to remember?

I’ll get myself a hundred new shelves to keep these things so dear

Because it is only this question that I fear.

the only question i fear.

Yeah Summer holidays

This is my fourth day of my long holiday. 14 more days to go. I am back to doing nothing. Something that i love doing.

I am in the mood of appreciating things. So, this post is all about things that have made me feel nice. I am choosing to be random in this one, since I am on a holiday of random things.

I’ve already watched five films.

Masoom. Hadn’t seen this till date. Am feeling foolish that I have spent a good part of my life without this being inside my brain. Had I seen it earlier, I would not have noticed Jugal Hansraj walking like a Dinosaur, a walk that he has been made to practice to perfect the role of looking innocent. I might have not found the littlest kid screechy, and would have joined a happy bunch of fat ladies who find such notorious pesky creatures, cute. I can almost visualise some aunty from delhi spilling her popcorn on her chiffon and going ‘haay, kitni cute hai bachchi, bilkul apni Pinky ki tarah.’, pinching Pinky’s cheek beside her and getting her to rehearse ‘lakdi ki kaati’ for the talents day in her apartment block. But in spite of becoming a over cynical product of advertising, I still loved the film. The story is charming, and I slowly realise why Shabana is who she is. It’s sad that Shekhar Kapur has diverted his attention to larger subjects of lesser importance. Gulzar is at his schizophrenic best, penning an absolutely charming song, stringing together words that are absolute fun to utter ‘sabzi mandi, tag bag tag bag, dum uthaake dauda’.  The lyrics are so perfectly meaningless, that it could give the guys at Disney Pixar a thousand ideas. And then switching over to a soul searching number ‘Tujhse naraaz nahin zindagi’, with such versatile adaptability that it makes sense to different situations in your life.

Trainspotting. Hmmm….a typical ad guys typical favourite. It has all the elements in it to massage your ego. Weird characters, crazy cuts, bizarre philosophies and banned substances. I liked it. All the techniques of story telling. The characterizations. The supreme use of camera. Ya…but what. In fact, stories of such kind are so predictably unpredictable, that you know from the beginning that this is not going to follow the path of your mind. Caters to an audience who are in perpetual quest of topics that challenge their imagination. I cannot think of reasons to store this in my memory.

Scoop. After Vicky Christina Barcelona, I started getting inquisitive about Woody Allen’s work. I had only heard of his sense of humour, but had never seen his films. Saw Vicky, only to see Penelope Cruz. But was amazed with the dialogues. Easily some of the best lines I’ve come across in Hollywood. I love his writing and play with words. So decided to see more of Woody. Got this one called ‘Scoop’. Its such a differently same film. A murder mystery that is funny. Its strange. You are on the edge of your seat, and also laughing. I havent experienced these two emotions coming together in me before. Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johannson and Woody Allen make you not want to see any other character. Brilliantly written. Brilliantly performed.

Idhu Sadhya. A suspense film in kannada that boasts of a fantastic line up. Shankar Nag. Ananth Nag. Revathi. Prabhakar. Devraj. Srinath. Ramesh. Srividya. Disco Shanti. Apparently this film was completed in two days. A record of sorts. That’s what prompted me to watch it. But it’s nothing but a whole load of bull. Garbage packaged in garbage. I seriously wonder why it won so many accolades.

Two days in Paris. I have not seen a film with so much conversation. There is not a second in the film where everyone is quiet. Its a simple story. And so real, you’ll really wonder if it was all shot. Absolute attention to details of everyday behaviour. It is hilarious. Hilariously hilarious. The strange ways of the french and their strange behaviours. An american caught in the middle of this. I am saying it again. Funny as hell.