Thursday, February 22

Return to madness


I was having a useless debate with myself.

Most debates are useless anyways. Debates only serve to satisfy the intrinsic human desire - 'To be heard and accepted'. The curse of looking outside of self for self assurance is the anomaly of our kind.

Thats what i have come to understand these days. Why else would anyone debate? Its the innate human desire to prove a point. The truth is most people don't really have a point.It's more like i wanna prove myself. So people just speak. The best way to end a debate is to accept what is being said.
Don't bother about its nonsense value. Its the easiest way to end a torrent of mindless banter from a deprived fool.. desperate to prove his desparation. The quicker you accept, the more you are spared to hear. And dont even think of trying to reply back. Because the other end is more keen on being heard. You are only wasting your energy and mocking your intellect, every time you try to be active in a debate.
Oh then, what about the wise? Good question.
Well, the wise dont debate. They converse. And when they see their words going down the wrong tunnel, they stop. Quick to realise, quicker to act. Its just as pointless talking to someone who will never understand, as it is to listen to someone who is hellbent on proving his pointless point. The wise know what they prove and never prove that they know.
By now the first wave of confusion should hit you.

I am unwise. But partially.
This is intended to be the second wave of confusion.

So here i am, taking of from where i started.
I was having a useless debate with myself. Unwise in having a debate, wise in not having it with anyone else but myself. It was a debate between the instinct to let go, and the conditioning that makes me think otherwise. Basically it was a debate between the part of me that wants to run wild, and the part of me that wants to run the rat race. It was late at night, those splendid hours when my mind has sufficient space to expand. A starlit newmoon night and all else quiet. i walked up to the window and in a moment of sheer madness, perilously hung out of the grill with my back arching outside the window. My head thrown downwards, and gaze hitting the dark naked sky with this beautiful breeze siftin thro my hair. I was hoping no one would wake up. I was having my moment. My pupils had dilated and my cerebral arteries were swelling with blood gushing into all parts of my head. Bloodwash in brainland i thought, while my heart was tingling with hesitant fear. I had missed this for way too long to stop doing it. Also, the adrenalin rush was too hard to resist, but then i thought, why must i resist it ?
Third wave of confusion.
It's funny how you tend to think straight when you are looking the world upside down. What had i done to myself i thought.. what had i landed my self in? Conforming and living, and getting sucked into system i so strongly rejected. I was being one of them. I was them. I could hear the laughter inside of me. My years passed by my eyes and i was mute. Time had magnified and i saw it once more.. the years of adoloscence, when falling in love was so easy and so easy it was to fall out.. the years of rebellion, of unrest, the new world order and of the million promises i made to myself, to not be one of them.. the years with my brightest dreams.. these years faded soon as the system was just beginning to spread it's malignancy.. I wasn't aware yet.. teenage subtly faded with initiation into the vodka and nicotine routine, but the mind was still setting free.. atheism, followed strongly by a surge of spirituality.. Liberation, Om, Truth and a sneak view of realms that were literally beyond my perception.. Now i saw it clearly, albeit temporarily and i wanted to get in it. I was quick to realise i wasnt ready, yet. I lacked the conviction. As an undercurrent that slowly surged to mammoth proportions, thro this period the cancerous system was spreading rapidly within me. Every day, a bit of me gave way to the system, without me realising it. And then came the years, when i was the system. Linear, mechanical, boring.
End of footage.

The flashback fades out to a blankness, that is filled up with the dark naked sky.
By now my nervous heartbeats had fallen back into rythm, maybe enjoying their defiance to gravity. I was ready to let go. Of the system, of all its strings and of all i had made myself to believe as important. Certainly life doesn't revolve around B-school calls, IT placements and University admits. Certainly not so much so, that it eats into your mindspace and you lose your ability to be "limitless and free". I was disappointed, not so much on my inability to defy the system, but being contributory to it. Forms, submissions, attendence, classes, career .. money money money, run run run.. what heck was i upto? I wasnt doing any of it for the love of it, i was just faking it. I was done faking. I was ready to fall free, back into life, the way i wanted it. No more conforming, no more systems and no linear routines.
It was a choice, a decision made, to return to madness. To the funfilled ways of being wild again.
To find laughter that is real, a life that is real and a will that is the will to be real.
And with a renewed sense of freshness, i pulled my self back inside to window. I was dizzy with all the blood draining down my head, but the lightness in the head felt good.
I knew it was time to hit the bed, for tommorow is another day and once again i shall wake up to face the world downside up.

Final wave of confusion.
By now you must be confused, if for nothing else, then simply to know why i lectured on debates early on. You would be wise to notice how my take on debates holds true, for only one part of me was debating, only one part of me was trying to prove a point, only one part of me was desparate to be heard, only one part spoke. Fools try.
The wise, well, the wise dont debate. They listen and quietly hear out those who wont listen at all. The wise part of me did just that.

Was it wise in doing so?
Return to madness, cheers.

Tuesday, February 13

The soul's prayer

I was about to wrap up another uneventful day, replete with vain efforts to channelize myself into something slightly more productive. It was around two at night, and suddenly the alarm rings. My kid bro was "waking up early" to study for his english lit paper next morning. He was fairly relieved to see me up so late. Apparently he couldn't understand what a certain poem meant and was hoping i would summarize it for him. I don't blame him, he is only fifteen. But i mildly warned him ( trying to act like 'the big brother' ) "Next time you better make these requests slightly beforehand. Not six hours before your exams!" I had a slight smirk that only i could see, inside of me.
I hadn't done this in a long time, and i wasnt sure that i would be able to understand the poem myself. At the same time, i didn't really want to disappoint my brother so early in his day.
I managed to decrypt the piece fairly well, the piece managed to rekindle my lost love for verse.

I dont know if it made more sense to me 'cause i was high, but it did make sense!

" Lord, Thou didst answer stern and low:
'Child, i will hearken to thy prayer,
And thy unconquered soul shall know
All passionate rapture and despair.

'Thou shall drink deep of joy and fame,
And love shall burn thee like a fire,
And pain shall cleanse thee like a flame,
To purge the dross from the desire.

'So shall thy chastened spirit yearn
To seek from its blind prayer release,
And, spent and pardoned, sure to learn
'I bending from my sevenfold height, will teach thee:

'Life is a prism of My light,
And Death the shadow of My face."

- Sarojini Naidu

Saturday, February 10

reviewing Black Friday.

The Prologue:
I just had to watch Black Friday, first day. I was hearing about this for a long time, i had seen the rushes of the film on pirated, bad quality VCD a year back with no audio. Then i met the wonderful Dev Makhija, who instantly rose in my regard, firstly because he was a first attempt IIM(B) admit who took exactly two days, to chuck it all up (yeah, the dude walked out of IIM(B)) to come to Bombay and make films, rejecting a sureshot fat ass salary and choosing to live broke in an unknown city to pursue this passion. Conviction. I repect that. Its sumthing that eludes me. Secondly, he was AD, assisting the brilliant Anurag Kashyap ( Satya, Shool) in making Black Friday and after having heard from him, the amount of research that had gone into the film, i couldnt wait for it to release.


The Setting:
It wasnt exactly smooth, the turn of events enroute to the theatre and we were finally 20 mins late into the movie, in seats, reserved as guard space to a couple passionately making out in the last row. I still dont get it, why would anyone want to make out on a first day evening show for Black Friday, or any movie for that matter? Surely they had underestimated the film's marketing. First day third show, is a strict no-no.


The Review:
I must admit, i had very high expectations of this film so dont allow anything i say, to act as a detriment in your decision to see this film.
A film is essentially a story being told on celluloid. Black Friday does not have a story. It is essentially a comprehensive documentary on the '93 bomb blasts. Its an enactment of the events that led to this horrible scar on our memories.
In its purpose, the movie is brilliant.You will know everything you need to know about the blasts by the time the movie ends.What makes it worthy of credit, is that it doesn't take a stand. It just lays out the facts, barenaked in front of you. It makes you decide. It tells you what exactly happened and leaves it to you on what you make of it.

The storytelling is languid. You move with the plot. You move with the characters. And then, you move on. To the next sub-plot. Even in the absence of a central protagonist, you slowly get submerged into the movie and it grows on you, yet it refrains from generating a bias.

The actors are brilliantly character driven, and you cant makeout one from the other. KayKay is in his usual power packed, nonchalant avatar in the limited screen time he has. Pawan Malhotra as Tiger Memon is very, very convincing. Even though he is someone you are supposed to hate the most, he somehow manages to evince some thread of compassion from the viewer. As the helpless operative on the run, Aditya Srivastava as Badshah Khan is just mindblowing. If there is one character you really feel for in this assortment of criminals, its Badshah. Probably gifted the maximum screen time amongst the multitude of characters, he has used it to deliver a top notch performance.
Anurag Kashyap's handling of the multi-dimensional plot and moulding it into a single coherent film is worthy of the highest note. Its to his credit that me manages to hold the viewer for three hours without a story as such, without any central characters, without a bias and without any disinterest.
The only complain i have, is the occasional slowness of the movie. The chases and interrogations get too long at times and you tend to get slightly detached from the otherwise gripping plot. Some sequences could have been downsized, although i think it might have affected the comprehensive context of the movie.
To end, a special mention is needed for the courage of the filmmaker. He hasnt winched a bit in boldly naming and fearlessly revealing the real people involved with the tragic friday he so efficiently recreates. He makes no effort the create a curtain of aliases for any character in the film. Commendable effort has gone in from the production team, keeping in mind the extent of the research and the treacherous grounds it treads on.
I hope more producers fund such films, and more distributors buy it.
This movie is a bold step forward for Indian cinema.
No candyfloss here. Finally.

Friday, February 2

not just another day.

Yesterday was perhaps one of the most beautiful days i've seen in recent times. Its strange how over time, i have always associated beautiful days with the events that occured on such a day... good movie, great day at work, results out and you havent failed (yeah!!), results out and you have done well (hell yeah!), unwinding with old friends, unexpected income, a nice date, a beautiful ride in the middle of night... days with some of the foresaid events or atleast one of them, and you go to bed, smiling, staring at the ceiling, minutes before u wrap your eyelids around what was a beautiful day, a day that makes your heart swell up with gratitude. Your head stops tricking you with 'random thoughts', but instead, accentuates the feeling of happiness and gratitude in your heart. So you sleep mumbling a thank you, to god, or someone like that, for all that exists, and the beauty with which you coexist.

So what was so beautiful about yesterday? well, for one, it was highly uneventful, but the whole day i was ranting about how beautiful the day really looked,literally. I have never been so amused by the blueness of the sky. Clear, limitless and free. No haze, no clouds, just clear, crystal clear. Its what you would call high precision high contrast. It was like looking at the world in HDTV. It looked gorgeous. The trees, the birds, the lake, the highrises, the people, the beggars, all looked perfect. Everything in place, as if for some specific reason. And maybe just to tease you further, there was this sweet tantalizing breeze all day. I was amazed at the child like pleasure i derived, by just looking at things, everything looked poetic.
After messing about with my project, as i walked back thro' the tree lined, deserted lanes of IIT,
i distinctly remember at how i smirked at my own self, and i bet people walking around would have done the same. I was just looking incredibly happy about nutin. While the city was casting votes, or rather, not casting votes.. i was tripping on nature!

I could probably go on about how the sunset was the most beautiful ever, with the sun sucking all light as it was sinking in the western sky, and precisely then, the full moon shows up at the exact diagonal opposite end.. while the sky drives you crazy with its colourplay. Every thing forms a silhouette, from the crows on their flight back home, to the bats who set out later. Right now, i think i have lost my plot as to what exactly i'm trying to drive home.. maybe its just pure amusement as to how happy, i could get myself on a calm, silent evening at the terrace, or maybe its a probe into our alienation from happiness, which is inherently, natural.