Sunday, 28 November 2010

As cathartic as I get..

I find it absolutely strange that when you worry about someone, it's called caring and feeling concerned and being a human and things, but when you worry about yourself, it's self-loathing, self-hatred and you need serious help.

Why shouldn't I have the right to treat myself as I'd treat someone else when it comes to handling emotions? Why should I depend on someone else for something that I am perfectly capable of doing to myself? (That isn't for what you think it is, focus now!) Hypocrisy? I think not.

That said, I'd go out of my way to lend an ear to anyone who wants to just vent out stuff. I don't care that people don't bother to reply to, frankly, what I consider to be a favour, albeit a small one. I don't expect them to, not of late anyway.

More often than not, I spend my time wondering why I feel the way I feel. Why I feel this certain trite and disconcerting feeling that makes me wonder if I am in the bottom of a huge and inescapable pit. Days or even weeks later, that feeling disappears, some fleeting moments of joy happen, which I happily exaggerate and tell myself that it is great that such things are making me happy. Like that day, when I felt uncontrollably happy just because I had, by any normal human's standards, a decent day. I told myself that that particular day was the best I had in a while and the best I would have in a long time to come. That made me feel good.

Am I ok with lying to myself? Not quite. But then again, I know it's a lie. A lie ceases to be a lie when it fails to evoke the false emotions it's supposed to. I try and treat this not as a lie, but as an excuse. After all, I do have the right to feel happy. A right that I seem to take for granted. Is happiness supposed to be earned? If so, how should one go about it? Are ten days of feeling absolutely dejected enough to grant you a day of happiness? Is that how the balance is supposed to work? Give a bit of this and get a bit of that?

Questions. So many fucking questions. Questions that make me want to break my head into a billion pieces just to render the questions themselves extinct. Why do rhetorical questions exist?

Either there needs to be an earth shattering situation/event/occurrence that'd permanently pivot my life or the status quo continues. Faith isn't an argument. It can't be. The thing is, I am happy with my current state of existence. I wouldn't call it survival; I'd have to be fighting something for it.

Probably the only thing I'm fighting against is that happy taboo, then again, everybody is.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

A toast to a new beginning

He waited. He waited for her to come along and lift him up. For her to alleviate him, make him feel like the world's worth his time. She came, she saw, she jeered, she mocked, she spat, she flitted.

She hung on. She clutched on to dear life. She didn't want much. When her uncle asked her what was the one thing she most wanted in the world, she simply said "to be found." She was never convinced though, that her prince in spick and shiny armour would arrive. After a while, she didn't want to be found, she was revelling in her misery. Ironic, because of her feet. Oh her feet. Her lovely lithe feet. Feet that could make the greatest ballet dancer cringe in inadequacy.

He was hurt. He least expected this, let alone from her. Worry not, he told himself. He was given a hand in due time, by whom you ask, that never mattered. He, was, by now, a bit flustered. He didn't expect this, you see. He was now clueless.

He didn't want to, but he had to, go around.
She didn't want to, but she had to, go around.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden

Fret not, this is only the fourth time I'm starting to write a post and hopefully this time, I won't abandon mid way. That last time the first line read "third" time doesn't help matters, but what the heck.

I'm feeling a strange air around me. My tendons are lazy, my loins are screaming for some attention, my mind has almost completed its nth plot against me - or so I'm told - and my life is threatening to enter into its usually complicated and depressing state. Again, fret not.

There are, as usual, things that have been bothering me. My work for starters. I've got this lovely job, really. Wherever I go, work related, there are cars and bikes, nothing else, AND I work from home, so that implies that there's no traffucking, no silent judgments being passed by colleagues, no gossips to be heard etc etc. I have all the time in the world to be languid and better yet, I'm all alone at home in the day and we all know how much I love my alone time.

But, if there's one thing I learnt from my previous job, it is that I lack a bit of initiative. I was all quiet and subdued whilst in TOI and wasn't really forthcoming at any point of time. I'd do the job given to me, but I was never the one to prop my hand in the air and say "I'll do it" when it mattered, or even when it didn't. Working from home negates any real change I might have sought to bring. There's only so much initiative I can show staying miles away from my boss.

And, I've got enough time to finish my stories here, rewrite them over and over again, enough times to keep my nagging pedantic voice in the head satisfied. The saddest part of working from home if probably the fact that I have to make my own tea, I've never really liked the tea those machines spit out, so it's not all that bad I guess.

Bah! When will I stop whining?

Title courtesy: Woodstock by Joni Mitchell

Saturday, 9 October 2010

An ode to madness

Dear mind,
This is to inform you that the self-induced social exclusion that you imposed on all of us is now officially over. You have no say in this, you should've sensed a revolution when it was brewing. You happily chose to ignore the signs and now you've got nothing but yourself to blame.
This means that there's no more deliberate refusal of social meetings, no unhindered introspection and most definitely no deliberate ending of conversations with even the well-intended.

Thank you,
Karthik H

PS: This might sting, but the voices agree with me. Ciao.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

My top 5 adrenaline jolting moments

In my truly weird life so far, there have been those moments where I've felt completely alive. So alive that it made me feel that nothing can ever harm me. Blissful moments that made my mind go astray and think of randomly useless things like wondering if I'd be electrocuted if I stuck my hand into that power socket.
Despite the array of suicidal thoughts that filled my head, those little moments when that lovely thing called adrenaline flooded my insides have been great enough for me to remember them.

#5 First cycle ride to a friend's place
It's not as much the place I was going to than the journey by itself. It was some time in 6th grade that my parents, in some unfortunate wisdom, gave me a cycle. As anyone that age, I fell down a million times, hurt myself so much that my dad banned me from using the cycle for a while. Some intolerable bugging later, I was allowed to take it back. But of course, I was banned from riding it beyond a certain point from home.
This particular moment came when I was riding it beyond the borders my parents had so carefully banned me from. Down a damn busy subway to a friend's place. The sandy subway, filled with big buses, zooming autos and whirring bikes portrayed quite a scary picture, but I braved it all, rested one leg on the low wall jutting out of the side walls and sped my way into the subway and thankfully came out the other side unscathed. So brilliant I felt that I immediately took a U turn and went again to the other side, process repeated some four more times. Quite awesome.

#4 That big eyebrow gash
My first big injury. Sometime in 4th standard, I was playing cricket with my usual buddies when the 'big' boys from the neighbouring apartment called me to play with them. Now this was some sort of a jaw-drop moment for me. Let alone that 'acceptance', these boys were in their 20s and playing with them was something to be priced then. So, to the envy of my usual companions, I jumped over the wall dividing the two teams and went over to the other side (ok, sorry!).
They only wanted me to do some wicket-keeping for a single innings as the usual boy had some parent related emergency. So there I was, in my embarrassingly short shorts and a new white vest (banian if you may). A couple of fumbles later, I gathered my first ball and it felt gooood.
But the moment my body decided to fill itself with adrenaline came some five minutes into the game. It was a rather weak and old bat that the batsman was using and given that we were playing with tennis balls, I was keeping quite close to the stumps. The bowler threw his delivery and in a modern T20-ish way, the batsman put all his strength into the shot which he obviously missed.
Now what happened next is Still a mystery, but as I gathered then, I was bleeding heavily from my left eyebrow, so much so that one side of my new white vest was a satisfyingly deep red.
I happily smiled, said I'm alright a million times to the big boys, jumped back the wall to my compound and walked back to my house holding the eyebrow with my left hand.
Six hours later, I was lying down on the nearby clinic's emergency table only to see the not-so-hot nurse sticking a tantalisingly big needle to somewhere close to my eye.
11 stitches, thank you very much.

#3 That ride from home to Satyam Cinemas
5 kms, 11 minutes at around 7pm. I'm not exactly proud of going that fast, but damn it felt good. Not only did I make it in time, I reached there faster than some of the people who lived closer to the theater.
I look back and all I remember is that mad rush of events which led to some eight or nine rear view mirrors, belonging to pitiable unsuspecting souls who still probably don't know what hit them, being smashed to pieces thanks to how close and how fast I rushed past them. The walk that I had from the theater's parking lot to the ticket counter (where my friends were supposed to be waiting for me) was the time I felt like I could punch a six-foot guy to the ground. Thankfully, conventional wisdom prevailed.

#2 2008 - Brazilian GP
This is still one of THE best races I've ever watched.
I was at home, doing a super fail of live blogging (I wouldn't recommend it, but you can read that post here) and all set to watch the championship decider along with my brother. I can not tell you how much fun it is watching F1 with my bro, but that's for another day.
For all those who don't know (shame on you, shame shame shame), Ferrari's Massa needed to win the race, McLaren's Hamilton had to finish anywhere below fifth for Massa to lift the title. The race had it all - crashes, spins, rain, safety car and amazing driving. And whoever watched this race can never ever forget the last lap.
As the race winded down to the final lap, Massa was 1st by a mile or so, Hamilton was down in 6th. My bro and I just couldn't control our joy and we were egging on Massa with all our heart (it was around 1am now, dad didn't take the screaming all that well, but even he understood how brilliant a moment this was). We screamed with joy when he crossed the finishing line, P1. Massa, the world champion! Bro and I high-fived so many time that our hands turned to a deep red. We were genuinely happy. It was somehow better than watching Michael Schumacher win the championship. As we were fist bumping and jumping with unabashed joy, some words echoing from the TV caught our attention and we almost stopped mid-air.
Karun Chandhok (yeah, he was commentating) said those unforgettable words. "No! NO!!. Timo Glock's slowed down, Hamilton's over taking him, he's 5th now. Lewis Hamilton is the champion, not Massa."
We stopped, the whole of the Ferrari paddock stopped, entire Brazil stopped in its tracks - Massa was Brazilian, had he won, he would've been the first champion since the great Ayrton Senna - BUT it wasn't to be.
Those 15 odd minutes was quite out of this world. I get goose bumps just recollecting those minutes. That transition from pure joy and blissful happiness to utter, heart wrenching disappointment hasn't been paralleled yet.
Steve Slater, a man who's watched F1 since the 1970s said, "That is the best 20 seconds of F1 I've seen in my life."

#1 Karting
At the risk of that sounding narcissistic and something like self-pleasuring, Karting is my no 1 adrenaline jolting experience ever. Ok, Go-Karting if you will.
Every single time I get into that plastic bucket seat and wear that helmet with a tissue separating my hair and a million bacteria and dandruff acquired from multiple heads, I can not help but smile like there's no tomorrow. My eyes narrow out, studying the corners and the chicanes, picturing myself cornering by touching the apex every time, making drifts good enough to make the tyres squeal and weep out smoke. The 10-year-old in me even imagines using anti-lock steering for crying out loud - for the uninitiated, that's turning left when you want to turn right, it's a counter for braking and results in some sensational drifts, given you control the throttle properly.
But as luck, fate, Murphy and my own limbs would have it, I do none of those. I take too much speed into the corners, most of the time missing the braking points and either go crashing into the tyre walls or brake too suddenly, lose all speed and bring the kart almost to a standstill. Yet, it is unimaginable fun to be doing that.
I know the circuit near the Napier Bridge in Chennai better than the back of my hand. I dream of riding that track in under a minute, the closest I've ever come (quite an astonishing lap to shed all modesty) is when I did it once in about one minute 11 seconds. That's my best time so far. It's 11 seconds shy of my target.
I will do it, someday. I will conquer my demons, re-run all those amazing driving I've seen on TV and redo it on that track to claim it in under a minute. Hmph!

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Bulldozer effect

The Bulldozer effect: The happening of that one defining event that totally flattens everything that's constructed your life so far. That one event that requires the rebuilding of things that you never wanted to go back to. The rebuilding of which will never ever look the same way again, no matter how hard you try, how much care you take and how much time you give it.

Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint
(who who, who who)

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, have some taste
(woo woo)

Saturday, 24 July 2010


I finally get a feeling of how exciting it would be to be living when Stanley Kubrick was belting out his would-be classics. Of all the terrific directors' movies I've chanced upon, Christopher Nolan's probably the only one who comes as close to Kubrick's genius as possible. If The Prestige and Dark Knight weren't proof enough, we have Inception. Though I'm a bigger fan of the Coen brothers than of Nolan, after Inception, it's a no brainer as to who's better.

But here's the problem with Inception. While I willingly appreciate the way the idea was handled, I also I rue the fact that the idea was even handled. Let me explain.

Nolan has evolved with his movies, none of which was a simple write-and-shoot-for-the-money kinda movie.

Starting with Doodlebug, his movies have always had that superbly layered sub-text under it. Even Following, which apart from being a brilliant heist movie had noir shades to it, had that. In Inception, Nolan's given us the biggest glimpse into his mind (so far?). While I plainly love the concept, I am also frightened that this might be the biggest idea in his head. Inception might just be that masterpiece from Nolan - like Kubrick's 2001:A space odyssey or Sergio Leone's The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - very sadly, there can only be one such masterpiece. Which brings me to my point that I'd be immensely surprised to see something "better" coming from Nolan. While I want that to happen, I just don't see it happening. Before you start dismissing this, let me substantiate.

Shocking though this might sound, the idea for Inception seems to have been taken, or inspired, from a couple of episodes in Futurama. In that episode, the protagonist's (Fry's) mind is seeded with an advertisement for undergarments as soon as he runs out of his last clean pair. In another episode, Fry is taken back in time, in his dream of course, by some evil forces in order to gain a particular bit of information from him. Sounds similar? While these ideas were handled quite comically by the ever-funny Matt Groening, Inception had taken this to a whole new tangent with its sheerly brilliant screenplay.


In Inception, we're taken into a world where dreams can be accessed as easily as your bank account. Nolan gives us no timeline and no dateline and he doesn't tell us how the machine used to access the dreams work. Thanks Mr Nolan for that. To put this movie under a specific genre would be quite hard. In paper, it is heist, with a team coming together to perform an activity, much like a bank robbery. Then we have the unmistakable noir traits. Then come the sci-fi aspect.

Inception is a mix of many ideas into one. While Nolan could've made ten different movies out of the ideas he used for Inception, he chose to culminate them into just one film.
The aspect of designing the dreams, the need for an architect, is where Ellen Page comes in. Contrary to popular opinions, Page's character is probably the most important one in the movie, even more than Leonardo Di Caprio's. The initial scenes where Di Caprio explains to Page the ways the dream architecture works, he gives her the first insight into his own head.

Clearly one of the best scenes in the movie is where Page creates the glass walls and turns them towards Di Caprio to show him the layers in his own mind, to show that he is in fact, as confusing as any other human. This was essential, as he was a closed book and he needed to come to terms with the fact that Page had the power to reach inside of him. His reaction plainly shows that he didn't quite expect this from her. This whole sequence, unmistakably, is a reference to Nolan's earlier work, Doodlebug.

In the line of movies that explore the possibility of an alternate reality, Inception follows Shutter Island. Strangely, Di Caprio stars in both. I wouldn't be surprised if he comes up with his own movie on this theme!

More references flow out throughout the movie. The 'paradox' staircase is plainly lifted from Escher's painting, which, incidentally, is his take on Einstein's theory of relativity.

The much debated 'kick' in the movie is a real-life phenomenon that every one of us (well, those who sleep at least) experiences. It's the mind waking itself up, in case that initial burst of sleep was accidental. That of course, helps when you sleep, behind the wheel for example.

The dialogues were a disappointment, at least in some places. The characters kept asking the obvious questions to Di Caprio when they were confused, Ellen Page especially, and he was giving them such cliched answers. The answers weren't loaded and it was quite direct, which is such a waste of sound waves.

These are but very few references. And this is again why I think Nolan's beginning to run out of ideas. I sincerely hope he doesn't because he's one of the more exciting directors of our times. Scorsese, sadly, is a bit past his prime, and there's only so much about James Cameron you can like. Somehow, strangely, Clint Eastwood is still churning out some excellent stuff (Grand Turino is better than some of his earlier works) and then there's Guy Ritchie, who also, is running out of themes. The Coen Brothers, who make some of the best mind-fcuk movies, (some even better than Gilliam I suppose) are way cooler than Nolan. But Nolan gets the prize just because he's more popular and frankly, quite brilliant.

But despite all this, I love the movie. Just for the sheer guts the man had making something of this scale. The number of theories doing the rounds online based solely on the final shot is a testimony to his creation. Nolan's unleashed a beast of a movie. It left me thinking a great deal and the volume of deconstruction required for this movie by itself is mind blowing.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

This and That..

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a time of desperation, it was a time of utter contentment. It was up, it was down. It was the freaking roller coaster ride, it was the most satisfying cruise.

It was walking all that distance in the sun, it was whirring away in the bike. It was being scolded early in the morning for being insufferably wrong, it was being correct. It was the need to emphasise, it was not giving a damn. It was unsurmountable guilt, it was plain innocence.

It was wanting to catch her eye, it was giving her the slip. It was not knowing what to do if the attention was caught, it was showing her the finger. It was agonizing to even face her, it was joy beyond imagination to meet her. It was unbelievable suspense trying to figure it out, it was plain as day what the intentions were. It was spending ages thinking of ways to impress her, it was slitting away to another room at the sight of her. It was concern when she jabbed her toe, it was the poker face.

It was being me, it was being myself. It was being the usual stupid self, it was a brain wave moment. It was a moment of unforgivable foolishness, it was an epiphany. It was self-depreciation, it was boasting. It was gratitude, it was ungratefulness. It was self-sacrificing, it was an ego the size of a mountain.

It was happiness, it was sadness. It was the idiocy, it was a stroke of genius.

It was me, it was stupid. It was me, it was brilliant.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The insomnia creeps up

It's kinda boring to be an insomniac. One spends the nighs wide awake like an owl, and the days feeling all tired and sleepy, except when one decides to hit the bed, one doesn't sleep for more than a couple of hours, after which one wakes up like one's been jolted with a micro ampere of electricity. (Seriously, even a single ampere will kill one.)

Insomnia makes one type long sentences with a lot of commas in them. One also looks up random and useless trivia.

When one spends close to twenty hours a day being awake, wide or bleary eyed, one is exposed to a lot of things that normal people aren't. (The assumption being that anybody who doesn't spend twenty hours a day awake is normal.) And this is fun. This is vital information that one can use to taunt the normal folk.

For example, if anybody says that Chennai is a concrete jungle and one can no longer hear the birds chirp early in the morning, they are lying. Well, they aren't, because more often than not, they aren't awake during these early hours. One is, and that makes one privy to the information that birds do chirp, rather happily if one might add, at around 5 am in one's neighbourhood.

One leaves work at around 1250 these days. One watches the first half of the midnight football match and leaves immediately to get back home before the second half starts. It's just five kms away anyway. The fact that one has to make it before the second half starts is enough motivation to torture one's bike to get one home fast enough, not that one needs the motivation, one usually rides like a maniac who's rushing to a hospital for a kidney transplant. When one rides that fast, there aren't really many things one can notice en route. But there are some startling things that stand out.

Like this junction in T Nagar for example. The usually crowded junction, which is literally packed with traffic that measures its moves, like somebody's going to nuke them if they move too many metres at once, is absolutely devoid of any human life. A stray dog is happily sleeping. A couple of dogs are probably engaged in coitus, it's hard to say when one's going that fast. There is a lone ice cream vendor who's cycling to wherever he's cycling. One stopped him once and asked him for something to eat and he said that only the ice creams above 15 bucks are available and since one doesn't earn and one is still shamelessly mooching off his parents, one refused to buy the ice cream. One put up a long face and rode back home in solitude.

Since one's house plays neighbours to a liquor store, one finds many drunk and passed out men strewn along the route to one's home. Usually, the drunk men have enough sense to pass out on the platform. Some do spill out to the road. Then there are those who are right in the middle of the road. When the head light in one's bike doesn't work, this can turn out to be quite a sticky situation. One is often required to swerve at the last moment, thereby either coming too close to the platform, or waking up a sleeping dog. The dog which was sleeping till one decided to wake it up then chooses to chase one down till it is satisfied that the noise of the bike's engine drowns its barks.

It is quite a different world out there when the normal folk sleep and insomniacs roam around clueless. It's a world that one must not miss.

"With the birds I share this lonely view"

Thursday, 24 June 2010

A day of laxatives

What a day it was yesterday.
First, the old pint drinking men turned up in Red and played their hearts and dialysis machines out. It was agonizingly slow to watch them, but they seem to have found one of their balls and netted it. England won their first match 1-0, making it to the round of 16. All the barmen in England were financially secure for the rest of the year.

Second, the pipe munching, accent carrying, lip curling engineers from the fatherland threw a pie in their supporters face who lined themselves with White, Red and Gold by marching out in Black and Gold. With their oft repeated German Precision, they finally threw one back into the net well past the half way mark and made it through to the next round. To cap it, in the next channel, the Kangaroos defeated the Serbs, rejoiced and then cried as the news trickled in that they still didn't make it to the round of 16. It is back to bucketing kangaroo poop for them.

The best of all news though, came well into the night.
The Duracell bunnies now have names, John Isner and Nicolas Mahut. They played the most epic match ever. The match went on for so long that someone hit a bright idea and created a Twitter account called GrassCourt_18 and started tweeting the pains of being a grass court at the Wimbledon where two men played on like they had nothing else to do. When Mahut finally won, erm - the appeal to call it a day thanks to the deteriorating light, the match was suspended at the last set being tied at 59 games a head.

Court no 18 lives to be stomped on by an angry Frenchman and a resilient American for another day.

Friday, 18 June 2010

My Ineptitude

When do we start distinguishing between a pain that is physical and one that is psychological? There are medicinal proofs that psychological pains can translate into physical pains. That, by any stretch of logic, means that either your brain can't quite distinguish between the two or your brain decides that this pain is worth crossing the line into the other.
Is this rewritable?
It's been fun the past week. I managed to hoodwink my colleagues to think that I can write something and that it is worth publishing on a newspaper. It was interesting in the sense, I realised how much of a non-fit I still am in this job. There are obviously lessons that I learned and lessons that I didn't recognise. Honestly, a byline is over-rated. So you wrote something and it came on the paper, big deal! It doesn't affect the way you process things, does it? It still doesn't change the fact that you'll throw up a million masks to every single new person you meet. It has no bearing on the way you look at life, be it welcoming on cynical.
It's funny how one single conversation can have heterogenous responses. It's funny how someone who you thought had half-a-decent idea of who you were says that they never expected some action from you.
There are some people who bring a smile to my face. Then there's her. She's never failed to make me gleeful. She's never signed off without knowing that I've smiled. I try hard to do the same to her, but she's charming beyond compare. There's no one that compares with her.
It had been close to a year since we had a proper conversation, apart from the usual hi and bye on chat. It was a chat again and it was just for some twenty minutes. But even she would've been charmed.
It's not the things she says, it's not how she says it. It's not even how she puts it. She makes me stop. She makes it hard for me to think away from what she said. It's her, there's no arguing with the effects she has on me.
And the best part, she has no clue about all this.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The Answer

I've finally made mild sense of what/who I am.

I am a cockroach in a toilet where the light's just been turned on.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

I've got something to tell you

Everybody has a secret. That one deep dark secret that has changed the course of your life forever. If you haven't had it yet, consider yourself lucky and find a bomb shelter, fast. Sometimes, it's so damn obvious that it stares at you from right in front of your face, to haunt you forever. But secrets aren't always some scary shit that you did when you didn't 'have any other choice'. They could be something nice you did which didn't result in the recognition some other narcissist might have demanded.
Everybody wants to shed their baggage. They do want to offload it, may be they don't know how, but they sure as hell do. The problem with that is they do not recognise the consequences of that offloading. They spent a big part of that lifetime carrying a mighty old dirty/nice secret along with them, building lies upon lies to hide the base, sometimes 1so much so that the base is something unrecognisable. So if they do ever offload, they'd blink till the world cracks.

City Island: This movie is one of those exceptionally brilliant movies that you watch purely by chance. It was released this year, well atleast is US it was, and it has a simple cast. Some recognisable names, but no one earth shattering.
The characterization is like nothing I've seen before. The pick would have to be Emily Mortimer's role. She plays this beautifully scripted part. She's like the voice in your head. She looms large, omnipresent. But she can't handle it if you do end up doing what she's been pushing you to do. She goes back as suddenly as she came from.
Don't let the comedy fool you. Beneath the simply written lines that would definitely invoke some, not much, humour, are some brilliant roles.
The guy who plays Tony, is pure class. He's that storm that is required to shatter a pseudo-perfect setup. That person/thing that happens so fast that you don't know what hit you. But the difference between this storm and the voice in your head is that the storm stays back to watch the damage/good it's done.
Easily over-looked would be the son's character. He's the other voice in your head. That supervisor. That voice that says out loud the things you'd always wanted to say, but never could, because of pithy issues like morality and decency.
The best scene for me was the last portion where the story is all broken down step by step for you. The effects are there to see. The way Emily Mortimer stays till everything she wanted to be see done is done and then silently slips away, yet leaving a trace of her escape. The way the eyes of the son contort when he hears his dad's 'dirty big secret'.
Purely wonderful.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Off you go

*take a deep breath*
*describe a recent event incessantly with a mad rush of words (that may or may not make sense, to you or otherwise), and walk away without waiting for the listener(s)' response*
*draw breath back*

Repeat process if required.

"But what's puzzling you, is the nature of my game"

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Home, Home again..

What a long, strange trip it's been. I was waiting outside my cousin's home, on the street, with two huge suitcases. This auntie from across the street was seamlessly multi-tasking between flipping her chappatis, giving me the stink eye and contemplating on calling the Police. That was ten months ago.

I was one of those who believed in the inherent goodness of humans. After some choice experiences thanks to some select people, I pity the fool I was. Delhi's given me a fantastic deal. Good friends, better memories and the best alone time I've ever had.

The moment I stepped into the Delhi bound train (seems like a lifetime ago), I decided that I had to test the city to its limits and to put myself under the microscope. I did, to a large extent, get side tracked often. But more often than not, my experiments and illusions were ably guided and suited for the city that is Delhi.

But that was before. Home is where I am right now. Chennai. A city with which I've been tied ever since birth. There are things here that I don't understand, things that are beyond me. But still, there are the people who condone me. God bless them.

Monday, 26 April 2010

No safety, no surprise..

Have you been lucky? Wipe that sheepish smile off and think. Have you been lucky to have someone who knows you?

I look around and realise there are certain things which are taken for granted in this age and time. There’s the whole concept of love where I don’t think I have enough experience to deliver a lecture, come to think of it, nobody does. You can never be loved enough or love enough, or something like that goes that saying.

For an ant, its whole life is all about going to places in a line, collecting some huge sweet thing, lugging it on its back and bringing it back to the hideout. That’s its life. That’s what we humans think its life is. We never know, do we? We look at birds and have a construct about its life. Take any form of life for example and we think we’ve got it all figured out.

May be we’ve figured it out correctly. May be the crux of a beaver’s life is in fact building a lodge in the middle of that beautifully flowing stream. May be, just maybe, a dog’s life is all about barking at strangers, wagging its tail and sticking its tongue out all the time. We could be terribly off the mark here for all we know.

There are scholars, thinkers and even some idiots who happily claim that human life is all about loving and being loved. We are here as warm, fuzzy and emotionally delving creatures going about our lives trying to analyse other people, trying to deconstruct another complex human’s mind and actions. The answer to the question in every self-dignified, thinking, articulating human mind is the one that’s popped up at an irritating frequency, what is the purpose of human life.

Douglas Adams must have been laughing his butt off when he wrote “42”. He fucked with a lot of brains there, throwing them off the mark by a light year. He definitely must have been laughing.

Let’s assume for an instant that we aren’t the only gifted beings to possess the sixth sense. What if that dog that you saw sleeping on a platform today was contemplating on the rest of its day? What would a cat that’s fed by its owner whenever it meows constantly for a minute make of its owner? A meow controlled feeding robot perhaps? What would a dolphin make of its trainer? What would that streamlined sting ray think about the latex clad swimmer?

PS: Trying to write something in an empty room where you have a limited playlist and not many other things to do, can let the stream of consciousness travel uninhibited.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Hey Mr Tambourine man, where art thou?

I miss a friend. Don't get me wrong. I have lots of friends. Too many, I think at times. None, I think at other instances.

There's the school folks who've seen me as a carefree guy and who were probably too young to remember me by anything other than silly childish antics.

Then there is the gang of people from my second school. I term them people because, no offence if any of you from that bunch is reading this, I really don't consider them my friends. Those two years at KV was my time of introspection. The self-realisation period. The shocks, thrills, scenes and memories are few from that time. With others that is. Within myself, those were the years when I spent time alone at home sitting in a dark room listening to music till my mom called me for dinner. School, music, little sleep, school. Towards the end of that time, before college started, my fantastic fetish for movies began.

College was an entirely different period. Time of silence and loneliness interspersed by moments of joy in abundance. A time when I realised for a fact the kind of person I was, thanks to a special someone and no thanks to the rest. There was a gang of cronies, friends, accomplices, partners, mates, companions, strangers, buddies, pals, call them what you will. My refusal played a role too. Friends they were, some of them still are.

Then came one of the best years in this life. TSJ. Not because of the people. Well, that would be blatant lying. It was all because of the people. The ugly egotistic mind bogglingly stupid idiots, the lovely buddies, the amazing philosophers, the oft quarrelling, the stoners, the drunkards, the smokers, the sensitive asses, the pathetic losers, the corner addicts, the pseudo friends, the mask possessors, the riddlers, the jokers, the unknown citizens, the mystical beings, the layered, the cold.

Unfortunately, or so I think, there's no one for me who's seen me through all of the above put together. Nobody who is common to all. Nobody who has endured my monumentally daft antics, my moments of pronounced joy, my depression cycles, my self-destruction phase, my suicidal segment, my outreaching efforts, my attempts at deliberate socialising and much more.

It's becomingly increasingly clear to me that nobody can. Nobody who has even an iota of consciousness would. Nobody with enough common sense to scratch when a mosquito bites could.

Bluntly, nobody should.

Monday, 12 April 2010

Nothing Matters..

Of late, I've started realising that my life's been all about cribbing and whining. My blog holds testimony to that claim. But hey, not that anybody gives a tiny portion of a rat's ass. So, here I go again.

I am losing the mojo to find the mojos of things around me. Ever since I started recognising the voices in my head, I'd pit the time frame to be between 8th and 10th stds, I've had an enviable push helping me along my way. There have been times when there have been too many things occupying my mind. And then there have been times when it's been quite empty. But the promise of new things to spend my mind time on has always existed and that has excited me.

But not these days.

I'm almost done with college. This pre-internship programme has told me quite a few things about me. The last few weeks have zapped me, physically and mentally. And I dread the prospect of things the next few weeks hold. I have almost nothing to look forward to. The promise that the usually brilliant horizon holds has been bleak for a while now. And as I said, I am losing the mojo to find the mojos of things around me.

P.S: I changed the title four times for this post. Previous ones: Vapidness at its best, Time kills interest, mojo jojo is the deadness, Why do you bother, Should I title this?.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Formula One - Who said it's boring?!

The Formula 1 season is well underway. Two Grand Prix weekends later, the same people who went blowing their trumpets saying F1's boring and no overtakes and the rule changes suck and this year's going to be the worst year and there's no water in my tap, so F1 is boring, have now found their bottle of glue.

Bahrain GP was monumentally boring. That particular GP has been boring ever since its inception. The camera angles are mostly long, so that makes it look like someone's pulling the cars towards the camera with strings. The static desert on both sides of the track made the whole race look ultimately stagnant. And worst of all, there weren't as many apex cameras as there usually are, so there was no chance the TV Audience could listen to the beautiful orchestra those whirring V8 engines created. Boring!!

This year was no exception. As if the above mentioned reasons weren't enough, the drivers were making it agonisingly boring to watch by being very very careful. I don't blame them though.

The whole ban on refuelling was new for the drivers. No matter how experienced they are, driving a car that has its butt loaded with five times the usual amount of fuel is no child's play. It takes a lot to handle a car that heavy. You have so many things to consider as a driver. There's tire degradation (varies since the rear tires are being pushed down, thanks to the heavy fuel tank being right above them, while nothing of that sort happens to the front tires), fuel consumption, tire temperature, engine balance etc etc!!

It was their first time, that's my point. Bahrain GP was when best drivers in the world were foxed. If you need any proof as to what makes them the best drivers in the world, you only had to watch the Australian GP this past weekend.

The race was ultimately awesome. Brilliant strategies (esp from Jenson Button and Robert Kubica) on tire usage, so many overtakes, spins and crashes. The rain only made it better. The race proved that it was just a matter of time till they all adjusted to the radical changes in the rules.

Reliability issues have bogged down Vettel so far. But I have a strong feeling it's only a matter of time till the folks in Red Bull figure out what's happening and fix it.

And the way I see it, it isn't an eight way battle for the title. Going by the hints so far, Mercedes hasn't got the pace to compete for the title. Mercedes is that team which looms behind the leaders constantly, waiting to grab that one off chance when the leaders make a mistake. They are someone to be worried about, but not championship material, at least not so far.

Monday, 22 March 2010

No, I don't want to be a Child again..

I hate the people who say "I wish I could be a child again". I loathe them. And I try to stay as far away from them as possibly. These are people who are mad enough to admit that they have no hope in life and that they'd rather be a soft cuddly bunch of flesh than a thinking, articulating, deliberating and rationalising human being. You definitely can't do that when the only thought that's occupying your mind is which finger to suck on.
What about the innocence? The fact that nobody bothers you? And the biggest argument of all, the no baggage thing.
Innocence: How lame is this for a reason? So you've had a tough time being a teenager, did a thing or two and got into a wat load of trouble. Isn't that what being a teenager all about? Would you rather be the one with a sad teenage, or the cool grandpa on the rocking chair telling those wide-eyed kids about the way you had to wait a mammoth ten minutes before your browser decided to sign you into yahoo mail. Which one would you rather be?
I hate being the innocent one. I'd rather be guilty of doing something (and getting to know something in the process) than an innocent one in the corner of the room with the puppy face. I'm not saying I want to know everything. Nobody knows everything. But should that stop you from trying to know as many things as possible? Our brain's supposed to have a finite amount of space for memories and trivia. Why not fill it up? Even better, overflow it?
Being a kid is like being a white board. It's got nothing in it. It gives you so much potential, so much to do. And not doing anything is probably the worst decision you can make in your terribly insignificant life. I'd happily be the bloke shouting out the wrong answers, than the dunce who's stitched his mouth up.
It's fun being lonely. Solitary confinement would do me a lot of good, as opposed to what many people might think. I like being lonely and left alone. But to give up the wonderful friends I have been blessed with, for some moments with my self is not what I'd do. I still manage to find some time for myself, just the voices in my head and me, despite all the friends and people surrounding me. Besides, loneliness can never be permanent (at least that's the lie I tell myself).
Everybody has baggage. George Clooney would agree, or at least the character he played in Up In The Air would agree. Whatever you say and do, you just can't have a clean slate. You can shift cities, go to a place where nobody knows you or has even heard of you, but there, you are your biggest enemy. Your mind, with all the stories, memories and strands of connections, will keep bringing back your heaviest moments.
I don't want to be a Child again.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Of construction and deconstruction..

The other day, don't ask me which day, I was walking down the road near my room with a plate of momos in hand and ARR's blissful music in my ears, heading to the local construction site nearby to watch them do their work. Before you re-read that sentence, let me tell you that I like watching construction. It is one of those things that takes my mind off whenever I trouble it with many a thought.

I remember this 14 floor apartment near my house back in Chennai which was under construction while I was in school. It took them three years to complete it. Many an evening of the three years of my forgettable teenage was spent watching the men and women who came from afar, mix cement, sift sand and bend iron rods. Watching construction gives me a sense of satisfaction. It tells me that things once started, however slow they proceed, do come to an end. It gives me optimism when in the back of my mind, I know that this particular building has come up here surviving the wrath of the Indian Bureaucracy. That is a revelation and a relief. When you can construct something in India, crossing all the corruption, the delays and the sheer laziness of the government employees, life's but a joke.

There are times that this quirk of mine took me places. Once, back in the days when a motorbike mocked my height, I was stuck with the trusty rusty cycle. Obsessed with watching anything that was being constructed, I cycled a good 8 kms to sit and watch the construction of a flyover. I remember that evening pretty well for two reasons. One being the above and the second being the fact that I went all the way there to watch a huge yellow crane place a portion of the flyover between two pillars. Weirdly, it was very satisfying to watch this. I bought myself a pack of chips and stationed myself on a huge rock that was lying on the ground.

With chips in hand and the cycle in my eye-sight, I sat there watching the crane, the man in the crane, the men outside the crane and the two men on a ladder on each of the two pillars, shouting constant instructions to the crane handler. For three hours, long after my chips pack travelled through my large intestines, the men successfully placed the connecting piece of road between the two pillars. I didn't realise it was done until the men climbed down their ladders and the crane man switched it off and the growling thing came to a stand still.

And this wasn't just a one off incident. Whenever I reached the playground earlier than my friends, or when I aimlessly roamed around an area just because I didn't feel like going back home, I used to look for construction sites and spent time there.

Here in Delhi, my room's window opens to a construction site. A big small stadium being constructed for the Commonwealth Games. Even though it brings in loads of dust, even though there are drilling and hammering sounds 24X7, I love watching the action of construction.

PS: Why do we call a building a building, even after it's built?!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya

Tragedy. You know it's tragic when someone like Gautham Menon runs out of ideas and chooses to go by the formula. Boy meets girl, love at first sight, even the religious reason is used to object the love, threatening father, elder brother who gives the hero a chance to fight, and saying that he knows boxing is a lame way of justifying the gravity defying falls that the villain's minions take thanks to a single punch.

Split the movie into two halves. The first half is purely amateurish. The dialogues are natural. The use of Tamil and English in the same sentence is, for the lack of a better word, realistic. Deny it how you may, but that is how many of us speak and think. But the 'love at first sight' thing is now boring. The Director has taken the pain to pen dialogues that are in daily parlance. But those lines haven't been put out well by Simbu. It is painful to see him attempt acting.

The first half, frankly, looks like it has been directed by the guy who makes documentaries in college festivals. Yes, it has a style, yes it has substance, but it looks completely different to the second half. It looks like Gautham gave the mantle to someone and sat in the corner sipping coffee. And seeing that the amateur screwed up his job, Gautham seems to have taken the bull by the horn and made a second half to the movie which looks more like course correction than path setting.

The last 20 odd minutes of the movie made me wonder where the person who weaved this wonderful poetry disappeared for the rest of the film. The creative genius of Gautham is proven in those minutes. That was powerful and effective. But if he's chosen to give that kind of a monumental ending, why in all that's holy did he make us go through everything before that.

As for the expectations that at least Gautham would do justice to ARR's songs and give a proper visual, I was disappointed. Aaromale was well done. Anbil Avan had an expected video. But the other songs, especially Kannukkul Kannai was a pain to watch. It was a beautiful song of pain and agony filled with images of tall monkeys in white hats.

VTV did have some good points. It was a change to watch Simbu being docile and attempting to 'act'. Trisha's acting and characterization shows Gautham's will to give the heroine a strong role. The cameraman acting as a comedian with simple funny lines was a relief. The background score was well used. The scenes were carefully set in places in Chennai which are rarely seen.

If only Gautham had taken the pain to direct the whole movie and not just taken over from the ass who directed the first half, this would've gone down as a classic in Tamil Cinema.

Sitting alone and reminiscing.

The usually crowded and chaotic market in model town bore a desolate look last night. Typically bustling shops had either pulled down their shutters or had one or two customers. Even the street lights were switched off barring a few. I had finished with my dinner and was walking down the pavement all alone, with a large cup of sprite in my hand. I couldn’t help but notice the calm atmosphere of the otherwise noisy market place.

I looked around a bit. I was in no rush to get back to my room. I sat down on the steps of one of the shops and was just humming some random song when it hit me. I was lonely. That thought wasn’t new to me. But somehow, last night, it brought back memories. Memories that were associated with the moon and it was pretty hard to ignore that white disc hanging in the sky, I think it was full moon last night.

The moon has played a rather pivotal role in my life. First there were those days during school when I spent time on my terrace star gazing just before dinner, dirtying the back of my t-shirt quite considerably. Then there were those days when the terrace of my friends played host to my moon gazing, along with a companion, more often than not. And more recently, in Delhi, when I go up to the terrace and sit on the parapet wall and simply gaping at the most beautiful thing in the whole universe.

Gone are those days, without doubt. As I sat alone on the pavement, my thoughts taking me from memory to memory, world to world, I reminisced. The recollections filled my head and I had a burst of emotions. I was happy for those times, those memories that have, in their own little ways, shaped my life. I was sad because I knew that those days had come to an end.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Looking back..

I have this bad habit of looking back at the things I have done or said over the past years. I'm calling it a bad habit mainly because I look at my actions and tell myself, and the three other voices in my head, that there couldn't have been anything more stupid that I could've done. Somehow, I always feel that whatever I did, even if it was an action resulting out of a well-thought out decision, I'd curse myself and beg the voices to deliberate more the next time.

All this anti-myself things would only result in more introspection and more delays in making even the simplest of decisions. My process, as already pointed out by some people at key points in my hateful life so far, is terribly SLOW and needs to pick up speed. On the other hand, those voices don't really understand the need for speed and start arguing for ages strung together.


The toilet has always been my escape pod. My toilet back home, as emphasised previously, has been my epiphany-pot and has helped me many a time. Somehow, when I am inside the toilet on a sunday morning, taking my own sweet time (sometimes hours), just to poop and take bath, I am in a different world. A world where nobody tells me it's time to submit this, call her, go there, buy that, deliver that there, pay this there, post that etc etc. That world feels like it is a few light years away, unable to disturb me.

When I am in the other world, a world where all I do is think about things, take decisions, introspect and more, I am connected to the real world only by those thoughts, those intricate strands that are perilously thin but inevitably present.

I am not homesick. If you associate homesick to wanting to go back home for the food or people, I am not homesick. On the contrary, I am toiletsick. I want to spend time in my toilet, my epiphany booth, my teleporter to the other world. Sometimes I feel that the toilet has a voice of its own, telling me things and arguing with the other voices in my head. Maybe that voice has gained permanence in my head.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

One Movie Marathon later, one more is up

After a couple of weeks of some heavy duty work, cramped schedules and a lack of social life later, yesterday was a much needed and long overdue holiday. And what did I do? A Movie Marathon obviously.

Accepted - A random time pass comedy movie with improbability strewn all over, good way to start a movie marathon.

American Gangster - I had been wanting to watch this movie for ages now. After reading tons of reviews and being scolded for not watching it by my brother and many others, I finally watched it yesterday and it was definitely worth all the build up. Excellent acting by Russel Crowe and Denzel Washington, simple and smooth flowing storyline, slick directing make this a pretty good watch. It starts off like any other gangster movie and just when you start expecting the usual cliches, it bowls you over. A Gangster movie with just a single sequence of gun-shots and that was almost two hours into the movie. A slightly long movie though, just shy of three hours. Much recommended.

My Best Friend's Girl - Not worth a watch. If you like chick flicks and those mushy mean guy-loves-girl-who-is-loved-by-his-best-friend-and-the-girl-makes-him-realise-his-inner-self kind of movie, this is for you. It's worth watching in Sony Pix or something like that, but not fit enough for a movie marathon.

I have another movie marathon lined up for Sunday, pretty excited about it. Just need to make sure that I don't waste the precious marathon time by watching silly movies.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Times School of Journalism 2009-2010

Ego - recognition - tolerance - disgust - dedication – favouritism - debates - intellectual shunning - smirking - bitching - back biting - disappointment - glares - glances - competition - cries - smiles - embarrassment - anger - trepidation - hesitation - superiority complex - racism - moral obligations - arguments - hugs - kisses - fights - soup - tea - missed lunch - “What misery?” - flopped plans - sudden plans - bus rides - metro rides - convocations - conferences - free food - cheap food - good friends - misunderstood people – layers of clothes – presentations – crushes – infatuations – hint of love – drunken confessions - pathetic judgements – one on one conversations - unwanted venting - deliberate action - parties - drunken talks - doped up laughter - inferiority - controversies - rumours - girls - bitches - gossips – missed chances - late night talks - chats - train rides – auto rides – assignments – redo – display on the board – shivering nights – bad mix and match – missed calls – messages – trips – bike rides – ice cream – India Gate – dry days - viruses – pen drives – bluetooth buttons – wifi – after 4 – jokes that went unappreciated – concerts - plays – lines that were laughed at – unappreciated sarcasm – blog posts – status messages – tweets - giving up – music exchange – humungous plans – falling flat – sudden dilemmas – spontaneous decisions went wrong – winks – innuendos – double entendres – sudden end – flying time – desperation – goodbyes – hugs – handshakes- .

Friday, 15 January 2010


The last two weeks rushed past me faster than the Veyron, maxed out.

The year started off with an emergency call from home and I spent the midnight of the last decade worrying about Dad's health, rubbished my fears and finally dozed off at around 3 am only to be woken up by the Taxi guy at 430. Weirdly, when I reached home, I wasn't as freaked out and scared as I expected myself to be, probably I braced myself up too much.

A week later, I am a changed guy. One who's been shown a glimpse of his future and has been starkly reminded of his responsibilities. I don't want to shun it, but I am not sure if I can handle it, or if I'm even supposed to.

One week in Delhi and I've again been reminded why I like Delhi. Sadly, only three months remain.

Two different weeks, Two different lives, Two Extremes. The future, the present, intertwined by the past.

Friday, 1 January 2010


Strangely, I am feeling nothing but regret right now. Don't ask me why. Don't ask me when. But that's that.

Shitty Reliance, Slow Vodafone and six odd grands later, I am flying back home to attend to an emergency. Here's hoping that it doesn't complicate further.

Oh, and Happy New Year btw. Atleast for you guys. Let's not let my pessimism affect your prospects.