07 December 2010

Be the Sun!

You’re far away for a reason,
As She knows if you are near, it will be treason!

You soak her, in your rays,
But she can’t escape now, from her earth bound ways!

You are tempted, to cross the line,
But she knows her conflicted heart, cannot bear the pain!  

Your restraint, leads to silence,
Her duties flow, feeling your presence!

Your restless heart knows, the irrefutable fact,
Her melancholy smile says, it is our pact!

It’s love without ownership,
Why struggle for guardianship?

Your heart, has her place,
Be assured, of her space!

Give her, the right energy,
Watch her grow, with your synergy!

Shine on her, everyday,
Don’t impose on her, your every say!

Know your role, in this Universe,
Your joy comes, feeling her verse!

You are partial, to what makes your heart Sing,
Let her free, to watch her fly with wings!

Do your duty, as the Sun,
Sink in her beauty, as one!

This is a test, of your inner fire,
Carry her warmth, beyond your pyre!

02 December 2010


When you eliminate all the necessities and strip your self down to its bare bones, if you are left with just a word, you know that’s you! Unvarnished, raw,core essence of who you are. Sometimes, it’s more than a word,maybe two, rarely three but anything more than that is just a derivative or unnecessary! 
Words are universal and they strike a chord irrespective of the language. An “Om”(Absolute reality) could be the basic origin of all words to someone that connects them to their inner self! A “Maktub”(It is Written) could become a little boy’s guiding light in the dark to the realization of his dreams! An “Attraversiamo”(Let’s cross over together) could be your journey over to peaceful place within your self! And when things go downhill no matter how good you think you are, nothing says it better like “Shlimazl”!
Perhaps the most profound one’s are those that makes your lips curve and smile just by saying them,like,“Mellifluous”! You feel it flowing without any hurry yet elegant like a princess walking by with gait and balance and the right curves! You can’t say “Swasame”(Breath) without sinking your breath and letting it go with love. There are some fleeting emotions that arise and vanish in a second but have a way of melting in your conscious. Not many languages have a word for those moments but the people of Tierra Del Feugo, living in the southernmost tip of South America must know about vagaries of love more than any other culture. They have a word called “Mamihlapinatapei”. It means a look shared by two strangers who feel connected in an instant yet each one is hesitant to make the first move even though they know both of them want to.
The words of necessity makes us worry. Makes us petty. Makes us suffocate in ourselves. They take the beauty out of ordinary making us miss the extraordinary surrounding us. 
On the other hand,words of desire,dreams and unconditional love, liberates us. Makes us pause. Makes us generous. Makes us capable. Makes us purposeful.
The more we collect these gems, the more we are equipped to walk with our heart. Words are thoughts. Words are suggestions. Words are the fuel to our feelings. As you pick the right one, digging through all the junk inside you, buried under the layers of heaviness and feel it rising up, finding a way between the crevices of your ventricles, reaching your neck and jumping in waves from your throat,finally gushing out, being freed from your heart, you realize,you are lighter,happier with a content smile of having understood that word. When you see your listener smiling back for having received it, you know that word will now travel to spread the joy! Attraversiamo!

18 July 2010

Inception - The Immersive Dream!

“It is on the whole probably that we continually dream, but that consciousness makes such a noise that we do not hear it!” – Carl Jung

The best way to judge an act is always ask yourself what you felt in the end.

If you felt exhausted and still deliriously happy, you know it was a memorable love making session. If you felt relieved, content and peaceful, you know your baby is fast asleep. If you felt a heated argument is getting resolved without saying a word, you know you are holding your lover in your arms. If you yell “Damn!” at the last scene with 100 other people and still scratching your head yet happy you managed to hold your feet through two hours and thirty five minutes grasping the concept in last half hour, it just means you have experienced Nolan’s “Inception!”.

To say Nolan is the combination of Cameron, Spielberg and Kubrick, wouldn’t be an understatement after watching “Inception”. Inception is a high stake, ensemble, heist movie of subconscious proportions that takes you through layers of dreams each with its own set of rules defying gravity and time continuum.

At the core of this ensemble is Cobb, played by Leo Dicaprio, who is fighting his own demons due to his wife’s suicide.Marianne Cotillard devlishly plays Mal, Cobb's wife living in his dreams. Ellen Page plays Ariadne, the architect of dream world. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays Arthur, Cobb’s right hand man. Tom Hardy plays a charming, witty Eames who can forge his appearance in dreams. Dileep Rao plays the chemist Yusuf whose potion induces heavy dream state while Ken Wattanabe plays Saito, an industrialist who is planning to plant an idea in Robert Fischer Jr’s mind(Cillian Murphy), the son of dying Energy company giant, that will lead to dissolving his competitor’s company.

Cobb and his team are experts at stealing ideas from someone’s mind but here, the job is to “plant” an idea that will germinate and dominate that person who will feel so strongly about it as he feels it is “his” idea. He feels it is his “Inception” of that idea. Leo convinces that he can do it and gets his team on this dream adventure.

One of the most quotable quotes from this movie is going be,
What's the most resilient parasite? An Idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules. Which is why I have to steal it.”- Cobb

Nolan doesn’t give you a moment to get used to his world. The movie starts with a meeting in dream world with characters you have no idea about. It moves at a breath neck pace and you are left wondering what the hell is going on. You are not quite sure if you are seeing events in dream world or real one but the slick cinematography, strong acting and urgency of the characters pulls you into those events and you go along with the ride. You realize Cobb is separated from his two kids in America and he is desperate to see them. Saito is making a proposal that’s hard to refuse but it’s dangerous. Michael Caine does his usual “I am the Master and you are my best spoilt student” routine and gives Cobb, Ariadne ,who is supposed to be even smarter than Cobb. You get to see some of the best natural, seamless, breathtaking effects as Ellen Page and Leo walk up the folded streets of Paris in their dream world training.

Unlike Matrix, where Lawrence Fishbourne takes you in to a training program and explains exactly what is happening with Agents and “real world”, Nolan, purposely doesn’t explain. He wants you to scratch your head, drop your jaw and stay confused. He teases your intellect and wants you to figure out his puzzle and maze. This is a huge risk and it will either make or break his movie but then, as the movie progresses, you get more information like you pull a person in his dream state into a constructed dream world by the architect of the team and you make the person believe it is “his” dream. Now, you can take this person below another level of dream where the two minutes in level one becomes 2 years and 20 years in level 3 and 40 years in Level 4.

YES! Dream within a dream within a dream within a dream!

The genius of Nolan is in making this an action adventure, showcasing events in each dream level where the slightest disturbance in one level, causes ripple effect in others causing the characters to levitate, fill with rain, fill with antibodies pushing the “artificial dream world ” out as mercenary armed fighters.

The charming characters, the inner demons of Cobb, the seamless effects that brings all the rules onto the screen will make the movie goers watch it again and again, decoding it, deciphering it and make it a classic!

Since the Matrix series, there hasn’t been an intelligent, complicated, high concept, entertaining movie like this. This is what makes Hollywood the “Dream Factory!”.

Watch it! Watch it again! And Close your eyes with caution!

30 June 2010

Midsummer Mid-sentences!

Complication wasn’t new to her. She has been used to it since her teens. It is accepting simplicity that would be beneath her as voting for Republican Party. However this did not make sense. She grew up listening to Eurythmics constantly reminding her “Some of them want to use you…some of them want to be used by you”.

His straightforward responses, seemingly honest tone and unassumingly un-manly behavior has thrown her off her game. It was not supposed to be this way. He was meant to behave like every other asshole that gave her shelter. She expected their advances and allowed her dignity to be willingly pillaged as she locked her soul tightly until the storm was over. She knew the ritual. She knew the motions. She knew the rationale. The mind has a way of applying logic to its convenience and blocking every inner voice from your heart. She repeated the numbers inside her head. 509.508.507. It helped her calm down.

She knew her count.

She loved her Math. When the rest of normal people complain about it, she found it fascinating. The patterns, the logic, and the way seemingly unrelated equations get joined by faith and proven by assumptions that made sense to her senseless life. She could never understand how anyone can not love this beautiful language of equations that balances and unbalances at will yet it rears its head up at unexpected places like the tilted frame of her Mother that is held by the corner flower vase creating a unique triangle that would have made Pythagoras smile in jubilation. Numbers are real. Numbers don’t talk back. Numbers don’t take advantage.

She told herself to breathe. He is not like others. He is truly caring. It is my past sins that make me prejudiced. But he is still a man. A man with a dick. And she knew she couldn’t trust anyone with a dick. It is natural. It will happen eventually. Perhaps not today. Maybe not even a month from now but it is eventuality. It is only a value for X in the equation.  The impulse will take over. The hunt is in their blood. It is evolution. Prey them. Take them into confidence. Win their trust. Make them dependent. And then Pounce!   

It’s been over six hours. He hasn’t invited others to showcase her. He hasn’t opened her door and barged in. Count. Stop obsessing. Count. 357.356.355.

She knew her count.

And finally he came.She decided to let him. She felt his resolve weakening as he came closer. She counted down. Maybe he is innocent. 121.120.119. Maybe it’s not impulse. Maybe he means it as an expression of love. 44.43.42. Maybe he shouldn’t have sold young girls from Nepal as the encrypted files in his laptop shows. Maybe he shouldn’t have shouted “Fuck Me Bitch!” to that 14-yr old who came crying to me. She counted down. 03.02.01.

There were no more numbers. There was nothing left to do as she stared at him with her knife in his gut!

She knew her count. She added one more to it! 

22 June 2010

Curse of a Maniratnam Movie!

To say I can watch a Maniratnam movie objectively is like asking Dick Cheney to assess Iraq War dispassionately. Nevertheless, I do have the power to call my other twin Gemini during these times to do the job. Before I start I have to give a little history lesson.

They say the impact to your senses in the first 20 years lays the foundation for the rest 50 years of your life. My movie life’s foundation was filled with Mouna Raagam at 11, Nayagan at 12, Agni Nakchatram at 13, Geethanjali at 14, Anjali at 15, Thalapathi (Dalpathi) at 16, Roja at 17, Thiruda Thiruda at 18 and Bombay at 20.

While I saw many movies during these times, inevitably Mani’s creations would stand apart. His movies were filled with intelligent characters, breathtaking visuals, women who spoke their minds and a sense of believability for the most part. His one-liners often conveyed what five paragraphs couldn’t convey.
“I need to marry Saira Bhanu”-Shekhar
“Over my dead body”- Narayan(Shekhar’s dad)
“I can’t wait that long!” – Shekhar.

His range includes, Mouna Raagam, a silent emotional journey of a strong woman; Nayagan, an epic life saga of a young 10yr old boy till his 60’s; Agni Nakchatram, a struggle between two step brothers; Geethanjali, an intimate love story between two terminal patients. Anjali, a soulful, tragic story about an autistic girl; Roja, a crisp, tense, patriotic commentary on terrorism; Bombay, a topical, insightful and poignant story of a family caught in the midst of communal riots.

You call a movie a classic when it stands the test of time. It’s a classic when you find a new nuance to appreciate even after years. It’s a classic when you can’t find a flaw in terms of screenplay or acting even after you have grown past your adulthood. It’s a classic when your opinion of that movie still holds after your exposure to other great movies. Mani produced seven classics in a decade. And then he gave Iruvar, Alaipayuthe, and Yuva to add to that list(Thiruda-Thiruda,Thalapathi and Guru doesn’t qualify, Dilse, Kannathil Muthamittal came close but not quite there yet).

With such a track record, and my genetic lenience, I wait with bated breath for Mani’s movies. I ache for another Nayagan experience. I pray it is another Roja visually. I expect an elated feeling of having experienced a new world filled with strong-minded characters when I come out of the theatre.

Alas! With each recent Mani movie that doesn’t live up to his own standards, this Mani Fan feels let down for the lack of more classic additions from his repertoire!   

I don’t want Shahrukh Khan to die in the corner of no-man’s street after two and half hours of luscious beauty and mind-blowing song direction. I want him to die grandly in front of Republic parade saving the prime minister(Dil Se). I want Abhishek to turn good in Yuva after three hours of three different stories(Yuva). I don’t want to be confused if Kannathil Muthamittal is movie about adoption or Srilankan Tamil Fight or Adoptive Parent’s struggle. Mani is known for providing a clean single story arch. Not a confusing tricolor motives for his characters. I don’t want to wonder about what atrocities did Gurubhai commit by reading Ambani’s history. I want to see them on-screen without having to do my home work. I don’t want to assume the bad things that might have been done by protagonist(Raavanan). I want to be truly conflicted about protagonist and antagonist.

We are Maniratnam fans. We are nit picky. We are used to perfection. We demand a tight screenplay and flawless flow of scenes. We want to watch these movies year after year to relieve us from item songs, Mother sentiment, Cheating politicians, Mundane romance and Honest police officer fighting crime stories.

Is it Fair to expect perfection every time ? Absolutely Not!

But the thing is, when I am not impressed with Sachin’s batting, I know I only have to wait two months for his next dazzling display. When I am not impressed with Rahman’s Album, I only have to wait three months for his next musical innovation. When I am not impressed with a Mani’s movie, I HATE to wait 3 more years with the hope of it being another “Nayagan”!

So, my dear Mani, please, for this awful, small, intelligent legion of fans make a movie every year! I don’t need a Nayagan or Roja. I can live with more Guru’s as long as I get some movie moments from you to add to my collection!

17 June 2010

Half Life Déjàvu!

If the average life expectancy is 70, I am half way there today. You keep hearing, “40 is the new 30”, “50 is the new 40”, but, somehow those statements are reserved for multiples of 10 only. When you are 35, you are still 35. The only high you get is moving to next census bracket and insurance risk level. However at times like these, you look to your life partner for assurance and she came through with flying colors today by gifting me a book titled, “ How to be an Adult”!

The trajectory of Birthdays are like playing with your best friend's little daughter. You are excited in the initial stages even though you are not adept at handling a 2 year old. As time passes by and she asks you to pick the same ball she has been throwing for the past 45 minutes, you realize the pain of serving a new master. When you get to 16,18,21,25, in spite of your career not going great and in spite of having a huge credit card debt, you are still excited and feel like the rest of life awaits you. The moment you hit 28 though, the big 30 starts sneaking up. You are supposed to feel empathy for others now. You are supposed to be “somewhere” in the next two years otherwise you are just another 30 year old with more debt and an okay career, which doesn’t seem to ever take off.

Turning 30 feels like all your bluffs are finally being called out. You really get serious about yourself. You begin to make amends. Casual Sex is dangerous. Buying a home is important. Constant Cussing is considered juvenile. Yearly medical check-ups are not optional anymore. In other words, your time to mess up is officially over.Compared to turning 30, 35 is not that bad except you are even more closer to 40. But then, if you manage to shed that extra 20 pounds, even if no one tells you, you can use the “My 40 feels like 30”(although those extra 20 pounds have been in your body since Citibank sent you a pre-approved credit card when you got out of college).

I just don’t understand why those who are born celebrate Birthdays. They didn’t contribute anything to that process. Technically, it is an occasion for your parent’s hard work (pun intended ofcourse). Your mom should be going, “I never thought I carried such a glue filled, gross looking thing in my belly for doing something fun. This will be the day I celebrate how I don’t have to see that thing in same state I gave birth to for rest of my life and losing all that baby fat”. I am sure the Parents who invite the whole world for those 1-2-3 birthdays are celebrating just to prove to rest of the world and pat themselves on their own backs that this evolutionary species is still alive and they haven’t sold it or dropped it enough to have psychological trauma(not everyone is that lucky).  

Maybe they should call Birthdays as (Death) Countdown days(year)! If average life expectancy is 70, when you are 10, you celebrate countdown year 60. When you are 20, it is 50. You are not so lucky when you are 35. Birthday and Countdown Day coincides! You are screwed in the middle! There is one upside though. Calling it Countdown Year will make more people stick to their resolutions for more than 3 weeks.

Perhaps the saddest part moving forward is, you cant say “F*** U” to the little 10yr old kid when he calls you “Uncle!”. For some reason, I always associated the word "Uncle" as someone with huge paunch(damn those 20 pounds), lazy(don’t ask my wife’s opinion on that) and generally talkative kinds who blabber about things you don’t give a rat’s ass about! F***! I have become a friggin Uncle!

Denial, my fellow brethren, is the root cause of happiness!
35 ? what 35 ? you mean Fahrenheit or centigrade ?