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Word of the World

It is apparently, everything in our lives.

The source of sustenance, the reason to make excuses and live your life for those moments that remain etched forever. Hope..

When we are born, we don’t know it yet. We don’t understand the meaning of birth or life, we don’t even know that we exist. In fact, we co exist. People around us give us the feeling of life around us, to see people talking, breathing, hugging each other, saying that we mean something to each other. Till we understand or rather try to understand that this is life. We never know if we will live enough to see what life is. That, for me, is ‘Hope’.

We grow up, get educated, get civilised, meet people, understand people. Then, we fall in love. Yes, the greatest ally and the most destructive exponent of all times is, ‘Love’. Yet, we dare. We want to explore, we want to experiment, we want to toy with the options in our life, little do we know that it’s vice versa. But, we still end up doing the inevitable. And, we want everything we touch to turn in to gold. We want spectacles in life, we want success stories that laud us in every sphere of our life. And, we want it to continue, forever. Undoubtedly, it is ‘Hope’.

Failures strike like venom, disasters don’t knock before they come in. And we, look like puppets in the swaying storm. Life succumbs to tragedies, ruthlessness and adversity. We end up seeing the worst. But, still, we want to live. We want the good days to come back. We want goodness to shine on us like the eternal rays from Jesus. And, we want time to tell us that this ain’t staying for eternity. This is, ‘Hope’.

There is always ‘Hope’, we just have to see it coming.

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The Auteur – Remembering you..

Your films were not just films, they were emotions transcending borders and cultures. A master in portraying human relationships and political drama, you were adept in bringing the best out of stars and actors to deliver the content in a way that could live and breathe for generations to come. One of the finest story tellers in the world of cinema, your films inspire me, every day.

Sir, you are not dead. You are just silent, not making movies anymore but inspiring others to deliver what you did.

Thank you! And, Happy Birthday.

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Rishi Kapoor – The ‘Charm’ is no more

No, please don’t take me for a blogger who only pens down Obituaries. In fact, I hate them because I hate saying goodbye, I don’t believe in goodbyes. But apparently, these are tough times and every morning, I get this bad feeling that we are going to lose people – people who are admired, people we fall in love with, people we look up to when our personal lives looms large over intangible demons.

I was watching ‘Bobby’ yesterday, and the story of a heartthrob began. From the chubby, golu kid in ‘Mera Naam Joker’ to a young and handsome ‘Raj’ in ‘Bobby’, swaying girls across the country. And, it was just the beginning.

Rishi Kapoor has essayed many roles in the last 4 decades, particularly in the romance playground. Films like ‘Karz’, ‘Hum Kisise Kum Nahin’, ‘Khel Khel Mein’, ‘Kabhie Kabhie’ and ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ placed his status firmly with the romantic tag around his growing shoulders. Not to forget, big films like ‘Chandni’ and Damini, where he delivered emotionally charged diificult performances. Off late, it was such a delight to watch him in feel good films like ‘Do Dooni Chaar’, ‘Kapoor & Sons’, ‘Raajma Chawal’ and ‘102 Not Out’. A sheer natural, you will see that coming straight to you in his on screen characters. ‘D-Day’ was an exception but he was fun to watch as a bad guy.

A special mention for ‘Rauf Lala’, the epic gangster that Rishi Kapoor played in the modern adapation of the cult ‘Agneepath’. It was never his space or his genre, a kind of role that he has never done in his long running career. And, his performance was a revelation! I didn’t see Rishi Kapoor, I saw ‘Rauf Lala’ on screen and he became the most watchable character in the most talked about remake of the classic. It was truly a testimony to his acting capabilities. I am gonna watch it again, just for him.

Chintu Ji, we will miss you.

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Irrfan Khan – An Actor of Substance

‘When death strikes, it’s not about the darkness. It’s about those indelible marks that are left behind’.

I really believed that he will fight this out and come back to do what he does best, acting. But somewhere, it was written otherwise. It’s a tragic loss to the world of Cinema, and we have lost brilliance and versatility in the same breath.

But, I have some fond memories of Irrfan Khan as an actor, as someone who gave us something new to cherish every time he dazzled on screen.

His ascending fortunes from a television star to the big screen giant was a leap that was inevitable at some point in his career. His nonchalance, his ability to pull off uncanny roles and his penchant for scripts with a soul were so distinctive of his personality and his films were a testimony to his impeccable on screen characters.

If he was gorgeously disturbed and menacing in ‘Maqbool’, he was painfully convincing in ‘Paan Singh Tomar’. His earlier stints in films like ‘Salaam Bombay’ was a teaser for what was coming ahead of us. He proved how equally subtle and submissive he can be in Mira Nair’s ‘Namesake’, and he refused ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ as he felt that the film challenged his ideologies on religion. That, speaks of a man who was so convinced and resolute about what he was doing.

Films like ‘Piku’, ‘Blackmail’, ‘Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster’, ‘Karwaan’ and ‘Qarib Qarib Singlle’ were meant to be his sidekicks, but he created his own territory in these commercial ventures, which is a tribute for someone whose genre is not mainstream. Yet, he was deceptively and unknowingly so mainstream that we never realised his impact on us as an actor. In ‘Haider’, he was hardly around but his scenes are some of the most revered ones in an iconic film. ‘Lunchbox’ was another gem in his fabulous body of work. His roles in Hollywood films were not very substantial but he did make his presence felt in the international arena with films like ‘Life of Pi’, ‘Jurassic World’, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ and ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. Not to forget, Asif Kapadia’s ‘The Warrior’, which catapulted him to fame and recognition early in his career.

Irrfan, I am not your greatest advocate. In fact, I don’t exist at all for you, in your life. But, why do I feel that today I have lost someone who, somewhere, at some point of time, in many ways, has touched my life and you belong to those moments in my life.

We have lost a genuine actor today, and I will miss your kind of Cinema. I am sure, I will.

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2019: Introspection, Tears and Future

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. And, words encapsulate life.

It’s 31 Dec 2019, and my usual ritual of a customary recap of the previous year is now like a Netflix series – a recurring, never ending one, that is.

2019 will go down as one of the most enterprising ones in my life. And, also the most tragic one.

Enterprising, as I went in to a planning and retrospective mode, torrentially at the same time. Not typically me, but I guess I had too many errands running in my mind and was hell bent to rewrite my future with a pen and paper of my own (not really, I used my MacBook 😀). Nothing so far, but I am confident to reshape my future. Shortly.

Watching my son grow is a delight. The charming fella keeps both of us on our toes, and his smile has become the definition of our lives. He will be 4 next month and we have mixed feelings. We don’t want him to grow up at all, with his ever beautiful smile just frozen over the colourful walls of our lives, forever. On the other hand, we are super excited to watch him grow up, watch him talk with those cutely etched words, his naughtiness in everything he does is so adorable and watchable. We are trying to the best for him, the best that we could ever give to anyone else in our lives. Beings parents to such a lovely boy is a blessing, and parenthood has never looked so seamlessly difficult and endearing.

2019 was also one of the most painful for me. I lost my best friend, my brother, someone with whom I have shared a sibling like relationship for years and I can only talk to him in a way that only we knew was ever possible. We will die one day, it’s inevitable and is as much a reality as life is. But, to lose someone so young and in few minutes without offering an opportunity to reach out for help was devastating. I am still grieving, and am moving on. But, what has descended upon his family is nothing short of an enormous tragedy that is unexplainable in words and emotions. His loss reminded me, rather shook me very hard, to say that life’s fleeting nature could be associated with such inexplicable events. I still don’t believe he is not with us, and I believe that he is very near to me, watching me, smiling at me and just almost ready to kick off a conversation, just like we usually do. Friend, Brother – I miss you. Life will never be the same without you.

Resolutions? Nah. I have never been a person of resolutions, really. I have always been an instinctive person and would like to remain that way. But yes, I would want to see that everyone around me remains healthy, and sound. I have been very inconsistent with my writing this year, largely remained distracted with other necessary evils. I would like to change that this year, I have a couple of short stories up my sleeve and would like to complete them before moving on to newer ventures.

I am rounding it off with few pictures of 2019, the ones that inspired and fascinated me to capture them.

Adios, 2019!

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Prevailing Disasters

If we meet someone for the first time and we end up asking, ‘What’s your name’, it’s a sensible question to ask. But what follows next, is a recipe for disaster and that’s exactly how our society is built. What we hear is what we percieve.

Apocalypse is not a situation for the future, it is a venom that lies deep within our present. What kind of a society believes in exploitation, violence and superstitions that lurk beneath roots and a semblance of darkness? Well, a society is built by people. People are made by birth or reproduction. Birth is not a choice, but the way of life is. And, our life is influcnced by plethora of factors – we are surrounded by some, some are imposed, some seep through education and a lot creeps in through the veins of dispute, culture, lineage and religion. Religion is meant to bring people together amidst differences, diversity and turbulence. Yet, what it has done over the centuries is just the opposite – hatred and scant respect for the human clan.

Caste and the caste system have always been 2 different dimensions to a clumsy concept. Caste was classified by humans and caste system was glorified for political reasons. The Gita or Bible does not talk about any such vehement classification or discrimination of human beings based on caste, creed, race or any mention of a reason for dominance that demeans a status of an individual in a prescribed society. The epic scholar and sage, Thiruvalluvar was an epitome of human resilience and his ‘Thirukurral’ is a magnificent tribute to a clan that should have existed without prejudices, exploitation and tyranny. It is an ode to our culture and a devastating reminder to a bunch of shameless ideologies that has done nothing but to bring ignominy and doom to a world that is still reeling from the events that shook the world in the last 120 years.

It is diffcult today to imagine this world without few iconic and dreadful chapters that displaced the dynamics of human existence forever – The Holocaust, The Cuban Revolution, Vietnam War, Partition of India and Pakistan, The Civil War in Sri Lanka… the list is endless and painful. The question is, do we have a world which is better placed today or was all this sacrifice in vain, for nothing? The answer is equally difficult and debatable. Or can I say, to anticipate or retaliate against such mercurial episodes is a task that beholds audacity and uncertainty in the same space.

The vanity of the situation is more precariously placed when we need our Constitution to define and explicitly state that discrimination of human beings of any kind is unacceptable. Worse, even such disclaimers are not good enough, the disdain and the ruthless killings continue. Yet, we still talk about education, civilization and development.

The caste system is alive because we want it to stay. Caste is a tool, like religion. They are not just symbolic to our existence and way of life, they supplement our tragedies amicably. Apparently, by the poeple who we trust.

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Curious Case of History

Stonehenge has remained a mystery and an enigmatic destination for years and centuries now. But it does invoke resonance and awe in the same breath.

Toppled rocks over a precarious design in different sizes placed over a tepid piece of earth – such torrid piece of landmark inviting such crazy anecdotes could only have one staggering reason. The legend of Neolithic remains that is one of it’s kind in the world, with a history of ruthless and undaunted stories can only draw such notes of torment and torrential attention.

Touted as the ‘Temple of Dead’ since it used to be burial ground, Stonehenge has history dating back to 3000 BC. It is widely believed to be a part of an ancient folklore, some beloved historians believe that Stonehenge was built by God, Demons and the Satan himself. Well, arguments are infinite but the science behind the iconic rocks also summon debate and curiosity, as it is believed that the position of the rocks was used to measure the time of sunrise using the size and altitude of the rocks.

Stonehenge was overwhelmingly stunning and epic, it is only a cluster of dead rocks for people who have poor taste, and have little sense of its diminutive incarnations.

If time permits, another visit is quite an interesting prospect.

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Wild and Close

How would you react if a tiger comes and kisses your car before meeting one of many other tigers for an afternoon cuddle?

I remember seeing them, and my 3 year old son’s epic reaction will always remain etched in my memory as the most memorable one. No, he wasn’t scared as he is too young to understand a tiger’s impact on a man’s life. But as the beast was close and missed him by a whisker, his excitement knew no bounds and the roar of his smile was more mercurial than the tiger’s. That for me, sums up the whole situation.

Well, it was a days of close ups and some of them were brilliant and intimidating. We saw monkeys, giraffe, zebra, Bactrian camels, Black Bear, Bongo, Rhino and Elephants, but up and close with the endangered species of this world was one hell of a sight. We saw the King of the Jungle, and truly, he sat like one, posing for us in the most unblemished way with a pinch of arrogance. Typical, I must say.

I had a tough time to take the best shots, and the most iconic ones are certainly hard earned.

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Sea of Water

The coastal path of Wales is one of those places that doesn’t leave you even after you have left Wales, for a very long time.

We put our tents in Cardiff but it was the blue waters that stayed with us through our uninhibited and refreshing stay in the beautiful land of cliffs, wet landscapes and rocky waters. It’s always a delight to watch waters slash against the mighty rocks and yet not mellow down, thanks to its very nature to wade through sublime and regressive waters.

3 days wasn’t enough, two and a half actually. But it was a visit that we will cherish for a very very long time to come.

I shot some pictures, many to be honest and I was tired but my DSLR wasn’t. I am particularly proud of the close up shots, which talks a lot about emotions and aesthetics.

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A dialogue with God

I ain’t a saint, I understand Karma but am equally susceptible to worldly pleasures and I am not ashamed to admit that I am normally sane and quite easily, overtly ambitious by average human standards.

I lost someone very close to my heart earlier this week. He was a more than a friend, a brother who did not require DNA to get us connected the way we did. And so connected we were in a way that I cannot describe in words, however eloquent they might be. It was a relationship where we cared for each other and we were equally critical of our decisions we made in our lives. But what stood out was the chemistry and the understanding we shared, we could just stop and take off again with elan. I am now poorer in this world, for I don’t have another friend like him in my life to have such torrential conversations. My loss stands undisputed, collapsed.

I now feel that someone, somewhere wasn’t very pleased with what we had between us. So disruptive has been this loss, so quantum has been the grief that I am only searching for reasons since Thursday when this colossus tragedy was conveyed to me.

I am searching for reasons, here and there. I try to divert myself to my daily chores but I am struggling to focus on whatever I do. What ridiculous reason can one give to the young wife who has just lost her husband in a matter of few minutes? How do I console parents who has have just lost their son? How can I ever provide an excuse to a father who is disastrously participating in rituals for his deceased son who had come in for a vacation to spend quality time with him?

How should I? How can I? Can you please please explain? I beg you to return him even if you have a reason which is evidently unexplainable beyond my admittedly ignorant stature.

He had dreams, he was excited to find out what life had in store for him, he has never been so happy in his life, we dreamt of a future that could change our lives. All washed away in minutes, a life well fought and well bred has come to a painful, screeching halt.

I might stop with questions, you might still return them with answers, but that is not what I want.

I want him back, please return him. Please.

Will you?

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Dost, this was not the plan..

Mamu, yes we did have a lot in our agenda and for our future but this was certainly not recorded in our books. And, as I am left weeping at losing you, I cannot accept the fact that life’s gorgeously fleeting nature has robbed me of a great friend and an amazing human being.

I cried today, stopped for a while and then cried again. You going away so abruptly has startled me to the core. I have not just lost a friend, I have lost a very special relationship wherein all our banters, hours of exhilarating critic reviews for our favourite films and deciding to end our never ending calls when our wives came in to disrupt our conversation has just so suddenly disappeared in thin air. We always shared a nonchalant and open relationship, where we could play the way we wanted to. I have lost you, and I have lost someone with whom I was always purely myself. I don’t think I have another friend in my life with such unsurpassable bonding, and if I could, I will ask you to please come back, we have unfinished business to take care of.

It’s a much greater loss to your family, but I have no courage to console them as I am too inconsolable at the moment to provide them with a ray of hope that they need at this hour of tragedy.

Vijay Iyer – At the moment, I feel so down and depressed in life, that it looks like the end. But our relationship has been so much about positiveness and energy that inspires me to believe that there is a reason for this enormous loss. Hence, I will smile again, I will miss you but still talk to you. For old times sake. 😢😢

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Stunner of a Sunday

If it was raining glorious passing shots and some brilliant baseline tennis in one corner, the other corner at home celebrated Cricket’s brand new World Champion. And, a cracker of a contest it was!

The Wimbledon final was expectedly a long one as I could not expect anything less from the 2 top players battling it out for the ultimate prize. With 38 Grand Slams between both of them, this could only be as epic as it gets. And, I don’t think I was disappointed. Another iconic Wimbledon final with a 5 set thriller, it all boiled down to energy and perseverance. Federer was sheer class, Djokovic was rock solid. It’s a shame we had to choose one winner, but Djokovic finally prevailed over the 8 time champion. Aptly, only he could have stopped the legend from claiming his ninth, and his fifth could not have come in a better time and place.Apparently, I was focusing on the Wimbledon final today. My attention was diverted when England were 86/4 and I could sense that another thriller was in the offing. And, no surprises met me this time. A World Cup final going in to a Super over has not happened ever before, and this one took the nerves to the wire. I almost felt it was going to be New Zealand, but England’s persistence won hearts and the cup. The over throw that yielded 4 runs in the final over was a painful turning point for the Kiwis and some dazzling scenes in Lords and Trafalgar Square meant that England just seized their first ever World Cup Glory.Over to 2023.

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When emotions win.

How much ever we try to elude the inevitable question, an India – Pakistan Cricket Match isn’t a Cricket match any more, it never was. More significantly, it’s even more illogically placed if it is a Cricket World Cup. And, that’s exactly what unfolded today. Our emotions were more pertinent than the significance of a World Cup match, though you will see diplomacy and kind words doing the rounds when men are talking in front of the cameras. But we know, what’s going on inside.

Both nations have seen turbulence together, our hatred for each other is born out of sheer legacy of discard, gore and admonished fervour. Both nations also have a strong history in Sporting events like Hockey and Cricket. But with time and tide, Cricket has gone to another level, not particularly in the ascending curve. Most of our dispensed feelings is attributed to devious political minds and a self destructive plague of concurrent events. But, the those feeling are mutual. For sure, it looms large over the prospects of such glorious events like Cricket World Cup.

We don’t want to play them but we can’t escape playing them in big ICC events due to the massive logistics involved. Big Money, Marketing, Sponsorships and Betting flies high in such encounters, it makes things more obvious that India holds centre stage today in World Cricket and has to abide but cannot be dismissive of their opinion which oscillates between Patriotism and Realism.

Today’s victory was clinical, no doubt, but it was another prominent reminder to Pakistan that India have kept their winning streak in World Cup intact. And, the battle will always continue offline, off the ground and off the limits.

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London, again.

This is my nth time in London. We visit London very often, reasons are plenty. Friends, and I think we really love London. At times, I find London overrated, sometimes so vibrant and exuding energy all the time, with all the people around. I guess, I do love London. Sorry, said that twice now. But, it’s just that I am so copiously surprised with myself that despite so many encounters with London, the city keeps calling us. Perhaps, for a reason but I don’t know yet.

Lunch with friends, a visit to Kensington Gardens with my family and some delightful stories across North Greenwich.

Done and dusted, this time around.

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No Blood, Just Death

Not often do I see crime and gangster dramas without a blood splattering show. ‘Siberia’ was one such example. Less (in fact, none at all) blood, fewer dialogues, some steam to get you hot and an insanely predictable end. Love lost, cause lost, not sure why it all started in the first place.

Gosh, I have seen Keanu Reeves in a better shape and in a much better house as an actor. Sadly, he is approaching nadir in this so-called thriller.

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Irish Waters

Quite a trip it was!

Such a picturesque land of navigating waters, waves slashing against rocks invincible and the cordoned beauty of the suburban lands! Well, we never wanted to come back but civilisation has its own perils and we are bound by its torrid tentacles.

A quick round up of what unfolded in 3 days and how astounding our lives looked till we took the road back to insanity.

Day 1 – The Beginning of Boundaries

It all started in Belfast, the city so gorgeously appearing to enjoy the bliss of its eloquence.

Day 2 – Game of Thrones Tour with Giant’s Causeway

What can I say about this ethereal day! Words are not enough but the scenes are just floating around my eyes. Rest, I will let divinity do the talking.

Day 3 – Birth of Tragedy

Belfast is home to the most iconic masterpiece that never lived – ‘Titanic’. It was built and designed in Belfast, but the ‘unsinkable’ could only replicate its stature in the history books. The story of its making and its inevitable demise is equally riveting and colossal. And after lunch, we drive through Belfast by-lanes, watch the sunset by the harbour, few more shots with my wife and son before deciding to call it a day.

Stay in Marriott

Ravishing, as usual. Food was, uh, tad disappointing but Uber Eats compensated for the otherwise comfortable and contagious stay.

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Human Sans Logic

If man has to choose between money and man, he will go straight for money. In a world of such perennial aura and superlative torrents, ‘Triple Frontier’ offers solace. But I am quite deterred by the aftermath depicted.

How on earth do you manage to infiltrate in to the den of a most wanted Narco terrorist with a bunch of extremely self motivated ex army men equipped with state-of-the-art logistics and no one blinks an eye? Worse, the narco terrorist whose forest wrenched mansion was just ambushed, doesn’t care to retaliate and they are left alone to happily walk away with all the booty?!

The plot here hangs in an unknown frontier, this time.

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Bazaar – Bizarre Market

Certainly not ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, but tries to come close. Share market, ‘Bullish’ vibes, the inevitable passion to brutally excel in what you play for and deny the eventual – these are traits for the ones who dare to enter this playground with balls aplenty.

‘Bazaar’ falters in the last 30 minutes or so, but still remains watchable till the penultimate frame. It brings back Saif Ali Khan to do what he does best – remain subtle, hold on to his natural histrionics and act. Which he does impressively, and it solely remains to be his film. I seriously think he should stop doing those baseless Rom-Coms, which looks so jaded and irrelevant to our times. He has much more left in him as long as we have scripts with meat.

Watch it for Saif, his plot and others.

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Blackmail – Vengeance is Inside

When does a person blackmail another person?

When he realises that he is being screwed upright behind his back and still expected to believe that things are hunky dory between the mundane episodes of life.

Well, that’s exactly the plot here. What you are bracing for is an entertaining series of encounters and the fetish yet evil face of human adversity. One follows another, a vicious circle develops and ends up destroying each of their lives. Well, you can argue if they ever had one.

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A Seer’s Rage – Episode 2

Madhu grew up in a land of priests and religious fanaticism. Not surprisingly, his thought process was quite inclined towards his Father’s during his younger days. But as days went by and he grew older, time and education taught him a wider aspect of his faltering childhood.

Close to his mother but in awe of his father. Madhu’s situation was quite disturbing and precarious. But he was a kind, noble and compassionate person. Perhaps, his roots have him given him the foundation he needed.

Madhu does see himself as the son of the Patriarch but doesn’t essentially see him in his Father’s shoes. In fact, Literature fascinates Madhu ever since his school days and now as he confronts his end-of-school days, he is quite convinced not to pursue his Father’s legacy against his unsurpassable wish to get his degree in Literature.

Madhu’s inclination towards Literature comes from his Mother. A school teacher in Banaras Christian Community School before she got married, Madhu’s mother was also adept in writing short stories for few small publications in the town. Yes, she quit long back but Madhu has inherited his mother’s talent.

He plans to inform his father about his plans though he is equally crumbled under fear to talk about his proposition with his Father. On the other hand, his mother is on his side and encourages him to do what he wants.

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சர்வம் தாளமயம் – Refreshingly Rythmic

I have not watched a musical for a long time now. They don’t make classic musicals any more.

But ‘சர்வம் தாளமயம்’ bought back poignant moments in a musical journey which stands out as simple, light hearted and make-you-feel-good drama with an outstanding soundtrack, which in many ways describes A R Rahman – The Master Composer.

Carnatic Music with a blend of vocal magic and art of percussion instruments. I love the semblance of anything which is connected to our roots, and this is just so apt.

Thank you Rajiv Menon, for giving us a glimpse of the ‘Mozart of Madras’, just like old days.

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A Seer’s Rage – Episode 1

A land of spiritual resurgence. We need messiahs, someone who can turn this world upside down, in the right way. Not a torch bearer, but we need tools for sustenance.

Madhuprayan George Roy was born in Banaras, India to a Hindu Father and Catholic Mother. His father belonged to an ancestral Priest family and one of the oldest patriarch in the city of Banaras. Not surprisingly, an orthodox family with strong spiritual roots and a legacy that takes you back to 18th century, Madhu (as he was fondly called by his parents and friends), had a conventional and often, difficult childhood.

Being bought up in a situation of ‘Priesthood’ isn’t easy. His father was a staunch, god fearing priest in one of the oldest temples in Banaras. Quote obviously and inevitable, hugely respected across the religious circles, in and around Banaras. This made things even more difficult for Madhu. He was scared to talk to his father.

Madhu’s father was a good man but his approach towards his son was whimsical. He was a responsible father but not a doting one. His position in the town made him almost invincible to others and untenable to his son. This was not going down very well with Madhu.

His mother, though equally conventional and a devoted Catholic, was a compassionate and caring mother to Madhu. Madhu was very close to her and the fact that his parents got married in a twist of fate also meant that he was more emotionally inclined to his mother than his father. His mother understood Madhu’s dilemma but was equally intimidated by her husband’s position in the realms of Banaras. She was not scared of her influential husband but had her own reasons to adopt submission.

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Colours of 2018

As I bid goodbye to this year (few hours to go), I would like to remember the year with a sense of mixed emotions.

I enjoyed embracing the usual suspects of life – Instability, greasy starts, disappointments, progressive altar, some wonderful moments with family, watching my son grow another year older, seeing ourselves evolving as parents (my wife is a better parent by all means), and the everlasting hopes of the next year bettering its predecessor.

I am done with words, let’s see my 2018 through these pictures which obviously are far more expressive, more fascinating and much more refined than my quintessential words.

Happy New Year fellas! Cheers.

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The Story of Love

Love isn’t your essentials today, it’s a feeling of abounds and benefits, especially with our generation. We don’t believe in classics, our roots are more inclined towards lust and insatiable components (sex is one of them).

Just hold on before you judge me. I am not an anti-love person. In fact, I am a great believer in love per se. But, love isn’t the most sweetest, isn’t the most glorious and isn’t the most vivacious emotion in your life, as it is famously depicted and air-played in our lives. I am not counting the success stories yet, but failures have had a greater impact in my life.

Great, legendary stories of live are the ones that failed miserably and were considered ‘forbidden’ in the legacy of a society. Reasons could be plenty, but what it does prove is that love equally vulnerable to the whims and fancies of the kind of world we live and breathe in. That’s why, failures matter. Such admonishment throws a jinx around which propels people to believe that they might succeed if they do things differently. But, a game to dismantle cannot establish the torrid affairs of human inconsistencies. Human beings are naive, weak and just cannot cope with this battle between love and it’s adjacent factors of ‘status quo’.

As we are generally made to believe and as infamously displayed over by the media and our own unscrupulous society, Love isn’t the indispensable ‘Jesus’ of our times. In fact, quite the opposite. If there is a punching bag for the critics, then it has to be’Love’. Though ‘Love’ claims to be unanimously unbiased, devoid of prejudices, caste, creed and religion, languages and cultures, it remains to been seen if ‘Love’ could come out of its impoverished reputation.

Love has allies – Sex, lust, brood, jealousy, money, power… The list might seem endless as long as you are willing to accept the fact that love is beyond the borders of invincibility, quite tenable, brittle and devastatingly broken between man and his heart. Heart still beats, but love continues to fade away amidst evil tentacles that surrounds our dispensable lives.

Fall in love, but don’t fall for the perils associated with this divine and absolutely torrid encounters. You can give up your heart but life is another game for a different latitude to play around. Not for this one, if I am to be asked.

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8

8 is a magical number. No, it’s not my favourite number by any chance of a jitter but it sure is furiously sane for Quentin Tarantino and his rustic yet brilliant and audacious script writing. 8 is just not a number from his classroom, it ushers his school of filmmaking in a way nobody else can.

As people, as individuals, we have stopped talking to each other. We have stopped having conversations in life, we don’t introspect our inner devils and we remain submerged in a world of sin without admitting that we are grossly guilty. Tarantino’s films are about conversations of life. His characters are evil and disdainful, yet so human, besieged of war, hatred, passion and what they call, ‘a diabolical bitch’. Son of a Gun, it is so ‘Tarantino’ when I say it this way.

Be it the smell of vengeance, the unceremonious hatred for the Nazis, the evil ideologies of slavery, the whims and ways of a mercurial gangster in a gang of equally super crazy, mad inhabitants or the way each of his characters infuse excruciating expressions that define the myriad ethos that our lives remain stitched in. – Tarantino is undoubtedly the Master of ‘Neo Noir’ and his ever dispensable characters.

Tarantino and few of his actors bond like ‘holy mother fuckers’ who last for a lifetime. Samuel Jackson is born to act with Tarantino and then die one day, Michael Madsen is an icon in his style of filmmaking, Christoph Waltz gave us his most inspiring and menacing performances with Tarantino and Leonardo DiCaprio was a fine revelation in Tarantino’s supremely crafted piece of work since ‘Pulp Fiction’. Not to forgot, Uma Thurman in her marauding avatar of a revenge machine in the ‘Kill Bill’ saga.

Invariably, the million dollar question is not ‘What’s next’. It’s the ‘How’ that keeps me hooked and stoned to Quentin Tarantino.

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