Word Play

Words don’t have a pattern, just like life. But as we start building them, they can end up with unique designs. Sometimes, you know what you are building. At times, you don’t. And, that’s where it gets interesting.

I like toying with words, they are full of surprises and intrigue. Ditto, life.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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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