Monday, January 30, 2012

Hatred

This was a short story i started writing - dont know if i will ever complete it or edit it.

I woke up to the ringing phone. The name on the display chased away the remains of sleep and I sat up caught in a dilemma. Was I ready for this? Will I ever be? Should I just pick it up and go with the flow? As if in an answer to an unsaid prayer, the phone stopped ringing. I had lost my sleep and I wondered if it was without reason. Would it have been better to have never woken up or is this state of awakened inaction better? I don't think I had the answer to that as I realized my question was around something much deeper than just this phone call. I think a lot. I think that is why I am able to see this transformation. That is why I am caught between two shores as I can see what I am slowly becoming and a part of me is still shocked of what I am capable of.
A few weeks ago, I would have not had this hesitation or dilemma. I know that this was just one phase in the transformation process. One of the final ones as far as this relationship was concerned. I know that the phone will stop ringing one day if I am careless and I know that, I would not like that. It is so much easier to be in demand, to spur the object that wants your attention. It was fun to tease, to hear the silent pleadings and take hours to do those things you can do in the blink of an eye. I never knew I had it in me. I never knew I could hate anybody so much and so fast.

I thought of my previous avatar. My version of myself, the way I wanted the world to see me, the way I saw myself. The way I am now is different and I hope that they still continue to see me they way I want them to, the way they always have. It was so easy fool. In this elaborate boring drama of life, I realized I was a talented artist. I could give my audience what they wanted and sway them, perhaps even against each other. When did I start doing it? I knew not. I feel like a woman who is seeing her reflection in a broken mirror. It is but who she is but not how the complete pieces would make her seem like. In some she is too grotesque. Those are the ones she will hide.
The name in the display, one of the numerous I have been testing with – to see if I have it in me, to project beautiful images across multiple pieces of a broken mirror. The apology act will soon follow and then there would be the consummation act. I hate the world. I hate my life. I find nothing to be happy about or sad about for that matter. I feel like a playwright lost in the drama of her own making caught somewhere in the middle unable to get out. I know the direction I want the play to take. But I am not sure if any of my many actors would want to do a new role or walk out of the drama. I would have to have replacements ready and waiting. I would have to do a lot of work that way.
The world exists because something else doesn't exist. It is afterall all about opposites. How do you know pain if you had not experienced the lack of it? How do you know happiness if you had not experienced sorrow? How would you know anger if you had not experienced peace? I knew hatred. I recognized it the moment it entered my life for I had known love. Known it and felt it in every cell of my body when I had been in love. That was an event not supposed to be a part of any play. That was an event by itself. I had not thought about dramas then. I had not thought of myself as an artist. That was in my previous avatar.

Now all I can do is look back and realize that that was the prologue. The day I lost my love, the day I woke up to an empty bed and an empty life, the day I lost to the world, that was the day I slowly became the playwright. I know there is a bigger director out there and I know that I am but another part of his huge ensemble cast. Like a movie with multiple short stories. Oh but how long just this one seems! I hate the world enough to want to destroy it. I want to destroy he who created all that is there, he who made me the drama queen I have become to myself.
They told me that I would get used to the loss. They told me I would walk forth putting it all behind me as I had it in me to do greater things. Did they really understand what they were talking about then? They were all unaware, fast asleep in their own cocoons moving around the way he wanted them to. I could not put it behind me. I could not forget the loss. I could not. I can see the four walls that restrict me here. I want to break them down into pieces. But when that is again going to land me in another jail, that of the world as the ignorant ones around me see it, I do not see the point. I do not see the point in anything at all. Why the elaborate drama? Whom does it satisfy?
I have to play act the part I have written for myself - that of the one driven by the desire to destroy. It does not matter what or who or why. Everything possible has to be destroyed. Some like a beautiful piece of manmade art immediately and something like a piece of his work slowly, over time - in such a way that the destroyed does not know the destroyer or its own destruction. It starts with contact. It grows over cups of coffees in beautiful gardens or expensive eateries, it is nourished with the best food – that of supposed love, the one that it thinks it needs. It culminates in a night or even a day of rapturous joy and once you show the pinnacle, the promise of what can be, what could be, you withdraw. The meetings reduce. The calls dwindle and slowly there is nothing left, but memories.

I do this all the time. My wonderful memory, the one I curse so, helps me in this process. I remember every tiny detail about every damn thing no matter how unimportant it is to me. I have to destroy. I have to wake them up. They will be lost. They will seek solace. They will not find it because I will continue to tease. They will wake up to the loss. They will not get over it. They will understand the betrayal. They will give up. They will begin their plays. I will laugh at him then. He is not the only one capable of it. I am there. I am not going to stop destroying until he is forced to retire me. I will not stop. I will continue. I want my freedom. I want to take it out brick by brick, this beautiful, elaborate imbalanced prison of mine and destroy it beyond recognition.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Addicted - again

As a kid, I was quite addicted to video games. I used to wake up and fight endless battles with my mom and sister as to whose turn it was to play and what to play. I loved the video game set. Once I grew up, I lost touch with mario, tetris and of course duck hunt. I was busy studying for board exams and trying to cope with college social life. We had a four day weekend and in the last minute, we cancelled our travel plans. I went ahead and bought the Game craft video games last night and I had a lovely day playing Mario. I am no longer as good as I used to be, but i think its only a matter of time before I can win over Mario. I am loving this escape into childhood and enjoying conquering those ugly blokes who try to kill me. :) I love MARIO!!!

The Awakening - Kate Chopin

I had bought this book on 1st Jan but I never started reading it. I thought i would give it a try last night and I finished it in one sitting. The book was written by Kate Chopin in 1899 and is set in the USA.

Despite the number of decades that have passed since this book was published,I was surprised to find how relevant it still is. I could relate to the book. The plot follows Edna,who is a happily married mother of two. In a summer, her passions awaken and she falls in love with an unmarried man. She is unable to admit this to  herself and her dynamic passionate emotions makes you wonder whether repressing oneself for the sake of society is a good thing for an individual. It is again one of those questions for which there are no right answers. Without fear of the society, there would be only the law of the jungle. However, if we let the society dictate our way of life,there would be hardly a hand full of people who would be able to live their lives and be really alive. I often wonder as to how much should a person strive to strike a balance. Every word, every action - it has to be guarded. Life that way is but a brilliant drama - whether you want it to be that way or not.

Edna starts to slowly defy the social conventions. At first it is by doing small things like not staying in her house on the days she usually receives guests. Then slowly, she starts taking bigger steps until finally she herself is unable to control the events she set in motion. The author has this wonderful way of writing. She states things in a matter of fact manner without trying to be preachy and that is exactly what shocks you and makes you wonder and think.

It was one of the first feminist novels written and its charm simply lies in its truth. You are unable to pass a judgement on any body in particular because everyone is trying to subscribe to social conventions. You watch Edna struggle with her attempts at being an artist and trying to live her life. By the end of the novel, you sympathize with her and also come to accept the fact that lives do not change when just one person tries to make an effort.It involves commitment and courage from at least a few more. Otherwise, like the pianist says, there are a lot of birds whose wings are broken much ahead of their time.

I wanted to make this a long flowing review but i realized that in order to do full justice to this book, I would have to write atleast an essay on it. Since that is not possible in the blog, I think i shall stick to just a small review. I will recommend this book. It is simple, thought provoking and very powerful.

Ebony - Barton Center, M.G.Road

I remember my first experience in ebony in 2008. I loved the ambience and the food. We went there today and the place still had the charm i remembered.

Food

We had the weekday lunch buffet and there was a decent variety. It was not a case where we were spoilt for choice, for there were just 2 veg starters. However, all the dishes were well made. Not spectacular as such but the combination of things made for a good meal. The honey glazed vegetables and the mirchi pakoda for starters were tasty and went well with the puthina chutney. I avoided the chinese items in the lunch menu so I cannot comment on the same. Their paneer as well as the mixed veg curry had the right amount of spice and was not over powering. I loved their mutter dish. It was made with spinach and the combination was amazing. The pulao and the naan were ok. Not something out of the ordinary. I loved their blue berry mousse and avoided the icecream as i was so full.

Ambience

We were seated outside and their restaurant is in the 13th floor in M.G.Road and today, the weather was beautiful. Need i say more? The view and the food together made for a heady cobintion.

Price

Surprisingly, the rates were not steep. The lunch buffet on friday was Rs.376. Considering their location and their quality, i thought it was quite cheap. Plus, they had non veg as well, which i of course cannot comment about. :D

Service

The service was courteous and good. I got what I wanted when i wanted it and the plates were cleared away quite fast.

Overall a nice and pleasant experience.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lost in time

Thanks to watching a game of thrones, my interest in rereading Sherlock Holmes was awakened. I had read all the stories in the collection in 2007 when I was doing my internship (again, that was not the first time but the most recent time). I had enjoyed the experience and thought I would never forget the stories. But then, many other writers came into my life and I forgot all about Sherlock's antics. Now, as i am rereading the stories, I am transported to another time and place altogether. Arthur Conan Doyle has this way of writing which brings alive a whole different era right in front of your eyes. 
Sherlock Holmes, the living enigma is a little out of fashion for our day and time, but you still cant favor the modern detectives over him. He makes up for being out dated with his peculiar charm. The loyalty of Watson is a stuff that is not even there in books these days and I couldn't help but feel a bit sad about this piece which is lost in today's world. I have finished the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and jumped to the return of Sherlock Holmes. The whole of next week is going to go to just finishing up the rest of the stories. A different experience which I am sure, I will thoroughly enjoy.

Nanban

3 reasons to not watch Nanban : 

1. A perfect eee adichaan copy where the main character has done such a horrible job screwing up the role that Amir Khan did effortlessly in hindi
2.Harris Jeyaraj, who has given us a lot of good movies in the past, has given such a pathetic score in this one. Olli belly the only ok song in the movie is still so below average
3. A usually gorgeous Ileana looks so starved

3 reasons you can sit through it 

1. Jeeva has done a good job and established himself as a brilliant actor yet again
2. Ileana does a much better job than Kareena, despite looking like a starved puppy. Her cute smile and her effortless acting steals the day
3. The scenery is amazing in a lot of places. Especially in the drive scenes when the two friends go in search of Vijay, the background is amazing.

On the whole completely avoidable unless you are an Ileana fan.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

(Dis)connected

In my life, i can frankly state that, this is the time i have been the most connected. People can reach me on my phone, my land line,  my personal email, my office email, my facebook account and of course my blog or the snail mail to mention a few. Like any other connected person, except perhaps for my landline, I check all other modes quite frequently. Quite too frequently if you may say so. However, i feel the most disconnected now. I know there are people out there, but they are all too disconnected from my reality. A facebook status or a blog post does not reflect what is happening in my life. Not completely no. It cannot make up for the companionable silence while having a cup of coffee. Frankly, there are too many people watching me, rather interacting with me, so my real conversations are not going to happen in social media or in a blog. Why are we so disconnected from each other at a time when we ought to be more connected? I really dont get it. I am not saying i am blameless as well. There are very few people i really make an effort to stay in touch with. I have no clue how long i will be able to as well.

The problem with a lot of us is i think, that we are more than happy to just look at pieces of life, come to conclusions and conveniently ignore everything else. Why speak to someone when you can check their facebook, see what is happening there and make an assumption? You see a wedding pic, but you have no idea what has happened in one. You see a vacation picture or post and make some conclusions based on that. I do that all the time. Its easier to be a spectator rather than a live participant. All networking sites are like television. You keep flipping channels without any idea when you are bored and then you completely forget about it for sometime. I am seriously hoping to go back to those days when there was just a doordarshan. Why are we all so far away from each other though constantly connected? I just dont know what to do about it. I love the variety which i get, i am scared of being ignored lest i am not constantly available,but i am not happy with it either. I think this requires some serious thinking. Lets see.

Via Milano

I used to call this my favorite Italian restaurant in 2009 thanks to a nice dinner i had there. For a friend's birthday treat, we ended up here yesterday and again had a lovely time with good food.

Food : 


We ordered 2 starters and 2 main dishes. All the dishes were well made. They gave us a complimentary bread basket and it was really yummy. I loved their breads and the soup sticks with the mayonnaise. For starters we had ricolo stuffed with spinach, cheese and nuts. It was yummy. The dish was cooked just to the right amount and hence good. The second dish was a mozarella and zuccini combination. It looked more like a panneer pakoda, but tasted much better. The pasta and the pizza had good cheese which was way better than the usual stuff called cheese Dominoes or pizza hut serves us. I loved the pizza more as it had four varieties of cheese and it had been quite a while since i have consumed so much cheese. :)

Ambience:

It is the perfect spot for a quiet candle light dinner with a special someone or good friends. The tables are well spaced and since we had gone on a weekday, we got to sit in the terrace and enjoy the air and the view. I was feeling quite restless since the evening, but the ambiance helped me recover my spirits.

Service :

We had this good looking girl serving us and frankly, i hardly understood what she was trying to tell me. Her accent was terrible. But that apart, she was actually doing a decent job and trying her best to communicate. The dishes came on time and were served well.

Price:

The rates were not as steep as we imagined them to be. I would say that it was worth the price. We did not have alcohol or non vegetarian, so i guess it did affect our bill as much. They had quite a decent selection of non veg dishes as well.

I would definitely recommend this place for a peaceful dinner any day.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sherlock Holmes - A game of Shadows

Warning : The movie is completely unrelated to the fictional character that Arthur Conan Doyle invented except in perhaps a few minor things like having a side kick called Watson who is a doctor and a brother called Mycroft. The similarity for the most part ends there.

The movie begins with the Sherlock Holmes saving a Dr. Hoffmanstahl  from a box with the bomb. A box delivered to him by the lovable Irene Adler. However, the man dies shortly afterward, stabbed in the neck with a tiny needle. The next scene takes you to a restaurant where you watch Irene Adler meet her maker through the machinations of Professor James Moriarty. The plot of the movie begins with a bang and I have to give it to the director who has made sure that it does not fizzle out anywhere.

The pace is brilliant and be it the supposed bachelor party for Watson or the imaginary fight with the assassin or the actual fight, the first ten minutes has you watching the scene spell bound. A Sherlock holmes loyalist might not like the portrayal of Watson as an equal but a real movie buff ready to forgive a director his small mistakes, would definitely not mind that.Despite the initial hiccups the wedding happens amicably. The next part of the movie involving the meeting of Sherlock and Moriarty, the attack on the honey moon couple and Sherlock's entrance are really hilarious and well made. I am afraid i would give out too much of the plot if i continue in the lines i have taken here. So here i stop with what happens in the movie.

The characters are well rounded and even the smaller ones like the gypsy gang have their own peculiarities which sets them apart in a way. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law have both done a brilliant job matched perhaps by Moriarty and of course the direction. The scene where they escape from a weapon manufacturing industry is definitely one of the best shot scenes i have seen in a long time. It had me literally open mouthed and i couldnt tear my eyes of the screen. The word battle in the climax is amazing and the actor playing Moriarty got my respect and admiration. A very well made movie, which should not be missed and which should not be watched with the Arthur Conan Doyle character in mind. :)

Odds against - Dick Francis

I had not read a dick francis in a very long time. Thanks to my mom and sis leaving behind the books they had bought, i got a chance to read this one. The plot follows Sid Halley an injured jockey turned private investigator who is on the track of a madman who wants to take over a race course. I have no idea about racing or even about race courses for that matter, but this book had me transported to another world. The characterization is pretty good and i was quite impressed with not just Sid but also the other characters like Zanna Martin, his fater in law Charles, the ruthless portrayed villain and his wife and of course the head of the firm where Sid works. You watch spell bound as Sid tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken and catch the criminals with the minimal evidence he has. The climax is quite well written and I enjoyed reading it a lot. A good read i would definitely recommend for a peaceful sunday noon

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Untitled

For what is, can never be undone
For what is not - is not there
And what will not be, will not be.
Why the chase?
Why the loss of non-existence?
Why the pain?

For all thats said,
thoughts there are - much more
Wish i can cash in
on dreams and desires
For more potent they would be
than mere action.
Cos there your reaction
simply sets in
killing the magic
destroying all the could have been.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why

If it is but an elaborate drama
Why all the trouble?
Why the pain?
Why all the plans?
Why the necessity to tackle the nonexistent?
I can only wonder and hope

Sunday, January 08, 2012

The boy at the beach


Why do the waves seek the shore?I mean, let us chuck the scientific explanation for a few minutes or even  hours and awaken our natural curiousity. Obviously, I am going to come up with a lecture by the end of it,  so you can simply read that rather than go through the difficult process of thinking. Let me jot down my thoughts as i go now.

Let alone waves - why are we going anywhere we go? To get something out of it. Either an out of the world experience or an activity to help pass the time or a means to let go of reality for sometime or simply, to tell others we did it or yeah, just because we want to. The moment we try to explain things, everything simple becomes complicated. Anyway, coming back to my story - there is this creature which lives in the water. You can think of a Loch Ness or a Robot out of Asimov or a Dolphin King out of any fairy tale. This organism I like to think right now is akin to a Monitor. He/She/It could be a monitor like a scientist who is evaluating the success of his experiments or a student, who in the absence of a teacher is trying to maintain a delicate equilibrium. The situation is made complex by the fact that the monitor has to remain a secret. For the creatures being monitored are easy to scare and once afraid - they begin to run or simply destroy whatever it is that they are scared of without even trying to reason. 

So, the poor monitor takes the simplest form possible - that of the element present in almost everything. The element capable of touching things it is not present in as well - Water. Like cells in a human body, the monitor has numerous particles. Some are already out there, watching us closely as the water we drink, the blood we need and the moisture we inhale. The rest are still out there waiting for a chance to mingle. So the creature is not in the water, the creature is the water!



I was watching this boy in the shore today. At the same time as me, he discovered it. But, unlike me, he chose to run out and explain. He caught a passer-by and said, " There is something in the water." He looked around carefully and then said, "It is just a bottle" and walked away. The second person to whom the truth was revealed was more concerned and asked, " Did this calm water take someone away? They couldnt have gone far, i will go dive in and search if you need help." The boy dismissed his concern and went on about a mythical creature and slowly lost his second listener. The third, who was watching his frantic attempts to communicate, dismissed it as a piece of his imagination. There, right in front of me, in the very same place, I watched him doubt and slowly forget, his discovery.

I am surprised at my reaction. I do not fear it. I do not want to conquer it. I just want to accept it and surrender to the world, the way it is. I decide to pen a story. You can dismiss it as a piece of fiction. Some of you might call it good but still brand it as a piece of my imagination. Some might even call it good as you do see the truth in it, albeit subconsciously. Some of course (or should i say most) would say I know great ways to waste time. A few of you will believe it. A handful will continue to and try to experience it. 

For that small group, my two cents - like the bird getting blown off by the wind and still seeking its path, lets bide our time. Sometime sooner or later, the rest will see. 

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Great Indian Thali

Location : Near Sony World Signal
Price : 340 + Taxes
We landed up here as we were too hungry to go home to eat. The Thali word had us misdirected. When we saw the rate, we should have been warned. But by then it was too late. It was only when i went there that i got to know how bad food can be without salt. Everything was either sweet or salt less. Spice was minimum as well or should i say completely absent? There were a lot of items in the menu but i liked only the kachori. The service was ok, but seriously not worth the tax. The floor manager was coureous but getting the attention of any of the waiters, was a painful job. What made this worse was the fact that this was a sit down thali place like Rajdhani. 

I would say avoid it unless you are really hungry. You get everything really fast but you might not necessarily like what you get.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Of smiles and bonds

I see you smile
My mind interprets
An action full of love
Affection and pure joy
I respond in kind
Happy for the relationship
God has given me

I walk down memory lane
Hoping to relive things beautiful
Over and over again
Time my friend has plans different

I watch you unobserved
Shocked at the replication of our smile
For many more
Confused I sit down to ponder
What is this all about?
The conversations, the ideas, the dreams...
Were they just that?
Did I imagine a special bond?

Slowly realization dawns
That you just oiled the social machinery
Time and again beautifully
Naive was I to think
That being real is everyones norm

I search for him and await his counsel
In a silent lost world
All the while wondering when I would
Simply join the pack

What is it all about?

What is it all about?
This brand new year
Which people ring in with cheer
Is it about new beginnings?
But what use are they by themselves?
Every beginning comes with an end

Is it about jobs well done?
But why associate a new year
With something so expected?

I know not
What to think
For beginnings and endings
Go on and on
In an endless loop
I just know that a brand new year
Can ring in hope
But the final destiny
Is left for us to shape

Don2

My new year began on a high note as I got to see Srk reprise the role of a gangster in don 2. He holds the movie together and does a convincing job as the charming, suave and deadly don. His new look is damn cool and I fell in love all over again with him.

The plot actually doesn't stand out as it is a combination of multiple movies but the direction is good. I loved the car chase scenes with PC and the chase with the other goon.  The major low point in the movie was the SRK-PC romance or whatever it was. It slows down what could have otherwise been a tight script.

Lara dutta is old. I think it's hightime she accepted that. Pc looks gorgeous and does a decent job as well. Boman Irani is forgettable and doesn't look convincing. Kunal kapoor tries to act and does an ok job.

The songs are not that memorable. I loved the first one which was quite classy.
I would give it a three point five on five. The half mark just for SRK.