Reviews

Thinking Indian

Context is a word that I hold dearly to me. Its been  a guideline for me for as long as I can remember. Whether I’m writing, trying to understand a situation, enjoying an experience or designing something – it has always acted like a spine to my process. That’s what I’ve been taught as a designer. But when I sat and thought about it : its been an instinctive approach for humans since time immemorial. Context gives things a soul. It can be geographical, chronological or just a personal perception. But the way a thing fits in its surroundings or means something – is very essential for its value. It can be the reason for both failure and success. To elaborate what I mean, I’ll take the example of a recent advertisement by Lufthansa that’s been airing on TV. Right from the beginning the ad plays winning cards : a cricket team training to play with the Indian Team and trying to adapt to Indian culture in its own ways. Few nations can proudly profess their love for the sport like Indians do.  Also : few countries can pride themselves about their eccentricities and tastes like India can. Be it the way we celebrate; the way we live or the way we communicate – we are a passionate bunch. And in all our diversity and culture-pooling we stand out from the rest of the world. The country is filled with people with all kind of preferences and mannerisms but somehow the overall persona has a flavor that unites each of us. We may listen to ghazals on rainy-evenings with a cup of adhrak-ki-chai (ginger-tea) or wear nine-yard saris and eat on palm leaves. We may identify as a North-Indian and order naans just to prove a point or as a South Indian and lecture the others about how Tamizh is the oldest Indian language – but as soon as there’s a match on TV; a sale in a branded store or the last bus to a place – our true Indian-ness bursts out. The rush, the excitement, the euphoria, the ‘told-you-so’s, the nodding of heads, the self-pleased smiles after we catch the right seat, the joy of landing a good deal, the feeling of belonging to a nation which is home to a most vibrant People – is what makes us truly Indian.

And the ad – through the various steps the team takes to prepare themselves – wins our heart by bringing a smile to our faces. Because only we can wholly appreciate and laugh about our ways of doing things. And because the theme of the advertisement is contextual to us – we can relate to its humor. We know who we are and its funny to see others do what we do. They drive their point through to us – that one can now Fly like an Indian in their flights because they are more Indian than we think.

Being an Indian has given me an edge ,over many, more than a couple of times. But one instance that comes to my mind is when there was a worldwide contest celebrating Rabindranath Tagore’s contribution to Literature. Entries were invited that were inspired by his work and resonated with his ideals or style. Having read his poetry since I was a kid; experiencing his words and understanding his work from a point of view best enjoyed by a person of the same nationality – where his words were not lost in translation , I was able to express myself in a way that would remind one of his work as it was inspired by the tone he writes in. I wrote a poem about missing my Grandmother inspired by a poem of his where he is reminded of his Mother when he sees the flowers she used to pray with. And just then, being an Indian – proud of Tagore’s work and familiar with its nostalgic sensitivity – I was able to bag the title of Outstanding Contribution and my little poem got featured in the anthology they eventually published. Being able to relate to something tends to bond us with it. Not literally but in a sense where a certain depth is rendered to that bond. It can be an idea, a design, a poem, a book, a painting – as long as some context acts as its seed – it holds meaning in its viewer’s mind.

With Indians having proven their potential throughout the world – India’s influence on global trends is pretty visible. There are Little India’s in every country you visit. There are people who are drawn to its diverse culture from around the world. And this influence is only growing. Be it cultural expressions like fashion, dance and music to mindful practices and cuisines – the world is readily absorbing what our country has to offer. As we welcome the changes globalization is bringing to us, others adapt themselves to our preferences. Its a process – and its already underway.

To be relevant is everything in today’s world and that’s what Lufthansa demonstrated in its advertisement making us smile about its Indian-ness and the fact they’ve customized their services to make us feel comfortable. That certainly gives them an edge over the others because who doesn’t want to feel at home while flying?

#MoreIndianThanYouThink

Art, Poetry

Pyasa Pyala

 

I hope I cleared any doubts about this being a post about Valentine’s Day. I’m trying really hard not to look down upon the celebrations as best I can. I’ve not sent cheeky messages to friends who’ve changed their display pictures into pouting selfies; I’ve not bitten off the heads of the few who came to talk to me about Valentine’s nor did I reply bitterly to anyone who thought it would be a good idea to wish me. So, I’ve behaved pretty well, now, haven’t I? Moving on.

For those of you who don’t know how seriously I take Instagram – I should warn you that the way I fall in love with certain posts that introduce me to a whole new Universe almost every week – can seem quite weird to you. Of the three hundred odd people whose accounts I’ve subscribed to, there are a few that have added pages to my life by giving me tiny bursts of inspiration. It could be the quotes they share or a certain picture they took while travelling – a work in progress – a memory – portraits of people – views I’d never have seen if I hadn’t followed them – experiences that inspire me to go the extra mile. I know this is a generic list but one must find pleasure within their means.

Dayanita Singh is one such person. Photography as art. Subtlety and originality. A curator of memories she is. Her posts capture the essence of her travels and encounters with people and places. Sometimes they speak of the art that she’s making and sometimes about the musician on a bus. Through her I met my love : Vikram Seth.

I had bought A Suitable Boy with great interest in a book fair from one of those second-hand stores – it was one of the early-prints of the book – its white jacked tattered and pages yellowing. My Mother wondered how I’d ever get to finishing the book – it being thicker than her arm – as she paid for it. It’s stayed on my shelf ever since because I believe that every book has its time and I never force myself to read – anything. That was my first encounter with Seth and now suddenly, after two months I see him again on Singh’s post – its a quote, I thought, before realizing its in verse.

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I smiled at you because I thought that you
Were someone else; you smiled back; and there grew
Between two strangers in a library
Something that seems like love; but you loved me
(If that’s the word) because you thought that I
Was other than I was. And by and by
We found we’d been mistaken all the while
From that first glance, that first mistaken smile. 

Vikram Seth

And that’s it. I dropped what I was doing and began searching for where I could get more of this. Like a cat lapping up milk. I tracked the book down and then a larger collection of poems until I had almost five of his poetry books in my hands within a weak. And I devoured it – in silent passion. I did’t note verses down or speak about it to anyone because I wanted it all for myself. I’d sit hour after hour in my sanctuary – reading about love, about places afar, sculpture, anguish, resignation, sleep, kinship – and a myriad of other things. I like how simple Seth is. The images that form in my head as I read line after line – are clear and resonate with feelings of my own. I didn’t stop at poetry – I wanted to hear the voice that spoke in his head. And once I found his voice – speaking to me about his impulsiveness and his process of making anything – art or novella – I fell. You can almost here a certain tone of self-importance but at the same time he flashes a humble smile and his fragile hands move in the air painting something from his mind that he’s trying very hard for us to understand.

I am yet to read A Suitable Boy, Two Lives and An Equal Music (All of which I’ve bought and kept in my shelf for the right time) but when I do read them I will write about it because something tells me I will love it. Also, I hope I read these books before he releases A Suitable Girl (whenever that is).

Life

Between Pages and Places

Since November – time’s just swished passed by me. One day I was excited about moving to Pune and the next day – I was to continue here in Chennai. You dream things, sew them in a fabric with minute details leaving space for the things to come. And sometimes you don’t get to complete it, just yet. So you fold it and keep it in a trunk for another time, perhaps and pick up a new piece. Its been some time since then and many good-bad-crazy things have happened.

I’ve begun reading again, writing bits of poetry, sketching in odd corners of journals, walking to places I’ve never had time to give a second look, stalking beautiful buildings with gardens and things like that – things I’d lost touch with. And sometimes that messes your head up. I went back to college for the viva and got to get back to the good times  with the girls. Its interesting how we change – within a couple of months. Some looked different but were the same; some looked the same but were a changed person. Towards some I felt the same warmth and towards some – I just began to see them in a new light. I spent an entire week in Bengaluru – soaking up the winter sun, binge-watching horror movies with my cousins, riding under the night sky with the winter breeze blowing against us and making plans that never quite materialized. And just when I thought I was having a great week-off, things happened that I can’t quite elaborate upon. Things like these really show you who you are  and where you stand. Unnerve you. Tear you enough for you to breakdown behind trees and sit on steps before thresholds wondering what to do next now that you don’t want to go inside. It passed. I understood things and learned that I needed to accept some realities.

The most beautiful things happened, too. I’ve begun reading like I used to before but the books are different. Galadriel’s chants have been replaced by Abeer Hoque’s poetry, dragon-riders no more reside on my shelves – there are letters of love exchanged by an artist and a poet sitting atop Jane Austen’s finest. More Indian authors than fantasy-fiction. More depth, more tears, more black and white photos of things of the past, more feeling, more originality, more questioning, more understanding, little vanity, more secrets than messages and well, more insight. A lot more and yet, a lot less.

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(I’m listening to Whitney’s No Woman and have discovered these new bands called Oh Wonder ; Hibou; Foxes in Fiction and Low, as I write. Yes, that’s a lot of distraction, I know but its music, come on.)

I’ve made correspondence with some delightful people. Friends from my childhood, friends from college who I never got a chance to know better and a friend with a mind so beautiful that I want to pique it tirelessly. Their stories, my stories, our stories and everything else around us have kept me pleasantly busy. I’ve come to realize that there are really people who love things I love and see them in a way that tells stories that others can’t hear. People who see the way I do, even deeper, I believe. How I’d wish to get lost with them and go to the places we only talk about. Collecting antiques, savoring moments spent walking by beautiful street- scapes, gazing at old-houses endlessly – just being. Its wonderful to hear similar stories from a mind that’s different from everyone else and yet so familiar. When you think a little differently from others around you it so happens that you either feel a tad bit lost or try to be someone who mixes with the crowd. Either ways, you’re missing out on being yourself. But when you meet someone whom you could tell what you think knowing they’d understand – you’re liberated in a way. You’re being yourself. Alas, time makes sure I don’t pester that mind too much.

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Of course, I’ve been narcissistic here. My city suffered deep blows this entire past month. From standing in queues, penniless, to being blow away by a cyclone and losing a gem of a Leader. All said and done, the city is beginning to frown upon Decembers because of all the ghastly surprises it brings with it year after year. But then the clock never stops and we still stand in queues and stock up on candles and instant-noodles at the slightest spotting of dark clouds. We move as does the year.

Hopefully, in my next post I’ll share with you some poetry I’ve under-lined (I used a pencil so don’t frown at me) in my new books and a more interesting read. Christmas looks promising and so does New Year (Family-friends are throwing a bash at their place – a home I love because its got certain spaces that I can’t stop talking about). And there is the Birthday on the first Saturday of the year (is that somehow supposed to make it more cheerful? Or is this just a sly reminder to all you, readers?)

Hope you’re all doing well, so far. Give 2016 a chance – there’s still a week left. Great things can happen, yeah?  Happy Holidays!

Arrividerci.

Dreamer, Life

One Mind, Many Dreams.

Warning : Reading this may upset people I know personally and who may have said things that I quote so please be kind and use discretion. I love you all, anyway.

I know people, like my best-friend from school, P who did his engineering while I did Architecture – he got a job like everyone else while I still did Architecture because its a longer course (and is still not over – for those who think I’m chilling in Chennai). He just knows he wants to work for the forces. He left his corporate job and is preparing for SSB. I recently (read, July) had the opportunity to act in a Short Play (Short + Sweet, Chennai, 2016 ) and this was, by chance – because I went against my usual habit of ignoring messages and actually replied to a friend who was the director of the play.  Okay, coming to the point, I got a chance to meet other actors, writers and directors. To us, the lay-folk who only enjoy cinema and read gossip blurbs or the Times of India – actors just happen to be and earn big bucks and splurge it on controversies that we can use as ice-breakers at work. But the truth is, getting a job as an actor for a somebody is really tough in a country where every third person wants to be one (Okay, you knew this). I think you can become a politician, more easily, if you’re erudite and tactical enough. SO – I met all these people who just KNOW that they want to be an actor – regardless of where they are right now – they’ve left jobs, homes and families for this. Every text, every expression, every meeting – they only talk about their passion and I’m left aghast. Like, ‘sapne mein aaya kya tere?” (did it occur to you in a dream?). It probably did.

Such crystal dreams don’t occur to me. I’m usually in morbid situations in dreams- running around with people I may/may not know in strange set-ups that may/may not exist.

Every month – I have a new ambition. I get influenced by movies, books, people, magazine articles and of course, social media. Its not easy. They say – trust in the magic of beginnings. I do – but then it fizzles out. And something new takes it place. Its not easy – when you’re pursuing a degree; want independence; super-fast WiFi; good food; social life; a job which feels like a holiday; security – it just doesn’t all materialize in one night on a platter – much like how we’d like it to. Some people just get stuck in the grind of everyday mundane jobs to support themselves and a family. Or run behind their passion – a train they may/may not catch. Or live in the delusion: ‘Aayega – Don aayega”.

Don gaya tel lene.

No parent/well-wisher/aunty/uncle-ji who owns a shop/dhobi-wallah/already-established-friend/Data-scientist-cousin-in-the-US  likes it when you tell them you want to become a Screen-writer or Casting Director – Art Manager – Art Director – Critic – Media Producer – Shift to another city – Get a flat- Buy a dog- etc:-

“Does it even pay well? What – I’ve never heard of it. Its just tricks – to scam your generation into doing odd-jobs no one else wants to do. Are you crazy? Interns are unpaid labor – even the dhobiwallah knows that. Pune? Tomorrow you’ll go to New York also. Pehle na you lose weight and leave that Facebook wagera. Some Hunky Dory became a screenwriter – doesn’t mean ki you’ll become one, too. Please keep your room clean, first. And what about the five years you spent cutting cardboard to become an Architect (or whatever you studied)? Who’ll pay for rent? Accha, leave all this blogging about movies which some other person made and share serious views on your blog. Get married before 25 – movie mein dekha na – that actor also said that only. Kya? How many degrees do you want? PINK dekha PINK? Yahi hota hai  outside world mein – go, go get your flat ab. Accha jao – sab karlo – Director bhi ban jao. Artist bhi ban jao. Go ask your Michel Gondry’s mother if he spoke to her in this tone, ever. Remember Ankita? She’s working in that advertising company – she’s getting married in November. You’re still sending in CV’s to these funny companies. What do you want to do with the rest of your existence? Ja, main nai poochti.

francesha

You got my point. And its all in our best interest. No parent wants their kid lying broke in some dingy corner smoking cheap cigarettes regretting why they didn’t take up that Accenture wala job. Neither do they want you as an added attachment to the house (unless of course you’re a boy, in our patriarchal country). And I agree with them. This is not a rant as much as it looks like one.

Its a dilemma that I realized, more recently, a lot of us are facing but because we want to maintain the status-quo of being happy – we don’t share it. We just write poetry because its a hobby. We don’t tell people that it gives us more pleasure doing than data-entry because poetry doesn’t pay – unless of course you write something that goes viral on scoopwhoop. No one writes Facebook statuses about how they fought with someone who thinks their dreams are worth nothing. No one tells you how much it hurts to lose a job because you could’t focus on your work. No one tells you how bloody scared they are about life, itself. We blame our social status, lack of money, parental pressure, etc – and continue doing what we do best – nothing.

But all that is when you have some tinkering clue about what you really want to be. Thomas Zacharias (okay, I not-secretly have a crush on him and he Instagrams as @cheftzac) knew he wanted to be a Chef. Though it looks like he’s always smiling as he grills salmons and posts pictures about inspiring local cuisine – it took him a hell load of effort to become the Executive Chef of the Bombay Canteen (believe it or not, one of the many reasons for me to want to work in Pune is so that I can go to Mumbai to see this place designed by a firm called The Busride – where I will work, one day.). A snippet of that effort (posted with permission aka DM that he may/may not read, on Instagram) :

On the contrary, another person I got introduced to, thanks to all the weird research I do – is Shanoo Sharma (@shanoozeing on twitter) who is the Casting Head at YRF Films. And she didn’t just land up this job in one year or even two. She has the experience of working as a hair-stylist, bartender, waitress, singer – and pretty much everything she wanted to try. She has no degree to her name and at one (or many) point was tagged by well-wishers as someone who could not stay in one job for more than a year. And look where all that has lead her to. She now gives actors their breaks. She calls her job a holiday and has the authority to work from where she wants, when she wants. She does a job she’s obsessed with and this didn’t occur to her in a dream. She is India’s top Casting Director. Ranveer Singh, Parneeti Chopra, Arjun Kapoor, Alia Bhatt – and many more happened because she thought they could happen. And her story which I read is here .

Closer home, in Chennai, someone I actually know did something out of his dreams. Shyam Renganathan just gave his first TEDx talk in VIT, Vellore – and why? Because he didn’t just sit around moping (okay maybe he may have done that at one point) – when he believed that he could be funny. He didn’t want that engineering life – he stood against joining a B.E course and went ahead to do what he loves doing – he’s now a Standup Comic, RJ, Web Series (Black Sheep)  Actor and I don’t know what more he will do. It was definitely not easy – or fun, when he decided to take a step back and change course. But he made it. Its not an easy world for dreamers but then again, people make it.

And these are just some examples that I’ve stumbled upon. Okay, let’s take Sushant Singh Rajput – for those who are living under a rock / From another country  – he’s a Bollywood actor who recently acted as M.S Dhoni in his biopic. Besides that, he has starred as Byomkesh Bakshi and as a lead character in Kai Po Che, the movie based on Chetan Bhagat’s Three Mistakes of My Life. He didn’t become an actor bas aise hi kyunki sapna aaya. He was first an AIEEE Topper with AIR 7 – then a student in DTU – a dancer in Shiamak Davar’s Dance troupe – a theatre artist with Ekjute – an actor in Hindi Serials – and finally, an actor. This journey was a long and strenuous one. I haven’t interviewed him but I sure as hell know that he didn’t know he’ll be acting as M.S Dhoni in the year 2016 – when he was giving his AIEEE. Not everyone knows for sure. And you know what, its okay.

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You can thank me later.

I say this to myself whenever I get a new idea – that’s daunting – that makes me look jittery and unsure – which I agree I am. But what’s wrong in that? I’m afraid that I don’t know. But at least, I accept that I don’t know and I’m trying to know. I’m giving my everything – I’m working hard and looking at prospects- I’m applying to places which resonate my beliefs, somewhat. I’m looking at originality in a field dominated by trends and popularity.

But that doesn’t stop me at marveling what Michel Gondry does with a few colours, a paper and a video camera. It doesn’t stop me from reading scripts written by Woody Allen and Rebecca Miller. It doesn’t stop me from thinking what Greta Gerwig thought before signing up for Frances Ha. It doesn’t stop me from watching Wes Anderson movies back-to-back noting down things I like – joining FTII forums and discussing Bollywood – watching Anurag Kashyap’s speeches on Film-making – noting down email addresses of Production houses I would like to intern with – sending my CV to Art Management firms just to see if I fit the bill. I’m trying. I don’t know if its right – I don’t know if job security is the secret to success. I don’t know if I’ll ever end up in Mumbai writing films like Juhi Chaturvedi and Gauri Shinde. I also remember promising my best friend, Sarkar, that we’d write scripts for Korean Drama together, when we were in college. Maybe we should have done that.

Its all a bit unsettling when you see your friends going to pursue their Masters in the US, UK and Singapore – or when they post “FMS / IIM – Life be like” pictures on instagram – and you’re still here sitting before a screen.

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Being afraid is normal and so is stalking celebrities on Instagram. Reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (by Mindy Kaling) instead of Lean-In or Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (or whatever its called) – is absolutely OKAY. Crushing on celebrity chefs who don’t even know you exist is OKAY. Reading never-ending tumblr posts on inspiration is OKAY – as long as you don’t lose yourself in another person’s world and come back to your own to build yourself up. You’re not alone. You never will be. Talk to people and get to know things instead of being shy and apprehensive. Throw yourself at opportunities and learn things that can’t be learnt on lifehack or buzzfeed. Get out of your shell and give yourself a chance to feel vulnerable.

It doesn’t matter where we are as long as we know we want to try harder and make something out of this opportunity we call life.

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Dreamer, Reviews, Uncategorized

Cafe Society – a Review.

Hollywood – a topic that’s been coming up in my life a lot, lately,thanks to all the writers living in and chronicling about Los Angeles. I dim all the lights, shut the rest of the world because I’m excited to watch this new flick (relatively) and its a Woody Allen product starring Steve Carell; Blake Lively, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and some other great actors I discovered after watching the movie. Of course there are expectations when you sit to watch a Woody Allen. He has given me a bunch of favorites right from Annie Hall to – silence – Midnight in Paris. He supplies images of Paris, New York and Los Angeles rendered in his eccentricity and yet old-worldly charm. And I lap it up like a greedy kitten – as all dreamers do.

The starting looked promising – oh wait, have I revealed too much, already? – with Phil Stern (Carell)- a Hollywood power-broker – getting a call from his sister (who almost seems estranged because she has to remind him that she’s his sister and that Bobby is his nephew). And one fine morning Bob (Jesse) lands up in Hollywood hoping that it will provide him the break he needed from working in his father’s jewelry-making business. And there he has to wait almost a month to just see his Uncle who seems pretty reluctant in offering him any substantial position at all but agrees to introduce him to people and give him odd-jobs to keep him going. And that’s when he meets Vonnie (Kristen Stewart) and things take a sharp turn (expected) as he falls in love with her as they eat cheap mexican dinners and drive around L.A. They joke up about the stars and the hollowness of it all. Bob is soon left dry by Hollywood’s prospects for him. So he decides to join Ben – his mysterious (not to us) who starts a Nightclub in the Big Apple. He wants Vonnie to join him and asks her to marry him (in the most un-movie-ish way). Here, I’d like to mention how refreshing it was to see a man not taking the trouble to wait for the opportune moment- by which time the girl has totally lost all hope that he’ll ever ask her and ends up proposing herself out of pure exasperation – which has become a fashion. I have no qualms with the woman taking control but its just that that theme has been used too much, already) and telling the love of his life what he plans for them. The only trouble (there has to be one, right?) is that she is still not over her ex who had broken up with her because he couldn’t break his 25 year-old marriage. But poor Bob has not a clue that she is having major second thoughts because the ex is a magnetic personality and his charm is well, too charming to simply let go. As it ends out – things don’t work out and end half-hearted-ly. I can’t divulge anything more without spoiling it for you. And what happens then? Does he move to New York and start again or remains a lovelorn – fidgeting loner trying to get something meaningful done?

 

You must be wondering where Blake Lively makes an entry, right? Well, she does – even though for short bursts – her fabulous presence can never be under-stated.

So basically its Woody Allen overstating his qualms about religions and the sanctity of human beings and their decisions. He chose Hollywood and New York (his favorite city, undoubtedly) as the backdrop to portray how people are faced with to be or not to be situations and the fact that not all decisions are thought-through. You just make them with a whim and you live with it in all its entirety. Regrets ruminate in your mind till you start looking dreamy-eyed. Dreams remain dreams. Your ideals dwindle. But the lights in these big cities come back to life at dusk.

Critics applauded Kristen. Maybe I’m just a bad critic and I haven’t watched enough Stewart movies but isn’t shy-weird-confused her natural state? She plays it best every single time. Its her comfort zone. So why are we calling Jesse’s- who’s portrayal of Woody’s alter-ego is on-point- mediocre and fidgety compared to someone who is just doing what they were born as? Guess what – that’s how he was meant to act like. But the performances that really shined through were those of Bob’s Jewish family  who keep debating about all things political, religious, ethical – actually just about everything.  Jeannie Berlin (Mom) and Ken Stott – please take a bow. Right from their conversations and cursing to the they kind of stitch Bob’s life by coming in every now and then.

So, Cafe Society shows us a glimpse of the 1930’s – on two canvasses – one is the glamour of Hollywood attracting dreamers to its hollowness; golden beaches and sly embrace and New York where the life of stocks and its people are moving at a pace no one seemed to comprehend in that age. It was a time when thugs and high society mingled in glamour (wait, am I living in a deja-vu era because isn’t it happening even now?). The movie shows a beautiful contrast between the two cities and struggles of human conscience but falls short in its predictability and un-digestible pace.

Its not Woody’s best but it did have his madness in it. I know all his movies end up becoming about himself. Now, there’s a real artist who makes you stop and look.

Parting comments : Dreamy, makes you expect more but falls short on delivering a movie that can be applauded.

Reviews, Uncategorized

Suicide Squad

So you enjoy watching trigger-happy people blow up the place (for good, of course) and intense passion for nothing but being oneself? And people who live for love?

Then you’re going to love this movie. Don’t bother looking at that the star-ratings (I have never believed in them). This movie was not made for people who are hypocrites and who are looking for something artsy. Its for the hard-core, comic-loving, thrill-hungry people who cheer for Harley Quinn swinging by a pole and Deadshot firing holes into monster-heads. Its for the people who believe Joker and Harley Quinn are the real lovers and that Lois Lane and what-his-name are just a mess.

The casting was fabulous and that’s what makes this movie so strong. Of course you have grand expectations when you have Viola Davis, Will Smith and Lovely Leto. To add to it Robbie did such a good job that I can’t imagine any other face as Quinn. The surprise cookie is Cara Delevingne who really made up for her performance in Paper Towns.

I’m not giving any spoilers here but yes, the movie is fast-paced as felt by my friend Sabhari who accompanied me. And I have to agree with it but I guess that’s what keeps the rush going on. The tiniest of jokes and touchy-feely scenes came through to the audience.

This movie goes onto show that sound background work really helps create the premise for a good movie. The story-line is pretty okay but Waller really dangs the shit out of everyone. And I wish they had worked a little more on actually making us feel the Enchantress was hard to kill.

At the end of the day, I was still hooked onto my seat enjoying Twenty One Pilots’ Heathens when suddenly – there was another surprise. So yeah, hang onto your spot until the screen goes black, okay?

Go for the movie. Joker has some surprises up his sleeve. Thank me later.

 

 

Architecture, College, Uncategorized

Piya Milan Chowk

‘Bhai, PMC mein milna theeke na?’ translates into Brother, meet me at the junction where lovers meet.

And where is this PMC? Well its at the center of my college. And its like the cerebrum of all activity. Its a roundabout before the Admin block which is where all the main college-streets lead to (in some way or the other). And that’s where friends were made, watchmen slept, meetings were held, people were eyed, Girls’ Hostel Buses were parked etcetera.

We were about five thousand students belonging to more than a dozen departments. And PMC was where we’d gather. There were other places – the BBC (Basketball court), the LTC (Lawn tennis court which was actually a chewed-out clay court), Coffee-shop (which is just a tiny stall which sold instant-coffee and junk food to meet varying collegiate needs), Back-Gate (which qualifies to be an adda) and the canteen (where the ground-floor was dedicated to those who actually ate and the first-floor mostly had people who had nowhere else to go and didn’t want to run into the faculty). Oh we did have a library but it wasn’t such a common meeting place unless and until you planned to study (or sleep) in the Annex.

I wonder why I’m writing about it today. Is it because half of the people I met there (definitely not as piyas) have drifted to faraway continents or are in the process to do so? Is it because I will never forget the day my Dad and I walked into the College (well, the never-ending infinity road starting from the main-gate directly leads you to …no reward for guessing…the PMC) and I had finally realised that my twelve years of education led me to this place. Ah, that kid then. Or maybe the pictures clicked there on various ethnic days will never be clicked again (or found – I’m sure I’ve lost most of them in miscellaneous drives), the mosquito-filled evenings we’ve spent waiting for the second bus to pick us up or the fountain that worked only once in a blue moon with its colorful lights. I’m sure most people graduated even without seeing it in all its glory due to its rare usage. Or perhaps I yearn to walk under the ever-spreading canopy of the Umbrella Thorn Trees (at least that’s what I called them and fooled my friends for four long years).

I’ll never meet Aryan in his baggy clothes waiting to meet us whenever he dropped by college. I’ll never see the cute-guys (like one out of five) play basket-ball in the court across the road. I’ll never walk by the juniors waiting for the bus with my troupe of cackling monkey-friends who were probably laughing at some seriously retard joke I must have cracked. I’ll never see Komi fly his balsa wood planes with his team there. I’ll never get to sit there with my friends as we’d see daylight turn to dusk as we’d wait for something else. I’ll never ask the auto-wallah to take a left from PMC to reach my departments, I’ll never run by it with arms-full of sheets with my classmates and I’ll probably never stand in a sari with my two best friends, Rhea and Mouli, clicking our last picture together before our final speeches on behalf of our departments. Ah PMC did hold a lot of meaning in its own way. I will never know why it was named so but I think I’ll never forget the happiness it brought on my face when my friends and I would decide to meet up there to hatch some new craziness after college.

Arrividerci SIT and its survivors.