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Life’s Day Out


It has been quite some time that I haven’t done a personal post about updates on the blog about life and the mundane, multitude of happenings, or simply life in a day or so. It whittles not about a particular day and rather weeks or days with so many things happenings one after the other. I haven’t been able to write for long and despite promising to self, either with laziness, the anxiety issue which is in control for now, and joining the new yoga class.

Yes! I am doing a six months certificate in Yoga at the Indian centre taking a plunge this year which has been super challenging with the first six months and to think, there was so much happening with us being covid positive. Mom fell seriously ill with several hospitalization trips, one after the other, and hit the peak of depression with panic attacks hitting me hard. Thankfully, things are stable now.

After the initial challenges and an extremely harrowing 2022 on a personal level-I am still not calling the year bad-things have started to shape up. What an extreme year, pretty much like me as a person! I have always been someone with strong likes and dislikes, guess events are following me.

Pardon me for drifting! I have this strange habit of doing that and spend three days a week at the centre, twice for yoga and Saturday for breathing exercises. The challenge lies in the fact that I need to master the Sanskrit names for the asanas and of course, got a fab teacher who pushes us really hard what with me being so stiff with muscles and all. A run against time. Lazy me will slowly yet surely arrive.

I got some interesting news to share, am doing my Masters in Mass Communications and Journalism from Amity online, landing 60 percent scholarship from the University. Post the excitement, there are the challenges of racing against time since I enrolled relatively late with plenty of ground to cover. And, to think I am studying after 14 years of life and it’s something I always wanted to do. The digital world has opened countless possibilities for all of us to make things happen and once cannot stay far behind. It’s important to explore, learn, unlearn and re-learn new things with an open mind.

The midnight candles shall be burnt till the wee hours of the morning for the next two years what with work, studies, and less of Netflix or Prime and yoga certificate course. I never had it so awesome and 2022 is finally shaping up. Did I tell you that I finally watched a movie after 2 years and conquered the COVID fear this month with Brahmastra? Absolutely love this movie loads and will be looking to watch more films. I felt triumphant after munching popcorn in the theater and what an elated, aha feeling with movies, masti and magic. It deserves a post.

As you see, this post is a relatively short one and another reason for pushing myself to write since haven’t been doing that only. It’s a shame, I know. The post came after I spoke to a friend yesterday and the wife of my college buddy who asked me about blogging while telling her ain’t even doing that when she prodded to write. Do let me know if you like the topic, “Life’s Day Out” and might make it a regular kinda column.

Cheerio

V

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At the cusp of dawn


There shall come a time,
day or night,
chilly, frozen winter,
at the cusp of dawn,
sweltering afternoon heat,
crescent full moon,
when all secrets shall be laid bare and open,
like the sawdust,
blowing into the eyes,
when emotions shall run wild,
we shall never hesitate or hold back our words,
it may offend the world,
yet we shall give a damn,
for it will heal hearts,
where longing shall cease,
burying the past and path,
we shall return,
cutting the thread that never mattered,
swimming in bonds giving immense joy.

Love

V

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Mocking with lust


Crumpled and torn paper,
ashen-faced,
beneath emotions,
if she could hold a mirror to my face,
decoding the restlessness,
flung my ink pen in the bin,
fluorescent pen,
nay,
writing with blood-smeared ink,
pouring tears,
the last letter,
curled in love and madness,
my obsession for her,
her curls,
light bulb eyes,
 iridescent angles,

sensual lip,
milky skin,
gentle boobs,
long, athletic legs,
her deep caress,
she’s a distraction,
imagining our stormy sex sessions,
her haunting and sadistic smile,
making love to me,
demoniac,
I can’t do that,
writing a love letter for her,
sex is weakness,
she knows that,
licking her,
how much I miss her,
she’ll mock with lust,
don’t wanna give her that power,
beguiled heart,
I shall bury the secret,
writing goodbye,
a pound of my blood,
knife pierced the paper,
now who got the last laugh
tormenting the soul,
oblique emotions.

Love

V

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Brahmastra, post-pandemic releases in OTT times


The figures are out. Ayan Mukherjee’s magnum opus Brahmastra has been in the making for a long and whose main star attraction is the real-life couple recently hitching, Ranbir Kapoor-Alia, Amitabh Bachchan and Mouni is running riot at the box office to emerge as the much badly needed blockbuster hit where it raked in a terrific opening clocking in Rs 75 crores in two days and soon hitting Rs 200 crores mark.

Moving beyond the box office numbers, it begets an important question as to whether the film’s number has served as an important reminder that boycott hashtags haven’t had much of an impact on Hindi film box office, contrary to what we were led to believe with the shocking flop of Lal Singh Chadha. Perhaps, Brahmastra came as an exception to the norm where it’s one among the last pre-pandemic movies getting on a roller coaster ride.

 It whittles down to the idea that movies like Lal Singh Chaddha and a host of shocking flops such as Shamshera have sent the industry into a tizzy of sort whose main fault is the content, which has been neglected for many years. Sadly, the youth couldn’t identify with such movies lacking a connection in building pre-box office hype in terms of ticket numbers or something like Raksha Bandhan that truly belong to the 60s. Such kind of movies no longer works and should never have been attempted in the first place. Star names don’t matter much if one would call it the winning formula. About time for the industry to invest massively in good storytellers, screenplay and scriptwriters.

One thing filmmakers need and must understand is that right now in the new normalcy after the industry has been shut after two lockdowns are that they will not be competing against each other every Friday. Their biggest competitor is now digital, OTT is the new superstar that has already been present and the pandemic has spurred its growth in the country. Face it, the internet is the ‘Bahubali’ as we speak about the economics of filmmaking and if anything to go by and learn from the failure of Lal Singh Chaddha. Why has brand Aamir Khan failed? It should serve as the best education of sorts as filmmakers grapple with numbers to make business work.

The point should not be about ego on insisting to have a Friday release in the face of limited footfalls in a world still afflicted by COVID, numerous OTT channels mushrooming on the market and a high budget when the producer is unsure whether they will recover their price or not. It’s overlooking not just the Economics of filmmaking and silly ways to march into the jaws of fire. In the past, we have had films like Chehre or Jhund doing that among a host of other films when the sure-shot way to recoup the money was to get a straight OTT release and still manage to break even.

Such foolishness should be avoided and this is what Aamir Khan did by being blind and overlooking market realities, if we were to believe the grapevines on insisting to sell the film 6 months later digitally and that too demanding an astronomical figure relying on past success. It no longer works that way. It’s about time for producers to revisit where they should sell, the profit margin and also for distributors to revise the price of cinema tickets if they want the audience back to theatres.

Let’s look at Economics. Case one: Family of four with husband, wife, two kids, and grandparents, a ticket worth 400 bucks at a minimum price, add coffee/coke/sandwich/popcorn blowing 2500 plus bucks.

Case two: Boyfriend and girlfriend/two friends + a friend of either sex, yet again a good 2000 bucks blown. We are living in post-pandemic times. This needs to be reiterated and filmmakers must understand that the public will not be ready to fork out a fortune when they can pay between 500-1000 Rs months on two OTT providers, getting access to unlimited viewing, irrespective of Indian and foreign languages

Do you blame the audience? It’s not about the boycott gang hashtags on Twitter or cancel culture in preventing people from watching movies. Brahmastra as a pre-pandemic film is an exception for it has been able to connect with the Indian masses despite being in the making for a long time. Not every film would be Brahmastra and not even its sequel. The film industry is witnessing a tectonic change, fraught with challenges and trickling down to makers to usher change in terms of paying attention to content which is King or Queen. One cannot compromise content and churn the same old dish every single time. The classic formula is long gone. The audience has changed and will not lap everything thrown at them. The young generation no longer has this kind of tolerance.

The shift is already here. Filmmakers must pay attention to content by exploring new, bold subjects while at the same time, staying true to the desi flavor of filmmaking. Just look at how regional cinema, be it in the South, North East and Marathi cinema has leaped ahead of the Hindi film industry. The latter has lost the art of entertaining the public like it once ruled the roost during the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s. It’s about time to create the art that the Indian masses will identify with, retain the cultural ethos of movies, masti, and magic celebrating cinema while curating rich content swooning the audience on its feet in bringing something new that will ring in novelty.

The cancel culture is just a fad, breeding hatred against the film industry where it gets absolutely ridiculous to see such tweets just because something wrong happened. Two wrongs don’t make it right. The super stupendous success of Brahmastra has sent a strong signal and it’s about time that the audience would override anything, sitting next to each other irrespective of religion, caste, creed, or sex to celebrate a cinema-loving nation. I was and am bating for Brahmastra as we celebrate cinema to win over hate. We owe it to everyone associated with cinema and whose livelihood depends on it.

At the end of the day, don’t stay away from the cinema irrespective of whether you choose to watch Brahmastra over Kashmir Files or Kashmir Files over Brahmastra or any other thing. Boycott of any other movies, irrespective of ideologies just doesn’t make any sense at all, and at the same time, market alterations will pave the way for content driven if cinema is to thrive since boycott campaign just doesn’t work and have no impact. Films are not working, irrespective of the stars because the content is poor and nothing else. After all, the audience deserves better, or else digital viewing is already leading leaps and bounds.

Star power will no longer work at the box office, no bhai giri, ghissi pitte formulaic dialogues, blockbuster songs, fresh romantic couples, or action in the climax. The ball is in the court of established or new filmmakers or for that matter, meaningful cinema curators to come up with something new while paying attention to the market needs-don’t neglect the demands of the audience-while revising price of tickets is a need. Think about it or else the industry will bleed. No cancel culture can steal the thunder.

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Me and the moon


Creamy, translucent moon,

draped into the night,

careening the stars,

alluring and besotting eyes,

staring at dreams,

unrequited,

unquenched are such desires,

sashaying to the angel dances,

gyrating to hymns,

drumbeats,

stroking the senses,

still imagery,

staring with an intense touch,

of gaiety,

shining through the darkness,

capturing the moment,

like the speck of light,

warrior shines through,

lent a protection shield,

exuding the many forms,

of divine,

sensuality,

amorous,

dazzling with pure love,

a reminder it needs no eccentricity,

just be,

a moment of solace and silence,

gentleness,

minus chaos,

just me and the moon,

celebrating the little things,

exalted moods and moments.

Love

V

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Lights, camera and pandemic


The last time I watched a movie in theater was early 2020 in the pre-pandemic era and at that time, the faintest idea was that it would be a good 2 years, still counting. The movie was Tapsee Pannu’s Thappad, a coming of age movie on the place of women in society. One thing that often occupies my mind is whether the normal cinema-going audience would get back, storming the theatre and all excited, the cancel culture notwithstanding?

Image credit: Google.

Many of my friends are back watching movies for a year. I haven’t not because of a particular issue with the film industry but the fear of contracting the COVID pandemic where I was already detected positive during last January, by the way. There is a need to hinge on personal experience as we debate something on whether should we go for a movie or not. What matters for me as an audience is I need to get something that would excite me and always weigh the balance that all major releases would soon find their way to the subscribed digital space.

There is no denying the fact that at the time I got both Netflix and Prime, I was going for movies still and it’s another matter that outings saw a slash of sort. Reason: Budget. Everything whittles to that, pricey cinema tickets and popcorn. Of course, the pandemic came as quite an excuse, and been dilletantish when it comes to watching movies. I miss the magic on the big screen. It was a couple of months that I was planning to watch both Jhund and Gangubhai but there were unforeseen circumstances, with mom falling ill. The next plan was Shamshera and Lal Singh Chaddha, yet again bad reviews kept me away from watching.

Here, again another perspective strike is the need for content and it’s not about boycotting culture. I strongly feel that as long as the content matters, the audience will sponsor a film, irrespective of what some idiot bigots hashtag is all about. Sorry for doing a detour. I feel that the pandemic has rushed in digital all over the space and in the case of film content, OTT. It’s the biggest competition where filmmakers cannot serve the old plate but takes it head on in being the change, not really pandering to a particular audience or formula.

One thing that makes me wonder is when the audience will be back since on the one hand we have the OTT and the other larger-than-life films celebrated on the big screen. The enthralling of watching something huge on the big screen is unparalleled, lending so much joy to the audience. Not everything is about binge-watching.

The way we watch movies and theaters has altered big time in the post-pandemic world and there is no denying about. The real star is digital and huge competition for our established superstars while at the same time, something that the audience cannot blithely ignore. I believe that it will take us quite some time in getting back to the big screen with the economics of not just filmmaking but also movie viewing will be changing in the true sense. It will breed way for content where many filmmakers and distributors will bleed. There is only one answer, rich and uncompromising content without losing the desi flavor.

The traditional time of movie-going and light, action, and cinema is long gone with a huge challenge, in-flux of sorts for everyone connecting with. Do I miss going to the movies? Of course, I do as a die-hard cinema fan while at the same time, there is a sense of comfort watching with a glass of wine at home. Fortunately or unfortunately, our whole life has ushered into changes in more than one way, encompassing taste, preference, and penchant for the art, not just a virus we blithely ignored.

The whole balance of movie watching and entertainment witnessed a tectonic change with the nitty gritty of pick and chose on what to watch. It augurs well as we speak of quality cinema yet at the same time, I can’t help recall the excitement of movie watching as a kid, marvelling at the magic unfurling itself. Every trip was a special outing celebrating joy that turned from yearly, to twice a year, semester or monthly grand affair. Of course, during college days, there wouldn’t go a Friday without watching a Hindi film in those days and mandatory like what we call selfie in today’s times for movies are meant to be celebrated in a grand, pompous fashion.

I long for those days to come back, watching movies without virus fear or prejudice, albeit feeded hatred against cinema artists. Remember, movies are not just about the stars but people working hard to eke a living and feed their families, right from ADs, line producers to light men and women and spot boys. Let’s celebrate and rise together.

Truly cinema

Love

V

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The unending path



The wait was long,

traversing a deserted land,

journeying among rocks, grass, and muddy terrain,

they didn’t warn about the trap,

I didn’t hear the distant echo,

nor did I pay heed,

everything disappears with the mound,

I took the plunge,

sometimes you gotta do that,

close the eyes,

a silent prayer,

whispers gently stroking past the ear and mind,

feathers ruffling,

to the winds’ echo,  

sepulchral tones,

fluttering leaves,

lending noise lost to the unending journey,

traversing roads and desert,

voiceless to the world,

conching of shells,

in the deserted temples,

i gained consciousness,

walking meekly

till the steps found me,

on the never-ending path,

yet traced,

i found my route.

Love

V

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Madness and colors


It’s absolute madness at home with color overhaul, blue and white combo, saffron, grey and white roof-themed kitchen and light rose for the hall with the entire house turned upside down and resembles a hackneyed Hindi film comedy of errors.

Moving furniture, running helter-skelter and so much stuffed inside the house that we now feel is totally unneeded. How we discard them remains such an important question! There are so much unused, clothes, boxes and discarded materials or magazines remaining stuck inside cartoon boxes that got me thinking about the need to grow into a minimalist. So much stuff blocks free energy and let me not get started on the moving of furniture in making the space for paintings to happen. Such a royal pain in the ass. It whittles down to clogging of energy and it popped into my mind how there is always a need to always create space for a makeshift room in an apartment.

On top of that, being exposed to chemicals involved in the making of paint has made me realize how vulnerable I have become where one thing after the other propped, allergy, eyes turning reddish, tiny white below the eyelid and burning skin. Just imagine, as a prelude to that had some bout of fever on and off, sore throat not leaving me and the worse is the constant dry cough that worked as a nightmare since childhood where I had a tough time coping in the classroom. I still abhor it and especially now during the COVID times, adding more pressure at a time when we are in a closed room.

I keep checking my temperature and got slightly worried frantically pacing down the road to get one antigen kit, apparently the last one on the counter. Balloon of relief sputtering in the air when it showed negative and one thing I have observed on how some mild virus can make us overwork, hinging on the fear of being infected as we straddle upon learning to cohabit with the unwanted as we seep into the new normal.
This time I choose to experiment with paintings for not every room is wearing a uniform color but adding zing, a dash of colorfulness, and soothing vibration. My room shall be painted green and kept for last with so much furniture and books doing the round.

It’s been quite a ride during the past few weeks with some worry in the form of pimples sprouting on the face and a nose taking an ugly, L-shaped so much that I would be resembling some awkward detective found only in movies. On top of that, a sensation of insects crawling on the body, pushing me to do a glucose test that reached 6.2 and 6.7 respectively.

Now, that freaked me out and pushed me to do a couple of blood tests, where thankfully every single of them fell into the normal range, right from blood sugar to platelets and hemoglobin.

The only thing that I personally feel is that my blood sugar went a bit high in the normal range and something a part of me feels is due to COVID positive bringing imbalances in the system.

So much happening at high voltage and on the path of the smooth and bumpy ride to meet at the turning juncture with roadblocks. The unpredictable turn of events. A visit to the dermatologist reassured me on a constant worry flaring up the pimples and a panic attack right during a conference and credit to me, for being able to manage things, by taking a step back, taking walk from the crowd and of course my colleague looked after me, in making I had lunch. It means a lot. Quite a lot of medical trips during the past month from derm to my GP, counseling me on panic attacks and anxiety with non-chemical medicines. I am taking things in my stride.

The month of September started on a roll after a challenging year and got some amazing news to share soon. Just waiting for some final verification to complete before I speak about this change happening in my life. Whoa! I never thought about penning an entire post on a Sunday.

Love N Keep the faith.

V

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ghostly love, ghostly minds


Blood stained lip,
Parched mouths,
ghostly love,
ghosted minds,
sinful love,
toxic love,
obsession,
shadow in my mirror,
intoxicated and swayed by your senses,
quenching desires,
scent of liquor,
can’t be you,
 haunted by your face at the bar,
cocktail night,
blurred by your pale vision,
till i passed out,
call it love,
the witch of attraction,
you scare with illusion,
devilish ghoul,
venom is thy name.
luring in the darkness chamber,
abysss,
lust,
gentle kiss of death,
lethal poison scything the nerves,
now who needs to die with orgasm,
And, passionate night of sex and deceit?

Love
V

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Wilted youth


Wilted youth,

carefree days.

emblem of unquenched thirst,

knowledge,

experimenting the love of everything,

every single moment mattered,

making the most was another name,

the bloom and spring,

youthful free,

zero limits,

of friendship and love.

till life happened without realizing,

on the edge,

lost to the wind,

then life happened,

it just felt like aging,

a stubble,

greyed, wrinkles and pimples,

how I wish,

tired of the hackneyed,

as if a conspiracy by the higher powers,

just another chance,

does it feel too much to ask,

of growing different,

let it me,

I shall sow seeds of happiness.

Love

V