Fading flicker of light


Numbness.

I resemble,

an earthen lamp nestled in a dark corner.

Fading flicker of light;

Everything must come to an end.

Love.

Friendship.

Youthfulness.

It shall not always stay the same.

Equations change.

Realization dawns,

time is no bubble.

Counting my stars and tiny dots

on the sky.

Watching in silence as memory slips

is the peace that I make with the self.

Love

V

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Fiction: Maya


The music played in the mind of Omi. He wandered aimlessly in the night and hearing birds chirping from a distance. A feeble smile stroke his lip. The memories of the times spent with the best friend, the girl he crushed on and the blank calls made in the wee hours. The times that slipped is a powerful healer as he faced his destiny. The unexpected defeats and longing for miracles. It soothed his heart as he looked back at the wondrous times that seemed too good to be true. It felt like waking up from a beautiful dream composed of heavenly bliss.

He chucked his last cigarette and the smoke curled in the air. Last night, the dream dawned upon Omi that all is not lost. Perhaps, it’s a sign of the extraordinary times that will unfurl. The depression that he fought with and how he wanted his life to get back to normal. It wasn’t helping him. He was hanging with a tiny thread of hope. Omi lay in the hospital and the last pinch of blood was sucked from his body. He fainted. It’s all Maya, he told himself. She is the illusion that life is made of. He passed out.

The angel unfurled in front of him. His Maya is near perfect, svelte and bore no human flaw. Omi would breathe his last in peace. On his bedside, the shiny iPhone was decked under the white pillow and he held it with his finger. The tall nurse walked past him and gently place his head on the right position on the pillow and winked at him. She was his Maya. Omi made an effort and fumbled with his hand to click her picture. I can now die in peace, he reasoned with his illogical, stubborn and obsessed mind. He sold his kidney for the super expensive iPhone to capture her gaze. It was his biggest illusion, only if what love can do to faint hearted like Omi. He passed away into heavenly bliss during the night.

Love

V

 

Fiction: The devil casting its shadow


It poured heavily that night. Thunderstorm rocked the city like a time bomb. The crowded streets felt like a desert and everyone flocked to the confines of their four walls. The whole country watched in horror as the news unfurled live on the idiot box. The politician who indulges in rhetoric about patriotism has been nabbed to be in cahoots with terrorists and was conspiring for a terror attack to struck the country. The people were in a state of shocked and yelled betrayal in front of their TV set. It feels like the hand of the devil casting its shadow on the life of the average commoners.

After all, such kind of traitors always take the people and their followers for a ride, fooling them by using emotional gimmick while they ride on crores of gold. The country is slowly recovering from demonetization and the sudden death of a revered iconic woman politician in the south when it was struck with another sharp blow on the face.

The bomb has been diffused. The Indian army, NCG commanders, and the entire police force have barricaded the sea and port declaring curfew till the politician is not arrested. Helicopters are hovering below the sky and above the tall buildings in the city to ensure that no mayhem happen till this terrorist is not dragged out and handcuffed, to a secret location. The TV crew and journalists are having a field day, stationed in front of the sprawling bungalow of the neta-turned-villain airing live update. The entire country is on tenterhooks. It is the day when the commoners are winning against celebrities with shows like Big Boss and Kaun Banega Crorepati registering abysmally low TRP not exceeding two points. It’s judgment Day.

 

Cigarettes were stubbed in the ashtray inside the studio apartment. The wooden door was wide open that gave an aerial view of the city from the balcony. The television channels were flipped to get the latest news and, in particular, some bizarre news that would rage and boil inside his crazy mind. He confined himself inside his studio, not daring to move his feet past the door. After all, he was engulfed in fear.

The power of imagination halted after being a self-made prisoner for 360 days of writing his novel. Politician arrested for terror act, rain, thunder, and fall in TRP…the thread was missing. The author banged his head on the table with pen in hand after writing 359 pages for he couldn’t arrive at a breath-taking climax. After all, what will happen when the cop arrest the politician involved in terrorism! He suddenly went blank.

Loud fists were heard on his door and he turned around to see cops waiting for him. They thrust him with force on the floor and handcuffed his hands. The CBI officer winked, “Game over, son. You planted a false video in the house of the Minister and played a smart game to convince us that he is a terrorist.  We found out everything and how you’ve brought the whole country down, in chasing this man, barricade his house and bringing the city down.” The officer ordered to his junior, “Take his whole manuscript. After all, he will write the climax in jail.”

Love

V

A wish to make


It’s my wish;

To shoot balloons with secrets inside to spurt in the air.

My dreams of flying the airplane,

hitting the sky and sketching my name on the universe;

My wish to make everything count out of nothing on earthen mud;

It’s the simple joys and small particles of aspirations that matter;

To grow bigger and better every single day;

I vow not to let small defeats get the better of me;

I am:

It’s the Me that stands taller:

I seek to carve my destiny out of nothing;

I am a dreamer;

Hope is my second name;

Love

V

Dear love


Dear Love,

It’s not the end of it. We don’t need to celebrate with flowers, chocolates, and perfumes that the world call Valentine Day to validate our love. Has our love become so cheap that goodies will fulfill our quest and define us? It’s the heart that matters. Silence expresses a myriad of feelings and emotions. I chose not to make out and swirl in the fiery passion of kissing and caressing your skin. Love needs no touch but conveyed through the eyes that express and stokes fire. 

We are ordinary mortals yet timeless in the way we grow in love. We are not narrating a tale to boost sensual pleasure for the world to speak about us. Love is growth. As separate individuals, we attain the nirvan of love by blooming like red roses. It’s the tide that lifts the boats and the waves that sweep souls ensconced into one entity. It’s not two bodies but one wholesome particle that makes love pure and white like the swan. 

Giving a name to our relationship signal our death knell and destroy our existence as lovers. We shall not fetter each other in the chain of possessiveness and yearning for each other every single moment. Unchain each other and be free from bondage. I don’t promise the moon to you. You are the moon. How can I promise something that transgresses nature and existence? After all, I am an ordinary soul that wields no power on you.

Longing, kissing, anger and break up are just stupid epithets to describe lovers. Love is not about promises made to be always with each other. I vow to set our love free. We will not burn in the fire of love or lust. We are beyond emotions that suck our pristine heart capable of loving fully. We are not insurance with conditions attached.  Love has no sex. It’s not a man. It’s not a woman. Crazy, stupid but powerful love roaring like an earthquake. It shakes the world. The four letter word is our prayer. It is not their definition that we seek to make us real. It’s not the law, rites and social sanctity called marriage which we are seeking. Remember we are seekers. It is the love that unfolds the blinkers.  It’s not for society to dictate our lives. We are beyond materialism and attachment.

There is no control button in love. It’s not TV or remote control. Or else, it was never love in the first place. It’s us. It is U, Me and Us. Humans is another name for evolution. Evolution is love. Our hearts are no technological device. We are not slaves to each other’s feelings. Nomad is thy name, perhaps. But, again, why give a name to what we are to each other. Fellow travelers who hold a potent meaning to each other’s lives. Chuck out the expensive gifts, Our love is beyond the wealth spent. Our love is no demonetisation. 

Happy Love

V

Nothingness of everything


Flapping wings;

In search of the self;

Set to conquer the world;

Pessimism is a lost and forgotten word;

Hiccups and small defeats hold no meaning;

Drinking from the cup of life;

Reveling in the liquor;

Life;

Death;

A taste of reality;

Take every sip;

Passion;

Pleasure;

Unrequited expectations;

Grateful for the hard times:

Victory in disguise;

Hope:

Dreams;

Bent and broken;

It’s the biggest lie;

Delete the word impossible;

Scrap the nothing;

It’s the everything that matters;

You know why?

The sun rises for everyone.

Love

V

 

Rain, books and lazing around


It’s been raining cats-and-dogs uninterrupted since Saturday and feeling. I can hear the lash of rain bursting on the window sill and love the pitter-patter of rain lashing and wind unfurling its fury. It’s music to the ear. I downed a cup of tea that warmed the body which beats the cold to propel me back to the grind of writing. I am back after a blog break of almost a month.

I can hear the frogs creeping out of the hole in the rainy weather and love hearing the sound they make. It is soothing to the ear. I drenched myself in the rain that accompanied the cyclone and spent the day reading The Unquiet Land by Barkha Dutt which I just started. I was dying to get my copy written by my idol which was ordered and when it came, it was nestled among loads of books.  It’s an old habit to buy and hoard books to read at leisure.

It’s been quite an extended lazy weekend where I end up doing nothing but lazing around and slouching on the bed. The feeling of doing nothing and pushing work for tomorrow is simply exhilarating. There are few days like that and a luxury of the sort to end up not doing anything. I guess that it is something that we should all do from time-to-time and need to stop pushing ourselves to the wall. I’ve been off Facebook for almost three months now and the longest time that I deactivated the account. Social media bores me nowadays and trust me, it’s the best thing that one can do. Switch off. It can take a toll on the brain and better to cut off to get back some sanity. I am sure that when I go back, it will be a new me. I don’t want to put controversial posts which have been a habit with me and indulging in mudslinging with friends turning intro trolls. It attracts negativity which I am not keen on doing any more.

Yesterday, was quite funny on Twitter when I had this chat with a TV journalist, complimenting her work when idiotic trolls popped in like uninvited fucks and hovered around like termites. The best thing is I didn’t reply to them. I am learning to ignore idiotic and brainless comments. The moment you fall sway to the game, you are sucked into it. Sorry, Sir! I am done with that. As you age your turn into old wine, chucking out silly tweets and stay away from disputes. The sheer pleasure of frustrating the trolls who don’t have anything better to do with their inane religious extremism. The right to get offended! ,

I just finished reading Chitra Banerjee’s Palace of Illusion which is an amazing book in narrating the tale of Mahabharata from Draupadi’s perspective. My only tryst with Mahabharata was BR Chopra’s serial which I watched as a kid and Palace of Illusion is a beautiful interpretation which deserves to be read. It’s a complete page turner that touches the human souls of the mythical figures. I love how the author has expressed the nuances and described characters like Draupadi, presenting her as a strong woman, Karna, and Krishna. Both Draupadi and Krishna remain my favorite characters in the mythological tale. How I wish I could interpret this story in a brand new way, making Draupadi and Krishna lovers but with a risk of trolls and fundamentalist running down my neck.

It’s one of the most amazing books I’ve read this year and the author has brilliantly depicted the story of a woman who was designed to play a bigger role in the universe before she came into the world. I love the strength and complexity in Draupadi, in awe of how Krishna can be so playful and maintain his cool and smile in the face of insult.

I am dying to get the new Apple 7 phone this year and already fascinated by its features after using my HTC One X during four years. It’s the maximum and record time that I have used a handset. I was planning to travel to India this month but there are some glitches that need to be overcome. It has toned down my excitement of meeting family, friends, indulging in shopping and being at my favorite places. I am confident that things will be sorted out and that way I can get my phone at Dubai Duty-free shop during the stopover.

Ciao

Cya soon

V

Scent of passion


Silly peck;

Adrenaline sensation felt like bee’s sting;

Blood waltzing to heavenly passion;

Lips cupping and meeting at infinity point;

Rush of electric jolt,

bringing the bodies to halt at girth;

Heavy breathing;

Time has stopped;

Longing for the scent of passion, loveless touch, and harmless affair;

Craving for the emotional touch;

It felt like a punch straight to the heart;

Pressing caress up and down,

treading the unchartered zone where no humans reached.

Erogenous zones;

An orgasm that blew the lid off;

Arousal;

The climax failed to reach its zenith;

Mind holding the reins over bodily pleasures;

Emotions overpowered intimate touch;

It’s the love we make;

Mind flicking the human battery to perfection;

Love

V

 

Assault on Sanjay Leela Bhansali: Law of jungle and upholding freedom of expression


It’s an irony of a sort that, as Indians, we celebrated our Republic Day on January 26  and the next day, a blatant mockery of tolerance and freedom of expression, guaranteed by the Indian constitution unfurled in front of our eyes. It is appalling and disgusting how a terror outfit assaulted the pride of the Hindi film industry and one of our most brilliant filmmakers, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, treading with impunity to destroy his workplace, the sets of Padmavati. It is infuriating how freedom and tolerance are taking a toll.

Yes, the culture of intolerance, I choose, to say it loud and clear, is being legitimately questioned when we see fringe elements roaming free and violating the rules of law of our great country. It’s the law of the blind, deaf and dumb when the system fails to protect its citizens. It makes me so angry that I chose to break my blogging break to write about it in this space. Now, who wants to argue when we speak about this culture of intolerance which is hijacking peace, creative and artistic freedom in our country known as the beacon of freedom and independence! I dare anyone to come here or in the online space to call us Sickular? You can and it’s your right to troll, insult or call us names but dare not condone violence in the name of religion. And, please do not justify this violence by comparing it to our soldiers on the border!

Article 19 in The Constitution Of India 1949 stipulates freedom of speech and expression:

The primary purpose of Article 19 is to protect certain rights regarding freedom of speech. According to this Article, every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression; assemble peacefully (without arms); form associations or unions; move freely throughout the country; reside and settle in any part of India; and practise any profession, or carry on any occupation.

The Article 19 explicitly states that the right to freedom of opinion and expression also includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and “to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” Article 19 (5) of the Constitution “purportedly empowers” the states to enact legislation of their own for protecting indigenous people.

– See more at: http://www.elections.in/political-corner/article-19-of-indian-constitution/#sthash.zVjUNlhJ.dpuf

It’s not the first time that the film industry is incurring the wrath of fringe elements or for that matter Sanghi Hindu extremists attacking a film set, damaging public property, book launch or destroying the work of artists. It’s terrorism designed to muzzle freedom by resorting to violence and lynching. It goes against the principles of freedom of expression upon which our founding fathers built a tolerant India and laid the principles in our constitution. The question that one should ask is, Are we ready as citizens to forsake our cultural assets which are our freedom and artistic right to express?Why should the film industry be at the receiving end of hoodlums or goondas muzzling voices?

Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali

 Those days, it is fashionable for anyone or schism to start a hardliner group with the names like Sena and the Karni Sena or its ilk and hire paid goons to attack a creative person. It is commonplace that artists, be it writers or filmmakers are at the receiving end of such extremists goondas, reveling in their so-called right to be offended or outraged at the product that hasn’t seen the light of the day. First of all, those idiots haven’t even read the script and I can take a bet that they are first-rate ignorant of their own Rajput culture where the medieval era ruler Alauddin Khilji, fell in love with Queen Padmavati. It is an irony of sort that we don’t understand a thing or two about our culture or holy scriptures but find it our birthright to jump the gun by resorting to violence against people presenting a work of art in book form or on the screen, for that matter.
Truth can be very disturbing, far away from the so-called distortion of historical facts, taking pride in this scant disregard for the rule of law. Did I say, rule of law? It’s the law of the jungle with morons forming Senas and so-called intellectuals, high on religious pride who will do anything to prove a zilch point. It’s not for the first time that the Indian film industry is being at the receiving end of morons. It happened with Kamal Hassan, Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap’s Udta Punjab in the recent past and will occur again. Till the film industry doesn’t come together in one voice, divisive forces will rule through the use of violence.
It’s horrifying with social media trolls and now paid goons using violence rather than knocking on the doors of the law or holding seminars to discuss how their beliefs are being questioned. It’s within their right to express offense but through civilized method to pour outrage is the hallmark of a decent society.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is one of the most prolific film-makers and a pride to India whose Padmavati was screened to applause in Cannes years ago. There have been politicians who called him the pride of India and this hypocrisy looms large on our head like a sword when we lack the gall to defend the man and his crew at his place of work. It’s tragic that the authorities lack the spine to defend its citizens.
Attacking women or destroying Archies gallery on V-Day and vandalizing MF Hussain exhibition is a cowardice act. Yet. who will bring those morons to task and drag them in court? It’s high time that the Government of the day gets rid of the fools parading on the ‘Sena’ namesake for the truth is they represent themselves not a particular religion, caste or the people.
Why should filmmakers cower down or change their scripts to suit fringe elements, backed by politicians, in society? It is an assault on human freedom and perhaps, no place for creative artists to express themselves. It is high time to say No to this culture of violence and hooliganism. We live in a world of contradictions where so-called social groups feel offended at the mere sight or words invoking Gods, cultural history or religion. Till we don’t come together to oppose such intolerance in our society, we have so much at stake be it our history and road to freedom, that we will lose in no time. As citizens, we cannot afford to compromise our freedom and artistic right to express. History will judge us. Let’s rise against abuse and venom spurned by idiots who lack the intellectual faculty to judge or read history. Lets’s stand together, citizens, artists and the film industry as one voice against bigots.
V

Tribute: The Thinking Actor, Om Puri


He was the unconventional hero and actor at a time when the Hindi film industry was festooned with movies that carried masala appeal where trinity of stars, Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand ruled supremely and their turf was taken by one  Rajesh Khanna, for whom the term superstar was coined for the first time. One day, walked a tall and lanky man called Amitabh Bachchan who stormed the entire industry and whom the media called the angry young man. One would be tempted to ask where someone like Om Puri and his ilk would fit. He did. Puri Saab gave a new definition and edge to cinema and methodical acting that the audience-both mainstream and artistic-fell in love with.

The methodical actor, the first among his kin who steered this acting revolution, belonged to what I’d call the Alumni of the school of the 70s in the same school as Farooq Shaikh, Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, Naseeruddin Shah, Amol Palekar and Deepti Naval who came with a wave of change to revolutionize cinema. It’s a sin to call it parallel cinema, a poor cousin of mainstream. It’s my firm belief that cinema is cinema, no matter how we define it.

A graduate of the premiere Film Television Institute of India (FTII) in Pune, Om Puri debuted in the Marathi film Ghashiram Kotwal based on a play by the Maharashtrian playwright, Vijay Tendulkar. Puri Saab went on to play remarkable roles in what was dubbed at that time as ‘art house’ cinemas such as Aakrosh, Arth Satya, Bhumika, Jaane Bhi do Yaaro, Mandi, Bhavni Bhavai and Albert Pinto ko Gussa Kya Aata Hai, where he shared screen presence with Smita Patil, who is arguably one of the finest actresses Hindi cinema has produced. Such was the times. Shyam Bengal was one of the rare directors who captured and brought to life one of the gems of the industry, be it in Aakrosh, Kalyug, Arohan or Bhumika.

A still from Govind Nihilani’s Ardh Satya with Om Puri and Smita Patil.

Om Puri Saab is one of the rare actors who never went over the top with his restrained acting histrionics, demeanor, body language and expression was honest to the core and a treat to watch. He was one actor who was an institution in himself and would serve as fodder to future actors and students of cinema. I personally believe that despite hailing from the theater background or art cinema, he showed the way and bare no contempt to what media terms as commercial outings where he held his might and polished acting into a fine art. I enjoyed watching Puri Saab in comic and commercial capers to the likes of Hera Pheri, Mere Baap Pehle Aap, Singh is King, Ghayal, and Narsimha. Who can forget the villain in Narsimha or, for that matter, his entry in Jaane Bhi do Yaaro? One just needs to sit and watch how he sashays, take a pause and mouths the dialogues. A tale of introspection, energy, observing and taking the game forward. Om Puri’s outing in commercial outings shows how a great actor should never shy away to venture and every act is part of its inherent skills, free from prejudices or baggage.

The clash of titans, Om Puri and Amitabh Bachchan in Dev, helmed by Govind Nihilani in 2004.

Two of the great actors and thespians, Amitabh Bachchan and Om Puri crossed swords in movies like Kyon Ho Gaya Na, Laqshya, Babul but what takes the cake is Dev which showcases the conflict, angst and deep-rooted ideological differences rooted in the system. The same was brought alive on screen by the two geniuses, Puri and Bachchan, on par with each other and hailing from two vastly distinct cinematic school of thoughts. A tale of art meeting mainstream cinema that was tapped with such ingenuity and competence by Govind Nihilani. Puri played Tejinder Khosla while Bachchan played Dev Pratap Singh brought the house on fire, bringing a rare intensity in what is the real deal and conflict is ridden in the system. Simply brilliant.

As Om Puri bade us farewell, a certain void is sensed which would make it very rare to fill and one is tempted to say that the golden era of acting is slowly waning away. The thinking actor that Om Saab was, never shied away at speaking his mind and hitting at intolerance raging in our society, getting it real at every juncture. He belonged to a very humble background and it was something that showed during his interviews, this kindness that made Puri Saab so human.

Hindi cinema lost one of its most sparkling mind and actors that echoed the real issues facing our society in films like Mirch Masala, Dharavi, Dev, Ardh Satya and wowed the global audience in international flicks such as Gandhi, East is East and My Son the Fanatic. Take a bow, Sir. Perhaps, you have gone too soon but retributive justice in a way for us to honor you posthumous when you never got your due as an actor.

 

V