The Perfect Date

Let’s read.
Let’s sit quietly with each other and be consumed by the silence.
Let’s converse through the written words.
Let’s watch each other smiling a random smile, laughing a hearty laugh.
Let’s travel together to distant lands and dreamy worlds.
And when our eyes meet, just to assure that we’re in this together…
we’ll know we can do this forever.

Memories that Facebook doesn’t throw at you…

The light in your eyes when you spoke of your dreams,
And the tilt of your head when you’d try to think hard,
That twisted smile in those goofy selfies,
And the infectious laugh that made me go the whole nine yards,
The conversations that kept us up all night,
And soft cuddles that were just so right,
The kisses and touch that felt so deep,
And the hugs that I wish I could forever keep,
These are the memories that Facebook doesn’t throw,
Cause if you’d see them you’d know,
That the world is the same even without you,
But it’s just a bit more blue.

कुछ उधड़ गया है

इधर सुबहें कुछ बुझी बुझी सी लगती हैं,
आँख खुलते ही मोबाइल स्क्रीन पे तुम्हारे नाम की चमक के बदले अब घुप्प अँधेरा दिखता है,
दिन वैसे ही चलता है,
बस कहीं किसी कोने में लेकिन सन्नाटा सा लगता है,
शामें भी नाराज़ ही हैं, कुछ कटी कटी सी रहतीं हैं,
खाली हाथ रात के आने का डर अब इनको भी शायद लगता है।
वक़्त भी बिखरा बिखरा है,
बातों के धागों से जो जोड़ जोड़ के रक्खा था, अब सब उधडा उधडा है

My Blue Wings

Maybe…
Maybe there’s a parallel universe where I don’t know that you exist,
A place where I am whole and your lies haven’t broken me yet,
Where the light passes through me filling my every dark corner,
Where my heart can still love and trust,
Where the moon is still bright and grass still wet,
Where I lie on my back, looking up at the happy sky,
Where I listen to myself talk about my passions and dreams,
Maybe…
someday I’ll fly to that universe,
For I have the blue wings.

 

The Blue Wings…

Maybe…
Maybe there’s a parallel universe,
Where you and I are still laughing at silly jokes;
Where the grass is still wet and the moon still bright;
Where you and I are lying on our backs looking at the dark sky;
Where the fire we lit is still burning slowly;
Where you and I look at each other lazily;
Where you tell me your passion, your goals, your dreams;
Where I hold your hand and fly high,
For I have the blue wings.

The Love We Deserve…

Love that’s not dead,
Love that’s as alive as the living roots bridges of Nongriat.
Love that’s not murky,
Love that’s as transparent as the water of Umngot on a perfect day.
Love that’s not shallow,
Love that’s as deep as the valley of Laitlum.
Love that’s not toxic,
Love that’s as pure as the water of the Rainbow falls.
Love that does not hide behind an app or a mobile screen,
Love that’s out in the open like the stars in Shnongpdeng’s night sky.
Love that doesn’t break you into tiny pieces,
Love that holds you together and makes you whole again.
That’s the kind of love we want, that’s the kind of love we deserve.

My issues with Tamasha…

…Oh I have plenty! Let’s start from the beginning?

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From the first shot, it’s established that our hero loves stories; listening to stories. Does he like telling stories too? We don’t know, not yet. He grows up listening to Ramayan, Mahabharata, Shakespeare, Heer Ranjha, Laila Majnu, basically all classics. But, when we see him in Corsica, meeting Deepika for the first time, he suddenly becomes this Bollywood junkie introducing himself as Don and talking about Teja ka sona. There’s also completely avoidable Dev Anand mimicry which stretches over two scenes. I am sure I am not the only one who felt a bit of a disconnect here. Was referring to literature too much of a risk for Imtiaz Ali? In order to secure his commercial audience, Ali went way off the track.

After the Corsica trip, we see four years of Deepika’s life go by in a song. She is clearly very sad and much in love with our hero Don, but we have no clue about what’s happening in our hero’s life. Does he live like a robot for all those years? Was he a robot before the Corsica trip? Or he became one after that? Did he try to get out of the job and the life he doesn’t want? Is he equally in love with Deepika? Does he miss her? Does he try to contact her? About the last question, he clearly has her dad’s number; remember she calls her dad from Ranbir’s phone? Aaaah! See the loophole there.

So we don’t know if our hero is equally in love; his reaction on seeing Deepika after all these years doesn’t say that either. His behaviour is controlled, unlike his Corsica version where he was this free spirited, fun loving dude. He is this regular bloke with a regular job whose life is like a giant alarm clock. Who forced him to be that robot? So far we understand that that’s who he is in real life.

Shit hits the fan when Deepika breaks up with him for being a different person. Here we see a shift in Ranbir’s character; clear signs of depression and maybe borderline bipolar disorder. He snaps at people, has fits of anger and completely goes berserk in front of his boss. A lot of you might argue that he snaps because he has been controlling his emotions too much. Fine, I agree. But, why does he have to? Because of the job that he has to do? But he doesn’t have to. He clearly does not have the responsibility of his family. Even if he has to, the time that he spends at Hauz Khas Social can be spent doing interesting things. You know, the things that cool people do despite having a day job – stand-up comedy, poetry slam, story reading, food pop-ups. His father is not even half as bad as Bhairav Singh from Udaan; that man was awful. Even if he is, he is sitting miles away to find out about his post-work adventures.

Our hero is forced to study engineering, but by the looks of it, it doesn’t seem like that he has clue about what he wants to do. Not even when he is in college, not even when he is working, not even when he is with Deepika and not even when she dumps him. The sudden realisation sets in after the storyteller – Piyush Mishra, calls him a coward. Isn’t he one? My point is, why blame the duniya and samaaj if you’re not clear in your head in the first place?

Thank God he figured out what he wanted to do and did it gloriously and with much success (the film needs another reality check here); for those in real life who didn’t or couldn’t, good luck to all the Deepikas with them.

In my opinion Tamasha has a good concept with absolute superficial treatment. Imtiaz Ali likes to wear that intellectual hat but also wants his boy-meets-girls and happily-ever-afters. He shows you a glimpse of mental disorders but doesn’t want to delve into it because delving into issues require hard work. But Mr Ali, when you work hard you get Udaan, or even Birdman. .

We All Killed The Talwars


unnamed (3)I just watched a brilliant film and my head aches. Yeah, that’s not the effect I was looking for. I also feel angry and helpless; all of this despite reading the book Arushi by Avirook Sen a couple of months ago and knowing the facts of the case.

The police, CBI and media circus which went on for 8 years is detailed by Sen and Meghna Gulzar has provided the visuals that hit you in the face. Wham!

And we are party to it thanks to our voyeuristic nature and the pleasure we derive out of passing judgments and blatant generalization. We wanted to know what happened behind the closed doors of a 14 year old girl’s room and were too eager to accept the theory of an affair between her and her 50 year old servant. Yes, we are equally guilty.

I totally understand Arun Kumar’s (Ashwin Kumar played by Irrfan in the film) helplessness and desparation when he is fighting a bunch of sick, prejudiced men. There’s a simple rule of investigating a crime — he explains — saboot (evidence) > jaanch (investigation) > nateeja (result). But Kaul’s way of approach was exactly opposite. Why didn’t the second CBI team didn’t pay any heed to what the first team had found? Because it had become a high profile case and solving it (the way everyone expected it to be solved) meant eternal glory? Or was it something.else? Ego? But at what cost? Evidence was compromised, witnesses were arm twisted and stories were created; just to prove that we are better than you? Or to cover up past mistakes?

And media fed these stories to the hungry audience who are not satiated with the make believe drama in the Big Boss house anymore. Sadly, this drama is somebody’s life.

I don’t know who killed Arushi, but we’ve all killed the Talwars.

बचपन की अंटैची

अंटैची एक काली सी झांकती है अलमारी के कोनों से, बहुत सी बंद यादें हैं जो अब ढूँढे नहीं मिलतीं

कुछ रंग हैं कच्चे पक्के से और एक किताब कहानी की, सुराही का ठंडा पानी और मीठी सी फ़टकार वो नानी की 

नादान से वो खेल और मिट्टी के कुछ बरतन जिनमे बड़े जतन से झूठी सच्ची रसोई पकाई थी, उन बरतनों की सौंधी सौंधी ख़ुश्बू भी है बंद वहीं

अचार के कुछ लुक्मे जो चुराए थे माँ की पीठ परे, खट्टी मीठी वो चोरी की चटखार भी शायद मिल जाए

एक मटका था पानी का जिसकी ठंडी सतह पर गाल टिका के घंटों बैठे रहते थे, AC से ठंडे उस मटके की हल्की हल्की थपकी भी रख छोड़ी थी वहीं कहीं

और एक छोटा सा बच्चा है, बड़ी हसरत से तकता है, कि अब तो खेल ये ’growing up’ के छोड़ेंगे

और फिर से लौट लेंगे उनही नालों में नहरों में लिए कागज़ की एक कश्ती, उनही खेतों में बागों में जहँ फलते थे आम और लीची

उनही छत की मुंडेरों पर जहाँ जाड़े की उजली धूप खिलती है, उनही रातों में जहाँ तारों के नीचे नींद एक सुकूं की मिलती है

Film Review: Masaan

*Contains spoilers*

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I have rarely seen so many solemn people walk out of a film theatre. That’s the kind of effect Masaan has on you. You want to be left with your own thoughts, leaving the dissection of the film for later.

There’s a dark side to Banaras which the filmmakers have never cared to notice above the bustling ghats, grand aartis and colorful by-lanes. Masaan breaks through the stereotype and enters the part of the city that hides ugly demons of caste system and shame; where young boys are made to jump in the Ganga to find coins while the adults place bets on them; where the dead come to escape but the living are trapped.

Deepak (Vicky Kaushal) and Shaalu’s (Shweta Tripathi) heartwarming romance bears the weight of him being born a dom – the low caste community that burns dead bodies on the ghats. It’s ironic that the soul of the dead won’t escape till a low caste – considered untouchable all his life – touches the body. Devi (Richa Chaddha) is caught by the police in a hotel having sex with her boyfriend and is immediately labeled a prostitute, giving even a peon the right to demand sex from her. She is left with a dead lover, a blackmailing inspector and a huge burden of shame. What connects Deepak and Devi’s life is to get away from their trapped existence. In the midst, there’s troubled relation Deepak and Devi share with their brother and father (Sanjay Mishra) respectively.

There’s a constant struggle of new and old. This is the age of Facebook and Youtube and yet the huge divide of caste keeps hanging in the middle of a brewing romance. Deepak’s outburst when Shaalu constantly asks about his house and family suddenly makes sense a few scenes later. The guy who is steady as a rock and calm as a sea while burning dead bodies, is suddenly shaken. And Kaushal shines as Deepak in every frame. His nervous smiles while trying to woo Shaalu or the steely resolve to get out of the dump are brilliantly executed.

The direction is detailed like the scene where Deepak’s mother lights the stove with the fire from the ghat. In one of his tweets, director Neeraj Ghaywan explains that traditionally this is how the community lights up their stoves. The camera work is impeccable; Avinash Arun shows the charming city without overwhelming the audience. The shot where Deepak swims across the river and looks at the city from the opposite bank is splendid.

There are light moments in the film especially the ones between Sanjay Mishra and his help – a kid name Jhonta. But, Masaan is intense and deep and mature in its writing and story telling.