Ramblings of a heart

Made of blood and flesh;

Unimaginatively, I pump and flush.

Happy with my modest existence;

A loyal servant by all means.

 

Aware the mirror wouldn’t show my opulence;

But still hurt at your overtures to the fallible hair.

When not only am I a part of your life;

but the very means .

 

I never get acknowledged ;

Other than as a lame figure of speech.

For I’m prefixed sweet, when you both grow fond;

I’m your favorite parlance, when you two bond.

 

And one fine day, when you two break;

Detached and audibly; you proclaim me to be broken.

Making me a pawn to a game;

That only needed my name.

But even as a depiction of romance, I’m not spared;

For the cupid with a dart also gets me scarred.

 

When you milk me till the last drop;

My labor & love violated.

Resilient like a union;

I shut shop. 

Bringing to your attention;

Who’s on top.

 

Remember when asked,” If do you have a heart?”

Your behavior is the figurative aspect;

and I’m the literal part.

 

 

 

Choosing the hero right

In a god smitten country like India that believes in elevating sweating men to celestial beings, garlanding and pouring gallons of milk on life size cutouts of movie stars doesn’t seem outlandish.
This is the same country with a startling number of people with inaccessibility to a one course of meal and the same place where self-appointed religious outfits scream out foul at anything that strays to the other side of their imaginary fence of belief.
If irony was a paper democracy that had more gods than men and a tricolored flag to represent, it would pretty much look like India.

As a movie-buff with a constant hand on the pulse of the happenings in the Indian film industry, I could safely say that the gullibility of the demography at an impressionable age is the most targeted spot to leverage on by most stars.  They’re minds caught young; fertile strips to sow seeds of imagination to reap dividends of faithful following for posterity.

Almost every movie star who has made it big has done so piggybacking on the ignorance or innocence of his following, seldom by kindling their thought or piquing their intellect.
For the former type of idolization is a convenient binge like fast food, hordes would happily get lured into. The latter style is a touch inconvenient given the tight rope walk that absorbing fiduciary elements to a populist stream like movies is.

It is for the same reason that a Kamal Haasan isn’t as popular with the masses as Rajnikanth is or why a Chulbul Pandey would be the preferred messiah of the masses over a Mangal Pandey .

A simple case of comfort over correct. Excursion over exertion. A general tendency to tilt in favour of a delirious process with cerebral abandonment called celebration. The same process that keep afloat an eternal cash cow of the dream merchants in this part of the world, that’s fondly referred to as ‘masala’ cinema – the ultimate lame excuse to celebrate an individual in the name of movie making. 

A personality is born out of a person when a voice that didn’t permeate beyond the studio walls becomes transcendental across states. His stature shy of six feet suddenly turns life size. His aura becomes a bandwidth every movie literate worth his salt wants a piece from. And thus is born an icon.

It’s this space that bestows an individual with a dizzying vantage of popularity from where he can multiply endlessly in terms of prosperity or expand horizontally to form a cult or even float a political party. All at the cost of an outfit that would happily expand and contract to his hits and misses under the homogenous label of “fans”.

Appointing a movie star to be the one to swear by could be a little more consequential than the simple choice it deceives to be at the outset. For a start, it is not such a bad thing to have a man crush on a favorite star. Most of us have our own I suppose.

All that it is needed is a little objectivity to check the possible madness. A clarity to either stop with taking them to only be a face of entertainment or go ahead to broadcast them in the head to be our alter ego. It is without this distinction that a jolly good ride turns a vice at times.

Let’s take for instance take the movies of Rajnikanth. Eight out of every ten movies in his career have him playing a gold hearted low-life(replace with labourer, hooligan,farmer,autodriver, milk-man) who takes on the system or the rich. Even the few times he’s on the other side of poverty line, he’s conned into bankruptcy from where he bounces back to prosperity over a span of a five minute song with a few board meeting montages.

More often than not, this “Rajni-redemption” process is an alter ego establishment ruse among the ticket buying hoi-polloi. In other words, every time his character in a film is pushed to a corner of no return, it infuses vulnerability into the proceedings, making the masses proximate and in the process root for his redemption.
From that point onward in the movie, every triumph of the protagonist, obstacle he overcomes becomes a personal feat to the viewing public that become vested in his celluloid victories like their own. Making the star “play to the gallery” like pied piper.

In short,like in a memorable dream in which one’s alter ego masquerades as the self to do things beyond his reach in reality. A star is a chosen alter ego extension of every fan of his who goes on to live a life of their dreams onscreen.

Heroes who do these kind of movie dress, look, talk in a manner that caters to the sensibilities of the lowest common denominator of audience- the naïve demography of film goers, a motley of unimaginative minds from the lower strata, youngsters on the look-out for someone to imitate or ones from the conservative belts which contribute to the major chunk of revenue.
This demography takes things at face value without questioning the propriety, just the way the men with grease paint and cheesy lines like them.

A true art form invigorates the soul to appreciate the finer aspects of life.A real artist uses his art form to make a better person out of every subscriber to his work. But a movie star is no artist. A star of this kind imitates his audience for their identification, instead of inspiring them to look beyond. He pampers them till a point where their sweet tooth develops cavity.

The “fans” like to be tickled in their favorite spot and their stars have no qualms about getting typecast, being more than content to stay mediocre. They happily do lame things. More often the same things.

Like an eye specialist content with just selling dreams to his blind patients, they’re more than glad to broadcast themselves in the make believe world of their fans.
What these escapist fares do manage to do is to make dreamer out of every fan. A day dreamer who dreams out of his sleep, tempting him a little away from the realm of reality with every iteration.

It is intriguing to observe these star vehicles fashion their lead men beyond the screens into dining table conversations over a period of time. For what starts as a figment of someone’s imagination in no time culminates in an identity crisis, leaving one with nothing but an identity of being a “fan” alone.

 

The tree of love

 

Since the time she came on earth, her life had been characterized by one recurring motif –neglect.
She had a cojoined sibling who was everything she was not. She was attractive and became ripened in the sweeping wave of acceptance that was earmarked to her.
Even during their formative period where they both were confined together, she could clearly sense the unanimous popularity that was beckoning her sister. She was not only an eye-candy, but was unmistakably sweet; unlike her own self whose virtues took time to grow on people.

So it was not long before her alpha sister found an enamored taker and the abyss of abandonment opened up to engulf her. It was always this eventuality that she vicariously feared in her head. A time when her not-so-fond sibling would drift apart, dropping her like a bad habit.
It was at this acerbic point from where the future looked bleak and the present didn’t look any pretty that she met him, the love of her life.

Like hers his life too wasn’t an account of being an apple of everyone’s eye. If her surroundings bore hostility, his bore indifference to his very existence. What he touched came alive. He was a blessed soul. He was seen as a very useful person and little did he know that it would go on to be his problem itself. That everyone would just use him.

He was the one wielding the wand, yet found himself at the feet of every person he wielded in favor of.

Their initial conversations were like that of two urchins stuck in a holocaust camp breaking bread, having an one-upmanship contest over whose life was more miserable .

They initially felt sympathetic towards each other’s predicaments. Then in a matter of time sympathy paved way to empathy. Empathy led to the warmth of comfort. One thing lead to another and in a matter of time, they found solace in each other’s existence and became each other’s existence.

Providence replaced hostility from their ecosystems with love. Love went a little ahead and made them each other’s ecosystem itself.
They were a beautiful couple in the wonderful ways they completed and complimented each other. Elevating their codependency to an intertwining work of art. Things which seemed like flaws not long ago, seemed to have grown into relevant traits which contributed to their combined synergy.

Every time they made love, Mother Nature would overwhelm with a downpour; for she knew that not only was it a passionate process, but a purposeful one. They aspired together to bring to life a progeny who would not only be their love child, but a torchbearer to the legacy they aspired to leave behind.

A legacy which wasn’t built by burnt fingers spitefully to prosper in isolation to prove a point to the world, but by truly altruistic minds who wanted to give back to the world what they never had received from it.
She became pregnant with their child. The one who would go on to make their existence count. He was a doting man, who would go to any extent to pamper the love of his life.  But he couldn’t afford a more forthcoming place, cordial to her maternity. They were expendable entities, whose existence or in-existence didn’t really make much dent in the larger of things.
So the only thing they could do to alter the hostility of their environment was plain hoping. Notwithstanding his vulnerability, he wouldn’t leave her side for a moment till she gave birth. He was a timid person, who let her never fear.
There were happenings beyond his control that were pulling them down with more fervor than before. Gravity of things he couldn’t fathom, but could only hope to have mercy. And the universe did respond with mercy and the things beyond them didn’t endanger their child who came out kicking.

This child grew up to dizzying heights beyond the dreams of his humble parents to be a magnificent citadel, which not only provided endlessly, but protected and preserved. Had his mother who’s looks he had inherited not died in his birth, she would’ve been a proud soul.
His bereaved father was a proud witness to his progeny’s astronomical growth, who continued being a grounded person. He went on to nurture a nursery of children to help them leave behind a legacy of their own.
It is a miraculous world out there, with a million possibilities. For who knew a thrown mango seed and wet soil would go on to leave behind an edifice of their relation someday-their Tree of love.

 

 

 

Being a late bloomer

Ross: Look, look, there’s got to be a way we can work past this. Okay, (takes a hold of one of her arms.) I can’t imagine, I can’t imagine my life without you. (Both of them are starting to cry.) Without, without these arms, and your face, and this heart. Your good heart Rach, (drops to his knees and hugs her around her waist) and, and….

Rachel: (crying) No. I can’t, you’re a totally different person to me now. I used to think of you as somebody that would never, ever hurt me, ever. God, and now I just can’t stop picturing with her, I can’t, (Ross stands up and backs away) it doesn’t matter what you say, or what you do, Ross. It’s just changed, everything. Forever.

Ross: (crying) Yeah, but this can’t be it, I mean.

Rachel: Then how come it is?

This is an excerpt from this sequence in FRIENDS where Rachel breaks up with Ross, that remains indelibly etched in my mind. Off late I’ve become this big sucker for crushing works of art, that entail a violin cry over a gleeful guitar and so the tendency to tilt a little in that side.
Having said that, this sequence does hit you like a familiar zephyr if you’ve been through a break-up before. It makes you reminisce fondly of your own crumbling moment under the sun, when a part of you died or so did you think. I was recently acquainted to the sitcom which seems to feature eternally in the favourite list of most people I know, like a badge of honour since their teens.

Do you hate happiness?”, “Were you under a rock?” are some of the staple questions that were hurled at me in quick reflex to the knowledge of my never having watched FRIENDS.
And it was in this perceived indifference that I was seeking an ego validation, which made my defiance to this popular norm of getting acquainted to the show seem all the more like a cool thing to do.

An outlaw I saw myself as, who wasn’t bitten by the bug to seek approval, but still had his own way of staying relevant in conversations, independent of a sitcom or the parlance attached.
And to be honest, most of the people around me who swore by FRIENDS were lame, with embarrassing sense of humor to be taken seriously.
It wasn’t till a point recently, where a friend who had a great taste and an appreciable sense of humor made me a watch a random episode of the sitcom, that I stopped holding myself back from drenching in the magic of FRIENDS.

I cursed myself for postponing such a wonderful experience for a long time with dogged resistance, but realized later that it was the same reason that I got to watch it from a better place in life.
This entire series is about the lives and routines of young people from their mid-twenties to their early thirties; their mind-sets, tribulations, parlance, relationships and the underlining camaraderie that keeps them going from one phase of life to another.

I was watching it at as a 27 year old from a vantage point of “been there, seen that and done that”, a perk of being a late bloomer. A luxury most of my peers wouldn’t have had during their teens.
They probably would’ve attempted identifying with the narrative, even if vicariously and in most cases ended setting it up as a subconscious yardstick, courtesy their starry-eyed idolization.

Coming to think of it, this was not the only occasion I’ve been guilty of being a late bloomer. My life as it is has been characterized by my reluctance to adhere to a popular standard or tread by an ongoing habit. I’ve always seen my friends hog into a new trend from an isolated corner of self-contentment.
Call it resistance or attempt at staying unique, I’ve always found it hard to break from the inertia of simplicity to pander to the frequency of change that accompanies every new wave.

Take for instance, Eva-my sweetheart bike now. I had to be forced into it by my then girlfriend’s endless nudging that became more painful a point after which the hardships of crowded bus rides faded in comparison.
I was a happy twenty something, who was barely affected by the fact that all my cycle-pedalling friends were now commuting in their respective “beasts” that ran on fossil fuel, with the pride reserved to the last man standing from a gladiatorial match.
To all of them it was either a cool thing to possess, an indispensable necessity or the ultimate thing that fructified the accruals of the mental image they had assigned for their twenties since school days. To me, it just didn’t feature in my scheme of things like how learning Macedonian wouldn’t.

Having said that, I’ve had such beautiful moments with her after she came into my life. She’s one person alongside whom, I’ve learnt to appreciate the epiphanies that every episode in my life, bitter and sweet, held in it. Being a willful loner at times, I’ve basked in the rhythm of her ignition on many a long ride.
When I was going through a sustained low emotionally, I resorted to frequent road trips on her to get away. She wasn’t a cruiser, but she would let me fly. I healed on the roads, through every terrain, sharp turn and express highway that we took; with the strong winds blowing on my face purposefully as if to baptize my soul to a peaceful state back.

By the time I had grown familiar to the feeling of Eva being my soulmate on road; my friends had tilted to a four wheeled toy for their commuting obsessions. I thought that at least this time around, I would organically outgrow the two wheeler phase with every passing ride on a friend’s car like every other friend of mine. But it just ceased to get vestigial.
I was in such fine equilibrium with my bike, that my head felt impermeable to the myriad lures that cars held.
Probably like with the case of every other new habit that had crawled its way into the threshold of my acceptance unhurriedly, but firmly; maybe driving a car too would go on to constitute a passionate habit someday.
A habit I would keep in touch with to keep in touch with the self, than just a means to achieve a utility.

Over the years I’ve come to terms with the fact that it isn’t too bad to not keep abreast with the rapidity of changes around to remain sane, as far as it happened with ears firmly put to the ground.
I’m a laidback individual who likes to ensconce in the familiarity of every experience with passage of time. Being content with going deeper down an experience, than be tempted to explore the versatility held in the expanse of its vista.
Or simply put, I’m a person who doesn’t exactly feel upbeat about the concept of changes and breakthroughs. Someone who feels defiant when faced with a tide of herd instinct masquerading as an ongoing trend.


For me every experience with passage of time is either like wine that gets better with time or milk that turns into an altogether different commodity. Betterment or difference, both seem like exciting enough trade offs to stick on to for the long haul without meddling with them.