Pa

 

During my delivery,the maternity ward witnessed two births. One was me covered in organic goo and other my dad. He was a self made man,every inch of him.Having an educational foundation in Tamil medium from an agrarian village which was waking up to the invention of telephones and speed posts, here he was overseeing the birth of his first progeny at an uptown nursing home at the heart of the city as a practicing Chartered Accountant .

Shy of English and urbanization, he had walked into a city as a youngster inundated by poverty with a family that looked up to him.He had fire in his belly,instead of food during a lot of the initial days of his career.His growth through the thick and thin of things had made him a more humble person than proud.

He’s got a penchant for pursuing risky endeavors employing unconventional ways which is intriguing given the fact that he’s an extremely conservative person with old school thoughts at his core.

Dad’s a multifaceted man,who’s got no pretense about flaunting it with lesser mortals around.I’ve seen him as a kid and a teenager raise two houses from a blueprint level to a civil monument that had the neighbours salivate at their elaborate detailing. I’ve never been very excited about being around mortar,cement and semi-finished structures with sweaty labourers clocking painful manhours all my life.But my indifference to the nitty gritties of construction as a process hasn’t stopped me from admiring the authoritative connoisseur my dad was.

I’ve always been able to afford the leverage of being a passive participant to the proceedings at home, thanks to his relentless contribution to everything at home ranging from fixing an electrical anomaly at the bathroom to a motivational soliloquy to a crest fallen member at home.

If altruism was a cherubic south Indian who quoted Vivekananda at drop of a hat,it would pretty much look my dad.People are of two kinds,givers and takers,he’s of the former tribe.He has always been unconditional, his habit of giving has never been contingent on the credibility of the receiver be it advise or a timely assistance. As much I respect this,I’ve had an issue or two with this unabashedly saccharine side by virtue of which he has been taken for a ride by some. Some of my grey shades I realize, were fashioned as an antidote to the white shades I’ve disagreed with in his personality. It takes an extremely strong person like my dad to be genuinely good irrespective of the stimuli faced, I’m neither one nor do I intend to go there someday.

Dad and me are dissimilar people from diabolically different school of thoughts who ensure the house is never short of fireworks and heat.Most of our altercations don’t end with logic as,more than fact we tend to clash at ego levels. His is laidback and assured, mine is brash and pushy.that both of us tend to get personal more often than not.

When immersed in solitude,I’ve repented my modus operandi and the vocabulary employed with him at proving a point that more often than not my conscience has itched me.His intention en-wrapped in harsh words have dawned upon me like medicinal effect of a bitter pill,hours after a conflict.

Life would keep hurling myriad of situations at any given individual through various stages

I’m no exception to this.All I can try is to be as thankful as him when they turn out favourable and be half as graceful when they don’t.

Advertisements

In the name of movies-PART II

Age like disease and death is one of the unbiased manifestations of nature, stings you whoever you are. But cinema is a make believe world where more stories are told than incidents. Thanks to the leverage of being the alter ego of the masses, the protagonist can afford to tamper with the phenomenon of aging within the purview of the story.This piece addresses the burlesque ways an actor turns a caricature with copious amount of perks involved.

20-60  60-60 & 20-16  60-20 Syndromes:

Cinema is all about eternity, the role you start your career which becomes your staple role in for the rest of your life. There are infinite cases where an actor started playing  60 yr old at his 20th yr & continued playing  60yr old at his 60th yr too(20-60-60-60) & likewise there were the lucky ones who started their careers, playing roles of their age & continue playing the similar age roles even as their life insurance is about to mature(20-16-60-20).

Following would be the salient features of the

(20-60-60-60) victims:

  • Fixed income, job security similar to Govt jobs
  • Opportunity of grandfatherly/fatherly hugs & kisses from heroines of different generations who after their heydays act as your spouse.
  • It’s a very dirty situation to flirt with the heroine outside the shoot with the contingency of her calling you pa/grandpa looming large.
  • Frustration of not making to the casting couch
  • Remarkable acumen over choice of  wigs(subject to the rapidness of balding)
  • Embarrassment of seeing school friends go to college sporting t-shirts in bikes, flirting with girls of their age group.
  • Can’t do heavy workouts in gyms due to nature of role
  • Endorsements comprising of bone & joint hospitals, piles/diabetes medicine , matrimonial , mediclaim insurance, betel nut & supari
  • Monotony of roles ranging from aging father to ailing father to doting grandpa(who tries hard to be cute & who’s ears is twisted by a  seasoned grandma actor  for stealthily trying to eat sweet) to a bed ridden grandpa(who flirts with the nurse) to a dead grandpa hanging in the house’s wall

of fame( the pre-death footage comes in a blink n miss flashback)

Following would be the salient features of the (20-16-60-20) beneficiaries:

  • Rapidly increasing income, directly proportionate to the market
  • Option of as many retakes during making of intimate scenes with heroines
  • Can negotiate risk & lust by using a body double for risky action sequences while erotic sequences & item numbers can be done with own efforts.
  • Can be the chairman of casting couch committee & still cut a pious public image by regular visits to hilly terrains & pet donations to famous religious trusts.
  • Embarrassment of watching enacted romantic or exaggerated stunt sequences with grandchildren who get you daily BP/sugar tablets or help you negotiate slippery toilets back home.
  • Ass of the gym trainer’s sarcasm post preview of enacted “mass”action flick, when his assistance is a prerequisite for a brief stint on the treadmill or lifting unflattering weights
  • Endorsement including Mobile Companies, Clothing Line, Shampoo, Fairness Creams, Beverages, Templeships, gold loans

 

 

 

To be continued…

In the name of movies-PART I

PROLOGUE:

As the movie starts playing in the Cinema Hall, we transcend into the Reel world to peep into the life of the Protagonist leaving behind our conscious self with the popcorn tub. Movies are the escapist solace people seek from the real world. But the duration of the sub-conscious mind’s stay in the fabricated world is dependent on how much we connect emotionally with the director’s figment of imagination. If the movie works, the mind’s relaxed & we crave for a little more of the experience(Quantum of solace>ticket rate)…but when the movie doesn’t, the mind immediately goes on a guilt trip questioning the propriety of the decision to watch the movie  when naphthalene balls were there for consumption to achieve the same purpose & why the director’s dad should have been impotent , but then it fantasizes butter popcorn melting in the tongue ably lubricated by Coke to make up for the void.(Quantum of Solace=Butter Popcorn +Coke or Quantum of Solace<Ticket Rate).

Movies have inspired lives in many ways -got some  married while getting some divorced, created awareness about social issues, invented new techniques for high end burglaries, vanquished nuclearity in some families and has split some joint families, made alcoholic beverages a mandatory helpline for heartbreaks among other things.

Then there are some actors who give their lives for movies and some for who people would give their lives. This post is dedicated to the funny side of the tinsel town with its share of clichés & myths.

INTRODUCTION SEQUENCE:

These are the generally practiced methods for the pre-intro scene build-up-

  • A family is shown being slaughtered with a solitary member escaping with a kid(we know who)
  • A group of girls are chased in a busy highway by goons(stunt masters)
  • Domestic animals are shown causing mayhem in neighbourhood for which Menaka Gandhi was duly notified.
  • Comedian is enquired by a bevy of girls about the hero’s whereabouts
  • Sidekicks out of the blue  start belting out previous movie names of the hero looking at the audience Junior artists dressed up as farmers are exploited by a megalomaniac landlord draws a line challenging labourers to cross it to save a fellow old labourer.
  •  Wrestling Tournament where an aggressive Pakistani/North-Indian Wrestler  beats the hell out of junior stunt masters & challenges the masculinity of Indians or most commonly hordes of (stunt masters) rowdies  run into a very familiar abandoned  workshop/factory godown set chasing the hero .

Once the build-up is over, we are shown a pair of legs walking towards us or a fist is shown along with a hefty goon flying away and the focus gradually moves upwards to the hero’s face who winks, acknowledging the anonymous body parts to be his.Would you believe it we Indians shoot the introductory sequence at the budget of “paranormal activity”!

OPENING SONG:

This is the culmination point of the intro scene, where the hero blows his own trumpet gyrating alongside a desperate choreographer & a group of junior dancers. Extra effort is taken to show montages of the hero helping septuagenarians cross roads, helping school kids do their home-work or saving the stereo-type pregnant woman from her drunkard hubby or snubbing super-models during the song’s running time.

Then enough importance is given to include heavy-duty messages in the lyrics that are characterized by eternity of friendship, work is worship aspect, importance of labourers, how to impress girls, why girls are dangerous to a guy’s future, board-exam FAQs, CBSE syllabus, ayurvedic beauty tips, how to bake flower like idlis, SBI interest rates ,ruling party manifesto, details of off-season sale at life-style etc among other things.

 

To be continued…

Gym Night

His gym closed at 9.30 PM unapologetically. Aware of which he wanted to indulge in some cardio in a bid to mitigate effects,a possible heavy dinner might have on his love handles.Not that he wasn’t fit,just that he was a little touchy around the waist. As soon as he entered the gym’s cardio segment, he could see a petite frame of a girl working out on a elliptical equipment. Good for him, the entire floor had mirrors embedded on walls, that he needn’t have to lech further.Her face was pretty, more importantly graceful.

8.45PM

He(hesistantly): How do I increase the pressure on this one?

She: Press the “UP” button on the right hand top of the hand

He:Thanks. Veteran here?

She:I’m pretty irregular.I’m getting married the next month, so on a mission.

He:Presume it’s a theme wedding with a pretentious photographer earmarked to tell a story through 25 pictures in scenic locations with his company’s name watermarked on the bottom corner of every picture?

She(bursts into laughter):Kind of. Just that I want to look pretty

He:Btw, I’m Akshath

She: I’m Vrithika. I know it’s a weird name

He:No,it’s not. Just that your teachers should have had phonetic issues while taking attendance and you must have your name spelled wrong in correspondences,more often than not

She:My grandmom chose it

He:Why did she have a veto on your name for christsake?

She gushed

9.05PM-9.20PM

She:What do you do?

He:I’m a financial consultant.You?

She:Lawyer

He: I better to be politically correct.The band on the neck together with the black gown makes for good viewing

She: Dude. It’s summer and doesn’t help that I sweat like a pig.

He:We have our official fashion peeves too-blazers for Chennai’s humidity

She:Jobless wife of Akshay kumar is trending because she trolled Chetan Bhagat.

He:Bhagat bashing is the new sport on social media

She:I read the plot summary on the back of his recent book.It would make a 3rd grade kid squirm in his English classes.

He:Really? I had regards for him for getting the hoi polloi into the reading habit. That said he can’t leverage his popularity as a writer to judge dance shows.

She chuckled

9.20PM-9.30PM

He:Why are you in ethnic clothes?

She:Straight from office. I had a pair of sweat shirts which smelt pungent.

He:Thanks for being considerate.

She(laughs):I feel referring a woman,”woman” is so disrespectful. We can’t call u men.”male”.Can we?

He:”Woman” has got an authoritative ring to it.”Male” is not only part of parlance, but blah on the ears too.Perks of male chauvinism

The Gym’s manager subtly asks them to get the f*** out in the switch off language.

She: Last 5 mins, Sir.

The lights come back on the floor in a jiffy with the contingency of him remaining as unexcited.

He:Had I asked for the same extension, he would have shown his third finger from either side

She:Perks of female chauvinism, I suppose.

He:Hail hydra!!

She:I’m done. Nice meeting you Akshath. You’ll be coming tomorrow?

He:Ciao Vrithika. See you around.

He walked her to her car that was parked outside the complex housing the gym. Then drove home smiling.Baffling, given the fact that he was eternally, a stone-faced grump.

A Letter to God

 

 

Dear God,

What’s your favourite colour-orange,green or white? Just kidding, now don’t take it on my bike’s walltube when I’m running late for a date next time. So hope your doing good when this piece reaches your realm. If this theory of you existing in every creation of yours is true, this endeavor of mine is by you to you. So kindly overlook the political incorrectness of an insignificant alter ego of yours.

Do you fit into the conventions of relationships?In case you do, are you single, committed or discrete?Some sources say you’re married, while some say you are a nomadic-bachelor with a penchant for spreading ways of life.

So how did you conjure creation, in a conventional manner had demigods for offspring with your Goddess and lineage descended on the face of earth or are you an alpha-hermaphrodite who initiated the not so subtle big bang?

All is good here,with India in cracking form in the ongoing world cup.Hope you follow cricket.Sorry for those random questions, I’ve always been curious about these things and have always meant to ask you,no offence.

I’m from this part of the world(look up on your GPS) where religions exceed the religious, but people take pride in the versatility of the pandemonium. Here god-men are quite popular and atheists are sensational too, with a few broken teeth.I guess, mine is the last generation that embraced a certain way of life founded on grandparental-folklores imparted at bedtime, This crop connected by Whatsapp is exactly not renown for their subservience, what with they questioning the propriety of every institution from the safe confines of Facebook walls or talk shows curated by pretentious celebrities.Never take these actors visiting religious places on thursdays seriously, for they’ve got no agenda with you apart from the superstition that you influence the fortune of their movies set to release the next day.

With regard to handling your nemeses too there is noticeable disparity-sometimes you’ve taken up to graphical showdowns employing forces of nature as props to intimidate and there were also times when you appeared multi-limbed( taking being multi-faceted literally) before naive men who used facial hair to intimidate.Not to forget,when you gracefully let them crucify you in public display, to only employ theatrics after a few days to sanctify “fridays” for eternity. Looks like you’re quite the attention-seeker,going by all this.Aren’t you?

Are you a person with a streamlined-jawline and beefed up physique or just another Morgan Freeman doppelganger,epitomizing content over form?  Have you been conveniently bestowed with a human form,befitting your stature as our creator, given that we are the single most influential species on Earth. Assuming that the creator looked like one among the dominant species, how did you look in the Mesozoic Era when the dinos ruled?

Coming to think of my metamorphosis from being an ardent devotee with unfloundering faith who turned into an indifferent atheist to finally become someone using you as an alibi to self-discovery, I’ve come a whole circle around you.Wouldn’t know if the humbling influences that I encountered in the process were administered by you in the name of Karma or were personal.But one thing, I’ve started to feel your aura around like an anchor when the mind meanders these days.

Looks like there are legions of your followers who are so overwhelmed by blind faith to deconstruct the metaphors in folklore.They have contemporised currencies,clothing,drainage systems and what not according to changing times. But god tales remain inaccessibly archaic.

We have civil lawyers to end unresolved issues between estranged cousins over inherited property these days.But we still haven’t had enough of the pep talk between a charioteer and his brother-in-law, on a battlefield.

I suppose we as a race like to romanticize the literature instead of the embedded metaphor that it encases.I would blame it on our yearning for a personal touch. For if I were such an anomaly and saw you as just a collage of metaphors,wouldn’t be writing this.

Perplexed with Gratitude,

Me

.

Just like Ginger

 

It was at the juncture, where the enigma of the night was peeling away to make way for the spiritually percieved wee hours of just another working day, when I heard a feeble ruckus from beneath my bed. Ginger had just given birth to a bunch of kittens, tucked under her forelimbs. She herself was barely a year old then.

She had come as a birthday gift to me and been a cynosure of our eyes since then. My mom who’s eternally been apprehensive about beings that commute in fours, started liking pets -thanks to her.

Ginger’s this typical pussycat-narcissistic with elan and unabashedly boisterous. Her daily routines consists of steady hibernation punctuated by timely meals and occasional sporting inclinations. When we thought adulthood was a long shot then, she was handling maternity like a pro.

It was something to observe, the metamorphosis from a carefree young cat to a doting mother. They say that cats aren’t expressive and tend to get cannibalistic with their own offspring, but Ginger made our home resonate with the warmth of maternal love.

Motherhood is indeed the most beautiful phase, seeing her go about with hers made me respect her beyond just the adoration. It won’t be far fledged to say that her maternity unearthed ahitherto buried facet in me-sensitivity.

Over the next few weeks, she allowed us to fraternise with those adorable little things – bundle of joy they were. She would just observe all of their shenanigans from a calling distance, like a watchful parent overseeing her toddler go about in a playground.

We are taught values right from a very young age so that we grow up to judge people with our self styled ethical reasoning. Most of us can’t soak in the moment and just live every drop of it without feeling guilty.For we have an ambition to decorate, an ivory tower to build and a society to appease. Maybe curbed instincts and an ability to lead a compromised life is the bedrock of our sixth sense, the perceived cutting edge over animals.

While Mother nature keeps motherhood at bay from our species for a good quarter century at least, here she bestows the forbidden fruit on a furry-five sensed creature in her very first year of existence.Coming to think of the paradox, it had only taken a few months for Ginger to turn from a naive kitten to mothering her own litter.

But as the cliche goes, all things good come to an end.

We knew from the time Ginger came home that we couldn’t keep have another cat as ours is a office-cum-residence. So we had started scouting for interested adopters to give away the kittens, for they were starting to get inseparable with every passing day.
But we always had this unsettling thought in our heads as to how Ginger would handle the separation.It was that hideous act that had to be done, of separating her from her young ones.

We sent Ginger to a pet care for neutering and in the meanwhile gave away the kittens to a local pet hostel with a very heavy heart. But if that was heavy, what was to follow suit sent us on a one-way spiral of guilt.  The first thing Ginger did after coming back from surgery, was search for her little ones in every nook and corner of the house. It continued for weeks to come.

Ever heard a cat cry? Well it’s the most painful tug at the most resolute of heartstrings.God forbid us for what we did to her.

But as time passed, her unrequited maternal instincts subsided paving way for erstwhile playfulness to resurface with renewed vigour. She had completely gotten over the fact that her little ones and reproductive organs had been taken away from her,without consent at about the same time. Either that or she still remembered, but was made of steel from inside.

I picked a very important lesson from her- to move on, which would come handy when I would go through a rough break-up much later.

Our pets are such wonderful manifestations, the emotions and impact of whom we often tend to marginalise. There have been times when watching Ginger fall asleep , trustingly on my lap  has invigorated the kind of serenity, that comes when mom feeds me at the end of a tired day  So are they just five sensed? Think twice.

Vice of Exaggeration

 

 

 

An exclamation mark is vestigial to a sentence that is exciting enough.The need to exaggerate is  a travesty of the communication process born out of insecurity of an underlying ulterior motive or from an hapless effort to oversell.It is seldom a secure person’s trait,for it is hard to figure out what these semi-nude actors from PETA campaigns are trying to flaunt more-their love for animals or their photo shopped bodies.

Sometimes the most honest feelings are the ones that breach the adultery of diplomacy and sophistication.Like in the case of spirituality,where an overwhelmed devotee’s salty tears with erect hair strands on his forearms are ode enough to the Almighty over and above the incinerated camphor or the calories sacrificed.

How is that, a dog despite not being one of us becomes family in a matter of minutes, while we feel awkward at our best friend’s doorway in anticipation of parental contact. Sometimes the simplest acts are the most effective as they cater to a single agenda without meandering to impress around the fringes. This explains why a dog with its tongue and tail is way more effective than a bunch of emoticons, best seller quotes & superfluous articulation when it comes to fraternizing

There used to be a point where news channels had a fiduciary sheen around them, thanks to the objective coverage of news with copious grace. These days we have several channels hawking footage of the same shootout from different angles to flaunt an “Exclusive” tag across, thanks to the spirit of upmanship inundating them.

Same is the case with religions. A religion is a nomenclature that encapsulates a school of thought, designing a way of life in the process for like-minded people to identify and direct gratitude in a certain direction. So what should ideally have been privy like a PIN, gets fervently advocated in public domain like soft toys.The culprit being the propagandist spirit entangled in the rhetoric of one upmanship founded on the misplaced virtue of protecting one’s faith from endangerment of a hostile takeover,elevating lynch mobs to a custodian angel pedestran

If that was the case with institutions that had a fiduciary role towards the society,there are a lot of instances were men are unabashedly pretentious in informal circles. For instance, it’s become a ritual to smother one’s face with a well made pastry on the occasion of his/her birthday as a display of bonhomie.

If facebook looks like just another social forum.Think twice,as yours might be a chronic case of cataract. Where to start about the pandemonium-the girl having 876 odd friends, the guy bartering “likes” candidly or the dork who checks in from every place including his restroom.It is funny to witness the paradox unfold ,when a wedding of a guy with an unrealistic number on his “friends list”, gets attended by 1/20th the number.on his list.(but who takes invites sent as offline messages seriously these days.)

Gone are those times when friends employed arguments and cuss-words when faced with difference of opinions. A person not liking his friend’s profile picture, deleting a post on his wall by his friend or blocking him from his profile surreptitously have become the modus operandi,thanks to the upheaval caused by the advent of facebook.

When the news of a hideous holocaust in the neighbouring country breaks, we could resort to praying for the survivors, shed a tear or two if faint hearted or even take a moment away from regular routine to overcome the impetus of the news. But what do we do instead, we create fancy hashtags on twitter to show our solidarity with eyes fixated on retweets received.I don’t think we would resort to a similar burlesque, when our close ones are at the receiving end.

It is come to a point when we are talking about a Tarentino flick or Vanilla Sky’s ending, but are actually using them as an alibi to show off the connoisseur lurking within.

The predicament of a person indulging in exaggeration could be compared to that of one with two left feet attempting to dance before a full house.It is primal when hit by an avalanche of emotions to be overwhelmed, instead of bothering to articulate the feeling in pursuit of the approval of a judgemental crowd. If one is able to articulate a genuine emotion, it ain’t as beautiful as the means used to describe  it for:

When we acknowledge a joke, we are preoccupied laughing that we can’t text-“lol”,

When we have a great meal we are preoccupied licking the fingers that we can’t check-in,

 When we are in love we are preoccupied sending telepathic waves that we can’t send a heartin.