OK Kanmani- field notes of a romantic

Soulmates are like magnets, for as much resilience as they might exhibit to be away, the force of attraction would eventually take over.

What starts as a vagabond affair seems to grow gravity along with firm ground beneath, with the enigmatic charm of curiosity paving way to organically settled chemistry.
Ok Kanmani is the story of a commitment-phobic lead pair, who start with being content on grazing from fringes initially, to only digress from carnal shallows to soulful depths of bonding.

This is an oxymoronic catharsis of incongruous intentions and manifestations. It’s about an unlikely journey two got along to embark on, to the one that gets them along in the end.


Adi & Tara get acquainted to each other in an uncanny scenario as fleeting images on either side of a railway track. From there on, the smitten two employ about every cliche in the book to get closer from coffee shop flirtations to small talks in public transport.

Buoyed by the freedom of being in an alien city under the vigil of just their collective conscience alone, the scene of action culminates in the obvious eventuality of bed.

From then on precarious rules are set to keep away from the uncharted territory of romance.With this make shift relation at the helm, they decide to live in together in the PG accommodation of Ganapathy uncle & Bhavani aunty.

This elderly couple, that fell in love & got married decades back depicts the sway of old school romance subtly with melodrama at check, with the husband parenting his Alzheimer hit wife with undeterred enthusiasm.

So what we get at this point is a motley of a couple that loathe the very institution of marriage and another basking in its evening of a successful one under the same roof.

This gradually leads to a meta-concentric circle of endearment, with the audience vicariously reveling in the non-committal space of Adi & Tara, with Adi & Tara gradually falling for the old fashioned charms of the marriage between the elderly  couple.

As their careers start to turn in different directions, their whirlwind romance starts to lose its wind with cobwebs of predictability settling over passion.While ironically, the romance of yore  grows from strength to strength with the progress in the level of the wife’s Alzheimer’s.

It is at this stage on the eve of their separation, that Bhavani aunty goes missing. Forced together to go looking for her at a time when they could kill to be away from each other, the two go about hurling insults at each other. All the time hoping the insinuations would only sugarcoat the pain of separation.
This ersatz war of words brings down the insulation of indifference between the two, with Adi breaking down to confess his love for her and she acknowledging hers. Providence sets the stage up, commemorating the conjuring of their love with the discovery of Bhavani aunty .

 

Below is an excerpt from this song “Malargal Kaeten” in the movie which epitomizes the theme of the movie. It is rendered from the point of view of a lover, enchanted by the paradox of  her needs being over-fulfilled every time. Every need being a mean to her loved one finally.

Malargal Kaettaen
vanamae thandhanai.
thanneer kaettaen
amirtham thandhanai.edhai naan ketpin

unnaye tharuvaaiKaattil tholaindhen
vazhiyaai vandhanai.
irulil tholaindhaen
oliyaai vandhanaiedhanil tholaindhaal..
neeye varuvaai.Pallam veelndhaen
sigaram serthanai.
vellam veelndhaen
karayil serthanai.

edhanil veelndhaal…
unnidam serppaai.

I just asked for flowers,
you gave me a garden.
I asked for water
you gave me nectarWhat I should ask for ?
to give yourself.I got lost in the forest,
you came as a guiding path.
I got lost in the dark,
you came as a guiding light.

where should I lose myself
so that you will come.

I fell in the pit
you took me to the peak.
I fell in the flood
you reached me to the shore.

In what  should I fall?
To reach you.

Advertisements

Decoding God

 

 

He bats so well, to me the he’s God of cricket. I love his songs, God of music.I could let my house be burgled when he’s acting, God of acting he must be.The motif goes on endlessly…


God has got to be the most abused idea or word around.Left alone to a dogmatic society strung on Utopian ideals could be the most effective means of abuse.


Were men from our times or from an inaccessible long time ago who displayed great character under immense duress or leveraged their prowess to toe the line of altruism fondly referred to as gods by those with a penchant for drama.
Was it the choices that they made or were they the chosen ones of providence? Did being “God” assign hallow around a lice ridden head or was it used to describe celestial beings with hallow around the head? Did God percolate to poetry and folklore or were they instruments to rhapsodize the concept to the hoi polloi?

There’s another popular school of thought which says reaching the abode of God is the bedrock of salvation.

That leaves me with the question-Is God a designation or a destination?


Was the famous tale of Ramayana devised to spread a way of life or was it an impressionist tale of a man,a dutiful prince, a doting husband and the travails he underwent to preserve a bouquet of ideals?

In that case, how does a staunch Rama devotee with extra marital affairs galore, compare as opposed to a faithful husband, an atheist who doesn’t endorse you?


That brings me to the question- To idolize or idealize God?


We as a race, seem to prefer convenience over correctness. For what would explain our over-romanticizing of the anecdotes and personalities contained in scriptures over the virtues and philosophies they flag-shipped.
To me God has always been a metaphor, misunderstood.


When one shines the cage more passionately than feed the bird it encages, the cage glitters with the dying bird with efflux of time. 


His grandfather died over-speeding and a cat happened to cross his path. The son obediently took his dad’s words and never drove when a cat crossed his path. Who’s fault is it when the son died over-speeding , the dad in a fiduciary capacity with erroneous inference or the son with the blind faith?


As a creator, does God like the concept of blind faith or would he rather prefer men prone to reasons and consequences? Blind faith is a two sided knife, which could harm the wielder and the wielded,while a society characterized by too much reasoning would be volatile and disobedient.


There was a wonderful septuagenarian who passed away recently. I really looked upto the man’s altruist lifestyle. Now would I be justified in taking people with me to cities that have housed him in various phases of his life and probably build a lavish pantheon in his place of birth or am I supposed to imbibe his virtues in my way of life to carry forward his legacy?


If the latter is a better option to immortalize one’s personality, why sanctify monuments and birth places over teachings of an Individual. Being from India, I know the political connotations and the carnage that ensued over a birthplace and a monument. The misplaced righteousness blurs the judgement of a blind endorser who’s taken it upon himself to protect a tangible extension of his ideology from an perpetrating ideology, flattering him to believe his fanaticism to be altruism.


An evolved society with a faith founded on archaic principles from an bygone era, could be likened to the quandary of a grown up man with a heart that seized to grow beyond his toddler days.


So what would God prefer more hypothetically, A demography of god-fearing or god-loving people?

A society that seeks solace in monuments and sees Gods in stones or one that relies on labour and love and looks up to good men as heroes, which one would he revel in?


That brings me to my last question-

Is God the means to achieve a higher purpose or the end itself?




Together Apart

Born in the dichotomy of inhaling and exhaling is life. For how would intake of oxygen seemrelevant, without the punctuated venting of carbon dioxide. A bonding is as special as the tenure of separation that preceded it.

Our times seems to be characterised by the epidemic of overdone togetherness. where we see a couple invade righteously into each other’s personal space in the name of love. Ironically, love stories of the yore that happened over correspondence with civil wars at the back drop,seemed to have endured the test of changing times in a better fashion as opposed to relations nurtured by Whatsapp and Skype,set in a world with a rapidly shrinking radius,

That was an era when platonic was revered fervently, a time where the lover’s picture in the wallet was purgatory enough unlike our Instagram times.

There is something magical about separation in a relation. It makes you miss the aura of your partner, long for their body’s warmth, vicariously live those cherished moments in the mind while realizing the way they completed you.

While the time together might tempt you to take your partner for granted, the time away would more often than not make you realize their value. Togetherness might breed complacency, while solitude would lend respect to a relation.

Move a foot away from a tree, you would see the tree better. Move a few more feet,you may see the garden it is a part of and move a few more feet, you would see the entire house it belongs to.

The figurative distance from your partner lends objectivity to your relationship. You tend to appreciate facets in them, which you might not have been able to with the forced proximity.

We are what we dream of, what we aspire and what we stand for. One’s individuality is his signature.A relationship is nutrition for his soul, for it inspires him to look upto another day with purpose.

A crisis of a relationship born on the death of one’s individuality can be likened to the predicament of a person so overwhelmed by his vehicle to embark on a journey with it.

When people around us are succumbing to romance or marriage,  we are no exception to eventuality unless we display a unlikely dogged resilience. So neither would we be the first or the last to be in a relation with a person we love. So the lure to over-sanctify the institution of marriage or romance from being a designation in the visiting card, to our visiting place itself would naturally inundate us.

Us

 

“A friend in deed,is a friend in need” is what I believed in. For me what makes an acquaintance from school or college special is the number of activities we both have excitedly been part of. For what is a friendship without enough anecdotes to share?

There are lot of them who would say things like we went to the same school,our college bus route was similar or we were neighbours when probed about the origin of their friendships. This is nothing but flattery of acquaintanceship that reveled in locational-convenience.So in these cases it was more of coincidence conspiring to put them in a congenial radius than the spirit of comradeship.

But this guy and me have been partners in crime since the evening of our teenage. Our chemistry shot up northwards and our bonhomie was booming with every misadventurous pursuit, with private and public properties being collateral(in a miniscular scale). Like me he was an aficionado of movies, so we had another indulgence in common to discover each other in the process. As we grew up sanity grew along over our free spirit. Like urbanisation eating into forest, this civil side was mowing into our wild side.The frequency of our meetings kept growing scant, with the distance between our residences remaining at a constant stone throw length.

There was a phase were he would wait for me to call, not knowing that I was expecting the same thing.I wouldn’t say he was entirely at fault for things remaining unrequitted between us, given that my ego had grown up to constitute 30% of my BMI. From a friendship which was once regulated by heart and instinct,it was withering away into indifference with brain and ego looming large. I could see the brotherhood turning commonplace with us meeting up on sunday morning cricket matches and birthday eve gatherings.. It’s not like there were no initiatives to end the tepidit

y from our sides, but somehow it was beyond the starting trouble.From tangible presence in each other’s scheme of things, we had turned into a comforting presence in the backdrop with vicarious acknowledgement of an erstwhile bond.

With every reality check life throws at you, you figure out who your real circle are. My break up happened,things were a little rough. I couldn’t afford to be as high handed as before, with the humbling duress making me a little vulnerable. He was the first guy I called as soon as I called it off. That’s when I knew his significance in my life. He was my shoulder when I was unstable, my shrink when I was getting woefully  nostalgic at a drop of a hat.That phase startled me out of my insulation of pretense and calculation.

That’s when we had gone for this very popular movie. Midway into the movie I got my nostalgia bout yet again. It was over-whelming to try watching the movie beyond that as I was suffocating from thoughts that had breached the parallel realm.I sprang out of the movie hall teary-eyed, to mitigate embarrassment.Within a matter of few moments he was there by my side ,ready to leave.

We couldn’t leave the theatre precincts as it was raining profusely.It felt like destiny had cherry picked the worst time of my life to hurl water darts at me.At that moment I was seeing hideous metaphors in things around me, a statement fate was making to me with dramatic props. We were at the theatre’s booking counter waiting for the rain to subside when I got started all over again. He was there patiently listening without an iota of indifference like for the first time as the prowess of the downpour was waning. From when on I feel-“A friend in need, is a friend indeed” for as much choice as you exercise in picking your company,the person that your friend turns out be in testing times is way beyond your whims.I was lucky to have him around.

In the name of movies-PART IV

THE UNCLE WHO FLEW ALONG WITH OUR LOGIC

These are movies where one could carry rice & vegetables alone to make biriyani  from- Our very own Pan Indian high calorie “Masala” movies where things get as “Cheesy” as the heart can tolerate.

When Hollywood superhero flicks release here, the first thought that flashes across an average movie buff’s mind is not of amusement, but of déjàvu  that instigates him to feel what’s all the fuss about when our very own heroes do similar things movie after movie in author- backed minimalist roles.

Where Hollywood spends a bomb on visual effects, we spend a fortune on building elaborate properties for duets. When Hollywood relies on mutated spider stings, bats or galactic interventions to complete the super hero transformation, all our hero needs is the bad guy to utter a syllable of a swear word on his dad’s face or make passes at his sister or attempt corrupting a government officer or just be a Pakistani to evoke the Super hero within, irrespective of the role be it lawyer,doctor,software engineer, priest or even a blind multiple sclerosis hit  protagonist!

While Hollywood depends heavily on Marvel/DC Comic book for its Superhero stories, our movie marvels derive their stories from mid-shoot lunch break chats between the hero’s PA & the Assistant Directors or the producer’s kid’s POGO patronage.

When Hollywood heroes go on crash diets & lift heavyweights to bulk up for the role, our heroes crash their diets in thalapakattu cuisines & lift heavier weights (flabby-thunder-thighed heroines) to prepare for the role. While some dimwits  meticulously  develop big biceps’ that protrude from their sleeves, smart ones stitch shirts tight for their spongy arms.

While their antagonists are endowed with Super-human powers & fancy gadgets, our ones are endowed with uncanny sense of humour, proficiency in foul language, a loud dubbing artist, flourishing paunches, thick gold chains , masculine concubines, knifes & spades(no guns even if from Al-Qaeda) & customary white SUVs among other things.

FAD 2 BORIN

Insipid sequences include the hero reciting poetry characterized by his previous movie names in chronological order sans correlation to a perplexed villain camp or the villain’s sidekicks doing SWOT analysis of the hero’s unlimited prowess predicting their inevitable decadence.

Also insecurity over the recall value of the movie’s title on the audience’s mind makes every random character utter it on loop mode like a TSN jingle or casting prematurely ripe children who threaten to transcend our line of tolerance with animated dialogue delivery hinting the hero’s arrival & departure time in the villain’s den or giving lead to a famous song in the movie.

Wide angle shot of main villain marauding in the company of his unvaccinated  gang as the opening credits roll, when random paper cuttings screaming  out his menace are shown in the backdrop with burlesque headlines.

Also a  not so sportive villain gunning down his comrade after losing in a game of chess/ arm wrestling or striking out the word ‘loser’ from a copy  of the oxford dictionary is shown to us, to subtly accustom the audience to the levels of asininity to come.

 

To be continued….

The complete picture

 

Sachin was batting so well the other day when I was about to leave for work, I just couldn’t get myself to leave.. As his half century was culminating to yet another hundred, the morning was late in the afternoon with my minute andhour hands juxtaposing places. The guy who’s internal audit report was pending submission was ecstatic about the maestro’s completion of his double ton. When we are so preoccupied living the lives of others vicariously, destiny uses extra mural alibis to pull us back on track. So guardians turn watchdogs, months ends, death knells.

 

The other day I was at the railway station, immersed in my playlist, traversing in a parallel realm when I was about to hop across the railway track to get to the platform on the otherside.Call it providence or my karma, I didn’t. For I had complelely overlooked a fast approaching train, enamoured in the nuances of a song’s lyrics. That in-completion had dragged me from the jaws of death in a fleeting moment.

My break-up with her would eternally remain an incomplete story for there were many things left un-reconciled for our own comfort.I remained a lone romantic in a space which was once divine,inundated by my unrequited love. As much as one would like revel in the sea of love forever, every relation ends to allow the time-frame to gasp for fresh air to go back to embrace the enigmatic sea with fresh found fondness.

There have been times when mom’s tried out a new  dish which didn’t turn out too well or a friend kept going offnote in his acapella attempt, when all I did was exercise diplomacy.

For as brutally honest as I would like to believe myself to be, there have been times I’ve actually managed to hold myself back from saying things to dear ones with misplaced self-righteousness. Valour is sometimes having a vantage point of reason to hurt someone, but choosing not in a fiduciary capacity. Discretion is a good-incompleteness which keeps the world a calmer place.

My life has been full of incomplete anecdotes-some consequential and conscious and the others, just shallow and complacent.I’ll have to live long enough to figure out the picture, these incomplete anecdotes go on to paint of my life as, either a masterpiece or a grotesque.

Every chapter as consequential as it is, is incomplete in isolation. For a book has to be read in entirety  to appreciate the contribution every incomplete chapter brings to the plot.

In the name of movies-PART III

Imagine a scenario, where a dead man is yet to acknowledge his demise as a naive spirit roaming the roads.People walk through him, mongrels barking at his shenanigans, not quite the rosy picture. As much as we love a restaurant, the flagship biriyani it blends we can’t eat it after a week. The efflux of time makes the dish unpalatable.,stench of decay indicative of  an erstwhile thing that overstayed it’s welcome.

Desperation is sometimes not the best of traits to possess, for as hard as a goldfish tries to fly, the outcome seldom changes with it managing to screw up the food chain by the lake at best . This piece is about such actors and the unintentional humor they bring to us with their never ending quest for reverence.

SABERTOOTH TIGERS

These are actors whose expiry date precedes the manufacturing date. Like lizards & cockroaches, even they invade our prime time on TV in cookery shows, game shows ,funeral of eminent men, reality shows  &  try everything under the sun to make it big from releasing steamy videos, running issue based marathons, attending audio releases & VIP weddings, pay local magazines to come on Page 2,dirty the neighborhood walls with their  bogus birthday wishes posters thrice a year carrying random names claiming themselves to be members from their Spurious ‘All India Fans Club’, but it just doesn’t happen.

People neither love them nor hate them, they are just indifferent to their existence. Even if these actors walk through the busiest phases of a crowded mall on a weekend, people would just look through them & might not even acknowledge them as an obstacle, leave alone as an actor on the verge of extinction.

Their regular phrases in forced interviews include-“I’m Single & ready to mingle”, when not enquired about their relationship status or the more famous line-“I’m waiting for the right script”. The only thing they are acknowledged for is the bankruptcy of producers.

REALITY BITES

These erstwhile actors get clad in white shirts taking their jobs too seriously, trying to make domestic gladiators out of unalarmed homemakers through their candid toilet trots & dish washing crash courses, trying to make the most out of these forbidden home products ad campaigns. Some get adopted by upcoming TV channels for their crass Reality shows on lifetime lease, like an old bird with broken wings by kind elders.

 CORNER SEAT SENSATIONS

Their movies are unanimously lapped up by cupid struck couples, not for right reasons though! Cinema halls screening these actor’s movies come across as a very private place, displaying a queer pattern of corner seats alone getting filled by desperate couples for salacious reasons.

The famine-hit theatre management is only too happy to heed to the demands to alter the sound levels or air conditioning inside the hall, from the last traces of life left inside. No wonder that the government’s Population Control Campaign prohibits these movies from being screened. Also growing trend of diabetics preferring these movies over jogger parks for solitude have been reported.

 

 

To be continued….