Saturday, November 28, 2009


The sound of a beckoning silence;
that follows at dawn's first light.
Breaking the circle of violence,
that has lost its will to fight.
Calm on the outside,seething on the inside,
like two peas in a pod.
Nowhere to run to, or hide;
Does that not strike you as odd?

It has to choose between friend and foe,
No one knows what fate has in store.
The sky above and the ground below;
There's trouble knocking at the back door.

But virtue has its own reward;
The sun always shines after the rain.
So, do not even try to give in,
For silence will stick with you through thick and thin.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I should have written this in September: PART two

On september 22nd, we had six hours of theory classes. I always have problems waking up at 6:30 odd and getting ready for class. The good thing about this semester is that impossible subjects like Optical Fibre Communication and D.S.P have been assigned to visiting faculty. Frankly, we couldn't care less. Ironic in a way, since we're most likely going to get 'screwed' in these subjects. We convince them 'faculty' about why we're coming late to class and 9/10 times, they pretty much buy it.

'The Patriots' was scheduled for screening at 12 p.m. The name sounded kind-of enticing, so i decided i'd bunk the elective classes and head down to the cinema screening, only to realise that they were screening 'Decalog-1'. I had enjoyed kieslowski's work in Three colours Blue- especially the score and the excellent acting by Juliette Binoche. Decalog-1 is about the first commandment.

"I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me..."

In this 50 min snippet, a University teacher trains his son in 'scientific methods'  he himself has verified and found to be foolproof, but fate decides otherwise. I've always been fascinated with the whole 'God' angle to Scientific reason, and how you can't be too sure about anything. Hope is a very dicey equation, and sometimes, God himself doesn't believe in miracles. The ending is truly magnificent, and all i kept saying was- 'shit, shit, shit'.
The next day was bleddy lab at 7.30, which i always hate attending. So i managed to sit through three hours, pretending to process information about SCR's and their associated nonsense.
'The cranes are flying' was screening in the noon. I loved this movie. It is so beautifully shot for a 1960's movie. I especially loved the shots of the two lovers chasing each other on the spiral staircase. 
The female lead- 'Veronica' (who has very sharp features:P) falls in love with 'Boris', only to then hear he's been shortlisted for the war. She doesn't get to say a proper goodbye to him. Boris' cousin Mark proposes his love to her, and they get married. However, she does not forget Boris, and a battle between her 'security' and betrayal ensues. The key element of this movie is a 'doll', and the importance of this is brought out in the end. I love the movie's title as it presents exactly that.
I was particularly annoyed with a few uninterested people sitting behind me. The incessant clutter of keypads of mobile phones, followed by a laser beam directed at the screen. It really pissed me off. Somewhere in between, one said to another- 'macha idu true louu' :P wtf. The kind of characters one meets at a cinema is rather intriguing.

On thursday morning, I went to college, but decided to bunk classes, so basically i wasted some fuel:P
It was a friend enigman's birthday. And also, we heard that the Noted carnatic singer 'Balamurali Krishna' was visiting a friends house. It was hard to believe that i'd be in his 'gracious presence'. But there we were, five of us, taking his 'ashirvada'. He was dressed very elegantly, a simple shirt and a simple kacche panche. He told us to study well. We didn't speak much, mainly because we were too stunned to see him face to face. We tried though.
I'll be frank in saying I haven't heard much of his work, but I do know a little bit abour 'Raga', 'Thala', and know what octaves the man can work. So it was a nice moment for me, considering the ashirvada part, and was already turning out to be a great day for my friend. ( we often tease the chap by calling him sangeeth vidwan. Do the math:P). After this, we headed to the much famed G.T.R, where we savoured some masala dosas with much verocity.

The great U.Srinivas was playing at Ganapati Sachidananda Ashrama at 10, so obviously we headed there:) We thought, to hell with it, and went way up front right in front of the stage and glued our asses. I swear i've never seen such speed in my life. Sometimes, his finger movements were invisible. He literally tamed and toyed with his instruments. He was accompanied by his brother- U rajesh, who i must say is also 'something else'. On of the Thyagara compositions, entharo i guess, I closed my eyes for a moment. I'd say i'll label what i heard as the purest sound. It was legend.... wait for it....dary:P. We spoke about this the entire day. In the night, we hit a dhaba to celebrate with customary 'tanni'. There, we drank to Balaguru, music, life and the day that never was:)

P:S- The next day, i watched ' Coffee and cigarettes', but that does deserve any mention?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Windy Windy

The heavy wind is blowing hard in my face;
I wonder how many storms it has fathered.
It blows east, it blows west,
It glides and slides, till it finds a vent.
I ask the lord- 'From where has it come'?;
And he answers by blowing some.
Why all this fury and rampage;
Is there no calm and peace?
Perhaps there is no appeasement,
To such a mystery!
The wind sees no death. Life after life.
My friend, let it blow, let it live on,
Let it create a marvellous saga, while us humans go gaga:)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I should have written this in september: PART 1

Mysore had a lot of activities in store during Dasara. I've been here nine years but still haven't convinced my ass to check out the wrestling events that are held with much grandeur. Nor have i paid any visits to the karnatic music sessions usually held in the famed Mysore Palace which is now, the second most visited monument/structure in India, after the Taj Mahal.

Anyway, this time, Dasara was to be held in the third week of September, with much hype provided by the media, as this was the first time it was held with B.J.P at the helm of things. I'd read somewhere that the Mysore Film society was having something called the 'Mysore Film festival' and they were slated to play around 20 movies of various genres from 19th-26th. I decided that college was not a 'suitable' sanctuary for the entire week, as Cinema always holds a higher ground for me:)

I missed Kim Ki Duk's Spring Summer Fall Winter... Spring as i didn't realise it was playing on saturday, the 19th. Ki Duk has sort of a cult status in World Cinema, and he's a fantastic Director. I downloaded the movie on torrent, and watched it the following week. It's about a Buddhist monk and the lessons he learns as he passes through the seasons of his life. Very good imagery and attention to detail is prominent. A must watch.

The weekend brought with it the usual mundane activities. Monday morning blues coupled with the fact that 'Wild Strawberries' was playing meant that i was sure to bunk class.
Not many can sit through a Bergman movie without flinching in their seats, but those who can, will realise that Bergman defines the epitome of cinema. His signature move is a close-in on a face painted with emotions.

Wild Strawberries is like a jigsaw puzzle. With each viewing, one is sure to garner different meanings about life's situations. With all Bergman movies (at least the ones i've seen), it's as if each human emotion is a piece of string, neatly interwoven and presented to the viewer in all Complexity possible. I guess that's the best way to describe Bergman's style. Each viewing presents a new layer. The base layer is the base story- An ageing professor feels that his life was useless, and he's forced to come to terms with his emptiness, confront the demons of his past, and find solace in 'something'. The movie really is, about this 'something'.

Towards the end,the music is very soothing. The last shot is the customary close-up:). Perhaps this is the reason the word 'Bergmanesque' was coined. A fitting tribute This movie is best watched alone.

'In the mood for love' was playing next, and i decided not to watch it. The reason being- A first time Bergman fellow with me. Do the math:P. I missed a Kurasawa movie- Throne of blood due to a heavy lunch and i spent the rest of the day at home. In the evenings, I used to pay visits to 'Yuva Dasara', which was happening at the nearby Maharaja grounds. The sound system this time was bad, and the atmosphere was mostly marred by incessant rains, which made the soil all mucky. However, S.P Balasubramanium, Raghu Dixit, Shreya Goshal and a few others still came and sang stuff.

Star of Mysore had an article that read- Goshal enthralls mysore. This gave a whole new meaning to the word 'enthrall', considering that the sound was really bad and her voice was dismal, or so i thought. A friend and myself started comparing the crowd there to the one present for the Iron Maiden concerts we attended in March '07 and feb '09. (the only actual 'concerts' i'd ever been to). Yes, we were that jobless. To top it all, we were scanning the Horizon for so called chicks. I figure the rains kept them at home itself:)

P:S- A lot more happened that week, and i shall dwell about it in the next post.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This past month has been crazy with many ups and downs. Diwali was mighty fun. I stayed over at a friend's place, we drank beer late into the night and he cooked us some tasty, albeit bland, omelets(I've surely spelt this wrong). We even sneaked out at two in the morning for a short drive.
Earlier that day, we hit the near-by market to buy em crackers.
As always, we had what one would call a cash crunch situation, so we decided that we'd limit purchases to around 400rs/- range. Big-man-kulla (a friend) decided that he'd put his bargaining skills to test. In the end, the shop-keeper was impressed that he gave us bitti crackers, and called kulla, Bhai, which i thought was funny, considering his stature:D.
It'd been many years since i last bursted crackers, nothing to do with the environmental pollution cliche.
It turned out to be quite an eventful evening pooled with lots of laughter. The weekend went by pretty smoothly.
The night of 20th oct, I couldn't sleep at all. I was hell bent on catching up on some, the reason being lab at 7.30 a.m, the next day. The thing with sleep is, when you need it most, it just doesn't happen. At about four in the morning, my Mom woke me up. She told me that my Uncle (her Brother-in-law) was not responding, and that she was headed to check.
Damn! I hate these situations. I thought to myself- If i don't get a call in the next hour, everything is fine, and the poor man is alright. But deep down, I simply knew that something was not right. Soon enough, my Dad called me to inform me about his passing.
There is some intuition that Death beckons. It turns out that my sister, and a few cousins as well, didn't sleep the previous night either. It had been Eight years since a death in the family. This was least expected, as the poor chap, despite his age (80 plus), was mighty fit. I still couldn't believe the chain of events.
My Mom had told me that a few days back, he'd spoken to her about his 'impending doom' and how everyday was a birthday of sorts.
I've observed one thing- Death brings people closer. In many ways. Emotions take over. People cry a LOT. I still have one problem i'm yet to solve. How to speak to a bereaved person?
I mean, you just can't walk over and say- I'm sorry about your loss. It's bleddy obvious you're sorry. I personally feel a hug is more comforting than reminding someone about their loss. Something else i observed that day- Some people chit-chat about marriages, their job, lives. I overheard someone speaking about their business proposals.
This one occasion where one's supposed to mourn a loss and pay tribute to the life of a man, but this is how they show their respect.
Everyone keeps telling me that my Uncle was a very independant man, and that 'Independence' was the lesson he planned to share with us. He insisted that no one accompany him to the Doctor's clinic for a check up. My aunt later told me that his last words were in fact- 'Don't disturb anyone at this untimely hour'.
I never knew him that well, so I can't fathom the heartbreak that his near and dear ones must be feeling. But i know for sure that Life really is a lesson and we eventually learn it when we're through.
Even to this day, when i look at his photo resting on a shelf near the kitchen, I can't believe he's really gone. I guess In the end, One seeks solace by going back in time and cherishing memories.

P:S- This whole week's been a bitch. Now I have em internals, Operating Systems tomorrow. So I'm off, and i promise to write soon.