Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Best Closing Sequence I Have Seen


People disappoint me.
I tell them at outset
they will. They insist...
(in not so many words)
"No, I'm the real deal..."
and sometimes
I am taken in. But
in the end... people
Disappoint, dismay.
Thankfully in most cases,
the lightbulb flickers
soon enough. In others...
Well they linger to crystallize
The Pain

PS: I am Sure that I disappoint people too

I sign-out with one of the most beautiful closing sequences I have known. Its from the Bergman movie, Skammen, and it summarizes his work, and a lot of other things so beautifully:
"It wasn't too awful since it was so beautiful".

Good night. You have been a wonderful audience.

Right Now-2

Progress Report

My need has frayed with time; you said it would.
It has; I can walk again across the flood
Of gold sil popples on the straw-gold hills
Under a deep Californian sky that expels
All truant clouds; watch squads of cattle graze
By the radio-telescope; blue-battered jays
Flash raucous squaking by my swivelling head
While squirrels sine-wave past over the dead
Oak-leaves, and not miss you_although I may
Admit that near the telescope yesterday
By a small bushcovered gully I blundered on
Five golden fox-cubs playing in the sun
And wished you had been there to see them play;
But that I only mention by the way.

Vikram Seth

Right Now-1

At thirty-one when some are rich ...               by Philip Larkin

At thirty-one when some are rich
And others dead,
I, being neither, have a job instead,
But come each evening back to a high room
Above deep gardenfuls of air, on which
Already has been laid an autumn bloom.

And here, instead of planning how
I can best thrive,
How best win fame and money while alive,
I sit down, supper over, and begin
One of the letters of a kind I now
Feel most of my spare time is going in:

I mean, letters to women—no,
Not of the sort
The papers tell us get read out in court,
Leading directly to or from the bed.
Love-letters only in a sense: they owe
Too much elsewhere to come under that head.

Too much kindness, for a start;
I know, none better,
The eyelessness of days without a letter;
Too much to habit ('Stop? But why on earth...?'):
Too much to an unwillingness to part
With people wise enough to see my worth.

I'm kind, but not kinetic—don't
Enlist a word
Simply because its deed has been deferred;
Ends in themselves, my letters plot no change;
They carry nothing dutiable; they won't
Aspire, astound, establish or estrange.

Why write them, then? Are they in fact
Just compromise,
Amiable residue when each denies
The other's want? Or are they not so nice,
Stand-ins in each case simply for an act?
Mushrooms or virtue? or, toadstools or vice?

They taste the same. So summer ends,
And nights draw in.
Another evening wasted! I begin
Writing the envelope, and a bitter smoke
Of self-contempt, of boredom, too, ascends.
What use is an endearment and a joke?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Take The Chance

Someone I know vaguely once wrote: This is your life, the one place you get to play God.

Lovely background score for this. As usual, just push play and read on.

D has taken a big chance in life. Professionally it is a perfect decision- albeit a hard one. RV has taken a similar decision, though under very different circumstances.

Circumstances... they present us with options, or force us to do things.

That don't appear easy to begin with.

The amiss comfort, money. Living in an apartment is replaced with a dorm and common lavatories. Sometimes I want to cry.

But they have still done it.

For D in a sense, for a while, hopefully it is just a loss of financial independence. For RV, I guess there was no better way out.

I have had my options this year, and chosen status quo, and hopefully in life I have made the right choice, professionally. Just recently I got voted the top 5 professionals in the country in my line of work (Thank you Thank you). Of course it does wonders to my arrogance of things in general.

I watched the movie Metro a few days back. Certain parts of it were pathetic, everything I think cinema should not be. For instance, I am of the opinion that films which claim to be intelligent cinema, should not be a metaphor on life. When you claim to depict life as it is, you should be observant enough to realize that Life by itself presents these beautiful yet poignant, happy yet lingering experiences, bitter yet laced with sugar moments. You just have to observe. And have the calibre to translate that observation.

Its different if you're making a song and dance movie. Or comedies.

I am talking about the entire episode on the call centre sleeping around phenomenon.

It was loud, unclean, in a sort of way that only crude cinema can be. The script was unpolished, with little style. One only has to see "The Apartment" to figure out how cheap the Hindi version was. One only needs to see Shirley MacLaine, to figure why Kangana Ranaut, inspite of wearing smart business suits is only a small town girl who says "congretulashions". Life is not about wearing the right clothes Baby. And why Sharman "who the fuck is that" Joshi, is a P.I.M.P, and nothing else.

But then may be, as D says, I am just a normal person, who wants to carry forward happy thoughts.

But I liked the bit about Irfaan Khan. Though SSS says his eyes scare her, I think he is a good actor. And that he was given a small yet useful role to play. That no relationship, even marriage, comes with a guarantee card which says its going to work. Its upto us to make it happen. That if a relationship fails, it is failure on the part of the characters in that script. You just have to TAKE THE CHANCE!

Communication is beautiful. Its all that matters. All the wonderful people I have known, and have amazing memories of are a function of the awesome dialogue I have shared with them. That I ran a minimal risk of being misunderstood, and vice versa.

I love people I communicate well with. I am thrilled when I communicate well with myself.

Like I told DP the other night. As it is impossible to hate everything about someone, it is equally difficult to love everything as well. You just have to give people time. They reveal. Beautifully.

It is after all, one life.

There is someone I know (rather used to) who I only happened to talk to at 2AM, once every few months. She still thinks I only want to get into her pants. So far from true. I enjoy hearing her voice on the phone genuinely. She complains she gives the wrong vibes. But who cares about vibes once you've got the communication going?


But then, this life as Metro shows is about making choices. You may choose status quo, or choose to make that big decision. Sometimes its better to settle down, and not look for the next better deal. Sometimes it is better to move on. Who knows what works. In life, you can only connect the dots looking backwards.

Settle down. Ah! I think every human being, myself included, does want to settle down. At some point of time. To abort the search. To have that light bulb moment. To live happily ever after. After all the search is a draining exercise.

I have trouble settling down. But then I think when I do, I will be really happy about it.

Sometimes I think two years will pass by in a wink. And then sometimes I just hang my head and think how unrealistic a thought that is.

The other night for the first time ever I was drinking alone at the Shack. I go there on Tuesday nights, because they play good music, and on weeknights the crowd is great. On weekends its only a place for the cheap.

I see all these young early 20 something women with long haired guys. On weekends I see them again, rather versions of them who are 5-7 years older. In the fancy places where I drink to avoid the crowd, and to enjoy my music, I see them with stable looking, well off guys. Who wear checked Tommy Hilfiger Shirts, tucked into designer CK jeans. The women carry boat shaped dainty purses. With possibly no money in them. And I wonder, if there is a message in there.

And I wonder if there isn't a better way to end the Search? Is submission the only solution for the ordinary?

In such choices there is really no telling to how unhappiness manifests itself . And when. Like someone I dated along time back recently told me- you can't imagine how difficult it is to live in the same house with someone you don't love day after day.

My response was: Have babies. There is a fair chance you'll love them enough, and for the next ten odd years they will be home. Analgesic.

I am happy D is pursuing her ambition. Like I have heard it said, in life so often we walk away from our dreams, afraid that we might fail, or worse yet, afraid we may succeed.

While I knew so early on that she would realise her dreams, I sometimes wonder whether I shall have to wait till the winter of my life to make mine come true.

In the meanwhile, seasons change. And I... I just live in the hope that someday so will we.