Friday, September 29, 2006

Unsmiling Eyes (haiku)

Crow's feet and front teeth
Wide smile and all the right lines
But unsmiling eyes

In which I'm unable to do a David Bowie

We passed upon the stairs
I warned him to jump
The step that wasn't there
He looked into my eyes
And I flinched from his stare

I never quite knew
Which eye I should look into
When making "eye contact"
And I remember thinking
His smile never did reach his eyes -

I don't know what that means either,
But the skin crinkled in all the right places
Crow's feet and front teeth
Upturned smile and all the right lines
But the warmth in those brown eyes,
That looked black when
The light didn't catch them,
Was missing

I knew he wouldn't tell me
So I never asked
And we just went our separate ways
And never took off our masks

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Late Night Delirium

It’s so late at night
It doesn’t really matter
If I stay up for a while;
I’ll just sleep an hour later

Words have to be squeezed out
Like reluctant toothpaste
From a nearly spent tube
That can’t be replaced
Just yet

It’s been twenty years
Of having no one to wake up to
No one to put me to sleep
And no one to watch affectionately
When I do

I must shave tomorrow
Because if I don’t the hairs
Will get caught in the razor blades
When I eventually mow
My facial fungi down
And at the mirror, hairlessly frown

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Random Rambles

I can’t say I haven’t found the time to write anything because one can usually make time for whatever one really wants to do. I haven’t felt much like writing for a really long while. Strangely, my dormancy has coincided with the near-dormancy of several blogs I regularly followed. Somehow, this sentiment has gained ground among others as well. A friend who used to blog religiously confessed he didn’t feel like blogging either…

I listened to this wonderful track called New Slang by The Shins (I don’t know what either of those mean either) after a long time and found it just as amazing as it was the first time. Its lyrics are super, and the song has a tempo and tune that makes you love it in every mood. I always think of two things when I hear this song – American Pie by Don McLean and IIM C. The first because this song comes closest to New Slang in my mind’s categorization of the two, and the second because I heard this song for the first time on my way to IIMC for Nihilanth last year. That trip, by the way, was the second best trip of my life with friends, the best by far remains the Goa trip in the month before that. Goa, in fact, was so wonderful in every sense of the word that I didn’t see any point in attempting to record the fun in a blog post. We went from one crazy experience to the next and words can’t describe how much fun I had in that one week in Goa.

My reluctance to describe some of my most cherished experiences in words for posterity is similar to my apprehension about videotaping my loved ones and their lovable quirks. Some things are best left to marinate over the years in our memories. When you’ve built up an endearing image of a loved one over the years, you don’t want to know they were just normal people who we loved and learnt to love because they were ours. I hate being underwhelmed. I like my experiences to be sublime.

I’m on to The Cranberries now. I’m amazed at the kind of stuff I have on my computer which is forever gathering dust in e-folders. I’m no expert on music, but judging from all the tracks I have of theirs, it’s strange how their most famous song (Zombie) is so different in tempo and tone from their other songs. Zombie has heavy bass guitar sounds and is loud, angry and very political. All the others I can think of are ‘softer’, somewhat slower and a lot more personal. If I was a girl I would perhaps have said I’m in love with the lead singer’s (Dolores, wiki informs me) voice. But perhaps it’s too cutesy a thing to say.

There are some interesting things I’ve observed about myself over the past month. I’ve realized I’ve become to some people the kind of person I would hate. Some people think of me as obnoxious, snooty, disinterested, arrogant, proud blah blah. The tragicomedy is that I am all these things and more, but people often draw these (not entirely incorrect) conclusions because I’m shy or reserved.

I avoid dancing at parties not because I only let my hair down with my friends but because I (think I) don’t dance well. A popular forwarded mail carries this piece of sage advice from the Dalai Lama : Dance like no one’s watching. But what advice can you give to someone who doesn’t dance like no one’s watching even when no one’s watching!

I wouldn’t make special efforts to engage you in conversation because you’re boring, sure. But I would just as likely not make efforts if I thought you weren’t interested, and there’s no way to find out when I’m bored and when simply apprehensive. I hate being thought of as ‘sucky’ but I realize that being sucky works. You get to know people you’d never know if you just waited for them to appreciate you in time, you acquire the sheen of knowing important people among your colleagues and of course, you get the intangible benefits of being networked.
I can’t, however, change myself, and frankly, I don’t care.

I haven’t done any reading at all since my last post, but I have watched a few movies. I shall not inflict another set of movie reviews on you. I will, however, recommend A History of Violence to everyone who isn’t a total mush nut. If you liked Ghulam (especially the amazing fight in the end – they almost make it believable!) watch this asap. Even if you didn’t, watch it asap. I have said this before and I know RGV does not read my blog but I can’t resist saying this again: he should learn what restraint means in the language of cinema before making tripe like Sarkar. Tripe because small tweaks would have made the movie great but sadly, RGV got lost in the brilliance of his stupid “Govinda, Govinda” background score and made a painfully mediocre product. This film could teach him a thing or two. This movie shocks with graphic and frenetic violence in very short sequences and is able to do so because we are attuned to the slow pace of the movie. The slowness and the quiet serve a purpose – that of bringing out the stark contrast when violence makes an entry into the normal life of Tom Stall. It’s beautifully done. Go see.

If, on the other hand, you are the kind that weeps through Sleepless in Seattle on multiple viewings, watch My Sassy Girl instead. It’s the best love story I have seen in many years and it has been universally praised by everyone I know who saw it. It’s in Korean, so you’ll have to get hold of subtitles, although what really tugs at the heartstrings is this magical piano piece called Pachebel’s Canon that plays at all the appropriately mushy points in the movie.

And oh yes, I watched Munnabhai Part 2 a week or so ago. Everyone who wanted to has watched the film by now so it doesn’t matter much but for whatever it’s worth, I add my voice to the chorus prodding the nation to go watch Munnabhai. It’s a lot better than KANK and its ilk and has taken much greater effort to make. We get the cinema we deserve and if we get more of SRK and his godawful facial twitches it’s because junta likes that. Munnabhai isn’t the best ever but it’s good and deserves a watch. At the same time, I must clarify that I did not watch it out of some wish to do my bit for Indian cinema. I watched it to enjoy it, and enjoy it I did. You will too.

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