Sunday, November 22, 2009

Strange Strangers

Strange strangers we become
Walking down the same path
Silence doesn’t speak anymore
It’s vacuum all over again.

There was a you I used to know
I don’t see him anymore
Is he lost?
Or did I forget him?

With fierce knives and scissors
We delicately cut what used to be us
No reason, no plan
Strange strangers we become
Walking down the same path
Never to meet again.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Quests and conquests - The sometimes perfect life !

I have been trying to think of an awesome opening line for this post because the reason to celebrate is awesome but anyways ten minutes of typing and hitting backspace is enough. So I give up.

The news is that finally, yes finally I have found a pair of jeans that fit!!!
The search for the perfect jeans is finally over (Ok- they r not perfect pefect (they have the funny white/grey fading lines on the thighs) – but they fit me just right)

They are not skinny in the bottom – they fall straight!! Yes they still make those ones apparently.

I spent a bomb, but they are so worth it.

So I walked into the Esprit store just to kill some time and there they were staring right at me with ‘try me on’ eyes! The very sweet store manager told me that I should try a pair with a 28 inch waist (you know the feeling – the one in which you ask for a 30 inch pair with a queer face and look down because you are ashamed of the number 30 and someone says the magic number : 28)

You obviously know the other feeling when so very smoothly a pair of jeans slide up and fit. You turn around in the mirror, look at your ass and smile. Bliss.

That feeling is like the satisfaction of digging into a gooey chocolate cake. (Bloody irony!)

Anyhow, I celebrated my purchase with my quest for the perfect butter chicken in Ahmedabad by trying yet another Indian eating joint (Curries @ SG road). And I was disappointed yet again.

Did I ever mention that I am in search of perfect butter chicken in this city and so far no restaurant has come close to the buttery sweetness of what you relish at places like Pandara road in Delhi or even Zaika and Kareems in Bombay.

What does a butter chicken and dal makhani with butter naan craving, die-hard Punjabi do in Gujjuland? The only choices one is left with are overpowering onion and garlic red gravies with paneer, vegetables or chicken in the name of ‘Punjabi’ cuisine. (Why is everything red and with paneer Punjabi?)

Someone please tell them that red gravy with lots of onions and rajama chawal is not Punjabi cuisine and neither is a salwar kurta called PUNJABI DRESS.

Are we digressing here? From the celebration of the perfect pair of jeans to butter chicken to my anger on Punjabi dresses?

Whatever, its Sunday morning rant time! : )

Yesterday I also saw one of the crappiest movies in recent time – Kurbaan. The performances were good (except Vivek Oberoi who should stop acting) but the plot sucked. Such a sensitive issue treated without a strong story is a shame. I liked Kareena for a change and Saif is hot but the botox is too much in the face. Is he having identity issues of dating a girl young enough to be his daughter which have lead to the overdose of botox?

Anyways it’s good to wake up to scrambled eggs (the ones made with lots of onions and tomatoes and cooked in milk so each bite literally melts in your mouth) and fried sausages with pancakes to follow... background music of an odd combination of Jack Johnson and Kishore Kumar and a thick Sunday paper to last a couple of hours.

Life sometimes is perfect.

And the search for perfect butter chicken continues.....


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Of giving’s and taking’s

"You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give." – Khalil Gibran (The Prophet)

 comic relief for a sensitive post ! : )

There is this little thing about selflessness, it brings joy. Now this might be very selfish thought in itself but many a times the little acts of selflessness actually bring pure altruistic joy. Those few countable moments in one’s life are what make this life worth living.

In the past one hour two very strange things happened. I came home to find out that the cycle of one of the painters working in the house was stolen. A daily wage worker, he earns Rs. 100 a day and without a means to commute would spend Rs. 50 on travelling.

These five people have been in and out of my house since the past fifteen days and if the laws of sociology have to be considered we have become a close group of people.

I could not bear look at this man. His eyes were truly sad. And it was not just his eyes but a face that was pulled down and broken.

I have often wondered why certain people suffer so much and why many of us don’t even realise anything and live our lives taking everything for granted. (Rules and laws of karma maybe)

This is certainly not the first time I have acted kind on a whim. I gave this man money for his cycle without a thought because I knew those eyes would haunt me forever.

9 out of 10 people around us have eyes that are sad. Eyes that talk but are never listened to.  Eyes that wake up each day with a hope but sleep tired and exhausted.

We forget so often to look into these eyes. They are all around us but we never have the time.

I switched on the television and on the news was a story on 26/11. As the date draws closer news channels are gearing up with stories for maximum TRP’s. This one however was truly touching. It showed the plight of the ‘real life hero's’, the ‘real givers’ our Jawans, posted at the Gateway of India.

Living in shambles, forced to use public toilets, sleeping on the cold hard floor expected to protect the country from terrorists.

These are the same people who fought and gave up their lives to save the nation from probably the biggest terrorist attack in recent times. These are the people who gave and continue to give selflessly, something that each one of us holds so dear to us – our life.

Giving is so relative, a couple of thousands can’t compare to a life.

Yet on some spiritual plane it all adds up to a simple act of selflessness and pure joy the act brings.

The prophet is one of my favourite books. Effortlessly Khalil Gibran manages to weave the complexities of life into simplicity.

Read here the chapter on ‘GIVING’.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Chronicles - 3 (from reel to real life)

 Another crazy weekend (more like a nonexistent one) leads to another post on the weekend. I have a strange feeling very soon the blog is going to be called the weekend chronicles! Tuesday thoughts now happen on Monday mornings!

I also feel the post format is changing. I have started writing more about myself (in person) which feels good (till now at least) that’s why the poems and articles are now interwoven with what is happening around me.
I don’t know what the people who follow and read the blog like – so let me know : )

Back to the crazy weekend...

I got my room clean and freshly painted with two RED walls on Friday evening!!! I was skeptical about the red but it looks super cool. I spent all of Saturday picking up, moving and arranging furniture. I have a new cupboard (but honestly still no space) believe me, am not hoarding, still there are just so many clothes!!

All of Sunday and till Monday morning we were shooting for a new TVC in Bombay. I came back in the morning and have slept all day. This explains the reason for a late night post.
Shoots are always fun and they give you a lot of time to think. I always wonder about the life of a junior artist in the film industry when I look at one at a shoot.
For one shot there were some 14 ‘extras’ ironically without whom the shot is incomplete so I wonder why they are called ‘extras’ in the first place. The sincerity in them is commendable. For a second of fame they give their 100%.

Fame is so important. Success is relative.

I am looking at a very gujju looking man in a very shiny bright suit being instructed by one of the assistant directors to stand/ then sit/ stand again. Obediently the ‘extra’ does as he is told. He is so scared that when he sits, he doesn’t remove the bag that’s lying on the chair. He adjusts. His eyes show such fear of losing the quarter second of screen presence (which might lead to his big break later) that he won’t take any chances.

Bombay – my city of dreams. There is not one person who comes to this city without a dream. A million ‘extras’ roam around this city each day trying to find their own route to fame.
Finally the model arrives (she is not very pretty in reality) but make-up transforms her. The lights make her beautiful and I can’t help but wonder and notice my own physical flaws. When I look at the model in the monitor all I can think of is my very fat nose. Because I know its make-up I can shun the thought of my fat nose after a second of self pity and laugh but the 14 ‘extras’ don’t. Each one has that hope and that dream in their eyes to someday be that ONE person in front of the camera.

Fame. Who doesn’t want it? Yet how many of us struggle day and night for that quarter second of screen presence?

Most of us just give up without a fight. Or we fight and then in time give up. Paulo Coehlo can keep writing about fighting for your dream and turning lead into gold but how many of us are real warriors and for how long can we be warriors?

We all have a tipping point, what do you do when you tip?

Sometimes we become ‘extras’ in our own personal lives. We are thrown out of the frame and all we can do is ‘adjust’.
The director is calling the shots and we don’t even know if in the final film we will ever show or were we there just to be a part of the crowd?

I am not being a pessimist here but I will agree that I am falling prey to the pitfalls of a thing called destiny.

I have come to realise that sometimes ‘your all’ is just not enough. Sometimes the ‘time’ is just not right. That you can keep trying again and again to make things right yet they will be stuck in an irksome limbo.

Every day is a struggle to move up from being the extra to the lead actor to finally someday the director.

Every day is a new role, a new act where someone else calls the shot.

Every day the lights change and with each layer of pancake a new mask appears.

Every day is a hope that it would be the day when fame would be right there for grabs.

Every day is a fight for maximum screen presence in a sepia toned frame.

Someday, maybe, somehow. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bombay Meri Jaan !!!!

So I am back from a nice long weekend in the only city I call home – amchi Mumbai. : )
Each time I visit the city (since I left it the third time in 2007) it speaks to me.

Strange right, have you ever felt that a city/ a place can communicate with you?
Bombay does that with me.

I was very low of the ‘hope quotient’ when I arrived in Bombay this time. However it didn’t take me more than 2 hours to get back on my toes!

Hope comes from strange corners.
  • Two of my favorite people got married (to each other) there were times of calmness and times of chaos; a wedding however small is a wedding after all.But at the end of the day when you stand back a take a look from two feet apart, the picture always appears flawless.The bride fell ill and the make up man played truant, but at the end of the day, when the bride and groom stood together it was a perfect picture.A hope fills around every wedding, a hope for perfection, a hope for something called love and a hope for togetherness. 
  • I met a lot of old colleagues and friends at the wedding. I realized what I have been missing out on since the past two years.Advertising in India is defined by Bombay. Anywhere else, you are pretending to be in a make believe world of advertising.If you’ve been there once it doesn’t take two minutes to blend right back in. The booze is always flowing; the group is always the last to leave the party. In a two minute conversation you can talk of your career, the weather, Mayavati and who slept with whom.I miss the vibe, the zest and the passion that advertising is supposed to have and is very sadly only available in Bombay.
  • I ended the weekend with a long brunch of sushi, dimsums and ice-cream and a stroll on Hill Road which I absolutely love doing! I have not yet found jeans that fit me right. I totally revolt against skinny jeans and skinny people. Despite the efforts at the gym the skinny jeans still make my legs look like barrels!To make up for the jeans fiasco and the fact that leaving Bombay always depresses me, I managed to make my last meal special with awesome roadside, hand dipped pani puri at Band Stand and whole wheat, extra juicy burgers at Gostana (I highly recommend this place to all my fellow foodies – its tucked in a small lane opposite the Bagel Shop in Bandra and makes the most scrumptious, juicy burgers ever)

 Love the blue colours and Jimi Hendrix posters

Bombay just makes me feel so much better about life.

There are clearly two kinds of people in the world for me – people who like Bombay and people who don’t.
I have no clue why the latter even stays in the city when they hate everything about it – The traffic, the rains, the crowds….

People who like Bombay however have a way of making their way around the twists and turns of the chaos.

I simple love the weird small things about Bombay – (Read more here and here)
  • The look in everyone’s eyes – it varies from tired (in the local train) to lost (in traffic) to hope (while looking at the sea) to love (coochie cooing on Band stand rocks) to happy (when you buy the random book from a child at the traffic signal)
  • There is so much emotion in every moment; most of us are busy criticizing the traffic to even notice that
  • The fact that there is no distinction between proximity and space in this city
  • More men than women stand outside Salman’s house hoping to catch a glimpse of his biceps.

I can’t wait to get back. It is difficult to live in this city – The rents are too steep, the slums sprawl at every nook and corner, commuting is a hassle.
But there is no other place where you can walk with a million people and yet be on your own.

Till I’m back..... my city, my love… Here’s to you!!



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