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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

'The Descendants' and other winsome films

It's the awards season once again..... and a gala time for cine-buffs like me. I have been lucky to feast on a really enjoyable movie-fare of late. Not all of them are nominees at awards ceremonies, yet all of them have had something special to have me hooked in the first place, and to have recommended them to my fellow cinema-lovers. Some of these films I caught at the fag end of the last year, and the others have been savored this month itself. Here they are:

The Descendants

We Need To Talk About Kevin
War Horse

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of The Unicorn


The Tree of Life

The Help
The Artist
Real Steel

The Ides of March
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Puss in Boots
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wanna Speak vs Don't Wanna Speak

If you have a chance to express yourself,
to speak your mind, to get listened to,
you should grab it with both arms, grab the chance to speak.
That seems to be the age-old wisdom,
and it's even the street-smart funda that helps
one create a space for oneself, get one noticed and accounted for.
But the big question is: Do we always want to speak?
Do we take refuge in silences, or in partial utterances?
Do we deliberately speak in an ambiguous tone?
Do we obfuscate our communication?
What makes us grapple with the dilemma - To-speak or Not-to-speak?
There are times when I feel
I need to renew my spirit,
gather my strength,
and make myself heard for not only
selfish reasons, but for a greater cause.
But, then I wonder
if it is more important to make some noise,
some flutter, some unrest,
and perhaps some upsets,
than to contemplate,
let my mind wander beyond the immediate,
relax, ponder, and come to terms
A small flower, a tiny crystal,
or a seashell can make more sense
than the best of words uttered by us.
Words are, after all, just words.
Things happen all the time,
in silences, and amidst noises,
and even in the cosmic harmony
and divine melodies which need not be
planned or prepared for......
whether I speak or I embalm my
expression in a prolonged silence
I do need to lose, and subsequently,
find myself again and again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Year That Was

2011...... the year that was
It's been more than two weeks into the new year.
Yet, I think it is the right time to look back
into the year that was.
2011 has been good and bad for a lot of things
- for me, personally speaking.
I lost my father last year, and
that's something that's left a deep void, within.
The year was quite traumatic for me at times.
I found it difficult to cope with
many changes on the personal front.
There were a lot of negative feelings
that were generated.
Some spilled over...... some I tried to hold in.
Relationships underwent a sea-change.
However, once I got over the immediacy,
I could understand my feelings better,
I could diffuse some of the tension that had
built up inside of me.
I could even calmly look back
and act sanely.
Well, I know that our feelings, as tools,
can serve us well, only if the crystallize
naturally, and if we have someone to share
them with. The trick is to express ourselves
and be heard...... and it's this very trick
that I fail to master....... maybe I have
been making all the wrong choices all along
and crying my lungs out for help to
all the wrong persons!
Coming to the city of Kolkata,
my city, my El Dorado, the year 2011
was positively special for Mamata Banerjee,
Messi, and Dhanush.
Mamata Banerjee came to power in West Bengal,
and has been ruling the roost, seated at the Writer's
Building, and enjoying the support of Kolkatans
Messi and Dhanush won our hearts
with football-fever and music-mania
respectively, like never before.
It was a dream come true for soccer-crazy
Kolkatans when Messi came to the city
to play. I could not be at the Salt Lake Stadium
to witness the game first hand, but the palpable
excitement trickled down no doubt.

Dhanush came to conquer Kolkatans' hearts
at the fag end of the year. His Kolaveri di
had already gripped the entire nation,
and I can say that I have never seen
the people of my city to be so unreasonably
obsessed with a song - a song which has
truly crossed over - not since the Hassan
Jahangir rage, or the Altaf Raja craze,
or, to a lesser extent, the Dayal baba
kala khaba phenomenon.
Numerous spoofs and parodies have
followed. Which reasserts the song's
unique appeal.

Last year, Kolkata also witnessed
tragedies of great proportions,
the AMRI fire claiming the lives of
helpless patients being the worst.
Early last year, my dad had been admitted
to the same nursing facility and hence
the place has had a special place in my
quota of memories.
In 2011, apart from losing my dad,
a dear one snapped ties with me,
after seven long years of a lovely
I also happened to befriend a very
special person. And it is a unique sort
of a bond that I am cherishing, I'm loving
it in all its uniqueness and warmth.
It is this very person who has said
these special words:
Life is like a book, a memoir.....
you experience, you treasure
the special moments, or you
simply disengage yourself from
the difficult ones, and move on.....

It is indeed very hard, and I know that clinging on does not
help at all. I need to find myself and keep moving......
I cannot afford to stand or stoop, hover around or hanker.....

It is indeed very hard, and I know that clinging on does not
help at all. I need to find myself and keep moving......
I cannot afford to stand or stoop, hover around or hanker.....

I need to look at the road ahead......
there are maybe a few paces left of the distant run,
but those paces better be resolute and brisk,
the it's better to be equipped with confidence,
if not luck; may I indulge my foolish zeal if poorly
equipped to take a calculated risk.

Unlike an old acquaintance who simply wishes that I write a new chapter,
have a new beginning, I would even like to look ahead for the joy
of rewriting some old chapters, reinterpreting life, reinterpreting
my dreams, dream anew. I live because I dream, and I dream because
I am still alive. Yes, I am alive to the opportunity of adding on not just new chapters but maybe a new old story, if not a whole new story.