This might be the other, smaller side of

She shivered underneath her thin clothes as the moonlight chilled her with its touch. She felt betrayed. She felt unloved. Without an end in sight, she walked along the narrow streets. She wrapped her misery around her shoulders like a silken shawl. There was no reason for him to leave her. She had never given him a reason to. She had always showered him with all the love she could gather in her divided heart. Yes, her heart was divided and he didn't know of the division. Or did he? Was that why he had decided to leave her? But he couldn't have known. She had never given him a chance to know. It was no fault of hers though. She had been a little tipsy from the wine then and it wasn't until two hours later that she realised what had happened. It was too late and she hadn't known the actual consequences at that time. She had come to know of them a lot later, a few weeks before. She had been preparing herself to tell him and to omit a few truths for the benefit of their marriage. It was too late again. He was no longer with her, for her to tell him about the child that now shared her love. The child that was not his, but she didn't intend for him to know this fact.

Her feet moved of their own accord and lead her on. She passed shops that would be bustling come morning, she walked by benches that would see people sitting on them the next day. The streets that she had known for ten years now seemed an alien, abandoned movie setting. The chill tingled her spine and she cringed from the silence around her. She wondered if it would be right for her child to be born loveless and out of wedlock.

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the heart or the head

How many times in life have you come to cross-roads; roads dictated by the heart and the head respectively? It is such a tough decision to make. It is indeed a difficult thing to leave things behind when you don't necessarily have to. Yes, the head worries about how things can be better with change, about how change is important inspite of the risks involved. The heart meanwhile immerses in melancholy cherishing the smallest of things, the smallest of actions. The heart longs for the familiar faces, places and scents. The cubicle you sit in, the telephone that you use, the white board that you never use. The head wonders why you want to be stuck at a place while the whole world rushes past you. While everyone's making better and better futures for themselves, why are you adamant to sit upon something that you might not mean the same thing forever?
The heart says life is to do things you like to do, not things you must do.

I have gone with my heart many a times. I have ofcourse never even thought of repenting any decision that I've made. Whatever I decide, I stand by that. No matter what the consequences. But would the heart be right all the time and in all circumstances?

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RDB - not again?

Yeah, yeah. I finally saw the movie. But don't you worry. I am not gonna do YARORDB! I am sure there are enough well-written reviews, comments and even the plot to keep you busy :) Ok, so you are wondering what the heck this post is about. This post is about a few completely futile thoughts and opinions that occured to me during the movie. Ofcourse, these are opinions that I have formed over the years and as a friend happened to write, "the opinions are mine and I have the right to be wrong".

What if the world had been atleast partly-utopian without such boundaries as countries, culture, et al? What if the world had been such that nations do not have any need for armed forces?
What if the world had no need for wars - personal or otherwise?
What if the words "war" or "arms" or "weapons" had not made it into the dictionary?

I have immense respect for the people who are willing to risk their all to serve their nation. I do not seek to trivialise what they do. I do not wish to question their beliefs. I am only wondering how it would be if they didn't have to lay down their lives for such made-up segmentations as "countries". Call me a traitor, but I for one don't believe in such emotions as 'patriotism' and 'nationalism'. These are emotions that are forced upon us because someone decided it would be a good idea to put down boundaries and slit the world with slithering borders. We have been programmed to rejoice the victories of segments that we belong to, be it in cricket or in war. If we stop to notice it, the segmentation has no limit on its levels at all. On one hand, we celebrate India's victory over Pakistan in cricket. On the other hand, we also segment ourselves into states within India and fight over who owns the water from rivers. You would think we would stop there but no we don't. Within states, we divide ourselves into cities, towns and villages. Into urban and rural segments. Into religions, into languages, into cultures. Into castes within religions. Into dialects within languages. The segmentation is a criss-cross mesh and there are overlaps and underlaps. It is wide, it can be generic, it can be grainy. There seems to be no beginning nor an end. It is a web. A web designed to kill and bruise the world.

Ahhhh, if the world had been different.

BTW, for me RDB did not match the hype. Though the first half was incredibly entertaining, I had other things on my mind that kept me distracted. For one, I tripped when getting to the seat and accidentally clawed through the hair of a woman/girl sitting in the row ahead. I was absolutely flustered and I was convinced she hadn't understood my apology in the din of the movie. I lived in constant fear that she would corner me during the interval and bonk me on the head or something :-(
Woman/Girl, if you read this I am extremely sorry and yes, I will be careful.

YARORDB: Yet Another Review On RDB.

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Mixed Doubles

Double over with laughter. 2 seconds later the seriousness catches up and leaves you thinking. That's Mixed Doubles for you. I first saw Rajat Kapoor in DCH, the cool, sauve uncle. The movie didn't do much for his acting credentials but he was sort of a calming presence in the movie. Any MD is directed by Rajat Kapoor.

The movie deals with a theme that could've been turned into one of Emraan Hashmi flicks. But thankfully Rajat has given the theme a wholly different treatment. The movie is about spouse-swapping. Yeah, that's right.

The movie is made on a canvas of continuous hilarous. The undercurrent of seriousness is thus delivered in a very effective way and settles lazily and comfortably into the mind. We keep hearing about how *such things* happen in various social circles. Numerous magazines write about infidelity, spouse-swapping and everything else to do with sexual orientations/what-not.
IMHO, this is the first time that the subject has been dealt within a practical frame of reference.

People call it sexual liberation. People call it westernization. People call it awakening. The truth is that it is a breakdown. The truth is that something has gone wrong somewhere. The movie portrays this practical side of emotions. It is a natural thing for someone to feel angry and jealous if their partners were as much as to merely flirt with someone, let alone be infidel. If someone does not feel any emotion, then the relationship is probably on the rocks already.

In my opinion, if either one feels a need or desire for experimentation, then it's best to give up on the relationship and split. It's an absolutely ridiculous idea that extra-marital affairs can keep the flame going. It would merely extinguish the current flame and ignite a completely different one.

There is one phrase in the movie that caught my mind, a phrase that I'm sure people would want to use upon me. 'Broad-minded'. Ranvir asks a newspaper vendor for the ads-magazine that has 'broad-minded ads'. If you think about it, that phrase is the whole problem. It's not being narrow-minded to want your partner to be fidel. It's not being narrow-minded to be in a relationship and want to make it work without succumbing to the so-called 'broad-mindedness'. That phrase 'broad-minded' has been twisted into improbably shapes by the awakened social consiousness. It's the ultimate weapon of choice with the *broad-minded* section of people.

The movie's ending (like most gen-x movies?) is abrupt. You leave the cinema-hall a bit confused and wondering about how it would actually have ended - the couple's relationship, that is.

The movie is absolute fun to watch. You can choose to ignore the under-current and you have the perfect recipe for a couple of hours of laughter. Choose to think about the subject and you have a serious subject delivered on the hilarous-express.

On the negative, there are some seriously jarring parts in the movie. The numero uno question amongst these would be, 'How in the world did malathi actually agree to the swap inspite of her being against it?' The movie's answer is that Sunil played a trick on her, but that's an unconvincing answer. If I wanted to, I could probably project the question into the deeper recesses of the human mind and come up with the magic rabbit - 'Their relationship was doomed anyway. And Malathi thought so too.' :-)

Take it or leave it, but if you have even started to think of having an affair on the side then the best thing to do would be split with your partner and go after the affair. And worse, if you are complacent about your partner's affairs, do yourself a favour and get out as soon as you can.

Ofcourse, everything's my narrow-minded opinion :-)

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new on my music horizon

There are some very good singers out there. I swear there are. You just have to look beyond the moronic music that streams out of the telly and bear with them every now and then to uncover that gem. Oh, don't even get me started on the likes of backstreet-speared-careys. Can you even imagine gwen stefani and mariah carey being nominated for record and album of the year? What in the world is happening to the world? God save us all from this mess.

Anyway I've recently become fascinated by a few artists. What is crucial about these folks is that they are artists. They are not pretty boys dressed to kill nor are they almost undressed *divas*. They are artists and they can sing. Don't be surprised if most of them are based in the UK. I came across them when I was there. Okie, I'm not plugging myself. :D

Katie Melua

Yes, she's a jazz and blues singer. She has this silky jazz voice that somehow works its way into you. I liked Norah Jones, but Katie beats her hands-down with her amazing range and the surprising twists she adds to her singing. Her first debut album "Call off the search" is a wonderful collection. Apparently most of the songs are covers but the album easily showcases her many talents. Her second album "Piece by Piece" has one uniquely lyric-ed song "Nine million bicycles". Listen to it and you will know.

Awesome is the closest I can come to describe her. Oh, she is a good looker too :-).

David Gray

His debut album had been in 1993. So he is one of the grand-dads on the music scene. But I hadn't heard of him until recently. His music is simple, with the acoustic guitar bridging it across with a little help from samplers to fill the gap. The lyrics are beautifully written, an excellent
song-writer. It's the simplicity of his songs that attracted me to his music. Nowadays, Gray gets a lot of airtime on VH1 too. This I think is after his first mainstream album "Life in slow motion", which is the first of David's albums to be recorded in a 'full scale' studio environment as opposed to the 'bedroom' sized facilities favoured in the past. .

Jamie Cullum

His music is pop-jazz, a pop-ish rendition of jazz. Not always though. His songs definitely define that he is a jazz-ist first. :) He is a singer, pianist and song-writer and creates eclectic music that has caught on with a wide range of the audience. His looks are typical English shaggy teen. His music is quite refreshing and *different*.

Daniel Powter

VH1 has been playing his "Free Loop" regularly and I quite like that song. With a bit more exploring, I am sure I will come to like his music. It's catchy.

If you have an ear for good music, not technical knowledge about music mind you ;-), I'm sure you'll find these people interesting at the least.

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my beautiful princess

I have always thought that i am not good with kids. I have often watched them play waving with their pudgy little hands, smiling their toothed or toothless or half-toothed smiles. I have watched their eyes focussing in and out of every corner of their rooms. I adore kids. I do. But something always kept me away from them. I did not know how to react to kids. I often worried that I might make a really bad impression on them. The truth is kids often made me insecure. Yes, that's true. Though I wanted to cuddle them or play with them or just sit beside them and watch tv, I never did. I was afraid that the kids might not like me, that I might do something stupid. I have envied people that seemed so naturally gifted with handling kids. They never missed a beat striking up a conversation with children. They never had any difficulty amusing children with their antics. I knew I could do all that but just didn't have the courage to do it.

That's when she came into my life. This wonderful girl nearing two years. She was the daughter of a colleague. I met her when I was in the UK. I don't remember the first time I met her. I'm prone to forgetting a lot of these 'first', second and all other things :). She was an adorable angel. Her smile was so innocent and so endearing. I don't think I did anything more than shake her little hands the first time. On the first trip that we went on together (to Knebworth House), she sat with me in the cab. I pointed out things to her on the road, I kept speaking to her and trying to grasp her baby-talk. I couldn't believe that a kid was right there sitting with me and blissfully chattering like a humming bird. We became friends by the end of that day. Infact, my malayalam was so bad that when I spoke to her we seemed to be in perfect sync. That's what everyone told me :D

Later on, whenever we went on trips she would sit with me most of the time. When we visited her house, she would make me read out books to her. She would have me tell her stories of Nemo, Beauty and the Beast, Cim*b*erella. Sometimes we would read aloud nursery rhymes together. We watched Finding Nemo, BB and Cimberella endless number of times. Whenever the dance scene in BB came up, she would make me dance with her. She, the beauty gliding along the floor, swirling and twirling. I, the clumsy beast trying my best to keep my breath and follow her around the floor. She wouldn't let us stop even when I was breathless and panting. She would guide me through the dance like the princess she was. She was always at the center of my attention and I guess she loved it. When she was done dancing, she would step on my feet and I would have to "feet-carry" her around the house. When she was done with that, I would have to toss her up in the air. Ok, not actually toss but you should get the idea :) Whenever she was around, I always had something or the other to do. When we sat down for dinner, she would always want to eat from my plate. Her mother would have to threaten her to eat the food she was trying to feed her.

I have a lot of anecdotes to do with her. She was a very smart child. Very smart.

One day, a colleague and I ended up at the same restaurant that she and her parents were having dinner. After she finished her meal, she came over to our table and settled down on my lap. When her parents made to leave and asked her if she wanted to come she told them to go on without her but to leave her pram behind. The naughty one knew that her parents wouldn't leave without her so she refused to budge and even egged them on to leave, until her mom came to cajole her with sweet-talk.

Then on another trip her parents revealed to me that she had named me her *friend*. She had only one other *friend* at that time - her uncle. It made me mighty proud. When we teased her enquiring about who her new friend was, she turned away her face blushing. She was the perfectly angelic child at that moment. I wished that I have a child like her when I have to.

Another day, I met her at a restaurant. She sat down on the table facing me and started talking to me in her baby voice. We had quite an animated conversation, though each of us probably talked about an entirely different thing. Suddenly she put her tiny chubby hands on my cheeks and gave me the warmest hug you could possibly imagine with her face resting on my shoulder. She raised her head, her hands still on my cheeks, said something and then gave me another hug, her face resting on my other shoulder this time. I was so overwhelmed with joy. It's an unbelievable feeling to be loved by a child. The hug of a child must be the most beautiful thing in the world. It's a symphony of innocence and honesty which renders it pure beyond comparison.

Here was a child who could put up with me, a child who actually seemed to like me. A child that was now my friend. With her I lost all my inhibitions. With her I knew I was a lot better with kids than I gave myself credit for. With her I could forget everything and be a child. With her there was never a dull moment. Then, I learned that her parents are moving away out of India. I don't know for how long. I wonder if she'll ever remember me. I wonder if I am still her *friend*. Wherever she goes I wish my little princess the best of times and the loveliest of lives.

P.S.: She liked to be called 'princess', 'beautiful', etc. :) Ask her who beauty was she would point at herself. Innocent but smart!!

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incoherent, incomplete, in-watever

Stop reading now!!

He lay on his bed unfettered and undressed. Thirty minutes in the bath tub had a way of bringing over him a sense of serene relaxation. It must have something to do with the warmth of the hot water lapping away at the anxieties that build in over time. When he dipped his head into the water upto his ears, he could hear a wholly different world. A steady background music seemed to play, like the score for a spaceship flying across a sci fi movie. A world from another dimesion sliding past and through the realities of our world. Ofcourse that world must be camouflaged with something watery, which is why you hear the other world only when you come together with the water. The drip-drip of the water amplified into a musical arrangement worthy of a masterpiece. It was one of those things that he enjoyed. There was nothing to beat time in the bath with a book cradled in his hands.

He absolutely loved his life. Not that it was spectacular by the definitions of the everyday world. Just that he loved it, loved it for the peaks and loved it for the troughs. Not that he didn't rage and rave during the falls. Just that he was always satiated by the peaks that necessarily follow dips. He had almost everything a man could want - more than enough money, love, respect and a hold on himself. But what did he hold precious?

Sometimes when he saw the lesser endowed he felt hurt. Beggars begging for alms, children beaten up by fattened restaurant owners, the not-officially poor unfortunates who are expected to hold onto their pride despite the blatant misery, people butchered by misfortune and their mourning relatives. He wondered at the sadness flooding the world and wondered when it would come to sweep him away. He knew the floods are unavoidable. He was ready to accept that but what bothered him most was how he would react. Would he scurry like people who ran from the hurricane on the horizon? Would he scream like a drowning man? Or would he merely let go and be washed away like the stones in a brook?

Life was precious but not enough to lock himself up to live forever. Love was precious but not enough to give up his life. Money was precious but only because he needed things that earthly humans needed. The rare glimpses of the beautiful world was precious but not so much as to make him a nature lover. His freedom was precious but there was no such thing as true freedom. So what was he to hold precious?

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lost and found

He lay on his bed, the brown sheet lying around him in disdain. He lay distorted with his legs splayed and his hands bunched up under the pillow. He watched the darkness ooze out of the walls and embrace him with a stealthy grin. The silence of the night ricocheted off the walls and the ceiling, causing his ear-drums to quiver in anticipation. Time moved past in slow motion. It was so slow that he could see the turbulence the fan blades made as they revolved lazily. The air around him shimmered in the dark like a brilliantly cut diamond. His eyes closed to search for whatever his mind wished to see.

Through the pallid veil of his eyelids, he sensed a beacon light him up. Slowly he opened his eyes, ready to blink if need be, and saw the warm light streaming in through his window. The sun had risen and a new day was born.

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