Friday, September 23, 2011

Part 5 - Contact

For the newcomers, I present to you all parts of the 'You and I' series so far. Read in sequence to understand better -
Part 1 - Distance
Part 2 - Am I stalker now?
Part 3 - Catharsis
Part 4 - Rewind

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There are people in this world, blessed with brains capable of working perfectly in difficult situations without a glitch. You know the kind, who can accomplish the impossible and even talk two people out of starting a fight with one another. Take my mom for instance. She never fails to come up with the most maddeningly reasonable thing to say when I'm opposing her in any way. And I'm left with no other option but to see sense in her statements and comply with her wishes.
Then there are people like me who manage to think of a clever counter-argument only when the debate is over.
It's like my mind has been programmed to stubbornly resist any of my attempts at making it work and obey my orders in times of acute need.
Like now.
I need to study and focus on the pages of this big, fat book full of derivations and definitions and explanations with complicated diagrams. Exams are just a couple of weeks away. But I just can't.
This is not like me. I can concentrate on lectures even when there's a constant buzz of conversations in hushed voices coming from the back benches. And I always thought my brain co-operates with me atleast when I'm trying to get some studying done. Apparently I was jumping to conclusions too soon.

With a sigh, I grab the bottle of water on my table and gulp down several ounces. It doesn't help in any way whatsoever to calm my nerves.
I go over to the window and stare outside into the face of another uneventful and unproductive day coming to an end. Sun going down along the western horizon in the all-too-familiar fashion, kids in my apartment complex screaming 'out...out' in high-pitched voices while playing cricket in the parking lot. And my hormonal, teenage sister blasting Imogen Heap tracks on the pc speakers from the other room.

From my vantage point, I can see the community park. The hint of soft green grass which I know feels like warm velvet on being touched, toddlers in colorful clothing frolicking about, full of childish restlessness...some of them clutching the hands of their grandparents.
Once upon a long time back I must have been one of them. Happy to just hold onto my mom's hand as she walked me back home from the bus-stand excitedly telling her about what happened in school that day.  Unaware of all the unpleasantness found in the world. Unaware of the fact that my parents' marriage was falling apart piece by piece. Unaware of all the hurt and bitterness that my mother was keeping carefully sealed within her heart and maintaining that facade of a smile.
I wish I could be that toddler again and stop being Avni, the girl on the verge of womanhood. I wish I could go back in time. I wish I could unlearn and undo a lot of things.

"I close the door...
Like so many times, so many times before
Felt like a scene on the cutting room floor..
When I let you walk away tonight...."

My phone's sonorous ringtone almost startles me out of my skin.
"Must be Manny..." I grumble to myself.
I have neither memorized nor managed to understand any of the important concepts of the subject I was supposed to be studying. Now how in the world am I going to explain anything to Manasvi when I virtually know nothing?
Reluctantly I reach out for my phone and then stare at the screen for a good many number of seconds. It's not my best friend who's calling.
My heart starts to hammer in my chest so loudly, I can almost hear it myself.
'No way....'
I mouth soundlessly like a goldfish for a while, still gaping at the name that flashes on my screen and then hit the accept button.
"Hello?" I manage somehow.
Silence.
"Gaurav?"
A sharp intake of breath from the other end.
"You didn't delete my number?"
I feel giddy with nervousness and some other unknown feeling. The familiar raspy voice I hadn't heard over the last 6 months is affecting my brain in more ways that I thought it could.
"Why would I?" I manage to say, without betraying any other emotion I hoped.
"Were you expecting me to call you some day?" the voice sounds firm though a bit wary.
"No." I say flatly without thinking too much and realize immediately how unconvincing that must have sounded.
"Your number being in my phone contacts or not...is not that much of a big deal. Now did you just call to check whether or not I recognize your number? 'Cause if you did you're wasting both my time and yours. " I add ruthlessly. I hope against hope that he doesn't realize how breathless I am.
"Are you studying now?" Gaurav asks unfazed and unabashed.
Suddenly I feel irritated.
"Yes. And if you'll excuse me I would like to go back to...."
"You can't concentrate can you?" he interrupts, a hint of amusement in his voice.
Now I am feeling a lot irritated. Since when did my ex-boyfriend turn into a psychic?
"If you're done with your odd inquiries which I wouldn't like to dignify with coherent responses...I'd like to.."
"Come down to your workplace right now." he says abruptly, the words coming out of his mouth like a command of some sort.
My mouth is probably hanging open now. Gaurav never talked to me like he was ordering me around.
"Where?" I blurt out before I can stop myself. Shit! I was supposed to tell him something rude and cut the call and not sound like an obedient slave asking for further instructions.
"You know...your workplace...the bigass convenience store at the mall where they sell consumer goods at exorbitant prices...where you don that stupid looking apron and cap...and wear a fake smile all the time while preparing receipts." he elucidates with vigor as if I was not getting the obvious.
"Why would I go there now? I took a few weeks off." I ask dumbly.
"I know that." he says impatiently and goes on to add "You're going there because you've nothing better to do right now. You don't seem like you're studying and neither am I...besides a mere 30 minute deduction from your daily quota of study hours doesn't seem like that much of a loss does it?"
What is wrong with this person? And more importantly, how does he know I took a break from work?

"Listen here Gaurav....We haven't spoken to each other in nearly 6 months and you're not in a position to give me a call out of the blue and start issuing orders."
"Mhmm...were you keeping track of time since we last spoke?" he asks almost teasingly.
I was about to utter something unkind in response to this but he cuts me off.
"I've something to return to you. So just get yourself down here....it won't take long. I'll be at the store by 6 o'clock. See you then!" he says authoritatively and, to my utter annoyance, disconnects the call.
I sit on my bed for a few moments, clutching the phone tightly with both my hands, still unable to believe in the phone conversation that has just concluded.
Like hell I was going down there to have an awkward meeting with the person I had unceremoniously banished from my life without a proper reason.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

The uninspired ones

Twitter has quite become the source of constant, unadulterated entertainment these days. First there was the curious case of Govind Tiwari's blog and his enviable skills in multimedia editing that rendered him the ability to blink incessantly in all his pictures. His 15+ hours of fame moment gave his blog more than a million hits and started a twitter trend. And then an open letter spewing venom against all Delhites written by a disgruntled Southern belle rekindled the ubiquitous racial debate in our country : "My people are the best, yours are the worst.".
Now a few days back this gem of a movie trailer with an equally ingenious title to boot was posted by someone on twitter. I guess it must be the account of Y_films, the section of Yash Raj films producing movies, seeking to cater to the likes of Generation Y or whatever-English-alphabet-that-is-currently-being used-to-refer-to-the-young-generation. A war of words ensued between mihirfadnavis, greatbong and Y_films possibly due to the fact that Y_films took offense at Mihir Fadnavis calling the trailer wannabe-ish. Which it is in my opinion. Heck the movie is about two wannabes in the first place!
Now I don't usually watch trailers on youtube until and unless it is something epic or highly-awaited like Harry Potter or a Christopher Nolan/David Fincher movie. But in this case, I could barely contain my curiosity. When you get to learn that the title of a movie is Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge with 3 a's in fraaandship, it rings all sorts of bells in your head (mainly alarm bells though). I thought that the Yash Raj people had already hit rock-bottom when it comes to naming films with Mere Brother ki Dulhan but apparently I was wrong.


From the looks of the trailer, it seems like a story of an ugly girl and ugly guy, trying to look hot and alluring in their respective Facebook profiles and falling in love?! Obviously enough, it is normal for women who are not Poonam Pandey to pose in bra tops for their Facebook display pictures. And wearing denim shorts and checkered full-sleeve shirts with converse shoes is nerdy or uncool .
Well in any case, the makers of the movie have probably been 'inspired' by the success of The Social Network to concoct another one of their surely cliched, overtly dramatic and nonsensical tales of love and throw in Facebook as the backdrop for the brewing romance. These days, even a blog post having "Facebook" in the title or in the labels, is entitled to get a few hundred hits. So I totally understand the sneaky tactic of trying to cash in on the buzzword of our times. But the word 'fraaandship' is still a bit too reminiscent of the stalker-like hot-blooded males who go by the name of Orkutiyas on twitter and on the internet, with their grammatically flawed English and penchant for conversation with random females in monosyllables like "hiiieeeee".
Well whatever the curious case of this movie's story(or lack thereof) maybe, I wish the producers all the success in swindling the nit-wits(with no taste) of our generation of their allowances/incomes.

On the topic of lack of inspiration, I must make you watch/listen to this :-


This is a track "Sarang haeyo" from the superhit 2005 Korean drama, Delightful Girl Choon Hyang or Sassy Girl, Choon Hyang. Sound familiar?
I came across the song quite accidentally while youtube-ing for dramas to watch next.
Now we all know that Pritam is the improvised, new-age version of Anu Malik. But this is outrageous. Especially to me who is an ardent fan of Asian culture, food, languages, music, anime, manga and fabulous Korean, Japanese and Taiwanese dramas/movies.
How can this talentless Neanderthal with lice-infested hair unabashedly steal music from such a popular Korean drama and NOT bloody give any credit?
I also discovered that the "Kya mujhe pyaar hai" track from Woh Lamhe is a virtual copy-paste job of an Indonesian band's song.
I was really in love with the whole Jab We Met OST. I still am. But now I am apprehensive of stumbling across more foreign language songs and discovering the actual source of Pritam's "creative genius".

It is appalling to see what is being marketed in the name of creativity these days. Latest being the case of Paoli Dam (a Bong actress to my utter chagrin) proudly proclaiming that she shed all inhibitions along with her clothes to do an oral sex scene in the movie Chatrak, which is being touted as the boldest movie ever made in our country.
I'm not adding a comment regarding the producer, director, script or screenplay-writer of the film. But even prior to its official release, the story of the explicit scene and a 'leaked' youtube video of it have ensured that the movie doesn't go unnoticed.
And I assure thee it hasn't. My Facebook feed was full of disgusting status updates by hitherto closet pervs in my friends' list and other pervs commenting on them specifying the url of the file-sharing site from where you can download and watch the whole sequence and jack off to.
But thankfully enough a few sensible ones also pointed out that there's a difference between pornography and creativity.
Damn straight! Since when did a film need to boast of nudity in order to be stamped as an art-house venture?
And while defending the mature content, why does the lead actress have to cite Kate Winslet's nude scenes in The Reader as examples?
Unoriginal much?
Like my good friend, Anish(@Eccentricfella) said..a certain Mr Ray never needed any nudity or graphic sex scenes to earn a cult status in the world of cinema.
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P.S: Before you accuse me of the same, I must confess this is also an uninspired post to the core.

P.P.S: Apologies to the now extinct Neanderthals, for that comparison with Pritam.


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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Songs of blood and gore

The hope of tomorrow is a dreary haze,
With darkened skies and darkening days.
The world has changed into a bloody battlefield-
Where hatred and mistrust reign supreme.
Breaths are shallow and limbs are sore-
All I hear are songs of blood and gore.

The pouring rains may wash away the grime-
Along with shards of broken glass and broken homes.
Leaving behind scars that never heal-
And a desolate look on her face.
A wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister-
She couldn't find a piece of him to mourn.
Motionless, she stood by the door,
Listening in horror to the songs of blood and gore.

Condolences are but empty words.
Which cannot bring back what's no more.
Laughter and hopes were all in the distant past.
What remains are wounds, running too deep-
And endless nights bereft of sleep.
Life is merely a shell without a core-
All we hear now are songs of blood and gore.
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P.S:  Dedicated to all victims of terror acts throughout the world. May God give their families the strength to endure!


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