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Mon, 23 Mar 2009:

I hate Slumdog Millionaire.

I don't hate it for artistic or aesthetic reasons. I hate it out of principle - because it is an act of third world emotional blackmail for anyone who's seen it for real - meant to repel and disgust. And it turns me off, pushes me into denial and just turns me into someone numb about reality. Freeze over my emotions when I saw the child being blinded with red hot irons. Maybe there are those who seek numbness over pain.

I've had one too many conversations with people from elsewhere about this movie. In response to their curiousity about whether this is how India is, I can only answer "Some parts of it, yes". It's almost like they want to believe what they see and won't settle for an India where people go to work at 8 and drive autorickshaws everyday.

To draw an analogy, when you think of Paris, the image that pops into your head immediately is the lit skyline with the Eiffel Tower. But imagine a quintessential paree movie of your preference and throw in all the moroccan ghettos which have sprung up around. That stark, depressing but real face of the city wouldn't be something I'd enjoy.

Art is about selecting what to represent and what is irrelevant. And the movie makers made a choice, that was completely theirs to make. Now that I think about it, what I'm hating is not the movie. It's the condescension that the movie invites on my bit of the world. Not because it's dishonest or that I'm patriotic, but the intentions behind it are suspect. It's pandering to the needs of someone filled with Schadenfreude.

What I'm hating is the tourist who says "I want to go see a slum".

Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.
          -- John Keats

posted at: 11:45 | path: /rants | permalink | Tags: , ,

Wed, 18 Mar 2009:

Yet again, I find myself in a strange position. I observe, I learn and I contemplate. Spend much time on those, travel by thought and arrive at conclusions. Only to find out that I'm a century too late with them; That in fact, I was a century late when I started. Like once before, I'm not ashamed to borrow the unforgettable words of a soul long passed by.

No, we never sicken with love twice. Cupid spends no second arrow on the 
same heart. Love's handmaids are our life-long friends. Respect, and 
admiration, and affection, our doors may always be left open for, but 
their great celestial master, in his royal progress, pays but one visit 
and departs. We like, we cherish, we are very, very fond of—but we never 
love again. 

Love is too pure a light to burn long among the noisome gases that we 
breathe, but before it is choked out we may use it as a torch to ignite 
the cozy fire of affection.

But of the fire we all know, but let him speak of the embers left behind - the death of love and the journey ahead.

I am afraid, dear Edwin and Angelina, you expect too much from love. You 
think there is enough of your little hearts to feed this fierce, devouring
passion for all your long lives. Ah, young folk! don't rely too much upon 
that unsteady flicker. It will dwindle and dwindle as the months roll on, 
and there is no replenishing the fuel. You will watch it die out in anger 
and disappointment. To each it will seem that it is the other who is growing

Both are astonished at the falling off in the other one, but neither sees 
their own change. If they did they would not suffer as they do. They would 
look for the cause in the right quarter—in the littleness of poor human 
nature—join hands over their common failing, and start building their 
house anew on a more earthly and enduring foundation. 

But we are so blind to our own shortcomings, so wide awake to those of 
others. Everything that happens to us is always the other person's fault.

It is a cheerless hour for you both when the lamp of love has gone out and 
the fire of affection is not yet lit, and you have to grope about in the 
cold, raw dawn of life to kindle it. God grant it catches light before the 
day is too far spent. Many sit shivering by the dead coals till night come.

And from a page penned more than a century ago, the man stabs at the heart of our modern lives - only to go unheard again & again. But reader, to you I repeat, words that will make sense of this world - the creed of its people, of self and nothing more.

Ah, those foolish days, those foolish days when we were unselfish and 
pure-minded; those foolish days when our simple hearts were full of 
truth, and faith, and reverence! Ah, those foolish days of noble longings 
and of noble strivings! 

And oh, these wise, clever days when we know that money is the only prize 
worth striving for, when we believe in nothing else but meanness and lies, 
when we care for no living creature but ourselves!

If you enjoyed reading the paragraphs above, this is all quoted verbatim from Jerome K Jerome's "Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow". And at least in my ears, it rings absolutely true - scarily so, for something written in 1886 - a different era altogether. In some strange sense, for all the progress we've made, we haven't changed at all. And if you think so, read the whole thing.

Men love in haste, but they detest at leisure.
                -- George Gordon, Lord Byron, "Don Juan"

posted at: 01:12 | path: /philosophy | permalink | Tags: , ,

Sat, 14 Mar 2009:

She's perhaps the most important person in your life - and you'll never acknowledge it.

Perhaps the only constant relationship you maintain over the years, without realizing it. It won't be hard - You'll do nothing more for each other than just listen - hear each other out. And it'll be enough, in fact it'll be more than enough.

She's a friend - a friend you never reached out to. A friendship born out of coincidence and chance. Not someone you want or desire, but someone who's always seemed to be just background to your life. All that makes her special is that your soul is naked to her - she's the one with whom you have never put up on your pretensions. She's the one who's never judged you for it. She's just this girl in your life, never platonic with a hint of impossibility to it. She's just there, somewhere.

But, when shit happens; She's the first one you go to.

All my friends and I are crazy. That's the only thing that keeps us sane.

posted at: 01:46 | path: /observations | permalink | Tags: , ,

Fri, 06 Mar 2009:

Spend every day watching your life pass you by. The days, they go on interminably without any identity of their own. Your thoughts become memories, turn into dreams and fade away like breath on a window pane.

Freeze a moment in time, store them away and chase them back down memory lane. Lay down the breadcrumbs marking your way, mementos held close to your heart, of a day that you'll never forget.

Click, *click* ... and that's all it took.

The moving finger writes; And having writ, moves on.
The writing, it stays written.

posted at: 17:20 | path: /fun | permalink | Tags: , ,

Tue, 03 Mar 2009:

One Monday morning morning four years ago, I walked into an office.

In retrospect, it was a very important moment in my life. But all I did that day was to dump my bags and go to the cafeteria.

But it was going to be my home for years to come. Lived in that little sheltered world for four years. Made friends, made enemies, got a life, then gave it up, discovered myself, travelled the world, grew my hair & shaved it, found love, even lost it, lost a father and nearly killed myself too - picked my life up out of a rut, ran alongside my career and didn't have to give up either.

Ah, good times ...

We are so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take the time to enjoy where we are.
                  -- Calvin

posted at: 17:03 | path: /yblr | permalink | Tags: , ,