Floating in the Sky

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In a parallel universedeparting

Where gravity does not exist

Nor the impenetrable boundaries created by the human race

I will meet you there

And hold your soft and delicate hand

Only to float away in the limitless blue-sky.

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The Girl at the Railway Station

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I happen to meet you at every railway station.0e6effb0919a313fbe2dac01e68fb2b4

I see you in that Hizab wearing girl/

She has been sitting next to my bench/

for so long that I have taken several dives into her black eyes.

Quiet unaware of me, she carries on with playing with the one extreme her dupatta

I find you in that girl

Who with her crooked tooth and silver nose-ring

Could have easily inspired thousands of warriors to sacrifice their lives for her.

I meet you in that girl/

Who has been talking incessantly on phone/

She has been moving her lips as if they were rose petals /

And were fluttering in the cool breeze of autumn

She too does not get transfixed by my unusual renderings.

What about that girl

Whose red-white polka dotted Salwaar appears to me as if thousands of murderous wars have been fought there

Doesn’t she look like you

Ah! You may declare that these all are just my glorified imaginations

And you don’t shadow chase me everywhere

But what about that mischievous smile of yours

which kills me thousand times

when I happen to meet you at the railway station.

Satya : a mafia story or a family melodrama

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When I was done with my work yesterday, I thought of watching a movie. I didn’t have any particular movie in mind. I had been watching world cinema for a while but this time, I wanted a change. I didn’t want to watch a movie this time which was full of discourses on life and death. Yet I was not prepared for watching a movie which would have a low content value. It was like going for a healthy soup for a change instead of having full course of Chinese herbs. I didn’t anticipate that this soup was going to be a movie called ‘Satya’ directed by Ram Gopal Varma.

As I was always a great admirer of mafia movies, I thought of just to watch two or three scenes of Satya and then see if it was anyway near to ‘The Godfather’, a greatest mafia movie ever. ImageI also wanted to accomplish an aesthetical comparison of Satya with a French mafia movie titled ‘A Prophet’. I have watched other mafia movies also, both in Indian and foreign languages, but I have never come across a mafia movie like The Godfather or A Prophet. What I really liked about The Godfather was its true representation of American way of life. Don Corleone was not just a gun-trotting, bad-mouthing gangster, but a firm believer in family values. Though he had become a billion-dollar, Rolls Royce owner don, his middle class values were intact. He was powerful enough to challenge the police system of his state, yet he preferred to play by the rules of the game. Today if we are anyway familiar to Marlon Brando, it is only because of this movie. He won Academy award for best actor for his performance in the movie.

A Prophet is definitely not best cinema from France but it is surely among one of the best movies released in 21st century. French have very classy tastes when it comes to cinema and I think France the only country in the world where movies are watched in palaces (theatres are like palaces). A Prophet is about an Algerian immigrant in France, blamed for inciting violence against the police, and hence imprisoned. He faces hatred from fellow jail-mates because he has an Arab origin. ImageMuslim jail-mates also dislike him as he doesn’t grow beard and like to be left alone than participating in religious discussions. He is an outcaste. Movie is a beautiful depiction of an inner struggle of a man, who knows that he is not a wrongdoer but society suspects him to be one. Jacques Audiard, who directed this movie, opens up layers of pseudo-religiosity, fake solidarity and pathological hatred from our daily lives. This movie too was received with critical acclaim and won many awards at Cannes Film Festival.

It was not that I was watching Satya for first time. I had watched it long ago when I had no exposure to world cinema and was not aware of cinematic senses. This time, watching Satya was like a revelation for me. I found a very realistic representation of middle class life of Mumbai, over-crowded and over-burdened yet very lively. The protagonist of this movie, Satya has no knowledge of his parents. He has nothing to lose, he considers death not more than a deep sleep. He is close observer yet he remains detached. He rarely speaks but his eyes reveals everything. Bhikhu Mhatre has sense of humor, he loves his friends like a child loves her toys. ImageFor Bhikhu Mhatre’s wife, love and hate are not dichotomous. Even her hate for her husband seems to be overflowing with love. They all laugh, cry, joke, drink and dance. There is no pretention. There may be some disagreement, but when right chords are touched, music is just amazing. There are no rules and if there is any, it is made to be violated. For me, Satya is only mafia movie, which is so emotionally loving. I find no parallel of this kind of mafia movie in Hindi cinema and in a pan-Indian scenario, only Tamil movie Nayakan has the same social values but overarching presence of Kamal Hasan makes it less interesting. Nayakan too won a national award for Kamal Hasan. 

What I find interesting is, movies like Satya has more social and cultural values than movies like Satyagraha which are labelled as a socially oriented cinema but have little social and cultural values. I just don’t agree with filmmakers who differentiate between styles of meaningful cinema and mainstream cinema. You can be a mainstream film-maker yet make socially-relevant cinema like Jean Luc Godard did in France. Now I am thinking of watching more Indian movies, just to see if I am able to create any new meanings out of it. 

Light and Tunnel

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Life is same like Konkan railway
Where tunnels keep coming in
Every now and then
Moment after moment
One after one
Even blocking the rays of mighty Sun
Their unending dark embrace
Arises in me feelings of
Disgust, suffocation and frustration
But as the famous saying goes
At the end of every tunnel
There is a light
That brings life in natural form
And this way
Journey of life goes on…

The Art of Losing

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When you make
Deliberate effort
To leave things unsaid
And questions unanswered
When your thoughts vacillate
But your soul is not bothered
When you relish
The fullness of void
With a silent nod
Believe me
These traits of your personality
Are not the indicators of
Psychological or schizophrenic disorder
Instead this non-random randomness
Simply shows that
You are perfecting
The art of losing

Sorrow and Pain

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When I came to know 
The truth behind
My recent misery
I laughed at myself
It was not a misery actually
But an illusion
Created by my own mind
My pain is gone
that I can’t explain
And you’ll only
Know of it soon
When you’ll go through
The same

Just An Hour Ago

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Animesh had never expected it. He was totally lost looking at her . His eyes could not believe what was happening before him. The day was little hazy. It was drizzling outside the Blue Wave Cafe where he was sitting with Anamika. Orchestra was playing Bob Dylon’s blowing in the wind but at that time his mind was senseless, his ears were not receptive to any sound, any music. The only sound which was occupying space in his mind were his random thoughts which he dangerously thought and un-thought an hour ago. Yes just an hour ago, he was in office. NO, not exactly in office but in a little dark space at the corner of the office where his colleagues often smoked cigarettes. Office hours were over so there was no one.

He was restless, frustrated with his body shimmering inside and out. He took out his cigarette pack but there was no cigarette left in pack that he could smoke so he just started playing with his lighter, switching it off and on, again and again. In past month, at least ten times he made his mind that he would propose Anamika, but every time he had to take back his steps because he could never gather enough strength to do it. Sometimes even he thought if he would ever be able to express his feelings to Anamika.

He had an intrinsic fear that if Anamika told him no what he would do.His life would be totally purposeless. She was the only friend of him in this unforgiving city. He met her when both were attending a conference on child rights. First they exchanged only numbers but gradually they shared every secrets, pain, happiness, laughter of each other. But he was still unsure if he ever propose her, she would not take it otherwise.

These thoughts, slightly insipid and insane,  had turned him into an insomniac. His half-lit face in dim light of lighter was expressionless and clueless. For a second he even thought what would happen with him if one day Anamika leaves the city. Then he would be same like a green tree which had been cut by its roots. Every  time he thought about it, he felt a chilling down in his spines.

Every time he imagined her face, he resolved again and again to have a discussion with her on this topic. Her innocent smile was overpowering his restraint. And suddenly, and yes just an hour ago, finally he decided to be a gambler with putting all his good time spent with her on stake to propose her. He stood up energetically and threw his empty Wills Classic pack in dustbin. He searched if his mobile was in his pocket, not at his desk, as he usually kept it there, so he could call Anamika. Yes, it was there.

He took out his mobile and dialed her number. He never used his mobile phonebook  to dial her number. He remembered it as if it was his date of birth. He was deeply scared if she didn’t take her call. But after two or three rings, he heard a relieving voice on other side. He could not be able to speak anything for sometime. In a choked voice he could only manage to say that he wanted to meet her and it was urgent. As she gave her nod to meet him at The Blue Wave Cafe near her office, he disconnected the phone and rushed to washroom. He hurriedly dressed his ruffled hair and buttoned his shirt.

Just in few minutes, he was out of office. He hired an auto rickshaw even without asking fare. He halted briefly at a jewellery shop and bought a diamond studded gold ring paying through credit card. The blue Wave Cafe was not far from his office but at that time it seemed to him as he was travelling in a desert with no clear destination in sight. It had started raining. The cold misty wind was blowing, giving comfort to his agitated mind.

It had taken twenty minutes to reach the Cafe. He paid the bill to autowallah and walked towards Cafe with long steps. Suddenly he stopped just near the main entrance and took a deep breath. He took a glance into Cafe through its transparent glasses. He watched towards the couch where he and Anamika used to sit after office hours. Yes, she was there, reading a book titled In The Valleys Of Shadows by Abhay Sapru.

She was calm and composed, wearing yellow-green Salwaar-Kurta with blue polka dots all over its border. A bunch of hairs was falling over her eyes obstructing her read. Her one hand was busy arranging those stubborn hairs to side of her ear. She had just finished a cup of green tea and murmuring some passage from the book . He opened the door and went straight to the couch. He sat before her without making any noise.

He could not remember what happened with him in past half an hour. Now his eyes were set at watching Anamika. He never imagined that Anamika’s reaction would be like this on his proposal. It was hard to believe for him that he was looking at the same face he was so used to. When he proposed her, she was in a utter shock for some time. Within moments tears started falling from her eyes like a cascade with her body intermittently sighing with relief.

It took no time when a smile christened her tear-stained face. Her eyes were red rimmed, but the dark liquid it held, still shone nonetheless. And, then she burst into round of tears, causing injustice to the pretty smile she wore a few seconds ago.

He was standing beside her, studied her, unsure of what had just happened. He watched closely, every time she haphazardly brushed away the tears that fell in abundance. When she regained her composure, she would tuck the silky ebony strands of hair that escaped her almost neat chignon behind her ear.

And then rub furiously at her nose with the handkerchief he had so graciously lent her. He had not known what to expect. Well, he did expect tears. But he was not prepared for the storm, that he received instead. Damn, women and their emotions. Animesh patted the woman’s back and tenderly brushed his lips across her forehead. But that did not help, in fact that made it worse.

She clung to him and dampened his favourite cotton shirt. He should have never came straight out and asked her. Animesh cursed himself mentally. For sometimes he thought internet would have been a more suitable mean. Sensible people relied on such technology. Yet, he had to be old-fashioned Animesh and tell it like it is. He closed his eyes and embraced her thin frame tenderly.

He wished this awkward moment would end so they could get on with their lives. He opened his eyes when he felt her small hand tap his shoulder. He gazed into the woman’s eyes feeling a sudden sadness creep up on him. Just then, a radiant smile replaced the unmistakable innocence in her eyes, as she removed the dainty ring from her left hand and placed it into the palm of his hand. And then very sweetly, she added, “Please Animesh, one more time, please ask me one more time? He glanced at the glittering piece of jewellery in his hand and boldly repeated his proposal. “Will you marry me Anamika?”