Friday, September 30, 2005

Call of the wild

To the jungle, to the jungle
wailed the soul within;
where ducks and giraffes
exchanged stories
and crows sang louder than koels.

To the jungle, to the jungle
cried the tired body;
where the dew bathed grass
was inviting and comforting
than any soft mattress.

To the jungle, to the jungle
whispered the lost life;
where soft breezes
and rough pebbles
lighted dying embers.

To the jungle, to the jungle
begged the longing heart;
where wild streams
and unforgotten dodos
filled the heart with songs.

Dancing to an unheard tune

It's not often that one comes across such poetry in visual medium, let alone in Bollywood.
Naach, like Kopos says, is indeed mind blowing.

I browsed a few reviews of the movie and man, do we have some hopeless gits or what?
One dude felt Antara Mali's 'body show' was good. Body show? Did anybody look beyond the cleavage? The dances were sensuous and NOT sensual and dammit there is a difference between the two! Another felt all the monkey dances were useless and that it was a stupid love story with 'no story'.

Why are we such a bad audience?

Here is this director who decides to break away from the "good & normal" that is rubbish and makes something different...a wonderful movie in appreciation of the Ayn Rand school of thought and we cry FOUL coz we don't see enough pelvic gyrations and a woman is not supposed to be so strong and stubborn. Bah!

For anyone who felt Reva's dances made no sense, please, please for dance's sake look beyond Antara's wasn't so much as a dance as much as it was love making. It wasn't meant to titillate but rather to pull you deep into her soul, talk of strength and freedom.
And Abhishek? Sigh! He lived as Abhinav. His eyes - My Gosh! Especially in the scene where he first watches Reva dance his eyes spoke volumes. In the 'Ishk ka Tadka' song, both of them seem to speak to each other just through their eyes.

Yes, the movie is slow but this ain't a thriller so what's your hurry? 'Bandhne Lagi' is an awesome number...a lilting song caressing your senses. When Antara Mali dances she is the rain, the wind, the pain a broken heart feels, the raw passion in Abhi's eyes, the madness and the freedom you want to breathe...she is all this and more and that is why Naach is poetry.

P.S: If you want a decent review, check this out.

Koottanchorum, kuzhi paniyaramum **

** This post won't make much sense if you can't read Thamizh written using English letters :)
Ferrariyum, Rengavum, naan rombha Petera Talkerannuttanga.

Avargalukkaga (KB pada title maathiri illai? :p)

Aanalum ipdi solliyirukka koodathu. Adhuvum enna parthu...oru sutha Tirunelveli Thamizh ponna parthu :)

Enna thaan Tamirabarani karaiyoram piRanthalum, vaLarnthathu ellam Cooum vasanaioda. Padichathu "Enai aaLum Mary Maatha" types English school. Thamizh class thavira vera engayavadhu Thamizh pesina "Stand up on the bench" dhaan. Indha 'Dum Dum Dum' padathula Jyothika vaathu nadai pottite Madhavantta solluvaLe, "Ivanga Thamizha kolai pannittu, ennai vaiyuraga" nu, andha ragam naan.

Enakku therinju Nellai mavattathula keezha kedakkura edhayavudhu edutha "porukkradhu"nu solvanga. Rendu vayasu varaikkum naan irundhadhu Tirunelveli. Madras vandha pudhusu appo. Purasawalkam Muthial Chetty streetla avlo vandi kidayathu. Naanga ellorum therula viLayadi thaan pazhakkam. Ethayo yaaro keezha kuninju edukka, naan en thiruvai thoranthu sonna muthal varthai "Porukki". Theruve sthambichu ennai oru look vituchu.

Appuram andha ponnu odi poi avanga amma kitta azha, avanga amma enga amma kitta sandaikku vara, enga amma Tirunelveli Thamizhoda saramsam padikka...

Kaaka kaaka Kanahavel kaaka.

Noaka noaka nodiyil noaka

nu Mannan Style-la mudinjidhu. Adhukappuram naan veLila Thamizh pesarathukku munnadi 765 thadavai yosichen. Idhaiellam thaandi ezhuthina ore Thamizh kavidhai :

IthazhgaLil muthamidu endRen
avLathu lipstick ottiyadhu
en kayil irundha rojavil
Appuram college, ketkave venam. Hostel nanbargaL Thamizh theriyadha vada nattavargaL. 4 varusham urupadiya Thamizh pesinadhu "Pilani Thamizh Mandram perumayudan vazhangum..." kural kettadhukku appuram dhaan. (Epdi, cycle gap-la ennoda drama pugazh paaditten :D)
'Naraga Sparisam' naadagathukaga vasanam ezhuthikittu irundhom (naan ezhudhalai. Chumma moral support). Appo, Kumaran kottinadhula ennaku pudichathu - "VarthaigaLum VarambugaLe". Adhisayama en mooLai Thamizh-la yosichadhan viLaivu indha kavidhai.
vandha vazhi gnyabagam illai;
Pogum idamo theriyavillai.
kaikorthu nadantha padhai
thadam illamal
Pookalodu paadiya kavidhaigal
kalanthu Ponadhu.
maRakka maRantha ninaivugaLudan
nee vidaipeRum
varthaigaLum varambugaLe!
Idhayum thaandi "punithamana" ennoda Thamizh payanatha thodangi vachathum College thaan. Naan "Podang.." nu arambichu mudikrathukula, en aaruyir nanban Sundar en vaiya pothi, "thaaye, thayavu seidhu Thamizhla thittathenu" solra aLavukku improve aayitten :D
Ah la irundhu Aiyutha Ezhuthu varaikkum ulla ella "nalla" varthayum theriyum adiyenukku :) Ennudaya matra 'ThiruviLaiyadalGal' adutha pathivil.
Indha pathivula edhavadhu pizhai irundha poruthaRuLumaru kettu koLgiren.
Once i learn how to type Thamizh fonts in my blog, i shall do the needful. Till then eshus the Peterings of India :)

Monday, September 19, 2005

The view from Roseman Bridge

Then they held each other for a long time. And he whispered to her,

“I have one thing to say, one thing only, I’ll never say it another time, to anyone and I ask you to remember it. In a universe of ambiguity, this kind of certainty comes only once, and never again, no matter how many lifetimes you live.”

I never believed that I would say this but yes Robert James Waller’s 'The Bridges of Madison County' is generations apart from Erich Segal’s “Love Story’ and that’s what makes it so endearing. It’s not romance in an
I-just-turned-seventeen-and-my-hormones-are-raging way…it travels deeper than that and touches your mind as much as it caresses your heart.

It has been a marathon of sorts. After coming across the first draft of the screenplay for the movie by the same name, I went to the library and brought home the movie and the book. I can’t recollect an evening better spent.

It wasn’t about it being a best seller or the fact that handsome Clint Eastwood had done an amazing job in the movie as actor/director rather it had lots to do with the simple manner in which the author made those characters come alive before your eyes. This story was all about relationships; the simple want in a woman to be loved and the various needs tied to a person that makes love so complicated...that makes one realise why it ain't easy walking away. Somehow deep inside every woman lies a Francesca wanting to be discovered and talked with and listened to and loved like never before in an all consuming and powerful way.

And I couldn't stay away from Iowa for too long...walking with Francesca as she shows the pasture to Robert; following Robert’s thoughts before he dances with Francesca in her kitchen; falling in love with them as they stick by their decisions and wishing with all my heart for Francesca to get out of the car and go away with Robert but loving her just the same when she doesn’t do it…like the cliché goes “the sweetest songs are those that telleth the saddest tales”.

Of course Richard LaGravenese's first draft shifted from the book in many ways but the final product, the movie, did justice to the book. It hadn’t wavered much except at some points to inject some humor and more class to an already beautiful poetry. Meryl Streep lived as Francesca and Clint Eastwood…well I am yet to come across an old handsome man who would make me fall in love with even his wrinkles every time he smiles. No one captures the subtleties of emotion as well as Clint does.

The initial draft talked of Dinah Washington but I didn’t hear much of her blues in the movie
or maybe I wasn’t really tuned for it. Anyways, here are 2 numbers from her collection which I feel would go with the story. (Or maybe it did considering i ain't musically tuned)


Unforgettable, that's what you are
Unforgettable though near or far
Like a song of love that clings to me
How the thought of you does things to me
Never before has someone been more

Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that's how you'll stay
That's why, darling, it's incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too

Unforgettable in every way
And forever more, that's how you'll stay
That's why, darling, it's incredible
That someone so unforgettable
Thinks that I am unforgettable too


Love Walked In

Love walked right in and drove the shadows away
Love walked right in and brought my sunniest day
One magic moment and my heart seemed to know
That love said "Hello" though not a word was spoken

One look and I forgot the gloom of the past
One look and I had found my future at last
One look and I had found a world completely new
When love walked in with you

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Bridges of Madison County

The Beginning
On a beautiful summer day, a deep voice asked if she had ever heard of such a book. She replied “No” and listened enamored. The voice was all she cared for. Now in a world devoid of that voice, she searched for the book but found this instead. She lost her voice since then.

The End

Since Sagnik tagged me one more time i thought i'll try but after i published i browsed and i found something simple and much more powerful in what i wanted to convey.

To quote Ammani:
"She married one, loved another. He became her husband, the other her password."
And to imagine Clint Eastwood as Robert Kincaid...sigh :)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Curtain Call

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,

And just when you think you have perfected a role, strings are pulled, scene changes and you're left stranded with new characters and newer masks. When do we stop wearing these masks?
Of a loving daughter? An obedient student? A friend in need? A bitchy teen in the second row? A ruthless competitor in hop-scotch?

Face paints and fancy dresses rule our lives. We walk in and out of stages; varying performances to kinder reviews and scathy critiques and show business makes us forget ourselves. Or maybe we never were meant to remember much.

And at some point as we shuffle between roles, the mask falls and in the new light creeping in through a crack in the curtain someone notices you…the plain face devoid of all paint…the little girl behind the daughter, student and friend.

But you can’t stop to relish that moment.

You bend and pick up your mask and with one last look at those eyes you disappear into the darkness. The little girl will soon be wife, mother and daughter. And the meeting - nothing but an unseen dream. There is no longer any 'Me' left...just the 'You' already defined. I am the 'You', you want to see.

I'm your dream, make you real
I'm your eyes when you must steal
I'm your pain when you can't feel
Sad but true

I'm your truth, telling lies
I'm your reasoned alibis
I'm inside open your eyes
I'm you
Sad but true

(Metallica, Sad but True)

Pride cometh before Fall(ing in love)

For ages I believed that the only reputable actor from Her Majesty’s Empire is Sir Anthony Hopkins; that was until I saw the BBC production of “Pride and Prejudice”.
Ever since I first laid my eyes on the abridged version of the book as an 11 year old I have been wistfully in love with Mr. Darcy – the quintessential man. Contrary to popular belief that women tend to like humble men I always fell for conceited wise ones. Who am I to argue with the sound logic of Howard Roark – “To say I love you, one must first know how to say ‘I’”?

I was completely elated when I found the Pride & Prejudice movie in our local public library and spent the better part of the past few days staring longingly at Colin Firth. I can’t think of a better man suited to play Darcy. He emoted more with his eyes than with his face and that made all the difference.

The way he looks across the room at Lizzy during the Netherfield Ball; the manner in which he professes his love and his reaction to her rejection; his polite conversation to Lizzy at Pemberly grounds and that one scene at Pemberly where he looks at Lizzy playing the piano with just a slight hint of a smile on his lips but a truckload of happiness in his eyes…sigh it’s hard to NOT fall in love with Darcy or Colin Firth for that matter.

However, Jennifer Ehle who played the role of Elizabeth Bennett left me wanting for more. She does have ‘fine eyes’ as Mr. Darcy says but somehow hers was not the face I had in mind when I read the book. (It’s a different matter altogether that most times it was mine!). There was something about her mouth; it was as if she would break into a fit of giggles anytime and she was trying her best to stop it. She was great in parts and sadly the sum of the parts did not add up to much.

I’ve spent much of my teen years trying to figure out the enigma that is Mr. Darcy but naught came of such a research. How could one explain such blind devotion to a man who just does not exist on earth? A man very proud yet endowed with all the traits befitting a gentleman? A lover keen to change his ways for the woman of his life? A friend willing to accept his mistakes and apologize? Damn Jane Austen! My life was much easier to handle when I knew there is no Darcy but it is tough to accept the fact that there can never be a Darcy.

Sigh…let me drown myself in another wistful viewing of P&P and whilst I do so, you can find pleasure in the following poem.

Once A Great Love
- Yehuda Amichai

Once a great love cut my life in two.
The first part goes on twisting
at some other place like a snake cut in two.

The passing years have calmed me
and brought healing to my heart and rest to my eyes.

And I'm like someone standing in the Judean desert, looking at a sign:
"Sea Level"
He cannot see the sea, but he knows.

Thus I remember your face everywhere
at your "face Level."

Update: Thanks to Balaji, i did some googling and the new P&P is far from enriching. Firstly Matthew Whatsisname accepted the role of Darcy without having read the book earlier(Blasphemous act) and secondly Keira is anything but Lizzy and thirdly click here if you want to see "An opinionated young woman and an arrogant, aristocrat overcome their initial antipathy and various other social obstacles to fall in love".

Friday, September 09, 2005

Highlights in a day

  • Waking to the aroma of Amma's steaming coffee
  • Getting to read the paper before Appa
  • Making it on time to the bus stop
  • Your bus reaching on time and finding a seat
  • Giving your seat to the old lady at the next stop and watching her eyes smile thankfully
  • Taking time to wear matching ear-rings and necklace before a big test
  • Your best friend actually noticing the match and complimenting you
  • Lying on the dew bathed concrete with your friends on a cold wintry night and admiring meteor showers
  • Whispering 'Miss You's over long distance calls
  • Finding a simple "I am alive" mail from a long lost friend after years
  • Getting appreciation for a post well written or a job well done
  • Coming home from office and NOT finding an empty house
  • Dressing up and finding approval in his eyes
  • Snuggling on the living room couch to watch 'Roman Holiday' for a millionth time
  • Receiving a huge bouquet when you least expect it
  • Pressing flowers from the bouquet in your favorite book to save a part of that moment
  • Cleaning your room and finding a faded photo of your childhood
  • Receiving a phone call early morning to wish you on your 26th wedding anniversary

The Little things in life are important Appa. The most important :)

Happy 26th Wedding Anniversary to both of you!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Umbido anyone?

You know you have arrived on the Global Gourmet scene if you can conjure up a typical African dish for an unsuspecting husband and make him go "Yummm". Now you lads can take your time to bring down those raised eyebrows coz i bet they'll stay so when you meet the secret ingredient of the dish - Beet Root Leaves :D

The last time i ever saw such lovely green & red leaves on a beetroot was in my niece's 1st grade science book. So you can imagine my childish glee in wanting to buy those 3 bunched beetroots, leaves et al to experiment with. The Mr, the jolly good sport that he is, reluctantly agreed provided i never forced him to eat it.

The next morning saw an eager beaver Mrs staring at her foolishness in all its vibrant colours. But staring hasn't cooked anything in the past so i went running to my saviour - Google :)
After browsing through million recipe sites asking me to cut the leaves and keep them aside for a rainy day with no inkling as to how to "keep" them, i finally stumbled here.

Now i had no idea if all those leaves weighed 500gm but then the route to great cooking (and greater goof ups) is your intuition and not measurement. Plus i had just two big onions and i had no clue how many of my recipes would need those big guys. So finally decided to just go with my own scales.

Half an onion, 2 tomatoes, the green leaves and red stalks,lotsa pepper and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, salt and 2 hard boiled eggs later, Umbido was ready for its maiden appearance!
It looked good and it tasted really wonderful and its extremely simple to cook. The Mr had to eat not just his words but the dish and his only response was "Is there some more?" :)
So what are you waiting for?

Background score: "umbak umbak umbak umbak umbak ummm" (The African Tribal beat)

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Can I have that box of 55s?

It took me all day to get back to earth. I mean, it's not everyday that a pro tags you on a 'Story Telling Game'. Much flattered Rajesh :)
I am blessed with many strengths but brevity is not one of them. So kindly eshus this humble offering.

The Hickie Story
It was steamy from the word GO.
Her sensuous moves, his rugged looks, those long legs…it was the hottest moment of Reality TV. The rising crescendo of their passion left the world breathless and then…she bit him.
As the camera gaped speechless, the female Praying Mantis strode proudly over her partner’s head.
The End
And I tag

Spin me a yarn amigos :D

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Good reads

Been bloghopping to quite a few places on blogosphere and found many that i like.
Here are 2 of my faves for the time being:

  • Balaji - Has a wonderful writing style. Staple diet of my fave items - Music & Movies.
  • Ferrari - Insights, short stories, creativity and tons of nakkal.

As a sample, check this wonderful story by Ferrari.