Saturday, May 26, 2007

Painted Pinecones

I am painting pine cones silver and gold and playing out a few imaginary phone conversations in my head. You know the kind where you can say all you want to and not look stupid or needy? Like i said, imaginary.
There must be something about life on a higher altitude. I wish i was born on the hills. In some tea garden or some such. Picking tea leaves with that huge basket thing on my head. Physical, utterly fulfilling labour. Where I wouldn't have to pretend to think. I would be so much fitter, for one and not puff and pant after climbing a few stairs. Besides there would be long hill road walks, and early sunsets, and goats cheese (atleast I hope there would be goat cheese). I love it how perfectly people outside the city learn to adapt. I wonder where we lost ours.
Travelling always gives me a high, but there is just something special about hills. I think its the green. I could never get tired of it. And the roads. As much as i support 6-lane expressways, there is something so uber-exciting about those windy sharp bends, especially if you are driving at night, with pale headlights on. And the rains. There is nothing more to add in that.

I am a very bad storyteller of things that really happened. I can't tell you how my trip went, not even on this blog, because the moment factual details start coming in, its not me writing anymore. I haven't talked about it with my friends or the folks at home, whenever anybody asks, i have evaded it with my trademark i'm-busy-dont-bother-me look. Maybe a part of me is worried that you, being not there, will not understand it, and i will have to work hard at convincing you how beautiful it all really was. But maybe you will still not be convinced, maybe you will nod your head lamely and say something entirely inappropriate, maybe you will not break into the raptures i shall expect you to break into. And then i shall be in danger for hating you the rest of my life (or atleast the rest of the day).
I don't blame you. I know you try your best, I'm even willing to believe that you are genuinely interested and not just making conversation. But i still cannot tell you. It is the reason why I do not take photographs either. Because they never match up to the moment. (I am also not a very good photographer) Its me. I don't want you or anyone, animate or inaimate to take away from me what i cherish in my head. The feeling and all that. Which is why I can never tell you what exactly happened. And that does not mean I'm a snob or a recluse or anything of that sort. Alright, so maybe I am. But not for those reasons. Okay? Okay.
I do not think life in the city is for me. I have always been the slow sort. I prefer Cal over Bombay. I am not even remotely fascinated by New York or London (except for the architecture) and I will live there only if you make me an offer I cannot refuse. I will also run away as often as i can. I do love Paris, but the reasons are different. And because it has more character to it, besides its city life. I need a room with a view, one that is not of other rooms with views. I prefer small houses over apartments. I need green paths and fresh air, maybe a kind of place where everyone either walks or cycles to work. I need silence at night so that I can sleep. I do not need to be in touch with everyone all the time. You dont need it either, believe me.
Maybe I'll make enough money to buy a tea plantation and live there by myself, a modern Miss Havisham or some such sort. Do not get scared will you? I bake the most perfect pumpkin-and-hazelnut pies and sell them anonymously ofcourse, so that it may not tarnish my eh-keep-off-my-estate-you-bugger image. And yes, i brew the most perfect tea too. Come see me sometimes, when i'm not too lost in the greens. I'll make you some and we'll talk about far away worlds that do not have anything to do with reality.

Why is it so hard to tell people how much you're going to miss them? Its mammoth, and I wish i had a script. Which is ironic considering it would be one of those truly genuine things i want to say. Its so much easier to pretend to be busy. Unfortunately however, i haven't much time (oooh, doesnt that sound melodramatic?) And like a lot of things, like most things in fact, i am afraid that this too shall remain unsaid. I only hope you will understand and not think i am an insensitive ungrateful prick.
Instead I'll give you pine cones painted silver and gold. They looked much better in the original, but i cannot give you that, for they look too raw and you might wonder. And i will not have answers to that.

Monday, May 21, 2007

City Lights

I'm in love with the City. With its dust and traffic and pollution and aimlessness. With its 3-minute long signals and overstuffed buses bursting at the seams. I'm in love with B.B.D Bag and the Grand Eastern renovations. And Bowbazar and Bidhan Sarani and weird bus numbers from far north and the GPO and the grandfatherly tram conductors.
This has been the most glorious me-day ever. I did everything on my own, inspite of the day being unimaginably hot (this is all before the heavenly thunderstorm) Walked till the ends of College Street till bookstalls had been replaced by sari stalls. Looked through a few incredibly good art books. (Note to self: Go back.) Took a tram ride through the north, all randomly ofcourse, I had no clue what I was getting on and where it was going. North Cal is so picturesque, you can almost lean out and touch it. So anyway, I got off suddenly at a place where the tram stopped, walked around for a bit, looked at old baris, shops and people. Was actually looking for some food, but it was past 12 and they weren't frying kochuris anymore, and thats what I had to have. I did have sugarcane juice though, with lime and everything in a bhar.
Then I walked on some more, I really do not know in which direction, but bus names still seemed familiar, and that gave me confidence I suppose. Intentionally, I walked off the metro route, metros are too easy. I wanted to feel lost, if you know what I mean. Never mind if I had to ask for directions, or call up my dad, it was just the sense of, I don't know...oneness? And I realized that I could not get lost here, it was all too familiar, even though I have never been into these streets before.
How do I put it? It was a connection, one that I had been looking for since a long time with people, places anything. In spite of all irritants, I was really enjoying myself. Its like re-exploring a place you already know about, but its all in your memory, and you have to know it again. It was completing. All the way through unfamiliar to familiar landmarks, Park Street, Maidan, AJC et al, as I returned to my side of the town. Only there weren’t any sides anymore. The entire place was mine.
The City is hypnotic. Just fall in with its beats. Tram beats, dust footstep beats, Conductor chant beats, people, cycles, street food. This is my place. My own.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Aye aye!

I am not always very nice to be around. I am forever impatient and always losing my temper. I went to Peter Cat for dinner yesterday (had grilled chicken sizzler, because I don't like rice). I saw a weirdly disturbing movie called Under Trial today during the interval of the ManU Chelsea match. I also saw Spidey. Total Hindi flick, with thunder, lightning, memory flashbacks, amnesia et al.
There are a lot of things I want to write about the City, before I leave. Some people are too nice to me. I dont deserve such niceness. Some people aren't. They can go lose themselves. I am a little apprehensive about what lies ahead. I hate doing things I'm not already good at. And most especially I hate doing things for a purpose. In this case, a livelihood.
I'm tired of worrying about money. I wish we could go back to the barter system instead. We dont need money. We need things. People kill for money, not for things. Why complicate lives unnecessarily?
The ISC results came out today. Mine came out on 18th May. I was supposed to go see Main Hoo Na that day but had to cancel it. I also ordered pizza after my parents left teary eyed. And then felt like a complete loser. But you don't need to know this. It really has not much to do with you.
I want a long over coat like MJ. But it must be bloody expensive, no?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

So i gather we are not getting a farewell. Okay so, I haven't had much of a college life, like a lot of people. And maybe I don't yet know the names of everyone in class. But in my defence, i know almost all the faces. And i'm bad with names anyway, I can't quote a single critic to save my life. Besides my mom seems to have done enough networking for both of us during the exams, and now she knows not only names, and faces, but also permanent addresses, family backgrounds, future crises and the name of the vet. And maybe we are a rather disjunctive, seperated batch where each corner either relentlessly bitches about the other, or does not know of its existence. I have got laughed at without knowing what i did, and wild rumours have flown about my friend holding a dual citizenship and what not. Ah, so we are not the most social people. But there have been some fun times. Like collectively facing the dean's sarcasm, Eton's nastiness and CM's everyday classes. Ane everything. I remember CB went on one of her crazy fits and held a quiz in class, and PM did an end of the term psycho-analysis thing. Oh, and the first class, when we were all new and fresh and innocent (smirk!) and Bertie pricking the bubble right then with his "Why are you all here, anyway? You won't gain anything in these three years."
So anyway, I think we need a farewell. Legally, we are entitled to one, since we gave a jolly good one ourselves. Oh nothing too hi-fi, maybe just another day to see all the old, familiar faces , maybe bitch a little more about who is wearing what, maybe some good music, some badly prepared perfomances, some cheesy games. I know no one would really cry or anything, but maybe there would be the lump, maybe some half-sincere promises to stay in touch, some general best wishes, some smiles, some more memories. Maybe a last walk down those sunless corridors as a student, maybe a sneak peek into the office, maybe a smoke near the backgate, maybe a look back to the building once the sun has set and the neon lights are on.
As someone has so very wisely said, "We need closure." But then, it seems like we are not going to get any.
This is my own goodbye to the last three years. I havent missed a single oppurtunity to bitch, criticize and look down upon you. But now when I shall be out in the big-bad-world, I wont waste a single moment in telling every new soul I meet, what a wonderful place you have been. Goodbye Room 10, 11 and 19 and all the little rooms in between. Thank you, because I know now what I had and how I will never get anything like it again.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Today was Soo-Doo Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


There is a strange parallel between my day tomorrow and the next two years of my life. It is sad indeed when you do out of pity, the things you did out of love. Or compromise that which was your pride.
I'm not trying to be cryptic. Sometimes you are manipulated into some things. But even after you realize the manipulation, you allow yourself to be led in further. Becasue you must. For someone or the other's sake. For an image of yourself that some people have. That you would rather not break. Would that make me a hypocrite? Perhaps, yes.

I have had a fairly uneventful and happy life. No abuse or trauma or abject poverty or messy divorces. Which is why I realize how shallow it sounds when I say, that all my life seems lived for other people. Not in a self-sacrificing way. Just in an accidental, non-interfering kind of way. I suppose I was gullible, or just plain uninterested. As long as things are going more or less the way they were supposed to, as long as I didn't feel cheated to the face, it was easy to go along.
But when you're young, specifics do not matter. As long as you are into something. Anything.
You know what I blame it on? Books. And films, and music and words that mean so much but amount to nothing. That can change your perspective on life and people for ever. And yet remain innocently guiltless. It is you who change. And you who have to live with that change.
I feel all words and quotes and characters sometimes. And I realize that I expect my life to work out like my favourite book. Or atleast be as dramatic. Everything that I have thought or wanted, can be credited to some perceptive writer or poet or artist. Literature has, in a way, taught me to think for myself. And as I find out, the hard way, it's not always a good thing.
My life isnt a movie. And there is no guarantee of a happy ending or a prince charming or a sweepstake win. And there are certain things that must be done, be it against my will, for others who expect it to be done. For the sake of...I don't know, sanity? Not disturbing the universe?
The world has its share of rebels and mad scientists, who did not have to pretend to make choices.
The worst is when you're told, that the choice is yours to make. That it is, after all, your life.
Don't kid yourself, or allow others to kid you. That, it never is. And there wasn't even a choice to begin it.
Just go with the tide, and try not to rock the boat too much. There are agents who wouldn't bat an eyelid while pushing you off it. And all for your own good, ofcourse.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted"

I was told that I would get over her. That i would ahem...grow up. I cannot help it, the more I read her, its like a spell. I agree, perhaps there isn't much profundity to look for here. But can you deny the magic of her words? Try reading them out aloud. See what it does to your tongue. Close your eyes and try to imagine what you just read. See what it does to your brain. Puro mindfuck. If for nothing else, then just her messed up head. Because we are all like that sometimes. And because not all of us can do that with our thoughts and our words. I know I cant.
A lot of people know her as Ted Hughes' wife. Their turbulent relationship has always intrigued me. Plath is no shadow, she couldn't be if she wanted to--but a lot of her poetry is a direct influence of the influence her talented, agressive and over-sexed husband had on her.
Take a look at their first meeting and marriage--
One night, early 1956 Plath attended a party held to celebrate the launch of a new Cambridge literary magazine. Among the poetry she most admired in it was that of a poet named Ted Hughes. After arriving at the party quite drunk she gazed across the room at a "big, dark hunky boy, the only one... huge enough for me," and wanted to know who he was immediately.
After meeting Hughes in person, she proceeded to quote one of his poems to him. In a side room into which he had guided her, he ripped her hairband and earrings off when she pulled away as he tried to kiss her. Soon after, she bit his cheek. Each of them, it seemed, had met their match. Walking back to her college later, a friend warned her that Ted Hughes was "the biggest seducer in Cambridge."
Ted Hughes had earlier published a poem about a "Jaguar"--so over the next few days, Plath composed the poem "
Pursuit" in which a woman is stalked by a panther. On her way to a spring vacation in Europe, she spent a night with Hughes and his friend in a London flat--she found Hughes' power and strength irresistible. By the time a couple of months had passed, the two were discussing marriage.
They decided to marry secretly in London. Sylvia wore a pink suit and held a pink rose which Ted had given her. The newlyweds spent time that summer in Paris, Madrid and Benindorm, Spain on the coast, where "every evening at dusk the lights of the sardine boats dip and shine out at sea like floating stars." Some of the poems Sylvia wrote during this newlywed summer of writing include "Fiesta Melons", "Alicante Lullaby", "The Goring", "The Beggars", "Spider", "Rhyme", "Dream With Clam Diggers", and "Epitaph For Fire And Flower".
There was one alleged episode which darkened the otherwise idyllic days of their summer. Years later Sylvia told a friend that one afternoon as they sat on a hill Ted was overcome by such rage that he started choking her, and she resigned herself to die.
In August, Sylvia met her in-laws for the first time. The Hughes family, like Ted himself, was interested in horoscopes, hypnosis and the occult. Plath's "November Graveyard" was a direct influence of her days with them.
She was to be equally fascinated and repulsed by her husband in consequent years, as she saw their marriage through abortions, personal failures, jealousy and infidelity. Hughes himself received extraordinary success post-marriage, and his stature grew in equal measure with his arrogance, and a distance from his bond with his wife, while Plath grew steadily into further depression, self-infliction and tortured verses.

We all know how she died. In the early morning of February 11, 1963, Plath set some bread and milk in the children's room then cracked their window and sealed their door off with tape. She went downstairs and, after sealing herself in the kitchen, knelt in front of the open oven, turned the gas on and stuffed her head inside.
Plath's world had become too much for her to take. The depression had won. Just six months before her death she wrote of feeling
"outcast on a cold star, unable to feel anything but an awful helpless numbness. I look down into the warm, earthy world. Into a nest of lovers' beds, baby cribs, meal tables, all the solid commerce of life in this earth, and feel apart, enclosed in a wall of glass."
Her gravestone bears the inscription "Even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted."
Unsettlingly enough, in March 1969, realizing that she would never escape from living in Plath's shadow, Assia Wevill (the woman Hughes left her for) killed herself and their daughter in the same way Sylvia had committed her suicide.

People remember her for her crazy, unreal metaphors, her controversial allusions the The Holocaust and an extremely irreconcilable train of thought also associated with Confessional Poetry.
To me, her poems are a world of fairytales gone terribly wrong. Just like her fairytale marriage. And what could have been a fairytale life. Her poems are unforgettable because they are, like her, at once violent and vulnerable. They speak, at once, to both the child and the beast within us.
This is one of my old favourites:
Mad Girl's Love Song

"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)"

These are some others I wish you would read.
The Bee series, Edge, Electra on Azalea Path (written in memory of her father), Letter in November, Ariel.
Oh shucks, I cant choose. Go read them all. And do tell me your favourites.

Monday, May 07, 2007


All i remember is that the sky was purple and the roads were slippery. Nothingmuchelse. Most of the time i kept looking at the sky to see if it would rain. Somebody had taught me that. Something about the shape of a cloud or something. The other times i look down at my feet, especially my toe nails, which i'm rather proud of. So i'm very adept at noticing car track patterns on the road. Anything in between these two escapes my notice almost always. Which probably explains why i bumped into you in the first place. Crashed, is more like it. There never was anything subtle about me. Its never a knock, but a bang; never a smile but a guffaw, a loud, embarassing one at that, never a bump, but a crash! Which knocked off your glasses, books and my singular train of thought.

You called it a cliche while i called it chance. And we laughed over how both words began with C. "Carma", was your explanation, while i settled for Coincidence. I dont remember most of it. Its just one of those things that happen sometimes. Like i barely remember the way u looked. Except that your glasses kept falling off your nose everytime u tried to make a point, and for some odd reason u reminded me of someone i used to know long ago.

After you moved away, I wondered what your name could have been. Maybe I'd met you online, maybe I read your blog. Or not. Chai and coffee. Cult and corruption. Its all good, you said. But mostly chai. And chocolate creams.
Goodbye, little Snoopy. Hope you find your bliss.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Note to Self

Things to be happy and/or excited and/or thankful about:

  • Dinner tonight and loads of pampering.
  • Wearing new black top.
  • And old denim skirt.
  • Deforested Arden (finally).
  • Probability (not possibilty) of book shopping tomorrow.
  • A.C.
  • Aamer chatni.
  • Shillong.
  • Neil Young (thankful, thankful, thankful)
  • 3 new books to read- Snow, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Daisy Miller.
  • Sudden storms.
  • Doing up new rooms.
  • Sorting through old books and clothes, marking boxes (yes, i find that fun)
  • Shoe-shopping and kulfi treat.
  • Ice.
  • Trips around the City.
  • Promised I.S.D phone calls (possibilities)
  • Train journeys.
  • Spiderman, Pirates and Metro.
  • Pizza.
  • And beer.
  • New people in old city and vice versa.
  • Grandparents and doting aunts.
  • Farewell dinners, lunches, breakfasts, dinner, lunches, breakfasts, dinner...
  • Rainforests. Any forests. Forests.
  • Other things.
  • Soft fluffy croissants. With butter and preserves. And good black coffee.
  • Old friends.

Whenever I intend a post to be small, they never are. Its weird. There are more things. But I have to go for dinner! :-)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The easiest things are so darn difficult sometimes. I don't want to sound like I'm quoting other people. But it is so hard to say your own thing. Like when someone is away on a flight of fancy, why the urgent desire to de-fancy him, to bring him down or to simply ignore? Is it because we know what hurts the most?
What is it with young people and loneliness? I thought that happened only when you stopped asking 'why'. Why have we stopped asking 'why'? What's there not to reach out if we are all feeling the same? If we all want different versions of the same thing?
And who am I to speak really? I'm definitely not distributing warm blankets. I don't have too many to give away, and even if i did, I would be shallow enough to ask you why you think you need one in the first place. A little selfishness is good, apparently. Rules, are always changing.
If i told you I'm okay with my books and films and music and paints, I wouldnt be too far from the truth. But just sometimes, when I'm really happy, its sad if there's no one to share it with. Anyone at all. I suppose one of our favourite things to say is that no one understands. Logically then, we don't either.
Well then, who does? And what then, is the purpose of this entire medium of language, and unspoken words, and books and films and music? If we are meant to be understood only by inanimate objects, that are incidentally written by real people, well, what is the point?
Or is there not supposed to be one? Pardon me. I don't quite understand.

Friday, May 04, 2007


I cant believe i'm saying this, I'm like the biggest advocator of public transport--but its so bloody difficult to get around the city if you don't have a car of your own! Its true.
I made my grandparents get out of the house today for dinner at Flury's. Nobody remembers the last time my grandmother stepped out of the house. We practically had to drag her out kickin and screamin! Dadun is 86 going on 20. His face lights up at any prospect of food, and travel (its all in the genes, see?) So anyway, we had a merry dinner, and loads of good nostalgic conversation and everything was great.
Now, my gran doesnt walk too well, its something in her leg, mostly psychological I think. So naturally crossing roads, or even walking fast was out of question. And here we were stranded in the middle of Park Street, all brightly lit up like a Christmas tree, for more than half-and-hour waiting for a willing cab. And it was only 9 p.m. With the road full of empty cabs, yet no one ready to go. They see we have two old people with us, they know bloody well we cant walk or take a metro, and yet they would not go. One rather original dude even reasoned that he couldnt, because his home wasnt that way. So go home, why dont you. Why stop? I kept getting madder by the minute, and guiltier too, expecially coz this whole dinner thing had been my brainkid, and now it seemed that there was no way but to painfully walk it up to the main road with didun, a bloody impossible feat, when you think of that entire Russell Street crossing.
And amidst all this, there is a cop standing smug on Middleton Row, listening to every word we said, with such an apathetic distance, that he could have fooled us into believing he was a statue or something. All those cabs, and he doesnt do a thing.
I don't know if that rule is still valid, but i remember as a kid, there used to be these TV ads which announced that legally a taxi had to take you if it was free, and if it didnt, you could seek police assistance. So in all innocence, i approached him after an unsuccessful 15 minutes. Number one, he pretended as if I had just appeared out of the woodwork, even though, he had been looking on most interestedly inspite of a traffic hitch in Middleton needing immediate attention. Two, I only enquired, if it was always so difficult to get a cab at this time of the err..night. He deliberated a long while, and said that he was after all only a harmless traffic police, and he did not do cabs. Right, so cabs, are not traffic folks. Next time you get stuck at Landsdowne crossing, just you remember that! Third, I ventured a little more directly, if he would help us, given our circumstances, to hail down one. He asked me where I stayed, ran an eye over the group, and coolly suggested we wait some more, or take a metro. "Ei ektu hatlei metro peye jabe" he added meaninglessly and sauntered off. And that was that. Our honourable men in uniform.
And as I was standing there, i remembered all the times I'd been out late in The City (after haggling for permission), they had only been possible coz I had a friend to drop me home. Not a cab ride, but a friend with a car. These are all beyond 10-o clock times, when the metro's shut as well. Even when I do come back on my own, I always have to say that I'm being dropped. Otherwise I can't go. So then what happens to those people who don't have their own transport, and cant bank on metros like others? What happens in places like Park St or Camac St, where buses dont run, where there aren't autos and other convenient things, areas that are too posh to allow such travesty? You might as well put up a sign-"Not allowed if you don't have your own friggin set of wheels." You dont have a car, then why are you out anyway? At 8 in the evening, too! The nerve. Go home now, I say. (Errr, how though?)
What we finally had to do was stand before Music World, while I ran upto Chowringhee to convince a cabbie (godblesshissoul) to turn into blessed Park Street. He was the 12th or 13th one I had hailed down, who finally agreed. There is nothing more infuriating than an empty cab, believe you me. We're all home now, no harm done. Just a bit of a dampener on what was otherwise a wonderful evening, with the old folks understandably a little tired.
Seriously, transport. Something needs to be done. I can imagine Didun not wanting to do this again anytime soon. And can you blame her?
And we wonder why people preach that its not safe to be out late. Safe, schmafe! Unless you got strong walking legs, dont go anywhere, I say. Stay at home and watch Travel and Living. And order take-out.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I've figured out finally, what it is that really really gets on my nerves. In a word, its called unprofessionalism. And it can have several manifestations. Like lack of vital information, unpunctuality, being ill-informed, not doing enough research, not caring enough to bother. It makes me beetroot mad...the kind of mad you never ever want to catch me at.
At this recent interview this guy tried to be a smart aleck, and asked me "How do I know you've done all this yourself, and not hired someone to do it?" Apart from the very audacity of such a suggestion, the only other thing to say was, the truth. That I can never trust anyone, not even an expert, to do my work better than me. The main idea is to not give myself a chance to whine later, because I will be dissatisfied, no matter what. Only thing is, there wouldn't be anyone to blame but me, and you have to agree thats a whole deal better than having to blame other people.
So, i was at this programme today that was supposed to be honouring a man, the ground beneath whose feet I am willing to kiss. And while I sat through two hours of pure unadulterated torture, I wondered how those people's minds worked, how they could manage to do such shoddy work? Where does all that complacency come from? Here you are, with so much potential, and funds, and resources. You must be genuinely stupid or genuinely indifferent to screw it up this bad. If its the first, I'm just sorry for you. And if its the second, well I wish people would throw rotten tomatoes at you. Bloody losers.
It was supposed to be a tribute to Ray on his 86th birth anniversary. Organized by Doordarshan. The set was beautiful, but the lights wouldnt work, and they had to keep it switched off. Check. It started 1/2 hour late. Check. Mikes never never functioned at the first try. Check. To make things even more hilarious, there were streaming it on national television, live. In the midst of a Pather Panchali sequence, there was an infuriating Metro Dairy commercial, jarringly loud. In the middle, mind you, rudely interrupting Apu and Durga running towards the train. While catching Adoor Gopalakrishnan live from Trivandrum, the connection breaks. Not only that, not a single simulcast is done without hitches. Its like, its a new device they have discovered for the first time, and testing it, much to the credit of mankind. All this on national TV, mind you. In an auditorium full of people. Then again, nobody knows what to do onstage. The governor comes, with other people like Sandip ray, Dulal Dutta, Soumendu Roy, Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi, Sharmila Tagore and all of them are standing inspite of there being chairs on the stage, because no one's told them to sit. People are unceremoniously told to go offstage. Called on for only 2 minutes. The whole thing, that would have been so perfect as an intimate talk show, is royally screwed up because of the full length nonsense they went for. People kept coming and rudely interrupting the speaker to pass on surreptitious messages, about more things gone wrong, no doubt. Like they were requesting songs or something. Besides, what horrible camera angles! How viewers at home, understood anyone or anything is beyond me.
What infuriates me is the fact that they had everything at their disposal. All the guests spoke wonderfully. I especially liked Sharmila and Suhasini Mulay who spoke through a simulcast in Bombay. There are things I found out, that i never knew. Lots of memories, some incredible behind-the-scenes stuff (which kept getting interrupted by a commercial for Arambagh books?!)
All i could think was how much better some more interested people could have used what these idiots had. Even folks from my college. Heck, even me. It really doesnt take an Einstein to get a few technical things right. To keep the flow smooth, to make sure most of the running time isnt spent in people staring around vacantly or running for cover. What gross mismanagement. Why, i wonder. Just because its DD? Just because they know that people know that their work shall always be on the flipside of mediocre? If that isn't the height of complacency, i dont know what is. I hate mediocrity, detest it, despise it. Especially when you can rise above it, but you wont. Because you are an obstinate, stubborn mule, that is why.

The problem is a lack of genuine people. Who are genuinely bothered. You dont have to go an extra mile, just go that whole damn mile without taking a short cut and falling flat on your face thats all. And making it up by saying "Boss, this is India/Calcutta/whatevurrrr" Its everywhere. If you have such a problem coming on time, reschedule it 10 mins later, why dont you? The other person has a life, if you please. And how about knowing what you're talking about, the next time? Instead of hamming and using a lot of big words to make it up. People can see through it. And how about not taking things for granted? Especially things that suck and must be changed? If we are looking at progress and being first world and everything.
The difference, my idiots, is not in the resources. From what I see, there's plenty of that, most of it staring straight at our faces. There isnt lack of talent either. Oh we're full of ideas, we're swimming in them. How about putting them to practise? So this is the part where we look for the other people, to blame, to point fingers at, blah-blah. How about getting your own hands a little dirty? And doing your share of the work? Even if its just the sound check and mike testing. Do it properly, for heavens sake without dreaming of overtime and item numbers. Just do your own damn work, and save yourself the trouble of overseeing what everyone else is doing.
And while you're at it, do it well. But you wont. You're too much of a conformist to do the unexpected. Even if it is to do the expected.
Bloody idiot.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bring it all back to me, why don't you? The colours, the excitement, the bee-wing bits of joy. Even if you cannot. Try a little, why don't you? Where have all the people gone, the little mad men and women I knew? Who turned them sane? What made them stop thinking? Forget dreaming? Why is it all slipping away? How did it get so hard to imagine?

Why are their air bubbles in my pink and blue liquid timer?