Thursday, December 31, 2009

Morning Phone Call/HNY2010

I was blissfully sleeping in the morning, at around 9 or 10 when a phone call decided to wake me up. 31st December, 2009 this conversation took place.

Me: Hello?
The Caller: Happy New Year

Me: Is it 1st January already?
The Caller: No. It's the 31st. Were you sleeping?

Me: Yeah I was. So, why Happy New Year? It's still the 31st. Happy old year.

Wishing all of you readers a happy old year, hoping all went fine.
And, as soon as it is the 1st January, 2010, a very happy new year.

However, things won't change much. On the whole, life will be the same as it were this year.

Unless we learn to fly. Or you get married.

(ps. to those who believe in the 2012 theory, now you've got only two more years to live!)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

AyrScope

Will discuss things I see on screen in my new blog, AyrScope.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Twist (Love Aaj Kal) - Recut

Disclaimer: This is for educational purposes - personal editing practice and no profit is being made on the same. Any objections by the copyright holders, video will be removed as soon as you contact me.



Do comment.

Could only do the first part as there was a shortage of footage which couldn't be helped. I wouldn't say it's great, it's just for practice. The job Aarti Bajaj did in the movie - I only hope to touch it some day.

The original song video can be found here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Vroom!

Biker

 

“How is it possible to feel nostalgia for a world I never knew?”

~ Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevera, The Motorcycle Diaries

 

 

result of a longing for photoshop
stocks from sxc.hu

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blah.

“When I was younger so much younger than today,

I never needed anybody’s help in any way.

But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,

Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.”


Sometime’s I need to talk.

Sometime’s I just need someone to talk to.


“Help me if you can, I'm feeling down

And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,

Won't you please, please help me?”

Friday, November 20, 2009

Excerpts.

These are things that crossed my mind today. Just giving you a peek into the thoughts of the Lunatic, on 20th November 2009, randomly throughout the day.

 

As far as my knowledge of Indian mythology goes, I cannot remember any significant acts of Lord Shiva apart from the creation of Devi Durga. Sorry if I am ignorant – but I seriously don’t remember anything.

 

Why can’t the Sainiks do something similar?

 

***

I take back my words. I do know how to edit. It’s just the speed and efficiency and the workplace of FCP which took me off guard.

 

Still, FCP kicks ass. Better than Premiere any day.

 

But, editing, in essence remains the same, irrespective of what tools you use to edit. And we, edit like fools, even on Premiere.

 

***

What’s wrong with a Bengali commercial films? If we can watch the song-dance-fight-melodrama in Hindi films, why do we avoid Bengali commercial films? I will watch them. Why not?

 

***

The fact that Gulaal is playing on Zee Cinema. Coincidence? Orchestrated spontaneity? I refer to the Sainik attack, obviously.

 

***

Things have changed. We have grown up. We don’t think the same these days. Or react in the same way to things.

 

***

The air conditioner is a menace. If you use one which makes things too cold. Having a small room and a big A/C is a foolish thing to do. I don’t care how costly equipment you have that you want to keep cool. The air conditioner is a menace.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

November Rain

It rained last evening

And the weather turned hotter,

more humid.

 

I want the winter chill!

 

(And no. It’s not meant to rhyme. Or be a poem.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kolkata Kolkatatei

So I returned here last morning. Very early morning. It wasn’t cold at all, and I was feeling pretty warm in the SIMC sweatshirt, of which the print will peel off soon.

 

The train was a little late. Around an hour. Well, that is nothing, compared to the ten hour torture I had to bear last time around from Kolkata to Mumbai.

 

Actually, the train being late gave me some sights that I had never witnessed before in this city. Travelling next to the Maidan, on the way back to home, it was foggy, very. And the sky was turning redder by the minute. The Maidan looked amazing and the Victoria Memorial against the backdrop of the red sky, more so.

 

Hopelessly, my camera was in the suitcase so taking a photo was out of question. But, someday, I will go back to the Maidan on a November morning just to capture the sight I saw. Till then, I have my memories to make me content, and all of you can just try to imagine, though, it won’t really help. Some things are meant to be seen, to be witnessed, and even if I were a Nobel Prize winning author, I couldn’t have really penned down the vision. (On the Nobel. I think I might just win it soon. Some guy in America did. Apparently without doing anything. Erm, apparently by just making a few promises. So, why not me? Or you, for that matter?)

 

Oh well, I spent very little time at home in the morning. I had to go enquire a few stuff, which I did and then headed to the 15th Kolkata International Film Festival.

 

It shouldn’t be called a Film Festival, you know. It could be, or should be called a carnival. Or a mela. It was films going on, with lights all around, with foodstalls all around the place – a magical event. Now, this, is a media event. SIMC, take a look. Footprints, what Footprints? Even DAM and FOC for that matter. This is how an event should be.

 

I saw only two films yesterday. Will see more today.

 

Calcutta, in spirit hasn’t changed. Kudos to the City of Joy! Even with individual hopelessness's and sorrows, the spirit of the city continues and fuels on the dreams and imaginations of everyone.

 

One round of drinks on me. At Oly. Cheers to Calcutta.

Friday, November 6, 2009

…and that little boy smile

DSC_0093 

Date: 5th November 2009

Venue: Amphitheatre, SIU Campus, Vimannagar

 

And Layla got me to my feet.

 

Swam performed. First show ever. With Kamala, Shyam and Ship on vocals. Keegan on bass. Anand James and Akshay on keyboards. Aniket and me on guitars. And Harsh on percussions.

 

Everyone was great. Sang really well, all of them. Played really well, all of us.

 

And yes, that little boy smile.

 

The show was pretty good. Not completely happy with the sound system though; but, for a first show of a band, yes, it went pretty well. The audience seemed to enjoy it.

 

It's been the ruin of many a poor boy.

But no, not this time I suppose. My first gig in a long long time. The debut of my Ibanez also, on stage. It’s strange, but I’ve never played live with this guitar before, even though it’s almost two years old now.

 

Hopefully, not my or our last show. Let’s see what the future brings. But enjoyed, very much, playing live again.

 

Always wanting more, he'd leave you longing for.

Only one thing, but. I guess this is the first good show I did where she wasn’t there.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

31st October

I went to a friends blog, and then was clicking the next blog button on top. Half the blogs I went to were of a different language – but one thing was common in all of them.


All of them had a post on the 31st October.


And I mean all of them.


So, now, is it like that 31st October is a day when everyone blogs? Or is it like the people actually blog everyday, unlike me?


I guess this mystery will remain unsolved. And those who are wondering, yes, I am pretty jobless. What can you expect when college is over (for the sem) and I don’t have exams to attend to study for (TNG. Dang!).


So I guess I’ll observe more things like this and blog about them.


Oh. Yesterday was Halloween. And I was randomly in Koregaon Park and I saw people dressed up for the occasion. With red horns (some which were glowing), weird face paints, crooked hats, and what not. Well, I guess these people should have just stayed home and blogged. They looked strange. And out of place.


(understatement?)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dreams, the trilogy?

Images. Sounds. Reflections. They all come and go while the human mind is the most vulnerable. While the person is sleeping. Most people don’t remember what they dreamt last night. Some retain flashes of it. Some dreams make people happy, others give people a scare.

 

But the bottomline is, the person has to wake up – and the moment he does, the dream ends. An alternate universe, images sounds and reflections, they go, bringing you back to reality, or what we perceive as reality.

 

Isn’t cinema the same?

 

What you see on the screen for an hour or two, or maybe even for a few minutes, take you away to a different world. An alternate universe where the real is unreal, the unreal is real. Where people are portraying other people.

 

Doesn’t that happen in your dreams also? People you know, act differently?

 

And in the end, both get over. Some dreams you remember, some you forget. Same as some cinema you remember, some you do forget. Yet when you’re in a dream, or watching a movie, you are in it, in that alternate world.

 

Some people might have seen my last film Death of a Dream. Others might have read a recent blog post titled A School Boy's Dream. I was shooting A School Boy’s Dream today (and on that regard, it should be ready in 3-4 days). It is going to be a one-minute film.

 

However, two films, back to back, Death of a Dream and A School Boy’s Dream. Is there a third film coming up in the horizon? The Dreams Trilogy?

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Lunatic Speaks about Windows 7

I would say that Windows 7 is my new found love. I was pretty apprehensive before installing it – remembering my experience of my upgrade from Windows XP to Windows Vista. However, now, after using it for about a week, Windows 7 is like a Windows experience like never before!

 

First of all, it is faster than Vista. Well, I am not one of those technical magazines who clock the times of the boot ups and shutdowns and other processes. But, from the general experience, it is a lot faster and very much noticeably so as otherwise I wouldn’t have notices. Boot up is faster. Premiere and Photoshop work like a dream. Video rendering which used to take ages now gets done in a jiffy. And, Photoshop, complex filters and effects used to take time, but now they get done in a blink of an eye.

 

On the softwares front, all my favourite softwares are working. CorelDRAW, Adobe, torrents, everything. No issues anywhere. Apart from a small niggling issue – DVD drive emulation is not happening from any software. Daemon Tools, Alcohol 120% – none of them are even getting installed. However, hopefully, the software makers should soon resolve this issue, and thus I am not really worried.

 

I read in some online post that Windows 7 experience for them has been nothing great and that it looks exactly like Vista. I would like to counter that. I would say it, till now, has the reliability that Windows XP had and has the visual attractions of Windows Vista. I specially love the new taskbar. A mixture of the original Windows taskbar and the Mac dock. It works like a charm and makes computing a lot faster and easier.

 

I would suggest upgrading to Windows 7 if you are not happy with Vista. But, don’t upgrade, install a fresh copy. I heard that upgrade only changes the looks and keeps the system still slow.

 

And the shake! I love the shaking aspect of the Windows to minimize the other background windows. It might sound corny or even feel stupid, but it’s fun. And it gives you a way to pass the time while you’re waiting for a download to finish or maybe some process to end!

 

Not the usual bit of post one expects from  this blog I guess. But, Windows 7 deserves to be hailed!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

So now I am using Windows Live Writer

Windows 7 got installed. And it kicks ass, contrary to popular and ignorant belief. It’s faster, better and looks good, too!

 

And then I found this thing called Windows Live Writer. So, whenever I feel like writing blogs, I can write and the blog posts get automatically uploaded to this!

 

Yo!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A School Boy's Dream




They met in the secluded spot. For the first time, he had a rose in his hand. She took it and smiled. They didn't talk, much. Butterflies in their stomach.

They kept meeting.

They got to talking. A lot.

They got closer.

They held hands.

He was happy. Very. A mintue he couldn't bear without her.

It was not a normal day. She was crying. He put his hands around her, and tried to comfort her. She stopped sobbing, and looked at him. For the first time in his life, he got a kiss, albeit one on the cheeks.

The next day, he was there, where they met, always. She wasn't there.

He waited and waited. But she didn't come.

It was hard enough to approach her for the first time, but it was harder to lose her after getting close.

"A school boy's dream, you act so shy
Your very first kiss was your first kiss goodbye."

Thanks to tearssweatsaliva for the illustration.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Conversations with the Fortune Teller Genius

Me, the always jobless one, spied upon a post in the newsreel in my Facebook account. It was of one Shahana Yasmin who asked the Fortune Teller Genius (that's the name of an application) if she'll ever get to watch a certain movie.

So, me, the utter jobless one, clicked on that application. Well, I don't really believe in Fortune Tellers. Nonetheless the ones that are on Facebook, but it seemed a nice way to pass the time.

And here's how it goes. You are supposed to type in a question and that Fortune Teller Genius will give me an answer. I had a pretty long conversation with that application, and it reads thus.

Me: Should I sell my Ibanez and buy a Fender?
He (It?): It depends... but I don't think so.

Me: Ok, a Les Paul then?
It: It's difficult. The answer is no.

Me: So I'll stick to my Ibanez?
It: Yes, no doubts.

Me: What about the amp? Should I get mine back from Kolkata or buy a bigger one here?
It: No, first you must study.

Me: Are you for, like, real?
It: No! Are you crazzy?

Me: So, should I trust your judgement?
It: Yes, but only on day 13th of each month.

Yeah. That's how far the joblessness has reached. Talking to computer generated programs. I guess I'll come back on a 13th and talk to it (him?) again.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dare to Dream

This post is to celebrate the fact that this blog, The Lunatic Speaks got featured in Paulo Coelho's blog. You can visit the page here. A rather old post, though one of my favourites, the blog entry, for those who missed it because it's a rather old entry can be found here, and this article is a follow up of the previous article found here.

Though over the years, my thoughts about god and my beliefs about life has changed, Paulo Coelho's works continue to inspire me and make me introspect. Thank you, Mr. Coelho, for this honour.

I'll end with one of his quotes, the last line of By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, which continue to fuel my dreams.

"Dreams mean work."

Of Shah Rukh and Shahid

Samarsata Express, Howrah to Kalyan departing on 2nd October 2009 was the train I was on. I will have a longer post about the journey later, but something which caught my attention while on the train is the subject matter of this post.

On my opposite berth, there were two students of IIHM, Mumbai. Names I don't know, nor do I know anything else about them. One was a guy and one was a girl. They were talking about films, and me, being a Media Student got interested in their discussion and wanted to join in. However, before that glorious moment, this girl made a comment which made me stay out of the conversation. She said, "শাহ রুখ এর হলে দেখি না, শাহিদ এর হলে দেখি" (I don't watch films if they are by Shah Rukh, but I watch them if they are by Shahid.)

Wow! What a comment! What a pat on the back for the Ram Gopal Verma's, the Anurag Kashyap's and the thousand others who have either made a movie or are on the process of making a movie! What a tremendous amount of incentive they would have got listening to a normal everyday movie goer (or non goer, if its "by" Shah Rukh) talking about films.

What does this represent, about the Indian audience? Hanging around with my Media Trainee friends and other people, discussing Wong Kar Wai and Kurosawa to no end, I board a train and am hit by such a remark. The star system in India, according to me, was on a decline, thanks to smaller budget, independent, couragious films being made in the past few years. Thanks to production houses like UTV Spotboy, these films were getting the commercial outlook that they required, and Indian cinema, according to me, was slowly merging the commercial and the art aspects of cinema.

However, this comment made me come back to ground. In India, most of the population still go to watch films because it has either a Shahid or a Shahrukh. Maybe a Salman or a Akshay.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oh, girl.

Her eyes are dreamy with a glint of affection, yet without commitment. Passionately she feels but hides so well. She'll glance yet won't look, speak too much yet say so little. Surrounded by people yet very alone, open up she cannot. A different person to different people, she'll have your attention and not just little. She'll say and she'll run, she'll hide but she'll peek. Aloof and vague she will be, what she'll not disclose would mean more to thee. Won't fight yet won't back out, but in the end manage her way out. Peace bringer and sociable, in the heart hides some trouble. Loves the presence of both the silence and in the comfort of others around.

image created with photoshop. Brush and texture from deviantART.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Welcome To The Machine





"Welcome my son,
Welcome to the machine.

Where have you been?
It's alright we know,
Where you've been."
- Pink Floyd



Welcome to the new look Lunatic Speaks. Though some minor changes will still be taking place over the next couple of days, this will, remain the main layout.

This is to celebrate the fact that this blog now has had over 1000 viewers (see the visitor count at the bottom of the page). Again, I'll ask, how does it feel?

ps. I love the Shoutbox. Feel free to shout there!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Because it wasn't supposed to be like this


First of all, this picture is from last year. Last year, when I wasn't in Kolkata, when I missed all the festivities and had to worry about attendance issues stuck in Vimannagar. Then, we got this project, some of us, to go to a Durga Puja in Koregaon Park, attend all the days and I had to photograph the whole event. Finally, I ended up with close to 500 pictures from one pandal, another 3 from another one, a few Faasos rolls, some freely acquired Bengali sweets and one Dimer Devil (it's a traditional Bengali snack, where a boiled egg is fried with maida coating over it.). At the end of it, I wasn't satisifed. I missed Kolkata and its Durga Puja. I missed Durgabari, Maddox Square, Deshapriya Park, Ekdalia and a whole lot of other places. I missed a lot of people, my school friends mostly with whom I used to roam around the whole city during the time of the Durga Puja.

This year, again, I was supposed to miss the Puja's. And worry about attendance issues again. Then, the swines came to the rescue - closing down the college for a week, and the week when the Puja's was on.

However, this time, I didn't feel like coming back to Kolkata.

Coming back to the city where I have loved and lost. Where each road, each streetlamp brings back some memory. And with my last trip to the city, and my worst ever, had my feelings and ideals shattered.

But then, still I came back. Had no other option, when all decisions I can't still take on my own.

So. This is Saptami late afternoon. What have I done here, in the 4-5 days I've been here? I still haven't seen a single Durga Puja. Lost my closest friend till date, for maybe forever. And, mostly, felt down in the dumps.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Death of a Dream, the Movie



Introducing Malvika Machado and Naman Saraiya. Direction, editing, sound mixing and cinematography by me, Sourya Sen. Assistant direction and choreography by Suhani Arora. Original music composed by Rabindranath Tagore, recreated by Guitar Pro. Shot in DV.

Use of headphones advised.

ps. Watch in youtube if possible. Video getting a little cropped here.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Distant Memory (1)

It was raining that day. Drizzling rather. It was a late monsoon rain - the kind that mildly reminds you about the coming winter.

He wasn't shaking with cold, however. It was a big day for him. Last night, and only last night, he had confessed his feelings - which he believed was love - to the person he was smitten with. And this person wanted to meet him after his school got over.

Could he expect a reply that day? Would he have to wait?

Will it be a 'yes' or would it be a 'no'?

He was scared. Apprehensive, rather.

And then he saw her. She was with her classmates, obviously. Looking cuter than ever. How could someone look cute in a school dress? Or after a day of long classes? If anyone asked him, he would have been able to answer that, then and there.

He was hesitating. Should he or should he not approach her? Should he just wait at the gate for her to come?

And suddenly they were walking together. Away from the prying eyes of their schoolmates, they went into the oli-golis they had never ventured into. At least, he had never ventured into. He wanted a smoke. Or was it her? Never mind. Always chivalrous, he had to go buy. And, today, he won't deny it. That was the first time he was buying a smoke wearing his school dress. And that too so near his school. Was his heart skipping a beat when he bought it? Yes. It was.

They wasted a lot of matchsticks trying to light that one cigarette, novices that they were at that time. And today, he can't remember whether they managed to light that one smoke.

They talked a lot. About her. A lot about her. Not much about him. He was content to listen. Wondering whether the conversation was heading. Towards a possible 'yes'? Or not? Was he even listening to what she was saying, or was he lost in his own world? He was listening, yes. But he wasn't comprehending. The talk wasn't going anywhere.

And suddenly it was time for her to go. Her mother would worry, she said.

They left those oli-golis near their school. Where he doesn't have the courage to go these days. They came out near the auto stand, and the footbridge and the place where the jhaal phuchka is sold.

There was no conclusive answer. Was the topic even raised? In a way, yes.

Just before she wass going to get up on her auto towards Ruby and just before he was about to leave towards golpark, he went and whispered in her year, "I love you. Just think about it."

I wasn't one of those romantic moments from any hindi movies. It wasn't that smoothly done either. It was just the spur of the moment, something he felt he had to say.

And as he walked away, he didn't even look back once.

A phone call, he knew, would come.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Birth of a Dream

I touched a camera after a long, long time, yesterday when I started to shoot for Death of a Dream yesterday. And I rediscovered my love for films, all over again.

I would have finished shooting yesterday if not for the rain playing a deathly game to the weather conditions. In the process of protecting the camera from the rain, I caught a cold myself. Ah, well. Nothing to be done about that.

Hopefully, I finish shooting today. And if everything goes according to plan, the short film should be ready by sunday afternoon.

Through the process of shooting, and me going through the shots over and over again this morning, and using some symbology in the film which only one person will understand - and to whom the film will be dedicated to, I realized what I've been trying to realize over the past two-three weeks.

Maybe love is what all you need, but, it's not all what you have to live for. Love finds its way, through ways more than one. And from today onwards, with the death of a dream, there is also the birth of a dream.

Now, does this make any sense?

Oh, and, be sure to watch the film!

"When you've seen beyond yourself - then you may find, peace of mind,
Is waiting there.
And the time will come when you see
We're all one, and life flows on within you and without you."

- Within You, Without You (The Beatles)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How does it Feel?

The Lunatic Speaks its fiftieth mumble.

This blog has seen a lot, from love to loss, from friendship to enmity, from adoration to disgust.

And will keep doing so.

So, how does it feel?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

An open letter.



"If you didn't care what happened to me,
and I didn't care for you,
we would zig zag our way through the boredom and pain,
occasionally glancing up through the rain
wondering which of the buggers to blame
and watching for pigs on the wing."
-Pink Floyd


So. Who doesn't care anymore? Me? Or you? I don't know about you, but I, at least am zigzaging my way through the boredom and pain. And, there is always the glance. Swine Flu in the air.

So. What changed? What happened? Me? Or you? Or us?

No. I just guess its time. Or the distance.

2020 kms. Pune. And Kolkata. Give or take a few kms, Vimannagar and South Kolkata. I left. Yes, I agree. I went off. And, had to keep coming back.

But now, after over a year, things have definately changed. I'm no more of this city anymore. An outsider who doesn't fit in anymore, am no longer welcome.

You all have your routines. Your work. Who am I but a slight disturbance and distraction to you? So. For the first couple of days, even I am fine. But, now, I give up.

Stay happy. I won't disturb.

Love,
S.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

As you like it (or not)

So, there was this young man. Well, he's been dead for quite some time, but once upon a time, he was young. And he was in University of California, Los Angeles. Well, there exists a misconception that the young man quit UCLA, one of the best film schools in the world after his graduation film was criticized. Well, he didn't quit. But, apart from a short film and a documentary, he did not make any films in the future.

Why?

Well, he was too busy getting famous.

He sang. He wrote. All the world was a stage to him.

And he sang,

"We filed slowly, languidly into the hall
The auditorium was vast and silent
As we seated and were darkened, the voice continued.
The program for this evening is not new
You've seen this entertainment through and through
You've seen your birth your life and death
you might recall all of the rest
Did you have a good world when you died?
Enough to base a movie on?"

Well, you must know who I am talking about. James Douglas Morrison. The great American poet. The poet of the land of freedom of speech and expression.

But wait! The Indian constituition also has the words which are similar, don't they? Ah well. They never paid attention. And, the stage, the screen and the paper, they are supposed to aren't they? They are supposed to portray the society, aren't they? But, ah well! We the mad people living in Nagar do not have access to the outside world, do we? How do we know that this Waghmare crack is based on certain living creatures of the society? Well, we aren't supposed to know!

And, this entertainment. Yes, we have been seeing it through and through. Enough to make a movie on, to write about and learn from. All the world's a stage and we have exits and entrances.

Well, that's my cue to leave one stage and move to the other.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mass Media Communication

Mass Communication? No. Media and Communication.


Well, whatever. Actually, no. You want to know the difference?


Mass Communication is the term used to describe the academic study of the various means by which individuals and entities relay information through mass media to large segments of the population at the same time. It is usually understood to relate to newspaper and magazine publishing, radio, television and film, as these are used both for disseminating news and for advertising. (From the experts of your friendly neibourhood Wikipedia).

Media and Communication, well, I'll just copy the mission statement from the college website. Yeah, plagiarise.
  • To receive information related to media and communication, assimilate it and then disseminate the same in an effective manner.

  • To inform, educate, entertain and empower the participants to meet the challenges of a competitive and evolving globalised media environment.

  • To educate and inspire media aspirants in social communication within a world class ambience.
    To develop a unique Institute where the programmes provide training in new global media technology.

  • To connect, communicate and converge in building symbiotic links with the academia, industry, and community, in the context of media & communication.

Well, basically, the evolution of Mass Communication may be called Media and Communication.

But, you are still confused about the differences, aren't you? Well, let's cut out the technical jargons. Let's just say, earlier, the mass was faceless, and now each customer is the king. The new marketing mantra, this. Niche channels, thus. Even section 377, maybe.

For those still confused.

1. Of warning letters, treated as a cog in the wheel, and being expected to go through worthless exercises. Mass Communication.

2. Of being given the respect you expect as an individual, less warning letters and more freedom. Media and Communication.

That makes me wonder. Can we change the name back again, maybe?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Of Farmers and Landowners.

The Zamindari system might have stopped to exist decades ago. The feudalism and with it, all its bloodshedm, too. But the culture seems to remain.

When faced with questions, when the questions reached the threshold - the Farmer didn't know the answers anymore. While given a land in Nagar, he has to see that the Landowner agree with it.

What are we then? Lesser mortals who are not even Farmers? Is that why we get unfertile land on the bottom of the hill? Jack and Jill at least went up the hill - we are not even doing that. We might be, DAMn it, sometimes, but we don't really need a top of the hill sleeping area. We don't.

And then again, this Nagar will see more fruits. Apples mostly. Hopefully. That can't be bad. But the question remains, is when will gravitation make the Apples fall?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

PR-ARAMBH

And everyone trooped back. Some happy, some sad and some, even drunk. It wasn't like everyone was happy to be back. Yet, deep down inside, everyone relished that freedom, the days without restriction though which is only available if you forget morning classes and the importance of attendance.

But yes, everyone was back. Everyone who was supposed to, and even one who wasn't supposed to. No, some came in late - maybe they want to compete with the gentleman who always strolls into class late. I hear that is to get attention (not attendance, obviously). Whatever.

And so, first day, first show. (Let us leave the weekend, with the unruliness out of this. Way proper that way, yes.)

We had the Boss speaking to us. Then we had, surprise surprise, Shoe, She, Che (not Guevera, no.) and Ne speaking. Lack of faculty? Again? Well, no, not really. It's just that we are busy. Busy with the first event of this semester.

(PR)Aarambh Hai Prachand,Bole Mastako Ke Jhund
Aaj Jung Ki Ghadi Ki Tum Guhar Do.

(The starting of the word starts with PR, I just noticed. Interesting.)

So, we have flexes and flexes being designed. Lots and lots of things getting ready to be printed. Hiring walkie-talkies (to make us look important, apparently). Then we pay to hire our own auditorium! Bottomline - lot's of money are being wasted (well, lot's of people will disagree with this word. Hopefully, some won't).

And, a revealation this morning. "Jeans are not formals."

PS. You are warmly invited to get oriented.

Monday, June 8, 2009

To my love(s)

As the day back to SIMC beckons, I have certain lines to speak, plagiarized from the Beatles.

To Kolkata,
"Close your eyes and I'll kiss you,
Tomorrow I'll miss you;
Remember I'll always be true.
And then while I'm away,
I'll write home ev'ry day,
And I'll send all my loving to you.

I'll pretend That I'm kissing
the lips I am missing
And hope that my dreams will come true.
And then while I'm away,
I'll write home ev'ry day,
And I'll send all my loving to you."

And to Pune,
"It won't be long yeah, yeah, yeah
It won't be long yeah, yeah, yeah
It won't be long yeah
'Til I belong to you.

Ev'ry night when ev'rybody has fun,
Here am I sitting all on my own,

It won't be long yeah, yeah, yeah
It won't be long yeah, yeah, yeah
It won't be long yeah
'Til I belong to you.

Since you left me I'm so alone,
Now you're coming, you're coming on home,
I'll be good like I know I should,
You're coming home, you're coming home.

Ev'ry night the tears come down from my eyes,
Ev'ry day I've done nothing but cry.

It won't be long yeah, yeah, yeah
It won't be long yeah, yeah, yeah
It won't be long yeah
'Til I belong to you."

Monday, May 25, 2009

Death of a Dream

The Memory.

The soft jazz music crooned on. Two lovers were in each other’s arms. Slightly moving to the music to music and becoming more comfortable with each other.

“This is our song,” He whispered in her ear.

She didn’t say anything. She put her head on his shoulder and they continued to move to the beats.

“This is our song,” He repeated. “We shall never dance this song with anyone else, or even alone.”

***

The Bursting Out.

The cigarette never seems to calm me these days. The lift journey never seems to end these days. Do you realize that I have to pass her house everyday while coming home? And the fact that now, I can no longer meet her, see here, kiss here, hold her in my arms? Do you realize how much pain it causes?

Julia, what do you dream when you turn the lights out? Do you dream about me? Do you think about me?

I guess not. You have somebody else now.


***

The Revelation.

He paused like usual, while passing her house. It seemed natural for him to take out his cell phone, call her and ask if she was at home. If she was, visit her. But that time had changed, this was not allowed anymore.

He resumed his walk. And then again paused.

Something he heard made him pause. It was the forgotten melody of the soft jazz song; playing softly from her house. So lightly, it could hardly be made out from the regular noise of the street. Yet, it was definitely playing; he could recognise the notes as if they were etched in his brain.

He was debating. He knew from where he could catch a glimpse inside her room. Yet, was it the right thing to do? Was it voyeurism? It was punishable by law, of course, but how would she react if she realised?

Yet, he couldn’t resist the temptation. He moved to the vantage point and peeped. There she was, dancing, alone, moving with the beats, her eyes closed.

He couldn’t be sure, but he thought he could see a glistening path of tears on her cheeks.

***

Night

“The Vodafone number you’re trying to reach is currently switched off. Please try again after some time.” He heard the mechanical voice for the fortieth time that night. He left a message, disgruntled.

The message simply said, “I called.”

***

Death of a dream.

The next morning, he woke up to the voice of his mother.

“Wake up!” She was saying, urgently.

“Julia,” she continued. He opened his eyes at the mention of her name.

“Julia, she committed suicide this dawn.” She finished. “The neighbourhoods in a tizzy. The reason is still not know, but it seems she had some problems with her boyfriend.”

He couldn’t speak. He couldn’t think. A part of him, however, was relieved, that he wasn’t the boyfriend being discussed here.

Could he go and see her one last time? How had she died?

He felt exhausted.

He sat up on his bed and glanced at his phone. “1 new message, Julia, 3.40 am” it said.

He opened the message.

One line, one of his favourite lines, it said, “Within You, Without You.”

Monday, April 20, 2009

NGO Internship, Chapter 1

Cursing the NGO placement cell, I woke up at 7 in the morning to leave for my NGO, to start my internship. The place is at Salt Lake, pretty far (I would think it is some 200Rs distance judging by Pune auto meters, or the lack of them).

Well, I still got a little late. That place is where I don't usually venture to, and even when I do, I don't usually have a time to meet. So, figuring out the way and the conveyance took some time, and so did the Sector V jam. And then I got lost. I think everyone, at least once has got lost in Salt Lake. It's impossible to know the way there, every street looks the same (and not exactly in an Simon Garfunkel Homeward Bound way).

And then I found the place. I rang the bell. GC 65, Salt Lake Sector 2. The office of Prayasam.

Then I had to wait inside. There was some meeting going on. And then suddenly, this gentleman comes out and says, "You're coming with me, we're going to Baruipur where a project is going on."

I went with him. As if I had a choice!

On the way, I learnt more about this man. Amlan Ganguly, Berkley pass out, the founder of the organisation is an interesting man to know. A documentary is being made, called the Revolutionary Optimists, by the Stanford University, and among the five people, he is one. Only last week they came to interview him, and the director and the cinematographer of this documentary are the same people who made the Oscar winning Smile Pinky. Among the others, Md. Younis, Nobel Winner, features in the documentary as well.

Talking with this man was a revelation. His thought processes are a little tangential with normal people, and according to him, Prayasam has worked because, "We approach the age old problems with a different treatment." He questioned mine, and society's age old thinking about NGO's, and development.

We reached the camp at Baruipur. Me, him and two others from the NGO. I didn't have much to do, I had to just see and understand. The children were amazing! Watching them play, draw, build comradeship among each other - it was a sight which transferred me back to my childhood. The houses drawn by children are always the same - a triangle and quadrilateral roof with rectangular walls. The sky is always the same - the clouds coloured blue and the sky left blank! The innocence in the strokes is something I had not seen in a long long time mostly thanks to CorelDRAW (no offense meant to the same!).

And then to think these children are street dwellers. We see them differently because they come from a different socio-economical background than us. Yet, when you mingle with them, play with them, help them draw - it's the same. It's the same what you did when you were young. Why did we gow up and lose our innocence? And when did we grow up?

Between all this, I got to know my responsibilities as an intern. As a true Media Trainee, as our college likes to call us, I am supposed to make two short films, design their annual report and do some reporting. Well, it does seem a tall order at start, but, all of this will involve working with these wonderful children and I am sure I'll enjoy it.

These children are not deprived. We are. Of our innocence.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

iJaagoIndia!

“This is an effective, fun way to bring greater attention to voting. We're eager to see which municipality will have bragging rights for the next seven months.”

-          Jim Morrison

What the Lizard King said decades ago seems to have some meaning now, in the Indian context. The elections are there, in three months now. And it’s not the municipality; it’s the Lok Sabha elections, which gets to decide who rules the country for the next four years.

Elections have been happening every four years. So what’s new this year?

The new fad this year seems to be, that, people have discovered that we, the youth, exist.

What started with the JaagoRe! campaign  seems to have gripped everyone who wants to show their responsibility in asking the Indian Youth to vote.

CNN IBN, The Indian Express are just two of them. Many NGO’s, social sector organizations seem to be going to college after college and asking young India to vote.

So what is happening is, we are listening to the same facts over and over again, every week, from a different organisation. Most youth don’t vote. They can change the fate of India. Etc. Etc.

So, what is happening? We are getting free voter registration forms. We are being asked to go and submit them. And then, finally, vote.

Now, let me ask a question. How many have, actually, done this? I don’t think many. And I don’t think many will.

Why the pessimism, you might ask. Well, the youth aren’t idiots. They have existed since India have existed, and I do not think they don’t know what they are capable of. We don’t need constant reminders of “Go! Vote!”. Those who want to vote, they will do it, themselves, without being asked to.

We don’t need to be told what to do. We will do it, if we feel like it.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Millionaire Exploitation

First, congratulation to everyone who has won an oscar. A.R. Rehman, you deserve this. 

Second, fuck everyone who has lost all aim in life than to celebrate Slumdog winning oscars.

Yes. It has won a few oscars.

Big Deal.

Do you think it would have still won if it would have been directed by any Indian director? What would you have done, would you still have seen a Bollywood produced Hindi movie called Slumdog Millionaire?

What is with us, Indian's who still long for western attention, even if it portrays the nation in a bad light?

Don't get me wrong. Slumdog is a good movie, yes. But, it doesn't deserve so many oscars. Even if it does, it doesn't deserve such a hype.

Sorry all excited citizens of a country I also call my own. I am sad to see you get excited over receiving some American shit for a movie by a person whose nation ruled us for 150 years, exploited us, and by the hype over Slumdog, still doing so, unknowingly to most of us.

Sorry.

(Above views are all my own, and i mean no disrespect to India, Britain or America.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Julia

"Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you, Julia"

She's been fleeting in and out of my life for the past couple of years. But its only recently that I consciously noticed her presence.

I don't even know whom I met first. Which Julia I met first.

Was it the oceanchild? Was it the dreamboat queen? Or, was it the pianist?

I don't know. I can't even remember. I tried to recall, but, I can't. It's a strange thing. Earlier, I didn't even acknowledge her presence. And now I do, I can't remember which of these namesakes I met first.

Now, when I consciously feel the existence of Julia, the song of love, dream of love, or unfulfilled love - I get lost.

I wonder if the key will unlock my mind. I wonder if we will play together. I wonder if the silent cloud will touch me.
"Julia dream, dreamboat queen, queen of all my dreams
Every night I turn the light out"

The V-Day

He woke up. It was the day. The big day. He could either make it, or break it.

He remembered her reply.

"Come with a gift for me, then I'll think about going out with you."

He opened his wallet and knew that day, he would break it.

His purse was almost empty.

***

There she was. The beauty queen of college. And for her reception, there were a thousand boys waiting, with flowers and colourfully wrapped presents.

But when she came in, she ignored the throng of people waiting for her. She walked straight, yet her eyes were wandering here and there, as if looking for something or someone.

All the boys were disappointed. A glance on them and she walked past.

And then she saw him. He was sitting, alone. Apart from everyone, in a very different mood than everyone else. When everyone was apprehensive, he was looking as if he knew.

She approached him. And smiled at him.

He looked away.

"What happened?" She asked "Where's my gift?"

He gave her a rose.

"That's all?" She asked.

"Well... I do have an eclairs if you want. Fact is, I'm broke." His voice was resigned, lost.

She linked her hand with his.

"Let's go. Lunch's on me today then."

His face was unbelieving. She smiled.

"And, give me the eclairs!"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My dusky maiden

My dusky maiden
We met in a dream
And it passed
Without knowing

I never even got
The chance to ask

Do you even think
Do you ever think of me
Or us?

Untitled

He was sitting on the stairs, to be alone from the known crowd of the college. He was sitting, with a book in his hand, tired, yet thirsty for the printed words on the yellowed pages of that old book.

Suddenly, his concentration broke. Somebody had come and sat down beside him. He looked up, irritated. He didn’t like people invading his personal space without permission. The retort, which he was going to utter, however, stayed unspoken.

It was her.

And she had tears in her eyes.

And that was very unlike her.

“What?” He managed to stammer out. She looked at him, turned back again and started to weep. Looking at the floor, she kept crying, her face hidden in her hands.

He didn’t know what to say. Tentatively he put his hand around her shoulder and drew her closer. She kept crying, her head, now on his shoulder.

With his other hand, he was looking for something in his pocket. He found it, and drew it out.

“You want an éclairs? Chocolate cheers up people.” He held it in his hand, looked at her.

She looked at the small toffee. Took it, and threw it down the stairs.

“You’re hopeless.” She muttered.

Almost as a reflex reaction, he withdrew his arm from around her shoulder. She hid her face again in her hands. He looked at her, and kept looking, lost for words.

The silence was heavy in the air.

Suddenly she looked up.

“Go get that éclairs!” She said.

And she smiled. Almost.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Hard Day's Night

A Hard Day's Night - my second movie in collaboration with Naman and Kannagi. Love it or hate it, or don't understand it, I had fun doing it!

For those waiting for Wake Up! (my first movie), its going to come, soon!