Categories
Love Narration

First Sight

I was on a drive with my cousin – he was dropping me off at a nearby bus-stop. Tech-support (one of my odd-jobs) lasted till late night, and Kowdiar (where he stayed) was three buses away from my place. Since I fixed his computer for free, Aravind annan (as I knew him) was obliged to drop me home. Now, Aravind  annan is my eldest cousin – he’s the oldest amongst us cousins in dad’s family and he works for the railways. Quite an intelligent chap, his bald head gives me caveats about my impending coiffure (or the lack of it). The twenty-year age-gap we had, made sure that our conversations were mostly intellectual, even bordering on the spiritual – we shared a passion for intense spirituality. We didn’t quite share a rapport that I enjoy with cousins of my age – he’d be the last person I’d confide in about my encounters with the opposite sex, but we were friends nonetheless.

We were discussing nuances of Vaishnavite tradition as annan drove, nay, dragged his Maruti Alto in sluggish thirties. Fourty was his speed limit, a couple of ravaging accidents in his younger years being the reason for the vigil, not that I was quite enamored by it. I was left with no choice – necessary evil. Annan‘s  foot spared the accelerator of its misery as we neared PMG Junction – a crossover square that connected our road to NH-47. If thirties are sluggish, tens are, well… a full f***ing stop! I rued my decision as my cousin calmly chanted a mantra to prove his spiritual point, manuevering the gear stick to First gear. That’s right, we were traveling at ten kilometers per hour in a virtually empty junction, at nine thirty pm. Insanely-crappy! Exasperated, I gave up on my argument, and glanced longingly at the empty road, brightly lit with halogen lamps. There was a statue of Subhash Chandra Bose right at the center of the junction with a circular grass-skirting. The night-lights added an aura to the towering Bose, and the beautifully-trimmed grass added a glistening aura to the martyr, making him seem…

Oh my God.

Oh my God.


OH. MY. GOD.


I’d given Janice quite a run for her money with the series of exclamations, but I had to do it.

I just saw the prettiest female I’d ever chanced upon, crossing the road by the statue!!!

She was exquisite. Clad in a floral white salwar adorned with blue petals, she was breathtakingly-pretty. Her face was unblemished (marvelously-ravishing actually). The two-second glimpse I saw, gave me visions of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Perfection personified. Her flowing hair was the best part – it ran till the waist, and she repeatedly used her forearm to set it right, while her left hand managed a leather bag. Her expression was intriguing – a petulant impatience shrouded in put-on calm.

She was the one. And I needed no further thought to get that into my thick-fat head.

Meanwhile, a few things happened simultaneously. Never a multitasker, I broke all records of intelligent-thinking; and mustered up a plan to get talking to the female. I shook my cousin from his Vaishnavite reverie, gesturing at the bus that had just reached the stop – it was a direct bus to my place. Thanking him profusely, I opened the passenger door and bolted, waving him a cursory bye. Annan was actually glad that I dropped off early, the car’s fuel indicator hovered near ‘E’, and he wasn’ t exactly minting money at the railways; he swerved (at 5 k.m.p.h) and left –  humming  (a vocal carcass of ) an Ashtapathi.

The girl (woman actually) was roughly 25 m away from me. And by some divine grace of God, she still stood transfixed, she seemed like one of the cautious ones – waiting for the road to be totally empty. Interesting quality, I mused. In a few seconds, I caught up with her, and stood beside, waiting to cross the road with the lady. I turned left and took a closer look at her, and she turned to look at me. My vision still stood me in good stead – by God, she was THE prettiest! And she was tall – our heights ‘matched’. 😉 She could be older, but what the hell! Saif Ali Khan is my hero!

Then, she, nay WE crossed the road. Turned out that she wasn’t looking at me earlier, she was checking out for incoming vehicles to the right side, so that she could cross safe – but that did help! I wasn’t aware of the surroundings, in my mind’s eye, I was planning my wedding with this Goddess! Lost in fantasy, neither did I notice the direct-bus leave, nor did I observe the man donning a dark helmet on an old CD100 SS, waiting by the bus station. We were centimeters apart, and my arm did brush her palm once – and boy, that was electric! By now I’d started making love to her in my dreams as my conscious mind was searching at terabits per second for the best pick up line.

As we neared the bus stop – which was right-opposite to where we stood, I walked closer to her – God alone knows how I mustered courage to get my shelf self to get to talk! But I had to do it – I wanted to make her mine, then and there, and no force in the world could stop me.

Or so, I ass-u-me-d.

Surprisingly, she was walking away from the bus stop and me, towards the left, whereas the stop was on our right. Puzzled, I followed her – now I was behind her, probably a foot or two away. She gradually reduced her speed as she approached the parked CD100SS. I too followed suit. The man on the bike lifted up his helmet vizor and smiled, which she did not acknowledge . Before I could put a further step forward, she got on pillion and the man fired up his bike. They sped away. Taking my dreams along.

I did get a quick glimpse of the man on the bike -he stood underneath a sodium vapor lamp and I saw his face clearly, he was grossly unattractive. And surprisingly massive too. Who was he? Could be a brother, or maybe a  friend. A (boy) friend? A ‘customer’?

All adrenaline drained out, I trudged about the bus stop, dejected.

And I continued ‘dejecting’ for about one more hour, till eleven a.m. – no bus to my place as in sight. 😐 Finally, I had to get content with an overcrowded fast passenger, for which I had to pay extra. As I hit home,  I ended up hating public transport too! Parents’ mandatory back-home-abuses later, I retired with a heavy heart.

I found solace in Pratheesh‘s constant refrain:

2010 is our year, and we’ll be happy forever!


Categories
Poem

Shaken, not stirred

Last night, a lot broke up at home:
Mom’s shattered cutlery was epitome;
The car-windshield and dad’s chart,
Left no trace like my foundered heart.

Money would replace the losses,
All but one, which was still in musses,
The broken heart shall take its time,
Yet, it shall tick, weak and sublime.

My heart was always brittle,
It always fell prey to battle,
Layers of flesh and bones,
Couldn’t stop the pelted stones.

I foresaw the onslaught,
But all precautions went naught,
Ignoring the aftermath at bay,
I gave my heart away.

I blame none but myself,
Fighting eventuality itself,
I lost out, and nearly killed,
The heart which now stands tilled.

I pop pills to blind the pain,
Wearing plastic smiles to attain,
Much-needed closure and faux joy,
Contrived, like a child’s battered toy.

Someday, into the future,
I shall rise, aroused and mature,
Then, I’d beam and past, now interred,
I was sure shaken but not stirred!

Categories
Movies

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa – A Review

Gautham Menon is one of the best (and perhaps most successful) directors in the Tamil film industry. His long track record of  eclectic successes range  from sleeper-hit Minnale to an intense Kaakha Kaakha. An enthralling ‘Vettayadu Vilayaadu’ to an endearing ‘Vaaranam Aayiram’; the auteur has a habit of doing an encore of his spectacular successes, growing with each movie that emerges from his stable – ‘Photon Factory’.

When a movie like Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa is released and promoted with a barrage of PR, even the average joe has half a mind to drag his/her ass to the theatres, just cause it’s a Gautham Menon movie. Yeah, this is a movie which sells because of its director, not to mention other myriad factors – a long list topped by A.R. Rahman’s soulful music.

At the outset, the story seems mundane and hackneyed. Aspiring director, mechanical-engineer, Tam-dude Karthik (Silambarasan) woos landlord’s daughter Jessie (Trisha) who happens to be a Mallu Christian, and a year older to make things worse. He’s smitten by her at the first sight, follows her and speaks his heart out, only to get summarily rejected. He follows the female all the way to Kerala (with a movie-cinematographer for company) and meets her in the church to apologize. Spending a day with Jessie in Alappuzha (where Jessie’s native place is located), love starts blossomming between the two. What follows is a series of cascading events that are complemented by Jessie’s parents’ disapproval of the duo, a bitter physical exchange with Jessie’s brother and Jessie herself getting cold-feet. It all culminates to a very pragmatic and compelling climax that comes totally unexpected. And shocking.

As I said earlier, the two high points of the movie are Gautham Menon himself and A.R.R.s music score. Menon has moulded what is cliched story into total perfection and compelling awesomeness. The movie’s execution is taut and brilliant. Menon has a way with nuances, so we’ve attention to the minutest of details right – from Simbu’s check shirts to Trisha’s cotton sarees; no stone has been left unturned. Menon’s mastery of the language deserves special attention – the movie has some VERY classic lines, most of which are quotable. There’s one line which repeats itself all through the plot: “Ulagathille yevallovu penngal irunthum naa yen Jessie love panne?” (The world has many beautiful girls, yet, why did I choose Jessie? ) Plus, the movie has its share of goosebump-moments. The chemistry between the protagonists is again perfect, and this adds on to the beauty of such scenes. The subtle way Simbu collapses onto the gate of his on seeing the girl of his dreams, the first kiss in the train, the ‘central park’ scene towards the end… all are worked out wonderfully.

We see parallels with other Gautham Menon movies in this film. Menon himself plays a Cameo (the role of a spotboy in a shooting set), something he’s done in all his movies. He’s even dubbed the voice of Jerry – Jessie’s (Trisha’s character’s) brother. There are some references to the director himself, when Simbu’s protege cinematographer the self-proclaimed cameraman of Kaakkha Kaakha mentions Gautham’s name. The frequent use of flawless English (and the F word)  is also a Menon exclusive. Of course, there’s the Kerala connection as seen in previous GM movies  (namely, Surya’s Kerala registration jeep in Kaakha Kaakha, the ‘Kozhikkode scenes’ in Vaaranam Aayiram) with Jessie being a Malayalee. There are two songs in Malayalam too; all of which leads to Gautham’s roots in Kerala; his dad hails from the state. Besides, the romantic scenes seem to be a direct transition from Vaaranam Aayiram and Kaakha Kaakha – an area where Menon excels supremely. As I said earlier, the ‘goosebump moments’ are just perfect, making Kaakha Kaakha’s intensive-passion and Vaaranam Ayiram’s whimsical-affliction seem puny in comparison. It requires significant foresight and creativity to do justice to such minutiae. Plus, at some point in time, one tends to suspect whether the movie has parallels with Gautham’s life. He too was a Mechanical Engineer and did a paradigm shift to movies, very soon. Menon’s first movie, incidentally, was a love story which went on to be a smashing hit – Minnalae (Simbu’s character goes on to direct a movie, later on in the movie). Which, perhaps, explains the extra mile.

Special acknowledgement goes to A.R. Rahman for the music. The oscar-winning musical prodigy needs no further mention and the soundtrack will go down in history as one of his best compositions ever. My picks are “Aaromale” – for its intensity and feel (sung by Malayalam Music director Alphons – his voice deserves plaudits) and a feel-good Hosanna. This is one album in which each song outperforms each other to such extent that it’s hard to pick out winners. The music has actually gone a long way to help the movie do brisk business.

Simbu and Trisha get applauds for their acting skills. Especially Simbu, who has carved a niche for himself with this understated acting. His expression of silent excitement and frustration, the unabashed, but controlled anger, the thinly-veiled hitting-on – all are classy, to say the least. Trisha also excels with her understated expressions. There are no flowing emotions/dramatic outpours in the movie. Everything is controlled, although the same cannot be said about the co-stars, who fade into oblivion as mere props, masked by the sparkling performances by the lead actors. At one point in the movie, you feel the movie has just two actors!

Realism is another striking feature of this movie. Perhaps, this is one singular accolade that every spectator would unanimous agree with. There’s no supernatural element whatsoever – not even within the stunt scenes. The plot, especially the climax, shines with stark realism that hits you straight in the gut, leaving you with an elegant depression of sorts as you walk  trudge out of the theatre. I say elegant, because the sensation is actually enjoyable. Apart from the climax, every scene of the movie lacks hype/super-realism, which is typical of Tamil movies. Even the stunt scenes are natural to the core; although Simbu escapes unhurt after the two-odd stunts, there’s the redeeming explanation that he’s the boxing champion at college.

Editing by Anthony is taut, and makes what would’ve been an insanely long movie, concise and watchable. So are the frames by Manoj Paramahamsa, which are rich in visual aesthetics.

Yet, Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya is not a movie that would be loved by all. Not everyone would be equally endeared by the movie; many would tend to shun this flick, citing it  worthless. Sad fact, since, most of us are hypocrites, escaping from reality, hence the ostracization – that’s the only explanation I can offer. There’s the evident con of a hackneyed story, which even makes you yawn at times. Even with Antony’s editing, the movie  does drag. There aren’t many funny moments within the flick, and certainly you wouldn’t feel good once you’re out of the theatre, even though it does leave an indelible impression within your psyche. The portrayal of Kerala too, has drawn brickbats. There’s a fleeting glimpse of a ‘Sagar Alias Jacky’ flex board, which has let Mammootty fans down. 😐 (Dumb, I know!! 😐 ) Trisha’s character speaks appalling, stuttered Malayalam, which would’ve been worked out by using a better dubbing artist. Besides, the plot has a tad too many complications – which means, you’d have to see it a couple of times to properly comprehend the entire movie.

All said, the movie is certainly watchable, and is VERY STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. This flick is a total-must-watch. Pay a deaf ear to the negative opinions and give it try. The pic would be a refreshing addition to the clique of movies one should watch just for the ‘experience’ of it. Even if you’re brainwashed by the negatives, watch it for the music, watch it for the goosebump-moments, watch it for the chemistry, and the best of ’em all – watch it for some of the best, quotable, pick-up lines!

My Rating: 4.5/5

Categories
Life Poem

To G, with love.

A ‘ping’ was all it took;
Not a gesture, voice, or look,
Where books had many an angelic face,
Back then, I met my sis at amazing pace,

Adorable and cherubic, her smile,
Vanished my pains in absolute guile;
My tears evaporated in her voice,
That gurgled like a river with poise.

For many, she was a dear sister,
With brothers whose numbers stood sinister!
The diva of charm, she stretched her hand,
And did every bit to understand.

The epitome of beauty and elegance,
Her exquisite eyes depicted brilliance,
She made the random fashion statement,
In a calm shimmer of slurring enlightenment.

Today her love is all I seek,
In wondrous respect, silent and meek.
“I’m her bro!”, I shout out in pride,
For, she’s one in a million, with a heart as wide.

– 5th August, 2009 – (Rakshabandhan).

CC Credits: TiagoRibero

P.S.

G, if you’re reading this – you’re THE most special person in my life. Wouldn’t have lived through all this, had it not been for you. 🙂 A torrent of emotions crossed me today, and I felt, I HAD to publish this.

I’ll be there for you, till my dying day.

And as I always assure you:

“You’re THE BEST, sissie!” >:D<