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Sunday, December 16, 2012

...FOR LIGHT

In the early morning darkness, all alone,
I wait for light.

With a couple of buses in motion, and an odd taxi on the road,
I sit by that wait for sun-rise,
I just wait for light.

Last night was darker than the darkest,
but some wise man told me to wait for the sunrise.
He said it makes one happy.
The whloe night i have been waiting, checking corners,
waiting for it to glow,
I just wait for light.

There were no spaces to rest,
nor was the will to,
with so many good stories about the sun,
I spend the whole night being awake,
i just wait for light.

They asked me to leave.
They asked me to sleep off.
They offered me money and coupons.
They were all active men of the dark.
But I, just wait for light.

It is so early that it is not even morning yet,
but I can feel it coming.
So dark, that you know that there can be light anytime.
I just wait for light.

The breeze was painfully cold last night,
but suddenly it feels good.
The skies had no indication of light the whole night,
but now, i see some shades of light.
I am tempted to sleep now,
but i don't want to miss the magic.
So with active stray dogs,
and lots of hope,
I just wait for light.
That light...
­



Friday, November 9, 2012

Johnny ‘Walk’-er!






I had a knee meniscus injury for the last 5 years. I love walking and exploring places, but I could not walk because of the pain. But this May, I had a surgery. We were all very scared that will my foot be normal ever again. My mother is not that religious but she took a vow in some temple in Haridwar, that if I can normally again she would come back to the temple. That was the first time I saw my mother something like that. I was moved.
I came back to Mumbai after the surgery. I could walk with some problem inside my knee in the beginning. As time passed, it started becoming normal again. And I could walk again…climb stairs again at the station…pretty much the way I did before.
I started exploring places again, by walk. My doctor had told me to walk as much as I could, as that was considered good for a meniscal injury. So I almost gave up taking rickshaws just for the joy of walking and exploration. I shifted to this place (4 bungalows) which is quite close to my office. It takes no time if I take a rickshaw, but it takes 20 minutes to walk to the office.
I have this mall which is pretty close to my place too, rickshaw-wise. It takes 15 minutes on the rickshaw, but when I walk I take a short-cut, which makes it 10 minutes. But I have always preferred walking, but you enjoy the journey only when you walk.
Even a super-fast city like Bombay becomes slow when you walk and watch it go on. In Bombay, there are people who walk on the footpath at an unidentified pace, always in a hurry. I am sure you never notice such people when you are in any vehicle.
Today a friend of mine dropped me at Juhu circle and told me to get a rickshaw to home. I am sure the rickshaw would have taken me back home in 10 minutes. But I chose to walk and look around the way.
The footpath was full of poor people we usually see, but I noticed a couple watching TV on a small laptop. They were poor, very poor but I still wonder how could  they manage that little laptop!
Marshall McLuhan was right when he said “ Medium is the message!”. Whenever I would ask people for my place (Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, 4 bungalows), they would direct me to the place where I can get a bus or an auto to my destination. I had to ask them again saying that I wanted to walk. They gave me a ‘strange’ look. But I continued walking!
 I reached home, slightly late but not to miss the images and visuals I caught on my way. I sat down at a chai-wala and made a note of the ‘stories’ happening around me. Content and happy!
I am happy that I can walk again and it is helping. This is always a nice thing to do, just to explore stuff around. And yes, last week my mother went back to that temple in Haridwar, as she had promised. Content, she is too :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I ask as I sit next to the lake…




This hot summer afternoon, I sit next to the lake,
An artificial lake they made a couple of years ago,
With a massive afternoon in the center,
Cooling everything around,
From the ducks in the lake,
To the breeze around.

I sit there facing the cool droplets hitting on my face,
And I wonder how true the truth is,
How real is the reality?

Are the people who walk around the lake real?
Or is that sweet smell of water falling on the mud more real?
Are the Gods we worship more real?
Than the ‘heroes’ we see on celluloid?
I ask, as I sit next to the lake…

Are the people whom I see every day more troubled,
Than the people I face inside me?
I still wonder who is more real.
Are the smiles around more real?
Than the crying sounds I hear in the background?
I ask as I sit next to the lake…

These are unimportant questions,
coming up from deep inside,
these are doubts which won’t make a difference,
but yeah,
I ask as I sit next to the lake…

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Terrible Ear ache and the Education system!



I have a terrible ear ache now, because of the cold.
 It is quite a childhood thing. Whenever I would have a cold, I would have an ear ache and I remember as a kid, it would be bad. As a kid I would never cry easily, but this ear ache was terrible, making me cry the whole night, in pain. I remember how my mom would get me books (at night) with pictures of exotic animals, to deviate my mind but I would continue crying.
I remember my mom’s sad and helpless face.

I remember what the doctor would say back then, holding my ear, “ It is a child’s membrane. It would stop as soon he is 10!”
I am 24 and it is still there, pretty much like the way it was back then, when my mom would face the ear ache of her only son, while her husband was posted in the field guarding the nation.
Tonight, just to deviate my mind from the terrible ear ache, I decided to write on my blog and you know what, it’s helping! I can have pain-killers and sleep, but I do not taking allopathic medicines or any kind of medicines! I get a feeling that we are naturally quite capable of fighting against most of the problems (like the other animals). And this brings us to the huge debate of the education system in India.

I get a feeling that it is not knowledge based, but very examination-based.
I remember as a kid, I would ask my science teacher what would a particular part mean and she would shut me up saying that this is not a part of the syllabus for the exams.
 But what if we never had exams! It was important to have them in may be the first 2 years of education just to make you disciplined. But exams after that were of no use.
 I would have studied and understood things much better had there been no exams.
A nice way of marking kids would be to ask and discuss with them things during class and not days or months after things were taught.
I would like my next generation to be taught and questioned that way. That is the reason I like the system at NID, where there are no exams but just juries. The NID Juries cannot mark you either, as you are marked/graded right after every course.
I just hope if we have something like this in schools, years before someone gets into NID. We will see so many more artists, thinkers, researchers, dancers, footballers and not just engineers and doctors!

It is very painful to see little kids carry those quintals on their backs. Education can be fun.
I have met many kids who do not follow the usual schooling system and are getting educated. Looking for a kid to be taught, so that I teach him this way…the fun way!
I know there would be people who would say “What is the use now?”
But as I always say that it is not important to get answers, but to raise questions. Raising a question is the way things begin. It is always important to think about changes which you can get.

It is that ear ache, which we need to cure!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mumbai Film Festival - 2012!

MAMI, as it was called till last year was changed to Mumbai Film Festival (Thanks to the change in the sponsors) and it was on. I went to the movie hall to find out more about it.

Before going to the hall I had heard that if have an AD's (Assistant Director's) Card, I would have to pay less. I reached the counter. So I saw the categories: Normal- 1400/- and IFTD (Indian Film and Tv directors) card: 1000/-. I was about to go for the 2nd option and I saw the third category ( Students- 800/- ) I saw this and I was happy. I took out my expired NID card and got entry.

The joy of a film festival apart from the films being screened is the fact that I could watch any 'n' number of films for 800 bucks. With that excitement I entered cine max.
And what was better was that the films were getting screened at the Gold class halls. So unlike the Osian's (Siri Fort, Delhi), there would be halls with a better sound and better chairs too!

The joy was amazing and indescribable. I got in the movie hall before the film started. I took my seat, and was waiting for the film to begin. It is this time of any film when I am superbly excited. The time when people are coming in and settling down. It is also the same time when we see ads, and trust me, we are so excited in general, that we can see anything...absolutely anything! So I followed a couple of 'No Smoking' ads which featured and obviously I was excited. I started my journey traveling across different stories and landscapes across the world. The whole day I was lost in languages, cultures, lands and most importantly, cinema!

I think this is how films should be viewed, in a group. It is actually a medium to be viewed on the big screen seen in a hall. That's how it started, but with the advent of the tv or the laptop, now it is a personal medium. But it is meant for a public viewing wwhere the jokes, the sadness and everything else needs to be shared. I would anyday prefer watching the films on a big screen or in a group on a laptop, leaving watching it on a laptop as the last option. Something I have learnt from this festival :)

So my journey in exploring myself and the whole journey of cinema continues...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mumbai diaries continue

So I am back to my blog. I don't know why or why not? I am just back!

So the stay at Mumbai has been getting better and the more accustomed I am to the city, there are new and interesting places I see.

There are slums, there are tall skyscrapers and then there are PEOPLE. The city is filled with people, and too many of them! The city is what it is just because of this gem which it has...ITS PEOPLE! People fighting, people competing, people getting lost, people smiling...they are everywhere. You cannot imagine a frame in Mumbai without it's gem...its people!

After staying in Jogeshwari for the last 6 months, I am moving to my new house in 4 bungalow (Andheri). Staying here alone is what is fun. I make coffee, I watch films, I sleep, I sketch,I read, I think, I write, I do anything, there are no schedules I follow according to the world, No time-tables I follow...I just need money to sustain a living. That's it. Why do i need more?
There's no need as such. I just need money to pay my rent and continue cheap traveling.

I am presently reading Gandhi's autobiography 'My experiments with truth'. He keeps telling us how he garnered and learnt new things during his stay in England. He was just 19 and he would take long walks just to find a vegetarian restaurant, or may be just anying. Actually, just to save money and still enjoy life. This is so inspiring. And I feel so awesome that I am in a similar state of mind...in a similar state of living. When there are no demands and no expectations, whatever you get, is good!

Work is going fine but what I am happy is the fact that I am LIVING the way I had imagined to live once...just a happy free soul. There are meetings I attend and there is work that do, but its all my decision, my choice!

The upcoming month is full of happenings. I travel to Udaipur for shooting a 2-day documentary on RTI and democracy. I come back to Mumbai and leave for delhi to shoot the making of a Hindi feature film produced by Excel Entertainment. I am also writing a new play which is growing on its own, just left it to grow :)
 Lots of hard work but, I am surely excited.

Cheers :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mbithec diaries

This is a write up which featured in MBICEM's newsletter (my graduation college). Mbithec was the theatre group we had there. Our group started it and it is still going strong. Here we go...






Mbithec Diaries

“O re Chik chik, Chik o re sa…”
The theatre group from MBICEM had taken part in the Inter-college Street play competition in Dilli Haat. This was when we were in the old campus at Nizamuddin. The group realized in Dilli Haat that before doing a great play, they have to be a GROUP first. A theatre group anthem was necessary.
We had this breathing exercise where we would stand in a circle and say O re chik chik, chik or re saa. We composed, we sang it together and the journey started. We did not win at Dilli Haat, but Mbithec was born.
Mbithec was nothing else but MBicem Theatre Club.

“…Dekho humko, ayega maza…”
We had decided to meet four times every week at 8 am. We would come early and continue doing things which was more of fun and nothing else. We invented games and exercises and we kept having fun. None of us knew how theatre groups rehearse, but we would work very hard and in the process learn things. We started taking part in other college fests and we were winning.
Mbithec was shining.

“Saas manga, saas manga re…”
After three years of having fun and establishing the theatre group, we did not realize that we had created this culture called Mbithec. We were all very sad while passing out of MBICEM. But we were proud to know that our juniors continued with the tradition of ‘having fun’.
Wishing them all the luck.



Thursday, September 13, 2012

The sketch of questions





So when I sit back and go through the books and thoughts I was lost in, it is quite crazy! I happened to be stuck in situations which kept making me question the unquestionable!
Questioning someone is a good thing, but before you reach the stage of questioning, you nee to know the data really. You see, it is always nice to know the facts well. It won't help you win an argument or a debate, it just helps you grow.
When in Ahmedabad I came across this book called 'Debating Gandhi' which is quite an interesting read. It is a nice compilation by A. Raghuramaraju. It consists of essays by known scholars, Gandhians or anti-Gandhians. but nice read it is. There is a chapter called 'The assassination of Gandhi' which talks and questions the killing of Gandhi. Was killing him the ultimate thing? Raghuram Ghodse or nathuram Ghodse as we know him, was a very educated Hindu himself. Hailing from Pune, a konkanastha Brahman took up this job of killing the 'Father' of the nation. But why did you need to kill him? Killing someone would never make Ghodse's case heard. Killing or ending a life is any way a crime, whether you like Gandhi or not!


The very moment I was reading this book in NID, I got a request from this senior to help him in his diploma film's document. The film is based on the 2002 Godhra riots! Think of Gandhi's time, and think of 2002, and you think Man has grown? Not exactly. It is very disturbing to see how politics at the basic stage is eating us up, is scary.

So, I came back to Mumbai, all full with such stories of misery. And I walk with all these questions and doubts in my doubts which have little or no clarifications.

This sketch is what I made on a nice day with things coming out of my mind. There's food in the pan and there is water in the glass, but how do I eat when my head is served at the table itself? How do we eat then? (Not to forget the Jodhpuri elephants I have on my kurta, fill up my mind and the sketch!)

What is sad is that these questions have no answers, but what's good is the fact that there are questions. I will get back to you... Cheers :)