Nothing to Say!

Published September 11, 2018 by Virgo293

There was a time when I could listen. Listen to the tracks meeting and parting ways. It did not matter that I was in the second class compartment of a Mumbai local, full of screaming women. I could hear the juggling bangles. The blaring horns on a two way street. Private conversations of forty-five year old aunts. Barking dogs. Ringing school bells. Social coffee discussions. Intimate lover chats. Songs. Poetry. Monologues. Speeches.

And more often than not, I could listen, whatever I heard.

I wonder what switch you landed upon, when you first hugged me. Because the only echo that now reaches me, is the voice of my own thoughts.

How funny is it then… that I still have nothing to say!

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Changing Seasons

Published February 21, 2018 by Virgo293

The winter blue is almost fading now. My favourite over-coats and floating sleeves have rolled their way on the top of my cupboard. My not so flattering body has found its hope away from the ‘gajar ka halva’ and I am busy relishing the last few morsels of the season’s last ‘Sarson da Saag’ and Makke di Roti.’ I am enjoying the short days and the lazy long nights, and yet, as I go to bed, night after night, I can’t help but feel sad about it continuing to get shorter.

Not very surprisingly, this feeling, often stretches itself to life. In the long rituals of deciduous trees, I feel I lose a part of myself. When the branches shed their leaves to protect the life that runs within them, I somehow know that we are no different. The only variation that perhaps remains is the way they make it look so painless.

Nevertheless, the shedding of yellow, for the green to blossom, is nature. And this is a shedding that is in coherence with the spirit of life. It requires no apology, and mustn’t come with any guilt. It must in fact be an occasional jolt that one shakes oneself with, to step out of one’s pale shadow. A long winter will follow indeed. One will definitely have to go bare; bare-skinned and bare-hearted. But the spring is sure to come. A spring that fills hearts with warmth, and the world with a new layer of life.

This shall happen annually for a few, once every two years for some, for some it might take a decade; and few very rare species are made to stand unfazed, evergreen, in all seasons. But none is stronger than the other. And none weaker. They are all different from one another. Each with a different mechanism to cope, and a different season that they shine in.

As the winter goes by then, and the spring approaches, and in places like Bombay, where summer is knocking the doors; one must remember, that the only truth about seasons, is that they keep changing!

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FORTITUDE

Published February 10, 2018 by Virgo293

Adversity has a wonderful of getting you in touch with your true self. As popular conception, or misconception, goes, I don’t think it defines you. It helps you explore a side to yourself that you never knew existed, or reaffirms you of a side that always did. It is unexpected times only that look you in the eye and challenge all beliefs that you comfortably wrap yourself in. And yet in these times, what you lose first, is your vision.

For me fortitude, is to embrace this blur and juggle with it, while believing in wisdom being as much a tool as just physical courage. When a tiger confronts you, it is nature that has decided your immediate response to be flight. Does this mean that fleeing is not courageous? Does this mean that fight is the only grand thing to do? The only thing that deserves the mark of character? I have an issue with replacement of the word ‘face’ with ‘fight.’ Just facing an issue isn’t a big deal anymore.

The recent Padmavat controversy has a root in what I am trying to say. The reaction and uprising that the film’s climax has received rekindles my faith in the power of judgement in today’s society. I won’t waste my time discussing ‘Johar’ and the evil associated with this practice, because it has already died a natural death. Had there been even a little bit of honesty or righteousness in the practice, it would have found its way to today’s world. However, I do want to talk about the thousands of people, not just women, who continue to inflict pain upon themselves, day in and day out. And it is the ‘glorification’ of this infliction that I have a problem with.

It starts with small things. Like putting up with that abusive boss, because that is how the culture today is. Almost everything falls into the ‘Chalta haicategory. It spans out to bigger things, of dealing with mental and physical torture, and at times succumbing to it. Even media trolling, despite how trivial it sounds, has an impact on the normal life of an individual. How many mouths then, does one fight? How many tussles does one aim at conquering? And how then, does one get away from this pain, when the cool thing to do, is to take a stand?

And when you do so,  you know what you are called, right?  What the hushed tones define you to be. Yes! A coward. A spineless, opinion-less being who has no right to be called human. It is this stereotypical definition of courage that I have a problem with. This glorification of ‘bravery.’ So much so, that it has gone to mean revenge.

Let me go on to clarify something here. I don’t mean to degrade those who find a voice to justify themselves. That is also a form of strength. But what I mean to do instead, is take off the color of embarrassment that shades the life of a person who knows how to let go.

Who wouldn’t call the case of Avantica Maken that of immense bravery? Doesn’t it take guts to pardon someone who took away the man who means more to you than your own life? If this is not strength, then what is?

It takes immense courage to detach oneself from a situation and let go. It takes even more courage to let go. And for me, this perseverance, that meets suffering, without even a hint of malice, in thought or action, is fortitude!

No man, woman, preacher or practice that propagates this, is in any way, glorifying cowardice. That one chooses detachment from the infliction, or escape from the pain altogether, is completely a personal choice. None of it defines one’s character, or its strength. And the courage to do what naturally comes to one, in this world of judgement, is perhaps the true purpose of life.

Life in extreme conditions

Bottleneck

Published February 8, 2017 by Virgo293

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It has indeed been a while since I had a conversation in this blog. I know, what a cliché to begin with. But I guess it is honest. Writing things to put up here actually associates with a lot of such feelings. Such ‘clichés.’ Feelings that create a nostalgia that we so repeatedly speak about. Like a hot cup of tea on a rainy evening. Like the smell of wet mud on a Sunday afternoon. Like a barefoot walk on a sandy beach.

These aren’t just metaphors anymore. They are feelings so universal that you could bottle them, and put them on a rack and people will know them as flavours. These are crutches that people sail through this brutal world on. They work as a push. They pull you to themselves. They give you a kick unmatchable to the best kind of wine. And yet, you don’t get to experience them when you want them most. It’s a high you can’t choose. Life decides when it tickles you. Almost like your fate.

I wonder if this is an addiction. Actually, it is. I am addicted to this stimulation. I am addicted to inspiration sending shivers down my spine. I am addicted to being drawn to write. To being moved. To being reduced to tears. To rising up to new beginnings and to lying awake in anticipation. I am addicted, to being alive!

But fortunately, or unfortunately, this is a feeling that comes only in parts. Or in phases. In days, sometimes. And sometimes, just in moments.

You can’t help when it touches you. You can’t help its high. You can’t help anything to do with it. Not even the fact that you are addicted.

Days pass awaiting motivation. Awaiting that spark that will light up your mind. You are not sad or depressed. Not even unhappy. You are just empty. With a hollow that continues to surround you.

How then do you help yourself? How do you put your foot down? How do you take life in your hands? How do you trace the flavours back? How then, do you become alive again??

Persistence they say is the key. Hard work is what fits the bill. You must keep doing, they say. I wish they could also tell me doing what? What is it exactly that I have to do?

I can keep writing bad things; I perhaps one day will have something good. I might become famous with that one click. Life might become better after that. But success and fame isn’t what I signed up to writing for. I signed up to writing because it made me happy. And I wanted to be happy every day.

What do I do now? I am addicted to the high it gives me. And still, I have nothing to say.

As I put these thoughts down, it dawns onto me. I’ve to find something to say perhaps. Look for that high. That inspiration. It is the stimulation I’ve to seek. And until I find it, not write!

A miracle then, will perhaps happen. And in that search, of that new flavour to bottle, I might find my happiness, in the bottleneck!

A Bud of Time

Published January 9, 2017 by Virgo293

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A Bud of Time is my tribute to the cinema of 2016.  Apart from being my personal take on what has been up with the movies, it is a congratulatory note to everything that has taken the industry a notch higher. After all, What can be a better way to relish the New Year, than raising a toast to the movies?

Wishing all my readers a happy, prosperous and beautiful year ahead. 🙂

Please find the link to the article here. It was originally published by Pandolin.com, A digital magazine dedicated to the art and craft of film-making.

This is second in the series of Film-related articles, that will celebrate, rejoice and elaborate the beauty that life ‘imprints’ upon me, in the form of movies! You can read the first article here. 🙂

 

 

Love You Zindagi

Published December 9, 2016 by Virgo293

At times little is more. Small is large. And trivial much more important than what a translucent interface makes it appear. Wobbly thoughts that threaten to fizz out at the most inappropriate times are what make us human. The constant tug of war between what to do and what not to, what to say and what to hold back, and most significantly who to be and how; is what defines life.

At these times, what has always helped me come to terms with myself, is putting pen to paper and edging out a patient call out to life. Dear Zindagi, translates one such messy and fluid letter to life, and creates a visual treat for anyone who has ever looked at confusion in the eye, and yet hasn’t known how to deal with it. For how long after all, can one shut oneself?

With an introduction as personal as this, it is visibly clear that this is no film-review. Nor an expert opinion, since there is seemingly little that anyone can know about the gigantic art or craft of film-making. And apart from this, a judgement is the last thing I want to draw from this film that inspires exactly the opposite.

What I want to do though, in my small insignificant way, is to put down this piece as a thank-you note to the film that made me laugh, cry and realize that no matter how silly certain dilemmas seem on surface, if you don’t feel okay, it is okay to look up for a hand. That the lull I feel even when the world around me is cheering in joy, is as existent as it sounds to my ears. But most importantly, it makes me realize that despite all of this, I have it in me to smile, love and spring to back to life, with faith and hope stronger than before.

I admit, with sincerity, that this might not be Shinde’s best; and I hope that she out-does herself in the time to come. I also know that there is a huge lot of people who have called the film a slog, called it silted and synthetic, a preaching sermon, or even a live session with a counselor. I do not blame them, and by no means am I trying to prove that the film is an immaculate piece of perfection to see and follow.

But what I am trying to draw spot-light on, is the attempt. How many times does it happen in our country, that one chooses an unconventional, insignificant almost, wearily taboo subject, and treats it as a premise for a commercial film? How often does a superstar stretch out of his comfort zone, to give way to a woman half his age for her to be able to display not just her talent and skills, but her weaknesses, unhappiness and specifically her insecurities? And how frequently in these attempts, does a film like this make it to the theaters, with a respectable three-week run and hopefully more to follow?

I respect the talent and expertise of all those who are critiquing the film, and not just criticizing it. I believe they know and understand what it takes to make a good film with conflicts and situations as internal and intimate; not to mention doing so in a funny, light-hearted and bravely straight-forward way. But there certainly is more to the point. I do not want applause for the film just on account of  advocating the beguile stereotype attached with psychology and its practice. Or for the charm and flair sported by the leading man and lady, in that order. Or even for the shots that beautifully camouflage the discomfort associated with the subject and her story!

What I feel the film deserves appreciation for is the attempt to cut out a slice of life that hasn’t been tasted before. For the pool of its flavors. That the taste, liking and savoring of this slice is diverse, can easily be an occupational hazard. The slice pulled out might be, and even is, disliked, loathed or even hated by some. But what is important is that someone is scooping this slice for us to stop and look at life, even if it is through misty glasses.

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This is first in an upcoming series of Film-related articles, that will celebrate, rejoice and elaborate the beauty that life ‘imprints’ upon me, in the form of movies! 🙂

Bullets and Daggers

Published October 17, 2016 by Virgo293

A strange silence has been following me recently. Not a hollow, a silence. A contemplative silence that nudges me to think about the so many moments that while away in life. The so many minutes I spend in my past. The so many hours that go thinking about what the future will look like. A silence, that constantly threatens me with the bullets of time. That threatens to take away the carefree spirit I have been trying to nurture ever since.

The constant question that keeps nagging me is ‘what if?’ ‘What if that meeting did not go well?’ ‘What if I did not finish that assignment?’ ‘What if I do not end up anywhere?’ They feel like daggers hanging on my head, these questions. They tend to make me escape lack of company, they force me to escape thinking, and they lead me areas so unexplored that I feel scared of being lost and never being able to come back.

And yet, what is constant, throughout this phase of bullets and daggers, is the light I see ahead. The feeling that this is all a conflict and that beyond this phase of uncertainties, this alleged lack of answers and this stern silence, lies a land of green. Where noise and discussions won’t seem so scary. Where abandoning lies and uncovering masks won’t be so difficult. Where little by little by little my patience and persistence will defy these powerful weapons; and the peace I so constantly seek, will shield my tired self.

That is when I guess, this silence will be more insightful. That is when the questions that pop up so naturally, will not threaten me of an unnatural death.  The dark cave I am so afraid of even looking at, will take me in and lead me forward. The present silence I’ve been shutting my ears to, will be a relief, from the world that offers setbacks and promises, together at once. And then, I’ll let the questions be, as they continue to hang in time.

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