Wednesday, December 29, 2010

             It's strange how things that seem to be your lifeline, become unimportant as soon as you are distanced from them. Had never imagined those days of the month of September would turn out (and "lead to") such wonderful memories...
Wanting to get away from the depressing mess of d college changing scene, i jumped up the moment this Roorkee convention trip came up, not caring a bit about how, what, why, when, etc. and thankfully to my great relief the  4-day convention assuaged my mental wreck and brought in a big respite.
            I would call the whole trip as a memorable escapadic episode, rather than an experience. It all began right from the beginning, lodging in many firsts - disembarking from the 'moving' train (moving because we realized that  it was Roorkee junction only when the train started moving after stopping 4 two-minutes!), then waiting at the station with a "furious" Kiran Sir (who I had thought, up till then, to be synonymous with peace and pragmatism). Cycling out in the rain at night, abhorable meals, the late night maggi in the hostel canteen (which unfortunately i m deprived of), all form an integral part of MY journey through SPIC MACAY's North Zone Convention 2010.
            Day 1, went off in just settling down. Already delayed at the station, we reached the campus late enough to have missed the boring, insipidly repetitive speeches and lamp-lighting formal ceremonies and luckily, the concert started instantly. Santoor exponent Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma's concert was scrupulously marvelous. Master Shashank Shubramanium's concert amused and kept me captivated because I had never heard the Carnatic Flute before (another first). However, i cud hardly concentrate on the concert because my desperate craving for water dominated all my other senses. Deliciously hot maggi at 12 summed up the day on a satisfactory note.
            Day 2 opened on a note of recklessness (and closed on the same note too!). I missed the morning Yoga (4 a.m.- maybe it's self-explanatory) and went straight for d abhorable breakfast (i sufficed with bread-butter for my ghar-ka-khana accustomed taste buds were repulsed at the sight of stupidly fried bread-pakoras that early in d morning). The enjoyable baithak-style Gurbani performance more than made up for the uninteresting (read unruly) morning. The pottery workshop was fun- funny shapes coming out on our touch; much to our distress (eyeing d potter's marvelous shapes filled me with envy). I slept through the extremely boring talk on mountaineering, another bad meal followed, following which i went for a walk through the campus [skipping the conceptual session because fear gripped me at d thought of recounting "my SPIC experience"- mainly because people expect 'meaningful' words and listen intently (i hope not) at d "Delhi crowd"(??!!!)]. Another bad meal greeted us for dinner, during which Rain decided it was time to make it's presence felt after an unusually hot day. Borrowing a cycle from a localite, I went on a cycling spree in the rain through the beautifully big campus- my escapadic side taking the better of me. After having my share of fun on the cycle, I went to change into dry clothes n then attend d Gundecha brothers concert but rain refused to halt and i was forced to stay put in the hostel for three hours before I saw any familiar face. Cold night and empty stomach necessitated the hot maggi waiting for us at the crowded canteen before finally calling it a day.
            Day 3 started off on a punctuality note for me but was essentially an uneventful one. Woke up and ran off (read cycled away)- even in d slight drizzle- to Yoga on time (reason: there were rumors Kiran Sir would take the Yoga session!). Dropped Khushboo from the cycle on the way back (uneventful, told you). Skipped d breakfast (knew it would be unpalatable again), went straight to d pottery workshop, finished quickly  to make full use of the borrowed bicycle but rain was certainly not on my side, so just went for sandwich with Ricky Sir and sat through an extremely boring talk (75% ppl were sleeping). It was obviously my gauche day- Ws cycling in a patiala salwaar suit after a two-year long hiatus, obviously had forgotten hw to handle the dress, was dreading any untoward happening but it finally came after another bad meal. Cycling to the auditorium for conceptual, my chunni got entangled in d cycle-chain almost strangling me. After saving my neck (quite literally), started cycling again, braked suddenly and my salwaar got torn (wretched chain again) and i looked, hunted and begged for safety pin before finally a kind girl came to my rescue providing me with pins, then went to d tailor who, instead of stitching it, she handed me a needle and thread to sew it! Tried to experiment 'meticulously'- never used thread and needle in my life (living at home gives u luxury of simplest order) and thankfully, it came out pretty well. Throne of Blood greeted us in d auditorium after another insipid talk but it wasn’t a 'regular' day really! Staked the awesome movie to “pay a visit” to the Director at his house (sarcasm intended because I wasn’t needed and had to stake Throne of Blood for it). And then, the day took  U-turn, meet some interesting people (localites!) and walked with them through the campus, went out with the iit-r people for burger and ice-cream and then sat Debu Chaudhri's concert (lovely music). Since, the day is ear-marked as "uneventful", my plan to cycle back to the hostel was foiled by an "over-caring soul" as well as the incessant rain. Needless to say the uneventful day closed an eventful note with the mid-night maggi and paranthas gratifying my appetite.
            Day 4 was a mixture of all the above. Unfortunately, I missed the morning Yoga again. Another boring talk (on health and nutrition or something of the like) greeted us. After lunch (this one was reasonably nice), borrowed a library card to go see the much 'coveted' and 'spectacular' (and hyped) library, skipping the presentation part. Looking through the architecture books (gushing throughout), I realized it was never a that bad option and it was foolish of me to let go of it (but maybe not so foolish after all). Back to the auditorium, the formal signing off by the iit-r people started off, an hour full of no-so-interesting (read boring) sound-bites. Next came the Rajan- Sajan Mishra concert, of which I have no idea because I was chatting away (though sleepily) backstage. Following which was a reasonably good dinner (again!) and back to the hall for the final performances of Kathak and folk. Meanwhile there came a news/rumor (not sure which of the two)  saying all the trains have been cancelled due to landslide and my hopes took a leap- we could go in a bus in  the night!- but it was all soured because the senior people were too rigidly against it. Finally, back to the hostel, but sadly, maggi wasn’t destined for us that night and the day closed on a mixture of the good and the bad, though 'good' dominated for the most part.
             Waiting for the train at 7 a.m. next day and watching Kiran Sir jog on-the-spot, reinforces a need for self-discipline to ease our unnecessary self-created problems and you are filled with all the more respect for the lanky, but extremely warm, old man. His adoption of simplicity as a way of life fills you with incredibility. Sitting in the train and looking out through the window at the pleasant green fields and unclear cloudy skies with telephone towers puncturing the natural beauty, it stuck me that virtual reality has become an inescapable part of the modern man, who has stopped differentiating between futility and necessity.
             Coming back to my town, this realization of contentment stays but being a part of the 21st-century human race (and not adopting simplicity as a way of life), comes with it's own set of old problems and being engulfed by it is a reality for me, in general..

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If you are a movie buff, Bombay is the movie to watch. It's so good, I had goosebumps on both my hands throughout. It's so sensuous and sensitive and at the same time, sensible. Given that Mani Ratnam has directed it, there is not much to be surprised about for he always comes up with fantastic movies but nonetheless, appreciating a superb work never did anybody any harm. I loved it for it's romance, picture and the themes it works on. Acting is naturally outstanding ( c'mon, it's Mani Ratnam!) and so is the music, again not surprising it's A. R. Rehman- he always comes up with something new and exicting. It's music so tempting for its newness, coolness and ear-soothing nature that it automatically becomes pleasing and refreshing. ( The movie came in 1995 and still it has this effect on school and college goers!)
The best thing about this movie, after direction, is the picturisation and cinematography. Camera work is fantastic and it captures everything in its earnestness.Picture work is simply exotic- the locales of South India showcase true nature in it's purity. The love affair of the protagonists is shot in complelete chastity and aesthete defines the first half while the second half explores and highlights politics of the futility of communal hatred alongwith the hyper-sensitive mob. The combination of the specific and the general is beautifully done.
Just watch this one to believe it, it's so much more than a worthwatch...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

One of the very interesting angles that I have come across on the debate against homosexuality is that it is "unnatural".
The legal, religious, historical or any other superficial and over-stated theories can be accepted for a while, even though they are all full of crap and don't deserve even a second, but let's pretend they have a ground simply on the basis of so-called facts.
But how does this "unnatural" thing be justified?
I mean what really is unnatural? According to Oxford, it is something contrary to nature; i.e. extremely cruel or wicked; lacking natural feelings.
But, then, is love and affection contrary to nature? Isn't that the whole basis of it! And can feelings so pure and chaste as love be called, or even related anyhow to, cruelty or wickedness?
And surely, nobody will dispute that love, attraction & affection are purely natural AND unavoidable ( even if you try to suppress it) in life.
Just as being a "white" doesn't give you the right to discriminate a black or being a Hindu majority in India doesn't buy you the right to exploit or inflame the minorities, how can you being a heterosexual ( majority) discriminate a homosexual ( the disadvantaged minorities)? Just because a law was put in the Indian Constitution by the great visionaries of this country- who had, undisputedly, a very broad-minded approach towards everything but, apparently, were myopic or, for that matter, ignorant in accepting this fact of life.
When love between man & woman can be called as perfectly normal, then how can the same love but between the same-sex be termed unnatural? Isn't that hypocrisy and false virtue?
Brainwashing is one reason I would assert for this false sanctimony of people. They are so used to things- so used to being themselves & seeing themselves around and, most importantly, so used to seeing everything else under-cover that they don't want to accept things brazenly and come out clean. But instead, they would rather go on & on about the superficial and artificially created "unnatural" mania.
The fact is that neither is it unnatural ( for love is what binds us all- man to man and man to nature) nor is it anti- human ( for love and affection are so human that it is beyond contesting). About being anti-religious, let us not worry about that because it preaches love and humanity and when it condemns, it is the human interpretation of it which has been twisted to suit own needs and spirituality has no space for love and lust & so, no point looking at it. Historically, there are numerous examples of people being attracted to the same sex in our epics and many other books, so homosexuality isn't an alien concept to our culture. So, it;s only the awfully inhuman law- Section 377- which is against it and hopefully it'll be snapped soon.
So, hope is not dead in me. I am looking forward to seeing India as one of the liberal and accepting countries of the world where Sovereignty of life and emotions prevail.. in general...