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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Here comes the rain Again

First the dimming of the bright sunlight, followed by the advancing cloud cover. The whole cityscape canopied by the dark cumulo-nimbus stretching over the skyscrapers and shanty huts alike. The trees, pedestrians, hawkers, dogs, beggars and cars all shaded from the harsh glare from up above. The stirrings of hope in every soul, the hope of solace – several glances at the dark mass of cloud above, some wishing to hurry back home, some hoping to just let it rain. And then finally the first draught of wind, the first drop falling on the heated asphalt paved roads, then on the parched skin of the forehead, hands and then it comes falling down in a dizzy, the drops competing with each other to reach the roads and trickle down to the drains. And the whole city sighs in relief and takes in the sweet petrichor of water on soil. While some shield themselves with their briefcases and bags and rush towards the nearest shade, I’d rather soak in it all. Why seek shade from both the fire and ice? There is a different charm in opening your umbrella and then walking down the road with the raindrops battering against your umbrella and all around you in a mad frenzy creating a strange melody of sorts – a very natural beat and rhythm against the urban-scape.

“I can show you

That when it starts to rain

Everything’s the same

I can show you”

-(Rain, The Beatles 1966)

I have always been in love with the rains, and so the fact that my favourite time of the year happens to be Monsoon is no big revelation. Be it walking in the rain with some good music playing through the headsets, the dark cloud cover all over my head, the fresh smell of water all around; or curling up in the sofa beside the window with a good book, a cup of coffee and maybe Enigma’s Rain Song playing in the background watching the water trickle down the glass – the rain has always been magical for me, reminding me of every bit of good memory I’ve ever experienced. From dancing in the water patches, splashing water all around  with naked feet in the childhood, to the ‘adda’ and carrom sessions with friends in the windy verandah, the rain gushing down outside, complemented with delicious pakodas and chai by mom, the rain has always been the time for me to be with friends and family. But Granny’s ghost stories on a powercut rainy evening, dad coming back home with hot cutlets and the family tea sessions have long past gone. The rainy days now have changed, albeit physically. It’s usually me sharing time with friends over books and movies or with mom over coffee now. But the essence of the rain has remained – the little drops of water falling on the earth still make my time the most pleasant and magical ever. The tinge of serenity and melancholia that the raindrops colour the whole city in, is too overpowering to ignore and not to love. At least for me.

“Here comes the rain again

Falling on my head like a memory

Falling on my head like a new emotion

I want to walk in the open wind

I want to talk like lovers do

I want to dive into your ocean

Is it raining with you?”

-(Here Comes The Rain Again, Eurythmics 1984)

-Signing off,

The Scatterbrain

(And till then, let it rain…)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

7 Things I am Grateful For

Ah! Another one of those seven things posts, this one. I remember initiating this blog with a very similar post. But it’s been more than a year now, and so, the fickle minded creature that I am, my likes and dislikes have also changed. And I have somehow started preferring the sedentary free evenings at home, complete with a good movie and a bowl of popcorn, much more than going out and partying away to glory, like I used to. So needless to say, while some of the things that I am grateful for, do remain the same, some new vistas of incredibly awesome options have opened up. So here goes –


#1. My Samsung Galaxy S:


Yes, I am a gadget geek, but the one I have referred to above is not so much on the “hi-tech” end. I had bagged it on qualifying for a MTV show- Gang Next, and my Galaxy has been my foul and fair weather friend ever since. I log into my social networking websites when happy, listen to music when I am sad, play games when bored and surf the Google Play Shop for the amazing apps when I have nothing better to do. So, this might sound like a commercial, but an android does change your life for the better.


#2. My Shorts:


Yes, I am inestimably grateful to the pair of beige shorts that I practically live in. It is one of my most faithful companions in the Calcutta weather – either hot and humid, or rainy and wet. And it even solves the woes of dirty jeans while wading through the vast inundated stretches of roads during the monsoon. Handy, useful, comfortable and cute – what else do you need?


#3. Ulysses:


My copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses that I picked up from College Street, has been a source of inspiration for a long time. Well, not in the way you think it is – nothing to do with Mr. Joyce’s delightful imagination, wordplay or technique. I have completed about 1/10th of the book in the past one year, and the fact that there are people out there who have actually read and finished and understand the masterpiece and have the enthusiasm to go and celebrate Blooms-Day, surprises me to no end. Whenever I grow too conceited or complacent, one look at that Tome of Pages is enough to remind me that there are indeed far greater super human beings who did manage to finish it, while I couldn’t.


#4. My Guitar:


Dusty, old, hand-painted, very often out of tune, and handled by a noob – yes, that is my acoustic guitar. My mother says when I play it, it often sounds like banshees screeching. But nevertheless, coming back tired from college and harping on it along with Comfortably Numb or a Dylan number in my frog throated voice gives me mental peace and a kind of rejuvenation like nothing else. So yes, you might complain, but I will just play on.


#5. The Rain Gods:


Tlaloc(Aztec), Chac(Mayan), Tefnut(Egyptian), Hiro(Easter Island), Ganymede(Greek) – whichever name you refer to them as, I wish to convey my eternal gratefulness to these rain gods. Refreshing the soul, washing away the layers of dust and grime off the leaves and the minds – what would we do without the blessing called rain. And not to forget those amazing rainy evenings that are completed with a plate of hot ‘pakoras’ and a great song. Forget about me, what would Hollywood or Bollywood do without the rains, taking into account the plethora of movie titles, songs, situations or dances. We all are grateful for the Rains.


#6. Harry Potter:


Yes yet again. My ultimate inspiration for living, writing and leaving a mark. It has taught me friendship, compassion, perseverance, courage, will power and the power of love. If there is something that has truly changed my life, it is that series. My heartfelt thanks to J.K.Rowling for gifting a completely magical childhood to me and millions of others.


#7. : Tim Berners-Lee:


Tim Berners-Lee – Father of the Internet. Need I say more?


And so, that’s my 7 things list. What are yours? Keep me posted.


Love all,


The Scatter Brain.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

What's In A Name?


Jason stared blankly at the screen of his laptop willing himself to pull out a plausible starting point of the events. He had the victim, the murderer, and the motive. All he needed was the method. The obvious ones that came to his mind were too common-place. He possibly could not put that into his novel. He got up, stretched, cracked his knuckles and walked towards the refrigerator. His hero, homicide cop Richard Bohm, stared at him from the posters of his novels – ‘Richard Bohm and Dark Side of the Moon’, ‘Richard Bohm and the Mason Crime’, ‘Richard Bohm in Jargon Mason Strikes Again’. He looked into the eyes of his strapping hero in a beige trench coat and smiled, “You sing your swan song now Rick. Its Jargon’s perfect crime this time.” Staring at Bohm’s weirdly named nemesis Jargon Mason, he sighed. He would miss writing the series. And to imagine his reader’s expression when they find out Rick finally meets his end at the hands of Mason. Very Sherlock Holmes-ish. Very Jason Morgan-ish in fact. Devoid of sappy happy endings. Why in fact should his story have a happy end when the whole concept of a ‘happy end’ is abstract, contrived and non-existent in the world around him?


He took out a bottle of his favourite Rowan’s Creek Whiskey and poured himself out a liberal amount. With the glass in his hands, he sagged into his favorite squishy armchair and went over the events in his mind. In an effort to save the life of his 9 year old daughter, Richard breaks his code of service and shoots down an unarmed henchman. His suspension from service had followed and to be honest, Richard wasn’t all disappointed. He did miss his job, but the quality time he got to spend with his daughter Cassidy was more than welcome to him. Jason wondered when exactly should he make Mason strike. When Richard goes to drop Cassidy to school? No, too many people and too open. He went over the options in his head. And then it struck him. The perfect place. The perfect time. The perfect crime. Satisfied with the idea, he got up and put on his travelling jacket and walked out of his apartment.


***


Homicide Detective Suzanne Salinger felt a pang of sadness as he looked at Jason Morgan’s undaunted figure on the chair. She had always idolized Richard Bohm and was in awe of the creator of the figure. She could not believe that such would be the turn of events. All those stories, all those crimes and Jargon Mason. Eoin Medley, her partner, had no such feelings. He sat grinning on the desk, having had the case of his life.


“So, Mr. Morgan, you bludgeoned  senior officer Frederick  Colfer on the head and then shoved the poison darts into his neck. That is your idea of the perfect crime?”


“No, my dear- “ he squinted at the name tag on his shirt- “Medley, my idea of a perfect crime is where there is no motive. And I never had any. Any ‘apparent’ motive that is,” he chuckled.


“And what was all that writing in blood in the alley walls? That ‘R.I.P. Richard Bohm’ thing?”


“Oh, don’t be stupid,” Morgan snapped, “Its not supposed to be me commiting that murder is it? Its Jargon Mason doing it. That is exactly the sort of thing he would do. Don’t you have any common sense or what?”


Eoin shook his head, “I think I’ll let the court deal with you. You are looney aren’t you? Commiting crimes all these years just so you could write stories on them! Grow up ol’ man.”


Jason Morgan still had a slight smile on his face as the cops handcuffed him and started to lead him away.


“Mr. Morgan” Suzanne called at the last minute, unable to suppress the questions in her mind. “Mr. Morgan, I have a lot of questions for you, but just answer one before you leave. Why name Jargon Mason the way you did? I mean couldn’t a character based on yourself  be named better?”


“Ah, you silly young people. Don’t you understand anything at all? Place the two names Jason Morgan and Jargon Mason beside each other and search up the term Anagram on the net, will you?” Jason smiled as he walked away towards the prison doors.



THE END.


Monday, April 30, 2012

The Cornucopia of Our Lives


In The silence of the concrete,
Steel piled upon steel,
Stones and bricks together in play,
And wood rendering the city still.

The cacophony and the birds drown
The silent pleas of escape
From the cornucopia of human life,
Freedom from form and shape.

And here you can hear the fish talk,
You can spy on ants homeward bound,
But the noise of human breaths unheard
Amidst the propaganda and sound.

Men breath, men fall, men laugh, men cry,
We fight for all and for all we vie;
Men rise, men see, men feel, men try,
We join the clamour and fray and then we all die.

We hurt what we love and love what hurts,
And then complaint 'bot Destiny's plan;
We forget to live every moment here,
And on each hurting word spend our life span.

Nor Satan nor God,nor Light nor Dark
Will ever help us be;
But our beating Hearts and pumping Blood,
Is what will set us Free.

~Sanchali.


Friday, April 27, 2012

As Above so Below

"Quod est inferius est sicut
quod est superius, et quod
est superius est sicut quod
est inferius"
That is the basic idea I had while sketching this one randomly.
As for the explanation, it's basically the liberation of mankind.
The pseudo yin-yang symbol(which is actually supposed to depict balance) has the Egyptian Ankh or the symbol of death on one of its sides. The inevitability of
death and decay even in the highest of beings is what I meant to show by that. The roots and leaves growing downwards is the search for the establishment of a New world order amidst the chaos of religion. W hile the drawing, if you see linearly from left to right, shows the development of mankind, his spiritual destruction and his want for enlightenment..
yeah, that was my basic idea I guess..
don't know how far I have been able to explain it.

Now he you parallel this explanation, this sketch and the quote from the Emerald Tablet that I have quoted above (and which actually means "what is above is below and what is below stems from what is above") I hope you will realize what I had wanted to depict in this sketch.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu :: A Monday Morning Treat

Frankly speaking, when I went to watch Ek Main aur Ekk Tu, all I was interested in was watching the lovable Imran Khan in action again. Coming from the Dharma stable, I had expected it to be a boy meets girl story. But half an hour into it, I was pleasantly surprised by this new boy meets girl story. The accidental marraige in a drunken stupor in Las Vegas is but a gimmick to get the story ahead, and the movie has nothing similar to Hollywood flicks like What Happens in Vegas or The Proposal.


The story begins with Rahul Kapoor(Imran Khan), scion of the Kapoor family business loosing his job of an architect and landing up unemployed in Vegas. A meeting with the psychiatrist leads him to encounter Riana Braganza( Kareena Kapoor) and what follows is the high strung mamma's boy going for a whirlwind of a ride with the spunky care-free Riana and falling in love over a Kuch Kuch Hota Hai song. They sing, dance and have fun in a way you and me would, and not run with open arms in fields and fall into each other's arms. But Riana brings much more than just fun to Rahul's life. Having led all his life under the diktat's of his high class socialite parents (played brilliantly by Ratna Pathak Shah and Boman Irani), he finally decides to loosen up and bursts out about his lost job, his accidental marriage, a certain wife of a certain family friend, that he prefers eating with the fork and not chopsticks and what not at a dinner party! In fact he learns to be happy being 'Perfectly Average'. But when cupid strikes, things go awry, and a sad song later, they come back together. But that is where the brilliance of the movie lies. They come back in a way but they don't actually. Well, you'll have to catch the movie to know the rest as I am not giving anything out here.




As for the lead pair, they do justice to their roles. Riana Braganza is a shade of Jab We Met's Geet and Kareena Kapoor plays it with aplomb. Imran Khan is a riot! From the deadpan to a cluelessly trapped bachelor, or a man who has just discovered himself to the frustrated and confused-lost guy - he plays a brilliant Rahul - someone all the girls would like to take to their mother.Their chemistry is informal and affable- just what the script demands.


The plot, despite being not that deep, manages to hold the audience through some great slice-of-life moments. The cinematography - well... even a noob with a 3mp camera can make LV look like a million bucks! Amit Trivedi's music is hummable, with 'Aunty Ji', 'Aahatein' and the title track standing out. And to top it all, the short running time of 2 hours really make things click.


After a long time, I watched a rom-com that actually managed to hold my attention and make me smile. Bunking the Monday morning classes were definitely worth it. If nothing, go for the feel good factor that the film manages to share in plenty this Valentine's Day.


Love,
The Scatterbrain

Saturday, October 1, 2011

:: DURGA PUJAS ~ food, friends, family, nostalgia ::

The earliest memory I have of the Durga Pujas is watching the awe-inspiring idols sitting on the shoulders of my dad. I remember waking up to the beats of the dhak, with the tempting smell of home made malpuas wafting from the kitchen. On Mahalaya, we would be up at four,turning the knobs of the cranky radio to set it to the right frequency to catch the songs and the programme. Puja used to be waking up early in the morning, dressing up in new clothes, taking the blessings of the elders, and then running out for the daily share of adda, games, prasad, to the para pandal. After a short rest in the noon(for which my mother had to literally lock me up in a room), it would be dressing up in new clothes again, sitting near the pandal with my para friends, playing antakshari and dumb-charade, ocassionally sipping on Coca-Cola and munching on Uncle Chips. Late evening, mom and dad would usually give in to my constant begging and take me out to visit the nearby idols. Enthusiast that he always was, Dad would be ready with all the information on the best of idols and pandals nearby, and Saptami and Nabami mornings would be spent on visiting those, and then returning home with packets of fried rice and chilli-chicken. And the most special of them all would be the astami mornings. With a good few hours spent on draping mom's oversized saris on myself and holding it up with safety-pins(so many of them that I would be like a mini pin-cushion), and then give anjali, all the while trying in vain to curb my hunger(we were supposed to fast till the anjali). We would wait eagerly for granny to sneak out of the pandal with plates of sweets and fruits and distribute it among our large group - we were about 12 kids in the neighbourhood if my memory is not failing me. Comparing dresses, bragging about the new hindi songs that you memorized,gossiping about that cute boy in class whom you had a crush on, more cold drinks and more chips, occasional phuchka treats by someone in the para, running about and distributing the thalis of prasad to the nearby households and that innate sense of freedom for those five days - Durga Puja was inevitably the most awaited and anticipated festival of the year.


With the festivity season setting in, it is almost in a nostalgic mood that I look back at what the Pujas meant to me for the first twelve-fourteen years of my life. This year, Mahalaya, which marks the start of the season of the Goddess, was a welcome holiday spent in watching the latest movies at the house of my best friend. We gorged on burgers, pastries, popcorn, Chinese delicacies and lazed around the whole day before returning home in the evening. For the last few years, the Pujas have been pretty much the same - waking up late, having some breakfast, sitting with the laptop to check update statuses and tweets, surfing through the newspaper to see if some good movie is playing in the plex, then dressing up in those branded jeans and tees or boutique made kurtis, balancing on the high heels of the new shoes, or just slipping into the comfort zone of the converses, and then meeting up with school and college friends at CCD, KFC, HHI, Tantra or even Maddox Square. The adda sessions usually culminate with dance sessions at Underground or Venom, or even random photography sessions. Food is usually from the various buffets hosted by the city restaurants, wrapped up with Mamma-mia gelatoes and CCD floats. The dhak beats serve as sudden unexpected souce of alarm when in the mornings you suddenly wake up and realize, oh, its the pujas.Family time is the Navami luncheon with mom at Park Street and coming back home with packets of food, like old times. Para friends have become practically non-existent. Pujas have become an occasion for meeting friends and eating good food. Phuchka still reigns supreme though.
The reason I wrote this is not to pass any value judgement. Its not that I hate what I did back then or what I am doing right now. Both are fun in its own sweet way. The only discontent in my mind is that I no longer get to sit on Dad's bike and visit the pandals in the morning and come home to taste the yummy coconut jaggery balls(nadus) concocted by granny. Yes, some voids can never be filled.



Image courtesies: Google Image.
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