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A minute, for god’s sake, let’s think logically.

Off late, I had stopped writing on socio-political issues. For, I felt, writing about the issue will only worsen it. However, today I feel, I need to speak out, on behalf of a larger set of people, I need to speak out, to represent the common man, the common man who comprise you and me.

Why are we all burning today? A minute, for god’s sake, let’s think logically.

There is a group of students from a university breaking the nation with their so called urge for freedom of expression. First of all, in India, we are not short of problems and miseries, which need far more emotional and physical attention of the governing authorities. Over throwing all the high priority issues, are a set of students, with a still smaller audience, somewhere in a trivial isolated part of a university in Delhi, saying something that only they relate to. How does it even matter? The way the media gave them focus was the first step gone wrong.

Coming back to their statements – who cares? Is my thoughts, or rather the thoughts of any logical Indian going to be affected by what these 20 odd year old kids say? Hell no! There is no way anything of these sort are going to define or re-define my patriotism or the lack of it, and I believe so for a vast majority of smart, intelligent, independent thinking men and women of this country. I close my windows tight every night just to ensure the barking of street dogs do not disturb my sleep.

Today it has come to a stage where I have to switch off my TV, stop using Facebook, stop reading forwards on Whatsapp, and stop talking to people in general, just to ensure that I don’t hear the reverberated voice of some stray dogs preaching about freedom of expression and patriotism. The very fact that we are wasting our time, discussing this is a big mistake. With all regret I admit I am wasting my time too, writing about this.

The media, some pseudo intellectual factions and some wannabe politicians are sensationalizing the whole episode to show that everything is not well in this country. To hell with you guys. In this country not everything is well, was not well and will never be well! That’s with every country. Not just ours. With the sheer size of people and an even diverse set of administrators, issues are bound to happen. Not everyone can be pleased. You are right. There are people getting raped. There are soldiers dying. There are capitalists guzzling our economy. There is no safety to human life. There is political instability. There is undeserved reservation. There is corruption. Anything bad that you can think of, we have it!

But our country has been like that since the time it has been around. On the other hand, there are a lot of positives which we ignore during such times. Our country is the most culturally accommodating, our country is economically growing, our country is bringing in foreign investments, our country is creating jobs, and our country is working on a lot of basics, a focus which never existed before. Loosing focus on the essentials to the absurd is an innate human nature, and it’s not your fault. It’s our collective fault.

While our country is slowly but steadily trying to grow out of a shell and attain a status it deserves, we find ourselves fighting among ourselves on a non-existent issue.

Coming back to the students of JNU. Will you please go back to your classes, study your lessons, travel the world and get yourself into a position from where you can talk about a country like India. Because, obviously, right now you have no idea what India is. Your thoughts are too small, biased, loaded with inferiority complex, self-centered, and stranded on some hardships you or your friends faced. You are too lost. You thoughts are negative. Your voice is too feeble to be heard. Your voice has no quality nor are you qualified. When you open your mouth and talk about freedom of expression, it leaves us a tickle. If you think that freedom of expression is about talking nonsensical things like wanting to debate about hanging of the terrorist Afzal Guru, or relentlessly chanting “India ki barbadi”, then I think it’s the failure of your teachers, who have stopped using their canes.

You don’t need the police, you just need some good teachers who can instill some sense into your brain. Give you a wider perception. Introduce you to the beautiful things in this country and not divert your attention to such radical, insane, senseless thoughts. And that is why I think JNU should be shut. Not because you students are stupid, which you already are, but for having stupid teachers, who fail to make you see the brighter side of life.

Jai hind.

 

Deepak Warrier is the author of “Blooming at Midnight“. He writes in general about political issues, reviews and opinions. The blog www.deepakwarrier.wordpress.com carries his independent, neutral, logical and un-biased thoughts.

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My Oath

Let me tell you an age old story.

Once upon a time, there was this group of Pappus. A group of people, who were politically, financially, physically and technologically powerful. Extremely powerful. They created rules and punished others who broke their rules.

Then there were these Maamus, who never accepted the Pappus and their power. The Maamus went on to create their own rules and ignored the Pappus.

Pappus and Maamus gradually became enemies over their fight for power.

Then came the Keedas, who were religiously inclined. They juggled their allegiance between Pappus and Maamus, wherever they found support for their skewed religious extremist ideologies.

As time progressed, the Pappus declined to spend time with the Keedas, as they were too busy overpowering Maamus to become more and more powerful.

Enemy’s enemy is a friend. So the Keedas found a new reliable friend in Maamus, who were looking for partnership to turn against the Pappus. In the process, the Maamus became more and more religiously polarized due to the Keedas.

Not lately, a group was formed within the Maamus, who didn’t approve of the Keedas and their beliefs. They formed the Kichads. However, the Keedas, with the help of the Maamus, curbed the Kichads.

Meanwhile, the Pappus identified the huge wealth generating resources in the possession of Maamus. They realized this could be a serious threat for their supremacy. Seeking the right opportunity, in the pretext of protecting the Kichads, Pappus invaded the Maamu land.

Maamus fell flat on their tummy, lost to the power of the Pappus.

In the process, a lot of Maamus, Keedas and Kichads were killed.

The anger and frustration of Maamus and Keedas multiplied.

Some Kichads migrated to the Pappu land. Some others, angered by the way the Pappus killed their near and dear, joined a hurt, but alive Keedas and Maamus.

Pappus who broke their own rules, abandoned the Maamu land and returned home after a killing spree. They carried with them a lot of wealth from the Maamu land which was always their primary goal. Along with the wealth, they also brought home manifold hatred from the Mammus, Keedas and Kichads.

The land of Maamus were left to poverty, anarchy and further Keeda extremism. The hurt and alive Keedas, Maamus and Kichads together formed a group of Gaandus.

The Pappus self-proclaimed themselves as Gods in their own respect. The creator of rules, had no one to punish them for their act of carnage at the Maamu land.

The sole purpose of the Gaandu’s life became revenge. Revenge against the Pappus. They planted a religious angle on it. They trained themselves to be merciless, ruthless, cruel and unforgiving against the Pappus. They planned thoroughly, to enter the Pappu land and carry out revenge attacks against every Pappu they could find, and in the process, to even lay down their own life.

More and more Maamus, Keedas and hurt Kichads, supported and funded the Gaandu’s mission for revenge.

Meanwhile, the Gaandus who started to feel on top of the world, started to dominate the Maamus. They twisted the Kichad’s religious ideologies to their benefit. And finally, launched a mission to replace the Maamu land containing Keedas with a Gaandu land containing Gaandus.

The Maamus, who started getting hit by the Gaandus, started to cry foul.

The Pappus who were also hit by the Gaandus joined the cry.

The Keedas disowned the Gaandus.

 

So that leaves us with one question. Who created the Gaandus?

WE! I say we!

Because we, we let the Pappus be Pappus!

We let the Maamus support Keedas!

We tolerated the Keeda’s ideologies!

We remained silent when the Papppus attacked Maamus!

Today Gaandu is a cancer. Our cancer. No Pappu, no Maamu and no Keeda has the right to complain about the Gaandus. Because they created the Gaandus. We created the Gaandus.

Tomorrow, Pappu will fiercely talk about humanitarian feelings. Maamus will invite Pappu to attack Gaandu in the Maamu land. All Pappus will unite and all Maamus will support each other to eradicate the current Gaandus. The day after tomorrow, a new Keeda will stand up, the Maamus will support the Keedas and the cycle will continue only to create a new set of Gaandus.

During the course of all the drama that unfolded, I shared various posts through my social media presence sometimes in anger, sometimes in frustration and sometimes in pity.

Today when I sit back and reflect on my act, I realize, when I shared a post in facebook/whatsapp or for that matter in any social media network, I am doing exactly what the Gaandus want me to do. I am being a puppet to their plans. When I flush out my anger towards the Gaandus by supporting a Pappu or a Maamu, the Keedas hurt by either of the two, feels sober for the Gaandus. The same concept of Enemy’s Enemy is a friend concept works in favour of the Gaandus. More and more Keedas join the Gaandu group. They expand!

Through this post, I solemnly promise, take an oath, not to share any material, any forwards, and any message which propagates hatred. Because I care for the world. I care for innocent people like me. I don’t care for the Pappus, neither the Maamus, not a bit for the Keedas and never for the Gaandus. My silence is my weapon. Weapon against the Gaandus.

– Deepak Warrier

 

 

Kuttappan’s Moon Mission – Part 2

MoonMission

Kuttappan’s Moon Mission Continues..

For several days and months, the village only spoke about Kuttappan. Kuttappan and his sudden disappearance intrigued them beyond imaginations. The village split into two factions. One who believed his disappearance was part of a big magic trick and the other who believed he was simply dead.

Meanwhile, somewhere far away in a country called United States of America, a group of physicist, scientist, researchers and space travelers together, in an organization named NASA, started a mission to set foot on the moon. Years of scientific struggle followed with no apparent possibilities of landing on the moon.

During this time, a boy from Kuttappan’s village braved the storms of illiteracy and emerged a scholar. After spending considerable time in India under various scholastic roles, he was invited to NASA to be a part of the moon mission. His entry to NASA was a historic moment for the people in his village. Primarily, for the sheer achievement of someone from the village associating with an organization like NASA and for some other people, it meant the story of Kuttappan reaching a wider audience.

Only a few days after the boy joined NASA, Kuttappan’s moon mission was the most laughed about topic in NASA. Kuttappan was soon a celebrity within the walls of the organization. The laughter subsided only when the government ordered disassembling of the project for the sheer inability to make a progress in the moon mission. Suddenly the mood changed and the laughter waned.

Being the last recruit, the boy from the village was the first to be released from the project. After a brief stint at the NASA, when the boy returned to his village, he was in for a major surprise. As he set foot in the village, murmurs and chit chats surrounded him. Kuttappan’s name was heard everywhere. He sharpened his ears to the murmurs. He could not believe what he heard –

Kuttappan was back!

The boy rushed to Kuttappan’s house. However three strong, stout men stopped him at the gate. They wrapped the boy and threw him off the limit when he tried to sneak in. As news of Kuttappan’s re-appearance spread, people from different parts of the village thronged his house. Kuttappan was tired of questions hurled at him. Kuttappan was forced to quickly hire three strong men to safeguard his house and stop unsolicited people from entering his house.

For a long time, people surrounded his house expecting to hear something from Kuttappan about his moon mission. Kuttappan remained strongly silent. People lost interest real fast, and Kuttappan got off their minds quickly.

One morning, Kuttappan appeared in the tea shop for a morning bite. People who were convinced that Kuttappan won’t reveal any details, didn’t bothere to question him. It took a child’s innocence to run up to Kuttappan, pull his shirt and ask – “Did you really go to the moon Kuttappan uncle?”

Glasses fell down and broke. Snacks and food slid off the plate. The conversations stopped and a scary silence broke in. A chill ran down the spine of the people around. Ignoring the scores of eyes and ears placed on him, Kuttappan bend down and uttered to the child.

“Yes I have been to the moon”

The people went numb. The silence remained, not knowing how to react to his words.

“How is it in Moon?” The child asked the question that skirted on the lips of all the people around.

“There is nothing in the moon child. Just rocks and rocks and….. rocks.” Kuttappan said, and walked away from the people who had a million other questions.

The child’s innocence played a part again. What Kuttappan said somewhat didn’t satisfy the inquisitiveness of the child.

“Just Rocks? No… Moon is beautiful. Kuttappan uncle is lying. He has not gone to the moon. He is lying… He is lying… ” uttered the child.

People celebrated the child’s conclusion. They were relieved that Kuttappan had not gone to the moon as they feared. “I knew from the time he disappeared that he had not gone to any moon. He would have gone to his father’s house” said one among the many who had started laughing loudly.

Once again, Kuttappan, for no fault of his became a laughing stock. Whenever someone passed by him, they joked “Have you bought any stone from the Moon, Kuttappaa?”

Kuttappan ignored them and tried to live a secluded life.

Around his time, the USA revived their moon mission under a new leadership. The years of struggle, finally bared fruit. A manned moon mission was finally accomplished.

In the village on the other hand Kuttappan was getting exposed to more and more pranks and fun.

The manned mission, as they returned from the moon was given a warm welcomed with hefty celebrations and appreciations galore. A detailed report of their finding in the moon were submitted to the Director at NASA. One of the findings mentioned about a carving on the stone. It read like this:

“Kuttappan was here”

Surprised by this, the entire crew of NASA rushed to meet the once laughed about Kuttappan. They landed at the village and requested the boy who worked with them to take them to Kuttappan’s house. As they steadily moved towards Kuttappan’s house, people joined them from either sides of the road. The truth about Kuttappan slowly made its way to everyone in the village. Some bend their heads in shame. Some who supported Kuttappan felt proud. Like a procession they moved towards Kuttappan’s house.

When they finally reached Kuttappan’s house, they were startled. The house bore a deserted look. The officials and the villagers who barged into the house, returned back with a gloomy face.

Kuttappan had disappeared again.

The village is still waiting for Kuttappan to return. Not to make fun of him, but to ask him how he achieved his mission. NASA instructed the boy to report the moment Kuttappan returned so that he could be questioned how he achieved his feat. A stone that they recovered from Kuttappan’s house was kept for display at the NASA museum and they named it the Kuttappan’s Moon Stone.

Meanwhile, NASA kept spending fortunes to visit various planets. NASA’s ambitions streached far and the latest of them was the Mars Mission. Thanks to his excellent contributions, The boy from the village was made in charge of the new Mission. After years of hard work, research and space studies, the boy from the Village landed at the Mars. Landing was tough and risky. The boy, however, showed sheer brilliance to survive a landing disaster. Thanking all his stars for the safe landing, the boy stepped out of his spaceship. He kept one foot on the Mars and the next moment, it was all over. The boy dropped dead on the soil of Mars, surrendering to a sudden attack of the heart. The base station did not get any further messages from the boy. The mission was marked a failure.

The boy became the first human to be buried in the soil of Mars. He was buried in a nice place next to his abandoned spacecraft, just few meters away from a board that read – “Kuttappan’s Tea Stall”

Kuttappan’s Moon Mission

This is a story about Kuttappan. A village magician who dreamed of going to the moon.

Decades back, in a remote village of south India, was born a calm and sleepy boy to a family of magicians. Magic was still largely unpopular in those parts of the world. They foresaw the newborn boy to be a propagator of their tradition in magic. They gave him a trendy name – Kuttappan.

Kuttappan was not raised like a normal child. Magic wands were his toys, and magic tricks were his lullaby. In course of time, Kuttappan grew an obvious affinity towards the art of Magic.

One fine morning, Kuttappan found himself set alone in this world. His magic wand turned out to be the only companion left in his life. Kuttappan had by then mastered pretty much what his family had to teach him about magic. Now it was upon him to go out there and make a mark of his own. He wandered from one village to another showcasing his magic and drawing appreciation from the surprised folks. However, the urge to invent something big kept Kuttappan busy.

After a lot of effort, Kuttappan, finally invented the vanishing act. He would vanish from the land and appear in the waters. Sometimes he would vanish from one village and appear in another. A bird in his hand when covered with a cloth vanished, to appear in a box placed far away, only seconds later.

Daytime went practicing magic. At night, he got surrounded by strange dreams. His dreams were random, blurred and absurd. He could never understand them. Suddenly one night, he woke up from his dream disturbed and restless. Not able to pursue his dream nor his sleep, he slipped out of his house for an aimless walk. The starry sky caught his attention. He was fascinated by the biggest among the stars, that kept changing its shape day after day. Something drew him close to that big star. He felt attracted to the Moon. That night, when he resumed his sleep, his thoughts were specific, focused, yet still largely absurd. A dream sprouted in his heart. That sprout traveled to the Moon, carrying Kuttappan in its arms. Kuttappan dreamed of going to the Moon. Thus started his moon mission.

Kuttappan’s way of going to the moon was based on Magic. Kuttappan believed that if he could make an object vanish from one place and appear at another, he could vanish from the Earth and appear in the Moon.

Kuttappan was loved by all, but his Moon mission was slowly turning out to be a chat over tea topic in the village. People made fun of him. Some thought he had lost his sanity. Some believed he should stop magic and start working at the fields like others. No one in their wildest imagination found a sense in his mission.

Years passed by, Kuttappan’s efforts continued without any breakthrough. People who made fun of him passed away, but their children inherited the talent of making fun of Kuttappan. Nothing demotivated Kuttappan. He kept working day and night towards his Moon Mission.

Thanks to the long night’s stunt with the mission, every morning, he was determinedly found at the small hotel in the village that sold coffee and breakfast. One morning, Kuttappan did not drop in at the hotel for his routine coffee. People smelled a tragedy. They rushed to his house expecting to find him dead of exhaustion. They searched all around his house. They checked at the usual places he visited. They searched in nearby waters and far off hills. There was no trace anywhere.

Someone suggested he had accomplished his mission. Others laughed at it. But the fact remained-

Kuttappan was no where!

End of Part 1 – To be continued in – Part 2

Did Kuttappan achieve his Moon Mission? Read on.. https://deepakwarrier.wordpress.com/kuttappans-moon-mission-part-2/

Greed, Indiscipline, dishonesty and lethargy for Sale!

MadeinIndia

When I first came to Bangalore, Autos and Taxis were inaccessible. The problems with them were manifold. Either they were not willing to travel at a permitted fare, or they were not willing to travel at all. They showed up their asses on your face if you commit the mistake of asking them out on a short trip. Their faces went red with unparalleled anger if you disturb their peaceful rest. They were popularly dishonest and undependable. Mostly, they relax from morning through evening, till they find someone, facing an emergency situation in life, comes by, willing to pay a rocketed fare. These drivers, the once masters of exploitation now has a twist in their lives. Their Greed, Indiscipline, Dishonesty and Lethargy now has a buyer!

There came a God sent Uber, Ola and others of kind with a magic wand- The Mobile APP! Reformation it was, personified! They invited these drivers to register with them, follow some basic rules and in return, what do the drivers get? – “Lots of money”! To make things more fancy, apart from the regular tariffs, they would also be given an additional incentive (for few months). The following days saw the drivers flocking in large numbers at the aggregator offices to get themselves affiliated.

A very interesting fact to note here.

Did the people change? – No!

Did their attitude change? – No!

 

Then what changed?

Nothing has changed. A simple analysis of what the aggregators actually do can throw some light –

  • They ensure the drivers don’t hike rates. What are they dealing with? – Dishonesty.
  • They ensure the drivers work minimum hours – That’s dealing with Lethargy.
  • They ensure the drivers take you to wherever you wish – That’s dealing with Indiscipline.
  • They give additional money – more than what the drivers actually earn – That’s addressing their Greed.

Can’t ignore the stark resemblance to a history that’s repeating itself. Years back, foreign forces did something very similar to India. They identified our weakness and lured us with solutions. Finally we lost our freedom, lost out wealth and when they pull out, we were left with nothing. What they did that day, looks very similar to what is happening today. Our every weakness has a buyer. In turn, what we stand to lose is our hard earned, freedom.

Let’s go back and think of a scenario where these taxi and auto drivers would have worked with discipline and honesty from the time they were on road. Just imagine – you step out of your house, hail a cab and they drive you to wherever you wish and demand only the right fare. Not only would these drivers have made far more money in their lifetime than they are currently, also no external force would have ever found an opportunity to encroach into their freedom. But sad as it is, we never value what we have. Neither freedom, nor our abilities to work with discipline and honesty by ourselves. We always need someone else to force these basics on us.

Somewhere, makes me think, most of us do not enjoy our freedom in life. We mistake freedom for a lot of other things, but not to live an honest and disciplined life. We are more comfortable when someone else sets rules for us, when someone else monitors us, when someone else dictates the way to live. Because, we are just not masters of our own lives.

It’s just not a case with the auto or taxi drivers, but of people in many such industries in our country. India is turning into a start-up hub offering a lot of professional service. From Laundry to carpentry to insurance policies to financial loans to childcare to hospital services to beauty services to what not! But what are these start-ups basically doing? They are basically forcing discipline in an otherwise cranky individual working in the same space.

My humble submission to the vast number of youth out there – You have the power in yourself. You don’t need someone else to teach you some core-basic principles of doing business the right way. When you are an independent entity, be in control. Be loyal to yourself. Be dependable for the people around you. Be truthful and fair to everyone. Live and let live. Then, no external force can dare crack an opportunity to snatch you freedom and peace.

Jai hind!

Confessions of a Critic : Baaahubali – The Beginning

baahubali-movie-posters

Alert: This is not a movie review. This talks about something else.

Not long back, a trailer of “Baahubali – The Beginning” started to appear in my Facebook timeline. Scores of people shared the link. Opinions started to pour in. Some relentlessly shared daily updates about the movie. Rather irritated, I blocked a few of the so called hardcore fans. I never promoted a single link related to the movie. The trailer did nothing to catch my attention either. I argued against the hype, against the fanaticism. I strongly believed movies should not be a medium to splurge money. I argued – wise intelligent movie making will be be lost with such gigantic movies getting made in India. It would mean the grave for sensible directors holding a good script, and a small budget requirement. The very essence of good movies seemed to be at stake. I wished the money spent on this movie be spent on the poor homeless, hungry people of India.

On 10th July 2015, amid huge fanfare like never seen before, Baahubali began his journey.

With a massive world-wide release, there seemed no stopping Baahubali. In none of the reviews, anyone dared to give a negative rating. Even a massacring critic like Raja sen chose to remain silent. None of my pseudo intellectual friends shared a negative feedback about the movie. I wondered what has happened to all the people in this country. Something was seriously wrong. How can a big budget movie made in India, by a Telugu director, based on a tried and tested boring war theme be so right!? I decided to find out.

After two days of struggle, my wife succeeded in booking tickets for a Sunday evening show. I was unhappy that we were watching the movie in an old mall, where everything else except PVR was closed. The mall, which is close to our house wore a dull deserted look, reeling in some past pride.

On Sunday, as we neared the mall, there were wide decors, excited people and hawkers surrounding us. I thought probably, the shops have re-opened in the mall. I was wrong. At the parking area, the once sleepy staff seemed to be on their toes. For the first time, I was guided to the second level parking where, no vehicle would have probably entered in a year. The parking guy had his bag full. The excitement was evident on his face. As I joked with him over the parking space he said, “Since Baahubali has been released, all shows are full. I haven’t collected so much money in the last 6 months put together.”

We followed an obedient queue to enter the cinema hall. Such obedience that one gets to see only at beverage outlets in Kerala. The movie began. Typical – Indian macho-heroism and romantic thrills, poured in. An Indian version of Tarzan captured heartbeats of a majority of people in the hall including ours. The time tested mix of love, humor and heroism did not get us yawning even for a second. Lights came on indicating interval, faster than we expected. After a few lazy minutes at the seat, I went out to get some popcorn. To my surprise, everything in the shops were sold out. I asked them and they said “Since Baahubali has been released, all shows are full. How much ever we order stock, it gets sold out. Such huge business has not happened in the near past”.

The second half was when the movie moved to another level. As the war came alive, the movie continued to grow. It grew so massively that it became something never seen or attempted in Indian cinema. It matched or surpassed the Hollywood war movies like Troy, Gladiator, Braveheart and 300 in its making. Even with nothing new in its story line, I must confess, no war movie has thrilled and excited me like this ever before (Maybe, I got hooked to the fact that something of this extend was made in India and all the weak links vanished). A 30 minute war scene leaves us wanting for more. Just when we have fallen for the movie, its characters and the plot, the movie draws to a close with a revelation, that would for sure, drive us back to the theaters for the conclusion in 2016.

We came out happily drooling and discussing many a scene in the movie. Rather hungry, we checked for the nearby chaat and momos vendors. As expected, they too were sold out for the day.

We went home and made a meal for ourselves. While cooking, my wife pointed out how Titanic created an impact on her. Titanic was a movie that introduced her to Hollywood. She realized that there is a big industry out there. From there on she started collecting as much English movies as possible irrespective of whether its a big budget or an indie production. Hollywood thus made inroads into her.

Today morning, I woke up to the news of Baahubali becoming the most watched movie in US, not limiting to just the Indian crowd. I realized Baahubali is not just another Indian movie. Its an Indian ticket to the world movie scene.

Like how my wife got hooked to Hollywood, thanks to Titanic, there would be French, American, Korean, Spanish and Russian folks who would get hooked to Indian films, thanks to Baahubali. Slowly, like how Hollywood films have a big market in India, Indian films will start having bigger markets abroad. Then, not just our big budget films, but experimental, low budget and good films will start minting the money it deserves. The industry will grow. More money will be spent to cater to the larger audience. We will finally start thinking beyond 2000 Indian screens with a potential of 100-200 CR revenue and start aiming the 1000 and 3000 crores market like the Jurassic Park 2. The light boys, drivers, cooks, spot boys, cameraman, editors, musicians, artists, all will get a share of the pie. The parking guy, popcorn vendor, chaat wala and momo seller, will get their food sold out more regularly. Industry will grow, and in its stride, will take along with it a whole lot of people whose lives revolve around this industry.

All thanks to a humble, soft spoken man, with a lion’s gut – S S Rajamouli. His team’s hard-work, attention to detail and quest for perfection has been rewarded. He has shown Indian filmmakers what “Thinking Big” actually means. He has sent a strong message to the world that “Indian Cinema has finally arrived”.

NB: I may still not unblock the fanatics in Facebook. But yes, I did my part in promoting this “Indian film”.

Lalettan, Girls and – Love a.k.a “Premam”

Movie-Poster

In an air of wit, one of my friends told me – “Kerala is now divided, amongst people who have seen and people who have not seen the massively proclaimed epic – PREMAM”.

After sitting pretty on the latter side for too long (read 2 weeks post release), I decided to take the plunge. The mass reviews, the birth of a superstar, thundering applause, celebrity comments and the Facebook reviews had set the expectations flying sky high.

One evening, my wife and I sat hand in hand, expecting to be showered with love from the screen in front of us. And we witnessed an epic (or did we?).

Let me take the liberty to divide Kerala with one additional cut. People who liked and people who did not like the movie Premam. While the latter seems a rarity, there is a reason if they didn’t.

All of you who are born in the 80’s will relate to the protagonist. The times of the land-line, caller ID, cycle rides, music from the TV (Chitrahaar), a face to face confrontation with the girl you love, and the undying spirit to help the girl you love (irrespective of who she loves).

Moving on, who hasn’t had a crush on one of your teachers? Not for her looks, but for the way she called out your name. Many of us have. However, beyond all that, there was a hero whom we loved and adored. Every girl wished she had a brother like him, every woman wished for a man who could take care of her like him. Every day, in some way or the other, we kept imitating his boldness. The gigantic person who defined machismo in Malayalam cinema. Yes, our very own – “Lalettan”. Who can forget his thick grown mustache and the twist before every heroic act? Even during the time jeans and cotton trousers were gaining popularity, there were a few of us who started wearing a dhoti, just to fold them, tie them, and not to mention the mustache we grew just to twist them up. I would say, Premam struck gold right there, showing us, what we all once did or aspired to do.

Last but not the least, we all fall in love instantly. I fell in love with my wife instantly. Yes, all of us do- at some point or the other. To add fuel to fire, if the girl in question also happens to shake up some nostalgic memories, then there is no looking back. We just go get her. Exactly what the protagonist did.

No qualms there. The movie shows exactly what we want to see. We relate to every scene. Like a puzzle, we match the friends in the movie to the ones we had. We all wonder if the movie is lifted from our lives. And interestingly, it is. Lifted, right from our heart.

Every perception is a contest. A contest – for and against.

Just imagine this. A girl knows how much a boy loves her. He escorts her daily – all the way from school to her house. Smiles at her, calls her on her land-line, braves her father, and almost wins her heart. Just then, all of a sudden, ignoring the tatters his heart would be in, she confides in him, to help her in a relationship with another guy. Are girls so heartless? I don’t know (Or do I?).

Teachers! Now, what do I say? Many of us have had a crush on our teachers (let’s conveniently ignore the world “love” here and call it “crush”). But, but, but, how many of our teachers have had a crush on their students? I know not. Enlighten me. The sanctity of a teacher-student relationship is questioned here.

Finally, a girl, bold enough to break her marriage on the groom’s comment on her make-up, is justified. She is the empowerment that Rahul Gandhi has been repeatedly trying to convey in an hour long conversation with Arnab Goswami. However, what does not empower her any further is a flimsy heart that falls for a guy, who smiles at her in a cake shop and later helps her in choosing a shirt for her brother. Especially after a broken marriage, is it really fine to go by a man, whom you hardly know? Where is her character? Where is her individuality? For people unlike me, where one meeting is not enough, this stings.

All said and done. The cash registers are rolling endlessly, surpassing every known record of Malayalam cinema. Reminding us once again that the majority of us, still love to see ourselves on screen. Not the new generation WE – who speak less, think practically and talk intelligently. But the WE, who speaks our heart out to our friends, think from our heart and talk nonsense with perfect knowledge that it’s nothing but complete shit!

Two Minutes of Life

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Two minutes. Does it make a huge difference? For me it does. A two minute can give you moments of unforgettable memories, while a two minute can also make you scared of life. If it is unforgettable memories that you achieve, then it stays with you throughout your breath and every moment of loss can be overcome by this finest memory of a charismatic moment. But, If what you gain is fear, then that fear lives with you, grows with you and finally accompanies you to your grave. So for me, two minutes of life does matter. In many ways. More than one can imagine.

 I am not a spontaneous human being. Yes, I have spontaneity with regard to a few instincts. But when it comes to a relationship, I thought I was not spontaneous. I was totally wrong. There are times when you try to judge yourself, on your behavior, on your character or on your speech. But deceiving. All are deceiving.  What you are and what you want to be, even you fail to understand. That’s nature’s law. If you argue with me that you know yourself, then you must be the biggest fool trying to convince that you have close companionship with the biggest stranger you know. I know am sounding depressing. But it’s a fact. Try to know yourself, and you will realize you don’t. Not even a bit. You decide something today; do something else the day after. You want to become something, while you would still end up doing something that you don’t even know. Life is a game, of sincere expectations and random adjustments.

 Few months back I was on a drive with a friend, a girl for sure. Time must be much beyond midnight. A song played in the car, for some reasons moved her emotionally and she expressed how emotionally attached she was to me. I was probably waiting to hear that. She rested her head on my shoulder and that two minutes of drive made me feel there is someone who understand me and binds me emotionally. Months later, what followed were futile attempts to get in touch with her. The song had already vanished from the radio playlist and also from my personal playlist. But whenever, wherever I hear that song, I remember those two minutes of life. Gracious and gorgeous, two minutes of life.

Time went by and I kept searching for more and more occasions where I would enjoy two minutes of life. But the more you search the more you go away from it. These moments never occur with a planned agenda. These moments or rather minutes occur when you don’t even realize it occurred. Later you look back and realize, yes, those were those two minutes of life.

I was on a journey with my best friend whom I have never understood yet. That is myself, to Varanasi. I met an old woman in the general compartment of my train. She sat on the floor of the train and most times could be seen chanting a prayer praising the lord Shiva. The journey was unplanned and for sure I could not grab any sleeper tickets. I was left in the company of some most genuine people in the general compartment of that train. It took us till Mughal Sarai Juntion, 36 Kms ahead of Varanasi. Most of us intended to get down at Allahabad. This old woman had a packet of mixture with her, which made up for her meal. Every stop that we had by the meal time, I would see people surrounding me and staring at me while I was having a meal. Slowly I came to terms that all people in the general compartment could not afford a 3 time meal. I was slowly becoming one of them. The second day, I skipped by bf and dinner. The third day morning as I woke up, this old lady, who I have never seen having anything other than the mixture, extended her packet which hardly had enough for her to survive the rest of the journey, towards me and asked me if I would like to have some. She had probably noticed that I had my meal only once the previous day. But that’s all she had to offer me. Tears filled my eyes while I obliged and took a handful of mixture from all that she had. Her toothless smile made my day. On the third day as we got down at Allahabad, she looked lost. In the broken conversation that we had, I managed to understand where she intended to go. I guided her out of the railway station, from where we took a cycle rickshaw to the bus stand. She had to take a bus to a nearby village where she believed her son would be waiting for her, while I had to take a bus to Varanasi. During this journey in the cycle rickshaw, there was a moment. She stared at my face, I smiled at her. Suddenly in the spur of a moment, she took my face in her hands and kissed my forehead and blessed me with her hands on my head. Two minutes, thats all it took her to pierce into my heart. Two minutes of life.

Gradually my life was tuning itself into more and more of these two minutes. Many incidents followed which made me feel two minutes are worth it.

But two minutes may just not get you overwhelmed with emotional love. But also dagger a feel of scare. A wrong judgment or rather a complete wrong realization of who you are, hurts, and accompanies you for a lifetime. I am not fine with people judging me. What can I probably express to a person with whom I have spent a long time admiring and being a shadow? One fine morning, from nowhere I commit a mistake and the whole relationship goes into a judgmental mode. When the person who you thought knew everything about you, turns back and ask you questions you never thought you would have to answer, it hurts. Reciprocation does not matter. But at least I wished the past moments before a silly two minutes were given a thought before throwing questions at me like a fireball. I am doomed. I am scared to talk and I am scared of my words from there on. Two minutes of life have taken away a brother or a finest friend away from me. I repent, but I am also scared. Next time I would measure my words, I would measure my conversation, measure my thoughts and measure my intentions. I have never intentionally hurt anyone. If I have, this is an open apology. Forgive me.  Pardon me.

If you think I have hurt you, you have probably, never known me.

But much beyond that, if you have ever been a part of my two minutes of life. You are never forgotten, frequently remembered and most importantly, cherished upon as the people who made up those two minutes of my life. My life continues to comprise of these many two minutes while still discovering new and more moments, which would make my life. Two minutes of life.

Nothing has changed

The first bus starting for Cochin from Bangalore would reach Alwaye around 4 am. Today it reached unusually earlier. The 15 minute walk that it takes to reach home meant planning for the day at home. I am visiting parents more often now, than before. From once in a month, to the current third consecutive weekend at home. Reasons vary. Basically, like everyone does, I feel safe back home. Away from the fears of fake assurances, lying words and dying relationships. As usual there were no concrete ideas on how to spend the day at home.

The morning chat ranged from minute news from here and there handpicked by mom to coverage on the week that went by at Bangalore to dad’s bright expression with a lighter shade. As I pulled the news paper from the table, little did I notice my mobile kept on top of it. My mobile fell down thrashing on to the floor, leaving its various parts scattered all around. A quick re-assembly didn’t work. After a few trials the mobile was finally switched on. But something was lost. The SIM card was damaged and the SIM would no longer connect me to the network. I noticed all the numbers in the contacts had vanished. I tried to restore the backup from the memory card, but memory card was not detecting either. I severely cursed the moment. I tried to maintain cool, while still desperately trying to find a way out of the mishap. Damaging the SIM and the Memory card meant losing the numbers of each and every person who has come and gone from my life both personally and officially since the time I have come to start using a mobile. Except for a few numbers which I remember, the rest of almost 2000 were to go away from me. I felt as if I was getting socially detached. The loss seemed grave as it sunk into me that even a duplicate SIM cannot be activated in Kerala since my connection is from Bangalore. Two days of total social desertion. Somewhere, I was starting to feel better.

I suddenly felt like going back a few many years to a time, before the birth of social networking and mobile linking. Those days, family meant everything. Sister, mom and dad were the only people to be around with. The days where dad paid for everything, mom selected everything and travelling obediently to wherever they took. So the day’s plan finally came clear in me. Sometimes it’s revealing and more than refreshing to travel back in time to a self whom I have come to cherish and mesmerize often. The most innocent, obedient yet naughty times. That’s when you were at your best, and that’s the time you will go further in life and remember the most.

I preferred not to drive. The driver had to chip in. Mom took me out to a shopping mall, bought lots of dresses for all of us and stuffs for home. I wandered in the mall with her like a child. I chose not to search for familiar faces. I stuck to her. We did some window shopping and selected stuffs to be bought later. By then it was getting to noon. We went to dad’s office and picked him. Dad doesn’t usually like to dine out, but he suggested to eat out. I eat out every day at Bangalore, not by choice though and for me to eat out would have meant missing home food. But today I felt unusually enthusiastic on having lunch from a hotel. We discussed quite a lot on where to go and finally decided on a common favorite hotel. Lunch seemed like one of the best. Back home after a sumptuous meal, the various purchases of the day were on display. Sister joined on phone and quite evidently seemed missing out in the scene. An afternoon nap for dad and a few household works for mom. That’s when I finally came down to realize how beautiful the day was.

I sat on my swing in the balcony facing the street, and started to call those few people whose number I remember. Remembering someone’s number never necessarily meant they have a fancy number. It just meant how close I consider them to me. Those people who I have to be in touch even if I were to just vanish today, away from all my belongings, all the relationships, all the bonding. Away in a place where it’s just me and only me, still keeping in touch with them would mean a necessity in life. I dialed the first number. I understand the person never knew what I was feeling today and the circumstances. I was probably again trying to assure myself on the closeness towards them. The person I hope recognized my sound. Spoke for a little, but then seemed like in search for topics. Some usual questions, answers and there was nothing more. All I could do was to give an abrupt end to the call. Life has come a long way in a short time. Not long back was it when I had borrowed a travel agent’s landline to speak to this person for hours before boarding a bus. Even at those times, I don’t remember having a topic. In fact any conversation would lead to a topic. Today a conversation with the same person could not go beyond a few minutes. I have to admit, I would have also played a big part which lead to thus. The second person too did not seem much interested in a long conversation. My calls stopped there. The list was not longer either. I came back to my room and slept.

Mom woke me up around 6 in the evening with a cup of coffee. I could hear dad in the background. I woke up and resting my head on her lap, said the best I could tell. “I love you mom and dad”

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