Mindless thoughts after a movie

Three love stories. Two had a ‘happily ever after’ ending.

A fiery-filmy one, a slow and uncertain one and a mature one. It is confusing, isn’t it? I was just speed-watching the movie Kandukondein Kandukondein and couldn’t help but notice the contrasts in the storylines.

I am not sure if the director meant the audience to notice this. Did he imply that the fiery, too-good-to-be-true affair to fizzle out eventually and the ones that withstand the odds to survive at the end? I really don’t know.

A tiny note about this movie- Amazing songs, beautiful cinematography (worth remembering for a long time) and star cast. 

I am not qualified to talk about love or relationships. Heck, my reputation till recently was of ‘breaking up relationships’. No, before you conclude, let me explain why.

If someone asks me for a ‘relationship advice’ (dressed up term for ranting about the significant other), I listen. I listen with all the patience I can possibly muster. I realise at the 23rd minute of the rant that this person is just a party to an abusive relationship and is being taken for a ride by that other person. So, as a good Samaritan, what do I do? I express my expert opinion on that subject.

It is not as if one aims to split people up. Often I find people getting swept away by the glitz and glamour of a relationship. The honeymoon phase, you know. It is after it wears off that one gets to the evaluation mode. So yes. I advise. Free of cost and only when solicited.

So post that phone call, these people wake up from their self-imposed slumber and see what I said. They understand the nitty-gritty of my opinion and the rest is history.

So back to this movie, I was wondering what would I have done, if it was my friend, who fell for Bharathiyar poems? ( I would totally fall for the poems, for the record, and not the guy who recites it. Okay, maybe for the guy who sings it just like Hariharan did in Suttum Vizhi Sudar thaan) Would I have stepped in, suo motu and given her/him a piece of my mind? Probably no.

Over the years, the one thing that I learnt the hard way was to not give my opinion on something unless asked for it. Expert opinion is not meant to be given free of cost, right? I just smile and move on. Whatever has to happen, will happen.

I also was surprised that the director chose to make the underrated love stories in that movie, a success. I was talking about this to my mom. We often discuss these issues. She says that a relationship must be tested as much as possible before it becomes anything significant, culturally ( you know the socio-cultural ceremonies and recognition). She says that it must witness quarrels, distance, possessiveness, helplessness and a whole range of concepts before one can safely trust it.

I am not sure I agree with this fully. To an extent, yes. It makes sense. I would go for the practical aspects of any relationship to its theoretical version. To carry my SO in my pocket and roam around is just impossible. Even if we decide to take the plunge, it is not as if we are gonna sync our office timings to the T and spend amaaaazing weekends together. C’mon! I have seen my parents, and hell no! They don’t do that. And theirs is the perfect marriage I have ever known.

So is love a compromise? A decision? or an impulsive feeling? Did Meenakshi settle to marry Bala because he was the most accessible and available person then? Did Mano come back to marry his love because he knew she would remain unmarried for the rest of her life, given her so-called bad luck?

I must not be allowed to watch movies. Hence proved.

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20 years and counting

Today, the Harry Potter series completes 20 years of existence. In this 20 years, the series has seen it all. It has been celebrated, shunned, criticised and worshiped. All of it in a span of 20 years.

For a lot of kids of the 90s era, Harry Potter would be an inevitable part of their lives. It is so much like that closed room in our house, that we would have decorated with every care, every little detail attended to with the eye of an artist. It is that room that we would love to cherish and remember with a lot of fondness, with a lot of love in our heart. It is in that room, that we would love to spend the rest of our lives, irrespective of how impossible that might be. All that is possible would be to spend some quality time there, every now and then and to breathe in and out, with all the satisfaction in life. A satisfaction that we have seen it all.

Harry Potter revolves not just around the trio- Harry, Ron, and Hermione. It is a story, a tale about each and every character that is shown to exist in the series. There is a story, a specific trait for every character. There are quirks that would set one apart from the other. There are flaws that would define the character. We loved them, not giving a thought to their flaws. We were okay with those flaws. It made them more believable, more human.

Every HP fan like me would have lived through a phase where we spent hours and hours dreaming about life in Hogwarts. I for one wanted to don those black robes and walk the corridors of Hogwarts. I wanted to be there in that bridge corridor over the black lake when Harry was having that conversation with Lupin. I wanted to be there when Ron and Harry were fighting in book four. I wanted to be the one who forged peace between the best of friends. I wanted to be the one who would spend hours practicing Quidditch, especially with Oliver Wood and Cedric Diggory ( More so when I saw them on screen). I wished I got to take part in the Yule Ball. I wished I could team up with the Weasley twins and laugh a lot. I wished I was one in the group that went to the Ministry in search of Harry. I wished I could save Dobby. I cried, laughed and celebrated along with Harry and his friends.

Yes. I was one among them.

Then one day it all ended. Harry Potter was not going to fuel my thirst for more. Seven it was and that’s it. It.All.Ended.

The most important lesson that I learnt from reading the series was that everybody has some inherent flaw. It was also okay to introspect and accept that flaw. Everybody has a past that one would want to forget. Not because it gave them the chills, but in order to remind themselves that they were better off at present. Some chapters are best when closed for good.

Dumbledore, Luna, Snape, Ron, Ginny, Harry, Lupin, Tonks, Voldemort all had their own dark pasts. Some had to fight their way past it. Some had to forget it and move on to the next phase and some had to live with the stains of it. Did it make any of them weak? Not that I could think of.

I would still consider it the greatest gift if I could experience some part of my universe in some way. I was not blessed enough to experience the thrill of standing in a queue to buy the book or to watch even a single movie in the theatre. I consider those as a long lost thing right now. But, I would be content if I am able to connect to a very significant part of my childhood every now and then.

HP themed merchandise, cafes, a cousin who is a fanatic and loves to pull an all-nighter discussing HP and lists of articles quenching my thirst. All of these. Nothing else.
Twenty years have flown by and I still breathe HP. That is how much it means to me.

 

Thoughts from the Hull

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A noon show of the movie Titanic pushed me to write this post.

One particular scene in this movie always stumps me hard. The scene where Jack makes Rose promise that she will not die that night and not let go of her hopes of staying alive. He goes on to say that she must move on, have a lot of babies and die a peaceful death in her warm bed.

To people with critical eyes, it might seem too good to be true. I mean, how on Earth would have those two lived a fulfilling life, had they gotten together. Differences would have definitely crept in, breaking them apart. Right? Maybe, I say.

Thinking deeply, I realise that most of us have gone through this phase. The phase of letting people we love, go. A point comes where ‘we’ gets unhappy and the other person seems to be better off without us. What do we do then? Should we cling on to them or should we move on?

Would moving on be seen as an act of selfishness or indifference? Or would it seem cowardly? There is no right or wrong here. There is a lot of grey areas in the world that seems black and white.

But then, I ask, isn’t that what love is all about? You care for a person so much that their happiness and welfare matters to you more than your idea of togetherness. At times, I have also felt that may be a considerable number of divorces too happen with this as the underlying thought. We want the person we love to be happy. We see that they can be happier elsewhere and we decide to move on. That’s it.

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Rose, in the end, says that the heart of a woman is an ocean of secrets. I have to disagree, albeit a little. The heart of any human being is a deep ocean of dark secrets. Nobody but that person knows what brews inside the multiple layers of thoughts and memories. One can always decide to shut the door towards a particular chamber of memories and throw away the keys. One can choose to keep the keys to himself too. Or one can choose to take that occasional sneak-peek through the keyhole and be done with it. It is just as dark and deep, but hauntingly beautiful. So beautiful that it aches your heart.

Blue ticks and Screenshots

Of course you know what I am talking about!

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This is probably a major reason for the new-gen relationships going haywire. Forget Infidelity, forget lack of respect, forget everything else. The “last seen..” and the double blue ticks that adorn our WhatsApp conversation windows and those screenshots completely wreck our lives these days.

I am guilty of using each of those at some point or the other in my life so far. No, really. I remember having fought with people because they apparently ‘saw’ my message and did not care to reply. (Ironically I was blind to not see their ‘message’). I have been stupid enough to overthink and ruin my peace of mind over the ‘last seen at’ nonsense. Screenshots, ha, that is a different story altogether. Although personally I use this feature to remember some of the nicest things that people have told me, I have also used it to convey the messages to others when I am too lazy to type everything out.

After having enough troubles from those features, now I have turned everything off. No Last seen blah blah. Oh yeah! WhatsApp was kind enough to warn me that I will not be able to see other’s such timelog if I turned mine off, and well, I said I don’t care about that.

Blue ticks are turned off too, saving a lot of heartburn. The friggin thing is such a blessing that people will at least be at peace giving me that benefit of doubt.

Using all these tools to keep a tab on people whom we love and trust is pathetic. Why don’t we understand that if they want you to know something, they will. What is the necessity for us to poke people and drive them crazy. This reminds me of that hilarious scene in the movie ‘Pyaar ka punchnama’ ( which can be watched right here ). I have to admit that this guy has got it 70% right from his side.

Technology has made us slaves, how much ever ridiculous and funny it might sound. It is even more ironical to think that we fought for independence 60 years back and well, we are imprisoned now.

 

The Omnipresent One

Today is one of those “earmarked” days for music and here I am, trying to muster a few words up related to Music.

Music has always been a part of our lives, in one form or the other. Some of us would have the vague memories of reluctantly sitting with a teacher to learn music, even at such a young age where one cannot spell M-U-S-I-C properly.  Some of us would have been forced due to norms governed by Caste, Gender or the Community.  Anyway, this post, I shall walk you through what music means to me.

To me, it is a language. A form of expression, if I have to put it  better.  My encounter with music goes long way back. With a musically inclined family, one cannot expect otherwise.  Hence, feasting on the daily dosage of Ragams and composers (strictly Carnatic ) I grew up. Regular classes and attending concerts, they did try to hone me into an M.S.SubbuLakshmi or D.K.Pattammal. ( I know this might cause a few of you some indignance, but it is just an exaggeration and shall be taken in a light manner as it was intended originally).  I had other plans. I was lazy. I didn’t understand the value of it back then.  Now I do, though.

I began my exploration of music, because I knew that there is a lot of it out there. I began searching for alternate options like indo-western fusion, those chant types etc. Those gave me peace of mind. I loved them.

As an individual, I find it tough to concentrate on listening to carnatic concert at a stretch for an extended period of time. It is not that I despise it. I adore and revere that form of music. But it is just my nature. May be I have got an attention span the size of a sand grain. I didn’t really feel bad either. To me music was much more beyond those three hour concerts and strict tradition of Guru-Shishya.  Music was all encompassing. I saw sense in appreciating all efforts done by people who create songs/tunes. I was not up for the claim that Carnatic music was THE only form that was worth spending/investing one’s time in.

On these thoughts I would like to share a few compositions that hold a special place in my mind, which also echoes my sentiments mentioned above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-M-MVjSPoA

This particular song is one of my favorites. Starting lines sums up my opinions, while the rest of the song is like walking on a tree lined avenue, holding the hand of that special someone, on a beautiful breezy evening.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQYnfiTl1jg

Music can be found anywhere and everywhere, anytime. It is highly relative to the situation a person is in. To a hungry person, the sound from a pressure cooker would be the ultimate symphony. For an idle, answer seeking and calm mind, even the babbling of water along the brook would be music. To each, his own.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TxbNB_zryU

Music does not have a defined format. The lullaby that a mother sings to her child, how much ever croaky a voice she might have, is music. The passionate love that happens between two souls that live for each other, with hopes and dreams of a future together is also music. It is omnipresent.

Music is more of a form of expression than art. Any feeling in the world can be explained very well in a set of musical notes than by words.  Music is in itself a drug, for it is capable of ensnaring the one who takes it, completely. Music is also its antidote.

 

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Dear Child!

Dear Child,

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You may be wondering as to what this letter is doing in the envelope that you have got as a gift for your birthday. This is my gift to you, on a rather important day in your life. 16, is such a magical number. Happy birthday, my baby. You will always me my baby, no matter how old you grow up to be. 

It is astonishing to see you as an adult. Time flies. It seemed like yesterday when I was apprehensive about keeping you comfortable in a cramped up space inside of me. I just hope it didn’t hurt much. If it did, it was totally unintentional dear. 

Your baby-steps and your sweet, messed up blabbers made my day very often. Not one day, even now, passes by without your thought. On this significant day, I would like to tell you a few things as your mother.

Firstly, you are an adult now and I believe you are slowly realizing that yourself too. Don’t worry about it too much, you will outgrow it very soon. It is normal to feel confused about it at this stage. 

This is the point where you set out to embark upon a journey of your own. You make and chase dreams, go out to discover yourself and know and understand the world better. You are slowly sprouting wings, my child. Fear not! This is an opportunity for you. A blessed opportunity to understand the world and in the process, understand yourself better. 

The whole world is your oyster and go get them! It is totally okay to chase your dreams. It is absolutely fine to be in the race, for time stops for nobody. It is fine to be you. The unabashed and daring you. I mean it. Smile and wear your confidence like the dress that you put on yourself everyday. 

Although, it is my duty to warn you. The world is not a fair place, my child. It has its own traps and pits which is open for you to get stuck and sucked in. Fear not! Be cautious, yet be kind to people around you. They deserve as much compassion as you do too. Keep your eyes open and be attentive to your surroundings. Trust your guts. If something makes you uncomfortable, leave the place. Stand up for what you think is right. 

Baby, the world judges. It does. Do not spare a thought about it. Always remember, you are your biggest strength and your worst enemy too. Use it wisely. It is not wrong to follow your passion. It is not wrong to do something as a profession and also something for your passion. Remember, Passion is overrated. Survival is more crucial. 

Be honest to yourself, kid. That stays on for a long time. Pick your friends wisely. At the end of the day, nobody cares about the number of friends you have. There is nothing wrong in being choosy. 

Remember, you will meet people, who will end up betraying your trust. You will end up feeling heart broken and helpless. Your heart is your own. Seize it and move on. Some people are just not meant to stay in your life. Accept that fact and walk on. Someday you will reach the place you desire to be in. 

There will be times in your life when you will yearn for companionship. It is not bad. It does not mean that you are weak. It shows that you are human too and that you are magnanimous enough to share your space with someone. It shows that you are capable of love and trust. Do not be ashamed of it. You are absolutely normal.

It is totally okay to not have everything sorted. Yes, Amma had this from a friend of mine and it is totally true. It is completely alright to feel messed up. It is fine to feel directionless. Fear not! Some things take time and when it happens, you will understand why it took so long. 

I know you will have lots to celebrate about today and hence I am cutting this short. You were born to win, my child. You were born to live too. Raise your head high and step out. The day is yours.

With all the love that I could give you,

Amma.

WhatsApp Musings- Episode # 2

Ah! Long time without bitching about the woes that WhatsApp has brought to our lives. The time gap is merely to observe the happenings, guys, and not because there is any dearth in the amusement that the IM platform brings to me.

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So yes, the recent trend has been this- Circulating a slurry of messages to every single person in our contact list and waiting for some miracle to happen. I daresay that Chennai floods have given us a very naive hope of something happening due to these forwards. Let me explain why.

All of us, at some point in our WhatsApp lives, have come across certain messages informing us of “Blood Needed” or “Scholarships Awarded” etc. How many of us have actually bothered to check if the messages are genuine and if there is actually a need for blood for the person mentioned in there? Close to none. It just won’t occur to us. I know. It is normal.

It is a dangerous trend. In case the message is fake and we keep circulating such messages, they act as decoys that divert our attention from certain genuine cases where help is required. All it takes for us to ensure authenticity is that one simple phone call. That would solve a lot of problems. That is something sensible which is the need of the hour too. That brings me to another important hoax that has been doing rounds.

A message about “Sec 233 of the Indian Penal Code that gives complete right for a woman to kill a man who tries to rape her”……….

Sorry to break that bubble. It is nothing short of non-sense. Let me clarify this to you.

The Supreme Court has not bestowed anyone with the supreme right to kill anyone.
The clarification on that message was that it is easy to fight a case under the pretext of Self-defense ( for which the punishment is lower than Murder) than trying the case under “Murder” category. It does not say that there will not be a punishment, it just says that the punishment is marginally less than what one would get for killing a human being.
So this aspect clarified, I would humbly advise all womenfolk out there to be prepared to injure the perpetrator of the crime. Your safety is very important but legally you are not empowered to kill a guy and seek shelter citing Law.

And Oh! Just outta curiosity I googled the IPC Sec.233- It talks about Counterfeit currency and nothing about women’s safety. 😦 So much for being enthusiastic.

Bottomline: Ensure the authenticity of the messages before forwarding them. That might actually save some lives and also spread sensibility!

 

Image source: Googleaya Namah! 

The Joys of Fatherhood

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I know that the title is a little unconventional and out of the clichéd stuff that has been doing rounds, but fathers are way too underrated in our society.

A society where a mother is praised and raised to the pedestal of God, fathers are comparatively shunned. (I said comparatively, now don’t go all Spartaaaaaa on me). People spend lakhs and lakhs producing movies and songs and what-not’s employing the famed Mother sentiment and counting the coffers, but when it comes to fathers somehow we lack behind.

Fathers are the souls who toil day in and day out to ensure comfortable lives for his wife and kid(s). But all I can see around me is discrimination towards these selfless souls. Starting from the First-word sentiment of babies till the corporate giants, mothers rank first. I had never had any issue with the ways of nature ever before I realized this.

It is an undeniable fact that mothers carry us for nine months and tolerates the labor pain along with the numerous bouts of mood swings and stuff that she goes through the 36 week ordeal. But a father goes through a similar ordeal for 36 years after that.

The expectations thrust on him are enormous. He is expected to be a macho man, shouldering the entire burden of the family on his hardwork, fulfilling each and every desire that the family might express or not. He is expected to bear all this and more without shedding a drop of tear or uttering a word of disdain, because, well boys don’t cry, you see.

The world or rather the society has set some weird benchmarks against which we end up measuring people and the roles they play, invariably. It would be really stunning to see that it is the father who comes to the rescue when the child is confronted by the mother for any prank. It is the father who waits with bated breath when the girl takes baby steps to school. It is he who buys her the first bicycle, in a way giving her wings to fly out and explore the world out there. It is the dad who cries the hardest when his angel gets married. Fathers have a tough life.

The man marries the love of his life and strives to love her every single day the same way he did on the day of marriage. What more could mommy ask for? He smiles everyday even if it takes a lot to do it, just to see his lil family laugh their hearts out. He shuns the world and stands by them, like a rock, till the very end. He struggles to live up to the expectations of various facets of the society.

It is time that we give equal reverence to fathers in our lives and make them feel special every day.

Oh! I am the eternal Appavodu Chella ponnu, right? 😉

Image Source: Pinterest

Melancholic Buzz

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On the smooth,straight road I walk,

Oblivious to the sounds around

Like a cloud that is untied,

With my eyes fixed on the horizon.

I think of things deep,

Run through our talks

Living in my own world

Of love and only love

Facing the world was made easy

And so was living life

I could take on an army

With you beside me

And then you went

Out of the blue

Without telling a word

With no glimpse of remorse

And here I am now

Starting things afresh

Humming a mild tune

In all melancholy

I look beside me

To stare at emptiness

I give a wry and dry smile

And take my first step

A step to discover life

A step to embrace failures

A step onto that unending path

With all my grace and all the poise

Where the path leads,

I know not

When I shall return

I shall not say

A steely resolve and

The value of life

Alone remains as

My promise to you.

The Art of Forgiving

So you have been betrayed. Yet again.

Ah! She ditched you citing lame reasons?

That colleague of yours went behind your back and stole your credit?

You must be bubbling with anger and indignation now. You must be cursing all the Gods above and wondering why is it you always at the receiving end of things. Suicidal thoughts? Livid at everyone in front of you?? Feel like breaking and thrashing everything around you to bits??

Let me tell you. It is not unusual. Neither is it bad. You are every bit human as I am and you are justified in feeling all the above described emotions. There is nothing wrong or bad about it. It just shows you how human you are and reconfirms the fact that you are in fact made of flesh and blood.

You know what the solution to all these is? Forgiveness and acceptance.

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Before you tag me as lame and a spineless coward, let me explain it to you.

Life is an endless maze. A maze filled with mystery and probably magic that is more than what Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire had to offer us. It is beautiful and abstract. We do not know what comes the next moment, leave alone next day or month. It is so obscure yet endearing.

Life is unfair. Let’s face it. There will be many more occasions that may leave us confused as the cause or effect of that event. It will leave us baffled and befuddled. We would not know what happened and even worse, why it happened. All that we would see are the happy and jubilant faces around us. Everybody else seem so happy and content with their lives. Everything seems so perfect for them. “I am so unlucky and cursed”, we feel.

Let me tell you a truth. You are wrong. Gravely wrong. Everyone out there is fighting his own battle. Everybody has their own share of problems. They just live with it because certain things are beyond our control. It just happens that way. We just have to accept and move on. Acceptance is the key to that locked dark chamber of our heart.

Should you take revenge on those who had wronged you? You surely deserve better people in your life, don’t you? Yes. You do deserve much better. Although, revenge is not what I would advocate. Revenge poisons our mind. It wastes our precious time which otherwise could have been spent in a much loving and sweet way. Forgive!

Forgive! Not for their sake, but for yours. Forgive, for the one who forgives doesn’t lose anything but might win a heart to his side. Forgive, that would act as a bridge between the you of now and the you of tomorrow. Forgive, for it is the supreme act of kindness and compassion that the world badly needs. Forgive, not to make them feel small, but to develop yourself into a bigger and better person.

We forget that the world exists by the presence of qualities like love, forgiveness, compassion and tolerance. We, in our hurry to prove something to the world, remain oblivious to the basic traits that one needs, to live. Acceptance paves the way for our mind to forgive others which is the beginning of the Spring of the garden that we call Life.