Monday, 29 May, 2006

An ode to Coldplay


Are you missing something?
Looking for something?
Tired of everything
Searching and struggling
Are you worried about it?
Do you wanna talk about it?
Oh You're gonna get it right some time

Theres so much to be scared of
And not much to make sense of
Are you running in a circle?
You can't be too careful
And you can't relate it
'Cos it's complicated
Oh You're gonna get it right some time
You're gonna get it right some time

It's how you see the world
How many times can you see?
You can't believe what you learn

It's how you see the world
Don't you worry yourself
Your not gonna get hurt


Is there something missing?
There's nobody listening
Are you scared of what you don't know?
Dont wanna end up on your own?
You need conversation
And information


Gonna get it right sometimes
You just wanna get it right sometimes

It's how you see the world
How many times have you heard?
You can't believe a word

It's how you see the world
Don't you worry yourself
'Cos nobody can learn


That's how you see the world
That's how you see the world


When I counted up my demons
Saw there was one for every day
With the good ones on my shoulders
I drove the other ones away

So if you ever feel neglected
And if you think that all is lost
I'll be counting up my demons, yeah
Hoping everything's not lost

When you thought that it was over
You could feel it all around
And everybody's out to get you
Don't you let it drag you down

'Cos if you ever feel neglected
And if you think that all is lost
I'll be counting up my demons, yeah
Hoping everything's not lost

If you ever feel neglected
If you think that all is lost
I'll be counting up my demons, yeah
Hoping everything's not lost

Singing out
Oh, oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Everything's not lost

So come on, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Come on, yeah
And everything's not lost

Oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
And everything's not lost

Come on, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Come on, yeah

Come on, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Come on, yeah
And everything's not lost

Sing out, yeah
Oh, oh, yeah
Come on, yeah
And everything's not lost

Come on, yeah
Oh, oh yeah
Sing out, yeah
And everything's not lost

Saturday, 20 May, 2006

Thin-Slicing Success - SRK

Snippets from some of his interviews:

By making it big in the movies, Shahrukh Khan proved to everyone that a small-time TV serial actor can also have his say on the silver screen. Shahrukh Khan started his acting career with serials like 'Fauji' and 'Circus', and with his hard work and immense talent has become a super star. He is a man full of energy and passion; he is very dedicated and hard working and puts in life into any role given to him.

  • What is acting to you?

Everything. Even if I were a corporate type, I'd be an actor. If I was a major in the army and was dying in a battlefield, my death would be as heroic as those death scenes in the movies. I was born only to act. You can take me out of the actor, but you can't take the actor out of me. Five years into our marriage, Gauri knew that I'd always be an actor. When I'm asleep at night for four hours, I miss the actor in me. When I'm taking a bath, you won't believe the acting I do.

  • So why is the yuppie hero talking of going easy on his acting assignments?

When you're good at something, it's time to move on. You have to spearhead new movements. That's why man went on the moon. I want others to learn from my mistakes. I want to spend some time alone and reassemble my internal mechanism. I'm a little tired with the demands made on my life. I need to rediscover the child in me. The more I get in touch with people; I'm losing my ability to be a child. I want to become childish and silly again. To grow more, I need to stop growing.

  • What's the reality about something as make-believe as acting?

An actor has no shelf life, stardom does. Years ago, when I was doing the TV serial Circus, the trapeze artists told me, "Ho gaya to kartab, gir gaya to haadsa." If you get it right you're king, if wrong you're dead. Similarly, in acting too, sometimes there's no time to struggle, no ifs, no time for recuperating. You have to all the time move on. Hopefully away from the sound of the applause, from the wah-wahs and the awards. It'll be time to dig into my magic bag once more.

You have to understand something about Shah Rukh. He loves his craft and loves life. He loves the jokes, the sets, and his fellow actors -the men who are gods to the audience. All he ever wanted to do was to be an actor. He likes to play, he likes to pretend, there's a certain Peter Pan element in his life. He loves taking control and letting people experience that world as he experiences it. He's like an athlete in the way he attacks work. It's always no-holds-barred. And he has boundless energy to go on for hours. He's attacked his roles with such incredible confidence that everyone's heads turned around. It's hardly surprising then that once he hit films starting with Deewaana, the list of adjectives grew: confident, cocky, quick, streetsmart, savvy, charismatic, outrageous, raw. Thus, he holds an enviable sort of popular sway simply on the basis of his potential, staying power and saleability.

  • Shahid: Who has been your role model?

ShahRukh: I have never had a single role model in my life I have always absorbed the good things from various personalities that gives me a wonderful choice in life and does broaden my horizons a great deal. The love in my life came from my parents who were more like my friends than anything else I always had the freedom to do anything I wanted to their faith in me gave me confidence and abilities to achieve impossible. Hard work and dedication came from my Father, he taught me that if you want something in life you have to work for it and no one gives it to you on a plate .So hard work and focus breeds success at all levels. My mother taught me to love life to the maximum and be truthful and upfront and that has taught me so much and has been my savior all through my times

Shahid: People call you a tower of energy, how do you manage to stay so energetic and full of life?

ShahRukh: I think energy comes from being creative and I feel I am very creative hence that generates enormous energy - also inner happiness and satisfaction of achievement revitalizes your inner being and makes you full of life. Again you must utilize this energy otherwise you are being ungrateful to God who has given you an ability and talent to make this world a better place

  • Shahid: ShahRukh you sound more like a philosopher than an Actor, Seeing you on the screen and meeting you off screen are two totally very different experiences Do you feel any different?

ShahRukh: Hahahahahhahahahahah(a laughter full of life ) I am no philosopher but what I speak is same as what is in my heart, I do think things over and create my own perspective but always have respect and room for other people's opinion

  • Shahid: Being at the height of your industry how do you keep yourself so friendly and approachable?

Shahrukh: That's very easy I always remember that God has given me this success through my fans and I owe it to humanity to give them what I have and I keep my feet on the ground My father once said to me regardless what you are or what you may become one day you will always be a human being. And I never forget that Don't you think that says it all?

Wednesday, 17 May, 2006

Chronicles of Sonwada : Saturday

He said, "I stayed in Mumbai for 17 years but the village is my sanctum" - His name was Rakesh, a sixty year old resident of Sonwada village. On a weekend dash to this seemingly demure village in South Gujarat - Anuj, Samarth and Dhruval come back home with flavours of a promising rural india. With sepia hues, mud-thatched homes, cow-dung strewn walls and the unmatched air of our 'Des ki Mitti', Damn, Sam and Am were more than ready for this rural adventure. Though what they came back with was another story altogether.

Presenting: The Road to Pardi-Station
Cast: Am,Sam and Damn
Director: Am
Script: Life Kapoor
SpotBoy: Sam
Producer: Mukta Crafts

Once upon a time Am, Sam and Damn decided to do something beyond the mundane. They were three curious, muttering, lost youngsters out to seek answers to the deeper questions in life. So they decided to visit the interiors of India to find answers. Plus it were to serve as an exercise on understanding the rural markets of India. Ah yes, they were B-School aspirants.
Thus they zeroed down on an idyllic village named Sonwada in sun-baked Gujarat. Travelling one-footed on a pregnant Inter-City express they reached their destination at 9.30 a.m. Outside a welcoming Vapi Station, their eyes met familiar words. They read BAR somewhere in the distance. Yes, they found the only bar in alcohol-barred Gujarat. Brijwasi Snack BAR.
After a short drop-in at Am’s father’s factory where they manufacture defense cloth for the Indian Army, the trio left for Sonwada.

Babubhai's family

At the factory they met Babubhai. Babubhai was their friend, philosopher and guide. They were scheduled to stay at his home. He was their host. Babubhai was an Unsung Hero. “One of God’s Special Men,” is what Damn thought ofhim.

Sam & Damn (left), Sam's fantasy(right)

In the meantime, Sam was aroused at the sight of a C Grade poster on their way to Killa Pardi. "And they call India a conservative country", exclaimed Sam. "Chaggda" (Chaggda = Six Seater rickshaw) rides were reminescent of Swades. Damn captured Am and Sam in notorious positions.They reached Sonwada village at 1.30

Sonwada welcomed them in the middle of the day. The unrelenting May heat met the refreshing smiles of coy women who lined up on the porch to welcome familiar strangers. Sam devoured the cold water. Am was observing subtle nuances. Damn was busy making photo-memories. Sonwada had an eccentric charm to it. The three urbane youngsters sensed it. Glasses of warm elaichi milk (unadulterated) under a canopy of trees seemed surreal. But that was Sonwada, in the first twenty minutes.

The verendah where women discuss Himesh...

Sumit, Babubhai's son, was one of the most obedient youngsters the trio had ever come across. They branded his obedience as 'sanskaar'. He was a keen guy, updated with the latest in urban technology. He respected them. They respected him for that. Humility was infact one of the biggest lessons they came back with.
"We're eventually information-equipped, knowledge-seeking, wisdom-starved illusionary all-knowers", is how Sam generalised urban youth.
Himesh Reshamiya, they learnt from Sumit, was the 'hero' of the village. They realised that Himesh had such following across the country. And that they were just a minority in an otherwise Himesh-loving nation. Damn thought of an album too - 'Himesh we ALL Hate You'.
Conversations moved onto the importance of education in Sonwada. ''Agriculture, said Babubhai, does not reap the dividends in proportion to the hardwork put in the fields. The Vapi-Surat belt is an industrial zone, he further added. Therefore, workers in factories earn comparatively higher wages. Thus agriculture was now a secondary occupation." Am inferred that the people in the village were unbelievably hard-working but not necessarily smart working.

Pre-evening was spent in the fields studying various methods of crop cultivation. From the indegenous mango cultivation method to land-fragmentation problems, Babubhai spoke at length on his core-competency. It was evident that their sweat was not being adequately compensated. Maybe, it's the post-liberalisation effect or the Modi Government policies but agriculture, according to him, has taken a back-seat in an increasingly industrial Gujarat.

Kaachu Limboo, Sachin & Hritik

The evening was dedicated to cricket. The kids of the village came together in a fierce under-arm battle. Am cheated as always. Sam got annoyed with his performance. "It's just a game Sam, but you're still a loser", sneered Damn with his infectious grin. The kids symbolized the unity in the village. The women cheered their favourite baccha, laughed at the trio's madness. Nice boys they were. Rustic energy surrounded Sonwada in the evening.

As the sun-set on yet another contented day at Sonwada, Am shared his thoughts on the Priciple of Graduation :

"You know what Sam, natural growth is a gradual process. Something beyond the control of mankind. The seeds grow into fruit-bearing trees because of Nature or Nurture", shedding light on the Nature v/s Nurture principle of Self-Growth. But moreover, Nature is beyond the concept of Instant-Gratification. It adheres to the Principle of Graduation in all its forms - be it the tides, the rotation of the earth, growth of trees. Destruction is instant.
Growth... ummm... maybe not."

Candle-light baths took romance to the next level. Sporadic cuts in electricity could get uncomfortable in snake-infested Sonwada, especially at night.

"Am said, I shat like God. Damn said, I sat on the world and shat. Sam said, I Never Shat".
Sam Won. Excerpts from their Impromptu copywriting competiton.

Dinner was divine. Babubhai's daughter Heena could give Tarla Dalal a run for her money. At 18, she was a fantastic cook. They had soft rice-flour roti's, aloo-mutter sabzi, wheat-flour paranthas, tuver ki sabzi with mouth-watering gravy and steaming rice. The finger-licking meal was followed by another round of steaming hot elaichi milk with layers of cream.

"They symbolize 'Atithi Devo Bhava'," said Sam as their night-time conversations veered towards the Babubhai parivar. "I totally agree", replied Damn acknowledgeing the selfless hospitality of Babubhai and his gang of angels.

As the warm Sonwada air entered their home (that's what they called it by now) - they slept. They Slept. Let them. Good night.

See you'll on Sunday...

Thursday, 11 May, 2006

Boulevard of Fantasies : Part 5

You're beautiful, it's true.
I saw your face in a crowded place,
And I don't know what to do,
'Cause I'll never be with you.

Outside the amber-lit Churchgate Station, she was seen guzzling pineapple milk at the homely Aarey booth. Sarah belonged to the ‘Aarey or Nothing’ clan. There were causes she felt strongly for. Loyalty towards the Energee brand was amongst them. She felt the yellow lacteal river caress her oesophagus on its way down. I said “Good Lord! She truly lives…”

I saw the unmistakable jaunt in her every step. And she found beauty in monotony. But then for Sarah, monotonous was merely a word on page 410 of the Oxford Dictionary. She lightened as her mind enlightened. (monotonous: lacking in variety, tedious through sameness)

Insignificant Bobu, in the meantime, popped a question?

Sarah Di – How does the sun affect weight? -> Sarah’s repartee – It makes the daylight. Cackles of laughter drew obnoxious scowls. "Mumbai loves to evade innocence", I thought to myself. Alas. For the city sought bliss in transient indulgences. Laughter was above deciduous happiness.

Amidst orange echoes at CST, they hooligoned their way onto the 7.47 Andheri Slow. Familiar perspiration greeted their skin and nose. She fumbled in her I-Pod stuffed pocket to find her saviour. The kerchief came out in full glory, meeting her skin with the strokes of an artist. My green eyes saw her through the chequered iron window of that rusty locomotive.

My eyes remain transfixed as the train repels me towards its destination.

I pray to find the rewind button to life. I pray to find powers to still time. I pray. I sink into another seeming bench. I finger my sweaty hair. I make that moment seem magnanimous. I am helplessly restless. Coldplay hums in moments of despair. Calming the rush of blood to my heart, I listen to them. They Fix me.

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you leave something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

And high up above or down below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth

The fantasies of Sarah Dias float in my heart-broken mind. I imagine her making conversation with loud Gujarati women about dhoklas, theplas and K-serials. I imagine Bobu and his mindless humour of – "Why did the turkey cross the road?" And the “To prove he wasn’t chicken” reply by Sad Sarah.I Imagine deafening laughter drowning the harmony of the train. As I imagine, I try to smile at their innocence. I smile. And then there is light.

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
- Led Zeppelin for Sarah Dias

I am enlightened. I am happy because I’ve consciously decided to be. And I relive the ancient Vedic rule :
“You are what your deep driving desire is; as is your desire, so is your will; as is your will, so is your deed; as is your deed, so is your habit; as is your habit, so is your destiny."

Sarah, in the meantime, was glued in the present. As Always. Living a lifetime in every heartbeat, she imbibed snapshots of suburban Mumbai. She saw home from a distance. Her face resembled the male specie of the Neolithic Age, home after a long day of food gathering.

After a warm water bath and listening to some “we’ve been on the run, livin’ in the sun, lookin’ out for number one”, she settled down for a sumptuous meal of fish&chips, leafy veggies and salad. The mealtime conversations were a rigmarole of humour, gossip and ideas. The Dias parivar was an emblem of the clichéd “Live Life to the Fullest”.

In a victorious corner of the swarming city i affirm :

And so I have to say before you go
That I just want you to know
I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

As she settled in her bed, I settled in mine. We were sleeping together.A corny way to express a horny fetish. I belonged to the testosterone driven male specie. Sarah was oblivious. P.G. Woodehouse turned her on at bedtime. As I awakened the hedonist within… She switched off the lights… Sigh!

My soul within her I-Pod sung to her:
"And after all, you're ma wonderwall"

From the Boulevard of Fantasies, she came alive,
In the realms of my fantasies she will survive;
I pray to thee: Do not let her die,
And as the night fades in, may her light come by
To Us

In loving memory of Sarah Morrison Dias (2006-2006). Immortal in the hearts of men who love.

May her soul rest in peace. May sanity prevail.Amen.

Tuesday, 2 May, 2006

Boulevard of Fantasies : Part 4

Bobu Didi, tell me.. why do i follow my heart sometimes and sometimes what my brain says?

Sarah: What? (In disbelief at the words that fell on her ears. Was that the after-effect of PD class? She's not buying that for sure)

Bobu: Hahaha. I mean, like Didu i really enjoy drawing abstract things in my elementary drawing class but it's almost impossible to make that my career no? I mean imagine drawing and photography melange' as a career compared to engineering, MBA and architecture.

Sarah to herself: Is it that bad? (I still don't know what to do with my life.. I find that to be the most exciting part!)She chuckled silently.

I mean, itni jaldi, how do they decide Didi.. I am in the 8th grade and they have decided what they want to do. Then, what do i do? Follow my brain which tells me to do engineering and MBA or should i paint the town red?, laughed Bobu

His intellect and curiousity frustrated me. Nauseated that i was, Questioning-Thinking-Reasoning, it was the last thing on my mind. But it was Sarah’s turn to answer. I waited. She answered

Sarah: See Bobu – There are a lot of people in the world living a lot of lives. Living lives beyond their own understanding of it. Living in a manner that they’ve been conditioned to live in. And they spend their entire lives living that way. The kinds who say – My Daddy told me this when I was a kid, so this is what it is. “No challenging the ideologies” Syndrome is what these people suffer from.

Bobu: But that’s how ethics, culture, heritage and our history comes to us no Didi. Our ancestors pass these to us which preserve our past no?

Sarah: Very true. But history isn’t absolute. Nothing is. Maybe 3 angles of a triangle = 180 degrees is. Beyond that, I’ll only depend on my ability to question, think and reason!

In the existentialist corner of the Marine Drive Boulevard, I had my own set of questions...

Question : I stick my finger into existence – it smells of nothing.
Where am I? What is this thing called the world?
Who is it who has lured me into the thing, and now leaves me here?
Who am I? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted?

Sarah: Bobu, I don’t know how to correctly respond to your question of Heart v/s Mind. A Career Guidance Psychologist could help you with Aptitude tests, Psychometric Analysis – the works.

Though she wondered: How can they decide for a person who’s spent a minimum of 14-15 years with himself/herself by spending 20 minutes with him/her.

Bobu: But Didi, what would you do? Heart or Brain

Sarah: Bryan, Do you really want to listen to all of this? I’ll just go on with my theory of ‘The Sarah Life’… you’ll get bored. Trust Me.

Bobu: Shut up Dids. Shoot. I love it. It’s better than my good for nothing Personality Development Class with Himesh Reshamiya lovers.

Phattak! – He got one on his back for abusing Him. Himesh. - Apologies for the exaggeration

And there I was – listening to Child Prodigy and Her – discussing things which I thought would cause greying of my grey cells. For them it was …. ummm.. Life. Period.

Sarah hummed -

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone

Sarah answered

Bobu, I’ve only known one way to live. When I was chottu , I’d love to pen thoughts, ideas, expressions and anything that I could observe and form a personal interpretation.
And that was my omen to a creative career. That’s about it. I know nothing beyond.

For her, the sky was never blue because her mind’s eye saw more.


You know Bryan, I’ve always believed in opting the Road Less Travelled. That road may not necessarily be rebellious or anti-culture,society. The Road Less Travelled implies a road that is your own. Arising out of choices that are personal to you. Because few people tread a road that defines what they believe in/stand for, I call it The Road Less Travelled. And that is the job of the heart. The heart is true to you. Infact, the dilemmas in our lives are caused by the brain playing truant. The brain’s job is to maximize your heart’s decision. Nothing else. For example – YOU WISH TO MAKE AN ABSTRACT PAINTING is what your heart will tell you. The brain will tell you how, by using memory, observation and by processing information, you can make that design the best in the world. The Heart looks at the Bigger Picture. Let the brain offer options to you and let your heart decide.

The Men who attained Immortality never aspired to be immortal, she further tells Bobu. They were the men who were so consumed by their passion and work that Immortality came as a pleasant aftermath.

And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,
And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work
And all work is empty, save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet


Aha! – So Sista? Is there God, asks Mr.Bobu aka psyched-out teenager aka pest aka saviour

The gunpowder catches fire in an instant, while much time is needed to set fire to the coal, I told my charcoaled self. “Failed spirits shall rise” – Sarah are you listening?

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
and I'm the only one and I walk alone

My shadow's the only one that walks beside me
My shallow heart's the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
'Til then I walk alone


Sarah: Is there God?

She thinks. But not for long. Because she knows. She knows…

Sarah: I could give you clichéd answers like God is everywhere, omnipresent (matlab – everywhere again) the usual… but to be honest Bobu I do not have a different answer. The more the things I see God in – the more I enjoy life. I see God when I wake up to find myself breathing normal, to find my five-senses intact, and to find myself alive. I see God in water, in the toothbrush against my teeth, in the toothpaste, in Mommy, in Daddy. I see God in you, Bobu, she grinned. He is everywhere and yet nowhere. Bobu, men have spent lives searching, looking for him. They meditate, they pray, they offer sacrifice. History and our present is testimony. Alas! He is here. In the tides of the Arabian Sea, in the humid May air, in that beggar’s sigh, in that rich man’s arrogance – he is in all forms, in all his eccentricities. He is in our moods, our passions, our joys and sorrows. He is in objects- inanimate. He is in lives unfulfilled. He is in the complete and the incomplete. You need to call him, acknowledge him and Thank him. When? Subconsciously, at every moment of your life. And yes, the thankyou should come, like all other things, from the bottom of your heart.

The Sigh of the Beggar - Sarah's God

Bobu: Whoa Didi! That was killuh!... I mean you did sound 93 years, 7 months and 18 days. Unbelievable. You’re truly my elder-older … hehe .. sister-Sarah Dids… hahaha

Bobu was a ruthless dog. Bitch. This girl just answered the most complex question that has ever tormented this planet with the ease of a Socrates, Jesus or The Buddha.. but Mr. Bobu aka dog aka bitch has to spoil the show… Well he may be some child prodigy for all I care, but how could he steam-roll her profound thoughts so effortlessly?

Was I possessive? Yeah, a lil’. Why? ….Uhmmm… No idea…But that woman was unflustered. Such was she.

Sarah: See I bored you to death Bobu with “The Sarah Life”… but that’s me! Your funny ole sistuh!

Bobu: Didi .. You know what.. I loved every bit of it.. And you know what – I’m going to flaunt these fundas at my Personality Development Class tomorrow. They’l be shocked to see how deep my thinking is!

Sarah: Idiot! Remember – “Your own understanding”. You are behaving like our Education System. Read.Remember.Reproduce.Remove-Read New.Remove Old Completely.Remember New.Reproduce New. Remove New-Repeat Process till Graduation to Succeed.

Bobu: Oh Yeah! Shucks… ;)

That sultry summer evening at Marine Drive (yes, dusk to evening) came to an end. And so did the other side of Sarah Dias. What followed as they walked past the iron-girdles outside Churchgate Station was Sarah’s journey home with a tired Bryan.
I followed them discreetly. I wanted more of her. I was addicted to her, my nicotine. Could perfect women exist? 36-24-36 yeah … but I was beyond aesthetic perfection. Something I never experienced. She was a rare blend. Of Beauty and Brains – Yes. But she was way beyond Beauty Contest taglines…

Another turning point;
a fork stuck in the road.

Time grabs you by the wrist;
directs you where to go.

So make the best of this test
and don't ask why.

It's not a question
but a lesson learned in time.

It's something unpredictable
but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

Churchgate Station

P.S. – To be continued… alas! the last in my series… I will move back to prose as a medium to convey Boulevard Part 5. The language used in 4 has been designed to keep Bobu’s age and intellect (high IQ dude) in mind. So it’s a blend of simple sentences conveying complex meaning albeit without the heavy vocabulary. (Yeah – I use the Thesaurus liberally;) Awaiting feedback. From the bottom of your heart:)