Sunday, November 22, 2015

November was MAMI. Post Nov 5 I wrote abrupt lines—“MAMI is finally over.  25 movies in 7 days is the most I have ever seen in a short time this lifetime. The best ones you don’t get to see—Taxi, The Room, Haramkhor. But some fantastic ones. "

 A viral caught me off foot and that’s where I had stopped.

Yet this must be captured. What madness. 3 movies, 4 movies back to back is the most I have seen in a lifetime. Even  if it meant running from one theatre to another. Even if it meant booking at midnight. Even if it meant being the visibly oldest person or among a few in a standby queue of what looked like teeny boppers. Until they discussed production schedules and set up anchors with a few calls.  Running into a few stalwarts like AG and AV and PKS and going home and balking at their credits on IMDb. Or running into NK at the security and gushing like a teenager how I lovvve his movies. Friends made, maybe temporarily-- like SR and RM-AM, chatting over masala dosas at Ashoka and shared rickshaw rides.

So many of the superbly made movies got lesser notice than they deserved.

Like Peace Haven, which ought to have received a better audience reaction, super strong storyline and elegant treatment.

Chronic. I do not think I am ever going to forget the end shot and BAM! Anyone who has lived with a seriously ill parent for a seriously long time must watch this.

Francofonia. What brilliant work, what a tribute. Anyone who shuddered mourned Bamiyan must watch this.

45 years. So refreshing to see such wonderful acting by older actors. So wonderful to see stories clearly written for older actors. (See teenybopper audience above)

Mina Walking. Shot guerrilla style, in Kabul. Baracki, the director, said that the story formed as he shot scene after scene, improvised… fantastic work

Adama. That a animation movie can be as finely etched. So beautiful. About roots and wings.

Threshold.  Not merely about a squabbling long married couple in a scenic backdrop (tirthan?). Life, losses and compromises that one just doesn’t want to make any more. Enough. Life is too short.

Junoon. For the music. Jodhpur palace in all its splendour. Haunting memory of the trumpet player trudging home after midnight…

The movies, documentaries one would not have seen otherwise. 

Like the documentary on Ram Kumar, Lal bhi udaas ho sakta hai . graceful figures with lucid eyes. Very different from the abstracts online. 

Immortals, what a tribute, though a little a for apple and one wonders how someone like MN would have treated this. 

A man and a woman, Oscar winner from 1967, though the print we saw was sans color, beautiful b&w. 

By Sidney Lumet, though I may have dozed, need to read more. 

Mia Madre. Hector. Journey through China—though the end was slightly unbelievable, but what awesome acting by the mother.  

And yes, Kaili Blues that I walked out of.

Next time, make the theplas in bulk to save minutes.

And book the hell out of tickets in the first ten minutes-- after that, no chance.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Rest in peace, DR.PAD. More a brother than a brother in law. A damn fine human being.

Sombre thought—Bhishma was not the only one with the right to iccha mrityu, the decision to leave this mortal body.

At some level, it takes guts.

The other side? If there is anything at all that leads one to choose life, take it, grasp it, clutch it.

Life is quicksilver otherwise.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The light is beautiful, shimmering on green , dancing to the (rare) breeze.

Madly hot for October, and I search for remedies to stay cool—decoctions from amla, saunf and black raisins; go easy on the spice.

For the Navratri celebrations this evening, all the children in the colony have practiced the arati to pitch perfection, the purity of their voices so moving. I have joined in too—after how many years am I singing? Too many to count.

Hornadu, Karnataka... where clouds touch the roads

Monday, October 12, 2015

Slowly one settles into a new routine. Chores can take all day--but am slowly discovering the courier person across the road, the best bus (yes, bus!) routes to take. Random stuff that had not been attended for v long is slowly but surely getting crossed off the list. Some writing is getting done-- have to thank the Practice group for that. Translations yet to begin. Deadlines will spur and push me to write for certain kinds of writing that shall remain unnamed.

Navratri round the corner. Festive feel to the air. This once have joined the chorus group for the Arati.
There are so many things to do!
That fear that I had of turning slothful or sitting around unwashed and unkempt-- thankfully, none of that has happened, by the grace of God.
This image is from Sringeri-- the temple here has an immense aura about it.

Monday, September 28, 2015

They want to give a sendoff. And they want an exit interview.  How to condense 23 years of worklife into 2 pages? Very weird feeling, this. Yes, I have known it wouldn’t be easy—no matter what. Some of the inv. reactions are worth keeping,  to read in my dotage. 
Taking a deep breath. No it was never going to be easy.
"There is, in the tides of men..."

This is the closest I have come to crying in a very long time.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Book reviews! via Googledevta...


Monday, August 31, 2015

After that grand trip aka the Southern sojourn I find myself googling wonderful places to go to. Seeking the weirdest (read—cheapest, most frugal) means to get there. One can go to Bhutan by train, it seems. One more month to swipe.

I find myself struggling to stay at peace and centered. The home state is on the boil, discontent and furious under a veneer. Mandal cost our class one full year of college—how well I remember the frustration and anger of 1986-- this anger too shows signs of ballooning out of control. With private colleges/universities breeding like rabbits, and industrial growth/ jobs not keeping pace—plus the shutdown in the small scale sector across industries--this was bound to happen. Those who don’t study history are compelled to repeat it, etc etc.

Locally we have our own little drama unfolding with the case of the two sisters who are either very bitter (wicked too) or paranoid psychotics.

Plus the ugly stuff that is being broadcast on TV every day.  Is there any way to escape this ruckus?

How I long for the serenity of Arunachalam.  The rugged silence of my Ladakh.