Hail Movies!

As I have been repeatedly saying, I am a frustrated soul. As an aftermath of my loss in interest in engineering and anything remotely related to it – the college, studies, college people etc., I have forced myself to spend these last days here in isolation. Actually, I have been living with my laptop for last six months or so, biding my time. And no, I have not created a heavyweight software (the kind you see in movies like The Recruit or Die Hard 4.0 where a bunch of nerds sit all day with computers and shake the whole world with their mumbo jumbo and also find time to hang out, drink loads of beer, have wild sex and pass out) or hacked into China’s Government websites. What I have done? Well, here is what I have done – download movies (HOW COOL! I AM A CRIMINAL!), watch movies, read about movies, write about movies, researching about movies and of course, Facebooking.

Watching movies has been my passion since I have come to my senses. The technological advances, my growing up, easy accessibility and exposure to the best in movies are the factors which have contributed to them becoming an integral part of my life, my cul de sac, beyond which I do not move. Movies are my opium, my cocaine, my marijuana, my beedi or whatever. They are so much a part of my system that I cannot imagine myself without watching atleast one movie in two days. Back to back movie marathons are a norm for me. I am happy, I watch a movie. I am sad, I watch a movie. I am depressed, I watch a movie. I cannot go out, I watch a movie. I don’t socialize, I watch a movie. My idea of a perfect weekend – chicken + 6 movies (4 crime and 2 comedies – the Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen types). Better than having a girlfriend. Personal experience. Good for me.

There is so much out there in the movie world. A whole universe to navigate, explore and conquer. From the old world charm of Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi and Casablanca, to the modern The Dark Knight and Kaminey. From Satyajit Ray to Vishal Bhardwaj. From Francis Ford Coppola to Christopher Nolan. From Quentin Tarantino’s extreme violence to Adam Sandler’s slapstick humour. From the very basic Citizen Kane to the visual effects heavy Avatar. From Mogambo to The Joker. From Orson Wells to Leonardo DiCaprio. From Martin Scorsese to Ram Gopal Verma. From Mean Streets to Satya. From From the standard hindi potboilers to Rahul Bose type intellectual cinema. From the subtlety of movies like Dil Chahta Hai to the loud Andaz Apna Apna. And obviously – Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Amitabh Bachchan (fanboy speak). I can go on and on. Just don’t get me started on movies.

The reason I am writing this today is that I have my exams tomorrow (though not of a very important nature) and its almost midnight and I have not studied anything. I didn’t even know which subject exam I have tomorrow until today evening. But yes, I watched three movies back to back throughout the day – Dick Tracy (pulp Hollywood, watched because of Al Pacino, nothing else), Khalnayak (watched an out an out masala potboiler after several months) and A History Of Violence (looks deeply into the psychology behind violence). Was planning for a fourth movie but chose to write instead.

Don’t know why I wrote all this. I am not bragging certainly. Maybe I had a desire to update this blog or maybe I am contemplating over my current situation where even exams have ceased to scare me. My ultimate state of fruitlessness and my desire to revolt against the system maybe. Don’t know. Don’t want to know. Movies rock. Everything else may goto hell. Especially the useless studies. Atleast for next one month. Going to watch Yesterday was A Lie (a neo noir fantasy). Adios.

Just An Article

Well, I had submitted this for the college magazine. It was my first serious attempt at writing something. The article made it to the magazine though I had to cut it short and it was edited a bit even then (more because of space constraints maybe). Here I am posting the uncensored version.

WARNING : Lengthy Post !

An Article

Sorry for the lame title. I could not come up with something more imaginative or exciting. Its after much pestering by my good friend Luv who was collecting articles for the magazine, that I’ve sit down to write something. I was completely clueless what to write until he called me a useless git for not standing upto his expectations (don’t know for what reasons he expects something from me). So if you are reading this in the magazine, its more because of my connections or jugaad rather than its literary merit. Anyways, why should you or me give a damn about it?

Right now I am asking myself the same question which I asked Luv. “What should I write?”. And trust me, I am still totally clueless. Should I jot down my musings. Nah. To call them musings would be an insult to everybody’s intellect. Let me call them ramblings of my mind. Stupid, incoherent, random  thoughts which run astray in my head 24*7. I mean, who cares for them. Everybody in my demographic profile has his or her own set of problems, hopes, dreams, expectations and whatever else. They are more or less the same for everyone with minor variations. “saari daulat saari taaqat, saari duniya par hukumat, bas itna sa khwab hai”. Well its Radio Mirchi playing in the background. 90s Not Out.

So what is new about all this? The answer is simple. Nothing. There have been billions like us in the past. There are billions like us in the present. And there will be billions like us in the future. The only thing new is the individual behind these dreams. And that individual (you and me) is the one who matters the most. But this person is stuck or lost today. What do you expect from anyone in his late teens or early twenties who feels trapped in college and is desperately waiting for that elusive one big chance to prove himself or herself?

There is this frustration and anger inside the hearts and minds of any average youth. This is commonly dismissed as misplaced youth angst, typical rebellious nature of the new blood which is supposed to calm down as one experiences life with age. It’s a common phenomenon in each period of history and in every society around the world. I am frustrated. I am angry. Is there a shame in admitting this? What is wrong with it? Well if you are of my age, reading this and smiling right now feeling that whatever I am saying is wrong, then you are a hypocrite. And within the shallow depths of your heart, you know this.

Now, why this frustration? Why this anger? Is it cool? That’s why? I don’t think so. This is so because it affects us. Directly or indirectly. Look around yourself. Nothing is perfect. The society. The world. The politics. The economy. The roads. Not even my favourite movies. Each and everything is full of flaws. Well that’s the way its meant to be. Isn’t it? Perfection is not a human attribute. It can never be. Even God isn’t perfect. Else He wouldn’t have created this mayhem. Whatever. What do you expect Him to create in six days anyways? Then why the hell I am angry over all this? There is a perpetual talk that it’s the youth who changes the society and brings the difference. What difference? A Marxian or Gandhian utopia where everyone is equal, no one sleeps hungry and there is peace and quiet all around? What are we? Miss Universe contestants? That’s impossible. What would the world be without all its problems?

Every revolution has been brought about by the youth with its own utopian dreams. And history is the witness that nothing changes for long. Rich remain rich. Poor remain poor or get poorer. Guns still sell. Drugs still find their way into desired alleys. Problems remain lurking in the background. Everything deteriorates slowly and then – back to square one. The youth who fought for freedom – whatever they envisioned, it wasn’t this which is happening in the present. Terrorism, communalism, regionalism, the ever increasing rich-poor divide, consumerism going out of bounds and other such things.

In the 1970s the youth played a pivotal role in raising a storm in the Indian political scenario. Millions joined the movement started by Jaiprakash Narayan to bring “socialism”. Normal people with normal aspirations just like us. People from rich families gave up their luxuries to reside in forests joining the Naxalite movement (shown beautifully in Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi. Kay Kay Menon’s character.). For what? Social justice? Equality? Socialism? What was the end result? Just look at the current crop of leaders in UP and Bihar. They are the products of that era. Pathetic. Isn’t it? And Naxalism has turned into a monster turning half of the country into lawless killing field.

The same goes for the youth movements in early 1990s (the anti-reservation movement). Much ado about nothing. See the current reservation policies. What sort of social equality and progress they will bring is any sensible person’s guess. And what about today? The hip hot happening blogging protests, candle light vigils (the most absurd and stupid thing in my opinion. Shoot me for it. 99% of the people standing in such protests do this to look cool. The act itself is a product of pop culture. Remember Rang De Basanti?) or discussions by the so called common people (Are Shobha Dey,Mahesh Bhatt or Abhishek Manusinghvi common people?) on prime time television – what do they achieve? Sifar. Those in power carry on with there business as usual and we are left to see the crap happening around us.

Boring? Pessimistic? Isn’t it? Well, its just my opinion. And I am not all against everything. Its small efforts on our part which collectively do create small positive dents on this otherwise hopeless scenario. And they shouldn’t be brought down. But at the same time expecting something radical to happen is just too much of a wishful thinking. Lets concentrate on what we are. What are our trifling personal problems? Lets delve into these waters now.

Here is the interesting part. A naïve, himself clueless 22 year old trying to discuss problems of his peers. I wonder if anyone is still interested in reading this. So I’ll start with my problems. They are nothing new. And everyone can relate with them. The usual stuff – marks, grades, bored to the hilt, idling away all this time while waiting for a chance to prove myself, career, future, my own insecurities related to everything around me, feeling too vulnerable and above all wondering about the same thing like my peers – What after six months when I am out of college? Other problems? Love? Yes. No. Maybe. Too personal to discuss here. Crush? No. Can I call Priyanka Chopra or Megan Fox a crush? If yes then, well, yes. Friends? To some extent. Family? Depends. What other problems? Physical? Mental? Social? Yes. Yes. Yes. And I am not the only one with all this mess in my life. Each and everyone of you is with me. So its not a crime to be angry or frustrated at times, unless you harm others or yourself. Don’t be ashamed. Vent it out. There is nothing wrong about it. Be yourself. Do whatever you want to control or overcome all this. Remember Irrfan Khan’s character in Life In A Metro. He goes on the rooftop and shouts at the city landscape and asks Konkona Sen Sharma’s character to do the same to ease her pain. Naïve but useful.For me it means watching 3 gangster movies a day and listening to Linkin Park (I can’t shout at the rooftop so I let Chester shout for me. Everyone can relate to Linkin Park’s lyrics. Maximum guys will agree with me on this. And if you haven’t listened to them you are surely missing something).

Everything will be all right if you are all right. Nothing is black or white. All is grey. It depends on our perception. And our perception depends on our inner self. If that person is not okay, he wont see positive in anything. So first we need to change that person. Strange that this talk comes from me after what I’v written in the previous part of this article? Well the thing is that I am trying to overcome my own negative self and prepare myself for a new life after college.  Just like you all. Its just that I am not afraid to admit my faults and weaknesses. And right now it’s the balanced me that is talking.

All I want to say is that we need positives around us. We need positive thinking, positive attitude, positive approach towards everything in life – good or bad. But at the same time we must not become too wishful in our thinking. Don’t expect drastic changes around you. Just be your good self. About all the rest – Que Sera Sera. Enough about everything. Time to sign off. If you did reach the end of this article, hurl your abuses or appreciation at wtfashish@gmail.com.

Wait a minute. Talking about Linkin Park, here is a gem from them . The song is “From the inside”. If you do care to watch the video, concentrate on the child. Maybe that’s you and me.

Tension is building inside steadily

(Everyone feels so far away from me)

Heavy thoughts forcing their way out of me

(Trying not to break but I’m so tired of this deceit)

(Every time I try to make myself get back up on my feet)

(All I ever think about is this)

(All the tiring time between)

(And how trying to put my trust in you just takes so much out of me)

Take everything from the inside and throw it all away

Cuz I swear for the last time I won’t trust myself with you

Adios