I visited Delhi this week. All the nice things that happened there apart - I GOT CHASED DOWN BY 2 HUGE FUCKING BOUNCERS CARRYING HUGE FUCKING STICKS.
Yeah. That happened. Because I happened to be trying to circumvent an area with a curiously large population of sardarjis and punjabis in general who were going BATSHIT CRAZY AT A - WAIT FOR IT - YO YO HONEY SINGH CONCERT. Yeah, you read it right. That is what they call him. He has been around for a while, don’t know how I was oblivious of the fellow.
I somehow escaped unscathed. My friend’s glasses were knocked of his face and he got a slight cut.
On a side note - Yo Yo Honey Singh is the shizz yo.
"Hey man. Busy?"
"Nope. Jobless. What’s up?"
"Bored to death. Random conversation over Uno?"
"Deal, I say."
"I watched Fight Club the other day. Sheer brilliance, that’s what it is. You know, you watch that movie at night, and you need fresh air to clear your thoughts. It takes you down to the gritty drains of American society, to the screwed up psyche of one, literally on the edge of reason. The movie takes your brain, throws it down a tunnel, plays ping-pong with it, and feeds it stuff that you’re sure, is not going to leave for a long,long time. Dude, you’ve got to watch …"
"Uno, aaand Done."
"Ah Crap. All right, deal again. So yeah, I’m telling you, you’ve got to watch it."
"Dude, Chill, I’ve seen it. I know it’s a good movie, but I think you’ve taken it a bit too seriously. Get this - it’s a MOO-VEE. And that’s America. Maybe the characters are not just works of fiction, but gruesome reflections of people walking in the shadows, living in the shadows, waiting to be something more, in , AMERICA. Where are we?"
"All right, all right. I get it. But you know what? There are equally screwed up people in our country too. It’s just that we’re too proud to bring it out in the open. Or scared rather. God forbid the Shiv Sena or the Ram Sene or any other they-can-kiss-my-ass Sene do something about it. Still, that apart. I know it’s a movie, and I know it shows people from the U.S. Even then, what does the movie show? It shows the impatient, neurotic, grandiose fabric of human beings, puppets working for other puppets, resolving to larger than life alter egos. Don’t tell me that’s true for human beings in AMERICA and not INDIA. Ok, I’ll give you another example. Which is your favourite comic?"
"I know where this is going, but I’ll let you take it there. All right, it’s Calvin and Hobbes."
"Ah-ha. There you go. You love Calvin, and you love Hobbes. Hobbes is nothing but a stuffed toy. But to Calvin and to us through Calvin, he talks, and has got a brain of his own. He is what? Calvin’s alter ego. What I’m trying to say is, Calvin and Hobbes transcends geographical boundaries, does it not? Why does it do so? For in Calvin, you see every 8 year old boy, the world every 8 year old boy creates for himself, and every 8 year old boy’s partner-in-crime. Hey you didn’t say "uno" ! Ha! Pick up 4 cards, my man."
"Yeah, yeah. One, two, three, four. There. Happy?"
"Yo. So Whatever. Fight Club is awesome. Period."
"Whatever makes you happy. "
"Hey how’s it going with the dame by the way?"
"Well it’s only been about a month and a half. It’s good, it’s fun. But once the "where is this going" questions start, I won’t know what to say. I mean, what? I’m 20 years old. I don’t know where I’m going, how can I tell her where WE’re going? How long have we been going out anyway, you know? I don’t get…"
"Stop freaking out! She hasn’t asked you yet has she? Take it as it comes. Do the conversation Ross style. If it comes up at all, that is. She seems pretty cool."
"Yeah. She does actually. Anyway, so done studying for the internals tomorrow?"
"Naah. I’ll take a micro or something."
Even though the oddities, monstrosities, aberrations that I witness in my dreams can be believed to be projections of what I witness on the otherside,
I fear that they were still somehow conceived from the gory recesses of my own mind.
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
- Always steal both the armrests.
- Never get anywhere on time.
- Make friends with fellow passengers and con them into giving you a ride.
- Pretend to lose something. Then borrow someone’s cellphone and call an ex-boyfriend.
- Get into a massive argument with your shoes.
- Thank your driver when you get off the vehicle. This includes trains as well.
- Never pay for drinking water.
- Get free meals by explaining to the indigenous people how you’d love to try the local cuisine.
- Tell the children ghost stories at night. Grown ups trust that kind of stuff.
- Breathe loudly in public. Follow that by explaining that where you come from, they sell fresh air in bottles.
- Leave bits of yourself behind. Cut a toenail in every village.
- Kiss a goodlooking stranger.
- Skinny dip in the dead of the night. It’s truly the only way to feel human.
- Sit at a busy spot and make hurried notes every time someone catches your eye.
- Dance like no one’s watching you. (Keep a hat around for change).
- Don’t ever come back.
I spoke to an uncle of mine this last Sunday. “Aaj kahan bulaya hai usne?” he asks me, referring to my alleged girlfriend (she is a Madhwa Infosys developer, it seems). After my usual goofy-laughter-response and some pleasantries exchanged, he asks me what I plan to do on this Sunday. I tell him that my friends and I might go watch a play - which is when he starts reminiscing.
He spoke of his theater experiences, one of which particularly stood out. He mentioned a Tamil play - Vietnam House (Vietnam Veedu, originally methinks). Oh I apologize if anything here turns out to be a spoiler - what follows is me extrapolating my uncle’s words. So, Vietnam House revolves around a typical small town Tamil brahmin household, at its helm an honest and hardworking patriarch (Shivaji Ganesan). In such a household, my uncle tells me, the swing plays an integral part. Now that I think of it, every movie I’ve seen that has a south-Indian-village-house setting - there’s a swing in that house.
The play follows the travails of Shivaji Ganesan as he valiantly juggles his family and his work. At a certain juncture, this patriarch of the family happens to be indisposed and the household has to function in his absence. As much as Shivaji Ganesan essayed this role with authority, his absence was to have as much an impact on the audience as his presence. The director of the play managed to portray this absence of a patriarch in a way that left an undying memory in my uncle’s mind for presumably over 30 years; his instrument being - the humble swing. The swing, from where the patriarch meted out the decisions that were to be ceded to unconditionally. The swing, which he graciously shared and allowed for a bit of banter over. The swing, which was his metaphorical throne.
The swing was now empty. Showing signs of life only when moving to a passing breeze.
I can only imagine how the scene must have been. So poignant in its simplicity, and undying in its ephemerality.
In the same vein, here are five scenes from films that I personally find to be such that are not easily forgotten. Most of you will already know the movies I’m going to quote here - I’ve spoken about them to the point of (your) exasperation.
1. Garden State ending scene. The bit I like, 4:14 - “So, what do we do”?
2. Awesome Lucy Liu as the fantastic O-Ren-Ishi chopping of a deterrent mafia boss’s head with aplomb - Kill Bill
On to slightly depressing stuff now.
3. Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goethe in Schindler’s List, shooting Jewish workers. As if it was him drinking milk with his breakfast.
4. Unforgettably distressing final scenes from Requiem For A Dream. (Embedding was disabled, here’s the link)
5. And to lift the mood. There is no way I am leaving this out. Enough said.
I should talk to my uncle more often.