Saturday, February 24, 2007

Meeting THE Parent, &c.

Remember Ben Stiller in 'Meet the Parents'? How, when he goes with his girlfriend to meet her parents, the father - the AWESOME Robert deNiro - subjects him to various CIA/FBI methods of obtaining confessions? And how, in a stupor caused by a truth-serum deNiro slips into his drink, he confesses to have a huge crush on his soon-to-be Mother-in-Law? Good movie, and one feels sorry for poor Gaylord Focker (Stiller's screen persona)...

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Went to watch the eagerly-anticipated movie Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd. today... It is lame, at best... At worst, it tends to approach the nether-regions of creative bankruptcy... Wasted talent in the movie include the usually excellent Kay Kay Menon and the brilliant Boman Irani... A must-avoid movie at any cost, or even for free...

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Met Meiya's mom today... Strong-willed lady, wonderful human-being and the perfect hostess (is this the day of the superlative or what?!)... And the pasta and the singing - all part of a memorable few hours spent with the ladies... Ma'am (as i called her all day) had the following comments about me after i had left (as overheard by roving raju reporter) - 'calibre hai, intelligent hai, aur bahut talented hai. apni capacity se kam success mila hai. Par BOLTA BAHUT HAI!'

i thank you for the generosity of your praise, madame... and everyone says the same about the talking too much bit... kya karein, programming error hai... ;-)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Parsley, sage, rosemary and My Funny Valentine...

So Feb. 14 and all the brouhaha surrounding it hits us in the face again... Wonder if St. Valentine (God Bless his Soul) ever thought while he lived that his MARTYRDOM would be CELEBRATED with such warm feelings in a country he might never have heard of, thanks to the massive efforts of M/s Archies Gallery, Inc. and their kind...

And so, speaking strictly of Delhi, RED is the colour of the season, despite the grey clouds that have irritated us for the last week... Red roses, if you can find any, cost anywhere between Rs. 25 and 50 per piece, LOVE seems to be the flavour on everyone's lips (apart from their partners' saliva), and the saffron-brigade is lying low, perhaps waiting to strike on the appointed day... And maybe Mr. Thackeray now thinks that everyone in the country has followed the President's lead (as they should) and turned a blind eye (as he believes) on our heritage/customs/Afzal Guru and anything else his senile mind can think up...

Anyway coming back to St. Valentine... He was a martyr of love, it is said... Not his own love, but someone else's... So why dont we celebrate other people's love on this day and martyr our own feelings? Perhaps one can 'sacrifice' for one's own love and/or loved one... (a la Laila-Majnu, Sheerin-Farhad, Romeo-Juliet, Jai-Veeru... or was Jai actually NOT gay? :-s) Perhaps only an idiot can sacrifice for a third person... So was St. Valentine an idiot? If yes, then why do we celebrate the day an idiot went and got himself killed?

Appalling cynicism, you say... I agree... But why, pray WHY, should one celebrate Valentine's Day???

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If one were to examine human history closely, over the last 10,000 years, almost all major (and minor) events have been caused by either of three major reasons - quest for establishment of Supremacy, quest for Knowledge, and... Love. Being a student of literature, I can vouch for the fact that with the possible exception of Homer (depending on one's interpretation), almost all other poets and authors of note, starting with Sappho and proceeding till the present-day, have dipped their pens in this latter emotion and tried to find their muse, more often than not with success...

It is overwhelming, this 'Love' thing... The Romans used to think (or at least my lecturer said so) that EROS (love) and THANATOS (death) are twins - two sides of the same coin... Which is to say that only these two things can overpower human existence to such an extent, that everything else ceases to exist... Love isnt easy, no matter what the Americans would have us believe - it is a bed of nails, a crown of thorns, a booby trap, and all those other things that the 'i-have-loved-and-lost' kinds would say it is... As Ghalib put it,

Ye ishq nahin aasaan, itna to samajh leejiye
Ik aag ka dariyaa hai, aur doob ke jaana hai...

(Love is not easy, just understand this
It is a sea of fire, and one has to drown and go through it...)

But while it lasts, there can be no stronger, more beatific emotion than Love... Anyone who has loved, whether lost or not, will vouch for that...

Unke dekhe se jo aa jaati hai munh par raunaq
Woh samajhte hain ki bimaar ka haal achha hai...

(The glow that comes onto the face the moment one sees her {the beloved}
Makes her believe that the sick have recovered sufficiently...)

And so, here's wishing everyone a very Happy Valentine's Day, the day we celebrate this emotion, called Love...

What I dream I had:
Pressed in organdy;
Clothed in crinoline of smoky Burgundy;
Softer than the rain.
I wandered empty streets
Down past the shop displays.
I heard cathedral bells
Tripping down the alley ways,
As I walked on.

And when you ran to me
Your cheeks flushed with the night.
We walked on frosted fields of juniper and lamplight,
I held your hand.
And when I awoke and felt you warm and near,
I kissed your honey hair with my grateful tears.
Oh I love you, girl...
Oh, I love you...

(Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, 'For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her')

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Comments invited...

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