Thursday, October 25, 2007

Colour of Paradise:

I don’t like talking about movies here…because it’s a very personal preference and I don’t like raving or ranting about any. Let each people decide.

But a week ago, I saw an Iranian movie ‘Colour of Paradise’….a story about a blind boy. It’s not the story that I want to talk about. It’s the way the director has understood and captured the beauty of nature. Fresh, real and so beautiful that your heart aches with sheer longing. The wind through the trees, the sound of a bird, the colour of the field full of flowers, the gentle sway of the leaves and the crops, the boy’s hand touching the maize stalk, the silvery moon……so many times, unknowingly tears rolled down my eyes just at those simplest sights. Throughout the duration of the movie, I was spellbound. Nobody can bring nature out like this if he or she is not moved by the beauty around.

Go watch it with your heart.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Odyssey years:

Most festivals have lost its charm on me. I rather stay at home than participate. Thankfully my parents have let me be…never forcing anything down my throat in the name of tradition or religion. Till the time I was with my parents, going for the Asthami Pushpanjali seemed more like a duty than any other sentiment. However, this Puja I not only wore a new dress but made efforts to go out and give the morning Anjali. Maybe breaking that link with familiarity makes one crave it all the more. The sentiments haven’t changed….I still did it more like a duty but this time I remembered all that my mother used to say and do around this time every year. I remembered all the familiar faces in the crowd, the smell, the euphoria and tried seeking the same sense of space and time here in this still unknown part of life.

It’s true, however much you try otherwise, your roots always hold you firm and gives you your distinct identity.


I was reading in the papers today about the ‘Odyssey years’ - that journey from teenage to adulthood…how people in their 20s are postponing settling down in order to find themselves. Good to know that now they have a term for the travails that I have gone through in the last decade. I now seem to have reached a stage in life which they termed as adulthood – a period of settling down.

But for me the quest seems far from over… seems to magnify with each passing years.
There seems to be a certain truth about our parents’ conviction on how to spend your life. Simple living and doing one’s duty. ‘Finding oneself’ can take you around life’s many unwanted corners, not giving any answers and throwing you right in the middle of the maze every time you seem to find a path.

Maybe by that time it will be too late to go back to our parent’s way of living. Maybe in another decade’s time, while I will have reached another milestone in my search, they will give it yet another term and relegate it as yet another phenomenon.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Surprisingly I haven’t seen any cows on the streets here. Weaving through herds, being attacked by bulls, road-blocks by an entire family, lost calves…. were the ways of life in Delhi. A bovine-free road seems like a foreign concept to me. Come to think of it, with so many open fields, trees, parks and weekly vegetable markets, they have a field day there….out here they would probably be run over by the traffic or people.

The crows outside our building starts to crow precisely at 1230 at night….without fail everyday.

Delhi’s autowallahs always made me mad but like everybody else, I had also submitted to their dishonest ways. But my blood boils and I froth at the mouth when I find dishonest auto or taxi wallahs here who are out to rip your pocket. Perhaps finding an honest city turning dishonest is far worse than knowing that a city is absolutely dishonest to begin with. It hurts to see the city changing so.

I got a chance to travel the famous Bombay-Pune Expressway in day-time. I kept waiting for the scene to turn beautiful but it seemed to turn exactly its opposite. Hoarding all along the way, grotesque looking buildings stretching way into the hills – all in the name of luxury living in the lap of nature. In a few years time, there will be no nature, only man made disasters. I shudder at the very thought.

First it was the cellphone with ear-plugs. Now it’s the I-pod. Everybody out here seems to be plugged. In the train, while crossing a street, in the car, while working. I am one of those few people who hate to change especially when it comes to technology. But now I have realized its importance – long and arduous traveling. I miss the long drives around Delhi in my car with windows closed, listening to music and getting lost in my own world.

In Delhi, people are in groups mostly. Out here, it’s the rule of the single. With an I-pod plugged in the ears….lost in their own world, part of a crowd yet completely apart, hurrying to work, home or a party…or hurrying through life….trying to find those few moments of peace…through music.

Maybe that’s what defines the Bombay of today.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Stepping Out:

I had to get out of the city, the chaos of everyday life. So despite little sleep the previous night, I headed out to the shayadri with a bunch of people early in the morning. We turned away from the highway and stopped in front of a charming little village. J showed us the formidable looking hill in the distance that we had to climb. Looking around I saw many strangely formed hills shrouded in the morning mist. Anybody would think hundred times before venturing into these jungles and the hills – and looking at them, I finally realised the genius of Shivaji who knew every nook and cranny of these ghats and how he got to rule such a vast territory.

The trek to the top was a moderate one – one hour of climb, then one hour of flat walk through a couple of tribal villages and then again another hour of fairly steep ascent to the top. The trail was through slushy grassland, a few slippery patches of rock, elephant grasses, buzzing insects, snails and caterpillars. I wished for clouds and a little rain but the sun breathed down on us.

At the top we passed through an ancient gateway with a Ganesha on top and a huge water tank where a buffalo lay sprawled right in the centre. Just how did it manage to get there is one of the biggest mysteries I have come across. The view from the top was worth all the effort – the de-formed hills through the haze, patches of absolutely green meadows, a star shaped lake and tiny villages below. I stood gazing at the valley below for a long time, feeling nothing. These were not the snow-peaks which anchor my thoughts or the sea which magnifies them so. I felt strangely cheated despite the beauty around me.

Maybe I will realise this place’s significance once I am able to understand my place here. Till that time, there’s the Sea.