Sunday, April 25, 2010

Love :)

Born in a family where everyone is a Krishna devotee, i grew up listening to Krishna stories in my childhood. There was one thing about him though, that bugged me too much. Everyone said that Radha and Krishna are incarnations of love, born on earth to teach mankind the essense of love. It made no sense to me, as Krishna left Radha forever, went on to become a king, had a sixteen thousand wives, but never thought of calling his girl friend back. To me, it looked more like a teenage fling than an attempt to teach humans what love is.

However, one year back, I went to Gokul and Vrindavan, the place where Radha and Krishna grew up. While we were doing a pradakshina around the Govardhan Parvat, I asked a rickshawallah the same question about the relevance of Radha and Krishna's love. What he said illuminated me more than ne pandits ever had.

"Radha's love for Krishna was not just the love of a woman for a man as we look at it today. She loved him like a woman loves her lover, like a daughter loves her father, like a sister adores her brother, like a student respects her teacher, and like a devotee worships her god. Krishna was everything to Radha, and He understood that. Who says marriage is the ultimate expression of love? It wouldn't have been so for Radha and Krishna for sure, because the love they shared was so much more than that. This was the message they wanted to give to the world - a nameless non-judgemental love."

I understood what he meant. We always try to name love, to analyse it, explain it. But we forget that the real beauty of love is in its mystery. There's no rationale behind it, and no boundaries ahead of it. We always try to reason about every relationship.

'He's a very good friend, you know, just a friend.'
'But u spend so much time with him!'
'I know its weird.'
'No but you should explain... there has got to be something. What exactly is it, you are what? friends, lovers, friends wanting to be lovers, friends trying not be lovers, what??'
'I have no idea.. '

Thats perfectly 'lovely'. We don't have to give love a name, and make it some kind of 'relationship'. Love is just... it. Its Love :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

All Hail Bollywood!

A few days ago I saw a movie Green Zone, based on the post-Iraq War period. I was discussing the movie with a friend of mine, and out of nowhere we started thinking how the movie would be like if Bollywood directed it!

For those who haven’t seen the movie: Based in post war Baghdad, the story is about a Chief Military Officer (the hero) who, along with his Iraqi Interpreter Freddie, is set upon finding the truth about the weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) supposedly hidden by Saddam’s Government. A (female) Wall Street Journal Correspondent stationed in Baghdad is on the same trail. Inside Story: The Pentagon’s man in Baghdad (the villain) has already been told by Al Rawi, Saddam’s right hand man, that there are no WMDs whatsoever in Iraq anymore. However, the truth is being cautiously hidden from all, and the search for WMDs is now just pretence to establish American leadership in an Oil rich country.

So, if this story was to be made in Bollywood:

1. The movie will actually be a love story set in the background of a war that shook the world.

2. The Pentagon guy (a sleek figure in the actual movie) would be a dangerous looking man, with a huge moustache and a booming voice. Villains have to be scary, see!!

3. The hero’s entrance will be amidst great fanfare; perhaps we will see him as he comes out alive and untouched from a gory fight and lots of gunshots. How else will the people understand that he is the hero?!?

4. Being the only female far and wide in the actual movie, the Wall Street Journal correspondent will be the heroine. She will enter in clothes fitting a fashion model, her hair blowing in the wind and all eyes turning to look at her. She would be the epitome of beauty, and yet a karate champion, of course the best journalist in the world, and oh yes, also a tomboy. Otherwise, why would anyone watch the movie, huh?

5. Every time the hero and heroine meet, there will be eye contact, and awkward moments, followed by a romantic music as they go away from each other.

6. After the hero comes back from the heroine’s room, in the night both the hero and the heroine will lie in their beds, thinking about each other. There will be a song, in which they both will be together in almost every part of the world, changing the dress up every 20 seconds. And for some reason, the lyrics of the song sung by the hero and by the heroine will be the same, though they are so far away.

7. Sometime during or before the final adventure, there will be a ‘Maa’ scene. However, seeing as the hero’s and heroine’s moms are in the US, Freddie’s mom will come to the rescue. She would have lost her husband in the war, but will be brave enough to egg her son on for the country’s good.

8. There will also be a woman whom Freddie loves, perhaps his wife, but she will be a silent woman, loving him from the shadows. Sometimes, love is beyond words…

9. There will be at least 4-5 out of place songs in the movie, including a qawwali, which will inspire the hero, and an item song, to give people one more reason to watch the movie.

10. The villain will laugh boisterously at the hero every time they meet. A boisterous laugh for no reason signifies evil.

11. Somehow the heroine will get caught up in the final fight. Either she will be kidnapped (the villain knows everything!), or she wouldn’t be able to sit still while the love of her life is facing mortal dangers (ahh love…)

12. The hero would be badly injured in the final fight, but he will think of the heroine, and manage to stand up again and fight back (ahh love… again..!)

13. The punch line of the movie by Freddie - “You don’t get to decide what happens in this country” - won’t be one single line. It will be one long speech, which he will have the time to deliver even during the urgency of the fight. Also the last line of his speech will have the name of the movie somewhere.

14. The name of the movie would be changed to something much less sensible than Green Zone.

15. In the end when the hero will mail the truth about Pentagon to everyone, the heroine will see the mail, blush, hesitate, and then run out to meet the hero. The hero, knowingly, will be waiting for her with open arms. She will fall into his arms, they would embrace, the world will revolve around them, and that, dear friends, would be the happy ending: D

Hats Off to Bollywood!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Gallop

When you do something that you have always wanted to do, like you know, always always wanted to do with all your heart, doing it finally gives you a sense of fulfilment, even if that thing you wanted was very trivial. I knew this was one of those content moments when I lay face up, looking at the blue skies above me. My head rested on her head, my legs on the base of her tail. The five and a half foot creature below me was a mare named Megha.

Even as a kid, I had always been fascinated by the world of the ancient kings and queens and princesses. Above all, I had been crazy about battles and wars, and ancient warriors with their horses and swords and spears. And it has been one of my dearest dreams to learn all the skills of a warrior - sword fighting, archery, spear throwing, and of course, riding a horse. And as my luck would have it, there was a Riders Club at the Essar Township in Hazira, where i was doing my PS1 in the summer of 2008.

Riders Club had a vast lush green ground, and in the centre of these lawns was a circular, sandy patch of land, meant for the learners. They had eight mares, one horse and a few foals maintained in excellent shape. There were Chandni and Bijli, Noor Jahan and Roshni, Suraj and Pawan, and the most beautiful of all, Megha – a sheer black-skinned mare, with a single white spot on her forehead. I wanted to ride her the moment I saw her, tall and gleaming in the sun, strutting around proudly.

But the coach would have none of it. He said that Megha was the most violent of all the beats, and I couldn’t ride her for two months at the least. Instead, I was to mount Noor Jahan, a chestnut coloured mare with a calm air around her. The coach told me that she was the most good natured of all of them, and so beginners always rode her for a month or so.

It was a good thing she was so calm, because riding wasn’t as easy as it looked. The first speed, walking as they called it, was easy enough (as long as the horse didn’t jerk a leg or sway its head without any warning). But the tough part came at the end of the lesson, when the coach announced that we were to perform some exercises to remove the fear of riding a horse.

Honestly speaking, the exercises were much more fearsome than the riding itself. They made us support our weight on our hands rested on the mare’s mane, n then lift the whole body from the saddle, legs dangling in the air (Luckily, the horse was supposed to be stationary during all this). I wondered what would happen if Noor Jahan chose the time to suddenly give herself a jerk and start trotting. The coach even made us lie down on the beast completely, face up, with just our arms to hold the saddle. It was supposed to remove all fear, you see.

The next speed was trotting, which is faster than walking but slower than galloping. It seemed fairly simple to look at, but I realised it was a back break when I sat on the horse, and it started tossing me up in the air every time it rose while trotting. Three rounds in the arena, and my back hurt because of all the ups and downs. The trick was, the coach said, to move up and down in the saddle with the rhythm of the horse, which I admit wasn’t that easy. The fact that I was just five-feet-two made it even more difficult.

But very soon, those 15-20 minutes spent riding became the most eventful minutes of my day. As more people joined, Noor was employed for the newcomers, and I got to ride different horses. I rode Pawan a few times, a snowy white Indian horse, shorter and stockier than the rest of his mates. And then one day, Pawan was ill, Noor was busy and so were the other mares. The only one left for me was, yes, Megha! I was overjoyed!

Mounting her - it felt like heaven, but riding her felt like, well, being really close to heaven. She trotted like there was no one astride her; I had one hell of a time telling myself that she isn’t trying to throw me off herself. I pictured Aragorn in my head, and told myself that I had to brave this if I’m to become a rider like him. (Yes, I’m that weird. And if you don’t know Aragorn, you are so.) An interesting moment came when we were doing the exercises and I was lying on her back, when suddenly she jerked one head and started walking briskly. Luckily the coach had anticipated this, so he had been standing nearby to control her if need be.

But well, all good things end too soon. Within 3 weeks of my training, it started raining in Hazira. And when it rains at the Coast, it rains for days at a stretch. After a three day spat of rain, I visited the Club, only to see our arena all muddy and the lawns submerged in water. One thing was certain, it would take days to dry up completely and be suitable for the hooves of a horse, and by that time, it would start raining again. So thus my training was cut short.

But nevertheless, I was happy to have lived my dream, though for a short time. I know I’m going to become a fairly good rider one day, but till then, these small memories will remain to be one of the most beautiful ones I have had.


I read a lot, and think even more. And most of my thoughts don’t make any sense to anyone, even to me actually. For a long time, I’ve been thinking about writing a blog of my own. It doesn’t take too much of an effort to churn out all your thoughts, does it? The only thing was, I couldn’t figure out why someone on earth would bother to read all the junk manufactured in my mind. But then someone told me, just give it a shot! why care about what others think?! So well, here I’m, writing the random thoughts of my meandering mind! Just give it a shot!