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Aaditya and Me by Aditya Joshi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Faces and Masks

Note: One of my incoherent, random ramblings. The post is not as meaningless as it may sound after the first reading.

They were all there around me. They were the people we loved.

Thoughts hit you harder than any stick of the world. One hit me too and I thrust my hand onto their faces. I had suddenly acquired the claws of a werewolf. These people that we loved were all wearing masks and I so wanted to pull these masks off their skin.

When the first one's mask came off, I rejoiced, "Yes!!! I knew it was only a mask!" It gave me the confidence to attack the rest and to pull their masks off their cheeks.

Some time later, there were several masks on the floor. I let out a delirious laughter - for I had uncovered the evil and deceitful people who I thought I loved.

What did I get in the end?

A bunch of masks on the floor. Hands stained in blood of the people I had attacked even if they weren't wearing any masks.

I sat on the floor mourning. What was I mourning? The discovery of masks that some people wore? Or the fact that everyone there had left because I attacked them?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love letter

Note: My entry for the 'love letter writing' competition here at IIT B.

Dear Prerna,

Don't ask me why I am writing all this. Promise me you won't cry when you read this - you are quite a weakling I know. These are just some things out of the whole world of them that I wanted to tell you. Marriage changes a relationship and in my case, the responsibilities that it brought deprived me of my ability to express a feeling - a feeling which was so close to me yet I never noticed. Let it flow today...

I clearly remember the day I first saw you at your dance performance in Mumbai. I saw the grace in your arms and my breath rhythmically swayed to each move of yours. Your face glowed like a princess with the blissful ecstasy of your dance that melted on it. You were burning down like a candle and spreading the glow all around you. I could clearly see that it was your soul guiding your body into the dance. I may have never admitted it but it was at that very moment that I fell in love with you.

On our trip to Delhi, as the cycle-rickshaw took us down the narrow lanes, I looked at you, huddled up to me. My hand moved to the other side of your shoulder. Our eyes met and I felt my breath against yours. I breathed out and without my knowledge, my breath took the form of the sound, "Marry me." A drop of tear shined on your cheek. You smiled only to push it down to your chin. The world had condensed in that one point for me - the tear where you, me and our love had converged.
On our honeymoon, I remember walking on the beach barefeet, your hand on mine. I held your thumb with my hand and slowly tickled your palm. You giggled as you ran further. I saw your feet leaving those footprints behind. Something was amiss. I turned back and saw OUR footprints on the sand. I froze as I saw the waves fading away the footprints, one lash at a time. I turned back again and saw you standing there, your hands folded and a question mark on your face. I ran to you like a pilgrim craving for his God and hugged you. You rested your head on my chest and my heart felt the touch of the very person it was beating for.

Prerna, for the last one year of our marriage, I have religiously bid you goodbye with a 'love you'. Trust me, I have never felt it so strongly as I do at this moment. You are the woman who stood by me during my times good and bad. You are the woman who looks into my eyes and my lows convulge into positivity and strength. I never noticed it until now - but each time I am low, I do remember your eyes and the love in them that is my biggest strength. Today I know why a wife is a husband's better half and that is because she is that half of the man that lies under the layer of his mere body. She is closely connected to his soul.

When my body sees danger at this moment, it calls out to my soul - it calls out to you. Prerna, I am trapped here. I am trapped at the Taj. Only some time ago, I saw fire leaping out of the window of some other room here. That very moment, I saw your eyes smiling at me.

What life could not make realize, the thought of death did. The love that stayed dormant gushed out like the wave that wiped our footprints at the beach. The love that expressed itself through a tear in your eye in Delhi expressed itself through another in mine.

I don't know what's happening here. I don't care. I want to see your eyes again. I want to go back to you and tell you .. that I love you...

Natural Aversion therapy to songs

I remember a song 'Bol na halke halke' that a friend had recorded in his voice. It was my ringtone for a long time. I loved it. Then, I set it as my alarm tone. Twenty days later, I began to hate that song!!

My theory is simple and straightforward (The Occam's Razor principle states that the simplest theory is the best one.) : "If you want to distaste yourself to a song, set it as your alarm tone."

Alarm tones should never be the songs you love. Because sooner or later, you are going to end up hating this tune that pulls you out of the arms of your cozy sleep. A song that we loved, all of a sudden, becomes a song that disciplines us. One naturally becomes averse to the song in some days. The effect that the song had on you no longer holds!

'Ringa ringa' from Slumdog millionaire is one of my favs of recent times. The song is not really the kinds you would want to listen to in public for the rather corny lyrics - but I love it nevertheless. This morning, this song woke me up (after I 'snooze'd five times.) and I have begun to dislike it already.... Grrr...

If there's some song your friend/husband/wife likes which you don't, try my therapy. Ilaaj nahi to paise waapas...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Name is Khan : Movie Review

I have been an ardent fan of Shahrukh and Kajol because they were THE onscreen couple in my growing-up days. I saw them jumping together over benches and steps of a filmy college in 'Kuch kuch hota hai', I saw Kajol running towards Shahrukh in a mustard field in 'DDLJ'. I have seen them doing similar cheesy things which have been memorable scenes for me as an admirer of theirs.

'My Name is Khan' is a feast for a person like me. SRK and Kajol are doing 'mature' things together this time (getting married very early in the film. Fighting. Sulking, etc.) - and Karan has not made them do the 'mature' things we have seen in KANK. (Whatever K Jo sold as 'mature' in KANK made me want to strangulate myself.) After 'My name is Khan', Shahrukh and Kajol are and will be my favourite on-screen couple! :-) Shahrukh's performance is THE highlight of the film. (Considering the fact that SRK has been the rona-dhona boy for a major portion of his career, this role is like getting a fish out of water where SRK cannot emote! :-p) Sonia Jehan and Jimmy Shergill are excellent too - Jimmy Shergill is one of the actors who have not got their due yet, in my opinion.

The music is ordinary (and had put this up on my facebook too - when two of my friends thought I was only doing 'K Jo bashing'. :P ) considering that S-E-L have come up with some remarkable numbers in the past.

The message of combating racism is only the background of the film. K Jo sticks to what he does best - a love story. The dialogues are typical K Jo style. The visuals are excellent of course. Kajol's styling is chic. SRK looks good too.

The first half keeps you glued to your seat, the second half drags in parts - especially the hurricane bit. The scene where Kajol cries in the mortuary is a typical Kajol screeching scene.. which, despite the overacting, I loved.

The movie is certainly very good and I must admit that K Jo has certainly made his most mature film to date.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Photo blog 4 : Visitors from the sky

Photo blogs: Photo + blogpost. Both indispensable

Disclaimer: The photograph and the blog post both are original.

The canopy stood high on the tall wall of the magnificient Agra Fort. It was not the only one in the fort. It was also not the only one in the fort to have dozens of pigeons gathered on their tops.

The canopy is a standing witness to the history of the rulers who stayed in the fort, of the enemies who attacked the fort and later became the rules, of survivors, of queens and their servants.

When I saw the birds cluttered around the canopy and some on it, I felt I was looking at the many more witnesses of the history gathered around it. The birds, to me, were the mystical historical characters from the tales of our history who had come back to the place where they had seen it all happen...

Friday, February 05, 2010

History books

On my Hyderabad and Delhi-Agra vacation, I realized how much I love museums. In Hyderabad, I walked around the galleries of Salarjung museum all by myself without getting bored for even a minute. I walked, I stopped, I stared. I went closer to the display glass to get a better look of the artifact on display.

Apart from the realization of my love for museums, I realized the ineffectivity of the history textbooks that I had been taught from in school. All I saw about Harappan civilization was two scary-looking idols printed in a dot-matrix. The lack of any gray at all made the picture of the Harappan idols similar to the map of an African country. That totally justifies the animosity while writing my history exams. One short note on 'Harappan civilization', another on 'Mohenjodaro civilization' - five points per answer - I always messed up between the two.

At the National Museum Delhi, I experienced the Harappan civilization. I remembered the short note back in school which said, "The Harappan man used modern equipment of business, weaponry and animal husbandry." Today, I saw the equipment of business - the weighing balance and the standard weights. Wow! The insight of having a standard weight to measure things relatively is a bright sign of intelligence. I saw the equipment of weaponry - complex spears. I saw the bullock cart toys that the Harappans made and realized that they were very similar to the bullock carts of today. In fact, the utensils used by Harappans to cook were VERY SIMILAR to the ones from a brand that claims to specialize in non-stick.

Also in the Harappan gallery, I saw the Gods they worshipped - these Gods looked so similar to today's interpretation of aliens.

I literally experienced the Harappan civilization come alive around me. I was overwhelmed by the kind of knowledge and expertise that these relics displayed. I LOVED history today. I wondered why a fifth standard history textbook failed to do that to me.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Photo blog 3 : From Chowmahala Palace

Photo blogs are photographs accompanied with a piece of text and when I can't think of getting rid of either.

The Chowmahala palace in Hyderabad is a must-visit for a tourist. It is a palace of the Nizams which has been maintained very well by their descendents. The palace is a beautiful white that fills everything you can see when you are walking through it. 'Chowmahala', as the name suggests, has four palaces in a complex.

One is in the awe of the grandeur and beauty of the palace as one walks through its grand hallways and the royal rooms. Finally, one turns back and begins to walk towards the exit, still awe-struck.

Then one sees what this photograph of mine captures. The white palace of the rich Nizam stands before your eyes and in the background, you see the grey and earthy Mecca Masjid - looking down on the palace. [Correction from 'Jama masjid' to 'Mecca masjid' according to a comment by a reader. I was, however, told by my tourist guide that it was the Jama masjid]

One moment, you are savouring the beauty of worldly riches that you think touches the sky. The next moment, God tells you he's taller.