Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fade And Wither




One blighted morning I fell off the tree
Bereft of life and drained of my colour
Was it the branch or a passing breeze
That brought me on this road of pain
For what I was yesterday ain’t today
Parched and perplexed, I lay hither
With these changing shades of me
Without a leaf what can be a flower?
Tell m, shouldn’t it flow with ease
Lingering through each other's vein
Love, if is love isn’t it meant to stay
Why does it fade, how does it wither

-R-

Sunday, May 29, 2016

What 'THITHI' Did To Me...




“You do not have to do it after I die”



He had told my mother during one of their late morning tête-à-tête after a round of household chores. My paternal grandfather had no second thoughts on repudiating some of the customs that did not make sense to him. This was during the period when he was diagnosed of prostate cancer in his seventies, he was being treated for the same and palliative care was all that could be given after the surgery which he had undergone. It was all seeded in his bones and lungs, the cancer cells and of all that mattered to him was his ‘THITHI’ for reasons known only to him; he did not want us to perform the ritual every year. I must say he was very opinionated. Nevertheless his children do it every year now; if he is watching us from somewhere I am sure nothing else will be making him more furious!



Why I brought this up today was because I happened to watch a Kannada movie by the same name last evening with my parents so I couldn’t help but reminisce about it. While some call the movie a dark comedy with unpretentious frivolity, there is something esoteric about it. This was beyond all the brouhaha that Kannada movies are receiving these days, and I am glad I have watched all of them in the theatre. Nothing feels better than watching our fellow Kannadigas put our cinema and our land on the world map.

I am not going to let off any details here because this is not a movie review, this is about the feeling it left me with after I walked out of the theatre, the smile it brought on my face when a group of kids who were walking down the stairs started dancing in front of the theatre screen when the closing credits was on with the orchestra music. I do not know what they understood of the movie but this was a good sign. Watching good cinema is as important as playing a good game or reading a good book, I am glad that with movies like these we can do this today.



Century Gowda, Gadappa, Thammana, Abhi, Cauvery, the shepherds, the dealer in the Xerox shop, the kids playing tiger and sheep after school, the money lender lady in the arrack shop, the dancing old man in the death procession and a dozen other characters portrayed in the movie are all around us. And therefore people of this land connect to the story. What hit me more is the ease with which issues like patriarchy, property, religious beliefs, complex family matters, teenage sexuality, loans, bribes, support of the neighbourhood and all the rustic village life are portrayed in every scene. All one needs is an observer’s eye and a listener’s ear. See through the scenes and listen in between the dialogues, especially Gadappa’s and your movie watching of ‘THITHI’ is complete.



After the movie was over, when Appa was still on his seat hooked to the screen.



“Eli, thithi oota hakalla illi theatre alli!”

[Get up, they are not going to give you lunch now in the theatre!]



So said my Amma with her natural brevity. The lady next to me smirked [The movie by the way is a feast!]. Miffed by the force Appa decided to take his own way out of the place, as we were walking ahead I realized he is not with us. I turned back and remarked...



“Appa elli Amma?”

[Where is he?]


Yen nin problemmmu….your Appa must be gone somewhere” she said, as cool as a cucumber.



“Like Gadappa?” I added.



Well, this is what ‘THITHI’ did to me.



-R.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Where The World Is



Featured here!

“So what is that you are reading in that Madam?” he asked leaning over my seat. Bus journeys bring me a new kind of trepidation every time despite being a regular commuter of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation services, well for reasons known. I must confess that this time I was disturbed in the middle of reading a very intense book on life’s simple pleasures written by Ruskin Bond, well who else.

I looked up, and what I saw was wonderful. It sort of made my day. 

The curiosity in his eyes, very childlike much against the obtuseness of the regular bus conductors I have come across. I do not blame them, but such is their peripatetic life. 

“It’s a book I replied with all the politeness I could and the inspiration I had gathered from Bond’s writings.

“It doesn’t look like one!” he giggled.

“Arey Saaar! It’s a big phone, I have seen this with many rich people these days, so how much does it cost Madam?” inquired an equally curious lady sitting behind me, munching on a handful of peanuts.

There is no right place or people or time for such engaging conversations here in India. If you give yourself a chance they are bound to happen, after all they aren’t of any harm, all these infectious chit chatter. 

“It’s an Ebook reader, instead of carrying many books we can read in just one” I replied.

Their inquisitiveness was bound to increase, what followed were a twenty more questions. The journey turned out to be very interesting for me, the whole experience of making such naive people understand what Kindle and such gadgets are all about, thankfully they did not think of me as some great show off like people usually do.

“So how many books do you have in this?” he asked.

“Around five hundred…” 

I replied and continued reading, and when I did that he was brimming with amazement or amusement of some kind, either of the two or both maybe, I am not very sure.

“MADAM ! So you have the whole world in your hands!” 

He opined so with a smile and went about his duty of issuing tickets and checking the passes of fellow passengers. The lady was back to her peanuts.

And I was back to my Kindle His admittance was very subtle and nice indeed. I have read a hundred books last year for kicking a start. Reading is something I am willingly working on now. Be it the choice of books or the reading speed, there is always something beyond our horizons and I am realizing this over time, with every word, with every line and every book. The world is indeed in our hands while we are reading and by one of those happy coincidences I happened to come across these words from Bond himself:


-R.