Monday, December 6, 2010

Thank God 2010 is over!

2010 has been a very important year. One hell of a year.

I felt loss, pain and disappointment for first time in my 25 year ol’ life. On a positive note, I am more self aware. Let’s call this the year of awareness. When a dreamy boy is metamorphosing into a confused man, all to realize he is back to square one in a parallel world.

It has also been a year of change, of restlessness, of dissatisfaction and of cluelessness. Looking back, it has been a year of series of screw ups. where I had a tough break up and subsequently shifted one job and two houses in next 4 months. Where I spent loads of money on a course I hardly went to. Where I never had any clue on my finances. Where I never travelled but wanted to travel. Where I drank too much, then aptly screwed with a health condition where I shouldn’t drink at all or eat most of the delicacies!. (Oh, an embarrassing drinking session in an office party too). Where I hardly wished anyone on their birthday. (sorry, folks) Where I hardly called/spoke to my parents. Where I have been self absorbed. Too Self Absorbed. (Like this blogpost). Where I have been a loner bereft of charm or joy. It has been an uncreative year too and there hardly has been a moment of quiet inspiration or spiritual calm.

Losing what you want the most makes you lose your balance. It turns your world upside down.

But all is not fucked, 2010 saw my career blossoming, one strong positive. Am in a crazy workplace now. It helps. Madness is good. And one’d always gets by with the help from one’s friends. Some solid moments of friendship. Love you specific folks.

Life ahead, in 2011, looks tough. But not impossible or without hope. I always felt - the secret of happiness is surrounding oneself with wonderful people. People who offer friendship easily and inspire you just by being themselves,… I am adding some invaluable people to my journey - of all ages, shapes and sizes.

The challenge ahead in 2011, seems to be in finding a meaning. Or wait maybe it is to stop the google search for a meaning and go offline and start living. Maybe, to be a kid again and to find adventure and romance. To look outward, than inward. To think new ideas rather than get stuck with old events and obsolete people. Where I’d write funny stories instead of a templatised tweet. Where I would laugh at myself and at you too. Especially you.

Maybe the meaning of life is to get back at being yourself. The adult in you has to give a lot of space to the child in you, (not to be confused with a pregnant woman).
Suddenly I feel younger. A sudden ray of optimism. Oh, the joys of writing down your woes.

But then hey, to get fucked in life is a superb thing. I know how to react to shit now. I wouldn’t place too much emphasis on few people and much rather live for myself, live for my world. And I wont drink. I promise. I am thinking of converting into a non vegetarian and eat raw fish sometime. Its one of my 2011 plans.
Here is to a hopeful 2011 :)

And note to self - When single, every woman is a possibility. Beware, hold onto your girlfriend!


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Quarterly Life Crisis

This is a very different phase of life, being 25. You suddenly understand all the rules or so you think. A gentle realization dawns upon you. You speak with an air of wisdom or let us call it clarity. You are more serious at work; your shallow approach to career suddenly seems streamlined... You know you’ll get there… and are networking in Linked in and Facebook. Your friends aren’t just the “hip hop, yo-yo – machaan buddies” but even that geeky senior at college who might be a useful contact someday, someway. That random client who might give you a job offer is there too. You wish him on his birthday. Then there is this thing to buy a house and save money too. You are talking of mutual funds and real estate all of a sudden. Fuck. You eat fruits. Join a gym. Wear a perfume and not a deo. Take multiple credit cards and consider buying blackberry. But then, being 25 is being young too. that Foolishness of being a young adult, the little chap in you who is asking who the fuck are you? And how the fuck did you end up here and why the fuck have you made all these choices in life? And reminding you “Dude, this was never the plan”.. Go out there and figure out what you want to do before you are old. ‘Or wait you are Old. Too late.’ Your sub conscience is planted with this evil thought. You remain confused.

You are no more shy to talk to women. You can say all the right things to them, you know girls like a Gerard Butler, Chandler and Joey and want boy friends’ like them. All the girls ever speak is sweet, cute, smart, mean and creepy. Then there are chics who talk loud, abuse freely with all feminist revolutionary spunk and piss you off. You know best deal is to Ignore them. You have it all decoded. But then you are scared to fall in love. Once bitten twice shy. You are cynical of their charm, afraid of your own motives. Romance? Fling? Commitment? You have no clue. Having sex like Barney (HIMYM) isn’t there in your DNA. Maybe love is the solution, but then love is highly overrated, you learnt that. Like Chaplin says "it begins with a smile and ends with a tear". Still eyes keep looking around - at parties, in the restaurants, searching for someone.. someone who’d help your cause. “She looks sweet. Pleasant smile. She’d make a nice wife”. Oh Shit why am I even thinking of getting married. Damn.”

Your roots confuse you. You now realize that your parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts aren’t credible enough to influence your decisions. They are as clueless as anybody else. They are no more your role models. You speak to them with more authority for you know everybody is on the same page.

You are scared to be happy. Contentment means settling down. You change jobs. Change cities. New People. New Strangers. New Connections seem to be the order of the day.

Alcohol helps you let loose and a few laughs. Playstation keeps you engaged. You download torrents and watch a 1967 blockbuster in Hollywood and tweet about it. Gtalk, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube occupy a major chunk of your time. You are exhausted after 6 hours of internet from 8 PM to 2 AM. End of day’s play. You need sleep.

Damn. At 25 so many things crowd your mind. You are caught between the slowly fading ideal to a clearly apparent real. Strange phase in life, this. A mostly pointless phase. Like this post.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Aaromale ..

Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya is a dark personal movie which speaks the language of love and loss. A movie sincere to its characters and their idiosynchrasies, sincere to its little joys and scathing scars that this crazy thing called love could do to the human heart.

The movie revolves around two characters, Karthik and Jessie. Karthik knows what he wants, while Jessie wants everything and knows she can’t have them. Karthik dreams and idealises life, he has the big picture in mind. While Jessie has no point of view, for she was never given the luxury to have a view, she merely becomes her fears. While Karthik thought only of himself and how people fit in his scheme of dreams, Jessie only thought of her circumstances and what set of people could ease the situation.

Karthik is not happy with an engineering job. He wants to make movies.He knows how to smooth talk to get into peoples good books with ease. He befriends the cameraman for he would be a useful contact. He claims he doesn’t want just another girl, but a love that will last when he is 80 and she is 81. It comes with pride, this promise. But all the pride vanishes when he is with her, He places her in his pedestial; he touches her feet and kisses them while they are in the train (an awkward yet a delicate scene) for she is his weakness. No, he is not a wussy. But in presence of this older woman, he has no control of himself. He breaks the mobile phone, he kicks the wall, he hurls abuses but he wouldn't slap her. He was a faithful dog that never bit.

For all her tranquility and grace, Jessie is just layers of confusion beneath the comfortable skin. She falls for him the first time their eyes meet, but she provokes him calling him a younger brother. She looks beautiful, and she yearns for flattery. She asks him, “Why do you fall for me, what did you like in me”, hoping for sweet flatteries. She wouldn’t stop him when he kisses her and later regret why she did not stop him. In a crucial moment, she promises togetherness and promises to talk to her father, we see a glimpse a truly joyous Jessie who finally knows what she wanted.., but then soon the confusion that is her takes over and she changes her mind. Her father says “you can marry karthik over my dead body”. But her fathers opinion is only incidental. Sh had readied herself to listen to him. She loves pain, she claims as they break up. For she believes pain is the way of life. She befells the same fate as her sister

She lets him go. She marries another man. Karthik is not able to move beyond her. His script has gone all awry.

Karthik, who lives in the mind, cannot let his script go wrong. He makes a movie of his tragic love story, with a happier end. His mind thinking of possibilities, still wondering what went wrong. He lives in denial while she lived by denying. He rectified this flaw in his movie by transforming Jessie’s personality as someone who finally makes up her mind and agrees for marriage. And he screens it to her too. Afterall, she is the inspiration for his movie. She is his opinion of love, and everything nice.

And she moves on, claiming independence from the wound by amputating the arm. She asks him to move on too.

Salut, Gawtham Vasudev Menon! You could have mad this worse, but not better.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Revisiting Role and Relevance

Warning: This Post is a long Soliloquy. It is not cool at all. It’s Long and written with least concern for the reader. So kindly adjust or skim or just skip!

I love Media. ‘Media! Media! Media!’ My eyes light up. This affair took its roots with “The Hindu” newspaper. Keenly following what Nirmal Shekhar and S Dinakar wrote (Nirmal wrote sports like it was some art, a poet that he was) and gleefully reading up V Gangadhar’s ‘Slice of Life’ Columns. He wrote in the Sunday Magazine, about South Indian food, his yesteryears and his life in general. Also, RK Narayan used to write columns for “The Hindu” which he published in his book “The Writerly Life”. My dream always has been to write funny columns like V Gangadhar or RK Narayan. Give me my space and I’ll play there. Strangely that philosophy holds water with life too.

When my friends had passions like Maths, Automobiles, Engineering, Medicine etc, my only passion was to detest all these subjects publicly. And as God’s smiled, my father/brother were kind enough to come to a conclusion that Engineering was not my cup of filter kaapi. And then Anna Univ offered this course called Electronic Media which is where I eventually joined.

Now after joining a 5 year Media course, life became joy. We had to do print, radio, TV, 3D design, advertising, news bulletins, research and all such sexy resume pointers in those dreamy 5 years. The operational word here is “Resume Pointers”. That’s precisely what my course ever helped me with.

NO, please don’t visualise anything like Aamir Khan type professor telling us how Media works. All we got in our course were famished men and women profs with a vision so short they couldn’t see past first bench. Not all of them were so bad. Few were good. They could, for instance, catch me passing chits in the last bench.

Their disinterest and pitiable teaching skills, ensured all of us got time to dream. I dreamt to be a movie director. I told myself, “I will make movies and then when am old, will write columns in ‘The Hindu’ on how movie-making works.” I told my friends about the kind of movies I’ll make. Although, there is a lot of room for Amol Palekar kind of movie making in India, a benign humor filled with irony types. I guess the first story I told my friends was a superhero subject. They laughed it off. We made short films and I tried to exercise my directorial dreams there. My father was excited that I’d be a Movie director one day.Sorry folks; I don’t have parents like those in 3 idiots. I had set expectations low smartly right from day 1.

Realising that to be a movie director meant at least 5 years without proper pay and doing an assistant director’s job included managing crowds, my director dreams saw pause’ibilites rather than possibilities. This lazy pampered author can’t do crowd managing job. Sorry.

I told my friends and folks that, I won’t be a movie director anytime now. That I have postponed the same till I reach 35. I told myself “I’ll get into advertising, become a Copywriter/Ad maker and eventually, become a movie director one day like Rajeev Menon. And after I make some great movies, I’ll become a columnist for the “The Hindu” Newspaper”

And so in third year of my college in an aim to crack the advertising world, I went around Chennai asking for copy writing internships. I found one finally.RK Swamy BBDO. I told the lady there I wanted to do writing. But she put me into Client servicing. I became the intern like that poor intern in Dilbert strip. I was given long briefs (Chi!) and was asked to make power point presentations out of them. I soon started liking power point presentations and inserted pictures and funny quotes and animations wherever I could. I was once made to buy an Apron for some shoot for a masala brand. That was the closest I ever got to the creative guys in those 6 months.

Now, the worst thing about getting exposed to a corporate world is the ‘Good Life’. Managers drove nice cars. Went to fashionable restaurants. Always Shaven (The guys I mean). Had separate Cubicles. (apart from toilet)Now as I made power point slides and saw young managers live it up and with myself reporting to a GM there; getting into the decision making manager job dint seem to be a bad idea at all. So what if I cant make ads, it’s all about making contacts I learnt.Will eventually get there, told myself.

Then a lousy attempt at CAT and rejecting a coding job at infosys later, I tried Mumbai Media. Mumbai = Chics ...err...Media. And so I landed at a cushy job in a firm that understands TV audience and works with TV Channels. Numbers. NUMBers. For one, I learnt Ms Excel. Mastered it rather, I can make magic out of Excel. Make birds and rabbits come out if it. Yesterday, for instance, I made a pie chart which looked like that power ranger hero’s mask. I can make a merciless 200 slide a presentation and throw jargon at will.

Sometimes, stressed out with the workload, I sit with my laptop and let my mind drift on possibilities. Life is full of possibilities, my young mind yearns for that special wake up sid moment which would help me decide on a less shallow approach to career. In lot many ways, it’s like zeroing upon the ideal girl before we test our charm with one too many. Maybe, that's why Jerry Mcguire is a favorite movie. It talks about two things. Sincerity to Love and Passion for Work.

Now 2 promotions happened. The firm is nice to me. I am stuck here in a corporate set up, good thing is I meet the Content guys and Marketing guys in TV Channels, and I realise they aren’t happy too. Heee Heee.. Tight Deadlines, Editorial Policy, Pressure for Marketable Content have ensured creative guys are mere puppets in the bigger picture. Maybe Job Satisfaction is an oxymoron, but I guess you should work in a job which you are passionate about. Which you truly care about and can write columns on.

For me it will be any job which will eventually make me close to a movie director (cos am passionate about Cinema) and a Columnist for “The Hindu” Newspaper (cos I cant take it out of my head!). Its good to put it down in my blog for I’ll revisit this on a future date… and wonder.

A Columnist is not as passionate as a Journalist. In fact, he is detached and often amused by the world around. And my journey for all its shallowness amuses me, and as Calvin finally said ‘Let’s Go Exploring’