Friday, April 25

Time of the gypsies

Yesterday, I did something that most of you consider normal. I went to see a movie at the theatre, or as some of us still cutely refer to it, the talkies. Going to the movies is something I do very rarely because my weekends are usually spent in a catatonic state or visiting friends. Cinemas don't allow for interaction, and I've also stopped going to movies by myself.

Anyway, thanks to the benevolent goodness of two friends, a lovely couple who are also my self-appointed guardians in Bombay, I shimmied along as the 3rd wheel for the evening show of 2 States. I enjoyed it; both the cinema experience and the movie.

Yes, perhaps the plot moved along rather quickly and conveniently, particularly in the first half of the movie and then lost steam later on. And maybe the worded stereotype jokes were a little stale. But overall, it was worth a watch. Alia Bhatt acted really well and dominated the movie (which she'd have done anyway considering the screen time, but even so) and Arjun Kapoor was believable, even if I felt he didn't really act as well as her. And there were plenty of genuinely hilarious moments overall, so well done them.

But the mind-blowing moment of the movie for me was seeing Revathy. When she sang a song she was originally pictured in with a very young Salman Khan, FYI, it was truly surreal. To realise that the beautiful woman from that song and the genuinely scary movie Raat was now playing a maami with such aplomb... man, I got wistfully nostalgic as hell. Kudos to the sense of humour of whoever thought of Revathy singing her own classic 90s song in this movie.

I suppose it is a bit of a cliche that I, as a Tam guy, am writing about her when there are probably plenty of you who must have got a similar shock on seeing Amrita Singh. I don't really have too many Tam moments in life, considering I've been born and brought up in and around Bombay & Pune. So I genuinely and selfishly enjoyed the Tamil conversational parts of the movie too. I guess some things strike a chord somewhere, so maybe the movie did get something right about cultural connect after all.

Song for the moment: Saathiya, tune kya kiya - SP Balasubramaniyam & Chitra - OST Love (1991)

P.S: From the comments trail in the video, I guess the movie has given a boost to views and listens of this song. Can't say I am not delighted. 

Monday, April 21


One beer.

One beer just won't do. It really isn't enough. On a sultry night, when the very air is thrumming and shimmering, it doesn't quench your thirst (no matter how much you tell yourself that it does). It makes you crave more. More beer, more everything. The taste evaporates off your palate slowly. Reluctantly. Like lovers relinquishing their grasp on each others fingers at the end of a lovely evening; before one of you gets out of bed in the morning.

Beer is mean. When it realises that you are serious; that you really, truly aren't going to follow up with another, when it doesn't get to glide past your lips, swish about your teeth and hit your throat again with all the wallop of a gastronomic "Hallelujah", then it becomes vindictive. And it takes revenge by drowning you in memories; of good times and better times. When it was the grease that kept the night, the laughter and the glow of camaraderie going on and on. You'll smile since you can't help it, but that's a mistake because the smile will trip you into falling down the spiral staircase of your head; back and back, as you search for the best times you've ever had. And of course, because they are the best times, you won't be able to remember anything except the morning after. Which, in normal circumstances, is the ideal way to remember them, if you know what I mean. Not now though. The beer doesn't care, however. You stopped at one, so it'll gift you the aftertaste and thoughts of friends, witty repartee, cutting, breathtaking humour, arm-in-arm stumbles down dark, empty lanes with the echo of your favourite songs ringing in your ears... and as a knockout reward, sudden, quicksilver exhibitions of of raw vulnerability by your buddies.

Your mouth craves a cigarette. Just the thought of a single puff. The warm acridity. The instant electric rush. A spark of imagined cool as your face is reflected in the light of the match. After which your eyes wander. Stare. Imagine. See. Unsee. Relive. Discover. Pause. Close.

Now you're craving a taste of the lips you spend so much time thinking about. The ones you want to bite into, slowly and gently, even as your hands involuntarily clench, hungering to explore in conjunction with your tongue. The sensation of a fleeting flicker.

All the while your ears wait to hear it. The gentle breath on the lobe; the totally, totally involuntary gasp. The sound of pleasurable surrender.

Your shoulders ache dully, like a blunt knife is pressing against them. You'd kill for a hug. The kind that ends in a moment but goes on forever. You'll settle for a reassuring squeeze. A light brush of the fingertips. Anything. 

Your nose flares; tells you of many things. Musk. Sweat. The faint whiff of clean skin. Good perfume. Earthy darkness of tresses imprinting themselves on your lungs.

All of it drifts away, leaving you behind, empty and alone with your regrets.

One beer really isn't enough.

Song for the moment: Chelsea Hotel #2 - Leonard Cohen