Remember love actually?? The movie had released when I was in my 12th standard. Hugh grant plus Colin firth plus Alan Rickman plus oh so many others... where will you get such a lucrative package?? plus that sexy sexy British accent (Hugh grant Hugh grant : )) and for personal reasons the movie still remains one of my favourites (plus that cute little kid) in spite of the fact that apart from the initial multi-starrer hype, the movie was not overtly great (but then these people don't give so called chic flicks the credit they deserve. everybody likes happy ever after endings!) . Well... so I was equally excited when the movie Salaam-e-Ishq came out. It was 'inspired' by love actually (aaahhh how well they manipulate that word as a replacement for 'rip-off'). John Abraham plus Akshaye Khanna plus Vidya Balan plus Priyanka Chopra plus Juhi Chawla plus Anil Kapoor plus hmm... the others... good enough!! The trailers were brilliant; songs were super hits...particularly the title song with the bagpipes... the dance sequences, dresses, publicity fashion shows, gimmicks... ek se badkar ek!! The movie, anyone would say was bound to be a 'sooper-dooper' hit. and so, like all the other fools mesmerized by the colours of the movie, I with four other friends of mine, booked tickets for the movie "first day first show yaar... sahi hai!!".. Or so we thought.
The movie was nothing like love actually. Yeah they were talking about love, the stories were 'closely related' but I swear to God, I have never been this bored in my life! (I would rather sit through an hour of engineering ethics and trust me, it is one of the most boring subjects ever!). It was Govinda's come back film of sorts and he couldn't have asked for a lousier come-back. His pair, Madame 'phirangi', looked absolutely out of place... 1. A foreigner trying to speak Hindi is NOT cute. It is stupid and err...stupid, especially when the viewer cannot comprehend what the foreigner is trying to convey. They should've had subtitles for her Hindi lines. 2. A foreigner falling in love with a taxi waala?? Ahem... yeah sure whatever. I mean, I’m not against the theory of ‘true love just happens; it doesn't look for status or money' crap, but seriously this is waaaaaaaay too much for me to digest. A foreigner comes to India in search of her rich boyfriend and falls for a non English speaking taxi waala...!! I wonder if the taxi waala realizes that to have a translator tagging along the couple everywhere, every time can be very annoying, to say the least. The alternative: the girl learning Hindi... hmmm... no comments, seriously. Then there is sweet sugar vanilla and honey ice cream with chocolate sauce and nuts on top couple John Abraham and Vidya Balan. All throughout the movie, John sweetheart has to either run and chase cars/buses/trains/Vidya Balan or cry. He seems to have taken a lot of pain to do all that… kudos. And well he looks good so I was happy (read drooling) Vidya Balan has to cry/be chased by John/get hit by vehicles and the usual... bat her eye lashes and in that all too familiar helpless sweet feminine voice say 'mein kahaaaan hooon??' she does that well too. *clap clap*. Salman khan is as usual annoying with his fake put on self invented American and British hybrid accent... 'I am Rauoool'... oh for Pete’s sake!!! And Priyanka Chopra looks hot. Was she supposed to do something beyond that? Let’s see... Anil Kapoor isn't picking roles that would do justice to him... or any good to his already declining career so I shall let him pass... poor old guy trying to look cool. Juhi Chawla was quite alright actually. See its' not only my prejudice that is writing here... (Although I bloody wasted 125 rupees on this dumb movie... ugh!) I am trying to give credit to the people who have tried to do a good job and miserably flopped. Then there’s that pretty model who cannot act for nuts, trying to seduce Anil Kapoor ( “hi, I’m Anjali”, “ hi, I’m married”… ha ha… yes yes.. the only funny joke in the whole movie.. “) she performs in an amazingly boring re-mixed version of an old Hindi song and does stuff that really doesn’t make much sense... (no no.. by stuff I don’t mean anything provocative) ho hum… yawn… of course then there is Akshaye Khanna and Ayesha Takia. Akshaye khanna does manage to get some good laughs acting like a frenzied guy paranoid about commitment. Not bad at all. And Ayesha Takia... yeah well she is there and looks good in some dhol-baaja-baraat song. Ho hum… Phew!! And now we are left with Sohail Khan and Ishaa Kopikkar. This couple have been given minimum screen space and sadly for us is the only couple that does some justice to the time you waste watching this 4 hour long sleep marathon (that is apart from John Abraham’s good looks :P). I never knew I could laugh at the plight of two desperate newly weds dying to get some privacy to mellow down the rush of hormones. Oh well... you can’t blame me can you?? Aaaaaand so ends our wonderful movie, Salaam-e-Ishq… a tribute to love… I wonder what unimaginably ghastly tragedy our mister director has faced in his love life to have created such a tribute!!!
Salaam-e-Bollywood for its take on love.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
she had always looked beautiful in white. they all knew that.. white was her favourite colour. she looked happy... a very peaceful and content look on her face as she lay there covered in that white sheet, surrounded by white lilies. but somehow, they could not think of her as beautiful. not today...
white was Amie's favourite colour. she had worn a beautiful white frock on her fourth birthday. a big white bow had adorned her shoulder length blond hair. daddy had got the bow from Singapore specially with that frock in mind. daddy would get the whole world for her if she asked for it. his daughter was his life. his only daughter. his only beautiful baby daughter. he had so many dreams for her. year after year as she blew the candles on her birthday cake he dreamt another dream for her. every year she insisted on buying a white dress for her birthday. and daddy would dream of his little doll one day in a white flowing gown ready to leave her folks and start a new life. daddy would dream of his precious darling in a white suit ready to take on a new job and face the world. daddy dreamt so much... after all daddy had only one daughter, daddy had only one kid; daddy wanted only the best for her. she had his eyes, his nose, his hair; she was his flesh and blood. she was his everything.
and then the fifth birthday, sixth, seventh; years just passed by. and daddy just grew fonder and fonder of his little angel Amie.
But mummy was not the same. Amie couldn't remember the time when mummy had last kissed her; or hugged her. in fact Amie couldn't remember the last time she had even looked at her with love in her eyes. but Amie couldn't bring herself to think that mummy hated her. daddy told her mummy was ill; that she was in a lot of pain and thats why she behaved so. all her friends at school had kind and caring mothers. Sarah's mummy was a wonderful lady. Amie found her beautiful too. of course, Amie found her own mother beautiful..but only in photos. she found her to be angelic in those wedding photos of hers, wearing that beautiful off shoulder white bridal gown. Amie thought she looked happy and full of life in them. she had never seen mummy like that ever in real life. it seemed so impossible for mummy to have been normal and like all other mummies. Amie never understood what disease mummy had. but it made her look bad. she was always irritated and angry. she didn't even seem to be happy with daddy.
Amie's mother had had a wonderful marriage. she had fell in love with the most amazing man. she was the envy of all her friends. she had everything she could ask for. she was beautiful, had a loving and wonderful husband who gave her anything she wanted, lots of money, a big villa with a beautiful garden that had rows and rows of white lilies and roses... she had her room painted white.. white was after all her favourite colour. her husband never said no to anything. she was Cinderella living her fairy tale.. that was until the day they gave her the news. and then Amie came into her life...
she was shocked when they told her she would never be a mother. but her shock was nothing compared to her husband's. he had always wanted a baby.. 'a beautiful baby daughter' he used to say. he cried that whole night. he hated his wife for not giving him the only thing he wanted. he felt cheated and deceived. what had he not done for her.. he loved her, gave her everything she asked for. and she could not give him the only thing he wanted so badly. he hated her for that. he hit her and shut her up in her room. she cried and pleaded. she threatened him that she would die. and he knew it was beyond her, one sane moment was enough for the educated man to know his wife was not at fault.deep down he did love her. but he did not feel it anymore. sometimes he would go up to her to fall at her feet and ask for forgiveness. but sane moments are such a rare thing. what sanity can u ask of a man who has been denied his life's greatest desire? emotions are such an unfair means of the creator to take away the logical thinking of mankind... probably that is His way of keeping mankind in its place; that small slip of feet when he reaches too high up on the ladder. and he never did go up to her. he hated her. he had no explainable just reason but he hated her.
and then he brought Amie home. she was the most beautiful baby in the orphanage.. and he thought she looked just like him. no one would say she was adopted. no one. she was his flesh and blood. she was his own daughter. he loved her from the moment he took her in his arms. and she would be the only reason he lived for. no one else mattered. not even his wife. his wife who could not give him a baby. his wife who was just another being in his huge villa for all he cared. his wife who, he now hated more... and she hated Amie. she hated Amie for taking away everything from her. as years passed and daddy dreamt another dream for his little daughter, she hated Amie more. she hated Amie for taking her place. she hated Amie for sharing her favourite colour. she hated Amie for everything. She blamed Amie, that little kid no more than seven, for ruining her life. she hated her enough to kill her. maybe then her life would be different...maybe then her husband would love her.
Amie hoped her mummy would one day be like all the other mummies. her mummy beat her when daddy was not home. she refused to even look at her. mummy would not comb her hair or read her a story at night. mummy would never even come near her. mummy always screamed at her. she heard mummy screaming at daddy too. she heard her mummy cry at night. she heard her hitting daddy. she heard her yell and shout. she heard her screaming at daddy that she would kill herself. but daddy was the sweetest person Amie knew. everybody loved daddy. daddy would never harm mummy. daddy loved mummy so much and mummy would never care. but she knew mummy was ill and all this was not her fault. she hoped mummy would get alright soon and they would also be like Sarah's family who went out on picnics and movies together. she dreamt of that day. and she knew it would come soon. in fact she had a feeling it was coming too soon. maybe tomorrow would be the day. it was Amie's birthday and mummy seemed a lot better today. she did not cry today. she even thought mummy looked at her and smiled today. maybe she was getting alright. maybe all was going to be fine. Amie saw her mummy trying on that new white dress daddy had got her. Amie thought she looked beautiful in it and she rushed to try on her new white birthday dress too... all was going to be fine. her mummy was going to be alright. it was going to be her best birthday.
and they all came for the funeral the next day. daddy sat in a corner. he had no expression. he looked frozen. he spoke to no one. her white dress had been smeared with blood. he was the first one to see her. the sight had made him dizzy. everything had gone blank after that. he didn't know who had made the arrangements for the funeral. maybe his servants, maybe his neighbours, he didn't know. all he knew was that it was his fault. he knew he had made her do it..
but she looked happy... a very peaceful and content look on her face as she lay there covered in that white sheet, surrounded by white lilies. she had always looked beautiful in white.. but somehow, they could not think of her as beautiful. not today...
Friday, March 28, 2008
On this very day as I lay back and think of you
and sweet serene memories flood my mind,
I feel a smile spread across my face and I give you
these words that echo the feelings of my heart.
I will not promise you that I’d be there forever.
For we all know that change is never to be never.
For had everything been static and there forever,
we wouldn’t have known it was there at all.
As it is always said and so is it true
that you know how much something is valuable
only when it starts to fade away and slip from your fingers.
Then you know you can’t live without it even if you can’t, with it!
Strange as it may seem, yet you can’t deny it
that it is only then you realize someone’s presence in the world
and how much they’ve always filled your heart with pleasure
when in a solitary mood, their absence pricks you.
So, I say my friend; let’s not think of the time to come
when, who knows, where you and I would end up.
Let’s make most of the time we have now
and forever cherish these moments together.
One day, not long from now, we may not know each other
but forget each other we definitely will not ‘cause
isn’t it always, that what’s hard to get and what you don’t get
remains eternally with you, in your heart.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
She rises again
as the moonlight glows blue.
Her cry is music,
played for a love that won't come back.
Beautiful her face; fragile her heart.
Broken, it lies in her grave.
Grieving for lost love,
but it wont come back...
Lost for ages in silent solitude.
Her tears frozen in the cold of the night.
Her soul plays the symphony of sorrow,
calling out to lost love but it wont come back...
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
She couldn’t have been more than 19. A fairly good looking girl, not outright attractive but not ugly; presentable you could say if you took away all that smudged make-up from her face. She had a faraway look in her eyes as she passed me by; a sort of dazed dreamy look as though she was lost deep in thought and had no idea where she was heading. In fact she looked like she was just gliding through the sands, her yellow dupatta wound tightly around her neck, billowing behind her. I don’t know why, but I had a sudden vision of a girl wearing a yellow flowing evening gown to a funeral at that very instant. Maybe it was because of the cheery colour of her dress and the morose expression she was wearing, it somehow didn’t feel quite right.
I had gone for a stroll by the beach side. I like to go there all by myself sometimes in the evenings. It’s true what they say about solitude being the sole solution to certain non fixable worries. Yes I love being in the company of people. What’s life without friends and family; a lot of parties, hang outs together, sharing secrets, being together in times of joy and despair. What’s life without someone beside you? Yes I completely agree with all of that. Yet, at the end of the day, a moment of solitude feels so sweet…
It was one of those evenings when I was savouring the smell of a nearby fried fish and bajji stall, wondering if I should give in to temptation when she passed by me. It was the strange way her dupatta fluttered in the breeze that caught my attention, not to mention its bright screaming yellow colour. She didn’t go too far. She crossed me and sat on the sand. No, I generally am not the kinds who stare at women a lot (for obvious reasons) but there was something very strange about this girl. She kept staring straight ahead. I followed her gaze to see if she was counting the ships on the horizon like I usually did. I saw it was nothing so. She was looking at the sea with a sullen look on her face. Her expression didn’t change with the rhythm of the waves, her eyes never left the nothingness she was staring at; in fact the only thing that moved was her dupatta. But there was a gloomy feel about that too. It flapped behind her in a way that was depressing. It seemed like it was trying to break free from her and fly away. I’m aware that I sound insane, but it almost looked like it was alive, struggling to get away from her binds while she fiercely kept pulling it back to stay in place. She had nothing with her; not even a small bag. I wondered how she had got here and where she was from, probably someplace nearby. She had big eyes smeared with a lot of kaajal. Her eyes were red and much of her kaajal had spread. Her hair was however tightly tied up in a neat plait and she wore a strand of jasmine flowers on it. She wore a small red bindi and lipstick too. She wore no jewellery. Her churidar was also yellow with red streaks, tightly tailored to fit her just right. She didn’t look very rich but she couldn’t have been very poor either, there was a certain charm on her face, of course if it weren’t for that mournful look.
And then she looked down, groped around, took a handful of sand and slowly let it slip through her fingers. She kept doing that for a while and I think I saw a tear trickle down, I couldn’t see very clearly because it was dark already; more so because her expression never changed. She was like a wax statue forever wearing a dejected face. I was tempted to go up to her and talk to her but honestly I didn’t have the guts to. Or maybe I just didn’t care enough to.
I think I must have stared at her for too long a time because she suddenly looked up at me. She had a scary piercing stare. I looked away almost immediately and tried not to look back at her, fiddling with my cell phone. For a minute I thought she’d walk up to me and yell at me for staring at her, or maybe give me that murderous glance again. Nothing happened of course, and after two or three minutes I turned to look at her again. She had gone by then. There was no trace of her anywhere nearby. I got up and went where she had been. She had drawn a small ‘om’ in the sand and that was all.
And then I was back at the beach two days later. The girl with the yellow dupatta unforgotten, clearly etched in my memory. I knew I wouldn’t see her again. You never really meet the same stranger again at the beach, no matter how often you go there (that is apart from those sundal kids). I spent an hour walking around, sitting on the sand, looking at random couples, children playing, kites, balloons and those fancy lights and stars, the carousels and then the yellow dupatta… the same yellow dupatta stashed away with a pile of trash. It didn’t look life like anymore. It looked dead lying there. I didn’t want to think of what would have happened to its owner. It all seemed so spooky. And then I was reminded of that strange funeral vision again. I tried to shake it off. I didn’t want to feel guilty about anything now. I hoped she was fine, whoever she was, whatever had happened, wherever she was from. I hoped she was safe.
And I just walked away from the place.