Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day

It's such a cliche.

Year in and year out, it's the same old routine. The same red roses (at bloody high prices), cute teddy bears and all sorts of useless, fluffy items that won't see the light of the day in normal circumstances. The red pillows, perfumes, diamond necklaces and the strings of pearls aren't that important in retrospect - it's the stories.

The stories of how people meet and fall in love, tide over their differences and sometimes succumb, fail to bridge the gap, and part with only the memories and the occasional gift that was left behind after the break up. But sometimes, there is harmony and understanding, maybe the circumstances are favourable and it becomes the prologue to the 'real story', the point where all our Bollywood movies like to end and leave the details of the conjugal life to our imagination.

This year, I was home for Valentine's Day (kokam sherbet at the canteen had it's revenge, I guess) and I flicked my economics notes, and watched chick-flicks all day.

They have a formula that's not that secret, and are just too predictable - harried career guy/girl, the other person teaches them how to live, throw in some evil friends/sisters/mothers/mother-in-laws/exes and a lie, and you're set.

But we do watch them, don't we?

It's the promise of a happy ending which draws me to fluff. Like all good Indians, the part of the story I am most interested in is the ending. I read somewhere that cultures with a long history (which unavoidably have a lot of suffering) are more interested in 'how it ends' rather than 'how it happens'. Just observe. How many Bollywood flicks you know have a sad ending? The hero and the heroine have to fall in love, have to vanquish evil, get married (that's fairly compulsory) , and live happily ever after. It's changing though(and that makes me unaccountably sad), many Bollywood movies have the death of a significant character nowadays - take Agneepath, for instance - everyone dies! Bah.

Back to the point, the happy ending is a full stop to a good story. It may be the marriage of the two, or the birth of a child, but it is a joyous occasion that puts a smile on your face, long after you exit the theater or switch the television off, or put the book down with a sigh.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Book

The Book

Birth.

It was already written and he didn't like that fact. He turned the pages - he was fond of beautiful, white pages from the snow of Himalayas and the foam of the Arabian sea. And the ink of the soil that was turned and overturned, year after year.

He didn't decide it. Brought into the world by a pair of lovers like any other, he didn't have any say in it. He was here, breathing and blinking, alive. And there was nothing he could do about it.

Life.

His was a triangle in the jungle of circles and pale green leaves on the staid, old pool. He sang of stone butterflies and waxen bees who drank from the honey of thoughts. He walked in squares and on the lines his ancestors had painted. He often stood on those, bucket and mop in hand. They weren't erased and the drops from his mop went running ahead of time.

Death.

He stood with infinite patience that the centuries had ingrained into his collective imagination. He wavered on the edge of light and dark, and found a small earthen lamp near his feet. But his time was near and he watched the wind blow it away as he stepped across.

After.

This time, he didn't listen.

He brought his own ink and brush and overwrote his book.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Okay, so.

Okay, so Romance.

It's such a quintessential topic, isn't it? I mean, every time you turn your back and - whoa! there is a guy and a girl (or a homosexual pairing, doesn't matter) falling in love, or in the honeymoon stage, maybe breaking up and moping around - only to fall in love again.

It isn't only about 'romance' though. I'll rephrase it as 'love'.

Popular culture revolves around love - off the top of your head, mention a book or a movie that is famous and does not have a romantic element. Sure, there are such films and books, but the majority has a romantic tinge to it. A friend of mine said, 'Popular culture is about blindly aping the stereotypes without validating the truth'. He's not entirely wrong. But pray, tell me, what are stereotypes but characteristic commonalities that have been emphasized? Hence popular culture, though stereotypical strikes a chord within each of us - because it has a basis in reality.

So when I decided to sit down and think of how many times I think of 'love' (maternal, fraternal and as such, and the hardcore 'love') I was stumped to find that the subject was more frequent in my thoughts! I think of love in movies that I have seen or want to see, in books that I have read, or are on my reading list, and the my friends, and not-really-friends, and the people that I know. And lastly, the guys that I crush on. (Ah well, it's not 'love' per say, just attraction but...well.)

People say that love can conquer the world.

I don't agree.

But I think that it definitely helps.