The sudden bursting of crackers reminiscent of the parade of platoons made me jump and look at the time. It was 12 :00 and its the NEW YEAR 2016.
I could hear people going crazy, shouting and celebrating as if challenging the dead silence of the night. Somewhere, people are singing songs on a karaoke which miraculously penetrates its way through all this cheering and noises.The phone is constantly buzzing with WhatsApp notifications and the following sentence took me a while to write as some loud cracker shook my concentration. The involuntary motion of my fingers opened a new tab -“Facebook” and the message “Happy New Year Nikhil” shows up which made me feel that the Facebook people truly consider me important. The Google doodle also welcomed the New Year in what I must admit, cute fashion.
So, where exactly am I amidst all this jubilation?
Well, if a word could justly define, it has to be “alone”. My roommate is away to meet his parents so its basically me sitting on the bean bag feeling quite pathetic about how dull this new year has started for me. So alone in this small flat that I can actually hear the silence quite distinctly. The friends who used to take all kinds of promises like “Not leaving each other” or “Always be there for you” have drifted so far apart. While people may assert this sudden change in their attitudes as disloyalty, I would just say its maturity.
What a pathetic mess!
But New Year is not supposed to be sad. After all the prefix
“Happy” is almost subconsciously added to New Year,isn’t it?
Still the question lingers:
So, where exactly am I amidst all this jubilation?
Well, the reminder set by the crackers made me a little excited. I went to the terrace to watch the charcoal black sky brighten up with wonderful crackers. It is one of those plenty sights which one should never miss. Especially when you are all alone, this visual delight becomes all the more relevant. All the brightness seems to caress you with the gentle wind whispering to you-“Hey you not all alone!”
I come down and my roommate calls me up in the good old-fashioned way to wish me “Happy New Year” reasserting my faith in friendship,however small this act may seem. I call up my mother and she breaks the”HELLO” stereotype with “Happy New Year”. My father is well,asleep. So, probably I will wish him in the morning. I ask the silence to stop talking so as to listen to the karaoke. God they sound so pleasant.
Bangalore is known for its traffic miseries. Everyday I see a kerfuffle…people always in a hurry. But this jubilation just makes me smile. People enjoying these little moments. So wonderful!
Its well past an hour since the New Year now. The karaoke has stopped and crackers have bid their goodbye. Silence is still waiting outside my door. But I won’t let him in. I turn off my net. I just can’t stand that constant buzzing.Being a music lover, I am playing the songs which are in my playlist (mix of Hindi and English songs). I am having soft drink (the pack of which ironically screams “PARTY!”)and chips. I have put FRIENDS on my laptop which I will watch in just a few moments…maybe followed by a nice movie.
Back when I was a kid, my mother used to say-“If you study in New Year, you will study for the rest of the year and do good in your studies!” Here I am writing, thing which I love the most. So, if my “Mother’s Postulate” holds true then I may well write a lot this year.
So, being alone on a New Year is not the worst thing afterall. I enjoyed with the crackers. I kissed the soft drink. I eavesdropped on the neighbors karaoke.I grooved to the music I like. I will watch shows and movies which I am so passionate about. And I am writing all these experiences down.
And this pretty much sums up how I celebrated the New Year
This is how I enjoyed my New Year alone!
Through this journey of life..I often wonder what kind of person it has made me..
Like everyone I started as the good kid off the block but the actions and conducts draped with ego and misplaced sets of principles has made me a bad person. If I ask people narrowed down to my friends and families..all will say quite synchronously..”No he is a good Guy”..But I know the truth.
Evilness comes in various shapes and sizes quite often like a venomous snake..sneaking under the covers and biting you at the precise moment of your unawareness..and that is the type of evil snake I have become. Beneath the tardy cloak of goodness lies a much tough and impenetrable jacket of evilness.
People most often wouldn’t care writing their own eulogy and that maybe makes me fall into a better class of evil. But none is born evil..it is one of those superb characteristic of our mother’s womb that quite miraculously shields us from this fascinating negativity! You see evilness is created..monsters are raised..devils are sculpted.
Obviously my childhood wasn’t a tale of a prince. But it wasn’t very bad either. But in this era of economics and profits and technology no one gives a damn about the pieces which when arranged together like a puzzle would give a very dull picture of your useless tale! People like stories which touch the subtleties of hardships,pain,failures and exploitation and god I have bunch of them.
My parents are wonderful people and you know that I am speaking the truth. They tried to tend to my basic necessities but they too afterall aren’t gods. Many of their decisions needed me to make sacrifice.What are they? oh you wouldn’t be interested in that. But those sacrifices made me.I wrapped my insecurities in my introversion…never letting anyone to even to poke this gigantic bubble. This was the reason why I was too happy when they decided to send me to a far-off place for my higher studies.
Every evil person has a certain weak point and I am no exception to it. I care for people. When and how it germinated inside me,I have no clue. Yes,I care for people. A person who always has a solution to problems. My evilness hit its lowest point when I offered my shoulder to let people cry upon. Ah,those stains..they just refuse to go. And what it gave me? nothing. I ain’t a philanthropist. I want people to acknowledge my helping hand. But they just..don’t. I owe them for they are the catalyst in my process of being evil.
I never saw love in my home. Yes..love…it was supposed to enter this memoir as a third dimension. I can’t express love..but still I have loved. And it has only rendered me hopeless and defeated. I have sacrificed my love and one particular girl…everytime when I see her…reminds of my failure. These depressive sorts…the more you run from them,the more out of breath you feel. People expect you to make compromises..well thank you, very much!..oh how I despise these “couples” knowing I am never gonna be one like them!
The experiences you face in life mould you. People look upto me when they want to get entertained but no one bothers to even call me up and say “hey!” I guess being a loner is a prerequisite of evilness.
So there you are…oblivious of a happy childhood…berated in love and a pinch of loneliness has made me a cold,calculative,unpredictable evil..I am that river which once tried to flow with care, love and emotions but now has become all frozen..frozen by all this evilness.
Through this journey of life…I often wonder what kind of person it has made me…
Guess..You have got your answer by now!
Sometimes while looking at the mirror a reflection dawns upon us which is not just our physical appearance. It’s not always our lips, our hair, our face or our eyes that we see. Its much deeper than that. Its our soul that we catch a glimpse of. Its a simple equation: Man can run away from love,believe,truth,passions but never quite from his own self. This notorious piece of instrument can show all the tarnish and dirt that are slowly decaying our soul. Quite an unpleasant sight,indeed!
A few days back I sat for the very first company of my life and got rejected in the first round itself. Things would have stood quite normal at their respective places had it not been my close friends who not only cleared the first hurdle but ended up getting the job. It’s a natural instinct in human beings to get jealous and uncomfortable seeing other people succeed, most importantly people closest to you!
Sadly, I looked at myself at the goddamn mirror and saw a stooped failed figure, staring right back at me. It pointed at me in disgust. It laughed at me! It mocked at me and showed how my friends had outshone me and made a fool out of me.
It reflected upon me how I had dashed the hopes of my parents and people close to me.
So convincing were the words of this image that I started to hate my successful friends and most importantly myself.
My parents started filling me with the encouraging words of “wisdom” ;told me to never lose hope. My sister motivated me and tried to cheer me up. Some of my close friends gave me prospects of a bright future and “persuaded” me to believe in myself. Naturally, I discarded them. I preferred to sit in delirium within the confinements of my room, refusing to interact with anyone. Before I knew, this figure started to straighten up day by day. The virus that this spirit had unleashed upon my soul had started to eat it up. My soul had been contaminated with hatred,disgust,jealousy and spite. Yes, I was turning to a filth!
Suddenly, something strange happened one day!
Maybe,it was the turn of events or the twist of fate, I realized that the spirit I was staring was the devil himself, growing stronger with all the negativeness I was imbibing. My hatred was making it stand. My disgust was filling it with blood.My jealousy was making it healthy. My spite was making it real.
I was scared! That was not me! I was never like that! How could I have been so mean?
I decided not to make this thing any more strong.The words of my parents,sister and friends echoed in my ears.
The priceless experience taught by my parents started to break its spine. Yes, afterall it was just my first company..many more possibilities lay ahead. The cheerfulness of my sister’s stories brought the smile back on my lips. This new surge in my spirit sucked the strength out from the devil. The motivation and love of my friends rekindled my passion and made the evil spirit crawl back to its dark cave!
I am determined once again..I will rise…I will be victorious…I will not let the faith of my parents,sister and friends die..Life will give me more opportunities. Maybe,I will succeed in some.Maybe I will fail in some. But it is going to make me more stronger.
Failure is that sour potion that makes success taste even more sweet!
My Parents (Experience counts!).
My Sister (“It’s not the end of the world!”..sure!).
The Two Lovely Ladies ( “Gorgeous” your crackle won’t go waste and “Trance” you will always be my good-luck charm!).
The Fat and The lanky ( awesomeness is unbeatable!).
If someone has lived in India or have been in any way associated with this great nation,they must be well acquainted with “Bollywood“. We are emotionally and obsessively bonded to our colourful cinema industry.It isn’t shocking to see people actually believing in the stories that is potrayed on the 70mm screen,indeed!
Quite often I wonder the way “love” and “romance” is portrayed in Indian films. The crux of every movie lies in:
Two people coming together..falling in love..their parents objecting..their mission to impress the parents and Bam! the elders get convinced and before you know..the movie has offered you a ‘Happy Ending’!
But does that really happen? How accurate is this magnanimous portrayal of love?
I can’t help but relate two incidents that happened with two women quite intimate to me:
The First incident is of a girl who is academically very gifted and has quite often made me feel that she stands on the pedestal of ‘women empowerment and independence’. Anyway,she falls in love with a French guy.Such deep-seated their love becomes that they start thinking about marriage.Alas,the love “waves” hit solid rocks when the girl’s parents come to know about this.The parents of the girl were considered by many as post-modern for letting their daughter study and support her through every desires of hers. Hardly did the poor lady know that her desires came with limitations. She was not allowed to love and marry. She tried convincing her parents but to no effect. Somehow “foreigners” are not to be trusted when it comes to marriage.The melodramas weren’t a surprise. Tears flowed from both the sides. The girl’s father refused to talk stating how she had made her parents’ heads go deep into the ground in front of the ever-judging “society”. Months passed…things did cool down a bit. But the relationship between the girl and her parents soured. The cold-blood between them became inevitable.
Next incident is of this girl who fell for a boy who was not “international” like the former one..but belonged to a different caste which according to our society is an “alien” concept (21st century,Who Cares?!). Now, the most amazing thing about this scenario was her brother-in-law who came to know of this little secret of hers.What followed next was even more disgusting. He blackmailed to break this secret to her parents and virtually end her truly bright career. Sadly, the accusations made on the poor,beautiful girl’s “purity” and “dignity” proved too much.She eventually had to break-up with the guy rendering her heartbroken and traumatized.
These cases I experienced had a great impact on me.I either directly or indirectly got involved in both of them.Sadly enough no bollywood movie tries and explore this dark side of our society. No,doesn’t even come close to it! Its a bitter reality that we still are living in this modern post-independent world without breaking the shell of our age-old dogmas. We try to inculcate modernism superficially.We brag about women-empowerment by quoting examples of the likes of Kalpana Chawla,Saina Nehwal etc. but deep down we are sexist where a guy goofing around with women is termed “stud” while a girl doing so is easily termed a “s**t“.
I don’t need to preach about what is right and what not..what should be done and what shouldn’t be…that’s the “spiritual gurus” department! What I really want to say is that I “salute” the enthusiasm of the orthodox society of ours who are carrying the baton of “moral values” and “self-righteous” for others to follow. Kudos to them!
I hope we keep on mocking the essence of love with the filth of obnoxious and preposterous customs and believes. Afterall when we have “moral guardians” to guide us then emotion and compassion hardly hold any relevance. And as it is, who can carry “love” and “labour” for it when it is already a “lost” battle!
Movies do shape our character even if it is 1percent. We have to admit that we do put ourselves in the protagonist or the antagonist shoe after watching a particular movie. Here, are 10 movies in no particular order that made me jump off the edge of the seat and quite naturally gave me WTF moments!
Ok! how would you feel if you get to know that the person behind causing havoc in the entire city is actually a fragment of your imagination? How would you react when you get to know that the person you believed to be the co-founder of your insane club that gives a whole lot of frustrated people a chance break the shackles never existed at all?! This David Fincher movie takes you deep into the life of an insomniac( Edward Norton) who meets a certain mysterious Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) only to leave you awestruck towards the end. This fast-track movie, needless to say has become a classic with some awesome screenplay and equally relevant dialogues.
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION
This movie almost two decades old still fascinates the first-time watchers. Starring Tim Robbins and the ever gracious Morgan Freeman in the lead, this Frank Darabont movie showcases the life in a prison with a whole different angle.With “Hope” being the central theme,this film also juggles with the corrupt system,friendship,struggles,harassment and honesty existing in the very periphery of a prison. Watch out for its cinematic genius and the nerve-wrecking climax!
This was before we knew Christian Bale as the Dark-Knight. Well it seems before he donned the dual life of Bruce Wayne,this guy was a psycho serial-killer,banker or was he? American Psycho takes you on a juggernaut ride of the sadist life of Patrick Bateman only to leave out stranded alone towards the end. Directed by Mary Harron, you may find this ride disturbing. Nevertheless, you would still end up applauding the courageous screenplay and efficient acting by Bale.
“Which would be worse? To live as a Monster or die as a good man?” Confused? Believe me I still am! This closing credits dialogue made the movie wide open all over again. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo in the lead as the Marshals who are trying to investigate the disappearance of a patient from the mental asylum in shutter island, this movie once again brings out the genius of the legend Martin Scorsese. One may believe it to be a smooth sailing movie until suffering a jolt in the stomach once it is revealed that DiCaprio is a patient himself! Was he or was he not? Try finding out yourself. Good Luck!
A CLOCKWORD ORANGE
You have to watch it yourself to understand the whole concept of pshycology, sex and delinquency through the perspective of Alex (Malcom Mcdowell). It is a tough movie to watch. Disturbing in certain respects but still the effort of Stanley Kubrick is laudable.
So you thought our Professor X is caring and kind? Brace youself..cause he’s not! This 2013 movie is quite new to the list. Starring James McAvoy in the lead as the Detective Sergeant aspiring to be the Detective Inspector who takes up the case of a young Asian’s murder but at the same time is struggling with his marriage(?).Directed by John S.Baird this Scottish movie has a lot to offer. Riding on the waves of sex,jealousy,envy and alcoholism, watch it for its fresh screenplay and brilliant acting of McAvoy ( especially the scene where he describes Scotland.epic.)
An expected entry! An ensemble cast with Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Watanabe,Ellen Page and Joseph Gordan-Levitt in the lead, the movie explores the concept of dream within a dream within a dream,simply put INCEPTION. With unbelievable visual effects and screenplay, the movie is carried forward on the efficient shoulders of Christopher Nolan who as as expected brings a twist towards the end.
Was Travis Bickle an evil or a hero? Was he an accidental hero? Was he really romantic? or Was he just insane? These are quite a few questions you are bound to ask yourself once you watch this movie. With the ever celebrated Martin Scorsese and Robert Di Niro pair in the reckoning, you just can’t miss this classic! With some brilliant dialogues and scenes,this one will surely leave a long lasting impression on you.
THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
How would it be if the whole life-cycle is reversed? Strange isn’t it? But it isn’t once you come to know it is Brad Pitt whose life is reversed. Directed by David Fincher, the movie stars Pitt and Cate Blanchett in the lead. Watch it for its excellent story-telling and imagination.
THE SIXTH SENSE
“I see dead people”
One of the most famous dialogues in the movie history, it literally explained the whole movie only that you didn’t realise at that moment! A M.Night Shyamalan movie,the film features Bruce Wilis and Haley Joel Osment in the lead. A movie that would keep you engrossed throughout its nearly two hours run. Watch it for the unexpected climax!
OTHER WORTHY MENTIONS
A BEAUTIFUL MIND
THE USUAL SUSPECTS
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
A few days back I went to my friend’s room to get the new episode of Game of Thrones! What I saw there made me freeze for a second or two! He was watching WWF (world wrestling federation). There was the young gigantic Undertaker taking down the 9th wonder,Chyna and the game,Triple H. Needless to say, I forgot all about Khaleesi and instead opted for the Deadman. Watching it seemed so refreshing! It was like reliving my past when I sat with my group of friends to watch this bizarre game and believed every bit of the story that was told in the game. Such was our devotion towards it that we used to play its trump game(the echo of constant “clash” still rings in my ears).
Childhood was not only confined to WWF or Trump Games…There were innumerable other items as well on the list which made our childhood “awesome“. Yes, this was the time which preceded XBox or facebook or smartphones or Instagram or LED Tv or 3D or doraemon or Ipods etc.
YES! This was the 90s!!
Ours is a cricket-loving nation. Back then when we were kids, television with a cable-connection was a big thing! So naturally,somebody possessing it was our “master of the universe”. Everyone used to gather around that one ‘god-sent‘ idiot-box whenever the match of our nation was on. God! nothing can beat the feeling when Sachin used to hit a six and equally painful was the sentiment when he used to get out on a duck.
Shaktiman! Its always got to be Shaktiman! Nobody touched our life like he did. His quest against Samrat Kilvis was enough to send chills across our spine. But, disney held a special place in our heart as well. Mickey,Donald &co. were the nicest guys we knew of. Powerpuff Girls and Dexter were our buddies. Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, He-Man were our idols and joining the Justice League was our fantasy.
Dubstep..Skrillex..what’s that? We were happy with our own brand of pop-stars. Silk-Route,Falguni Pathak were next big thing. And if you listened Backstreet Boys or Linkin Park..OMG.. you were cool. It was the time of undiluted music, cassettes and tape-recorders. Walkman was the coolest thing. Nobody had imagined mp3 players or ipods.
“THE JOY OF SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE”
Postman was our Internet…Pithoo,Vish-Amrit was our game..Watching a movie meant standing in queue for endless hours and braving yourself to get a ticket finally..phew!…friends were made “offline”..trailers of new movies and music videos were meant to be watched on MTV (youtube? Is that a even a name?)…K, hmmm,XoXo,BTW were the language alien to us!
Who ever thought someday we would become so frustrated to make friends that we’ll have to resort to social networking sites? Who ever thought that the scale of smartness and hotness will be reduced to how well you have instagramed your pics? Who ever thought that temple run would be more relevant than “chor-police” or “I-spy”? who ever thought that the innocence of mickey mouse and donald duck would be robbed by the likes of Shinchan and haggemaru?
Afterall we were just a bunch of kids who believed telephone was just meant to connect people and not to be fooled around. We were just a bunch of kids who believed hanging around with our friends was the most sublime thing in life. We were just a bunch of kids who clicked photos as a token of memory. We were just a bunch of kids whose most prized-possession used to be comic-books and not i-pads or i-phones…..Afterall we were just a bunch of “innocent kids, yet to be abducted by technology!”