The moment…

I was going along

Humming my own song

Smiling at the smiles

Avoiding voids

When I saw…

She did not smile

React or notice

Her blank eyes stayed

Vaguely on a distant horizon

Her long silken hair

Bounced in rhythm

With her sure steps

As the distance melted

I lost focus and fumbled

But I discovered the reason

Entirely on my own

The secret that Mona Lisa’s smile holds

The moment froze…

I failed to notice

How many people

Like ghosts

Crossed the space between us

Without breaking my thought

Without breaking her thought

And.. in the meanwhile

The moment passed…

I kept walking

She kept walking

Till we passed each other

And passed the moment…

We stumbled back to our course

And carried on

Where were going along

Our own paths

Staying on our course

Humming our own my own tune

Life is about…

Life is not about happy ending

It’s not even about ending

Or, a beginning

It is a cycle.. in fact

Of endless beginnings and ends

Beginnings and ends are like

Stations or stops

Where one can

Take a breather

Rest a while

Reschedule next leg of journey

Leave regular, beaten tracks

Go sideways or even

Visit higher planes

If you want to try a finer form

Or stay without form

Take a nirvana…

Then again at some point of time

If you think you need to work

To change the world,

The way it is

Please sow the seeds of ‘work to be done’

In your soul and inner memory

And return to earth

With all that awareness in your soul

Life, perhaps is about awareness

And about actions,

Performed with awareness

Two Flowers

Message for the heart

She was much in a hurry

Going straight ahead

Without looking right or left

Zooming through trees

Clipping and dropping leafs

That plummeted down with a brief grief

She was too fast for me too

But I caught up with her somehow

“Why such a hurry?

I have a genuine inquiry

Tell me what is the problem

Is there someone with loaded gun?”

I prodded her again,

“Where are you going?”

“I am a messenger”

She squeaked in anger

“Of a man in white turban

For a woman in blue gown

Walking the path right down”

“A very private message?”

I said with a naughty smile

She said hurriedly, ‘of course’,

In her menacing style

“I left turbaned man’s gun

To hit the head of that woman!”

With me

Thinking,

Thinking of you

Today,

Today also, like yesterday

Like the last week, month or the year

I don’t

No, I don’t remember living a moment

Without you

Without the moments spent with you

I don’t ever,

Ever remember being

Being deprived of your memories

Thoughts or dreams

You are,

You surely are always with me

But only,

The only thought that pricks me

Whether ‘me’ too is with you…

Like you are,

You are with me right now.

Words fail me

I sat down to write…

As her memories

And my anxieties

Had started choking me

I placed on the desk a blank sheet of paper

Picked the pen up and guided it over

Even before I could write a word

My heart jumped out and sat on the paper

But now I was thinking hard

About the words

That will replace my heart

Will express my feelings

Which my heart was screaming

What my life was missing

How I suffered suffocation, irritation,

Worries difficulties botherations

Now it was hurting as my neck remained craned

Words didn’t emerge in my non-functional brain

In despair, I placed the pen in the slot

And shut the inkpot

My eyes were welling up

And tears were rolling down

Traveling my cheeks

And jumping off in the end

Finding the blank paper to land

Forming an unshapely figure

Soon these figures filled entire paper

With a language that couldn’t be read

But my feelings?

My feeling were perfectly expressed

Tears had said it all

All that I couldn’t recall

Alas! Sadly

My words had failed me.

Tidbits

I have been involved with nearly 30 feature films and about the same number of documentaries, in various capacities. I have worked mainly as sound recordist, production manager, script writer and director. I feel like sharing 35 years of my first hand professional experiences and information with as many like-minded people as, I possibly can. For this I will choose a few features and a few documentaries. I have already started writing and ultimately I would love it, if I am able to find a publisher to present it in the form of a book for masses to read. Film making is a very thrilling process to go through. It is a bit slow in parts but can move at break-neck speed at times. It may look a bit boring and mechanical at times, but is artistically very gratifying otherwise. There are loud explosions and tender words are whispered in ears. There is violence of ‘Loot Maar’ and deep emotional conflicts of ‘Kamla’.

I feel an honest and interesting form of writing down real stories of few productions will make good reading. After all this field has the most popular and sought after ingredients of the world – actors, writers, directors, location shootings, dances, tantrums, ego clashes, bloopers and of course goof-ups. I feel today there are not many people who have seen Guru Dutt, Raj Kapoor, V. Shantaram or Kidar Sharma working on the sets, or during song recordings, during dubbings, sound effects, mixing… How did these legends gave instructions, how did they speak, were they soft or had foul language? Were they funny or dead serious? How did they dress while directing? All this personal information may be getting lost slowly and surely, because we can not find such people. And if there may be some one, he/she may not find worth the trouble, putting those memory gems on paper.

I agree I am not that ancient to be talking about nostalgic experiences. But I have been around since 1972 and have seen real film life quarrels (real not filmy), developing and cracking relationships, drinking binges and flaring tempers. I do understand that it would be my version and some may think of it as my colored opinion. But if some one is getting to read and know about what was it like in Nepal during one of Dev Anand’s film shooting 30 years back or how the documentary on ‘Knit-India-March’ of Baba Amte was shot 20 years back; I recon it can provide some value to a reader. But as the time passes (it always does- take it from me), I am certain the value of this text will only grow, due to its historic values. I am certainly not claiming that film makers may get some production ideas from such compilations. In any case the movies are not made the same way as two or more decades back.

In today’s world there is so much to read, hear and see. Market leaders use expert writers, columnists, painters and film makers. Experts are of less value today than popular writers. You need to be good to be an expert; but you need to have a personality or charisma to be popular. I guess it is like the difference between a ‘performer’ and a ‘star’, like the difference between Dilip Kumar and Shahrukh Khan, Ashok Kumar and Govinda, Nutan and just anyone else. If you act well or write well you are in the same league as other experts. But to be popular, you need to have an aura, a personality or someone’s name behind you, for people to identify you. Om Puri may be working extra hard on his role in a film with Tom Hanks. He would be working to match his abilities with the best in the world. While other stars may be strategizing to improve box office collections; some may hire a team to help them propel upwards and outwards.

We are in the business of putting a smile across people’s faces. Some movies or books make X smile, while others make Y happy. Whose smile is more gratifying for us, is our target audience.

(From archive April 24, 2008)