‘Sushmanjali’ – an initiative by ‘Nation First Collective’

I remember around 4 years back Akashaditya Lama had called me and 7-8 others for a meeting in Oshiwara. It was to figure out if like minded ‘nationalists’ belonging to cinema or any other art form would be interested in forming a group. For me it was a big opportunity, because it was the first time my nationalism was a qualification and requirement. I felt very excited, and soon we all met regularly (every month). We would talk about various incidences in news and discuss how some vested interests twist the colour of what happened. We thought people need to see it from the right perspective and why ‘what was in news was not right’. Our meetings would end singing full version of ‘Vande Mataram’…
We named the group “Nation First Collective”. We realised we all should contribute little amounts to cover-up for the cost of tea and samosas. Then we willingly started annual contributions…
On the way we did some projects, like supporting Major Leetul Gogoi, who had tied a Kashmiri ‘stone thrower’ in front of his Jeep… We got noticed for that ”. We were firm on ” Indian Army!…
Well, we have a come a long way, putting together, ” a major online event in memory of Late Sushma Swaraj on her first death anniversary (6 Aug 2020). It has an unbelievable list of dignitories from various arts and cinema fields; heading the list is Shri Prakash Javdekar, Minister of Information and Broadcasting.


This show is the culmination of hard work, coordination, dedication and technical excellence of Nation First Collective, Sanskar Bharati Poorvottar and Sanskriti Ganga Nyas.

My Enemies

In today’s time I can’t imagine any country more uncivilized than China. She has always been so uncouth and unpredictable. In late 50s, as school students we used to shout slogan coined by our PM, Pandit Nehru, ‘hindi chini bhai bhai’ (Indians and Chinese are brothers). Then we would be happy seeing the B&W pictures of a chinky guy hugging and pumping Panditji’s right hand. Panditji had convinced entire country that how good our friendship with China was. And what China did in 1962?

China broke that trust by attacking us unprovoked. They occupied thousands of kilometers of our territory! That attack sent Nehru in a state of shock. His face must have fallen badly and his image of a statesman taken a huge beating. I used to sit near my Philips radio and hear the news of how deep Chinese army had invaded inside the Indian Territory. Although I had no idea how far that was. I had no sense of geography then. But I would be very scared in my dreams… chinky men in Khaki shot at me. I would be depressed hearing the voice of radio news reader, Lothika Ratnam on All India Radio, ‘Indian soldiers have lost yet another post to the surging Chinese army.’ And get a little happy if any of those posts were won back next week.

During the 2008 Olympic Torch’s Indian chapter, I heard a new Chinese version of that war. A Chinese foreign affairs person said that India had instigated us by accumulating troupes along the border way back in 1961. So now it means that I had started that war! China is sitting on thousands of square kilometers of my land and tells me that I started the war! If I started then I should be on her land not the other way round. Then Chinese violence inside Tibet also had upset me very badly. And this is the time I decided to take revenge on that fat brag of a country for hurting those world’s most peaceful monks. Khaki Chinkies had grabbed the land and now they wanted to change the life style of the only entirely spiritual country in the world.

China and Burma are the countries who do not reveal anything to either its own people or to outsiders. Citizen there live in darkness and no one knows where their country is headed.
Few years back China has changed its track and has started doing very well financially. All the philosophies and knowledge of Confucius have been buried under the mountains of money. They have never handled this kind of money, ever. That is why they cannot control their wagging tongue and attitude. They are also not used to speaking to press, because saying anything goes on record for keeps sake. They have always been hiding a million things for a single revelation.
Well I have been very upset with China’s current attitude, especially since I met Dalai Lama in Mcleodganj. I came to know many horror stories of Chinese army action in Tibet.
So, finally I decided that I was not going sit and watch all this injustice forever. I started planning how to punish both these bad pennies, China and Myanmar.

I had no option but to seek help from natural-powers. It wasn’t possible without the nature ‘hits’ I wanted to send messages like, ‘This is for saying I started the 1961 war’, ‘This is for killing the Tibetan monks’, ‘This is for calling Arunachal Pradesh a disputed territory’, ‘This is for pushing cheap goods in India’… See these nature nissiles do not operate pishing a button. They just know when to fire.
On May 6, 2008, much before I had imagined a huge wind cyclone called, ‘Nargis Myanmar’ landed there. It carried unwritten but logical messages, ‘This is for the military junta for keeping Aung San Suu Kyi in prison for so many years’, ‘This is for not allowing democratic elections in the nation’, ‘This is for keeping Buddhist monks and press under constant suppression’ and finally ‘This is for not allowing foreign donation to reach the needy after you got hit with Nargis’.
Just six days later, on May 12, 2008, a massive earthquake, 7.9 on Richter scale hit Sichuan, China. All the TV news channels were showing the same ‘Breaking News’. On final count there were huge losses of property and life (almost 88,000 died, 374,643 injured, 18,392 missing). Though I was sad for those 900 school kids. But it can’t be helped, can it? Colateral damage. Point is how would they know that why they both got hit and was there someone wishing for it?

Weapons didn’t even carry any messages with them! Damn!


Mere Mehboob Studios

Mehboob studios has been my second home between 1972-1985! It was a bustling place with film shootings in all its 3 large stages by biggest producers of Bombay then. Stage #3 was the largest in Asia during those days. Its grand wooden wall at the entry still looks gorgeous due to the old world charm.

Write first think later

Right now I am at a loss – of a subject or a topic to write on. I don’t know why I wonder why do we always need a subject to start hitting the keys on the keyboard.
“Stop thinking and start punching the keys. Punch the keys, for God’s sake!”, thundered Sean Connery (William Forrester) to Rob Brown (Jamal Wallace) in the movie ‘Finding Forrester’. Jamal wants to be a writer and has approached Forrester (a pulitzer winner in movie) to learn the art of writing from him. Jamal is in the same fix I am right now. The only difference is that I am real and my problem too is similar – real; while he was following a script given to him. Seeing my own plight I do agree with the scene. I admit I do like to write, but again I admit, it has been mostly on various mundane subjects, like terrorism, relationships, festivals, movies, events or reality like my own travels… I need to learn how to stop being ‘slave of subjects’ to write on and become independent to ‘just write’! If I can do that, then only perhaps I will be able to move to the next level.

In different context, if you are an adventurous type then I guess it is a good idea, to just get up and start walking; rather than fussing in wasting time planning your trip. If you just walk out you will end up reaching somewhere. Somewhere you had not imagined. And that somewhere which may even surprise you. That is if you are the kind who likes surprises. There are many who hate them, but not me. I absolutely love them. Not only surprises I love shocks and jolts too. I am not the kind who only likes pleasantness and calmness or ‘love and peace’ in life. I would love my life to be a full course meal; concoction of all the available tastes for my pallet. The tongue has to stay in touch with all kinds, sweet, salt, sour, even bitter and bland. And thankfully so far it (life) has been that way.

Another line that film script gave Forrester, “No thinking – that comes later. You must write your first draft with your heart. You rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is… to write, not to think!”

Wow what a gem! And finally I acknowledged that this could be a way to deal with my kind of writer’s block. It is quite pathetic to feel blocked just because I have nothing to write on!

11.07.06

Time 6.24pm, date July 11, 2006, Western Railway trains and stations, Mumbai’s test in tolerance, patience, resilience and helpfulness, duration 11 min.

The first blast ripped the first class compartment of Churchgate-Borivli 6.00pm train at 6.24pm, near Khar station. About 15 people initially were reported to be admitted in hospitals. Soon the news of more blasts started pouring in and the death toll started moving up dramatically. In 11 minutes Mumbai’s life line endured 7 such massive explosions, on its trains and the stations. Other places where blasts occurred are Bandra, Jogeshwari, Mahim, Mira Road, Matunga and the last one Borivali at 6.35 pm. They say Borivali had two charges, out of which cops were able to defuse one. What it means is no mean thing. It means that in the sprawling platforms at the Borivali station the unsuspecting bag was noticed and identified by the cops, the bomb disposal squad called, explosives confirmed and then defused. In fact when I heard about this, I got a little hopeful of culprits getting caught soon. Because the cops could get some lead by finding the way the bomb was assembled, technology used and also if lucky they may be able to dust some finger prints off it. Sure enough the latest from the police is that they ‘may have some lead’. Mumbai Police is ‘one of the best in the world’, was observed by the famous Scotland Yard, many years back.

Any way the bad boys had done their home work well and chose the best time to do their black deeds. The time chosen was when the trains are so tightly packed that people like me would think of taking the next train. It has been understood that all the parcels fitted with explosive devices were placed in at the starting point, Churchgate itself.

It is not difficult to imagine how easy it is to leave a brief case or a gift with time-bombs on the top shelf and just wait outside casually, till the signal turns ‘go’. As the train starts to move, try to catch it but miss it, then walk out calmly and get dissolved into the streams of unsuspecting public.

My family’s brush with high voltage tension happened with my wife’s brother took the Churchgate-Borivli train from around the same ill fated time. His office confirmed that he left at 5.50pm. We were looking at the news channels all the time. He normally reaches home by 7.30pm; but he did not until 9.30pm. No telephone call from him made the situation very bad at home. As the time passed the tension multiplied many fold. To make it worse someone noticed a dead body resembling him. We were ready to go out to find him if he did not call, when he finally did a little after 9.30pm. He ultimately reached home safely around 10.30pm. He spent more than 4 hrs on his fateful return journey. And yes he was in the train that was just behind the blasted train at Matunga! All the passengers were asked to evacuate on the track, walk back to Dadar and head for the exit immediately. He had to walk from Dadar to Mahim (about 6KM) and from there finally someone gave him a lift in a traffic snarl, moving slower than a train of snails.

Next day he called us at 9.30am today to tell his powerful story. Can you believe he was calling from his office? That means he again got his usual 7.53 train from Andheri – just ‘the day after’! This is the spirit of a common Mumbaikar!

According to current reports, the death toll in the serial blasts has reached 190 plus with more than 700 injured.

Actually July 11, started with the blasts in Kashmir. Nearly 10 people lost their lives. The attack was aimed at the children and tourists. But when something happens far away from you, it does not affect you that strongly. It is like you don’t get the heat from a fire that may be blazing far away. Not for the reason of non-concern; but because there are no emotional strings with the location, environment or even people. Emotional concern and scare flares up as the people close to you, people of your city, your fellow travelers, trains or buses that you travel in are affected.

It is rather sad that most of us are not sensitive enough to get affected by the destructions else where; like in Gaza, Iraq, Serbia… but it can’t be helped, can it?

Imaginary Us

I finished my arguments silently

She had heard me patiently

Looked hard at my face

Lowered her eyes and slowly… turned away

She walked a few steps towards the setting sun

Sun was red in the face

Was it angry red?

Or hopeless red

She stopped after a few steps

Sun sank a little lower

Her lengthening shadow had crawled towards me

Then it waited

Soon sun lowered even more

Her shadow was at my feet now

Gradually it started climbing on me

That made me uneasy

I turned away from it

I saw my own shadow going away from me

Her shadow was missing here

It was on me, on myself

That froze me

Soon shadows started getting weak

Thankfully

I turned back and saw red rim of sun

I turned again towards my shadow

I saw it dissolving into the darkness

I waited till it was no more

My body also had no shadow

I looked to find rim of the sun

But couldn’t…

Shockingly

The space between me and the sun

… Was blank

Hrishida, forever

Aug 27, 2006 evening – Breaking news splashed ‘Hrishikesh Mukherji No More’ on my TV screen; ‘Film maker Hrishikesh Mukherji Dies’ announced another scroll under the news reader. Gradually it hit me what had happened and soon enough I was feeling really sad. We had lost a very talented veteran film maker, who has left behind an amazing body of work. As an ever learning film person I keep learning from every film and film maker. I did learn a lot from Hrishida’s movies but more importantly I derived such a load of happiness from them.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have met Hrishida for a few hours, during a shooting of his interview. Interview was shot at his simple and informal home in Bandra in mid 90s. Mr. Mahesh Bhat was interviewing him. Hrishida had been under pressure of ill health for quite some time even then. He was on dialysis, which other than just being a physical problem, plays immensely on one’s mind too. In spite of all this Hrishida was continuously cracking jokes with Mahesh Bhat, reminiscing about the past and often doubling up with splits of laughter. That day Dada really looked very cheerful and lively. That interview shoot was very elaborate and was done with two cameras. There were lots of lights and a camera trolley too to make it look good.

As a sound recordist. It is my job to make sure that the audio is clean and clear. But beyond that listening to so many intelligent people intently has had its own benefits for me. I cannot explain how much I have gained listening closely to hundreds of ‘who is who’ of India. I really lapped up every word that Hrishida spoke during the shoot. Every little nuance, detail and expression in his voice while narrating and explaining incidences from his illustrious past. Interviewing Hrishida was all for my benefit. By listening to him for all of those 5-6 hours, I realized Hrishida had an amazing sense of humor. He was also very comfortable in the company of another film maker, asking him questions. I felt so fulfilled that I had a chance to listen to him talk about his life, his films, his early days, struggles, about his actors, his early time as a film laboratory assistant, jolts and his successes along with numerous other anecdotes.

I have always carried immense respect for Hrishida as a film maker. I am in awe of his total control over comedy and well as emotions. His films could make you double up with hilarious scenes and choke you with emotions at the same time. His first film Musafir was not mounted as a commercial film, but the no part of the film shows that the maker is raw in any sense. He was in complete control of the medium even then. It must be due to his mastery of editing. Film makers, whose basic forte was ‘editing’, have gone on to become great masters of film craft. Raj Kapoor and Vijay Anand are other two prominent names in this genre. The direction and editing courses in FTII, Pune have lessons on Hrishida’s editing style. Chori Chori, Chupke Chupke, Gol Maal, Anand, Anuradha, Abhiman, Aashirwad, Khoobsurat… the inexhaustible list of simple yet successful films proves how versatile film maker Hrishida was.

Inside my cupboard I have pictures of two of my favorite people; one is Vijay Anand, another Hrishikesh Mukherji. It shows the dates of his ‘in & out’ points, as we call it in editing terms.

I feel eternally indebted to people who have made me laugh, made me cry or have added to my intelligence in any way. Hrishida will always be missed and remembered for providing us with clean and intelligent cinematic experience.

Hrishikesh Mukherjee (30 Sep 1922, Kolkata – 27 Aug 2006, Mumbai)

Gogi Anand

Someone said ‘you are as unique as everyone else is’. Like everyone else in my life too there have been many people who not only crossed my path; but also walked along with me for a while… some stayed long enough, some as little as 24 hours. At various stations some got off, some of them grew big, while some others made me grow. This cycle does not stop. People always keep flowing in and out of everyone life adding value and making a difference. People keep joining your track and leaving it as and when they find their own destined diversions. I have decided to identify some of these people, who made a difference to me. I am not talking about any great human or a saint who gave me a life changing advice or a Mantra! I am trying to identify ordinary people who happen to be my friends and whose one little gesture or an insignificant decision significantly changed the course of my life. One such person was late Arunmitra Anand, popularly and lovingly known as Gogi Anand.
Gogi came to Bombay to take up to movies. He was related to the illustrious Anand family. He was well educated and extremely well read person. Well, in that sense entire Anand family consists of educated people.

Soon he was recommended to go to the Film Institute of India at Poona to study film making. He chose screenplay writing. To be sure of admission, it is said that he took a letter of recommendation from his uncle Dev Anand. There was no problem in admission. After he completed the course he returned to Bombay in 1963. He must have been too eager to find his own place in the glittering movie world and also realized that real work experience would give him much than campus studies, especially since Anand family was right at the top in this business those days. Navketan group was constantly making movies, so getting involved in serious work was no problem. Gogi started assisting in direction in their films. He worked in Navketan films like Prem Pujari, Gambler, Teen Devian and Heera Panna.

Sometime in 1970-71 Gogi launched his first directorial venture, Double Cross, a thriller with his uncle, Vijay Anand, as the leading man and Rekha as its heroine. Vijay Anand did a double role in it. The film was produced by Gogi’s cousin Yash Kohli (popularly known as Baba), also Dev’s nephew. This was Baba’s first feature too as a producer. Baba’s time was ripe to become a producer since he was already a very experienced production hand. He was production controller of some big Navketan films like Heera Panna (1973), Tere Mere Sapne (1971), Prem Pujari (1970) and earlier to that Jewel Thief (1967). So Gogi and Baba worked together in two of those films. R D Burman was their close friend, so it was not too difficult to launch an interestingly put together film project. Double Cross released in 1972, but did not do too well at the box office. 

I too had reached Mumbai in May of the same year. It was an electrifying experience for me to get in contact with the people from Navketan camp. Whenever I met someone who knew Dev Anand or had worked with him, was enough for me to turn terribly dreamy. In such an emotional state I met Gogi sometime in early 1973, when I joined the unit of ‘Doosri Seeta’ as an assistant recordist. The film starred Jaya Bhaduri and Romesh Sharma, who were my friends from the FTII. In fact I was very close to Romesh. Even the cinematographer K K Mahajan, was an ex-FII. KK was also a close friend of Gogi. They had shared a large room with a great sea view at Mount Mary in Bandra for many years. So this film was produced with a great camaraderie between the entire unit.

In the meanwhile Gogi managed to start his third film ‘Darling Darling’. I was an assistant in this film too. During this period Gogi was very busy shooting and looking after editing for Doosri Seeta. In the meanwhile Doosri Seeta completed and its release date was announced. This would be the first film to release that was going to carry my title. I was very happy. One of the days during Darling Darling’s shooting at Sun u Sand hotel, I was told about premier of Doosri Seeta at Ganga-Jamuna theatres (they are not functioning now) at Tardeo. I was extremely excited in anticipation to be part of the starry premier crowd, which I had only envied by seeing pictures and reading the magazines during my college days.
On the premier day after an early pack up, caravan of Darling Darling’s entire unit headed towards Ganga-Jamuna. Dev Saab was in Zeenat’s car. I was in Dev Saab’s car with some others. Cinematographer Fali Mistry was also with us along with many other smaller actors. But alas! Tragedy struck hard, spoiling all my chances of attending the first premier show of my life! No one could reach the theatre. The city was experiencing exceptionally heavy cloud burst that day. Our caravan could reach only till Worli… With a heavy heart I watched all the cars being turned back by the traffic cops. I was hurt deeply when someone said that it was a bad omen for the film. Somehow all of us reached back Sun n Sand late at night. I slept in the room that was hired for the shooting. It had rained so hard that I could not go home for next three days, due to flooding. Tragically the film too got washed out at the box-office very badly.

Gogi was developing a soft corner for me as we met practically every day. He was becoming like an elder brother to me. I remember he took me to see the premier show of God Father at the Sterling. We had to come back late night in a taxi and I was dreading to think about the fat bill that I would have to pay at my home. But when Gogi got off at his home he gave me enough extra money to reach my house too. I guess he liked me due to my sincerity and enthusiasm at work.

I would always reach the studio much before the shooting shift started. Many times even stage would not be open. I remember once during Doosri Seeta shooting at Filmistan, I found Gogi was already there. He was comfortably lying on a bench and reading the script. I asked him what time did he reach? He said 7.30. Next day I was there before him for a 9.30am shift!
Gogi was an avid reader. I remember Gogi listening to and narrating Urdu couplets with another literary person Prabhuji (Prabhu Dayal). They had worked together in early Navketan films.

Once, during one of my rare free days, I was engrossed in playing carom with kids at my paying guest place. I was enjoying myself. The phone rang and the land lord, Jayant Patel told it was for me. I took the receiver and I heard someone saying that he was calling from Navketan office. My heart missed a beat. I asked him what was it about, he said ‘we want to hire you as a recordist for our next film to be shot in Nepal.’ I was flabbergasted. I pleaded, ‘I would not able to do it, as I am only an assistant right now.’ Hearing the names of Navketan and Dev Anand, a hush had descended in the room. Everyone was listening to my conversation. After a little hesitation I took down the address. After an hour long bus journey I was climbing a ‘rickety wooden staircase, Khira Nagar, Santacruz’. I met Hersh Kohli here. I was being pushed to decide fast though I was extremely scared to take up a Navketan film to be shot abroad. If it was a smaller banner or shooting was in Mumbai, I might have gone for it straight away. Hersh pushed me harder, ‘in four days unit is leaving and all the names have to be finalized’. Well, rest is history for me…

Much later I was informed that Gogi had personally recommended my name to Dev Saab. He had to also remove all doubts in Dev Saab’s mind about me. This one single point had changed the course of my life, then. It also fulfilled my childhood fantasy of experiencing the phenomenon that Dev Anand had been. Later for very long whatever I did in my professional life, I did it as a Navketan man. I had to leave work of ‘Darling Darling’ in between until I came back after three months. Well, ‘Darling Darling’ too bombed and after this Gogi took very long to put a project together. Many years later I remember he asked me to work with him for a film; I said ‘of course any time’, but the film never took off.

As long as I was with Navketan I met him often, either on sets or in office. I decided to enter field of documentaries in 1985 and asked to be relieved from Navketan. From then on Gogi went out of loop for very long. He would fall ill often due to his excessive drinking and tobacco habits. Once I went to see him at Nanavati Hospital, with our old colleague Amit Khanna. Gogi was being discharged that day. He looked very thin; but cheerful. But I was amused and shocked to notice that even in the hospital he had made arrangements to get his tobacco with the help of a ward boy!
No doubt at that stage nobody could imagine that Gogi would ever make a movie again. That was a fair judgment, but I did not like that nobody seemed to have a positive word for him. I don’t think people visited him. Gogi was lonely and out of work for a long period! That is how the film industry works. The more successful you are busier you will be. Only Gogi’s well wishers and close friends knew him as a bright guy, who could have made it – period.

Sometime in mid 90s, I heard that he was directing a daily TV soap for Balaji. I was so happy for him. That series was doing well too. He was beginning to make a name for himself in television! Soon after that he became a part of Plus Channel, where I was too working. He was hired to direct, ‘Swabhiman’, which too turned out to be a very successful daily soap. I was happy to see that finally he had found his eluding ground in television. It was nice to see his title in every episode during the audio mixing. Technicians from Swabhiman sets told me that Gogi was doing very well as a director and he had picked up the strings of multi-camera set up very well. He would finish a day job well within an allotted shift.
Gogi never got married. He never had a steady girl friend too, except for a short time during Doosri Seeta, when he had a live-in arrangement with someone.

There were some light moments in his life too. He once kept a pet monkey in his house. It was rumored that the monkey would jump down to a grocery store and steal potatoes and run back home. He would also christen the monkey with a name; whom he did not like those days. Another popular story was about a suitcase full of coins. Gogi had been dumping lose change in that suitcase for years. Finally it was full to the brim and couldn’t be carried due to its weight. I had the opportunity to see it once. He always boasted about it, until one fine day I found him sheepishly grieving about it. It seems his servant had vanished with the famous suitcase.

I was informed of Gogi’s last hospitalization by K K Mahajan and Praba. Some of us went to see him in Asha Parekh hospital. He was on life support system. There seemed no hope. His eyes were shut. His relations had been informed to be there. I felt very bad at his condition especially with a lingering thought that it might be the last time, I was seeing Gogi.

He died the next day. As soon as I got a call, I reached his house. But his body had not arrived till then. I entered his bedroom. Gogi’s garlanded photograph was placed on the ground. After spending few long moments staring at the photograph, I left; to promptly return next morning to be a part of his unit, one last time…

I decided to put this piece together because nowhere on the internet I could find any useful and definite information about Gogi, not even about his birth or the date of his death. Some posthumous comments bracketed Gogi with words like ‘anonymous’ and ‘unsung’. According to those Gogi may have been lost in the oblivion. But they don’t know that he had his days too. He may have gone without making an earth shattering film, but he did commendable work for television. He had been very busy for most of his life, except for a few years. Lean periods are common for any film professional. For me he was a very special person and ‘the’ reason that put my professional life on a faster and higher track. The least I could do for Gogi was to share some of the relevant information about him with people, especially with who might be interested.

I have known Gogi’s younger brother Kaka too, since long. He was very nice to give me Gogi’s birth details:

“Arunmitra Anand lived between Aug 22, 1942 and Oct 25, 2004. He was born at Gurdaspur to parents Shri Vishwamitra Anand and Shrimati Gargi Devi Anand.”

Finally through this reflection if I did manage to remove ‘unknown, unsung and anonymous’ labels stuck on my friend, I would consider myself fortunate.

Why!

i will go for a walk later

why?

it is too bright right now

bright? do you want to go when it is dark?

yes

why?

because…

what because

because they all whisper,

whisper? who? what do they whisper?

they say, ‘here he is again’

who says that

them… they say

who them, who are they

they. they hide behind the trees and say it

are you crazy?

no, i mean it. they look at me and i feel they are noticing me

you are having illusions, who will look at anyone and say anything

no i am sure no illusion

they whisper about you only? who in the hell do you think you are?

I don’t know that, but they especially notice me

oh god! okay, tell me more about them. what exactly do they do.

… as soon as i enter the garden, they look at me and share a glance with others. then they start chatting. when i turn to look at them they hide behind trees. then i can’t see them, but their flowing white clothes flutter out in breeze. one day i was really angry. “why don’t you leave in peace!?” i shouted at them.

then?

then they climbed up the tree, and merged themselves in the green. they went behind the thick leafs and kept looking at me from there.

what an utter nonsense story!

no please i will go later; after it is dark.

have you ever been there in dark?

no

then? don’t you think they can harass you more in dark.

oh i… i don’t know that.

okay try going around 8 today. there may be only some garden lights. but it will be quite dark otherwise.

you think they will trouble me more in dark?

why don’t you go and check it out, since you know what they do in day time.

umm… actually. no i think i will go now only.

no no try walking in the dark today. why not?

… okay, but why can’t i miss my walk once in a while?

remember what doctor told you? if you miss your walk, you will be in deep trouble.

i am going now… bye

fine see you in an hour. phew…

Capital Changes

it has not been raining well at all in mumbai this year. perhaps we mumbaikars are in for a shortage to sever shortage of water. there was already a news item in papers saying that “if the dry spell continues; there will be a water cut…”

it is only august right now. monsoon is still not over and if the cut come in force, one can imagine what to expect for the rest of the year. no, i am not scared. what can one achieve by getting scared or worried? nothing. so i will face it when it comes, whatever it may be. in fact i love it when there is no escape, no alternate and no way out. i don’t have to work on deciding or decoding the problem at hand to find its solution by using my lazy brain. if there is no rain so be it – let there be no rain.

recently i happen to meet four of my best enemies in a room. i felt they did not shake me up as they did last year. that time i had got disturbed even with their presence that was only expected. or to put it simply even with their absence.

i have also been so lazy in writing or blogging. in contrast i was so particular earlier. i used to feel terrible if i did not write at least 3-5 posts in a week! now not only i don’t write, i also don’t feel bad about it. things don’t remain the same. i have also changed or in other words i am also not the same, any more.

but it seems that things may be happening at a different (kind of deeper) level. but nothing is clear. i don’t even know if they are happening or i just have a feeling that they are happening. a kind of deep detachment/ disinterest has surfaced to things, to events. people i meet seem foggy in their presence, in what they say or do. as soon as they leave, they all dissolve and fade out – their faces, conversations, ideas.

it’s great to not bother about capital alphabets too.

13 Aug, 2015

Lost Sync With Time

It so happened, the other day 😉

She wanted to meet me

She had been planning

Excited about the meeting

Making notes, calling, detailing

On ‘the’ day

My phone stayed close to me

In my pocket

The day opened…

Played its regular part

And downed the shutter

Without her call

What must have happened

I wondered

No cancellation, no sorry, no nothing

I hoped nothing was wrong :-/

It seems she just went away

Kind of vanished

I mean without meeting

Calling, informing

I don’t know after how long

One day

My phone beeped

The arrival of an email

Her email

🙂 in the ‘subject’ space!

I was taken aback

How dare she…

I read on,

“…it was such fun meeting you

To our good luck

The weather was so pleasant

The moon was a pretty arc

Sky full of stars

Because it was rather dark

I remember an unknown fragrance

That wafted around like an ocean

I was sure it was your scent…”

I was totally zapped

All this was utterly strange

Such detailed description!

About that never happened :-/

She had never called me

I never went there

Anywhere, nowhere

I never met her

The moon, stars, weather

Were all part of her…

Her own story,

She floated the fragrance,

And made a moon crescent,

Then scattered the stars,

Because it was rather dark?

I need to sort this out

On my own

With help from no one

I read the mail again

And yet again

How can this be?

More over why would she?

Would anyone do this to a friend?

Could something be wrong?

With me? I mean.

Could it be that

Have I lost the sync

Between me and my time

Have we both separated?

The link degenerated

Am I on my own here

While the time travels elsewhere 

Has it ever happened?

Or could it at all happen?

It seems I am suffering

From a yet un-discovered sickness

That has discovered me

I started watching

Everyone, everything

All around

Finally it dawned

Time had left me alone

I was now on my own

What I was to do yesterday

The previous day

Or even earlier days

Had already been done

That day in question 

A few days back,

Was already in the pack.

10 Feb, 2016