Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why we should respect film stars...!

I have this newfound respect for filmstars.
Oh, I've always admired them. I thought their life was cool - notwithstanding the hectic schedules, travels, sleepless nights, holidays away from family and so on. I thought it was cool that they could portray different people in different movies, adorn different costumes, dance to the most beautiful songs, have themselves projected on to huge screens, and have people rave and chant their names. Not to speak of the big money.

As usual when you see the other side of the story, you find it strange that you hadn't seen it till now: wasn't it very obvious and glaring right into your face?

I have worked with snobs (and others) of all kinds; I have also worked with people I adored and admired. But the first kind takes precedence here, the second are still too revered to be mentioned among the filth. I have had to say Howdy, and smile at and joke with and pat the nastiest ones on the back (even when my intestines were squirming) because they were part of my team. I thought that was really tough. And now when I watch movies where two people have to feign love and friendship, look longingly into each other's eyes when they really don't have any affection between them, I realise that my joking and smiling and Howdy-ing were nothing at all.

That's why I say, these filmstars, their lives aren't easy at all. They deserve our admiration and respect, not (only) for their larger than life presence, but for what they do uncomplainingly for the sake of their job.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Of Sunrises and Sunsets

I suppose every child of Kerala grows up drawing sunrises over the mountain and sunsets on the sea, and believing that the sun *has to* always rise between two mountains and dip into a crimson sea. I did too, and I was well into adulthood before I even thought about the fact that there could be places on Earth where the sun rose over the sea. Or over a barren desert.
Or over a series of dull-looking apartments and set beyond railway lines behind other big, boring apartments.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


There she goes again,
weeping, sobbing,
screaming, howling,
spraying her tears all around.

Why is the sky so sad?
Why does she cry so bad?

Does she have thoughts,
emotions, feelings,
friends who hurt her,
people who make her cry?

Does she have fury-
hitting and yelling,
plodding and pounding-
that she wants to unleash?

Does she feel lonely
amidst the crowd
that throng her
on her darkest nights?

Does she endure
having to smile
like us, when the
pain is unable to bear?

Does she also believe
her sniffing, sneezing,
sobbing, goes
unnoticed in the dark?

Does she so glow
in her deepest sorrow
beautiful and calm
with a million stars?

After I wrote this I was reminded of Smt.Sugathakumari's Rathrimazha, which I had learnt in school. That beautiful poem must have inspired me from somewhere deep within.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Breakfast, often called the most important meal of the day.

The flock gathers at the restaurant. Some are here early, some are on their way up the steps to the long hall where tables and chairs are spread for the meal-after-meal marathon of the day. Some wait for their food to arrive, some are already dipping into chutneys or scooping their iddlis.

The smell of tea and coffee and chutney and iddli and ghee hangs in the air before escaping to the world outside. The clink-and-clank of vessels against bowls, and forks against plates, and spoons against cups, reaches the ears of people hurrying along the road. Some are tempted to drop in, to see what's cooking.

A few children crowd around the huge aquarium near the steps, observing and squealing at the fish of all colours splashing by. They block the way of - and are immune to the irritation of - the arriving breakfast-seekers. Parents hover around the smallest ones, making use of the distraction to pop iddli-made-into-rolls to little mouths that open and shut like that of the fish they are gazing at.

The air is abuzz with loud talk and laughter. The waiters call out to the kitchen: 2 iddli ! 3 set dosa! Uppittu! Kesari bhath! Tea! Coffee!

The man at the desk scolds the waiters and the cooks loudly, for nothing in particular.

A child opens the tap near the rest room to wash his hands, and a spray surges out towards him and the man standing nearby. The little one giggles, and the man scowls.

A couple of foreign women, one wearing Indian kurta and pyjama, and the other in a saree, tackle iddlis with forks in their left hand, talking in low voices. Next to their table, three Indian women in western attire, laugh as they munch their sandwiches.

The large glass windows on all sides are open. A cool breeze intent on interrupting nothing, flows in.

A waiter hurries past with a tray full of glasses, bumps into a child, whom he had not noticed, for the child was only as high as his knee, and the glasses shoot in all directions and crash. The talks cease, the people freeze, the men in the kitchen stare: all accusing eyes are directed at the scared child and the even more scared waiter. A man grabs the child out of the way: Haven't I told you not to run??

The waiter begins to clear the mess, and the sounds resume.

Everything is back to normal.