Friday, October 29, 2010

One of those evenings..

Today's evening was one of the quiet ones. After a long long time, I had some time alone, without anyone coming up to me or a million phone calls.  I decided not to sit on the internet or study. I switched on the computer, and put on a real old play list.. It had been such a long time since I'd heard Advaita's hamsadhwani or mere yaar.. It had been ages since I last sang out loud to Hey Jude and Yellow submarine..Let it be.. 

Aaah..what sweet memories. Even today, there lies that virgin innocence in those tunes that remind me of clouds of thoughts, days, hues of conversations :)

Sigh.. it was one of those evenings.. 

Signing off.. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010


As she stood up from stage, beautifully tackling her red bordered raw silk saari, her elegant smile truly bowing down to the audience, I was once again held grabbed by the ground under me, fixated, looking at how grace floated in those slender arms.
As the audience boomed in applause, she however remained grounded with a subtle smile, and just a hint of blush. Oh what poise that lady held. What a bold figure commanding respect.
Her short poker straight hair complimented that thin face with the warm color of biscuit- her complexion.
It was just how charming her movement, her expressions, her eyes were, that I adored, apart from her music.

Ananya Swamiranganathan. A celebrated artist of 25. South Indian, with 20 years of carnatic music training.  Her CDs were splurged around my studio.. and I was officially her stalker for about seven years. I had never missed a single concert, an interview, a newspaper clip, a CD of hers. But till date, I had never spoken to her.

Let me introduce myself. I'm Vinayak. Vinayak Malhotra. I'm the CEO of a small studio that I own, where I and a couple of my other professionally unsuccessful co-workers make music. And perhaps that explains my stalker-ish behavior to good artists.
Oh,and I'm mute.

Perhaps the reason to exploiting my ears so much is because there always has been silence on my tongue. And perhaps, I enjoy this exploitation so much because I can keep the art of melody just to myself, without having to share it around, opposing to them when they say art and knowledge is to be shared.
Yes, I'm a selfish person.

Anyhow. Coming back to Ms. Ananya. You know, in an artist, a musician, rather. .what we look for is melody of course, and a sense of depth. A sense of depth that needs to be powerful enough to hold that listener just strongly enough to not feel suffocated in the delicate mirage of unadulterated feelings.
That balance is so rare to find, that perhaps it's almost as good as finding an alchemist among steel melters. 

Her voice contained a fluidity, an alcohol of sorts, that melted as soon as she touched every note.. Her eyes, perfect half moons, forever smiled to a growing dream in its lashes..

Her music grew in me over the years. My eyes would half close to Raag Malhaar or Hamsadhwani in her sweet voice, soothing my nerves, stitching resistance to the ferocity of my dreams.

As I came back to reality, staring at her, grounded, her eyes chanced upon mine and she gave me a familiar smile I'd been receiving since about seven years.  I was the most loyal audience of her's, and perhaps the silence of an introduction was only pleasing.. For both of us identified with music and silence- which as they say, have the strongest voice.

I left, unintroduced, as always.


Ananya's prime years as a musician ended a little too quick. Being a south Indian brahmin, she got married at 27 and was the mother of a beautiful baby girl by 30... and like many of those dragonflies who were destined.... or rather expected to fly all summer, she shriveled into a firefly for who only day remained, and her glow faded as the night was forgotten.

"As she stood up from stage, beautifully tackling her red bordered raw silk saari, her elegant smile truly bowing down to the audience, I was once again held grabbed by the ground under me, fixated, looking at how grace floated in those slender arms...........
...........Her short poker straight hair complimented that thin face just like her mother's with the warm color of biscuit- her complexion.
It was just how charming her movement, her expressions, the same eyes were..... that I adored, apart from her music."

As I saw Meera mirror what Ananya used to be to my eyes, I wanted to scream for the first time. I didn't care how much of a noise it might sound, the exult of a mute man, I wanted to shout loud and clear, for joy. Perhaps it's that grace that overwhelmed my heart to pound to the reflection of beauty, or perhaps it was the brittle heart of a man who was now too old..

Or perhaps it was the legacy of music, that keeps you going, to imbibe in you, those passionate emotions to make a mute man resent having a silent tongue for the first time in his life. Perhaps, it was the legacy of that one woman I shared my emotions with the most, whose daughter carried the same humanity and grace that touched my heart with its tender arms, to lead me to realize that the dragonflies carry on, and that the night is never actually forgotten.


Waiting for your feedbacks!
Much love,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

As the dhaak starts playing.

It starts in early September... when the naked play grounds are slowly dressed with bamboo skeletons of pandals that end up looking so magnificent, and find themselves frozen and captured in photographs for people to cherish.. when those cultural programs start in Shiv Mandir, with competitions of all sorts... when all of us friends go and waste hours and hours in the late evening listening to absolutely rotten karaokes and "classical dance" by "ladies of the colony" which is actually nothing but moving hands and legs uncoordinated with nervous looks spilled across the stage.. but we all still go, and be a part of it. Because it marks the beginning of a celebration.. A celebration that compels people to look around wide eyed at the grace that each and every idol has, even when it's not adorned in costly banarasi saris and stands of bare soil with that sweet smell of hard work and skilled labor. 

As mohaloya dawns, the familiar songs buzz in every radio of C.R.Park, and around Delhi... when the chills set in on everybody's back.. Durga pooja's a finger away. It never bothers me to wake up at 4am and sing infront of the whole colony, all those typical mohaloya songs.. because that excitement in the air is never more evident than that morning of melody.

As pooja starts, food isn't cooked at home anymore, and the stalls in every pandal earn crazy loads of cash. There's some or the other artist singing every evening, or some dance troup dancing to entertain the super enthusiastic bongs and non bongs. The organizing committee guys deck of with the flashiest of clothes and sit in their little cubicle looking like the dudes of the freakin' world, and look like they're giving away noble prizes when they give away residential passes to us xP
The volunteers of my age are complete dogs. They wear the badge to have chillout sessions while distributing bhog (it's an amazing experience, just fyi. I loved doing it) and to get free entry and food to the pandals. And to basically look important :P 
And omg the bongs......... Silk clothes are IN. Okay. Trust me when I say it. Everybody wears silk, and ethnic wears, and look all amazing. [Umm, ok not everyone] but most of them anyway! 
All of us teenagers have cash on us, for a change :D and we eat like pigs. Hog. Literally.

Chairs are pulled and groups of friends and family sit in circles to enjoy the day, with food, music and ofcouse, the idols they adore completely. Everybody crowd around in the evening for the aarati and the dhunochi dance which is just gorgeous and perhaps theee most beautiful part of the day. {Didn't do it this year :( } The roads don't have cars, they have long  threads of people, and crazy lines with people chattering and clicking photographs on self timers. 

As dashami rolls by, people get sentimental. The ladies go for shidoor khela, and rest of the people join in around afternoon to watch all the trucks take away the idols for Visarjan... that's a celebration of it's own, when all of us dance like maniacs and scream "Aschey bochor, abar hobey!" which means "Poojas shall be back next year".. the dhak plays at it's best, with people doing their last minute prayers as they see the face of the gods and goddesses fade away as the trucks gather speed. 
Slowly everyone wishes everyone Shubho Bijoya , stuff sweets into each other and hug like maniacs.. And draw alponas in the entrances of their homes.. slowly people start updating their statuses on facebook about how awful they feel and how much they miss poojas already.. and the thousand comments on the newly uploaded Pooja albums...... 

It sure is a celebration. A celebration which is so close to my heart, that as they say-- I don't cry that it's over, but I smile that it happened. (Modified,yes)

This year's pooja, like every year gave me few of the most amazing memories.. ever. 

Durga pooja can never loose its charm,
cause that sweet beat of the dhaak always echoes somewhere in my heart, and makes me smile to the wait, that's always worth it :)

Shubho bijoya! 

-- Drum beats,

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This game of Truth and Dare.

 Funny, this game of Truth and Dare.

They said I have to choose, if I dared truth.. I’d have to answer a naked honest answer to whatever they might ask.. If I chose dare, I’d have to reach the finish line of that task.. with no backing out, whatsoever.
I always chose truth. Because that was a big enough of a dare.
I was never scared. I had nothing to hide from the world.

Still, I had this lurching pull in the pit of my stomach every time the bottle spun to me. I delft this uneasy excited quease in me.. Did I not want them to ask me something? … Or did I really want them to ask me, that very question. That very answer that never quite escaped my lips, and yet, I wanted the world to know. I wanted the world to know how I felt about that one question.
Because it made a difference.
Not to them, but to me.

Thank god they didn’t ask me that regret I held. Thank god they didn’t ask me about that hint of sadness that somehow lurks in the hues of my crazy euphoric self. Thank god they never questioned that smile of irony, that I hoped they missed. Thank god.

But what a pity, they never asked me why I held that regret. What a pity they never asked me why that sadness lurked even in the brightest of lights. What a pity they missed that smile of irony, that smile, that perhaps would have let open everything that I might have held in me, for a while. For a long while.
I wanted to be heard.
Or.. maybe I wanted to carry those smiles and perhaps laugh about them on my own, when I grow up. Grow up to not feel so strongly about everything and anything.

But who am I fooling?

Yes, I wanted to be heard.

What a pity they found the game boring just when it was reaching its prime.. Funny how I want them to ask me.  Ask me just those few questions that maybe I asked myself, the most.

Funny, this game of truth and dare.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

What his old age taught me.

This post is a fiction half merged with reality, as a tribute to someone.. 
I hope you all enjoy it.

What his old age taught me.

My grandfather always detested History books. When it was first introduced in fifth grade, I remember- The revolt of 1857, I went to him running, reciting all the facts of all the leaders and soldiers... It was the first time I was studying what dada studied. I'd be sitting for a hundred marker examination for the first time, just like how dada sat, every year.
My grandfather, however, threw my book away. And scolded me, telling me that all my new school taught me was a history that was for the sake of having that subject in the Indian education Board. I was an eleven year old, to whom his grandfather's roaring voice was only a harsh scold, and nothing that could have another meaning.. I was young. I never understood.
I ran to my mother, big tears swinging in my eyes, like a boat on the tip of a mountain. My nose cried,too. And my mother, the sweetheart that she forever was, wiped my face with her pallu, and kissed me.
"Arre mera raja beta!" , she said, and started tickling me.. My sadness was held on to my childlike brain only for those few moments, however they vanished as soon as my mother, someone who was perhaps the most comforting life that mended me every time I was broken kissed me that one sweet love, and tickled all my problems away, that seemed so big and old, back then..

As I grew, my lessons involved many more revolutions, wars, partitions, protests, honor killings, and patriotism. As I grew, my grandfather's loathe to my books faded, however I never experienced its absence.
I still didn't understand.
I stopped trying. I stopped trying to figure out why did History displease this old man of 76. I thought he was old enough to grow out of stubborness.
Hah.. I was such a child,still. Such a child to never realize why such an old man of 76 bothered to still be stubborn..

I grew up, I got a job, by 24 I was well settled. My elder borther ; dada had long left home after fighting with my father.. He left home to find another home, in a foreign land. Funny how I realized that blood doesn't matter when you make family.. Funny how I realized a lot of things. My father had died, of a heart attack. My mother, I and my grandfather were the only ones who lived in our mansion like bungalow in Lucknow.

I remember, it was late evening.. I returned home, to find darkness inside the house, my grandfather sitting on his rocking chair, listening to Kishore Kumar. The orange light from the lamp beside him refused to hide the hue of moisture that sat on my grandfather's eyes.
"What's wrong? Why aren't you asleep?" I asked.
"Rajje mere, sleep died years back for me.." 
"What do you mean? Why do you look this way? Why are you crying?"
"Nothing.. Just remembered home.. ghar di yaad aa gayi.."
"But this is home.."
My grandfather smiled. The irony was so evident in that old wrinkled smile..

"This can never be home.. I left.. I was thrown out of home decades back."
I looked at him. Trying to figure what his twisted words meant. I was still such a child, in front of that long white beard, and those million wrinkles that carried so many lives, so many memories, so many years, such a long life.

"My home is Pakistan."

My forehead uncreased. After 24 years of holding a grudge against my grandfather for ignoring me when I wanted to share my vision of our nation, the flashbacks only pierced me with invisible slaps, jerking me to realize the obvious that had been right there in front of my eyes for so long. I always wondered why such an old man of almost a century of experience could never grow up enough to grow out of taboos and old school thoughts.. But I realized, that it wasn't about taboos. It was a bruise, a very cruel one, that worsened only with age, and he just learnt to wince in pain a little lesser and lesser everyday at the world, as the world moved ahead, reading everything that textbooks taught them, and thinking that they knew the past too well, perhaps better than the ones who experienced it.

Waiting for feedbacks!

It can never stop being a rush of things.

Hey there.
The month of September was a dog. October...isn't quite lifting my spirits up. Although I'm supposed to be all kicked about the pujas, but I just feel real bland and bleh.

It's been a rush lately.. I've been either socializing or been completely underground for long periods of time. Both, provoked by tonnes of things.. however that never stopped something or the other coming up.
I don't think I've had SO many tiffs with people ever, I don't think I've felt so upset on things that shouldn't matter. I've been wanting to write, there's been SO much in my head, but it's almost like the moment I start typing, every thing screams in my mind, but godamnit doesn't help me type, not even a bit, not even at all.

The past month has been that of realizations, too. I realized certain huge losses that were somehow ignored by my own eyes.. just that I'm not too sure if the losses are mine, in actual..
doesn't make sense?
Oh I know. Doesn't to me either.

I've been shopping like a retard. I've been expressing myself a little too boldly for a lot of people to handle. [Lol, whoever said blatancy was appreciated?] .. and well, things have just been too quick for me to be able to catch up.
I'm sick of my phone. I'm sick of being connected all the time. It's usually not with me much,these days. So I'm sorry if I haven't replied to your texts/calls. It's just one of those phases when I'd rather listen to quiet than music. Where I'd rather keep a straight face instead of a mosaic of reactions that it usually is.

The whole world seems to be living in Delhi all of a sudden. CWGs start from today, although the day seems relatively quiet. The roads seem fine, and well, the TV I haven't bothered opening cause I really don't need a thousand news channels stating the obvious that I've been hearing since like 83490404 years, yes the games have begun... and lets just hope they bring us no harm, if not anything.
God I sound so pessimistic to my own ears :|
Not good.

Ok bye people.
Have a nice sunday :|