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#12 Spooky Obsessions (2014)

Well, in a very recent, very unbiased and completely reliable survey three most common fears across the globe were revealed:

Number 3. Fear of death

Number 2. Fear of public speaking

Number 1. Fear of dying while public speaking

 

Today, as we are being antisocial on the social networking sites a few modern threats have popped up in the notification window.

 

For a very close friend, Surpanakha Ramachandran, it is a matter of honour when it comes to her selfies. Anything below 371 likes gets deleted from Instagram and finds a haven in Google+. Her recent selfie at the PVR washroom had to settle for a new low of 198 likes. When asked to comment on this catastrophe our humble friend answered in vernacular: “अब तो नाक कट गयी।”

 

It is demeaning, degrading and demoralizing not to be appreciated for a status update. One does try so hard to compose it. Sugar, spice and everything nice blended with chemical #. And when a comment receives more attention than the original message, it is taking a defecate right in the face. *defeat (autocorrect)

 

One must be aware about how he/she is portrayed on the Internet. Being cool is a full time job with it’s own perks. And there is nothing wrong in wishing your dad a happy birthday in the cyberspace rather than the awkward space.

 

While most of the world lives in this fear of lacking social presence, a modern monk has found inner peace in simple pleasures like privacy. He believes that we can never share our true joys in words. Our minds are so cluttered by the aftermath, that we forget to savour the moment ourselves, sharing them is a different matter. His dumbo was last seen in Thane mental asylum and he is scheduled for execution in 2 days by a Slingshot.

 

As we keep our articles honest and ad free, here is a shoutout to your favourite Twitter celebrity Kamaal R Khan for his latest clash with Kapil Sharma. And if you are just scrolling on Facebook as you are completely jobless here is a list of 20 things you should do if you are a human. #12 is an absolute must!!!

 

Note: Hey! What do you expect? I’m a filmmaker. I exaggerate for a living.

#3 Always a bridesmaid never a bride

Leonardo DiCaprio has been all over social media for NOT winning an Oscar, probably more that Matthew McConaughey. I am surprised how people think that Leo is the only mainstream actor who has yet to receive an Academy Award. So here we go with a few of my favourites who have not received an Oscar in the Best Actor category.

1. Gary Oldman

Known for his versatility, Gary Oldman is described as “a very strong candidate for the world’s best living actor” by Academy Award winner Colin Firth. Oldman was nominated for his performance in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011) and lost to Jean Dujardin for The Artist. And this is his only Oscar nomination in his career. You can check out this list which puts it in detail why Oldman deserves an Oscar.

2. Jim Carrey

Speaking of being nominated, Carrey has never even got that far. After being praised for going beyond his comfort zone for The Truman Show and overshadowing his co-star in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mindit is extremely disappointing not to get noticed by the Academy.

3. Johnny Depp

Depp has been in the limelight for accepting challenging roles and pulling them off with ease. With the kind of performances under his belt, Johnny Depp has been nominated thrice in the Best Actor category, always leading to disappointment. However, an Oscar isn’t the only recognition one seeks is it? Depp, in 2003 and 2009. He has been listed in the 2012 Guinness World Records as the highest paid actor, with $75 million.

4. Sir Ian McKellen

He is Gandalf, he is Magneto but all those powers are not good enough to pull an Academy award towards him. Nevertheless he has received six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards and two Critics’ Choice Awards.

5. Orson Welles

At the age of 23, he shook the world with the radio adaptation of H. G. Wells‘ novel The War of the Worlds. When he was 25, he made the film, which is considered as one of the best films ever made. He wrote it and acted in it. He shared an Oscar for the Best Original Screenplay with Herman J. Mankiewicz. Orson Welles gained national and international fame and recognition in mostly every possible media of that era. In 1970, Welles was given an Academy Honorary Award for “superlative and distinguished service in the making of motion pictures.”Rather than attending the ceremony he exclaimed: “I didn’t go because I feel like a damn fool at those things. I feel foolish, really foolish. … I made piece of film and said that I was in Spain, and thanked them.”

 

An Oscar is probably the most coveted method of acknowledging one’s contribution to Cinema. And in these 86 years we cannot even imagine how many legends have been deprived of it. But the most important part is, regardless of this recognition, they’ve measured success in different terms. Success and failure depends on our choice. There isn’t only one definition of success. It is highly subjective. And this is what I take back from it.

#10 Write ups – The Universe Is Expanding (2013)

For a few months now, I have been reading some absolutely random facts of the world we live in. On one of such endeavours of mine, I stumbled upon the concept of time. You see, The Big Bang is widely considered as the beginning of everything. What happened before The Big Bang? It is a bit complicated because there was no ‘before’ before it. Time is the result of expansion of the Universe and so are the spatial dimensions. Everything, every single bit of it was wound up together, compressed and limited to the greatest possible extent. And then, BOOM.

And so was our life, before we started exploring the world. Using media to connect with people and sharing information; gaining knowledge! Life, as we know it right now, has a different meaning altogether from what our ancestors recognized then.

Not too long ago, just a few thousand years back quenching the hunger and the thirst of our body, was the ultimate goal. Everything else seemed miniscule. But today, most of us don’t need to hunt for it. Not everyday. Our thirst is a different kind of thirst altogether. We seek – knowledge, power, recognition, status.

I can imagine how grand a Neanderthal must’ve felt on hunting a wild boar. The sense of not having to hunt for a few days was the greatest achievement. And not much has changed. We struggle to get ourselves up the corporate ladder and once we get there we feel relieved. But on looking at the larger picture, how much does the achievement of the Neanderthal weigh, today? And how much is our greatest achievement, no matter how great, is going to weigh, tomorrow?

Think about it this way – Britney Spears is considered the Pop Goddess, today. But tomorrow, when we go interstellar and colonise ‘in a galaxy far, far away’; do you think we need to carry this information over there? Nope. And we don’t need our marks in geography in our 9th grade or that silver medal and certainly we don’t need our followers on Twitter.

So, why do we take it so hard on ourselves?

When you look at the picture taken by Voyager I, the farthest human-made object from Earth from ~ 6 billion kilometers away, you can’t tell the difference between me and the richest person on the planet. You can’t say if I am wearing a Gucci or something off the streets. Basically you don’t care if I exist or not, because I am so miniscule.

Take our aggregate living as a grand opera night and ourselves as the double-chin-singer. When we perform, the spotlight is on us, and the house lights are dim. We don’t know what the audience thinks of the performance when we are performing. Yet we put up a good show, not for the people in the dark, but for the person in the spotlight. Because we owe it to him…

Our being may not bother anyone else, but it always bothers ourselves, our loved ones. We don’t need to prove anything in life because life has no hypothesis. All of it comes down to the moments that make us feel on the top of the world. We define our own targets and even if we don’t meet them, frankly speaking no one else bothers. And I think, considering the universe is expanding, we can forgo our puny imperfections and look at the larger picture.

earth-from-voyager

 

#7 Write up – Swimming with the sharks

You meet some people in every walk of your life who by default consider themselves as the high authority in the subject matter of nitpicking. I am talking about your school art teacher who knew alphabets from ‘C’ to ‘F’ when it came down to giving you your grades. That squeaky-pale-white tall “friend” of yours who chose not to congratulate you on your results. Instead preferred praising your luck, every time.

These are the people that haunt you even in your dreams in their shark-avatar with their razor sharp remarks. They belong to the school of thought that believes in turning you into a scrambled egg because you are late. Their university also offers crash courses in shrugging their shoulders for you coming early. Mistake is the permanent tag attached to your name.

Adding extra itch in the crotch to my discomfort, every creative field is fully filled with sharky water. Having no well-defined rights and wrongs gives them the divine right to scrutinise all that I’ve been upto. The power of their eye surprises me as it catches only the slightest of (what they may consider as an) error and not the hundreds of positives that exceed their expectations. These certain gestures are sure enough to wake a volcano in deep slumber up. But I have a slightly different shade.

Well, some may get drifted away with the spontaneous thought of indulging into a ping-pong game with their you-know-what, but not me. As a kid, on my imaginary trip to the Tibet based Buddhist monastery, I had taken the solemn oath of emancipating myself from all evil thoughts. By force, I am liable to keep a fake yet soothing smile on my face even when cakes of cow-dung are being smashed on it. Living in a country that stands as the epitome of peace and ever-triumphing truth, I am bound to term every comment made on me as constructive criticism, contributing towards making me a better human being.

Now, chucking all the word arsenal aside let me come to the point. There are two kinds of people in the world – the ones who believe in DOING something and the ones who believe in SCREWING something. Doers have a tendency of doing everything without the slightest thought of what the other half will think about it. They just do it, and keep doing it regardless of the result being good, bad or shameful. The screwers on the contrary keep screwing up in the things they do. So they have this disgruntled sensation in their minds that nobody else can do it as well. They keep screwing up the peace of mind of others.

You get angry when you don’t know if what you did was right or wrong. But when youknow for sure that you knew what you were doing, you have no reason to be angry. Just a small reason to smile. That now you know who has been DOing whom and who has been SCREWing whom. (If you get the joke)

P.S The above content is entirely fictional. Any relevance to living or dead is supposed to be treated as mere coincidence. And if you don’t believe me, I am not a good liar anyway 😛

#4 Write up – Absolutely free (2013)

Some say best things in life are free. Well, I wouldlike to meet those ‘some’ and so very generously ask for a cheque (as they willno longer need any monetary backing, knowing whatever they require is lyingright outside their doorstep with a free label on it!) If and only if I happento find some canonised saint of this kind, I will believe so.

Starting from a tissue and going all the way up to asquare foot in Cuffe Parade, everything has a price. If we look close enough,we are surrounded by things that are eyeing our bank balance all the time! Newbatteries for the alarm clock, the plumber visiting this afternoon to fix theleaking tap, Internet subscriptions, bike services, upcoming anniversary of ourfolks, overdue haircuts… And what not!

But what about the things that matter the most?

1.     A smile?

2.     A hug from your best pal?

3.     A peaceful sleep at the end of the day?

4.     A kiss?

 

Aren’t these intangible small things amounting morethan anything materialistic, free?

To be very frank, NO.

We have to let go of lots of tears to earn a smile. Wehave to forget ourselves and be a true friend to earn a hug. We need to workhard throughout the day to earn a peaceful sleep. And we need to know a realdeal of cheesy lines to earn a kiss. (Well, that’s the way it is!)

So, would I be on the right track if I say that absolutelynothing is free, you have to earn it? Maybe not always by exchanging it forcash. But by putting in right amount of dedication, hard work and most of all,faith. By investing time in it and being persistent towards it. No blessing isbestowed upon someone without penance.

A Ferrari may not be the best thing in the world. But aFerrari earned by working hard day by day, everyday; looking at the giantposter on the wall before going to bed and saying, ‘someday!’ When a wearytraveller nudging inch by inch towards his stallion finally gets to hear thesound of the throttle, there is no other feeling greater than it. And that isthe best thing in the world. A Ferrari well deserved.

(However the smile that follows that sense of achievementis absolutely free)  

#5 Write up – My last relationship (2012)

December always derives the best out of you. It is not just any other month. It is different! Not just in a singular way but by many if not all means.

 

The jackets, which cost you a little fortune come into play.

 

You have those starry nights to accompany you.

 

And you start getting the pure but rare satisfaction of optimising something! Your calendar!

 

I mean don’t you feel overly proud of yourself when you realise that you’ve had a yearlong relationship with the calendar?

 

The calendar! It keeps dangling on the wall all the time. Except the times you choose to take it off and flip it over. Probably just… 11 times every year? When you think of it that way, a year sounds so… quick! We keep thinking that it was just yesterday when we had an awesome New Years party till the time we realise that the next New Years party is, ‘Ow, tomorrow!’

 

We measure length in inches, mass in ounces, universe in lightyears and our life in calendars. Suppose I collect each and every day of my life that I’ve lived. Ummm… It will be a collection of say, 20 calendars. That’s all. All of my life summarised without even missing a day! I know on which day I had a holiday, when was the first lunar eclipse of my life, low tide, high tide and all sorts of pieces which when put together form my life. Voila! My biography is published!

 

Till now, I have stockpiled 20 calendars. How many more can I possibly accumulate? Forty calendars? Sixty calendars? Eighty, max? And then that’s all! It becomes all so scary you know. Like so fast! Like all of these ups and downs and twists and turns and someday, all that it turns out to be, is a bunch of calendars. All that I’ve earned, all that I have spent… Is This. Period.

 

Just imagine yourself. Old… So old that it is impossible for you to imagine anything older than you. And you are surrounded by all the calendars you’ve lived. And in your hand you have your last calendar. And you realise that the next New Years party is, “Ow, tomorrow!”

 

What will you do?

Where will you go?

If you know

That there is no tomorrow..?

 

We keep the calendar dangling on wall most of the time. Except the times we choose to take it off and flip it over. And the sad part is we just flip it over 11 times a year. We don’t consider just looking at the dates that have passed. We don’t take a pause to count the moments, which made us laugh, made us cry… Which made us sad, or dance with joy.

 

Some things are just not valued when we have time. We keep thinking that we’ll have another chance at them in future. But the future falls short for so many chances. You tell me, won’t you lay your head on your mother’s lap… Won’t you audition for that dance show in college… Won’t you order the dessert first? If you know that there is no tomorrow?

 

If we treat every relationship as if it were the last, we pour everything to make it work. So I’ve thought of not attending the Masquerade Party this year. It seems like I want to skip the main course and have what actually counts. The dessert.

#2 Write up – Just Another Heroic Tale (2013)

It is a funny thing, ‘change’. Not the long-lasting, permanent change. But that slight detour which makes you stroll awayfrom your natural way. Making you realize that there is so muchnew,other than what you knew. Change, is not so bad.

Shopping and I do not belong in the same sentence. But then wemen are often gently asked to change by womenAnd although changing clothes would not actually change who we are, the determination of a dyed-in-the-wool woman remains unchanged.

So I found myself in the epitome of where-not-to-be– Colaba market. Where I was introduced to the feminine superpower offending the perfect top in a labyrinth of vibrancy. And the four-dimensional bag that fits every damn thing without making a show of it. Where does the stuff go? I watched in awe.

I enjoyed my role of a sidekick, till the point I saw a really cool Superman tee.I was looking for one since a while, but could never find the perfect one. But every superhero tale needs a good old-fashioned villain – the sales guy!Quoting a whopping 550 for a regular tee.

Too much for a piece off the streets, right?

I wasn’t quite happy. I like one thing, just one, and why does it have to be so impossible?

Andat that exact moment, she appeared. She stood right in front of me, blocking the Sun. And then she engaged into a gory battle of bargaining. The sales guy was good. But she tackled his every attack by saying, “Kya Bhaiyya…” Ultimately,the tee was in for a hundred bucks. I had tears of joy in my eyes. And though I wore the Superman tee. I felt like more Lois Lane.

Wait a second…

Aren’twe boys meant to dominate all the scenes?

I realized that sometimes the toughest of us act like a moody princess. And we wait for our knight in shining armour to rescue us. And there is nothing wrong over there. It might be a little different from our regular stories but what the hell, change is not so bad.

Note: Hey, what do you expect? I am a filmmaker. I exaggerate for a living.