Friday, October 31, 2008

A Family Blog

This is not an original piece. This has been plagiarized from a piece I read some time ago, the source of which is unmentionable. But having said that, its not an exact copy of what I read the other day, the source of which is unmentionable. This is just an adaptation so to say. Actually not even an adaptation. Lets just say its my interpretation of a piece I read some time ago, the source of which is unmentionable. To be precise, its just how much of the story I read, the source of which is unmentionable, I remember.

To be more fair to me, (The world seems to be so unfair these days that one at least has to be fair with oneself... Its like, in democracy, the best part is that you certain you at least get one vote, yours. If you don’t get either, then you really have to be a sore looser.)... as I was saying, to be fair to myself, the story I read, the source of which is unmentionable is in fact already an adaptation of a 1920s Hollywood flick which actually was already a "director's interpretation of a 11th century love story". So basically the following peice is an edited version of a piece I read, the source of which is unmentionable which is an adaptation of a 1920's Hollywood flick that was the director's interpretation of a 11th century love story.

Before I get on with the piece, an intelligent reader will be pleased to know that there are in fact multiple versions of this particular 11th century love story. And allegedly lot of present day Bollywood movies based on some of these versions. One author, Ustad Karam Fuckruddin of Pakistan, who claims to be the original descendent of the original writer of this story has in fact filed a petition in the Islamabad high court claiming copyright violation by movie makes of "Troy" stating that some scenes from the movie are exact replica of the works of his fore father. There was another interesting story in the papers of a Malayalam movie, starring one of their most famous "Shakeela" to star in a movie based on this story. An unknown but reliable source, having direct contact with the script writer for this movie swears that the movie contained 3 explicit sex scenes and Shakeela, had on being forced that the soul of the movie would be lost without them scenes, had agreed on complete nudity. More details exist about the script, for a movie that was not made at all.. but I shall refrain from getting into them. The reason being, I am on a campaign of trying to make my blog a "Family Blog", suitable for readers of all ages, irrespective of the species. So my version has all the sex scenes deleted.

So here is the edited version of a piece I read, the source of which is unmentionable which is an adaptation of a 1920's Hollywood flick that was the director's interpretation of a 11th century love story. Have tried to use the native language to preserve the intensity of the piece:

Ek tha raaja, ek tha raani.

Dono margaye Katham Kahani.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lights!! Sound!!

Its difficult not to blog about Mysore every time I visit home. Especially if its a long week end i spend at home, i cant NOT write about mysore. Its such a cool place I say! The roads, the traffic, the greenery, the people, the time one has there is all so overwhelming. Mysore is heaven. Even if its Diwali.

Diwali is here! The festival I hate the most! It should be banned! If smoking can be, so can Diwali! I want justice mii laaaawwd!!

Its been over 10 years since I decided not to be lighting fireworks for the festival. Some “child labor” play thingi I did when I was in school inspired the "young" me not to. It was a fight for the first two years I admit. You know, as a kid its kinda difficult to keep away from fire works. But with time, I figured out a way to resist temptation of every kind. And child labor my foot!!

Its just the smell and smoke and the sound and light and the sense of surprise that is attached with the festival that I hate. You are riding by yourself. As a practice, to avoid the signals, you take the side roads, through residential localities. You are happy. Its festival time!! You have had an awesome lunch and sure are going to have an awesome dinner as well. So you slowly cruise to fourth. BANG!! an atom bomb goes off. "Mother Fucker!!" my mind shouts. This is the element of surprise I was talking about I hate so much!! Those bloody kids who planned this damn thing are having a hearty laugh as well. Thats why I hate kids. More importantly, thats why I hate Diwali!

Happy festival anyway. I hope to have a safe Diwali at home, mostly in my bed!

Keep away from trouble! Be safe! Eat, sleep, Enjoy!!!

Coming back from Mysore, the few minutes before I get into my car are the most painful. It feels like I am being killed and being taken to the scary place below the bowells of the earth where the evil men live! After a relatively quick drive from Mysore, the traffic JAM at 8 AM is quiet a turn off. But like they say, Fate does not a multiple choice question. Its a statment!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Good morning sweetheart" Sunaina said "Wake up, its 8".

"ummm... 5 more mins please... am very sleepy" grumbled Aditya. It had been 5 years since they had been married. But for the first time, he was lying about it. Lying about being sleepy that is; because he had hardly slept all night. He just could not close his eyes. Every time he had tried closing his eyes, events of the previous evening flashed before him. It was breath taking. She was.

The bright sun light came in and pierced his eyes as Sunaina undid the curtains.

"Aarghh!! My head hurts. Let the curtains be su" he cried.

"Its time you woke up Adi. Its 8 and you have to get to work. And why wont the head hurt if you drink so much" she said without heeding to his request, opened the windows and headed into the shower.

Aditya opened his eyes, rubbed them red and walked towards the kitchen to pour himself a cup of coffee. It was a bad hangover. As he looked back on yesterday, he felt guilty. It was a very usual thing for him to feel guilty after a bad drunk night. He had everytime, for over 8 years now, said the same thing the day after he got drunk. Promise the world he would never drink again. But today was different. He felt guilt alright. Of what had happened yesterday. Well, not quite what happened, because nothing had. Nothing quiet yet.

"Adi, could you please hand me my towel" cried Sunaina from the shower.

Ideally he would have retorted or may be even gone into the shower to embarrass her, but today he didn’t. He left his coffee cup on the TV, went to the bed room, handed her her towel, saw the pack of cigarettes next to his laptop. He picked it up, picked up the news paper and his coffee and headed to the balcony. As he sat down on the old cane chair in the balcony and lit his smoke, he thought back about what had happened yesterday. The memory was vague... but he felt guilty, even with the vague memory. “I should not have had that last drink” he heard himself saying. He should not have gone outside to attend Sunaina's call. Had he not, it would all have been the same. He knew he still loved Sunaina. How could he not? She was his blood and soul for the past 14 years, stood by him in his worst times. But it had all changed with that one extra drink and that one fateful phone call.

"Adi, there is hot water for you. If you are done with your newspaper, could you go to the shower honey? It’s late."

As he turned on the shower and the hot water hit his body, he felt grueling pain leaving his body. He knew how much Sunaina loved him. He loved her a lot too. And till yesterday, his love was not just a lot... it was pure and divine. That extra drink seemed to have ruined this love, or something like that, he was not too sure. It was not like he was cheating on her, at least not yet. But deep down inside he knew something had changed. He had to tell her. Breakfast was the perfect time he thought.

It was common practice between them that she helped him tie his tie every day. Today wasn’t any different, at least not for her. She came to the room, looked at his shirt and dug into the drawer to look for the matching tie. She picked up the grey blue one today. This was the one he had worn for their wedding reception at the Grand Ashok nearly 5 years ago. And Sunaina made it a point to pick that one up, at least once a week for the past 5 years as if to silently remind him of the bond they were in. He always never understood what her point was. Now he seemed to get it. He needed that reminder that he was married. Yesterday was a black mark in his love life. He had to tell her. He had to confess. He loved her.

"There you go" Su said. Then taking a few steps away from and looking at him from head to toe, she went on "Smart as usual" she said, moved closer to him, pecked him on his lips, said "I love you", and walked towards the kitchen to set the table for breakfast. This was painful. His guilt just increased a hundred fold. Of course she loved him. He loved her too. He thought of how Sunaina would react when he confessed. She would not like it. It would break her. But he had to tell her. He could not live knowing that Sunaina was kept in darkness.

He silently sat on the table reading his newspaper. He was more covering his face than reading it. He didn’t know or where to start but she deserved to know the truth. He brought down the news paper and looked at her. She was flicking the remote control and trying to eat her sandwich at the same time. Just as he looked at her, she looked at him and smiled, and put the strand of hair behind her ear. She always looked prettier when her curled hair fell over her forehead. The bright red bindi, subtle eye liner and lip stick made her look gorgeous, especially today in her white salvar suit he had bought for her for their anniversary last month. She had cried when he had gifted her the suit and the diamond ring she always wanted. She had said "I cant believe you love me so much" and had wept like a baby, hugging him tight.

"Sunaina" he called out, meekly. He never called her by her name since they had met in a NCC camp about 14 years ago.

"What happened adi?" she asked, turning off the telivision. He knew she knew something was wrong.

"I have to tell you something" he said, avoiding making eye contact.

"Whats it adi? Whats bothering you?" she said moving closer to him, kneeling down and resting her elbows on his thighs. She gripped his left hand tight. He could sense the sweat, but he was not sure if it was hers or his.

"Remember when you called yesterday night when I came out of the pub to talk to you?"

"Yes. What about it adi" she said. She sounded worried.

"Do you also remember I hung up suddenly and said I would call you back but I didn’t?"

"Clearly!" She stood up. The smile on her face had suddenly disappeared.

"Thats when I fell in love su... Again" he paused, waiting for her to react. She didn’t say a word.

He contintued. "That’s when I fell in love again su. You know I love you dearly. But this time I feel my love is stronger. I want you to know about this first. I have fallen in love with a Yamaha FZ16. Would you buy it for me?"

Friday, October 17, 2008

If it happens like this, then how?

Bangalore is a wonderful place. No doubts about it. I would never want to live in any other place other than Bangalore. Mysore may be. But Bangalore is perfect. Having said this, it’s also difficult not to mention the traffic of Bangalore. It sucks. Big time! No doubts about the fact that the traffic in Bangalore, especially when it rains, especially in the peak hours(now what hours are peak hours are again debatable but we shall leave that aside for now) sucks. On one such rainy afternoon, just as the traffic was growing in volume, I set out from Millers road (where, on the records I have a job, but off the records I get to use free high speed internet and get paid for it, by the hour) towards RangaShankara in J P Nagar. And strangely, inspite of the traffic, I reached my destination and secured a ticket, a good half an hour before I would be allowed inside. It is not often that I go watch plays by myself. I have a pretty decent social life. I just happen to be alone for this one. Thought I will, god having given me the chance, discover my creative self in the process. Anyway, half an hour early and nothing to do on a rainy evening (by now) and alone is sad. The waiting part of it. Especially when one is trying to quit smoking. That’s the problem with smoking. As a habit, it kinda fits in perfectly in ones life with respect to time. You had a long meeting and have tones of work to complete after - Smoke a cigarette. You are driving in traffic - smoke a cigarette. You are early to an appointment - smoke a cigarette. You are late - Some a cigarette anyway. It hardly takes 5 minutes. It so does not come in the way of anything else. More so, it fills up the gaps in one’s life. And when you are trying to quit and there is a gap of say half an hour in one’s life, such are the phases in life which are the real tests of character.

The half an hour gap not being disclosed to the reader, I entered a “house full” auditorium of RangaShankara. With the very very limited theater experience i have gained in my life time, I feel that the stage there is one of the best if not THE for performing an act. It is nice to see people flocked in to watch Theater. This is where the real talent exists. Full house for a play, especially a kannada one in the ”hip and happening” Bangalore is so cool. But the irony of the scene is that from where I was sitting, most of the heads i could see were shiny bald ones. From a decent glance at the whole crowd, I could , by the look of the eye, confidently say that I was close to being the 10th youngest in the crowd. Wonder where theater is heading in future if this is the kind of interest us youngsters(am pretty old I know, but 10th youngest in an audi that fits 500 is young enough) show in it. If it happens like this, then how? Heegadare hege???

But Heegadare hege was pretty good for now.

Heegadare hege is an adaptation of one of the short stories of well known writer T Sunandamma. Late T. Sunandamma, was a pioneer in her own right. She was the first woman writer in Kannada to establish herself in the genre of humour writing. She began with the landmark humour journal Koravanji in 1942 and went on to become a prolific writer across a range of magazines and periodicals. The odds against which she started her writing career — studying in a school in which she was the lone girl student (despite opposition from boys' parents who wanted her out when she stood first in class!), getting married into a conservative household at the age of 11 and so on — are inspirational tales.

Heegadare hege is a simple story about normal husband and wife. The story is about Mylarappa, a government servant by profession and Sarasamma (or sarasu as Mylarappa calls her with love or Saraswathi when he has transformed for a while into a very pro Kannada speaking government servant) who is a house wife. The story starts off with Sarasu, perfect house wife material, highly "movie" influenced waiting for her husband to return from work and take her out to a movie like he had promised in the morning, hoping that he does not take her to one of those mythological ones but to a modern one instead, like the one they saw last, which had 2 cabaret numbers and 4 songs in which the hero and heroine ran around 18 pine trees 18 times in each. As the play progresses, so do the characters. First, Mylarappa begins to learn Kannada as the government insists that all government documents and discussions be held in Kannada from November 1st and Kannada being made a compulsory language in convents and an official government language. Then a very nicely depicted retired husband phenomenon is shown as he drives away their cook and their domestic help and their gardener in the process of giving his wife rest and taking over house hold chores.

Then Sarasamma takes over the story as she first becomes a semi-popular woman writer who happens to go around places giving speeches to small audiences just to increase popularity. She also gets conned of the 20 rupees she earns from a writing to a news paper to a person who claims to be a popular movie writer. This makes her start exploring her spiritual side. The women in the area decide to meet once a week with the intent of having prayers sang to god. In weeks, it just turns into a mad house of house wives discussing husbands and recipes.

Most of the dialogues are inherently funny. The on stage performance was also amazing. Just two actors performing on stage. The male lead, Sundar, also a TV actor, took turns to perform other smaller roles like their cook and as the president of a "Gandhi something sangha" which invites Sarasamma to deliver a speech on the occasion of the death of a popular lady in the locality. The funniest one i thought was when Mylarappa is looking at the pictures of his daughter Kamala, who is in Pune to realize her dream of becoming a better actress like Simi and Rimi and hence has changed her name to Kimi. As he looks at the pictures he says, "Alla kane sarasu, dodda actress aagbeku antha nam kammu kimmi agid sari, but batte yaake kammi agide?".

I am just a critic and hence believe that the change of scenes and entry exits could have been handled better. Lighting was excellent, reducing the negative impact the change of scenes had on the audeince. A special mention for the lighting of the TV effect as the couple sit and watch a family game show and dream of winning a crore. I also felt that the play heavily relied on music and background score which i am personally not a fan of. All in all a 3.78 out of 5 for Heegadare hege with awards such as Best actor in multiple roles and best lighting.