Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Katheyondu Shuruvagide - A Story Begins

She was meeting him after 10 odd years. She and he were best friends in college; and just friends, mind you. No one fell for the other or anything like that. People wouldn’t get it, but that didn’t matter to them. They were just best friends, friends who completed each other’s sentences, friends who planned their crimes together, friends who bunked college and went out to movies or malls. They met every single day during their 4 years of college, including the holidays, barring the extremely long (or so they felt) one week when she had had a severe stomach infection and wasn’t up to seeing anyone.

She smiled, thinking of all the times she’d had with him, as she started to get ready. “Pink looks really bad on you”, he used to say, so she deliberately chose a pink dress to irritate him. “I hope he remembers our days together as fondly as I do” she thought.

She was transported back in time as she entered their college, much ahead of the time they’d decided to meet. It was but obvious that they would choose this as the location to meet; the very place that had introduced them to one another, that had been instrumental during their formative years. The campus was empty, it being a Sunday, which gave her a lot of time to literally walk down the memory lane. Memory lane consisted of the office building, which was a place they seldom visited, which she had to visit when he’d left town and she had to go collect his documents after college. She remembered that day very well. She’d been dreading going to college alone, she’d always had him next to her. But he had joined his job in Hyderabad. She had to stay back as she had decided to continue her post-graduation in Bangalore. She deliberately chose another college as she could not bear to walk down these corridors alone, the corridors that once echoed with her and his laughter.

She then went to the classrooms section. She left out a little laugh as she remembered the first time they met. She always liked being the first to arrive at class and as always, had come to college early so she could breathe in the air and the feel of being in an engineering college. Much to her surprise, there was a boy already seated in what was supposed to be their classroom for the next 1 year. It didn’t go well with her, she was angry and a little bit jealous that she was not the first one there that morning. When he’d tried to come over and say hi, she’d outrightly ignored him. But being the persistent guy that he was, he’d talked his way into her life. It wasn’t long before she realized that this is one bug that’s going to annoy her for the rest of her life, and she welcomed it.

And then, there was the canteen. The same place where they’d gorged on samosas and idlis on subsidized rates innumerable times. The place where they’d tried to make other friends, but in the end realized that they were two of a kind and no one else would fit into their equation. The coffee shop in the canteen, where they’d talk about everything under the sun, for hours together; where they’d plan the next 20 years of their life; where they’d made plans to keep in touch and meet regularly no matter the situation; where she’d told him about her crushes and how she’d like to be proposed. “Whoever proposes to me better do it here, in this college, my place, the place that I can call mine! And not just anywhere in the college but you know where!” she’d said, and he’d understood right away. She laughed remembering how naïve she had been then. And how naïve they both had been. Little did they know that after college, life happens, and most things take a backseat. They’d been busy with their respective careers, and though initially, they’d made it a point to meet at least a couple of times a year, that too, had gradually reduced and she couldn’t believe that it had been 10 years since they met last!

The basketball court was the next stop in her trip down memory lane and she remembered him cheering for her when she played. Being the tallest girl in any class, she’d always been an avid basketball player. He had not missed even a single match of hers and was always there to support her and cheer for her, even if it meant getting teased on by classmates. “Cheerleader” they’d tease him. He would laugh it all off and do things his own way. He even had a cheerleading routine that would make her eyes tear up with laughter. She tried recreating that routine and failed miserably, but had a good, hearty laugh nevertheless.

She looked at the watch. It was time, the time that they’d decided to meet. “So much for him remembering the olden days. He didn’t even come here before time like he did on the first day” she thought and took her phone out to check whether there were any messages from him. There was one message. It read:

“Did you possibly think you could beat me to college? You haven’t changed a bit! Here’s a poem to get you started:
To all the memories and their kicks,
Do you remember I am 35 and you are…errr…almost 36?
Come find me!”

She had a huge frown on her face, he always made a dig about her age. She was hardly 4 months elder to him, but he made sure she never heard the end of it. But this seemed fun. Like a treasure hunt. She tried to think of where he could be, and first went near the classroom section, thinking he could be there as he’d made a reference to reaching before time. But in vain. He wasn’t there. She then knew where he was. The answer came to her like a lightbulb moment.

She rushed past the Chemistry Lab and stopped just before the building ended. Not many people knew that there was a small pathway in between two sections of the building that led to a flight of stairs which eventually led to the mezzanine floor, which was not used by the college as it had a very low ceiling and was a small area. No one even knew why that was constructed in the first place. One of his seniors had tipped him off about the place and he had shown her during the second year. They didn’t visit the place regularly as they didn’t want to share the fact of its existence with others.

She reached the stairs and started climbing them, her mind full of a million thoughts and her heart pounding. They’d been so close in the past; will they have the same connection still? They had been in constant touch across the years, but chatting is one thing and meeting is another. How would she feel when she sees him after all this while? She knew how he looked, of course, courtesy social media and sharing platforms, the same old goofy childish face which didn’t give out his age at all.

At the end of the stairs, she saw the usually quite dark place, was very well lit; bright and sparkly. She saw 2 beer bottles in an ice bucket kept on a mat in the centre of the room, and there he was, standing in a corner. As he heard her step in, he turned and looked at her. And he was transported back in time. She looked just like the way she did all those years ago, the same tall, lean girl who played basketball and who laughed at all his jokes, whether they were funny or not. His heart swelled with affection and he took her in his arms. The hug was a big, long, warm one and it seemed to reduce the 10 years gap by at least 2.

“I am here to remind you of something,” he said when they broke away from the hug. He pointed towards the arrangement he’d made; the beer, the ice bucket, the mat, the serial lights across the ceiling and window panes, and then he pointed at what he was wearing - A crisp white shirt, a navy-blue waistcoat with matching trousers. It took a moment for her to let it all sink in.

“Whoever proposes to me better do it here, in this college, my place, the place that I can call mine! And not just anywhere in the college but you know where! And he has to be wearing a 3-piece suit or something formal…hmmm, preferably in navy blue. I rather dig these businessman types you know…just like how Aniket looked on the day he had worn a similar suit. I could feel myself drool over him. Sigh. And also, I don’t like all the fancy romantic stuff like roses, rings…uff! Ask me to marry you with a beer in your hand and I’ll say yes any day…hahaha!” The teenager version of her had laughed with him.

“Whaaa…..?” she started to say when she realized what was going on there.

He took both the beer bottles out, held one out to her, and said “Remember the pact we had? 35 and if we both are not married by then, we marry each other? Will you marry me, my back-up?” he grinned.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Katheyondu Shuruvaagide

There are some highly positive aspects to this movie and a few not so positive ones too. First and foremost, the story. Katheyondu has to have a Kathe right? The best part and that is what Rakshit Shetty keeps mentioning in his posts related to this movie too, is that the movie is not bound to a story; yes, there is an underlying storyline and a couple of supporting storylines, but the way they have been treated is beautiful and unassuming.

Let's come to the next best part of the movie and that is Diganth; his portrayal of a US return Business Analyst who came back to his hometown to pursue his dreams of running a resort on "his own terms and not being a part of the concrete jungle" is to a T. He emotes, he delivers dialogues with ease, he just wins your heart. The scene where he is talking to his younger-self deserves a good round of applause. 

The locales, especially the mountains at the end of the movie, are beautiful. The way that the wheels of the Audi are shown constantly, reminds one of the passage of time or Kaala Chakra.

I felt the editing could have been better; the lead characters slip in and out of addressing each other "neenu" and "neevu", which becomes a tad irritating at times. The older couple, Murthy and Radha could (should) have been portrayed by actors who are more comfortable with each other than these two were. On their own, they were brilliant, but when they were together on screen, I felt like they were trying too hard to look head over heels with each other. The love angle between Pedro (Brilliant acting again) and Swarna was another good addition to the entire mix, and a little saddening towards the end too; would've wished to know what happened to their story.

Pooja Devariya's acting in the movie is like a spike graph; She didn't seem to do as good a job in the first and last scenes (confrontation with Akash) as she did throughout the movie. I think her talent could have been tapped in a better manner. Also, the character of Akash seemed totally unnecessary; as did that actor's presence. 

Some of the dialogues from the movie are heart touching; the digital vs printed photograph description by Tarun (Diganth), Tarun talking to his younger-self, Tarun and Tanya's dialogues on the beach, Radha's description of a hug, etc.

All in all, I thought the movie was good and it had the potential to have been great. Definitely, a nice genre for movies and moviemakers to venture into. Go watch this movie for Diganth!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

My Morning So Far

I knew I had to get up early as I'd registered myself for a walkathon for this morning. Yet, I rested my head on the pillow and drifted off to sleep somewhere between 11:30 PM and 12 AM. And surprisingly, I didn't even have a sound night's sleep. But I'd made up my mind (and I have pretty solid will power when I make my mind up) and so I woke up right after my alarm reminded me that it is 5 AM. I got ready (wore my new JustF tracks, seriously, amazingly comfortable I tell ya) and called my friend who was supposed to join me on this morning feat. Unfortunately, she didn't pick up. So I took my faithful Vespa out, with a colour coordinated helmet mind you, put my Samsung bluetooth headphones on, and Yaariyan from Cocktail played, sounding louder than usual, courtesy the unearthly hour and traffic free roads. I was surprised I didn't see a single soul till I hit the main road.

I contemplated between a couple of routes but finally chose one and by then Diana Penty was dancing to "Main hoon hi nahi iss duniya ki" and I was singing loudly with her. I felt the impact of the lyrics for a while. I treaded on, the cold wind blowing on my face. I welcomed the solitude, zipping past the slow traffic that was starting to pile up as Ranbir Kapoor started to croon to "Ae dil hai mushkil" in Arijit Singh's voice.

I reached the destination with 2 minutes to spare but later found out that I had to get in through the other gate which was a kilometre away! So, there I was, beginning my walkathon before others and I finally reached the gate. Now, I've been to quite a few walkathons and marathons before and I can easily say this one was organized in the worst way possible. The details of that are for another post or a review on their FB page. Anyway, after a lot of fight, I got a t shirt that was supposed to come with the registration. Ugh, ugly pink. (I hate pink, for the uninitiated).

Off we went. I walked and walked and walked and didn't stop for even a second. I completed the 5km walk in a little over 45 mins and then stayed back to collect the medal etc.

On the way back, my faithful playlist gave me company once again. From Oasis' Wonderwall to Joshua Radin's The Fear You Won't Fall to Anna Nalick's Breathe and Catalyst. The words sounded beautiful as they came on my lips loud and clear. I stopped at Vidyarthi Bhavan, my dad's favourite hotel, and got some Doses (Masale Dose I mean) and Idlis packed, all the while reminiscing of him and how he'd always get breakfast packed for us during our childhood.

I wanted to glance at my Alma Mater too and my peace spot, so I maneuvered my Vespa in that direction. After a peaceful and nostalgic couple of minutes, I reached home to the arms of my smiling 2 year old.

What a morning it was!

Monday, July 30, 2018

Here I go, again on my own

The sky was a dark shade of grey. It had light blues in between. The surroundings were so green, I don’t remember seeing that amount of greenery for a long, long time now. The bench on which I sat, was made of stone, very cool too. I had my Paneer Pasanda with Cumin Rice box in one hand, a spoon in the other, and my Kindle on my lap; my phone, my trusted and old companion, safely tucked away in my pocket, occasionally vibrating to remind me of its presence. The big, red ants were busy at work, not bothering me at all, forming their own social circles. I’d just spoken at home, everything seemed to be in order, perfect, even; made me think that it is best to let people figure things out on their own. The food was excellent and so was Tilly Bagshawe’s Reckless. The weather was just right and my mind, free from clutter; free from any other feeling really. I felt at peace.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Phase "Annoy"

There comes a phase in life where everything annoys you, the smallest of things to the bigger questions like purpose of existence etc.; people drift apart and you can't for your damn life, hold on to them; whatever you say is interpreted harshly; you want to do so many things but procrastination becomes your biggest aid; misery certainly loves company but there is no one to share it with; there are things you want to say out loud, scream at the top of your lungs but you don't or can't, because, remember what you were taught back then? It is not nice to show your feelings in front of everyone. It is not right to cry in public. It is not okay to scream at others. Keep it within you and move on; every plan seems to have more Nos than Yeses; you become the listener from the talker; inanimate objects become your favourite companions; you lose your inherent traits or at least it seems so and you can't reconize this person you've become; there is no belief system in place, for the people around you, for the society around you, for the administration around you and for the big bad world around you.

Ok. So it may not be "a" phase and it may happen many a times to many of us. And it is very difficult to get out of it. I frankly don't have a (better) way to end this post nor do I have tips on how to overcome some of these things. I guess we all deal with it in ways best known to us.

Here's to tapping our inner power and strength!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Co-working Scenes

A large window, or rather many large windows. A well-aerated space with lot of plants around. No AC. It is pouring outside. I am seated next to the kitchen and the aroma from freshly prepared snacks teases my nostrils. I have a half cup of piping hot elaichi tea in front of me. Bengalooru looks beautiful and serene for a while. Time stops. I can gaze at this for hours. Oh, did I forget to mention? There is a library next to me with a huge collection of books and several bean bags laid out. And I am working at this awesome place! 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Namma Basavanagudi

The land that Pappa walked on
The land he considered a blessing from Almighty
That which housed and shaped my 4 years
That which taught me lessons I would come never to forget
There where the tastiest of dishes and aroma welcome you
There where flowers and fruits and colors adorn the streets
Lord Ganesha smiles from within His butter covered being
Bugle rock park strives hard to restore your faith in the Garden in Garden City
You hear birds chirping along the canopy of trees, returning to their nests
This is good ol' Bengalooru, this is Basavanagudi.