Saala girah!

August 22nd, 2011

When the world was sleeping I awakened to a spondylitis attack. The body was nimble and like a mashed cauliflower kept for too long to be cooked. The pain was adamant and refused to leave me and my left arm was close to amputation if need be. The time was 4 am and the day was bitterly opening up and parting the clouds with ray like fingers and was counting the seconds to the dawn. I tried to lift my arm and it was stuck to the bed .my head felt like praying to the nerves which were just driving me to the point of deep-ditch darkness. i managed to lift my frame and grounded myself on the floor and with hand tucked on my waist and my nails clinching to my skin and scratching my waist with embedded nails rooted on the left hemisphere of my waist and my right hand on top of my north eastern side of my head trying to wipe away my cold wet sweat almost crystallised in fear and acute pain. The thinking lines on my forehead was shining in the almost morning glory light.

I made my way to the living room like a crazy serpentine to look for some solution to the rising pain. I started counting numbers in the dark backwards and kept missing one to the other.

Please note: (when you are in love and your girlfriend has left you dry , try counting 100 to right down to 1, it helps take your mind off pain)

I was stuttering in this inexplicable pain which was driving me mad.
And in spite of all the counting numbers falling off the mouth and the scratchy nails on my left hemisphere of waist leaving blood stains i kept scratching my left forehead for a remedy or some kind of relief.

Pain was crossing barriers and the pockets of pain were spreading to the neighbourhood. The colonies of pain had spread from the nape of my neck to the elbow bones and were quickly running toward my fingers.

The tips of my fingers had already stopped responding to neuron messages. I was hunting in my living room and was looking frantically for a respite and my teeth was cluttering and the darkness in the room was frightening and I heard voices in my head and it said musical!
I jumped at my iPod and shoved it in the dock and sent some electricity to the machine and waited like a ration shop for my quota of music for my pain. What kind of music will emanate from the surface of apple and the wait was endless and like a camera almost closing on a tight lens of hundred with tight magnification to catch my expression. By then, it was almost 4 12 am.

Silence!

Beethoven symphony nine raised its magic into my living room and i quickly sent motor neurons to my head and asked them to send me a wonderful thought to take my head off the pain. And Beethoven did exactly that-like a flash it descended on me that i was few hours away from something really historic and bloody important. I was trying to talk to myself in that numbing slithering pain to find an answer to that question.

And the ridiculous naughty pain had almost reached my pain and my arm felt like a pyre on fire and i had to find an answer to that question.

And suddenly it popped up- Kaminey releases in few hours all over the world. Bloody hell! How could a stupid spondylitis attack deprive me of my first hard work waiting to be unleashed to the world? It was magic. A triumph over my life. A sheer sign of perseverance and patience. Poof! The pain stopped registering on my head and by then Beethoven had reached crescendo and the vapours of triumph and already fumed the whole living room. The light was just asking the permit to rise and shine like a stainless steel thali .a little smile cracked upon on my right end of the lips and my right arm fixed the man a small scotch on the rocks. Time: 4 19. Beethoven was packing up; the pain had kept striking the doors of my mind but with no reply.

Time 4.21 am: i fixed myself another scotch on rocks. and the song changed to John Mayers BIGGER THAN MY BODY.

Someday I will fly

Someday I will soar

Someday I will be so damn much more

Coz I am bigger than my body gives me credit for Why is it not my time?
What is there more to learn?
Shed this skin I am trippin’ in
Never to quite return

And the music just engulfed me into a plethora of images to the point of no return, it was so apt and just and shot my drink down my throat and the guitars were taking over my mind and i had become a slave to happiness.

Kaminey released next morning and i was born.
Dedicated to the great maestro Mr Vishal Bhardwaj who gave me the birth and Gulzaar sahab for his song which made me to enter the galore!

Salaam.

Life is unpredictable. Let’s keep it like that and not let it talk to you.
Bye.

What is freedom?

August 10th, 2011

Azaadi or freedom or swadhinta are synonyms of the same word in a way.

I wanted to know how different exactly. So I decided to find out from a thesaurus and found out that FREEDOM is the right to exercise one’s choice or the condition of being free from restraints and synonyms of freedom would be ‘liberty’ and ‘license’. INDEPENDENCE is exemption from ‘reliance on’ or ‘control by’ someone.

A week from the day of ‘independence’ or the day of ‘liberty’ or ‘license’, I switch on the idiot box and see dead people walking. Like the cathode effect on a picture tube I saw something that led to an uprising in my nervous system when I see Mr Anna Hazare burning copies of Lokpal Bill. I flipped channels again I see Kashmera Shah selling a potent drug called Power Prash in her hot avatar (led to some swaggering reactions, I am sure), but as I flipped back again I was yet again on Anna. By now, he was shouting freedom slogans and reminding me of the Common Man (like R K Lakshhman) of their rights and duties and talking of liberating this nation yet again and was calling for a avahan (movement).

I would prefer a liberation to a word like freedom or independence.

Have we attained freedom?

Yes we have!

Why?

Since we have the right to exercise one’s choice.

Have we got independence?

Welll aaaah naaaah!!!

Why?

Because we have the license and liberty but if you refer back to top it means exemption from reliance on or control by. So my fellow countrymen and nobles, we have not been independent at all for all these years because we are still being controlled by anamolies of society like corruption, poverty, hunger, infanticide, child labour, dowry, caste, religion, unemployment, illiteracy.

So they all are the divisors and not the dividend. The only thing we can thrive most on is our unity in diversity and freedom of speech and movement. So independence has just become a holiday and a break from normal routine.

I would say and assume the real independence when a hungry family from Kalahandi manages to get two square meals a day, a freedom from hunger for a day at least, a labouring child freed of his duties.

A child being exempted from death irrespective of gender. When innocents are given the assurance to live.

‘When the world will be sleeping we will awaken to the light of freedom!’ said Nehru. ‘Freedom for speech and expression. Freedom to worship God in his own way. Freedom from want. Freedom from fear.’ said Franklin Roosevelt.

Cinema and cricket binds us together. I wish the whole country could have either of this as a religion like positive and negative of electric charge and the country could have run like a machine.

Adios-see you after independence or license or liberty!

A Letter From ’Frisco

August 2nd, 2011

Khushamdeed to whosoever is reading this abstract, absurd lover of life who thrives on Sartre and Camus and their existentialism and has always wondered about his own existence and fundamentals of life which could be brought to books and be charged under laws of life.

I am an actor, who in Camus’ words, “is an outsider and very favorably placed in the milieu of Hindi films. Now, I am writing this from the city of San Francisco in California, USA — a memoir of a city captured in two different lenses of magnification at two different times in life (circa 2008 and 2011) in a span of three years where life has grown in leaps and bounds.

San Francisco is a city of revolution, evolution, flowers and music and an era gone by. A city with parabolic streets curving up and down on one another and the trams and cable cars, music, food, people and an island of Alcatraz, where prisoners were kept off bounds.

’Frisco is where the hippies’ time has a stamp-like impression as if on a postcard of America .It has the famous Haight-Ashbury street or the gay population of Castro where Harvey Milk camped and fought for his brothers like a fighter. This city had loads to offer me — an inadequate man with lots of principles was gifted the role of Mikhail in Kaminey. It catapulted me in the big league — from a hippie theatre actor to a film star.

It all happened one night on a phone call from Frisco to Bombay after a night of drink-and-debauchery and the actor in me was greedy enough to know the results of screen tests of Kaminey. I had tested for the role and left for America for my shows of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Tim Supple, one of the authors of my acting life. I was performing for a month in a swanky theatre on Geary Street where all the Broadway plays happened and lived on Sutter Street. Aapparently, I had been selected for the part but I was absconding with no way to be contacted. Casting director Honey Trehan was livid. Had I not made that call that windy night, I would have gone unnoticed by indian cinema. However, destiny had other plans.

So, I am here again, revisiting this city under the arclights for a Bengali film directed by National award winner Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and shot by ace lensman Ranjan Palit of Saat Khoon Maaf.

The shadows of time are still written on the walls of Sutter Street where I used to walk down with noises in my head and Radiohead’s In Limbo playing on my iPod and Bloc Party’s Like A Glass. It was all written there and will be written and lines are gonna grow with time on not just the walls of San Francisco but Adelaide, Rome, Manchester, London, Perth, Venice, Verona, Chicago, New York, Sydney, New Castle, Toronto, Ottawa and many more cities which i visited then as a hippie with a ink in my hands and stains of a great life in celebration.

The camera is still rolling and the script is still being written… I hope the actor in me never dies.

Amen.

iifa franticism

July 24th, 2011

it was amazing to meet habib faisal the director of do dooni char and writer of band baaja baraat-and had a long chat on cinema on the flight back from raj kapoor to guy ritchie and tarantino-was so proud to have bumped into mr vishal bhardwaj-lovely reconnect with mr.ranvir singh(both of us were supossed to do shaitaan)-miss diya mirza -midnight chat over a coffee on flight about her childhood-sitting next to hema malini and mr shahrukh khan on the first row gave me goose bumps-6 am wrap party with mayank shekhar where we stole drinks -mad frenzy of 50000 people in a stadium for stars-just missed the getting on stage-BUT NEXT TIME-cheers


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