Thursday, April 27, 2006

I wish I knew how to quit you...

If you've watched "Brokeback Mountain", you'll know where the title comes from. It's one of those phrases that so beautifully express a million feelings in one short, bitter, spat out breath.
This post reminded me that I wanted to write about this movie for a while now, but life has been getting the better of me. So I'll say a couple of things about the movie and then I'll move on.
To get the unpleasantness out of the way first, I don't really see what all the fuss is about. It's a good film, yes, but I don't know if it's a great film. I think this happens a lot with me...a perfectly good movie is ruined by the hype and rave reviews surrounding it so that I give it a lower rating than I would have if I'd gone cold to see it.
In my opinion, Crash deservedly won the Best Picture because it's a true-blue masterpiece - creative, courageous, wonderfully acted and scripted, skilful and intelligent. Brokeback Mountain is the stuff that spoof movie makers die for - sentimental, sweeping beautiful locales, rugged good looking men doing not so rugged manly things in a rugged manly fashion, weird endings, looooong pauses. At the cost of being accused of bigotry, I think the way the two leads expressed their love is a trifle too rough and bloody for me to understand - is all the violence necessary to demonstrate affection?
Ah well...time to move on. I think I am going to have to quit this space for a while. Life promises to be B-U-S-Y for the next few months. In any case, I'm starting to run out of ideas, so I'm glad to have an excuse (or fifty!) to quit blogging for a while :)
So fare thee well awhile, dear readers (yes, you three!), and my mind might be Broke, but I'll be Back!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Near death experience

The blue Light beckons
Its seductive glow attracts
The darkness around him
Embraces, yet detracts

As he gives in to The Light
His days come to him in a flash
Work, bills, clients, all blur
Into a terrifying mental crash

He yearns for the peaceful bliss
Of ignorance, of enlightenment
The feeling of being one with The Light
The promise of detachment

A brief notion of denouncement
Of guilt, anxiety and perhaps regret
He quickly dims these intruders
And prepares to forever forget

Alas, forever is not to be
At least not yet, for him
Three hours pass, the film is over
His thoughts remain, dark and grim...

Alas, indeed...Like Asimov said, a writer is often a prisoner of his/her neuroses. There are some movies, books and music that draw you in so completely, it's like having a near death experience or an X-file-ish out-of-body experience. I'm afraid half my days are spent this way, unaccounted for and unacknowledged. Until now :)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Mix up

It's been one of those weekends...I roamed around despodently, thinking of undone tax returns, unfinished books, unstarted dissertations, unburned calories and unreturned phonecalls. Looking for something to cheer me up, I turned to music. More specifically, to my casette collection. Yes, I'm one of those people who still listens to tapes and casettes, especially ones recorded with so much effort all those years ago before the CD revolution. I recall the days of lying down in the dark after the rest of the family was asleep, listening to late night radio on a tinny walkman with one finger on the 'record' button and the other holding the headphone cable just-so in order to be able to hear from both sides...
I have had to throw away some really good compilations over the years due to damage to the tape or a move or some other undignified excuse. One tape that escaped such a fate is something I called cheesily enough "All-time (English) favourites: My 'first' album" :)
Recorded over a decade ago, it has such a variation of pieces as "Layla", "Take on me", "Love me do", "Annie's Song" and "Saturday Night" all in one compilation!!! It's really embarassing to me to think that I thought of "I swear" and "Actor" as some of my all-time favorites! But hey, cheesy or not, it brought back some great memories.
Another of my favorite compilations somehow got lost (I think it is in the casette deck of a certain Toyota Corolla in Chicago...Own up to it, You Who Dared To Steal A Mix Tape from me!). It had some of the standard favorites like "Jhuki jhuki si nazar", "Huzoor is kadar", "Do naina" and "Tujhse naaraaz nahin.." that I am sure feature in others' compilations too.
And then there's some I got more picky and savvy about: Like a "Fantastic Females" one, which had some lovely numbers by the women of the day (Sade and Joan Osborne come to mind), one for dance music, which progressed brilliantly from techno to jive music to slow dance music all designed for a party that I never ended up hosting!
If you count the hours I've spent creating compilations, I'm sure it'll fill a couple of weeks at least!
I have never been gifted a mix tape (unless you count my providing a list of requests and twisting arms till it gets done!), but have been the giver and compiler of a few. Each occasion (one real sad, the others good) is marked as deserving of the care and attention and time and effort of timing the songs, maximizing the space used, the meaningfulness of the collection, the sequence of songs, the aptness of the's not a trivial exercise!
In my own fantasy world, a compilation of songs chosen and recorded specially for me ranks much much higher than flowers or dinner or Paris or expensive perfumes in the 'romantic stuff' list. It ranks just below words (poetry/letters/anything) written specially for me and just above holding my hair back while I puke.
Rob from "High Fidelity" had it right: "Now the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many dos and don'ts. First of all, you're using someone else's poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing."