Archive for May, 2009

Ulysses

Posted: May 29, 2009 in Life and Living

As I sit researching my book, my eyes fall on lines from a poem that has always spoken to me. Ulysses by Lord Alfred Tennyson.

“Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breath were life. Life piled on life
Were all to little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.”

What power and beauty in those lines.

That one should never rest… Always be thirsty to experience life in all its fullness… Always redefine yourself and push your boundaries… Nothing could be greater.

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It was about eight months ago that an anonymous visitor (let’s call him SMM) visited AM’s blog and asked her if she’d be interested in writing books on cinema. AM directed him to my blog.

I naturally jumped at the idea, and came out with some suggestions. SMM forwarded them to his publisher. The idea that the publisher liked best was a book on Aamir Khan. The book was to be a career chronicle of sorts and not a biography. And that’s what has been occupying my mind in many ways over the last few months that I’ve been away.

So far, I’ve finished the interesting part, which is his work between Earth and Ghajini. I’m currently working on the chapter that looks at his early work, which means film after film of happy syrupy love stories. Needless to say, this can be extremely painful sometimes 🙂

The final deadline is June-end. So right now, it’s a mad race against time.

In case you are wondering, in the last couple of months my other book – Imagining National Identity – has taken a backseat. I plan to complete it once I finish the book on AK. Most people I know are extremely disappointed about that 😦

So much to do. So little time. Wish me luck!

Self doubt and after

Posted: May 29, 2009 in Life and Living

The last month has been a tremendous period of self-doubt, where I questioned many things that have been a part of my life. Amongst them, our marriage. But out of that painful introspection comes tremendous clarity, which I am not sure that I had even when I married.

So having gone to my own private hell and back, I just want to take a minutes to celebrate the wonderful things about ML that make our marriage work. I blog to capture this moment of clarity, and put it in a place where I will return to it many times in the years to come.

ML will probably never read it, and if does, he’ll wonder why I am getting so sentimental 🙂 But then, this blog has always been my thinking space. And while I mainly use it to arrive at my understanding of cinema and art, there are times when I stray into my personal space as well. This is one of them.

So, here I go….

I would always want to be married to ML because I’ve never met anyone else like him. He has a tremendous capacity for commitment and loyalty. I don’t know anyone else who can be so committed to a relationship or a person – 100% focus and commitment all the time.

He does not talk much. But his actions speak for him – loud, clear, every time.

When he knows that there’s a problem, he does not waste time in petty arguments. He just fixes it.

While he looks very imposing, but he’s actually the gentlest person I know. His heart has the untainted innocence of a child. It also means that he could never intentionally hurt anybody. Both qualities are extremely rare.

As a consequence, there’s no emotional manipulation or game playing between us. We just speak our mind openly, and in trust, knowing that the other person would never harm us.

He’s very comfortable about himself. He’s also very comfortable about the person I am. This means that I never have to hide the real “me”. It takes a very special kind of person to do that.

So we may not talk to me about metaphysical poetry everyday. But he manages to bring a smile that begins at my heart and ends at my face – something that the metaphysical poets have never managed. When I think of the times that I have been happiest, they have been when we are together.

He gives me the space – to follow my dreams and be the person that I am.

If today was the last day of my life, and there was one person I could spend it, that person would be him.

When we married, I knew that I was marrying my dearest friend. Today, almost four years later, I know that even as we are separate people with whole lives and identities, he completes my life in a way that nobody else can.

If I had to do it again, I’d do it no other way 🙂 … The only difference being that I’d value each step of the journey a lot more, and make an attempt to make it more special.

So here’s to us… And to self doubt that brings clarity.

I believe… once again

Posted: May 26, 2009 in Life and Living

(I first wrote this post three years ago, and then forgot about it till I re-read it four days ago. I found that (unbelievably!) I would say the same thing again if I were writing this today. But I did make 7 additions and 2 modifications. Any guesses on what they could be???)

35 random thoughts of self belief, in no particular order

If I were to attempt to put down some random thoughts of self belief, stumbled across in the business of living, I’d say that I believe that…

1. The force needs to always lie within you.
2. When you live your life with integrity, commitment and passion, it shows.
3. Sometimes, you have to understand your fragility before you experience your strength.
4. You must follow your dreams.
5. You could try, try and try and fail. But, it’s still worth trying.
6. When you compromise – on a dream or a belief – it will probably return to haunt you.
7. It’s alright to fall. It’s important to get up.
8. Your heart always knows best. Listen to it.
9. You will pass this way only once. Experience everything.
10. Sometimes, it is all about timing.
11. Great kindness is more valuable than great honesty. (This is not to say that honesty is not important. But, when I look back over my life, the great acts of kindness are of greater power than the acts of great honesty.)
12. Sometimes, it’s kinder to say ‘no’.
13. Everything in life is about perspective. What you see depends on from where you are looking at it.
14. Acquaintances are many, great friendships are few. Know the difference.
15. It takes an instant to kindle the bond of a lifetime.
16. Two people are never identical. They can be similar perhaps. But, never identical. That’s also true about life situations.
17. There are times when great love may never be reciprocated. So what?
18. It’s the quality – not the quantity – of time spent together that counts.
19. Love is a decision.
20. Great friendship is not to be confused with great love. That does not make the friendship less important.
21. It’s alright to be alone.
22. Sometimes, true wisdom lies in letting go.
23. The things that really matter have a way of coming back.
24. It’s a small world. Things are interconnected.
25. The world is seldom black and white. There are always shades of gray. It takes humanness to know this.
26. In the end, you answer to no one but yourself.
27. Life is about learning, learning, learning…and then accepting that you know nothing.
28. Youth is no replacement for experience. Experience is no replacement for youth.
29. When in doubt, wait. Time is a great distiller.
30. Some things change, others don’t. But today is always a new day.
31. Success is a relative term.
32. Art could be for its own sake.
33. There is a God…however you may define that.
34. There are no absolutes.
35. The list will have its own additions and deletions when I visit it five years hence…if not sooner… The evolution continues…

I’m back!

Posted: May 23, 2009 in Writing

It’s been awhile since I last blogged. But that’s mainly because any time spent away from my book makes me feel extremely guilty.

But at the same time, I don’t like this page being static and ending with that last entry on the Sri Ram Sene.

So I’m back, and I hope to blog a little more every week. If nothing else, than for a “behind the scenes” look at the work on my book. And not to mention keep up with all the great blogs that I’ve been missing.

So long then, and I hope that I can do this consistently 🙂