Monday, 27 October 2008

The Inner Glow-Torch

The inner glow-torch that
e x t e n d s
from the pit of my stomach
to the sheath underneath my facial skin
and produces a luminescence
that no amount of good food can explain
and no creams can re-create
beacause it comes from knowing that someone
is loving me and watching over me
every hour of every day
so that I can give and receive love
and be grateful
for the light
in my inner and outer lives
that is really
just one

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Monday, 20 October 2008

We Journey like a Paisley (Intro)

This film is a snippet in time. It is an attempt to capture the lives of young people of Indian origin or ethnicity living in Adelaide in the spring of 2008.

What does this spring being forth? What do these lives bring forth? How do I, as a fellow Indian living in Adelaide, as an interviewer cum director cum country cousin cum peer function in such a situation? 

I am exploring where I belong through their belongings, as well discovering their multiple affiliations through our shared location. They have journeyed. I have journeyed. The film is a testament to our past journeys, as well as a beacon for the journeys yet to come. This film is a paisley - fluid yet shapeful, rooted yet cross-cultural. This journey is a paisley. We journey like a paisley...

Sunday, 12 October 2008

What is the genre of my life?

If I were to write a screenplay of my life and pitch it to a potential producer, how would I describe it? How would I sell it? How would I make it short and sweet? Would it be a comedy or a tragedy, or something in-between? Would it be a sophisticated Woody Allen take on the cosmopolitan lifestyle of a 20-something female lead in a leafy Adelaide setting? Would it be packed with Martin Scorcese twists and turns in the life of an adveturous young woman in a home away from home? Would it be the subject of a Gurinder Chadha drama on the funny and no-so-funny aspects of being a modern Indian woman? Would it be a Richard Linklater conversation between a smart lady and a bright gentleman at the transit lounge of an international airport? Would it be a Karan Johar extravaganza with a blooming girl who breezes through life by dancing at Hindu weddings and in Swiss streets with equal aplomb? Would it be a new-Bollywood Farhan Akhtar flick packed with friends, lovers and the self-discovery of youth in a swish urban background?

I wish there were a genre called 'life'. And that would make life easier for all kinds of writers, directors and agents. Ne need to explain a plot that doesn't have an end. No need to apologise for a heroine who can look good and think. No need to hide the objects of affection that arrived before the soulmate. No need to elaborate on other-worldly cultural references and colours. No need to load every spoken word with a formal statement of intent. No need to push characters beyond their paper existence.

Experience and instinct tell me that good writing must have clarity as well as elegance. So here's my pitch - I want to make an ordinary film about an ordinary life, and the audience can decide if it's special. The life I want to depict is ordinary because there is a lot of reading, writing, talking, eating, loving and leaving involved. The film I want to make about this life is ordinary because it will use cameras, tripods, microphones, lighting, computers and editing equipment. And hence, you must invest in it because it will transcend its ordinaridess in its specificity. Every detail will be illuminated until it becomes the centre of your audio-visual universe. Logic and meaning will arise from lingering, not cutting. You will feel texture in two dimensions.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

A Post-Modern Fairy Tale

Once upon a bitter-sweet time
There lived a bookish princess
Who spent her adolescence in glasses
And heralded her youth in heels.

But she hadn’t let go of her reticence
Even as she embraced the chic world of godlessness
So she fell blindly in love with a commoner
Who she mistook for her bespectacled prince.

She lusted after him day and night
Even with the books there to give respite
But the fantasies never turned real
While her broken heart became palpable.

Misty-eyed, where now she thought
Where are my dreams and desires
Where does my happiness lie
Where can I find grace and gumption.

She journeyed far and wide for answers
She peeped into her heart to know herself
She talked to kith, kin and karma
And she wrote an ode to her soul.

Poetry was the cause and the cure
She recited a mantra to fall out of love
So she could sing about falling in love again
And live merrily with Prince and Post-Modernity.

Back to Living

I was alive but not living
Not noticing the colour of the leaves in my backyard
Or the texture of the wood in my office
Or the varying temperatures of my own body.

And now with each new burst of spring
Tiny parts of my spirit are beginning to swell
With the joy of being and breathing in this universe
Feeling its heart beat in my own chest.