Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Empty Glass

Chapter 1
Shocked, suffocated and horrified, I woke up, breathing heavily and sweating feverishly. It was the middle of a dark, moon-less night and dry air moved the curtains of the window. I reached for the glass of water, removed the coaster that was covering it, and gulped the water down in one go. It was slowly turning to be a daily routine now.
I placed the glass back on the side table and covered it back. The bottom of the transparent, empty glass pulled every drop of water from the walls of the glass, towards itself. And the glass base again had water, enough to add more sparkle.
Chapter 2
I looked around the room, my eyes adjusting to the darkness and body adjusting to the restlessness. The whiteness of the sheets reflecting, even in the darkness informed me that everyone else was sleeping in that room. Sleeping peacefully, all seventeen of them.
All of them, a part of my family, friends and the life I have. Brought together by pure chance and probably a common luck. We all, shared a common present and were probably headed towards a near-common future. A future which has little significance, aspiration or expectation. Same for me, and same for all my fellow members of this 'Happy World- An Orphanage'
Chapter 3
Happy World has been my universe since I am aware of my existence. No one is sure about my origin as with most of my companions here. We are each others family. The orphanage management gives us name on our 'induction' day. I was named Sahil, which the authorities inform is because I was found sitting calmly in a corner of a war-torn, riot-ridden street, just like a sea-side stays calm even when there's a fierce storm surging in the sea. It absorbs all the impact of the waves, and the sides are where the sea meets peace. I don't know how I reached the street? Was I abandoned to die? Where were my parents? Where are my parents?
The questions bother me. Answers elude me. And the continued quest for my identity exhausts me, leaves me thirsty.
Chapter 4
The streets were filled with noise and shouts which the tone described to be of rage, anger and destruction. The area was divided in orange scarfs and green-bands. Swords and 'Trishuls' were at logger-heads. People were fighting in the name of God. A blood-fest was going on.
A century-old tree, which was all green till yesterday was now on fire, wilting leaves. The shady, green tree, an epitome of life, was no more than a burning carcass now.
A weak and visibly tired man was tearing down the streets, running breathlessly, clinging to him, close in the warmth of his chest was a small baby boy, his son. The man covered the three year-old boy with his arms running through the blood and gore, even after being stabbed by a sword, three times on the back.
The torn, blood-soaked clothes drained out the energy from him, but the legs were not yet ready to give up. Till a heavy stone lands on the head of the tired man, breaking his head and his speed. More blood flows, bringing him to the ground and limiting him to a crawl.
The heavily-wounded man draws himself to a silent corner of the street and holds the boy close to him, one last time. And slowly, he loses his grip, and his life.
The boy sitting in the corner, wrapped in white, unaffected by the violent street. Tumultuous events drowned the innocent cries.
I again woke up with this nightmare. And these sights became a usual case now. I don't know why. What's so familiar? Who was that man? Why was I being traumatized by these, again and again? Why, and how could I relate to it? Who was that boy?
Chapter 5
The thing with questions is that they may pile up in the form of dunes, forming a desert around you. And answers are rare, just like an oasis. You may get lost in a desert, craving for water, the thirst pulling out all the spirits to survive. But still you have to go on, that's the only chance of survival, howsoever bleak.
The thirst for identity is never-ending. The hollowness of life, when you don't know anything about your origin, when life gives you no meaning, when you shout in the dark and hear no response, when you crave for your people and get no raised hand, is incomparable, insatiable.
I have lived a long life with this feeling but then I made a pledge to myself- Not any more.
Instead of taking the usual, easy way out, that is suicide, I thought of reinventing my life. My loss of identity can be my strength also. I can turn it into my side to discover a whole new meaning to life and survival. And it wasn't a tough task.
I just lost myself in the sea of humanity, true humanity. Since being with no roots, my plant can take any direction, any shape and can grow on till the sky forms a limit. I can now identify myself with anyone living through this wonderful journey called life. Bound by no religion, belief, race or region, I can go on to see life beyond people who are unaffected by any kind of thirst. I can feel the pain of loss and joys of happiness, more dearly and more closely. I learnt to live my life, instead of just surviving through it.
I no longer have any sight disrupting my sleep, but still do keep a glass full of water by my side. It makes me happy to see it full, as it was the night before.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lovebug For A Housefly

Will you ever shed tears for a creature as minion as a housefly? Probably not, unless of course if you are not one of those skimpily-dressed PETA activists. But recently, I cried watching the antics of a housefly. Yes, the previous statement is real, but the context belongs to a piece of fiction. I am talking about Eega (dubbed in Hindi as "Makkhi"), a movie belonging to the South Indian movie industry, Telugu cinema to be precise.

Though not very much a fan of Tollywood (as South Indian movie industry is casually referred to), I got interested in Eega after reading constant reports and reviews, most of them positive. There has been a huge buzz for Makkhi (Pun intended) and curiosity got the better of me. A week back I saw S.S Rajamouli, Eega's writer and director, nominated for the Indian of the Year 2012 award, for his contribution in the field of entertainment through this movie. That propelled my interest in this science-fiction flick which has a housefly as the protagonist. Initially I thought it to be a dead-plot, stupid in fact. But post watching the movie, I feel how stupid was I. I should stop judging the book by it's cover.

The basic plot of the movie felt interesting when I first heard about it a year ago. But to imagine a full-length movie being made on this concept seemed to be either an act of incredible confidence or incredible foolishness. I discovered the former to be true after watching the Hindi dubbed version of the movie. I enjoyed it thoroughly and loved the performance of all the actors. The movie stars Telugu film industry actors, Nani, Samantha and Sudeep in the lead roles. I haven't seem them earlier but they all suited their roles perfectly. Nani's character has a limited screen time, but he brings in chirpiness to the movie playing Samantha's love-interest. Sudeep is a multi-millionaire and plays the negative character in the flick.
Eega is an emotional love story replete with Computer Generated Imagery. It is a usual revenge drama with an unusual angle. An insect taking revenge from a human.

The high level of VFX shots involved in the production is the reason attributed to the delays this movie faced in reaching the theaters. Rajamouli is a director well-known for his masala movies. With the current South Indian fascination of the Hindi film industry, many of his films are being remade in Hindi and all of them are getting great response. Rowdy Rathore and Son of Sardaar are some examples. Rajamouli knows his audience and has packaged the contents with all the features typical to the genre and region. But still, the story gets to you like a wonderfully illustrated comic-book. The version of the movie that I saw had some dubbing-gaps, where the Hindi dialogues were missing and the original Telugu audio came to the fore, yet I never lost interest. I was continually involved with every frame to the end-credits, irrespective of the language barrier.

I don't know how much I must have been missing with all the preconceived notions or due to my knowledge insufficiency regarding other languages.

With Eega, Rajamouli has captured the imagination of millions across the globe, when all the time he was focusing on his home industry. That's one of the signs of a great work.

Do watch Eega/Makkhi - your hate for the irritating little monsters may well buzz off.