Saturday, November 26, 2011

Party Abhi Baki Hai??!!

I think age is catching up with me or my thought-process at least. Since last few weekends, I am avoiding going out to night-spots. My preference these days usually is a good book with great music playing at a medium volume and a very strong cup of coffee! Might be sounding old and boring. But honestly, I am tired of the so-called good dance music and the pub or lounge ambiance. 

These days I end up remembering and comprehending the opinions of my folks and elders regarding the music and music videos of my generation. And I genuinely don’t feel like dancing every Saturday night. The 'party' songs – countless versions of David Guetta, Pitbull, Ludachris, Taio Cruz and LMFAO compositions – all sound same to me after one point. Of course, when in the right mood, I still love to groove. But that mood is set rarely these days and I am not sure why!

A recent satirical article I read somehow cleared my confusion to an extent. According to this, the nightlife crowd consists of three types of people – (1) People who go out to genuinely have a good time, (2) the all decked-up wannabes whose IQ is limited to the page 3 in newspaper supplements, and (3) the brainless rich spoilt kids for whom ‘nightlife is life’. I can safely assume I belong to category 1. But to genuinely have a good time, I need genuinely good company of like-minded people and here I am missing my dearest friends, all of them being in Delhi. Well, company matters! So give me a great book or movie anytime over an all-nighter of partying with people whose vibes don’t match mine and then, waking up in the morning (if sleeping is a provision at all!) with bad hangover. I would prefer to flock with birds of same feather!

But seriously, why all the ‘party songs’ sound similar these days? All the music videos look similar with scantily clad women with very suggestive dance moves. It’s not that I don’t enjoy these songs. But I honestly can’t differentiate one song from another many of the times. The exclamation ‘melodious song’ doesn’t pop out in my mind when I listen to these numbers. Of course, when in the right mood, I too love to dance on them. But no, they never feature on my list of top favourites. They are always ‘flavours of the season’.

I wish there would be more melodious singers like Christina Perri, Adele, Rumer, Maroon 5 and of course, my obsession… Bruno Mars. I have never been in love with any singer until I heard the divine voice of Bruno Mars. Even the music videos of these singers are very creative and have a storyline which makes them worth remembering.

Recently, I listened to this amazing song called “If I die young” by The Band Perry. The lyrics and the music video prove that poetry can be experienced and lived. Songs need not be about relationships, heart-breaks and love-making. There are so many stories to be told and interpreted by artistic minds and a song like “If I die young” just gives flight to that imagination. The final adieu as depicted in the song… wow… even I would love to leave the world with a book of Tennyson’s poetry!!! I recommend this one to all true 'Music' lovers.

(P.S. All my pals… I still love to recall my farewell party night in Delhi… will never forget that all-nighter J !!!)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Burger Off!!!

Whatever others might say, I loved Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar!

Many thought the film was not up to the expectations. Why? Arrey, it was not at all about the rise and fall of a rockstar! It was a love story!!!

Come on, if the plot would have been so predictable then there would never be anything called ‘the magic of movies’! Isn’t life beautiful because it is so unpredictable? I went for Rockstar with no pre-conceived notions except for two facts – I love Imtiaz Ali’s style of story-telling and I think Ranbir Kapoor is a power-house of acting prowess. And yeah, for a chance to relive my memories of Delhi and North Campus (I love to do that through all the wonderful Delhi-based films like Band Baaja Baaraat)!

And I was not disappointed. The abstract montage of various events in the life of Jordan, the protagonist, is something that’s a novelty in Indian cinema. Many in the theatre couldn’t grasp it and simply opined, “Poor screenplay”. But I thought it was very intelligent modern art… the audience is compelled to think... to wonder.

The basic theme of the story is the love story between Jordan and Heer. Now I would admit, although Nargis Fakri is ethereally beautiful, I wished she was even an inch of an actor! But Ranbir is a treat to watch. It’s apparent that he put in his heart and soul in the character and as a consequence, he turned into one of the essences of the soul of Rockstar; the other essences being the music by A. R. Rahman and the voice of Mohit Chauhan. I have never been a fan of Mohit Chauhan although his songs are always good. But for the first time, I simply loved his voice. The best aspect is the aura of live concert that’s been created on-screen. The songs, the music grows on you although you have heard the entire album beforehand.

But I am not playing the role of a movie critic here. I loved the complicated, the poetic way of painting a cute love story and an unusual heart-break. I loved the fact that the skeleton of the movie owes its origin to Rumi’s poetry. I loved that there was no expected and usual depiction of rockstar whose life was infested by over-dose of sex, booze and drugs. I simply loved the little little symbolic representations like the key on the guitar strap. And I loved that there was no attempt to make any pseudo-intellectual statement. Just a beautiful reference to innocent birds in two songs and a fleeting support to the Tibet movement... it was more than enough. It's not a movie about politically correct or incorrect statements and thankfully, it remained that way!

Not for a single second I wondered why there was no expected portrayal of the rise and fall of Jordan as Rockstar. I admire the fact that Imtiaz Ali dreamed and dared to tell his story in his own way. May be, as stated in the movie, creative people do think and act in crazy and unexpected way!!!

Of course, cinematically Rockstar is no 8 Mile. But the film-maker must really have been inspired by Rumi… I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think. He had a vision and he sang it out beautifully on celluloid. There was no deviation from the basic plot of the subtle love story; the story of rise and rise of the rockstar was intertwined with the main plot. There was no forceful tone of tragic blues. The movie was a melodious song or an eye-catching sketch for me.

So one question that has been on my mind is -- “Do you really have to go through heartbreak to produce something creative, something that will jolt others hearts to sighs and cries??” Well, that’s a matter which may be I will think about some other time.

For now, well, those who didn’t like Rockstar, please move onto something predictable like Murder 2. And “Burger off”!!! (You know what I mean… wink!)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Whiff of The Memory…

The story has long turned into a lump in my throat,

I have no more memories of the lips I had kissed

Or the smell of the arms where I had rested my head.

Yet the ghosts of the memory haunt me…

Like Wordsworth’s Solitary Reaper

I stand alone under the winter rain,

The tears have long gone.

Yet the thorns of the black rose prick the weary heart…

The memory has vanished like the February mist

But a few whispers have remained…

I dream of flying

Like Marry Poppins with the red umbrella,

My angel smiles the sunbeam for me,

But two orange autumn leaves are still surviving the new breeze…

Monday, November 7, 2011

Like A Movie Star…

“What we think ‘Real’ is just the mirror image of our innermost desires.”

As school-going teenagers, we used to find similarities between a film’s story and our own life-stories, specially the love sagas. You know, the kind of stories where lovers have to face obstacles from family and society, majorly having a tragic undertone. I even used to call my then-boyfriend by the names of the characters I had fallen in love with and so did he. In those days, even a song used to describe the situation we used to get ourselves into. I am sure many of you must be having such fond memories of the teenage years.

Gosh, those were the days… the good old days of our acne-prone adolescence and teenage years. Silly fantasies and puppy loves! The world seemed to revolve around us and our love lives. Looking back, I have some very fond memories of those growing-up years.
Then we all were highly awed and influenced by the passionate portrayal of the obsessive lover by Shah Rukh Khan. So much so, many tried to emulate his crazy ways like cutting the name of the lover on the hand. In fact, this is a private joke till date between me and my friends which is not for ‘mere mortals’ (Winking)!

But we were just growing up then. Romantic glares on, we were not able to visualize the real world, the real adult world (although we used to get warned by our folks). Once kiddy days are over, school romances are followed by college affairs and then office flings. So, do these ‘love stories’ still ape some block-buster?

Well, I guess many such real-life stories are more dramatic than any flick. After all in one movie, it would be very difficult to include so many plots of hook-ups and heartbreaks in a story of at most three hours! We open our eyes to a rude awakening that man like Humphrey Bogart of Casablanca, Richard Gere of Pretty Woman or for that matter, SRK of DDLJ doesn’t exist. (For the benefit of guys, neither do Julia Roberts nor Madhuri Dixit,or rather, their iconic characters exist!)

As I was watching Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara for the umpteenth time last evening, I once again realized our lives are rarely like anything as portrayed on celluloid. In that flick, Katrina Kaif enjoys drinks and travels with the three male protagonists, three complete strangers. The men adore her for being ‘cool’ and she shares comfortable vibe with all. But in reality, Katrina would never be able to do so without fighting off sexual overtures of these guys. The guys would justify their moves saying… “Well, she is the one who is visiting our place at night, drinking with us and hey, you can’t blame us men after a few pegs down!” So much for hoping against of hope for the three perfect men from ZNMD!!!

Yet, we keep on hoping. Of course, we are past that stupid phase of thinking we are the leads of a movie. And I am not only talking about romantic flicks. Many look up to even serious dramas like Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind or Vanilla Sky. May be as adults, we subconsciously attempt to run away from the harsh truth that life throws at us often. In the attempt to escape from the reality, maybe we end up discovering similarity between the real and the reel life. Maybe, as quoted at the very beginning, movies just mirror our innermost desires. But the real life is lived only by those who learn to live the life he or she wishes to, and not simply studying the movie lives… Maybe!