Term 5 is done and dusted.

Time, time, time.. you’re running, no – sprinting! You’re determined to pass me by and make me want to enjoy the remainder of these two beautiful years at MICA even more (if that was possible). And alas, term V has come to an end as well. This term-end has made me realise so many things, but importantly, I’ve realised that I’ve forgotten to document my learnings from the last term!

Before I forget anything else, I think I should get down to writing it down, NOW : 

Two years – you’d think that was a long time. But it’s just not enough for a place like MICA. Between the time that you’re getting to know your seniors and trying to remember the names of your juniors, you realise it’s time to go. Relish this time. That’s what MICA taught me this term. Well, sure, I attended two great account planning workshops, won an inter-collegiate table-tennis tournament, had a total blast organising quizzes on various topics and generally had fun, but MICA this term was just another lesson in the temporality of the whole experience. 

I entered the gates to this campus at the beginning of these two years with a special greed – a greed to make the most of these two years, to try out as many things as I wanted to – sports, cultural activities, academics, quizzing, international cinema and more than that, sharing that experience with like-minded people. This place truly brought out the best in me. And one of the greatest bits about living in a residential college like MICA was really really getting to know yourself. That’s the good part of living in such a diverse mix of people, your natural differentiators come to the fore and you can really appreciate yourself for what you truly are. Of course, there is also the risk of wanting to blend in and mimic people around you, just to be part of the ‘crowd’ – whatever you choose, it teaches you a lot about yourself and I am glad that I had that experience. 

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Learning about myself, learning about relationships. It’s a small, cozy campus. At the beginning of the course, I had made a mental note to go to every single birthday dunking of my batch-mates. I tried to stick to it as much as I could and attended quite a few midnight birthday dunkings in the first year, but slowly that stopped. It was not out of dislike or laziness, I guess I just realised proximity does not mean closeness. I managed to live with that, and accept it. 

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This term also made me value integrity and to value people who stand for something. There were many situations where I saw people around me behave contrary to themselves. It was extremely unsettling to see people who I had known for quite some time give in to things they were oblivious to in the beginning. But in the end, I came to know and appreciate people who knew what they were doing and stuck to their guns even when times were bad. In hindsight, this term at MICA was really a big course of people skills and appreciation. 

As I look forward to beginning my last term at MICA in a week, I will try and treat every new day as a chance to explore this place and the people associated with it even better. There are so many things unsaid, unseen. Some days seem to contain infinities in them and then suddenly, two years seem like a blur. 

As I read somewhere –

Some infinities are greater than other infinities.

Looking forward, MICA 🙂

 

When mush takes over the brain..

When mush takes over the brain,
You know it’s time for the rains,
Suddenly you find your motivation going down the drain,
and the romantic in you is at the helm, with the reigns
A cup of hot steaming coffee,
As you watch the rains lash and pour,
Your favorite books kept close,
As the wind slams open the doors
A frantic rush to the verandah,
To gather all the clothes,
Smiling at the half wet you,
After a glance at the mirror you cannot control
And then the child inside beckons,
Wanting to run out and splash around,
Not a care in the world,
Just wanting to go wild like the clouds
And then the phone rings,
A dear friend’s voice crackling through,
Bringing that knowing smile on your face,
Something only a true friend can do
The longest conversation in the world,
A marathon reading session, not missing a single word,
Endless cups of coffee,
And after many many a sigh,
You realize it’s stopped raining,
A dream, again, perhaps, another day.

The ‘love’ hangover.

Like a faint glow in the darkness,
I think about the power and behind it, the softness ..
I think of yin and yang, I think of good and bad ..
I think of unchained dreams, I think of eternal fondness..

I think of green meadows, I think of pure happiness..
I think of a smile .. that clears all the mess ..
I think of the beauty, I think of the beholder ..
I think of the prey and I think of the devourer..

I think of you and me, I think of the whole ‘love’ hangover..
I think of that touch , that timeless feeling which I’ll never be over..
Driving me crazy, driving me out of my mind ..
Hey! It’s just love that we all need ..
and happiness for an eternity to keep .

PS: Wrote this 4 years ago as a dreamy teen. I am proud that the dreamy teen stil lives on.. still madly in love with something, something that will show itself when the time is right, of that I am sure 🙂

Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana : Aroma of life :)

As two mega films hit the screens of all theaters in my city today (from as early as 6:00 am), I consider myself lucky that I got to watch this delightful piece of cinema called Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana. Based on the life of Omi Khurana (Kunal Kapoor) who returns to his home in Punjab after getting into trouble with a loan shark in UK, LSTCK traces the journey of a man who loses and rediscovers family, love and food in one crazy yet magical journey back to his roots.

Omi Khurana comes back to Punjab, back to the once famous Chiken Khurana dhaaba that his grandfather used to run to realize things are not the way he had left them. He has a lot of money to return to the loan shark and realizes that his grandfather’s famous chicken recipe is the only thing that might save him and let him return.  But how can the story be so simple? Once back, he has to deal with the girl he had abandoned years back, and his dysfunctional family, full of wonderfully eccentric characters.

Like a good dish that has all the ingredients in just the right measure, left to mingle with each other and simmer on their own, first time director Sameer Sharma has let some unique characters in some unique situations – making for really enjoyable cinema. Some of the characters are the pot-smoking godwoman, played by a effortless Dolly Ahluwalia and a man who pretends to be mad just to freeload on his sister, played by the very talented Rajesh Sharma. Another refreshing thing about the movie is the complete departure from the usual way Punjabi families are portrayed in Hindi cinema. Sameer Sharma’s take on Punjab is much more realistic and eccentric, not sticking to the done-to-death stereotypes that everyone is quick to adopt.

The film is an indulgent piece of work, with even flashback scenes shot in beautiful shadow frames. This means that the movie goes on at a leisurely pace, but because of the great performances, you are least likely to mind it. While the first half of the movie goes into establishing the premise and the relationship between Omi and his childhood sweetheart Harman, played by the stunning Huma Qureshi, the second half sees all the action and twists, all leading to the hilarious climax. The highlight of the movie is the level of performance put in by all the actors, with a special mention to Rajesh Sharma, who stands out with his act as the whacky Tito.

Adding to the enjoyability of the film is Amit Trivedi’s music. Both the songs and the background score evoke the required emotions from the viewers, with a very distinct Punjabi rustic feel. Watch out for the ‘Luni Hasi’ song that keeps playing in the background.. the singers impress with a soothing rendition. Amit Trivedi shows us once again why he’s a force to reckon with.

All in all, LSTCK reminds one of the Hrishikesh Mukherjee brand of cinema that focused on emotions and treated stories with immense simplicity and deep attention. The movie will move you, make you laugh, cry.. it will make you fall in love with food and the beauty of how it connects a family together. LSTCK works because it is so simple, proving that a focus on the essentials is more than enough for good cinema. Go watch LSTCK, for this little gem has its heart at the right place.

Airports

The word ‘airport’ brings up a lot of images in my mind. While most of them are happy, some of them are sad. Sad, when I have had to say goodbye to people close to my heart. Sometimes, saying goodbye to people I don’t know when I’ll meet.

Over the last week, I had to go to the airport and say goodbye to two people very close to my heart. Both of them were leaving the country and for both of them, I can say that I honestly do not know when I am going to see them again. You don’t really feel a lot until that person is stepping away towards the departure gate with his/her trolley and suitcase, with a ticket in the hand and some tears in his eyes that threaten to flow.

Of stuttering moms who say goodbye to their sons and daughters and want to say to them, “Don’t go.” but cannot. Of friends who enjoyed those many many days of beautiful company and don’t know when they will have so much fun again. Of stoically silent fathers who want to cry but cannot. Airports make you sad. Airports actually tell you that it’s alright to cry, because so many people around you are doing so! And yes, it IS alright to cry. And it’s important to hug people when they leave, just to tell them how much you’re going to miss them and how much you love them. Airports bring out the emotive best out of you. Airports make you want to wait till the person disappears around the corner in the baggage screening queue.

 

But Airports tell you something more important. Airports tell you to move on. Move on, literally. Just a few more steps and you reach the Arrivals terminal. You reach wide grins, bouquets of flowers, welcome balloons, flower garlands and name-boards waiting for that special person. You see disproportionately large welcome parties, reminding you to always celebrate and make a big deal out of your happiness. Why? Because I believe you must. MUST.

Airports mean this to me –

Airports remind you life is happy and sad. But you must move on. Travel that distance. Hug that special person before you let go. Be there as a part of the welcome party. Shout out in happiness and sheer glee. Hug that person again. Happiness is an arrivals terminal! 🙂

The 100th 100.

For all cricket fans across the subcontinent and the world, these three words are enough. The 100th 100. Everyone was wondering when it would happen. Everyone was nervous. Everyone was waiting. Everyone was slowly getting impatient. 

Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar bats on his way to scoring a century during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, March 16, 2012. Tendulkar, who had been stuck on 99 centuries for a year, became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries on Friday when he hit to square leg and ran a single against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup.

The man in question, perhaps the best batsman this world will ever see – Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. It had been a year since his last international century. He had a great 2011,but he had a miserable 2012. He went with the Indian team to the tour of Australa. Cricket Australia (CA) even had a special trophy made in anticipation of his remarkable milestone. Few know that this trophy was never mentioned and ofcourse, never awarded to the little master. 

 

The team returned home. He returned home. And then he went to play the Asia cup. His first innings was a disaster. And then today he played against Bangladesh. And he did it! He made his 100th century today. Just think of the number and the mind boggles. If your mind does not boggle – let me tell you that the person with the second highest number of centuries has 70. This man now has a 100. A HUNDRED! 

Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar kisses his helmet after scoring his 100th century during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, March 16, 2012. Tendulkar, who had been stuck on 99 centuries for a year, became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries on Friday when he hit to square leg and ran a single against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup.

Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar celebrates scoring his 100th century during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, March 16, 2012. Tendulkar, who had been stuck on 99 centuries for a year, became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries on Friday when he hit to square leg and ran a single against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup.

India's Sachin Tendulkar celebrates after he scored his 100th international century during their Asia Cup one- day international (ODI) cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka March 16, 2012.

 

Still there are people who will continue to pull him down, saying that he achieved this milestone playing against a ‘minnow’ Bangladesh. Few will acknowledge the mammoth pressure he was playing under for the last year, with people and the media nagging him for the 100th century. Things had become really bad after the Australia tour with people and sportsmen alike asking for his resignation, thinking aloud even whether he was being selfish and just playing for a milestone. 

 

But today is above everything else. He is above everything else today. He has time and again showed that he gives his opponents the same amount of respect – may the opponent be the formidable Australia or the ‘minnow’ Bangladesh. Sachin Tendulkar has achieved something that no mortal will probably achieve in his cricket career. He is an inspiration, an exception to the rule. He is everything that’s good in the game. He’s everything the game stands for – the class, the dignity, the integrity and the sportsmanship. In this country of a billion people, he is the perfect role model. 

Indian fans celebrate as they watch cricketer Sachin Tendulkar scoring his 100th century, on a television set inside a shop in Mumbai on March 16, 2012. India's Sachin Tendulkar became the first batsman in history to score 100 international centuries, adding another milestone in his record-breaking career.

Thank you Sachin. Thank you so much. You never did need to prove yourself. But you did, over and over again. You are a true inspiration, Sachin. I am so lucky to be alive when you played at your best. I will always you love you Sachin. Thank you for everything. 

Teammates and spectators applaud Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, center, as he leaves the ground after being dismissed during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, March 16, 2012. Tendulkar, who had been stuck on 99 centuries for a year, became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries on Friday when he hit to square leg and ran a single against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup.