Monday, January 26, 2009


i saw kaalbela today, not that its an exceptional movie or anything...but it made me finally sit and write this down, sort of organize my thoughts and...
well i have been thinking about this for long... wondering about what really happened back then? it has always intrigued me you know, and i have read quite a few books but they were all works of fiction. it seems to me at times that there is this conspiracy of silence as far as the movement of the late sixties is concerned. there is a huge cover up happening somewhere. the movement, the involvement of the students, the repressive action of the state--it was a huge thing. thousands were killed, tortured, imprisoned, raped, maimed for life... and yet as far as i am aware there has been very little research on this.
as i mentioned before, kaalbela, haajaar churaashi-r maa, ontorghaat, honyomaan these are all works of fiction. what about documentary history? there is nothing... nothing... the history we are taught in school ends on the 15th of august 1947. as if since then the history of our nation has been uneventful. and we have sort of "lived happily ever after".
i think the concept of our nationhood, the illusion of unity in diversity ended with independence. with the common foreign enemy gone all the age old domestic demons reared there heads right back up. and new ones are born every day.
anyway, i digress. what is it about the naxalite movement that makes it a taboo subject even today.? till date the people of the previous generation only whisper vaguely that this or that person in the para was a nokshaal. was the repression so savage that people are still afraid to talk about it? but how could they unleash such barbaric violence upon their own people? i mean this kids were scarcely out of school...their tormentors were people they knew, people of the same nation, spoke the same language, maybe had been to the same schools and colleges as their parents, lived in the same localities...
my own sympathies are ambivalent. these kids...they were my age...and...yet they seem (when i read these books or watch these movies) so much older... and there is a kind of idealism thats infectious, inspiring...that makes me want to spit on my compromising existence. at other times i feel they were fools, at other times i feel its me who is older by far, more mature, more cynical albeit a lesser human being. always a lesser human being.
it does not matter today whether they were wise or foolish.
what matters is, as animesh kept asking dipak, were they right or wrong? right or wrong? right in their ideals and wrong in their actions?is affirmative action, however misguided, better than this indolence, this lethargic indifference? is revolution so easy? does not violence always, always, always inevitably beget violence? how could they have not foreseen it?
then again, two decades earlier., when student revolutionaries were practising the politics of violence to get rid of foreign oppression, that was ok. that was laudable. and then all of a sudden, protesting against the oppression of an indigenous government became a crime severe enough to incur the wrath of the savagely retributive state machinery. why?
i don't know. i don't think one can ever know beyond all doubt.
but one can know facts. one can know history. and their history needs to be written.
and somewhere deep down i have a feeling that the only reason we are romanticizing and valourising their quest today, in books and movies, the only reason we sympathise with them, is because they lost. had they won, things would not have been different. not really. its perhaps for the best that they lost. had they won, the disillusionment would have been infinitely greater.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

holy smoke

smoking is good. i like smokers. smokers are good. it may be injurious to my health but do i look like i give a shit? many of the most intelligent people i know are smokers...
many of our best teachers are smokers, albert camus was a smoker, sartre was a smoker, sherlock holmes was a smoker, pheluda was a smoker, satyajit ray was a smoker, shokti chattopadhyay was a smoker and i could go on and on and on.. i don't care if you throw 5 non-smoking geniuses into my face for every camus. because I DON'T!!!
and the most obnoxious creep in the whole fucking department is a non-fucking-smoker. (i hope the schmuck chokes on his squeaky clean lungs. )
i like smoking. i love smoking. i love all smokers. i love the taste of smoke. i love the smell of smoke. i love the look of smoke. and boy, i ABSOLUTELY FUCKING ADORE the FEEL of smoke. and i curse the evil hour smoking was banned in my country. i do. i do. I DO.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


the final workshop's over. i think despite everything it went pretty well. we have done a rather neat job of it, considering the time constraint and everything. the work has been pretty fulfilling for more than one reason...
i got along with my boss and my colleague very well. i think in the past eight months i never seriously fought/was mad at any of them, which is saying something because i generally don't get along with people. we worked very hard and that was actually fulfilling. not just because this was a project we had invested a lot of emotional energy in, also because we had a BLAST!! 3 trips, innumerable parties, a lot of singing and dancing and ghazals and alcohol and food and madness.
at the beginning there was just the madmadam, nandi and bhringi. by last week we were a dozen people strong group.
but neither the vomiting woman in the bus to pailan on a scorching may afternoon, nor the principal of a college who asked pc why she wasn't married,nor the mad driver on the way back from deulti, nor even the countless trips to ITI where the 60 year old sundar singh kept winking at nandita managed to discomfit us as much the prospect of public speaking did yesterday. that was our waterloo. not.(borat ishtyle)
venimus, vidimus, vicimus. we came, we saw and we conquered.
despite the fact that i stuttered horribly in one slide and had boredom writ large on my countenance for the rest of the slideshow, and despite the fact that nandita skipped the per capita income bit, and despite the fact that we broke out into a fit of brief but uncontrollabe hysterics when pitroda's photo was projected, i think overall we pretty much rocked.
this is not a symptom of megalomania .. we are truly genies, and we live in bottles....
there is an entire song on this.... someday we will sing it for you.

Monday, January 05, 2009

kiss me....

"Kiss me out of the bearded barley.
Lightly, beside the green, green grass.
Swing, swing, swing the spinning step.
You wear those shoes and I will wear that dress.
Oh, kiss me beneath the milky twilight.
Lead me out on the moonlit floor.
Lift your open hand.
Strike up the band and make the fireflies dance,
silver moon's sparkling.
So kiss me."

dunno why i am hung up on this song today...
it reminds of school, strangely enough, and that kind of love ...the kind only 16 year-olds can be in....and once you grow up all of that seems fake and silly and melodramatic...and suddenly its not about you wearing those shoes and me wearing that dress, its no longer you leading me out on the moonlit floor....all of that is stowed away, like so many skeletons in our cupboards...only when i listen to songs like these i have lump in my throat the size of a tennis ball....