Inseparable Love

inseparable_loveThe last time we saw each other was 8 months ago. I loved the way we looked just so perfect together. Not a hair out-of-place. I’d look into the mirror and feel a small smile tugging at my lips. Every time I went out, I swear there were girls who turned green with jealousy.

As time passed, we both grew up. My reflection was changing. It was time to let go. But I knew within my heart that he wouldn’t be gone forever, I knew he’d come back to me, when I wanted him to! Till then, I should try to get used to my new self, I thought.

I started to understand and discover a part of me that wasn’t pretty, didn’t get any attention, but was still likeable. Gradually, I started liking myself more. Have you heard how they say, “It is all in your head…”? Everything was normal again. The sun was still rising in the east, shining brightly and life went on despite the transformation.

And then one fine day, from the bygone depths of time, appeared a sublime image of us inside my head. It was a sign! I realized that it was time to get him back. We were after all meant to be together. I felt my defenses crumbling down.

That is when I went to the stylist and got myself the same hair-cut like the last time. Well, for now, we’re inseparable and in love! :D

Is it Meant to be or Not to be?

More often than not, we have all been asked this question, “Do you believe in destiny?“. Yes, destiny is such a great concept. I wish it were true. I hope it’s true. But I’m just not so sure it is.

 Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker? (Garth Nix, Sabriel)

If destiny exists, then why make an effort? What’s done is done. There is nothing you can do to change the inexorable progression of fate, so why try? People might say: “I’m just born under a bad star/planet. Life has been very unkind to me.” In that sense, I think blind belief in destiny is very dangerous.

Moreover, if you think of yourself as just a mote of dust getting pushed and pulled endlessly by unforeseen forces you’re not going to be too happy.  How much ever we deny it, all of us feel this need to be in control. This locus of control essentially makes you more or less likely to be a go getter and to strive to better yourself. If you have a belief in fate, that certain things are pre-written, then of course this takes away the same responsibility that you might previously have felt and sense of possibility along with it.

The flip side of the coin is it’s nice to think that no matter how badly you screw up today, destiny might have something great in store for you tomorrow. Destiny can serve as a security blanket to help deal with things that we don’t want to understand.

But just simply relying on tomorrow to bring better tidings without any effort will not change anything. Even destiny might not help you if you don’t help yourself. I strongly believe in free will but I have to admit that I do resort to using destiny as a safety net at times. Guilty as charged! :D

I think the only thing that matters is whether we give it our best shot, irrespective of what fate has in store or not.

After all, going down without a fight is the worst form defeat ever! So stay strong and march on..

Onaayum Aatukuttiyum – My Two Cents

Onaayum Aatukuttiyum (A Wolf and A Lamb) is the recent brainchild of Mysskin, a director known for his unconventional films. He has set the bars high once again with a gripping yet emotional criminal thriller. The movie stars  the director himself and Sri of Vazhakku En 18/9 fame in the lead roles.

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Plot:
The film begins with a medical student Chandru (Sri), who happens to see a badly injured man struggling for life at midnight. When attempts to get the dying man medical attention fail, Chandru takes the matter into his own hands and saves the man’s life. But Chandru and his family are in for a rude shock when CBI officers reveal that the man who Chandru had helped is Wolf (Mysskin), a notorious killer and a wanted criminal. What ensues later is the hunt for the wolf and the subsequent revelations on a story of redemption.

Minuses:
If one has to be really picky, then the movie is a tad too long and the typical style of Mysskin might deter some strata of audience. Of course this is surely not enough reason to skip this edge-of seat thriller completely.

Pluses:
oa_3The brilliance of this movie is in its screenplay and narration. The first half leaves us hanging – totally uncertain of what is happening or may happen. With time the story begins to divulge the main plot. The director cleverly prevents us from being able to form any opinions on the main characters.

The absence of a female lead/songs (which form the main crux of any plot) doesn’t affect the pace of the movie in the slightest. There is minimal dialogue and the studied silence in some parts, extended ones at that, which enhance the suspense element greatly.

oa_2The manner in which the characters have been designed and executed are commendable! Mysskin shines as the Wolf donning the ruthless killer who is trying to for his sins. Sri’s portrayal as the medical student who just wanted to do the right thing is laced with fear appropriately to showcase the dilemma of a common man who is caught up in things beyond his control. Shaji Tom as the CB CID Officer with Keralaite slang doesn’t fail to impress!

Another highlight of the film is the cinematography by Balaji Ranga. All the scenes are shot at night in the deserted roads of Chennai. With very little lighting mostly derived from street lights, he brilliantly creates the right environment for the film. Some of the camera angles in the chase sequences and action scenes enunciate the keen skills of both Balaji and Mysskin’s vision. Kudos!

The music has been scored by the Maestro, Isaignani Ilayaraja. This is a classic example of how re-recording and brilliant background score can elevate a movie to a whole new level. The score is Western Classical in nature solely relying on violins as the main instrument. Without any vocals/chorus, the soulful music carries the movie along till the end. I must admit that the first time I watched the movie, I could not pay a lot of attention to the sound track. I intend on fixing this soon :)

Bottomline:
OA is a cut above Mysskin’s earlier works. He crushes all cinematic clichés and manages to gives us a film we deserve. Watch it for Mysskin and Ilayaraja – you will not be disappointed.

The Wonder That is Music

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music – Aldous Huxley

Whether it be the soothing melodies or hard-core rock, all of us have sought refuge under music at some point of time in our lives. Some look at music as a hobby; for some music is their passion, while some pursue it as their career. When we listen to music, it evokes something from within one’s heart. I feel that’s what makes music so powerful – to tap into our deepest emotions that we didn’t even know we had. The impact is felt so strongly because of how much it means to you, how much you can relate to those lyrics.

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain – Bob Marley

Music has the power to shift our feelings from joy to sorrow in a split second. It can bring us back to memories we forgot we had or forward to the world we have yet to create. I sometimes feel that it is cruel, you know, that music should be so beautiful. It has the beauty of loneliness of pain: of strength and freedom. The beauty of disappointment and never-satisfied love. The beauty of nature and everlasting bitterness of monotony. Another brilliant aspect of music is that it manifests itself in so many genres that it can cater to the entire populace. There is something in it for everyone – right from soul melting R&B, timeless classics to hard-core death and metal.

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When at live gigs, the feeling you get when one of your favorite bands come on and play that one song that means so much to you is just unexplainable. There is honestly nothing better than standing arm to arm with thousands of other fans like you listening to the same number and all feeling the same thing from it. The connection and pull that you experience is just ethereal.

Out of a huge list of favorites, with a lot of difficulty I managed to downsize it to these six tracks (in no specific order)

Thamizha Thamizha by Hariharan (A.R.Rahman)
This is song is special to me for many reasons. Debut for one of my favorite singers Hariharan and ARR in the Tamil Industry ; associated with several memories from college. This song gets my blood pumping, heart beating and a wave of patriotism surges within. The beautiful lines coupled with the grand orchestration leaves me overwhelmed.

Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven
To me, this has always been a bed-time lullaby on nights when sleep evades me. This starts out with a melancholic melody and suddenly morphing into more cheerful, quicker and surprisingly even more intense than before. The picture it paints is rich and complex but it is bittersweet and quaint at the same time.

Raaja paarvai Violin by Ilayaraja
In my view, Ilayaraja is one of those composers who can tug at your heart-strings with his “raw” instrumental music in all its glory to leave one spell-bound literally. In this piece he just transitions across scales and styles(Classical, Hindustani and Western) seamlessly and I end up just closing my eyes and relishing the beauty of construction and genius.

Deliverance by Opeth
This is a 10+ minute monster track to say the least – heavy and dark as hell. The song traverses through heavy progressive riffs, acoustic portions(very less mind you), creative drumming and stunning vocals. Then there is a beast of the outro in this track which takes my breath away. Full of energy, air guitaring and drumming.

Maalai Neram by Andrea (G.V.Prakash)
The true joy of listening is not just with your ears, but to just be absorbed by it, the lyrical poetry and finally to lose yourself in it.  This is the perfect song for a lonely day – a slice of heaven in your own lonely world. The husky vocal just makes you go weak in the knees.

High Hopes by Pink Floyd
Always a trip down the memory lane when this song comes on – childhood, friends, laughter, school corridors and all the glorious moments in the past; a song of hope for the future to come. This one literally trips me and ultimately I am left blankly staring at a wall.

A fitting way to end this would be to quote Shakespeare from The Merchant of Venice

The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

It’s time to get high on music :D

We Accept The Love We Think We Deserve

Recently on a weekend, when I had pretty much naught to do, I stumbled across the movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower“.  If you haven’t watched the movie or read the book, I would really recommend you to do so. Most of the coming-of-age movies are clichéd and try too hard to fit in a plot. But this storyline chimes in with an unusually incisive, character-driven ramble through the inevitable awkwardness of teen life. The best part of the story for me was that it was timeless.

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There were several moments when reading the book that the outside world ceased to invade my conscious thought and the epiphany that presented itself was so overwhelming that it struck a giant chord deep within me. Of all the lines, the ones that stuck with me is a piece of dialogue between the main character Charlie and Sam.

Sam: Why do I and everyone I love pick people who treat us like we’re nothing?
Charlie: We accept the love we think we deserve.

I think at times we settle for less than what we deserve because of the troublesome trait of undermining ourselves. We tend to undervalue our worth and hence try to make do with what we have. More often than not it is probably the fear of being alone that overpowers us to be in relationships we know well enough we don’t deserve .

On the other hand, I also feel it is only but natural to wait for something better and not have to settle for what’s convenient. The point is if you have high standards no one should criticize you for that, it shows that you are mature enough to value yourself to know what you want and that you respect yourself enough not to settle for anything less than that.

These two sides are constantly locked in a struggle. It often becomes very difficult to understand if we are expecting too much or if we indeed deserve more. This is when we need to put on our thinking caps. No one else, I mean no one else, will be able to help us with this. We need to clear our heads of any fairy tales/assumptions and think hard. What is it that I deserve? What is it that I want?

Confusing? Hell yeah. But it is never is easy is it? After all you do deserve a love that never ends. As do I :)