new years eve

The wine glasses clinked. The silent walls between them, witnessed a crack from the edge. Few remaining hours before 2019 got spent, they were glued to the table and chair combo having minimalistic conversation. They didn’t know the emergence of the topics, bestowed upon them but soon it elevated to a full-fledged discussion about the worldy affair.

While Ulia and Martin were busy discussing their lives, they heard a thud. A loud bang at the door. Their eyes met to follow each other’s gaze, only to be locked on the door.

Ulia thought of whether to open the door or let the moment pass. Wait for the night to dissolve or should she reach out to Martin and ask what he can forecast. The thud changed to another rattle.The minutes seemed like hours and all she could do was witness how Martin still looked calm in the chair. Who could it be was the initial question but soon that was replaced with – would opening the door change their lives in any possible way? 

Ulia shifted from her chair to one beside Martin’s to ask what he thought should be done? What is the consequence? She could say that Martin too was waiting for the moment to pass  and the bang to stop. Though he did not frown upon the event and seemed ready for what was behind the door.

With another thud, Martin choose to leave the drawing room. Ulia could not accompany his amble walk. She simply stared while Martin walked away into the dark corridors of the house, leading towards the door.

The knocking of the unknown felt a pang inside her heart, as if every furniture in the drawing room was swimming. She wished to absorb the warmth coming from the heater but alas, that did not stop the shivering. The thuding noise of the bang had rose, coupled with the frequency at which the person knocked at the door. Who is it? What is going to happen now? Ulia surfaced back to reality to catch up with Martin, who was waiting  before the door for the thud to stop. Ignoring Martin, she opened the door and choose to welcome what was behind it.

The door opened to a lady with a beagle puppy in her hand.

“Hello, I live upstairs. So sorry to disturb you at this hour. But could you guys – foster my puppy for a few days?I have to be somewhere urgently.I am unable to contact anyone at this hour. I would call up somebody for your assistance by tomorrow or my friend would take her away if keeping her seems difficult. Would it be possible for you guys?”

Ulia, with the door ajar, looked at Martin to catch the underlying expression he exhibited. However, her eyes were locked into the doe-eyed puppy, staring back at her. If she lived alone, she would have entertained the thought and accepted it baring the consequence, but this time was different. She knew she could not impress upon her decisions on the guy standing next to her.  From what she understood him, the guy reprimands the prompt behaviour within humans.

Martin knew that if Ulia behaved on her instinct again, their lives would change for some time atleast. Though he can be immune from the emotions surrounding the puppy. He sought the logical way into the equation with thinking about food, care, cleaning and all the probablities revolving around the thing which is capable of ruffling the house or the house rules. 

For a second he looked at Ulia, her eyes shuttling between Martin and the puppy. He thought that no matter what happens, nothing can derail him from having his “another day” tomorrow. He did not know what he wanted but reflected about closing the door to keep distance with the four-legged thing.

There was a sticky silence between the individuals who stood next to each other, on one side of the door, against the individual carrying the puppy. The one on the other side of the line, was completely oblivious to the animated pros and cons list hanging above the two human heads. She could not fathom their life, which was not limited to the floor difference in the building but much beyond that. 

To break the awkwardness of the moment, Martin decided what he thought was right and said…

Lost in the Cyclone

I could feel the shrilling silence before the storm amid this pandemic.

I have been laying low about the “Cyclone Amphan”, thinking that no splash of water can enter the house, at least this quarantine season. The news channel announced that the storm will be an “extremely intense cyclone” which would be hitting the coast of the bay, with wind speeds up to 195km/h with the visual allegory of the storm hitting the height of two-story tall.

My owner kept me beside his head while he poured his mind into the novel.

“Haa go, shuncho? Cha banabe?” ( Are you listening? Would you make tea?)

“Bolche brishti ta khup sanghatik hobe. Phone ta charge e diye dao” (It has been announced that the rain will be dangerous. Keep the phone on charge)

Through his wrinkled hands, he reached out for his spectacles and grabbed me. My master  placed me by the nearby window, for making me a witness to the dynamic skyline of Kolkata changing from painfully blue to rumbling grey. Overlooking the quaint wooden windows of a house built 100 years ago, the ambient sky reflected the mood of people surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

The shrilling noise was replaced by a loud thumping of the thunder.

Suddenly, I could hear the thunder rumbling and the rain breaking the sky to patter against the window panels. I could say, my master was shaken by the crashing noises.

I could tell that the pandemic coupled with the concept of a disastrous storm, makes the future steeped in darkness of delayed recovery. Within a few hours of the violent rains, I heard my master sharing his knowledge about the water tank in the house been blown away. This was followed by him announcing the shortage of water supply due to disruption in the drainage system. I felt like saying, “play The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge from the search history” a poem which my master’s wife had requested for once. Skip to line…

 Water water everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink. 

I am the witness to the old couple standing near the balcony, trying to answer the questions their son was bombarding them with. Though he lived far away on another continent, his heart seemed to be around his aging parents. Now the table has turned where the son was calling them to enquire about his mother’s well-being. Somewhere beyond the boundaries – stuck with his work. But had he been home, would he have been satisfied or reached his satiety point?

The observation of human satisfaction concept worked as a negative reinforcement to my inquisitive backdrop, where simultaneously with the emergence of idea, the lights in the room extinguished. Alas, I could not reach 100% charge. I wished to give my utmost performance during the cyclone. Anyway, I could trace the storms as masquerading dystopian future of people. The news now said the number of trees being uprooted, the properties being damaged, the street poles being devasted as an aftermath of the cyclone.

“Sho no, jol dhukeche badi te” (Listen, water has entered the hallway)

“Jol berkorchi, ashchi darao” (Will remove the water. Wait, I am coming)

My master, though I feel we are merely slave to each other’s existence, came to discharge me and tucked me into his cotton kurta’s “buk” pocket (jetted breast pocket). Accompanied by me, my master, a 75-year-old retired physics professor was drawing out the water from his ancestral house dim light hallway. The light came from his wife’s handheld candle, which played the role of a guiding companion for her dear husband. I believe their utopian chemistry seems cynical for the millenials who belong to the smartphone generation.

My existence was of less priority before his wife’s command, and slowly I slipped out of the pocket before hearing those last words from my master – “E baba, phone ta pore galo go jole te” (Oh god, the phone slipped and fell into the water.)

It has been reported that the storm has already killed 72 people within couple of hours. The cyclone has tattered the city apart and left the villages with no supplies or electricity. My friend could not reach his grandmother’s funeral because the roads are blocked. Somewhere some daughter is asking her father to join her residence or a son is calling her mother to enquire about her health. I thank God that we are safe, but are we? 

 

Quarantined items are now safe?

Screenshot on quaratined items

Do you know the number of people who are quarantined at this moment?

It was another morning with everyone in the flat, waking up to their busy routine in life. Following the morning ritual of switching on to skim articles on the internet, the virus was causing disruption in the laptop and slowed the system down. The diagnosis was undetectable, for the malware could not be purged. She kept thinking what are the ways in which I can bring it back to normal? Simultaneously, her phone had notifications popping in like the world was on fire.

Probably because the world was on fire.

The conundrum caused by the travel ban tweets or the intuitive calls by my mother could not help in drawing out a conclusion of whether the city should be left behind to finish her degree sitting online like those distant education courses or should we put up with staying indoor, living through the uncertainities in an alien country?
The flatmates booked their tickets in a rush and all that could be thought of was whether we choose the right option? How will I conduct all the meetings? How will I keep up with the course if university re-opens? What if India goes in lockdown? The pro and con list swimming before my eyes, the wish for an equilibrium in every aspect of life is quintessential, but decisions which involve money and people –  creates a spiral effect within human behaviour.

Tickets booked at 2 pm. Bags packed by 4 pm.

The laptop was lying in the midst of the hurly-burly. It witnessed people’s disposition. Neither it ignored the underlying tension of one boy, running for his clothes.Nor it was oblivious to the other boy stocking up his always-up-for-helping friend’s bag with food. The availability of rice felt like a box of luxury at that precise moment in the nearby grocery store. The happiness of your fridge being stocked up cannot be compared to anything in those days. This incident had never happened, where people hoarded not only food items but also kitchen towels and toilet paper. What were you thinking? A disruption in your lifestyle because you are running out of toilet paper cannot be compared to the refugee feeling this moment induced within?

We left to catch our flight at 5:30 pm

Money was spent profusely like the blood oozing out of the open gashes which were not deep enough for a stitch but adequate to make one faint. Throwing the bags in, we three patiently waited to pick up our battle accessories and head towards the airport. Honestly, the non-availability of masks or gloves did create a panic but alas, two people at the check-in armoured us with their spare weapons. Could you have imagined that one of those overrated items in your shopping list could capture so much attention that it creates exception in the demand curve? Who would have thought that the supply of sanitisers, masks and gloves around the city of Dublin could get depleted? Astonishing.

We boarded the flight at 9:20pm.

“The flight is late” said my co-passenger, pushing the mask towards his chin. My mind was still rattling with the idea of whether the virus can be removed or not? Slowing down the system would not change the functionality of the laptop to that extend, or bring the entire industry of laptop down just because one laptop is having issue. The underestimation of trivial matters has always toppled down people to their graves. A singular issue of malware or frozen screen can cost one money and data lost trauma. But when this happens to the older laptop models, the same issue can lead them to their culmination. Who would have thought a laptop could be terminated because that one time, overheating of the system resulted into the hard drive losing all data and switching off to never turn on?

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An hour long layover in Dubai was rushed up but the less time on the airport meant reaching home sooner. And with that the immense joy of touching down Mumbai to exit the no-notification zone.

Screening at airport? Check. Bags? Check. Reality? 13 to 37 degree. Unchecked.

The screening at the airport involved a check point which was enough to intimidate you. The eyes followed the two forms which questioned your travel history in the past few days, simultaneously putting up a question in your identity. (Should I write Ireland address or Mumbai address, Irish number or Mumbai number). I had mentally prepared myself for a quarantine at airport or home but the idea of meeting my mother kept my hopes up. I cannot fathom the people who had to spend their days in airport-imposed quarantine or the person who was pulled out of a public transport because he was stamped “Home-Quarantine”. The underlying idea was to make peace with the quarantine period under your home boundary for fast internet was a mandatory requirement to keep up with the course work.

I enter my 7th day of quarantine today. The last few days hasn’t made any difference to my life except the fact that I am appreciating and enjoying every moment. The world is offering you the freedom, pounce on the oppurtunity and relish the glory. Being home induces beauty of appreciating the household chores and minor words or expressions you miss out in your daily routine by your family.

Only time will tell whether the virus would create more disruption in the system or someone somewhere will finally revolutionise a way to eradicate the entire laptop industry of the issue.
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Journey from 2016 to 2020

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It’s been years since i wrote on solivagant diaries

#ShreyaHasBeenThere

Yes. Back in graduation days, writing this blog was more about finishing the assignment but now, it is more out of choice.

On that note, i share with you my new found love for Nassim Nicholas Taleb who quotes “A prophet is not someone with special visions, just someone blind to most of what others see”.
It’s the Parrot’s eye we are aiming for in this bustling life

Mast Hai Bajirao Mastani

Blood.Love.Power.Maratha.Lavish.Bhansali

 

Bajirao Mastani

The trailer of Bajirao Mastani doesn’t reveal the storyline but makes it predictable. The eternal love of Maratha warrior Bajirao for Mastani is evident in the dialogue delivery. The transformation Ranveer has gone through for this movie is something. He shaved his head and caged himself for three weeks in a hotel near Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s office.  He said, “I was locked up, upstairs. I would take the elevator down to the gym and go right back up and do my accent work.” in one his interviews.

The theme carried in the trailer is passively reaching out to the audience. The soundtrack composed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali with assistance by Shreyas Puranik is beguiling in a way which makes you keep those songs on repeat in your playlist. And one doesn’t know why such urgency to hear it. The background score allures one to the fantasy world of Bajrao and Mastani’s fleeting love story saga. Sanjay Leela Bhansali after Ram Leela shows a safe pattern which he has followed with identical co-stars rather than opting for a fresh cast. Nevertheless, the letter revealed by Bajirao’s descendants makes us take one step back as the plot will have flaws set to appeal the audiences and won’t be of much historical significance.

The chemistry between Deepika and Ranveer varies from Priyanka and Ranveer, as it should be. The gory laughter of the characters and the presence of  colour red in the backdrop of war and emotions enhances the  theme of the movie. Priyanka Chopra having a major role of Kashibai in the movie is absent from active participation in the promotion of Bajirao Mastani.

Bajirao Mastani releasing on 18th December clashes with Rohit Shetty’s Dilwale which features Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol Devgan back on screen after My Name Is Khan. I would rather opt for Bhansali’s love for art and grandeur than Shetty’s love for car and cliched stunts. The former has the current generation’s heartthrob whereas latter brings in Bollywood’s all time favourite reel life couple on screen.
I wish luck for both.

I will surely watch Dilwale if someone offers me a free ticket. But my pick of the week would be-

“Bajirao Ne Mastani Se Mohabbat Ki Hai, Aiyashi Nahi.”

Prefer Books Or Movies? How About Adaptations?

There are innumerable books which stole our hearts and occupy a permanent space on our shelves. So do movies. They have a special place in our lives; especially those books which are adapted into movies. People have certain amount of expectation from those movies. Here is a list of 10 movies which has done equal justice to the book and met audience expectation.

  • Wuthering HeightsWuthering Heights C

Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights is a 1992 feature film adaptation of Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights directed by Peter Kosminsky.

  • To Kill A MockingbirdKill C

To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 American drama film directed by Robert Mulligan. The screenplay by Horton Foote was based on the 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Harper Lee.

  • American PsychoAmerican Psycho C      American Psycho is a 2000 American-Canadian black comedy psychological thriller film. It is co-written and directed by Mary Harron, based on Bret Easton Ellis’s 1991 novel of the same name.
  •  The GodfatherGodfather C

The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola and produced by Albert R. Based on Mario Puzo’s novel, Godfather. Starring Marlon Brando and Al Pacino as the leaders of the fictional Corleone New York crime family.The Godfather is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in world cinema[5]—and as one of the most influential, especially in the gangster genre.

  • Shawshank RedemptionSR C

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. Adapted from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption.

  •  The Girl with the Dragon TattooDragon tattoo C

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  is a 2011 Swedish-American mystery thriller film based on the novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson. This film adaptation was directed by David Fincher and written by Steven Zaillian. Starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara.

  • Harry PotterHP C

. Harry Potter is a film series based on the Harry Potter novels by author J. K. Rowling. The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films[2] beginning with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and culminating with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011).[3] It is the second highest-grossing film series in  the world.

  • DraculaDracula C

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (or simply Dracula) is a 1992 American romantic horror film directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.

  • Schindler’s listSl C

Schindler’s List is a 1993 American epic historical period drama film, directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg and scripted by Steven Zaillian. It is based on the novel Schindler’s Ark by Thomas Keneally, an Australian novelist.

  • Fight ClubFight Club C

Fight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher, and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter.

No One Gets Out Alive.

Jim Morrison was famous for his rock and roll songs. The Doors singer’s body was discovered by his girlfriend, Pamela Courson, in a bathtub in his Paris apartment on July, 3 1971.

Jim had a rebellious attitude due to his parents as they didn’t believe in beating but used methods like berating or criticizing and made the children cry. This type of an attitude makes the children mentally weak and  gives them an attitude of questioning. One can practise such methods when the children are adults and can reason out. But due to this behaviour the children become introvert and shuts themselves down. It can be presumed that this sort of attitude developed in Jim who after venting out his feelings became strong. This generated the idea of questioning authority in him and rationalise. Jim Morrison’s death was a mystery and till date remains one.

Having a history of rough childhood, Kurt Cobain’s parents  were divorced and both found new partners, Kurt Cobain firstly got the maternal attention from his step mother. However after the birth of his stepbrother, he failed to be treated the same way. He never considered his second family which included his father and stepmother as his own. Due to being deprived of affection from his family he was close to his friends. A gay boy tried to kiss him, a normal child will avoid meeting him again but as Cobain lacked love in his life and was bullied that time, he failed to let go of that friend from his life. He named his band “Nirvana” which means enlightenment and heaven but Cobain perceived it as freedom from pain, suffering and the external world. Kurt’s demise still remains a controversy which could never have a conclusion. Cobain’s body was discovered at his lake Washington Blvd home by an electrician. A shotgun and a suicide note were found near his drugged body.

Elvis Presley, was an only son who was close to his parents specially mother and was often bullied by children as mama’s boy. He was one of the famous names which pop at the title of – classic rock.

Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42. The cause of death was covered up by his family; but it is suspected that it was from an overdose of prescription drugs that caused his heart to stop. Somehow ambiguity was evolved in this death case as well. With his worldwide fame and fortune, he certainly left his mark on the music of his time as the “King of Rock-n-Roll.”

Endless names of models, sportsmen and artists crop out in google search that have lost their lives due to the drugs and their habituated clandestine life which inflicted the drugs but eventually killed them. The most recent in news on the communication media is the death of comedian Robin Williams who attempted suicide. The reason behind a comedian’s suicide is prolonged depression. Isn’t it the highest form of irony??

Lights! Camera! Action!

Beyond that we are oblivious to those actions which they do in life beyond the cameras. Are you never curious what the actor is thinking while he is giving his best shot in front of the rolling cameras?  Don’t you think that whether or not the actors are able to pull out the mask of the character once they are done with the movies?  The lives of stars which are high to reach tend to do the same mistakes which humans do. But their life is steeped with irony. My curiosity arose and I googled, among two out of five famous personality is reported to have been suffering an unnatural death. Be it disease or alcohol or drugs. The most recent in broad light was the death of a comedian who died of depression. Suicide is one of the most difficult tasks a person can carry out. One needs an extreme level of emotions which thrives him to carry out such a heinous crime. Suicide is purgatory on earth itself. The question is if these prominent people have so much money and power and fame. Why will they choose to end their life? Why they want to run away from the noise of flashing cameras and opt for an afterlife where they presume the noises won’t reach? They have million people to love them but still they are unhappy. Drowning themselves in a pool of alcohol and drugs, they are content in that high phase.

Jiah Khan attempted suicide for her unrequited love as reported by several newspapers. Why die for one person or thing when you have so many people to love you back. You have a family and so many people waiting to have a glimpse of yours. Your sight puts a smile in everyone’s face. You even have an option of staying with different fans and I’m sure the actors will run out of time but the number of fans won’t. But people don’t see the situation like that, it’s very difficult to claim to fame and more difficult to hold onto such thoughts when your dreams are shattering and you’re losing faith.

What’s in a secret?

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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What is a SECRET?

Can it be a code or does it have to be an event? Why are we afraid when our secrets are spilled? Why do we just confide about them to a person or two? Not flaunt it like a mobile or car? Because we live in a society which wants to hear only lies? Before telling a secret to my those friend, I whisper,  “Don’t tell it to anyone, it’s just between you and me. Like a bond you know. Did I ever tell it to anyone? I close my eyes and open my heart to her I know I can trust them. I’m sure everyone has a secret locked up. They never want those words to escape or be heard.

Don’t want to them out beyond their four walls. Last time a secret spilled out in my life. It was January 2, 2013. It wasn’t that big as the situation went up to be. Due to that, a broken  friendship which I cherished, though for a short period. It became that nasty, as many adults took to silence. Though not my fault I still feel guilty about confiding those words to her. The spilled secrets washed away all the lies I had with her. What’s worse than ending your love with a paramount? Is not talking to a friend who once meant the world to you? Our common friend told me – “She said she wanted to protect me.”Don’t you know spilling secrets never protect one, it destroys you? Frames you as a culprit.

Don’t disrespect secrets.Some of them power to change life while some can make it miserable.Secrets have their way to come into present. Some don’t reveal because of fear. Some don’t because of shame. Some because they fear that others will be hurt by it.The world feeds on your mistakes. One chance and your down.  So, watch your steps before putting them.

Your friend can be the greatest friend in life or the biggest enemy in life.  

Quick Observations

Sometimes you make choices in life; Sometimes choices make you.

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If you are thinking this to be an inspirational-life-related piece, then don’t expect highly of others. Sometimes its good to disappoint and not come unto the expectation mark.

For two and a half year, I have been using my instagram account. There came a phase when I aspired to have more followers but how? I found a little ray of hope. I went ahead following random people with which one actually gets an insight into their personality. Some of them followed back and well some did not. That’s the time I realised-

Ever Noticed An Instagram Account?

How you go about is, if you don’t know a person in real, you can still make them follow you. *the chance is 40 people out of 100*

1st observation- Look at their followers and following. Following is more than followers? There’s a chance that he/she might follow you back. General trait found among these sort of people are less ego, lee mature, extrovert or can be extreme introvert, likes to make new friends and adventurous types. On the other hand, if the following is less than followers they are mostly the total opposite. They have traits like reserved, attitude, proud about themselves or from where they belong, selfish, rude and these sort of traits are mostly found in people who are the queen bee type people in school, college or offices.

2nd observation- If the info part beneath the followers and following reveal too much about themselves or their life, they can be categorised into expressive types. Writing “taken” or “birthday” on info gives out personal information which people prefer to keep unto themselves. Just to remind that its a public platform where anyone can see your profile, adhere to basic age. Nothing other than link or smiley, self satisfied people who use instagram not to increase followers but to simply view the posts. Those types are the “pretty sorted” in life and can’t picture any stranger in line for following. They are the mature ones who believe that there are two identities in life and each should be separate.

3rd Observation- Majority picture of themselves indicates good camera as well as bright facial features or photogenic face. Well one can’t blame the teenagers, its the age they start identifying to their face, body and match their voice with respective face. Majority pictures of scenes indicates efficient usage of instagram by sharing their photography knowledge with others.

4th observation- A person posting pictures with quotes or a significant caption shows the character which is highlighted by their choices.They are the type of people who identifies those trivial personality traits which is kept hidden from the crowd. They are people who understand situations and people’s behaviour accordingly.

Choose carefully the amount and quality of people your letting into the profile and into your lives.