Sunday, November 10, 2013

Of Bhansali's Tributes, Siddharth's Missive, Jhumpa's Solitude, Orange Is The New Black, Lovely Messages, Movie List, and Manmarziyan...

Long time no see..

A few days ago in a very candid interview with Hindustan Times, Sanjay Leela Bhansali spoke about many things. Talking about failure, he says,

My first film was a huge critical success but a huge box-office failure. I've seen failure and humiliation from the beginning. I've come through that space in my life. Guzaarish was a wonderful film. And Saawariya is one of my favorite works. But people’s reactions shook me to a great extent. I was hurt and angry. A lot of people went to the extent of saying that Sanjay Bhansali is over and no actor wants to work with him now. It was in the newspapers, radio and television. But then, life goes on. The best way of dealing with failure is an expression of my anger. It triggers a mad side in me. I've become unstoppable. I've seen too many struggles and hardships to take success or failure seriously.

He selects five of his favorite classic films,
Pakeezah: Because it is Kamal Amrohi and Meena Kumari’s film. Because of its beautifully expressed anguish. And it’s a great film.

Mirch Masala: The interpretation of a village girl and a beautifully made film by Ketan Mehta.

Mughal-E-Azam: Because it’s sheer genius. Every second of the film is excellent.

Do Ankhen Barah Haath: V Shantaram is my favorite filmmaker. I am most impressed, inspired and influenced by him.

36 Chowrangee Lane: Aparna Sen’s best work and it will always be. It’s a beautiful film and Jennifer Kapoor has given a wonderful performance.

What is fascinating that Sanjay pays tribute to these films in his own films. As I wrote in the post on Saawariya, at one point in it, Gulabji and some other prostitutes are singing the song 'Ae Malik Tere Bande Hum'. The song is originally from the film Do Aankhe Barah Haath, directed by V Shantaram. At another point in Saawariya, we see Imaan, Sakina and Badi Ammi watching Mughal-E-Azam and Badi Ammi actually speaking the lines from that film. In Devdas, Chandramukhi's mujra dress in the 'Hum Pe Yeh Kisne Hara Rang Dala' is strikingly similar to Sahibjaan's in Pakeezah

I love it when a director refers a different film in a film and no wonder, Bhansali pays tribute to his favorite film makers in his own films. In a way, we all are inspired either consciously or sub-consciously that some things get ingrained naturally in us. For instance, I use the phrase 'at one point' multiple number of times in any post, taking inspiration from Anupama Chopra. I am eagerly waiting from Ram Leela, a Bhansalised version of Romeo and Juliet. Bhansali adores his mother, Leela, so much that he took her name as his middle name. She used to go to different houses to sell stuff and make money. They have come out of a real hardship and it is his way to thank his mother. He has named this film after his mother, therefore, I have very high expectations that he has given some of his best work. Waiting eagerly. 

Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi wrote a fabulous letter this week. It is very difficult to describe in words the way his writing touches me. It is as if he communicates with someone who resides deep inside our hearts and that someone never comes out, that someone stays with us always, shadows us everywhere we go and is hidden. To that someone in me, his writings speak to. He writes,

Whether you have an affair that lasts a lifetime or a weekend, know that loving someone is a largely moral act. Love is a feeling, an impulse, a behavior, even an aesthetic realizing itself. But the underlying fabric of love is a moral one. To be entrusted with the custody of another life – a sibling, a lover, a parent – is a way for you to understand how your morality transacts with the mortality of the other. If you are unable to be moral, take the easier route: Be compassionate. That always works. In truth, the only kind of immortality to aspire to is how deeply you loved; if one single person remembers you fairly then you are already immortal in their memory of you. This is enough.

Don’t fear being alone: Your company is the best gift you can give yourself. And a man who is not afraid of being alone often also has the best company to give to others.

Isn't it stunning? I wish someday I could meet and learn from you, Siddharth. Last Diwali, he had written a beautiful message and this year he wrote a letter. I cannot wait to read your blogs on Huffington Post now. Thank you. 

Sometimes I wonder why people – friends, lovers, allies – leave our lives. The answer is: They do because they do. But the more who leave the chambered heart, the more it is returned to its authentic silence, its original darkness. Every diya you light tonight is a remembrance that the person you have been waiting for to return is so deep in memory it not possible for them to leave: you are the sum total of all you have known together. In the darkness of their departure, when you are entirely alone, the sort of alone comparable to old oaks and sentinels, know that everyday you wake up you are already in the best company: Yourself. Everything is just right. Happy Diwali 2012.

As beautifully Siddharth writes, so does Jhumpa Lahiri. She understands the nuances of human emotions very well and brings it out in her writings splendidly. I finished the third story A Choice of Accommodations in Unaccustomed Earth and there are some deeply touching lines.

Wasn't it terrible that after all the work one put into finding a person to spend one's life with, after making a family with that person, even in spite of missing that person, that solitude was what one relished most, the only thing that, even in fleeting, diminishing doses, kept one sane.

Both of these writers talk about solitude in their writing and maybe that is why I identify with them in so many ways. Solitude and loneliness - things that are my lifelong companions.

As I read this chapter, the cosmic connections theory also had to play its part. Stylist magazine came out with the top 50 romantic lines in literature this week and the list had a line from the chapter!

That the last two letters in her name were the first two in his, a silly thing he never mentioned to her but caused him to believe that they were bound together.

More romantic lines here: Top 50 Romantic Lines From Literature.

“I wish I knew how to quit you.” :(

Orange Is The New Black

I finished watching Orange Is The New Black on Netflix. What a brilliant show. I loved it. It is simply fascinating. It is about Piper Chapman who goes to jail because she was a drug dealer few years ago and now her criminal ex-girlfriend names her in court. The show captures the life in a female prison. It is funny, hilarious, terrifying, depressing, and introspecting. What I really like about the show that it never justifies the crime of these women but presents it objectively and humanely. And anybody who thinks that there is no corruption in the US, just watch this show. The show tackles many themes as a black comedy, such as lesbianism, racism, conservatism, and segregation. It is without any doubt one of my favorite shows this year. No body is going to hit you harder than life, it says.  Or when Larry says, "You really have to admire the way these women find meaning in their days. How they take care of each other." My favorite characters are Taystee and Crazy Eyes.  The rap song and the conversation between Taystee and Poussey enacting as white women was outrageously funny. Crazy Eyes is awesome. She calls Chapman as her 'dandelion' and recites Shakespeare. Waiting for Season 2.

Crazy Eyes

Now started Downton Abbey Season 4 and will write more on it soon. Such a soap junkie I am.

In one of the earlier posts, I had written about Saawariya. After that post, I decided that I will not write on movies any more because maybe I am thinking too much about things. I write after a lot of thinking and I feel no one really understands what I am trying to say, so why not keep it to myself? But then M sent me a message,

How do you write so beautifully? I had tears in my eyes while reading the Saawariya review. I'd also loved the movie. But kabhi itni baareeki se cheezon pe gaur nhi kiya. Maybe that's one of the reasons I cherish our relationship so much kyuki tujhe logo aur cheezo ko itne kareeb aur tasalli se dekhne parakhne ki aadat hai, jaise ke unki rooh jhaank li ho. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful piece of writing it is. Love your words. 

And A also sent this message,
I so envy your writing and movie observation skills!!! BRILLIANT is an understatement. If I thought your post on Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam was the best, you wrote one on Saawariya which blew my mind. It has made me want to again watch a movie that I had previously disliked! How Panky How?? Please make me a student of yours. Oh and btw, when is the book coming out? You have to have to write it!

These are the two best messages that I have got :) So, had to share it. My teacher and idol, Beth, replied and favorited a tweet :) :) Thank you all. I hope you understand what I mean :)

Rewatched parts of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and discovered some new insights. Will write soon. Chennai Express is on Netflix. I do not know whether I should watch it or not. I am not at all a fan of Rohit Shetty kind of cinema but I want to see SRK-Deepika. So, split whether I should watch it or not. I think I will watch it soon, maybe during Thanksgiving break. I will take it as a challenge - finding nuance in a Rohit Shetty film :) The movies that I have got and will watch soon: Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, Aks, I, Me Aur Main (yes, I want to watch it), Ek Thi Daayan. Now, waiting for Shuddh Desi Romance, The Lunchbox and Bombay Talkies to release on DVD so that I can binge on them during Thanksgiving break. So much to read and write about in the coming weeks :) 

I am addicted to the song Manmarziyaan from Lootera. I just cannot stop listening to it. I love the part when the singers in background say 'yun to solah'. Pata nahi kyun tum vaapas aa gaye, aur pata nahi kyun maine tumhe aane diya.

Yun to solah saavan aaye gaye
Gaur nahi kiya humne
Bheega man ka aangan is martaba
Kya jaane kya kiya tumne

So many more things to write about the Seattle trip. I came back today only. Will write more later.

Dialogue of the Day:
"Phoolon ki bhi apni bhaasha hoti hai, khamosh reh kar bhi kitna kuch keh dete hain." 
 – Rishi, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna

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