Notting Hill is one of the most sublime and exuberant love stories of our times. Truly, isn’t it? Well, I watched it years back but watching it again and again isn’t a crime.

Think about this, you falling in love with an actress who comes to purchase a book from the most boring book shop in London and ends up in your bed as you spill cappuccino over her slickly dressed attire in your jolly good neighbourhood street. Yes, you can fantasize about such encounters and we often dismiss such aberrations as creative foolishness of a novice head. But Notting Hill is a reminder to say that such impossible stories can happen. It doesn’t say it will happen but such is the paradox of life that magic could just be around the corner without you blinking an eye for its oblivious and cheeky presence. Doesn’t matter if you don’t manage an actress as your lover or wife, but you would have borrowed a love story of a lifetime. For your life. 


My enchantment of ‘Notting Hill – The Movie’ extended many years later when I visited ‘Notting Hill – The Neighborhood’ in London last year. It gave me this vivacious feeling that my stay in London was incomplete without paying a drop in the streets of Notting Hill. Nothing came close to the film but the inspiration of a cajoling and middle class neighborhood in London was the dazzling leaflet of the day.

crazy little moments

your smile when I wake up is the sweetest good morning wish. you sitting in my lap when I have my lunch makes me drool over you in a flash of cuddling romance. another smile when I leave for work keeps me soaked for the rest of my day. when I am back, your smile is what I wait and despise the day that took a long time to get over.

yes, your smile is magic. yes, your smile is my energy. yes, your smile is my way forward. yes, you smile and I smile. vicious kisses all over.

He never possessed this classical, mellifluous aura of a playback singer, that others of his generation could pull of with aplomb. But Mukesh was a genius in his own right – signature voice, oodles of melancholy, the staggering high pitch verses and the magnetic bliss. He made a trademark out of his vocals that seldom could be emulated, the richness that usually is unseen in such unconventional ways. It would be caressingly apt to put it through, like this – Mukesh can sing your songs, but you will have a tough time singing his.

mukesh

Raj Kapoor made him his household playback machine and the juggernaut is an iconic partnership for Indian Cinema. From ‘Aag’ to ‘Mera Naam Joker’, RK’s phenomenal run with his soundtrack was incomplete without Mukesh’s voltage juxtapose and Shankar Jaikishen’s ethereal scores. His ‘Kabhie Kabhie’ still haunts the ones who had a brush with the original.

A legend in his own melodious ways, Mukesh was a resonant chord of the sublime times.

Thumbs Up

When you have the ability and sustenance to prevail but you refuse to take that one single step, it’s called circumstantial reluctance.

When you have all the dimes and pennies in this world, you vent for the riches. When you have the dollars and pounds, you miss your dimes. That is so human.

When you have the banks to keep all your treasures of life, you prefer to keep your dreams in your pockets. You pockets are easier to access when dreams come true.

We want more and more of everything in life, but we possess less of everything that is required to achieve the more. Get ready and be authentic, all the more is yours.

Best of Me

‘Am I the best’ is a question I often ask myself.
Brutally, the answer is yes. Confidence, yes. Arrogance, no. Well, a bit of it actually.
‘Best’ is usually the most used and most abusively used word around.
Gives you this feeling of anonymity in the vicinity of giants twittering around the epicenter.
Yes, I am the best.

What indeed is the best of you? You the human being, you the professional, you the conscious dweller or you the outsider in a world of conniving emotions?
Yes, the best in you is a segmented potion of your bilingual buckets. You live in each of them, in moods and shapes.
People around you see the segments in you, they don’t see you. They will never see you unless you show the face of it. But is it that important? Is that a milestone?
You are the biggest asset in your life because you believe you are. Yes, tell this to yourself, everyday, every time. People who want to see you, they get to see you. Not outside but within. You are visibly hidden and secretly adrift.

We are impostors of our own self. We decide to have different personalities in various spheres of our society. Yes, it demands so.
No, not pretentious but the ability to not showcase the real you to all is a skill. You don’t inherit but you develop the nuances of it as you grow.
Growth. Yes, we want to grow but sometimes, growth needs to be refined to understand the science of evolving.

Are we predators? No. Second thoughts, yes.
Predators of a different kind. We are intellectual predators.
We hunt opportunities, search avenues, build relationships and develop a clan within enhanced parameters of our dimensions. Parameters change, but evolution doesn’t.
Yes, I am the best.

Conquer others? No. Rulers conquer, leaders become examples by practice.
Gather respect? Yes, a gradual process though as intangibles consume time and ability.
Buy love? Yes, not platonic but through mutual understanding and admiration for each other.
Excel? Yes, but not on the rampage.

Yes, I am the best.

Neighbourhood Dhaba

The news of ‘The Dhaba’ in Ballygunge Phari closing down came as a shocker to us. I really felt an era has come to an end.

We used to live in Ballygunge Circular Road in the 90s and we visited the Dhaba quite regularly. It was our favourite neighbourhood Dhaba. As kids, I remember pouncing on those Butter Nans and Malai Kofta. Yummy and delicious they were! Friendly staff and quality food was home to this extremely popular south Calcutta restaurant.

30 years down the line, we still love visiting the Dhaba. My parents don’t live here anymore and I live in Newtown with my family. Whenever they visit Calcutta, we make it a point to have lunch or dinner at the Dhaba – it was our family destination and the fondness appears to have extended beyond generations. In fact, it still remains my dad’s most revered restaurant in Calcutta.

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We visited the Dhaba on 24 Jan 16. That was the day my son was born and we celebrated by having lunch. The restaurant has an unique attachment to my family, in a way that we have spent some special moments of our life in the restaurant. Our last visit to ‘The Dhaba’ was on 8 May 16.

When I read this article today, first thing I did was call my dad and tell him that his dear foodie destination has closed down. He was terribly disappointed and exclaimed that we will have a tough time to figure out our next food destination during his next visit to Calcutta.

I second his thoughts. ‘The Dhaba’ will be sorely missed.

My apprehension turns in to an insomniac, ballistic version when I talk about SRK films. But ‘Fan’ is a different experience altogether. It brings together a gamut of emotions that sway across as I watched the film – the newcomer, the emerging star, the human being, the superstar, King Khan. Well, yes. Life does come full circle.

‘Fan’ is not an untold story, but it does have its moments of revelation. It isn’t a tribute to a star, it depicts the flip side of being a star. It doesn’t show the star as a great human being, it shows that stars are human beings and are flawed components of a genius box that has all kinds of apples – good, mediocre, bad. We see the good side, admire the bright side but the other aspects of a star are largely and consciously ignored. Yes, fans are crazy people and defy conventions. Their forte is madness and strength is unsurpassable madness.

This fan is no different. He is completely, totally obsessed, consumed, and provocatively immersed in a sea of juggernaut that has no semblance of the star in itself. He copies him, he emulates him, he becomes him. His identity is the price he pays for his adulation of the star and he is ardently proud for cannibalizing his own personality to prove just one point – that he is the biggest and undisputed fan of the star.

Fans are usually preciously sensible people but their common sense is seldom found. They have this insatiable urge to mutilate everything in their lives to epitomize their star and they come to believe that they are the only ones with such unblemished desires. Few, place themselves in a niche radar, and couple of more strictly believe that the admiration is mutual. By all means, trouble starts here. The ‘Fan’ here falls in this category of vendetta. His admiration has no break even point, and all hell breaks loose when he realizes that his ‘God’ has way too many followers to look at and he only has time to wave his hands across and blow insurmountable kisses to all those crazy people who come to wish him ‘Happy Birthday’. Apparently, that’s about it. ‘It’s my life, why should I even devote 5 seconds to you’ is a statement that ended ‘Fan’s’ meteoric 25 years of devotion and palpable affection. His world is upside down and ends in bout of frenzy calm. Rest is, usual events of inflicting pain and anguish. In fact, ironically, the story of ‘Fan’ ends here.

The star drastically comes to realize that he is the very reason for his fan to be alive. His life, his cyber cafe, his one-sided love story, his parents, his yearly stage show  – all were byproducts of his deep rooted obsession and love for the star. Quite aptly and painfully, he calls himself as his ‘Junior’.

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The star’s character is sketched with grey orientations. The scene wherein the Indian Embassy doesn’t have kind words for the star is an agonising moment wherein his god like image is dubiously contrasting to his persona as a human being, who here is depicted as filthy and an ass. I strictly believe it is intentional – I do not take it that stars are good human beings but the vice versa could be equally daunting and true. Apparently, this sketch of the star makes the ‘Fan’ even more endearing and deserves all the sympathy of the audience despite he being grossly unfair to his ‘Senior’.

‘Fan’ is scripted, conceptualized and enacted for Shahrukh Khan. For once, I must say that this will go down as one of his talismanic and courageous performances. He is brilliant as the ‘Fan’ – charming, notorious, nonsense, fearless, rampant. He is all soul and energy in his fan avatar and is spectacularly watchable as an actor, which could otherwise be deemed as another run-of-the-mill flick. For playing the ‘star’, which comes naturally to him, isn’t a surprise but the grey edges showcased through his character is a stunner. Not every star can demean themselves, even if they deserve it (which is hugely circumspect). So, lets leave it here as of now. SRK will go down as the winner, both as the ‘Fan’ and the star.

‘Rehene de, tu nahin samjhega’. – @Fan.

monday haters

yes, we hate monday. gosh, why do mondays come at all?
good question – but think, can we survive without a monday? no, seriously, think.

if there is no monday, there will be no tuesday, wednesday and so on.
take monday out of the week, rest of the days will lose their sheen.
we have a monday, that’s reason enough why sunday is the most loved day.
monday is the reason to live, dream, fantasize, contemplate, introspect.

if monday is a holiday, tuesday becomes monday and thus begins the overlap.
the ecosystem goes for a toss if there is no monday.
monday is the predator of our lives, we live because monday exists. we hope because we have a monday. we plan on a monday. we conceptualize on monday.

monday is the most susceptible and most powerful.
give it a skip and your momentum for the week is lost. week is defined by monday.
monday is glimmer of opportunities for those waiting in the wings.
you miss monday, you miss a gallon of propositions.

monday is the beginning of your future.
stock markets, hospitality, education – all thrive for monday.
monday is the start, you can’t stop if you don’t start.
monday is your key to success.
monday is everything.

my monday is fab, how’s you?

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