Maut

यह मेरी लाश पड़ी हुई है ,
चंद लोगों की भीड़ जमा हुई है
अब सवालों के बोझ से हर सांस नहीं लेनी पड़ेगी ,
पर जवाबों से मुलाकात की गुंजाइश नहीं रही है
अब हसने के मौके भी नहीं रहे ,
न गम के आसूं बहाने के मौके रहे
अब हर रोज़ बैंक बैलेंस की चिंता नहीं करनी ,
बेचारे जो ज़िंदा है उनकी कश्मकश चलती रहेगी
यह कैसी दुनिया रची है इंसानों ने
एक को २५ करोड़ में नवाज़ा जाता है
पर जो दिन भर मेहनत करता है वह धुप में ही सोता है ।

2015

1. Read more books than in 2014. Enjoyed What is Justice by Sandel, Youth by Coetzee, some of the books from A Very Short Introduction series like Marx, Foucault, History of Human Life

2. Attended the Mumbai International Film Festival for the second time – watched 23 films – favorites – Taxi, Microbe and Gasoline, Risk of Acid Rain, Kaul, Agnieszka, The Forbidden Room, Songs My Brothers Taught Me, The River of Fables

3. Started homeschooling

4. Attended a literary festival in Mumbai – chai and translation sessions were the best. And, a wonderful story told by Gulzar in his soothing voice.

5. Finally, got a chance to visit Mahabaleshwar in the off season – no crowd, relaxed exploration.

6. Took son to two plays performed by Gillo – HANUMAN KI RAMAYAN at Bhavan’s and GULABO AUR PARIZAAD at NCPA

Looking back at MAMI 2014

The story of humans on this planet is the story of struggle; to survive and live with dignity; to feel part of something. Every human and the society they are part of have their own struggles. There is almost familiar themes running through these struggles – fighting the unjust government (Pride), people displaced from their homes and trying to start a new life in an unfamiliar country (Macondo), women fighting social prejudices and unjust system of justice (Difret, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem), economic struggle (Two Days, One Night), love. The themes are familiar but still the story needs to be told. And, cinema is one such medium to explore these themes.

I have always wanted to attend an International Film Festival. My first attempt was MAMI 2013 but could not manage to fulfill my wish. But, MAMI 2014 happened and it turned out to be an unforgettable experience. Everyday I left home early to watch 4-5 movies per day, and returned home late in the night. The first show usually started at 10am. And, reached home by 11pm. My son was perplexed. I tried to share some stories from films to satiate his curiosity.

How did I choose which films to watch? Don’t remember now. I had not read too many previews; just a couple before day 1. So, just went with my gut feeling in choosing films to watch, for each day.

One great feature of the festival is that the audience gets to talk to the producers, directors or the actors of the film.

One of the defining experience of the festival was watching ‘Corn Island’. It is a beautifully shot film but has minimal dialogues. There is no dialogue almost for 20 minutes but I was completely hooked and eager to follow the journey of the protagonist. ‘Court’ was another movie which was unconventional but engaging, sometimes humorous. Here is a review

A Dalit activist-poet is held ‘responsible’ for the ‘suicide’ of a sewage cleaner. ‘Court’ leads us through his arrest and ‘judicial remand’ and hearings, resulting in a film that is throbbing, urgent, vital, belying the sparse, near-documentarian manner of the telling.

Some other movies which I liked -

  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • – A vampire movie shot in black and white

  • Refugiado
  • – A wife (with her son) running away from the abusive husband

  • Vessel ( Documentary )
  • – A woman’s fight to help women from around the world in getting abortions.

  • Gett, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem
  • – An enthralling court drama; mesmerizing performance by the lead actress.

  • Difret
  • – An Ethopian film which tells a story of girl escaping from the inhuman practice of ‘abduction into marriage’.

  • Lessons in Dissent (Documentary )
  • The Tree (Drevo)
  • Macondo
  • – The film explores the life of refugees in Austria.

  • The Fort (Killa)
  • – Story of childhood; beautiful background; some funny moments.

  • Labour Of Love (Asha Jaoar Majhe)
  • – A silent film

  • The Ambassador To Bern
  • – A political thriller

  • The Little House
  • Pride
  • – A fun film based on true events.

  • Two Days, One Night
  • – Will you accept taking a cut in salary/bonus if it would help someone to keep their job?

Some of the duds I watched –

  • Dombivli Return
  • Honeycomb Lodge
  • Buddha In a Traffic Jam

The festival was well organised; though there were some hiccups. Now, looking forward to October 29th, 2015.

आदत

मौत की सताने की आदत नहि, वो एक बार ही आति है
फिक्र करना मेरी फीत्रत है, रोज मुझे बेबस karne ki उस्की आदत है

Absurd

In the words I find Joy,
The self sours high,
Life has no meaning,
Death is the only ending,
Conquer the absurdity of being alive,
By doing what helps you escape from wondering ‘what to do in life’?

It is all about the numbers

The justification game runs like this -

Our film is great, a super-hit; look at the box-office numbers
Democracy is thriving; look at the election turnout
IPL is great; look at the crowd in the stadium
Economy is doing great; watch the rising bull market
We are the best in media; look at the number of awards/readers
We run the best coaching institute; look at our number of students in IIT!!

Lost

The lost time,
The lost memories,
The lost opportunities,
The lost relationships,
The lost knowledge,
The lost compassion,
The lost innocence,
Never coming back!