Fb : We Are Humanity, 27.12.16.
I usually actually don’t tend to bring out the expeditions (Huge Word, Yes!) into my blog soon after they’re done even though I would’ve desired otherwise. This I’ve felt was probably due to the hangover I would be in right away that dramatically would give way to hustle and bustle of daily life before I could actually be penning them down. Knowing such of my tendencies, I’ve always tried saving memorabilia from my travels be it bus tickets, entry tickets to places I’ve been to, notes by others and else. Someday I hope to sit down and start penning them down one by one with the obvious motive of reliving them.
For now, the wanderlust has bit me again. And it is so different from all of my past escapades. It actually signifies the turnaround for me. It is the first time around that before commencing a journey; I am actually putting it across to all of you.
It all started from a casual remark that I made to our Malayali gang back here in Shisham about how exciting it would be to travelling home from Doon by bus. Their first reactions excepting one or maybe two were generally that of dismissal. They must’ve assumed it to be another joke that I was supposedly pushing across. I even made a fleeting remark about it to my sister when I was onboard the return train to Doon. As time passed I took to heart and head what I’d said and dwelt about it in all seriousness. Whenever I would be mentioning it amongst my friends, Vishnu was the one who’d be pushing me to do it in all earnestness whilst others probably didn’t comprehend what I stood to gain from the adventure I was about to undertake. But, beyond the apparently exciting expedition it was to be, there were ‘n’ number of things (Yes! I’d missed using that) that were yet to be figured out if I was to be reaching home with my life and limb intact.
I counted out the opportunities that I could be exploiting in the journey. I could be meeting up dear friends right on from my early school years to now, putting up with them, do some local hitchhiking at most places, Bus-fanning throughout the length of the journey (the many States to be covered and the multitude of Buses! OMG!) And finally do some random crazy shit as is usual for me on such expeditions.
Once it was decided that the expedition was on, now came across the task of charting out my journey. Considering the options at hand I first planned it out something like following: Dehradun – New Delhi – Agra – Jhansi – Jabalpur – Seoni – Nagpur – Hyderabad – Bangalore – Mysore – Sulthan Bathery – Ooty – Coimbatore – Sulthan Bathery – Thrissur – Ernakulam – Thiruvananthapuram. Agra, because six years in Delhi and I could never visit the Taj. Jabalpur, because I needed to be getting my certificates from the university and Sulthan Bathery because I wanted to ride on the Nilgiri Sulthan to Kovai beyond Udhagamandalam, return and then to make the descent to Thrissur in the morning via the Thamarassery Churam. I secured contacts in most places thanks to my mates in FRI as well as my KV upbringing.
But alas, the plan wasn’t to materialize atleast for the time being. The lack of State transport in Madhya Pradesh being a major setback and long sections of non-stop travel involved was there as such then came in the news of Selvi. Jayalalitha’s sudden passing away, that put me in a quandary about the state of affairs in Tamilnadu. But when the bug had already bitten, there was no looking back, the journey was rerouted promptly in a span of days, new contacts secured for the places I was to be in. Tamilnadu still stays very much with priority on the list, with me being hopeful of things improving soon. I set about with the preparations, almost on a war-footing for I didn’t have much time. Surprising was the fact that I indulged in it all when my examinations were on and I was supposed to be studying rigorously. But I could see the energy that sprang out from within, a wave that I’d been missing. I was happy with myself for that exact same reason. The route for now was restructured as Dehradun – New Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Udaipur – Vadodara – Pune – Bangalore – Mysore – Sulthan Bathery – Ooty – Coimbatore – Sulthan Bathery – Thrissur – Ernakulam – Thiruvananthapuram.
That’s quite a ride even when travelled in the tourist mode, I dunno how that’s gonna turn out for me. I am setting out anyhow with the belief firm that in the end, it will be one long memorable journey to home sweet home and that the Almighty will take care of what I’ve missed and the rest! Hopefully, I will write about the journey itself in one grand post once it attains completion.
So, Godspeed is the one that will help me in taking this post from anonymity to where it truly belongs! And I need it the most, from every one of you!
So, there was this bollywood movie being shot on our campus. So what? Nothing extraordinary, right. Girls from our class announced the advent of the shooting crews and caravans with child like excitement that I brushed aside with a pretended disinterest.
The movie supposedly was titled, ‘Raag Desh’ and it was ‘Kunal Kapoor’ who was starring in it. All of them seemed to be apparently drooling over the the same. I realised myself to be no exception to it only a little while later. The talk in the classroom was all about the movie and people were enthused by the fact that students and seniors amongst us had been offered crowd roles to play in the movie and paid decent sums for a day’s work. The movie was being shot at different spots all over the campus near the main building, the lawns and elsewhere.
After the first day’s shoot they set camp near the rear portion of our main building where all crew vehicles and caravans were parked and their stores for everything from costumes to eatables to props was set. We were having our classes for an IIRS course in the Forest Informatics Division right by the rear end during those days. So we were like kind of first hand witnesses to all of the proceedings. For me, on a personal note all of it seemed quite surprising as to how the things were progressing and also because I’d never watched a movie-shoot at such close quarters. So many different people in the crew working on altogether different things simultaneously and then all of it getting unified for perfecting a single frame/ shot was stupefying. More than the cast of the movie, it was the director (Tigmanshu Dhulia) that I was noticing for I was already in awe for the genre of cinemas (Read Paan Singh Tomar, Gangs of Wasseypur for his acting) that he’d given us.
Folks from our class were already in possession of the actor’s autographs and photographs with them. One day after class, when the shoot was on in the convocation hall in the evening, Even I did get a chance to be in those sections of the main building where I had never previously been.
On a later day while the shooting was still on, we three trooped down to the movie set after our classes. I was pleasantly taken aback to see familiar faces (our friends and seniors from the university) in the crowd running back after their shoot was done. We’d known by then that it was to be a movie revolving around the great Subash Chandra Bose and the INA. The shoot on was about a session of the Congress, where the leaders including Jawahrlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhai Patel were addressing the gathered crowds.
Vishnu, a dear friend I knew was seriously into movie-making. I’d seen and felt his passion for the same whenever he’d be speaking of films and also when he was on this set, observing the shoot with keen interest. He introduced me to a malayali crew member who was coincidentially from the same city as I was. The female lead for the movie was also from down south as Vishnu later told me. An interesting incident was just about to happen right then.
The actor essaying the role of Pt. Nehru was to be addressing the crowd in the given frame. The director was sort of impatient at times, which seemed completely justified if the day’s shoot was to be wrapped up succesfully. All arrangements were set, there was complete stillness and multiple dialogues got okayed with few takes. Then according to script, Pt. Nehru was to say, “ये गुज़रे हुए दिन बड़ी मुश्किल में गुज़रे थे।“ But somehow the actor himself found it awkward to be mouthing the same word twice in a single sentence. He kept repeating the same line over and over again to himself before the take. The last time around he just stopped off at “मुश्किल” and I spontaneously completed his sentence by shouting out a “से भरे हुए थे।“, altering the dialogue as “ये गुज़रे हुए दिन बड़ी मुश्किलों से भरे हुए थे।“. Even before I’d realized what I’d done, members of the crew were gesticulating towards me to remain silent. This was probably in fear of the director shouting at them as well. I was fortunate that it was not a take as such that I’d intervened in and that maybe the actor had indeed heard me shout for when the shot was finally it was taken, it was as revised. A feel good sensation ensued instantly despite what could have possibly been an awry twist. I understood how the slightest of the disturbances could completely be ruining a frame about to be shot. We soon left before the shoot came to a close.
Few days later, when the shoot was on the side of our main building was when I and Nidhin decided to stay put around the location in the afternoon to catch a glimpse of the actors and watch some real silver screen action. We had the opportunity to be masquerading as film crew and walk on the lawns up front which we couldn’t otherwise have done as students. The catering staff even fondly inquired whether we had lunch or not, presuming us also to be part of the shoot/crew. We spotted multiple vintage cars to be put to use in the shoot. The shoot commenced soon after with the lead actors performing. We were in the front row of the crowd of onlookers and were happy with the fact that the deployed bouncers asked us quite normally not to be video capturing the shooting and stay a bit back without any roughness whatsoever in their tones. The frame was set and it was about to be shot when the director suddenly spotted Sourav Biswas standing with a cycle at the edge of the frame and shouted out for him to be removed. A crew member ran out towards him, while Sourav stood nonchalantly. He reached up to him, picked up his cycle and then both of them ducked behind a tree before the shooting continued. The director was occasionally pissed off about losing daylight before the shoot finished. We stayed till the last shots were okayed in hopes of an autograph or a photograph (Yes!). Soon as the shoot wrapped up, Kunal was literally whisked away in a Qualis to his caravan while we onlookers stood dismayed. Nidhin then said that we should anyways be walking over to where his caravan was in hopes of the same. We did and when we did reach up, we found our batchmates from different trades getting photos snapped with him and he he left in a flash into a waiting taxi-cab, before we could even manage to ask him for a photo. I and Nidhin did however jump over to the side where his taxi stood to at least squeeze out an autograph from him before he left. Nidhin promptly fished out my Library Passbook for getting the autograph and I goaded him to ask Kunal Kapoor for the same. He did, but we were politely refused for the day citing his hurry to be boarding a flight back. Nidhin spoke fluent hindi and was responded to by Kunal Kapoor in an even pleasing tone. We returned back to the hostel dismayed not by the fact that we didn’t get his auto or photograph but more by the fact that fate had denied Kunal the opportunity to gift us the same (Ha!).
The shoot was on for a few more days after that and the last of my misadventures on the set involved me and Anand on a scooterette riding right into the middle of the frame attempting to capture the Nazi Flags draped on our FRI building for the shoot. Alas there also, before I could actually take the snap we got surrounded by bouncers who warned us against doing anything of the sort and we made a quick exit.
Imagine all this and more happened to someone whose earliest memories relatable to movies remain conversing with മാമു കോയ in Calicut, a tale that wasn’t believed by his own family members for long!
I have been a person with a lot of crap in my brain and mind that also often reflected knowingly or unknowingly in my thoughts and actions. This I write here so as to serve as the flag-off for the betterment of myself to my true satisfaction.
I distinctly remember that my first time indulgence was in class I with me saying unpleasant stuff about a classmate, the same had a recurrence in class 6th with the girl I was to fall in love for, much later on in life. Class 6th was when I’d actually fallen sick (obviously in regard to what is being spoken of here). The illness only deteriorated with time and in years, it kind of was overpowering and suffocating.
Yes, Suffocating because I’d known all along that I didn’t need such an indulgence and that I seriously needed to stay away from it to concentrate on better stuff in life but alas, I couldn’t do that as such. My own failure at getting done what I’d resolved suffocated me.
I was very fortunate in the sense that there came many instances and even persons whom I could’ve successfully utilized to turn on a new leaf in my life. While I was at my lowest ebb in undergraduate years, came into my life the very same girl from class 6th. I’d resolved to change for the better to be worthy of her. I kind of changed also, but sadly the change didn’t stay on for too long. I’d soon reverted to my old crappy self. This and multitudes of incidents apart, I was still at square one.
Cut back to present, I’ve realized that my being good or better towards others and self is only to my own benefit in the long run and that I couldn’t afford to while away the limited time at hand in wasteful indulgences that could otherwise be put to use fruitfully to secure a fulfilling present and satisfying life.
More than ever, the one person who has catalyzed the turn around this time has been #RotiChehra, a dear chaddi buddy of mine who’d like me to do better. Her ‘pretending’ to distance herself from me was enough for me to know that it’s ‘Now or never’. Though this got me all upset at start and I perceived her incorrectly, now I think I know better. The lingering fear that she might someday entirely give up on me, if I didn’t rise up has been the exact trigger this time. But my resolve, rock-solid this time somehow tells me that I wouldn’t falter like before and indeed secure the light at the end of the tunnel.
Long live my resolution!
Long live the revolution!
She was rather curious to know why I was persistent for a passport sized photograph of hers right then.God knows, maybe I’d foreseen such a day as the present where she’d pretend to be a complete stranger!
Facebook is an escapade from the trials and tribulations of our daily lives, where in we tend to waste our valuable time and energies to be poking our noses into what our so called friends are supposedly doing. It is so at least for me and I assume likewise for many others like me.
To enhance this feel of ours are present facebook apps of ever growing diversity. They seemingly tell you everything about yourself from the actor you resemble, your love life, the mode and date of your death, your career and even seemingly little facts, all presented attractively and usually in words that you would obviously love to hear!
Point blank, they aren’t the usually the truest they could be for they are based on algorithms, that I could possibly never comprehend.
So here is a compilation of the vastly varied and certainly interesting stuff that one such app (Be Like Me!) had to say with regard to me. Read through and laugh out like I do!!!
This poem was penned down by schoolmate sometime back. When I happened to read it I had him send it over to me. I had almost as well forgotten about it when I recently happened to chance upon this gem of a piece in my inbox. I only knew this had to be before others like me. So, here it goes…
My hands burn, yet I clutch
the steel rods are burning it, yet I clutch
for my children’s stomach is crying, so I clutch.
Glow of molten,makes my eyes blind, reminds me the glow of my paddies
I let tire my eyes, for my children’s stomach is crying.
The once known pleasure of mud, now turn coal’s ash in my legs
the pain the ground gives, differ when a bug bite me on my mud
I let pain my legs, for my children’s stomach is crying.
The bones are crushed,teared the muscles
time has to now to pass, why is it very slow to pass
I let my mind’s patience wait, for my children’s stomach is crying.
Lord gave the silvers when stars shone, the glow rather soothing than the steel
eyes had tears flowing, for my children’s stomach will smile.
Engine drove through the track , to my beautiful village it goes
to my wife and children it goes, the body not tired anymore
as it will put out the stomach’s cry.
Stepped to my mud again, the early green has now turned
pale darkness, pale sorrow, tears on my wife’s cheeks, went in to see my thatch.
Turned for my kids,no one around, then turned to my wife
pointing she was to a grave, a grave so beautiful.
I went near the beautiful heap of mud, a drop of tear on the mud of bones
the stomach always crying
drank the tear, to put off the fire in it.
PS : Forgive the blogger, if the line breaks haven’t been appropriate. I hardly have any poetic sense!