When the Mind is without Fear

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Photograph of Painting at Chitrasanthe 2016 – Artist Prakash K

The screen stares at me, glowing in anticipation; I open tab after tab drawing blue boxes on the screen. My mind, blank, wonders what if Medicine had never happened, what if Christmas didn’t find me sitting here in this rank Emergency, sitting here at 2 at night waiting for that CT report, that other idiot’s X-ray and the mild fever hypochondriac’s blood counts.

I would probably be having some tea now, wrapped up in my favourite comforter, my mind numbed by my delectable combo of Netflix, food and warmth. Krithika by my side, complaining of my choice of film; bored out of her skull; unappreciative of the cuts, the editing, the dialogue, the direction and more.

“God, this is so depressing”, she would’ve said.

What then; would I have turned it off; we would’ve had gotten cosy then, probably. Man, I could have been having tea, comforter, sex and maybe with some luck, even a movie.

People call me movie crazy, but honestly, there’s just something enjoyable about soaking in your own mediocrity, watching someone else’s art take your breath away. There’s also a joy in choking and gagging at it when their art sucks. It’s as good a guilty pleasure as any. Watching their little lives play out on my screen pausing when I want, rewinding when I will it so, reliving their best, their deaths, their cheating wives, their deadbeat dads, their boring sons. Watching their stories makes my own real, my own interesting, even worthy.

I used to have this fantasy as a kid that my life was a movie, that someone somewhere was sitting in a plush theatre eating a version of popcorn and nachos watching my life play out, admiring my boring life, my deadbeat dad, my cheating wife, my worst and my best.

Man, maybe I am Movie Crazy.

The screen continues to glow in front of me, the last few days have been quite mundane; the ED has been calm, no deaths, no intubations, nothing, not even a VVIP connected patient to put in his place, just an unearthly calm.

I open the Guardian’s website and begin to solve the Quick Crossword, the cryptic is to snooty, the editor’s high handed, so the Quick it is.

4 Across ————- Believes in (6) ———- Trusts

16 Down ————- Cheap Wine from the Rhine (9) —————– Don’t know

24 a ——————-Cleaning Device (7,7) ——————-Umm… Vacuum Cleaner

18 a ——————- Actor from Gandhi (8) —— Kingsley

What a combination of words is the crossword. Letters, words, clues smushed together on a drunk chessboard, forced into union for eternity regardless of choice, of need, desire.

Aren’t we all in a way, crosswords forced into being, living in the spaces between the black and white, forced into being with, around people we don’t want, doing what we don’t need, falling down our own rabbit holes, falling, falling, waiting to land, waiting for life, or is it waiting for death, to begin.

Epilogue – The mind is an amazing place, will it out of structure and it searches for patterns and formats; will it to write in scheme and it struggles to force words together.

The above piece was a part of fifteen minute freewriting exercise at Write-Club Bangalore. The mind flows if forced to, force yours to flow and fly everyday.

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Thithi – A Review

 

Every so often, a rarer find now in these potboiler times, a film comes along that instead of transporting you to an imaginary world transfixes you in the forgotten magic of your own. Thithi is one such film.

When Century Gowda, the bawdy centenarian of a small village passes away, his son Gadappa, a senile gypsy of sorts with no interest in land or wealth, grandson Thamanna, a man caught in the throes of family life, and his great-grandson, Abhi, a hormonal teen on the cusp of manhood react to his death in their own ways.

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Clamour

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PC – 2014, Canon 1100D 18-55mm, Rock Garden, Chandigarh

 

The sun a fiery orb of blood red sank, its last rays glinting on the reaching waves crashing onto the beach strewn with still forms. Rivulets of blue swirls merged with conflicting red streams of blood as the waters washed incessant over the ravaged bodies.

“In a World…”, a voiceover resounded over the post-apocalyptic scape, “torn asunder by man’s greed, Gaia rose in wrath to undo all man had wrought…” Angry streaks burnt into the sky lit the beach as on its shores a body stirred. His lungs gulped air, coughing he choked, the stench of flesh hung like a curtain within him. He staggered to his feet, his gaze vacant staring at the violence before him. “Humanity’s last stand for survival…” a voice boomed through the clouds jolting him to the reality of it. He looked around for the source, the devious deranged villain wreaking such havoc. Desolation, devastation faced him.

“…will be fought by one man…”, it continued, deep rumbling, like Morgan Freeman. “Who is it??”, he said, now sure the voice existed. “One man must in the face of loss…”, unperturbed it went on, as though formed by the air itself.

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Kabali – A Review

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Kabali fever has gripped the nation. Offices declared holidays, airlines paid for first day first show tickets, theatres opened before sunrise, torrent sites collapsed, bus strikes were declared in Karnataka, schools were closed, Kabali da the only explanation.

Swept away in the wave of fandom, not wanting to miss out on what was surely going to define dialogue, thought and catch phrases for the nation I too trooped off to a multiplex to be part of the phenomenon.

From the very beginning, I realised that this was going to be different. Rajinikanth’s films to me were loud, melodramatic and overtly stylish to a fault and pure entertainment. But this was different. The quiet introduction of Kabali in a cell reading My father Balaiah promises intelligence, subtlety and much more. The style quotient of Rajinikanth is there but drastically cut down; gone are the cigarette flicks and the shoulder towel stunts, here is a cooler, suaver Rajini. Dressed to the nines in every scene, credit to the fashion designer for creating suits that stood out, yet fit in; just the right amount of sass.

Rajini is comparatively subdued for most part of the film, his style reduced to sitting cross-legged on chairs and uttering ‘Magizhchi’ with pointed nods and gestures. Playing his own age has enabled the actor to sink his teeth into a role and he does justice to the part. A near-permanent scowl on his bearded face, that breaks into a smile without warning adds to the persona of the feared and revered don. No songs and exaggerated action sequences break his character and most fights are with guns or props that ensure physicality is not questioned (exceptions exist though).

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