Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Slice of Life

The first thing (ok second thing, because I posted about my trip before anything else) I did after I came back to India (even before I unpacked) was watch Shanghai. Not only is it directed by THE Dibakar Banerjee, it also has one of my three favourite actors in the mainstream-yet-sane-arena, Abhay Deol (other two being Rajat Kapoor and Kay Kay Menon). Now I have seen Oye Lucky Lucky Oye n number of times, while Love, Sex Aur Dhoka remains one of my offbeat favourites. But Shanghai is different in its intensity, in its treatment of the contemporary politics-corporate greed-bureaucratic corruption nexus and in its portrayal of the evergreen battle between right vs. the easy way out. What I like most about the movie (no, not Emraan Hashmi, though this is, by far, his best work) is its complete lack of judgment or moralism: may be Shalini (Kalki) and many other crusaders in real life are looking for the Devta, or that someone special to look up to, to take them forward, to lead them, but s(he) doesn’t exist. Even Dr. Ahmedi, with all his good intentions and inspiring speeches, is just another human being, with his share of weaknesses, particularly his intelligent, attractive and young female students. And allow me once more to rave about Prosenjit, as I have previously done in case of Autograph and Baishey Srabon. For someone who has grown up on his movies and seen him grow into a mature actor from the silly, slightly overweight Bengali hero, dancing around trees, it’s been quite a journey.

Otherwise, my life (more specifically my house) is falling apart, literally. First my clothes hanger (which is actually a thin rope outside my window) gave in under the weight of all the laundry I did over the weekend, which resulted in ALL my favourite clothes being soiled/ruined. This is like the greatest tragedy conceivable in my worst nightmares. Secondly, the fan in my living room shoebox stopped working, and the uncooperative electrician refuses to fix it, although he has already taken the money. Then, my loserly cable operator blocked Neo Prime till I installed the god-damned set-top box, something I was avoiding so far. But since I HAD to watch the French Open final, I decided to shell out more money on digital TV, which I don’t need. After all, Euro 2012 has started and I have already stocked up on junk food, chocolates and lemonade (what? I am off alcohol for some time after my binge drinking in Italy). Hence access to Neo Prime is of immediate importance. Finally, my operating system crashed, which means I have to now get my laptop fixed as well. In summary, the last three days have cost me a lot in terms of capital expenditure, which is tough, considering that half my monthly salary goes to my landlord and the other half is divided equally among paying bills/watching movies/eating out/shopping, leaving no room for luxuries like fixing the fan or watching digital TV or buying a clothes hanger.

Still I managed to buy Manreet Sodhi’s new book The Taj Conspiracy and got it signed by her. An engineer and an IIMC management graduate who gave up a successful corporate career for writing, initially I had dismissed her as yet another in the new breed of contemporary Indian writers. But as I interacted with her and listened to her journey through literature and history, she came across as a sincere and serious writer, who is not scared to experiment, and most of all, who writes for herself, rather than dumbing it down for the audience. While her first book, Earning the Laundry Stripes was a semi-autobiographical, tongue-in-cheek account of a woman’s journey through corporate life, her second book, The Long Walk Home is a historical fiction, while The Taj Conspiracy is a historical thriller.

As I listened to her story and saw the copies of the book disappear from the table, I stared longingly, conjuring up an image, where I would be sitting in that chair, slightly nervous, slightly anxious, but at the same time, satisfied and fulfilled to have lived a dream.

Writing, as she said it, is a calling, not a career or a profession

10 comments:

Makk said...

welcome back.


take care,

Nefertiti said...

@makk
thank you!

xibi said...

:) .. missed u .. welcome back :)

Nefertiti said...

@xibi
thanks. it's good to be back.

Neil said...

So youre going to keep reading books written by other people who have given up a cosy job? Ohkkkkk ....

Nefertiti said...

@neil

didn't we agree to NEVER talk again?? ergo, you no longer have a right to criticize me.

Kappu said...

Writing, as she said it, is a calling, not a career or a profession…

Absolutely.. probably this is the answer I will give my friends when they confuse my "blogging" with "writing" :)

Nefertiti said...

@kappu

and also, that a "calling" doesn't necessary pay the bills, especially the alcohol ones in Mumbai...

ssoggo said...

I can't see another would-be Author turn into an actual Living and Breathing Author... Call it jealousy, covetousness or a longing for my own dreams, but it hurts too much..!!

Nefertiti said...

@ssoggo

but doesn't it also give you hope, strengthen your faith and help you believe that someday it would happen for you too!