Friday, 14 May 2010

The Lovely Bones

I have been watching movies like crazy these days. Almost every other day I watch one. Most of them are mediocre, and made without a sense of belonging, but some of them are outstanding, and then a few of them are exceptional.

Cinema is a form of art. Unfortunately there are only a few gifted people who understand this. Peter Jackson is one of them. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a class act. Even an old classic like King Kong was recreated by him in a very sensible manner. In my opinion this movie called The Lovely Bones stands apart. It’s a different genre for him, but he proved that challenges are opportunities for excellence.

Everything is so subtle, so suave yet so abstract in his renderings. It’s like watching wallpaper on celluloid. In this age of technology it’s pertinent that something like wallpaper represents art. Art is a relative thing, but it needs an eye of the beholder. The eye that can capture not only what’s displayed but can also fathom the feelings that went into creating it.

I was reluctant about this movie initially. People really didn’t think highly of this. Later on I read that it’s about some nasty killer, and a girl who was murdered in her teens. It seemed to me as a plot of some routine, ordinary movie – and it is a very routine, ordinary plot. But, I am not dancing about the plot anyways. What’s overwhelming is the fact that it’s been portrayed in way that it transforms into a piece of art. Any lesser director could have killed the movie and it would have been like a disposed off low grade offering. But, I was in for a surprise.

The narrative is by a girl who has been murdered by her neighbor. It starts with the girl recalling her childhood when she pondered about a lonesome penguin in a snow-globe. Her father used to tell her that it has a good life, and he shook the globe to scatter the snow all around the penguin. The fact that her father and her entire family loved her so much is also a pivotal part of the storytelling.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the movie. You will be amazed to see the story unfold, and you will be blown away by the sheer brilliance of director’s imagination. Before I forget, I must mention that this movie was based on a novel by the same name. I can imagine that most of the sequences would have been hand crafted by the writer, but it takes sheer brilliance to portray it on screen with the same amount of imagination and craftsmanship.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

What’s in the name?

A lot of people asked me what the meaning of my name is. It started when I was in 6th standard, and my moral science teacher asked me this question, and believe me it was a part of the oral examination (this is the term used for an examination where you aren’t supposed to write anything but speak, like an interview – don’t think of anything else you filthy mind!) so marks were at stake. No points for guessing but I didn’t know the answer, and there was no Google at that time - I am prehistoric, ain’t I?

Finally, I know that meaning of my name now. You can just Google it to find for yourself.

Now, the point is why did I name my son Sonit? Well, there are many theories doing the rounds, but the one that it rhymed well with my name was the deciding factor. To add to the rhyme was the fact that my pet name Sonu, my wife’s pet name Soni, and my son’s name Sonit gel extremely well together. Last but not the least is the fact that I couldn’t think of any better names.

As you know some history is mandatory in all my texts, so here you go. Ever since I thought of having a family of my own, I had decided to name my kids Aayush and Ananaya. Good names aren’t they? Yes, they are, and I almost certainly decided on this name. But, I had to change my mind at the last moment because I heard about Shekhar Suman’s son who had the same name.

Actually, people tend to get superstitious when they have something in mind for someone they love. It taught me a lot of things about life. Although I had understood it before but then I began to respect and honor decisions taken by people in and around me.

That’s a sweet little note on how Aayush became Sonit, but what's in the name afterall?

Monday, 3 May 2010

The first day in school

Like all young guns I also had my first day in school. Nothing amusing about it but its something that’s very special to me.

I remember the day when my parents arranged a small get together inviting only close relatives for my “khalli” (please suggest an English equivalent for this ceremony) ceremony. I was about 4 years old naughty, inquisitive, curious, and twinkle in the eyes sort of kid. I could easily feel the warmth and affection almost everybody used to give me, irrespective of the proximity of the relationship.

The ceremony was scheduled to start at about 8 am, but it started at 8 am IST, i.e. at 10 am. We had to wait for everybody who was invited to be present for the occasion. For me, it was a brand new day for mischief. I can still see myself dressed in that white “kurta – dhoti” outfit. My mother, however, kept on warning me not to go anywhere near the place where the family priest was about to setup things for the ceremony. But, my curiousness knew no bounds. I started playing with the fruits, and sweets, and other stuff lying there. I had to be transported to a safer far-off place, it was difficult but the task was assigned to my elder brother so he did it with perfection.

When it all started, my father placed me on his lap and performed the rituals. I was then asked to write something on a slate. I enjoyed making the map of the world, and all the groovy mid 70’s design comprising of circles and dots and curves. My father had to intervene and then he brought some order to chaos on the slate. The ceremony was complete.

The decision was almost unanimous to port me to the same school where my elder siblings were ported. I was always told that they were simply outstanding as far as studies went, and that they always stood first in their class. That was to motivate me to do better. I used to think the same until I reached 7th or 8th standard that they were like me! At that point in time it was the biggest revelation of all times for me.

I first went on to the school Principal’s office along with my parents for admission and some kind of parent teacher meeting. The Principal was actually the director of the school, and after being a mute witness of my activities in his office he declared that I am “abnormal”. All I did was that I touched some shield kind of a thing in his office and it fell down along with some other things. But I didn’t break anything! After returning from school my parents declared the principal “abnormal” after some mutual discussion.

The day has finally arrived, I don’t remember the date but it was the year 1985, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi – I remember this because I saw people going crazy and ransacking some shops owned by Sikhs in my locality. Not a very good thing to remember, but that’s how the brain works. My elder brother and my mother went to school with me and gave me a lot of biscuits and precious advice that went over my ears and whatever oozed in went over my head.

I was good as long as they were present, but as soon as they started to leave I went crazy. I was crying as if it was the end of the world for me. I remember that moment and I can tell you that I can still feel it, it was not good, and I felt very bad. I don’t like people leaving me, I go mad, and I feel devastated. My classroom was at the first floor, and after crying my heart out I just ran out of the class. I was just a kid then, a small kid wearing half sleeves and half pant, and I ran, I toppled a few times but I didn’t care, I went down the stairs and then ran towards the main gate – which was quite far because the school had a large playing area. I finally stopped at the closed gate, and I couldn’t do anything after that, that was the end of my struggle - and that marked a new phase in my life.

It’s been destined that I find it very difficult to transition from one phase of my life to another. I don’t know if it’s with me or with everybody. You might think why do I remember all of this all of a sudden? Actually, my son is about to go to playgroup starting this June. I will try my best to ensure that his transitions are smooth. But, then my parents also tried the same. There are some things that an individual must go through and that are how he learns the intricacies of life. I guess its Sonit’s turn to take on the world. I wish him all the best. I love him more than anything else in this world, he is the center of my universe, and he is making a transition now.

Sonit can be reached at