Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Rhett Butler Finishing School

If you've read Gone With the Wind and are female, you're in love with Rhett Butler. If you've
read it and are male, you want to be like him. All in all, he's quite the ideal man, for most people. In an idle moment, just like all those in which great ideas greet our intellect, Aishwarya and I came up with the idea of starting a Rhett Butler Finishing School. This was after one of our usual conversations about how we needed men like Rhett Butler around. With his stunning passion, his style, his show of detachment despite his immense commitment, his wonderfully caring attitude when the lady needs it, his protectiveness, his nonchalance, and manliness mixed in just the right quantity with weakness and emotion.

We always seek salvation, when engrossed in one such whining session about how men like Rhett aren't anywhere near us by saying that if Margaret Mitchell has written about him, he couldn't possibly be only a figment of her imagination and purely fictitious. She must've had someone to inspire her to formulate such an ideal which carried universal appeal. But in this particular idle moment, we decided that the time had come when we take things into our own hands, and that we had let destiny fool around long enough. And even if we couldn't find a Rhett for ourselves, it was a moral duty on us to not allow every forthcoming generation of women to lament that Rhett's fantasy. So the idea of starting the Finishing School.

It's a vague plot as of now. Trainers will be appointed to train young men to be like Rhett. Why we can find trainers for this purpose is because it's fairly simple to find a man who excels in one aspect or the other, be it passion, or grooming, or style. Problem is, finding a man who has all these, and who isn't committed. So, men in this school will be trained separately in all these qualities. And since we'll be training a large number of men, the chances of finding an uncommitted perfect man will be easier for the many lovely ladies in the world. The funding will be done mainly through our pay-packets during a lifetime, and if we die without family, we'll give our wealth to the school. Else, a substantial portion will be willed to it. Once we've produced several batches of perfect men, we're quite sure the lucky women will make generous donations. Any donations towards the capital is currently more than welcome. As are any concrete ideas on what shall be taught in the school, and better still, if there is anyone in your mind who you think would make an apt trainer. So ladies and gentlemen, help us help you (or your daughters) and the world, by making better men, by making Rhetts.


I didn't think I'd actually write about a movie on my blog. I'm not too crazy about movies, and even if they seem to leave a momentary impression, very few movies stand the test of time and stay with me. I'm not sure Apocalypto will be something I take with me as a memory to my death bed, but it certainly touched me. Brilliant movie. A lesser adjective would be inappropriate.

It's not the sort of movie I would ever have watched, had I had the slightest idea that a) it was not in English, b) it was about an ancient tribe (I'm a major sucker for civilization). In fact, about half an hour into the movie, I tried to get our tickets changed for tickets for Nishabd. But fortunately, that didn't happen. For you see, the movie actually picks up in the second half. After which it is so fast it doesn't give you time to dislike it, and so powerful that you have to make quite an effort to breathe. It's got very good cinematography, beautifully directed and shot scenes, an unbelievable setting, and a very moving story. It's quite gory in parts (through which I shut my eyes firmly), but all in all, it's powerful, and most importantly, different while not being too arty or pseudo. A must MUST watch, especially if you're someone like me who doesn't appreciate movies unless they have a very interesting sounding story (and have sufficient concrete and limited greenery), for you'll probably not see another like this one.

I particularly love the tag line 'No one can outrun their destiny'.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I don't understand how I couldn't have put up a picture of him earlier. An unforgivable oversight. He's the most handsome dog in the world. Just a year old, and look at him. Muah!!

Blood Bathing

I've never felt particularly strong in the subject of communal violence or riots. I have never tried to understand why people get involved in those things. Yeah, I've done the customary clicking of tongue when I hear that x number of people are dead, or y people injured. And I've vociferously participated in debates about how senseless the violence is, how religion is a personal choice, and all the standard stuff. But never really felt it, if you know what I mean. I felt indignant about the injustice of it all, but it was a largely superficial feeling.

Nothing life changing (thankfully) happened. It's not like I've seen a riot or been victimized by one in the recent past to have my perspective changed. But something not so real did change the way I looked at a riot. You see, I had a dream. This is terribly personal, and I have no idea why I am putting this up on a publicly accessible place all. I suppose I'm doing it to let go of some of the feeling I had. about the dream. Just before I went to sleep yesterday afternoon, I read the part in A Suitable Boy where Seth describes some communal violence near a mosque because a Hindu king wishes to build a Shiva temple to the west of the mosque, so that the Muslims in the mosque always bow facing the temple when they pray. He finds this idea rather amusing, for some unfathomable reason. But whatever. I read the part, went to sleep, not much affected. And I had a horrid dream. Filled with violence, lots of burning, killing, and dropping bombs. Then, for some reason, there was a lot of cooking. A strange house, made of stone, which seemed to half my extended family and a lot of my friends in it. All that was fine. About half an hour of gore and detail followed. My mother was part of the dream. She seemed very active in trying to stop the riot. I don't know why she was; she didn't seem to be doing it for any organization or religious institution. More of a personal mission. And she'd go out and help injured people. To cut a lot of details short, at one point in the dream, I entered the stone house, and I saw three of my mom's sisters sitting near her. She was lying down. She was wearing a saree. My mom looks very beautiful in sarees. Very elegant also. But she was just lying there. Not moving. She simply smiled when I entered. She's not the sort of lady who sits around. Most of my memories are of her moving around, doing something or the other in the house or outside. She had a head injury. A very serious-looking one. I could see the blood stain through the white bandaging. And my mom's sisters were crying. Saying something about blaming themselves, some nonsense I had no desire to follow. I am not essentially an angry person. I don't lose my temper too easily, and when I do, I am certainly not angry for long, unless the provocation's really huge. Also, I am not a morbid person, who fantasizes about killing people, or wishes that certain people were dead. I have hated very few people in my life, in fact, offhand, I can think of only one such person. But at that moment, in my dream, I felt a surreal sort of anger, an almost unbelievable kind of hatred. The sort of thing which is probably described as white hot hatred and anger. An extreme abomination for the vile thing we call the human race. For how could someone hurt my mother? It had to be the most despicable, the most unforgivable offence if there ever was one. I felt an uncontrollable to hurt someone, anyone. To cause great physical pain to someone who could so something like that to one of the people I love more than life itself, and the whole lot that goes with it. For the first time in my life, whether alseep or awake, I wanted to kill someone. Simply kill, nothing less, whoever caused it. Strangle the bastards who inflict that with bare hands. The senseless, brainwashed, absolutely pathetic and disgusting creatures who can engage in activity like that. Hindu or Muslim? Really, anger doesn't give a damn. My pain, grief, anger, bitterness, desire to tear someone from limb to limb (no matter how dramatic that sounds) was so great that I woke up and cried after being awake. I don't know if this sort of thing usually happens, if people usually see dreams like that. It was an insane experience, something I wouldn't repeat for anything in the world, or the world itself. To tell the truth, I certainly feel more strongly about communal violence now than I did earlier, but it's not the dominating thread of my thought. Well, the dominating thread is very, very painful. Too much so to be written down, but I suppose you have a fair idea. I prayed frantically for a long time after the dream. And thanked God (whichever one) that it was a dream.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Long Windy Walks

Long Windy Walks (footnote- Aishwarya; she came up with the idea of making this the subject of my new post)
Walks, like most things in life, come with many hues and shades. There are many kinds of walks, and they serve different purposes. The brisk ones are more often than not, to lose weight, to keep fit even. Slow ones, for fresh air, and are usually resorted to in the twilight of one's life. Medium paced ones to get to places, in the absence of the medium that God intended men use for locomotion (quoting Meg Ryan here, from French Kiss), the lovely car. But walks, again like most things, are context specific.
The context I'm talking about here is a semi-romantic, semi-getting-to-know people one. This is a law school context, and I believe is one that prevails in campuses across the country. For you see, when you walk the talk, it gets (other) people talking. Who you walk with is all-important. Kuch chal raha hai kya, is what flickers in an on-lookers mind when they see you taking a stroll with a member of the opposite sex. Walking at night is like adding an angel to the uninhabited Paradise for the gossip-starved passers-by. The distance in inches between the partners in crime, the expression on their faces, the laughter, the volume of conversation are all painfully observed, with a pretentious air of non-chalance.

But that's about the ones not involved in the rather lovely activity of walking. Having had the privelege of being a member of both parties, that is, the walkers and the lookers, I'll present to the world the other side of the story.

Walking; it's a lovely thing. Especially in a place like Bangalore, at about 12 in the night, it's the one thing you sincerely want to do. Lovely weather, the day's worries done with and temporarily forgotten, you take time out of this life so full of care, and cliched though it might sound, look around and above you to appreciate leaves moving in the wind and constellations formed in a clear sky. This sort of moment would seem wonderful in any company. But if you're lucky enough to have found yourself that special friend who you pour your heart and dreams out to, or that intriguing acquaintaince who never ceases to fascinate you, well, walking helps you attain never-before-visited heights of ecstacy (no pun here).

Truly, it's a most wonderful thing. Walking when the breeze blows against your face. Talking about dreams and aspirations, or even deep and dark secrets that trouble your heart, knowing that you have a sympathetic, empathetic and caring ear to drop your words into. Shouting at the top of your voice, doing a little dance on the path that surrounds the academic blog of this oh-very-mighty-but-so-hollow institution. Drinking in every bit of the night, the air, the company. Listening to (sometimes scary) night noises. Sometimes fighting, occasionally arguing. Often silent.'s a day for cliches, but Keep Walking!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Ramblings and Tangings

What is it that is bothering everyone? It almost seems like a bug which has found a way to everyone. I cannot see a happy face around me. Everyone's dutifully pretending. But it is painfully obvious that noone's fooling anyone. We're all asking each other what is wrong, everyone trying to solve the other's problem without making much reference to his or her own. Life's stretching along, but honesty seems to be fading away. Honesty to ourself. People who're usually 'ok' seem to be the worst of. Makes me wonder about what this all-encompassing factor could possibly be, which is effectively bringing all of us down. Sometimes I just wish it all away. Wish away whatever it is that has attacked us collectively. Wish for those times (which, at that time, of course, seemed quite awful) when we our cheerfulness was pretty much genuine. When there wasn't a weight tugging at you all the time. Not like that's happening, but well, I hope the phase passes.
Everything just seems to hollow. Put on. So Hollow.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Why Law?

I MUST write more regularly.

I love holidays. Wish they weren't over. All good things come to an end WAY too quickly. That's rather cliched I know, but then cliches often have more truth than all else.

I remember being asked the question 'Why Law?' very often in the past. Some queries were rather skeptical, others disappointed, and some (surprisingly) interested. The answer to the question, like most answers has undergone tremendous fine tuning and sometimes even not-so-fine tuning. The latest one:
You know, sometimes, you have a question. Could be a question about anything. Procedure to do something, get something, give something; about whether or not you can do something; whether or not you should or shouldn't do something- basically about most somethings and everything in life. And once you cross the barrier of having a question, sometimes, you start looking for an answer. Here and there; researching. Then, if you're very tenacious, you start finding answers. Could be wrong ones, could be inappropriate ones. Could be google searches which have the keyword you entered just for the heck of it. Could be chapters in books with a title that exactly coincides with your query, and which turns out to be utterly tangent in substance, making you wonder what on earth the author was thinking. Could be round-about searches or precisely incorrect ones. And then, finally, after much labour and sweat and coffee, you find it. THAT one answer. Which is the exact answer. For example, if you're looking for the scope of jurisdiction of decrees in foreign courts, you hit S.41(A) of the CPC, with all the details and notified countries. It fits perfectly. The answer may ruin you, may be against everything you had prayed for, may mean that you have to start working on the problem from scratch. But that feeling of having found the perfect-fit, the specific key to your question. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes it worth it. It's pure, utter bliss if there ever was such a thing. It makes you float and want to dance right there in your cublicle or whereever you happen to be. It makes you want to kiss the first person who crosses. And Law seems to be teaching me to ask and answer (sometimes) questions. To answer questions about life and what you can do- that is why law.