To be or not to be.

I’m sure every person, in their life, faces this fundamental question – to be or not to be? Well, for me, I’ve probably faced and addressed this question here more times than I can think of. Don’t fret now, I’m not having an existential crisis here, this question is more about should I keep blogging, or just give up once and for all?

Increasingly, I’ve been leaning towards the second option, but something just keeps bringing me back. Maybe it’s because I like to write about useless stuff, or maybe at a deeper level it’s just a hunger for recognition. I won’t deny that it does give me pleasure when someone reads a post and puts a comment underneath. Possibly I am an attention seeker, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s better I do it here than on Facebook or Twitter like others do. And I’m not even talking about the KRKs and Poonam Pandeys of the world here, I’m talking about pretty much everyone who is there. It’s an endless race for likes and follows and favorites and retweets and what not. Maybe I would have liked to have all those things too, but then I’m realizing that I’m just not up to it anymore.

But more than anything else, the reason for this lingering doubt is the fact that it’s becoming more and more difficult to stay anonymous now. Sure, with a blog URL like mine, it was never gonna be easy to stay anonymous, but social media and connectivity is just at another level of overkill nowadays. It depends on the kind of writer you are, and what you usually write about. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve always been a very personal blogger. I write about my life – happy and sad times, the whole nine yards. And usually I’m quite explicit with it. Sure you won’t see names and all, but if you know me in real life, it probably would not be very difficult to deduce that it’s the same guy writing. I’ve written several posts where I may not have said the kindest things about people. I was reading some older posts and I saw one where I’d actually posted 4 digits of the scooter number plate of the girl I had a huge crush on! She’s in Bangalore too, by the way, and lives about 5 minutes from where I stay, but that’s a story for later (if there is ever a later, that is). I think I’ve spent a majority of my time here cribbing about the education system and so on, too. Going forward, the only logical thing would be to crib about my work. But I can’t do that now, because companies are on an overdrive to find out what their employees are saying, too. Point is, you just can’t bitch freely about people when you know there’s a big possibility that they might just be reading it!

It’s a funny situation, really. Whenever I get around to the interests section in my CV, blogging is usually the first thing I put there. But if one day an interviewer asks me about it (and they probably will), I won’t have anything to say for it. Because there are way too many hidden secrets here for me to put it in the open. On several occasions, I’ve considered taking this blog private, but never got around to doing it because that’s just not my idea of blogging. I don’t blog for myself, I do it for others to read and talk about (attention seeking behavior, remember?). And then there have also been times where I have considered hiding all the posts where I’ve talked about personal stuff, announce this blog to the world and continue writing. But then the entire thing is just a lie. It’s just not me anymore and I’m not sure if I’m okay with that. Moreover, with so many people knowing about it and reading (hopeful, much?), I just don’t think I would be able to express myself freely at all anymore.

Yet I see all these new age popular bloggers (no no, not saying I’ve become old or whatever, but just), they have a connected personality that extends from Blog to Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to whatever other social network exists, and it works for them quite well. It was easier for me in school or college to just go out and explore new blogs and comment underneath, but now with a job that keeps me pretty busy, I’m just not able to do that anymore. There’s only so many relationships that I can maintain, especially with my general dislike for people and interaction. So maybe it’s time to let go after all.

But… :(

Beta, tumse na ho payega #1 – Satyagraha

* Spoiler Alert
** But read it, you might just save on precious money and useless time.

So every now and then, you come across a movie that generates a lot of hype thanks to its premise, powerful soundtrack, star cast, director, etc. And Satyagraha, with the entire political theme, the Bachchans, Devgns, Kapoor Khans and and Rampals seemed like Just the kind of movie you’d spend 2 hours and 15 minutes worth of time, 280 bucks of tickets and 200 bucks of snacks on.

As far as my taste in movies goes, I prefer movies with serious, relatable topics like politics, over mushy romances which star people on whose foreheads you can Boeing 747s, or mindless comedies starring larger than life characters. And Satyagraha, with its uncanny resemblance to Anna Hazare and the Aam Aadmi Party looked quite promising. The promos reminded me of Rajneeti, which while not brilliant, was quite decent. The rock rendition of Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram was really awakening the patriotic India Shining Democracy Rox Yo cells inside me and so I didn’t think twice before saying yes to when my friend offered to watch the movie. But oh well, little did I know that the movie, instead of being a political drama would turn out to be a lawlfest with no logic, irritating characters, and an extremely sad representation of revolutions fueled by social media.

The movie begins with Ajay Devgn portrayed as one of those brilliant peeps who is going abroad for his PG, and wants to set up his own mobile telecommunications business after coming back. Clearly our brilliant man wasn’t clever enough to do an industry analysis to figure out that this is the worst time to enter into a mobile telecommunications business. But anyway, he decides to visit his college friend once before he leaves. The friend has a father in Amitabh Bachchan. Now here’s where our problems begin. Amitabh is shown as a generally disgruntled and frustrated school teacher who loves lecturing people. So our ¬†teacherji gives Devgn a huge lecture on how he wouldn’t understand what patriotism towards ones country and values means just because he is very motivated by personal profitability more than anything else. I’m not saying that this dialogue hasn’t been used before but it’s completely out of place and out of time in modern India where everyone is encouraging youngsters to think outside the box and start their own ventures. I mean, what’s so bad if I want to start a business and make it profitable? That’s what they bloody teach in all the premier institutes in your country, uncle! So after listening to Bachchan’s endless tirade, our man Devgn, like anybody else, just gulps down his whiskey, forgets about it and goes abroad.

I don’t like your face! You bloody profit hungry mongrel! Meri cookie kahaan hai, bhe*****?!?!?

Fast forward 3 years, and our man Devgn is back in town and companies are looking to buy out his business or mention their political contacts to establish relationship with him. But nope, our guy ain’t gonna let go so easy, because “Jab tak main apne sapno se puri tarah khel nahi leta, tab tak main unhe bechta nahi!”

Yeah, sure. So anyway, not going into too much detail, Bachchan’s son and Devgn’s friend is portrayed as an architect who is designing a flyover. The typical flyover falls because of spurious material, officer makes report, is killed and killing is made to look like an accident story follows. Bachchan and his son’s (extremely hot) wife Amrita Rao is distraught. Government promises a sum of money, and Ms. Rao intends to build a school with it. Except that she has to bribe to actually get the money. She tells Bachchan about the story, the man gets pissed off and goes and slaps the district collector and is subsequently thrown into jail. Ms. Rao panics and calls Mr. Devgn, who then decides to do all in his power to get the old man out. After failing to do by legal means or bribes, our brilliant man decides to spark a revolution to get Bachchan out. Taking the help of local goon cum Samaj Sewak Arjun Rampal, he gathers the crowds through social media campaigns and gets Bachchan out.

But this part is where shit really hits the ceiling. First of all, the social media uprising sounds like a perfectly plausible scenario, but it is extremely tastelessly done. The people shown following Devgn are shown to be doing this just because, well, we’re teenagers, we’re pissed off and we gotta do something. They don’t relate to the cause at all. They just do it because, well, teenagers gotta have some fun yo! Bachchan is released and makes it his personal mission to force the government into accepting the people’s demands. The people follow and “Junta Rocks” becomes their motto. Countless tweets and Facebook posts with #juntarocks follow.

Junta Rocks! Haha, kya sahi chu**** banaaya main!

My basic problem here is that as someone who’s been online for many years now, and having known people who’ve actually participated in online campaigns and movements, I think it’s extremely insulting to be portrayed as people who are putting up tweets and posts just because it’s oh so cool to do that shizzle, ma nizzle. #juntarocks as a motto and hashtag would suit a Justin Bieber campaign more than something so serious in nature. All kinds of extremely stupid twitter handles such as “RevolutionDude” and gems of literature like “Daduji Falls. Government stays” are thrown around. They might as well have just named the movement “Junta Rox XoXoXo Muaaah!” or something. Not cool, man.

Kareena Kapoor Khan (yes, she is introduced like that in the credits now) is shown as a reporter whose job is mostly to just stand around, look pweety and ask rhetorical questions. It seems as if nobody is interested in taking her calls, and she promptly reminds how many missed calls she has given them whenever she meets them. In one scene, she’s shown to be extremely pissed off at Devgn because she gave him 217 missed calls, and he just randomly smooches her and they make up (and out). Because there’s nothing that some sax and romantic songs can’t fix, right??!

Just answer my questions cuz I’m so pwetty! Please na! *pout pout*

Arjun Rampal is shown as one of those fanatics who has no brains of his own. He’s shown to be one of the pivotal characters in the revolution but all he really does is just collecting a bunch of people with raging hormones that just want to kill everything in their path. Manoj Bajpai though does shine as the corrupt, smug, power hungry Home Minister. But in the end even his character is mostly reduced to stupid jokes rather than the menacing dialogues that we all know he is capable of delivering. Bachchan manages to irritate pretty much throughout the movie, including in the one sequence where he declares to the government – “Aapke 30 din shuru hote hain, ab!”. I mean what the hell, are we playing Kaun Banega Crorepati or something here? Devgn is fairly decent as the brooding friend who really wants to make Bachchan happy and take the revolution to its logical conclusion. But even his character suffers from huge flaws. I mean, the man just sells his 650 crores worth of company at the slightest provocation to prove his innocence and gain acceptance. Never heard of auditing firms, have we? And the shameless marketing plugs by Avon Cycles is really not getting them anywhere. Whose brilliant idea was it to sponsor the stand and put cycles where the villain in the movie is passing spiteful remarks against democracy? You do realize that people are not supposed to like him and that sponsoring him isn’t gonna take you places, right?

This is not to say that the movie doesn’t have its high points. The sequences where Devgn faces a personal dilemma to just do anything to end Bachchan’s hunger strike are quite brilliant. As are the scenes where the crowd just goes out of control because people are just so sick and tired of the system. But in the end, it just feels like a movie that had a lot of potential but just didn’t take itself seriously enough.

Y so serious dood? Cuz I can make the junta rock just by taking off my clothes! Follow me twitter, my lovelies! Mwah! Mwah! Toodles! Xoxoxoxoxo #juntaroxxx!

I should have just downloaded and watched Poonam Pandey’s Nasha instead.

Of introspection and lost things.

2 months is just too long a time for someone to be completely useless in life. There’s only so much you can sleep. Only so many times you can try to initiate conversations with old and new crushes on messengers, whether Facebook or WhatsApp. Only so many absolutely illogical Android apps you can download. Only so many episodes of music and cookery reality shows you can watch. Only so many TV series seasons you can follow. Only so many fixed IPL matches you can be excited about. And just only so many times you can tolerate Shaolin Soccer on HBO.

MBA was finished over a month and a half ago. Since then I’ve just been whiling away time at home, waiting for my joining in a new city. No, I won’t tell you which company and which city, because I’m mysterious like that *insert special effects here*. So yeah, ever since I left home for hostel over 2 years back, I’ve never really been a fan of coming back. Sure there are comforts like a personal air conditioner and good food, but then there are no friends, and there is a set of parents who, even though they know I’ll be joining a job soon enough, can’t wrap their head around me just lying around like a pre-Kung Fu initiated Po. While it is irritating to be shouted at and given instructions every morning (heck, my blood starts to boil as soon as I hear my name in a voice that is over a certain number of decibels loud), this isn’t a situation I haven’t faced before. Let’s just say I’m not the child every parent dreams of and cut it at that. So I’ve been ignoring most instructions, following a few, and basically just existing. Except that now I don’t think I can take it anymore. Even though now its only a matter of days before I leave, some things have just started getting on my nerves too much. And dreams about serial killers and earthquakes don’t help my state of mind much either.

A real warrior never quits.” – Master Shifu said to Po after Master Oogway urged Shifu to believe and then disappeared rather emphatically with peach tree leaves around him. “Watch me” was Po’s response. That’s pretty much the response I’m likely to give. The only difference being that I actually succeeded at being a quitter, unlike Po who goes on to kick Tai Lung’s cat ass Kung Fu style. So since I’ve been sitting idle, there has been introspection, and the only pattern that stands out is that I’m just an incredibly good quitter. Every interest I’ve ever had in life, doesn’t exist anymore. I somehow lost all of them along the way. The examples are just too many for me to even list out. But obviously that doesn’t mean I won’t. Comeon, you had to see that coming!

Passions

This blog is probably the biggest example. I don’t think I’ve ever pursued an interest as seriously in my life as I pursued this thing. It has probably been the most rewarding one, too. Why I stopped is, well, still a bit of a mystery to me. I mean, the reasons are obvious, but I would have thought that I could have overcome these little problems for something that was at one point a rather large part of my life. But lack of time, multiple writer’s blocks, and age just got the better of me in the end. I still blog sometimes, but who are we kidding? This is a sad, sad shadow of how crazy I was at some point, posting comments longer than posts! I’ve wanted to make amends several times. I open my Google Reader every now and then and spend almost entire days reading what people have written. But I don’t feel that old urge to comment on posts anymore. It’s not that people aren’t writing good stuff anymore. They are, but I’ve just become too old and too lazy. As they say, it’s not you, it’s me.

Technology and gadgets. Man, I was crazy about these things. I still remember having long and extremely animated conversations over things like the latest microprocessor architecture and why Apple is probably the best company in the world. But I don’t see it happening anymore. It has been centuries since I last read Engadget or Gizmodo and actually gave a shit about what was happening in the technology world. I’m still passionate about gadgets, but not like I used to be. Now, I just want to own a good one, but I don’t have the patience or passion to defend it to death anymore. Sorry Apple, you’ve lost one of your illogical “I will defend the company to death as if I created it” fans. But then you needn’t worry. You’ve got many of those. And now you also have millions of those who think it’s cool to take self shots in bathrooms with their oh so cool iPhones.

Music. Gah, there was a time when I was discovering new artists everyday and my favorite genres were all over the place, not much unlike Sreesanth’s reputation. I was crazy about GREEN DAY and Coldplay. I still am in a lot of ways, but I’m not a fanatic anymore. And I can’t remember the last time I tried a new artist or genre. Nowadays, I just skip a 1000 tracks on my playlist to finally stop at one which I want to listen to, and then skip again and give up after about 30 seconds. I have no clue what went wrong here.

HotWheels. I read through my archives to see if I’d written about my obsession for these little cars. Surprisingly I haven’t. I was pretty obsessed with them when I was a kid. I would force my folks to buy me one every month and would go physically mad if someone tried to steal one of them from me. I was quite in love with them even as an adult and would be angry when mum would just pick one up and give it away to some kid who was visiting our place. I’m not sure at what point I grew out of them too. When I went away to hostel, she just took my entire collection and gave it to some cousin’s kid. There were more than a 100 cars. Argh. Last week when I was just wasting my time in a market and stumbled on to one of those shops that sell toys. I don’t know why but I just got attracted into it and ended up buying this HotWheels bike thingy you see in the picture. It gave me quite a lot of happiness. I may just start collecting them again.

So I guess in the end it’s just a question about being passionate about something. I’ve been passionate about all these things in the past, but not anymore. I want to become passionate about at least some of these things again, but I really don’t know how to go about it yet. Maybe somewhere down the line, I’ll find a way. Till then, these lines from a Coldplay song will ring true:

And the hardest part,
Was letting go, not taking part,
was the hardest part..