List of Good Movies I Saw in 2018

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Mainly for documenting purposes, because who am I kidding, no one reads this blog. In case a future you stumbles here and are interested, this is a list I’ll keep updated for all of 2018. Here you go.

  1. Murder on the Orient Express
  2. Dreamcatcher (based on a Stephen King Novel by the same name)
  3. Professor Marston and The Wonder Woman.
  4. Lady Bird
  5. On Body and Mind (Hungarian Movie)
  6. The Firm
  7. Allied (2016)
  8. The Rainmaker
  9. Identity (2003)
  10. The Bright Day (2015) — directed by Mohit Takalkar
  11. The Cloverfield Paradox — even though the plot has super loopholes, and things were just happening on the pretext of the unknown boundaries and rules of physics we do not know, like swapping with a parallel universe and other things that might count as spoiler alert. Despite all of these, I liked the movie for the possibilities it opened at the end of the movie. But given that all other movies under cloverfield franchise are independent movies, most probably there isn’t going to be a follow up movies.
  12. 10 Cloverfield Lane – the second movie of the cloverfield franchise, certainly better than the third one (the cloverfield paradox) in terms of the plot — no unexplained grounds of assumptions. Sometime happens, at least it happens without being weird — even though there things happening without knowing why they are happening, they seem plausible.
  13. Cloverfield — the first movie of the cloverfield franchise, directed on a handy cam with stunning (whatever is visible) animation effects — the movie is totally on the battlefield grounds — people confused what is happening and they are rushing. I really hated the guy behind the camera character though. I can’t think of any person who’d talk so much in the middle of a city level life crises.
  14. Manchester By The Sea (Highly Recommended)
  15. Annihilation – Starring Natalie Portman. I think this movie should win awards for creative stuff.
  16. Detachment (2011) — 10/10.
  17. The Florida Project
  18. I Kill Giants
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Why I Don’t Share My Anxieties With My Mother

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Because I can’t. There is possibly no way for me to tell her that I didn’t want to meet with our relatives because moments back my poem had not been accepted in a competition I was positive about. I can’t tell her the inadvertent spiral that went from my throat into the chest, swirling there in a whirlpool pushing me to lay back on the bed for a while, staring at this dot on the ceiling beside the fan, so that I wouldn’t be able to think about anything for a while. The whirlpool on hold storms into a wreck when I get back to my laptop in the form of feeling like I should run in the mid daylight, under the scorching sun to the juice shop, just so that I could be alone for a while without telling anybody. But I can’t not tell anybody because I’d have to come home sometime. And when I would I’d have to answer.

I can’t tell her the infinite loop that starts without a base quit case, when this rejection stumbles onto my inconsistencies and incapabilities towards the work I want to do. Like a termite slowly ticking away wood, cloth fishes slowly eating away the clothes so dear, my dreams are a time bomb waiting to explode. And in the middle of pursuing them is the constant nag of having to explain things to people. WHY!

I can’t tell her that these episodes of lows are sometimes necessary for me, they come as a break essentially. But nobody would consider crying for no reason as a celebration celebrated with a break. Breaks are meant to be relaxing right? They’d say. It is relaxing when not prodded about.

I have to rush to cry peacefully in the bathroom, sneaking away from the relatives in the other room, just so that I won’t have to explain why I cried. All this makes me want to run away for long. But where?

Dear Mom

I kept looking at you while you were eating with your head down, silently chewing your morsel. Each morning ever since I’ve known you, you’ve got up before anyone else in the house to make everybody their breakfasts and pack their lunches. I wonder why. I wonder how could I be the source of this selfless love that comes out of motherhood. How despite being sick or tired or anything else, you just couldn’t not nurture and nourish each and ever one of us. When Aryamann went to Canada, you expressed your wish to finally start doing what you want to. You want to learn how to operate a computer, you want to not be dumb anymore, as you put it, which is far from the truth. You wanted to study economics or English Literature but were forced to take science. You endured and gave your best.

Every day you come home from the tiring place of a school where there is no good company among fellow teachers, you are tired of teaching physics for so long. You do not like it, you understand the most of it, but you do not want to teach it anymore. You want to teach mathematics to middle schoolers and actually make a difference instead of trying your best to make students —who can’t even read and write properly, but have somehow been admitted to 11th, 12th grades — understand (or when need be help them cram).

I wonder what I’m doing to make your dreams a reality. Every night I sleep with a resolve that until I’m home, I should help you relax more. You are 48 now, you are getting old, your body can’t endure the same weight of responsibilities that a patriarchal system bestowed upon you. I do the dishes sometimes sure, and occasionally (rarely) make something for you to eat. I do not get up early to be able to help you in the kitchen, and I feel bad about it.

This post is a short reminder that more than anything I need to save time to be able to give it to you and father. I wish to care for you at least as much as you did for us, if not more.

Bless you.

What Auto Rickshaw Waalas Do When You Are Stealthily Trying To Avoid Their Ambush

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I had to pick up a package from a particular bus. I don’t know about others, but we Indians resort to this emergency means, wherein if you need something delivered faster than speed post, you give it to a bus going to that place instead with almost as much transport fee as you’d have given for the speed post. It’s pretty cool, this way. What is also smart is to take the driver’s number and send it to the person who will have to procure the package, so that he wouldn’t have to wait for long, in case the bus is late.

Today, I didn’t have the bus driver’s / conductor’s mobile number because the person who had given the package to them at Nahan didn’t ask for it. I had to pick up the package from Chandigarh at 9:45 am. It was 10: 15 am waiting, when the bus came. I had reached a little early, at 9:30 am, just in case.

In those 45 minutes I thought about some things — why aren’t there GPS trackers on the buses! I should make one, and put it on as many buses as I possible can, automate the calculation of average time that a particular bus starts and reaches its destination to make a tentative time table, and also provide real time geo tracking of the bus and then make an app / progressive web app and charge for this service for a fee. Wouldn’t that be cool!

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Seeing The Pictures Of Old Friends — I’ve Started Forgetting What They Were (Are) Like

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Song to listen to while/before/after reading this — Old Friend, by Angus and Julia Stone

I was scrolling down my Facebook feed when I saw the pictures of a couple of friends — Dev, a high school friend, whom I last saw about 8 years back and Anurag, my college friend and batchmate, whom I saw saw 3 years back. It doesn’t usually happen, but as soon as I had seen their pictures, I tried to remember about them — memories I have of them which could tell me how they used to be like, how they acted, the jokes they made, how they behaved, how they were. I couldn’t!

It was a scary thought because, although I’m known to myself for being very forgetful, this was the height of it! How could I not remember!? I was fidgety on the bed that I was sitting in, putting pressure on whatever part of brain is responsible for memories. Then to my respite, some memories came, albeit a little blurry. Is this how you forget friends?

Me? Gigolo?

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The other day, a dear friend proposed this idea. Classifying ourselves as very near to how asexual people are known to be, we discussed how many people in this world would want to spend nights just sleeping together with people like us — people who do not really have sexual impulses with the allowed proximity of bodies but without pre consented sexual allowance. Imagine you are in a room with a friend, you both are pretty tipsy (or not), one of you lies down on the bed after a while out of tiredness and casually calls the other one to join you, to perhaps ask them to stroke your hair, or to just come on the bed untying their shoes. The offer or the reason for the proximities of the bodies could be anything. You come close and this sudden urge arises — to touch them, kiss them, and perhaps to have sex with them.

We do not almost always have such impulses (and I don’t drink). She said how nice would it be for people to find people like us who wouldn’t give a chance to ruin a morning then spent in repentance. Then she asked the question, which sparked the title of this blogpost (she used this word in the WhatsApp chat conversation and I stole it) — would people pay for us kind of escorts to be with? I thought it was a brilliant idea. We are smart, intellectual, spiritual, we both have’ve had sex, so it’s not like we have no idea what it feels like (oh the sudden rush of pleasure!), we are poets, we write good if not great short stories, she’s an economist, I’m a software developer, we both meditate, we love unconditionally (literally), we listen raptly even to the most boring conversations, I’m very good with my hands over bodies and hair, I’m a good kisser and hugger ( i believe it is not a hug, unless embrace is at least as long as a minute ). I mean who would not want to be with us to just embrace and sleep with? So many people either go to their beds alone thinking if they had someone to be with, or they particularly do not like the person they are with. Some do, but many don’t.

She started asking her friends if they’d pay her to have her for the night to just peacefully sleep. Most of her friends said no, but then it’s not proper research done with friends now is it?

I like the idea of being a Gigolo. It would be a TREMENDOUS save of time (even if I’d have to perform sexually, I wouldn’t mind). Most of the times, I’d have to work at nights, and I’d have my entire day to myself (unless of course I’d be needed) to work on the ideas I’ve always had — about writing, about coding. If you know someone who’d hire me, please comment, I could really use a job 😅

When my dear friend read this article, and we had a conversation, she was so excited she went this far —

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I’ve Got An Interesting Job Opportunity, And I Fear I Might Let It Go

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Edit — I think I might not let it go after all, If I get it that is.

Context (Read Comments) —

I was offered a job interview by a wonderful person who generously solves my doubts on a site where coders and programmers hangout. I was given a problem statement to solve after a couple of calls with him and his fellow team mate.

I don’t know, if like other intuitions this might turn out to be uncertain. My intuitions are uncertain! Because when I choose to act upon them and after a long time when I tend tp write about them, like now, they remain far from fruition!

Anyway, my intuition told me how much I didn’t want to go to a programming job just yet. I had started reading and writing a lot, and submitting short stories and poetry to online poetry magazines. This problem statement took time from a story that I was writing for a competition. Tonight is the deadline and I’m going to miss it. I do not like it.

Hence, I think, I’m going to politely apologise to both of these fervent people, to let me let go of this wonderful unsolicited opportunity that they had given me. I’m completely sure though.

What’s With The “Should Be Previously Unpublished”

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I’ve just started submitting to poetry and fiction magazines online. Some of them are very keen that a particular poem shouldn’t have been published anywhere online, including on author’s own blogs and writing social media accounts. I think that is particularly bonkers, because it doesn’t let a poet/writer to be able to even think of freely sharing a poem without the at least scintilla of feeling —  what if I submit this poem in the future? I think it’s a disgrace on free speech. I know that it must be tiring to check submissions for plagiarism, but imagine a code of honour, like in the universities I’ve heard (Carnegie Mellon, for example, through a friend who studied there), that if a person is submitting, and he wishes to keep the original copy of the poem published on their blog/social accounts, they should be able to themselves tell this to the poetry magazine they are submitting to. Wouldn’t that be a win win situation?

Of course I know jack shit about copyrights and legalities. If you have any idea how this idea would uphold the legal things, comment?

 

A Talk Back to — ‘I Am Here Because I Took An Instagram Survey’

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This is a follow up post from here

I think of Art as a word, is a necessary evil. The world needs this word and what it entails and represents more than ever. But at the same time it insinuates in slight euphemism, that it is painstaking in a tragic sense. It is an ‘effort’ put in. I wish for an ideal world, or at least some people in it, that could, for all practical purposes, make art and live with it unapologetically, for anything that might give a reason to feel art as separate from yourself, that gives an illusion that you make art.

…Diminish what you believe in and hit you in your face with what you didn’t know existed

1. Beliefs are not rubber balloons but endless stretchy space expanding and contracting. Unlike the stubborn, I believe beliefs can and should change in a graceful gradient for good. After all, they are the harbingers of living with love and peace, aren’t they? I believe beliefs should be as fluid as gender should be considered fluid, as fluid as one constantly keeps questioning one’s identity. It is the way that is meant to be.

2. I’d like to ask the writer what exact does she mean by the quoted. You’ve also told nothing about your insanity but to yourself. So you haven’t really told about your insanity as you put it.

I wish I could say love is not mad. It is mad because it is difficult to measure it, much less define it. It is mad because too much of it can feel like that friend who blabbers unimportant gibberish when she gets insecure, vulnerable or afraid of something or someone mostly by the likes of self assumption; too little of it is like the smile not shared with a stranger you happened to want to talk with on a commute or a while walking. How much would be enough, is dependent on the fact that only way we could ensure it would be is if we believe in it casually. To love enough would be to take love for granted, like your voice in your head, your thinking voice. It’s the daily routine of not being parochial. Loving enough means being mad enough to let it happen by itself, given and not minding the jarring inception of nervous breaths and slips of not expressing enough, or overdoing it. It’s mad to be a part of the world that loves, because it’s unexplainable.

I can imagine the mad man in love, because imagination is madness, and I’m a mad man.

If love aches, it’s only fair to ask — “For how long?”. How long can you mourn a loss of love or a lack thereof, before feeling universal with the fact that the crazy play of love and life and loss and death is like we’re in a dream. How long before we become sober and realise that we have to stop letting love hurt. In true love there is no heart break. A broken heart means broken demands, broken expectations and broken hopes. Separation in love could be lovingly beautiful, and longing in it picturesque.

Can you really choose to sigh in love over a throbbing chest which promises the mirage respite of guilty pleasure, that disguises as saccharine-sour-bitter keepsake, for long? For how long?

A twisted sense of reality, if of a choosing, is not madness. For it to be madness it has to be inexplicable, like life, love, birth, death, breath. It isn’t. A choice is definable. A twisted sense of reality, in one’s slightest senses, can be a device to stop letting it be an escape route from reality and instead be small lovely detours.

We do not “think” things. We do not really know who does. We just listen when a thing has been said, spoken — thought, and we choose to act on it or not, or discard it altogether. We are a witness to our own thoughts, because they aren’t really ours.

We should reward ourselves for the impeccable and irrational stream that we endure of our mind, for it is no small feat to bear so much noise for years — like enduring the smell of a toilet which hasn’t been flushed all these years but used to the fullest capacity. I think the irrevocable flow of this chatter and compartmentalisation can co-exist like the grooves that farmer digs to water the standing crop in the field — once one ‘compartment’ is fluid and full, water jumps into another. But what would be truly great is to empty those compartments for a while before the next crop is sowed, with no thoughts, no botheration in mind, chatter halted not by stopping it deliberately, but by letting it pass by, like all the loves that truly weren’t to stay.

“What truly brings us joy”, is an ever elusive question, any answer to which is always fleeting — a friend, a dog, a food item, a stationery item, your poem, a poem, a part of you that comes out like sun in Ireland — sometimes.

The day I realised I can only ever be truly happy right now, without any reason despite everything, I found that we are not our thoughts, feelings, emotions, situations — these all things change. We are the reference with respect to which we can observe all these things change. And unlike all these things, that reference doesn’t change, yet grow.

I wish I could look forward to talking to this person and talk with her for days with comfortable silences in between, with love — through our bodies as a medium — trying to make sure it oozes out as much as would be enough, to not overflow and to not lay drought ridden, like the dry pungent dregs of wine in an empty glass.

A Talk Back to — ‘I Am Here Because I Took An Instagram Survey’

Since, wordpress doesn’t give you full functionality while writing on top of the blogpost while reblogging, I’ve put the reply, so to speak, to this blogpost, even though there was asked none, here.

 

Of Blurring Stars and a Bleeding Sun

IMG_20180326_005006I am tipsy and typing at lightning speed so that I get across everything I want to before I pass out.

Today was a day of unsilencable, stubborn, wavering thought structures. I say structures because I was able to establish a mental hierarchy of my ideas and spill them all over my sanity.

Let me utter something I must.

For a long time now, I have been housing the idea that I may be going insane; owing to my constant contact with literature, criticism and abstract, metaphorical, painstaking art. To put it less cruelly, these things diminsh what you believe in and hit you in the face with what you didn’t know existed.

But today gave me some answers. Raised new questions too, but it was mostly a day of answers. I realised I’m far from madness. It is by the simple virtue of the fact, that I can tell…

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