Thursday, December 04, 2008

A writer's mind and its quirks

AFTER reading godzillion articles in this space, I decided to write something on something. And when I started placing my fingers on the ergonomic keyboard I realised that my mind is in a bigger mess than the US economy. OK,I am exaggerating.

Initially, I wanted to write something that this space has been accommodating — maybe a rah-rah tale about how I experienced the first Kafkaesque moment of my life when I saw a cockroach scouting for food despite losing one of its tentacles or how I suffered from bouts of nostalgia after meeting my value education teacher of standard five.

I wanted to be really ‘different’ (not the Bollywood one). That’s when I thought that I will enlighten you, my reader, on how Indrajit Hazra — the novelist is not a patch on Indrajit Hazra — the columnist. Just at that very moment I came to know that Nadeem Aslam writes his entire drafts on — gasp, gasp— paper.

I mean all this sounds poetic and the fact that Amazon forests are being raped so that he can write about Afghanistan makes his ‘Wasted Vigil’ a must-read for me. Before I could sing paeans to this characteristic of Aslam my hippocampus snapped, ‘Hell, No’.Why? When I claim of listening of being a true connoisseur of music who listens to everything that falls in between Napalm Death and Diane Cluck, shouldn’t it be a matter of extreme consternation to me that acquiring Galeej Gurus’ latest work is hundred folds difficult than laying hands on Sigur Ros’ latest album? The brain being such a mercurial creature again interrupted and asked me, ‘Are you sure?’ Why? Being a journalist, I should bloody well be blanching after knowing that ‘the influential’ New York Times had to be ‘bailed out’? The Los Angeles Times is bleeding too.

Business Standard lacks that same character post Financial Times pull-out. After so many vacillations I decided it was high time that I start writing about a book, which I have recently read— ‘Pereira Declares’ by Antonio Tabucchi. One of the, due to lack of a better word in my lexicon, side-protagonist writes obituaries of living writers.

Ever since, I was fascinated with this particular job. I would have preferred to write about film directors. I even thought of a few intros. For instance, violence was the muse of Scorsese, meditative cinema lost its poster child today when Wong Kar Wai breathed his last.

Just then, I (read capricious mind) decided that an analogy is very important between Joe the plumber and our very own aam aadmi. With the slugfest called election campaign a few months away, I am guessing that the BJP would find one Ramu, the kisan, and twist him enough so that he would say that the loan waiver was a futile exercise.

At this very moment, I again thought that this space’s sanctity should remain intact — I should be creepily personal and, that too, without an iota of humour. I wanted to spread some ‘gyan’ as to how I search for intelligent women (dare you misogynists who term it an oxymoron) on Face book and Orkut.

Alas, it was ‘Time Out’ (I know, I know an extremely bad pun but is totally intended)!


In Search of a Midnight Kiss

If watching black-and-white photography coupled with confabulations about the most esoteric things is your idea of a perfect Sunday afternoon watch then look no further than 'In Search of a Midnight Kiss' (others can be 'Clerks' and 'pi'). However, this indie, the film-makers prefer it that way, film is more on the lines of 'Before Sunrise', 'Before Sunset' and, maybe, 'Annie Hall'. Its New Year's eve and 30-something Wilson (Scoot McNairy), who is still recuperating from a recent break-up, doesn't have anyone to celebrate it with in Los Angeles. What does he do? Creates a profile on craigslist and describes himself as "misanthrope seeks misanthrope". He gets a call from Vivian (Sara Simmonds) who is trying to deal with her verbally-abusive boyfriend. What follows is a colloquy that has been near-extinct in the recent past. Say thanks to water-cooler phenomenon.