It was sweet and sunny winter morning during February, 2002. Winter was just gathering the after burns of a bitter as a saccharine, chilly two months. Me n my sweetheart were strolling in the courtyard of Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur.
I saw a gate and went for it, she was a step behind. Suddenly I heard a thud and turned around to find that she has tripped over on air and fell flat on her sunglasses, which were broken into two.
The worry soon turned into a hearty laughter by both of us, thinking about the possibility of the existence of an unforeseen hurdle, which she could only experience.
The journey was a long due honeymoon, which we never had in 3 years, out of all coziness, only to discover that, we were not alone.
After three days, we came back to Delhi with lots of expectations and apprehensions, Lots of Questions and very little answers. She decided to visit the Doctor, while I was looking after the chores. Half an hour later, I got a phone call that- Yes, I need to cook for another person also.
The joy knew no bounds and I ran out of my rented apartment to pick her up. The enchanting night ended with a celebratory dinner at New Friends Colony.
We were both young and eagerly looking forward to welcome our new member. But every gift comes with an exceeding sense of responsibility and so much uninhibited concerns.
The Doctor was a motherly figure and tried to comfort us, when we disclosed about the accident to her and our apprehensions regarding it. She asked us to go for an Ultrasonography.
It was the month of March, after going through the procedure, the Pathologist turned up with a worried face, doubling our anticipations and despair. But he refused to divulge much regarding the condition of the baby even after much insistence and simply asked us to collect the report on very next day and consult the Doctor. Perhaps he thought we will be asking about the sex of the unborn!
Next day, I proceeded from workplace during lunch hour to collect the report with all my dilemmas and eagerness, as if waiting for the inevitable to happen. At around 1.30 pm I reached the Lab and collected it and had a glance and and invariably misread the word Fetal as Fatal. My feet were cold, ear lobes were sweating and heart felt numb. I need not to read further and started to console myself that- This is not the end of world, etc.
Later when my wife called up, both of us did not utter a single word but as if knew what was coming towards us were painfully consoling each other.
With a heavy heart, the Doctors appointment was kept to get the official news broken. Hold on, don’t get fooled as we did, the breaking news was WE WERE ACTUALLY PREGNANT WITH A HEALTHY LION CUB. This news caused another celebration in NFC.
Every day was a celebration of anticipation, happiness, pain, joy, ecstasy, expectation and sheer possibilities. The kid started to grow inside her and started to make his presence felt with a few kicks here and there.
It was July’2002, World Cup Football Finale. After a long wait hot favourite Brazil scored against Germany when Ronaldo beat Olliver Kahn with a stinging right footer. My wife was watching the game with me along wit the unborn. I screamed with elation and shouted at the top of my voice as men usually do while watching a football match- may be more. The happiness spread to the unborn too, as he celebrated along with his father in his mother’s womb with rigorous kicks from the inside.
Then came the day when I had to leave them at my home town for a better care. It broke my heart and every second made me understand with stern reality that- How helpless men are- fathers are. While the unborn has established a prenatal bond with his mother for months, the father is waiting in the wings only to facilitate things for both of them, bereaved of all the enjoyment of togetherness- carrying someone with you.
19th of October, 2002, a day before she was to be admitted for a Caesarean. I had a dream that, I got spanked by a lioness. The sudden slap woke me up in pain on my right jaw and started to think- is he a she or what? My wife kept a smiling face all through out when I told her as if she knew everything.
Everything it was indeed. The D-Day came after 3 days, I, as a busy production manager, was running from pillar to post, making things comfortable for her, arranging everything, calming everyone; especially the would be Grandparents. But did not forget to wink my sweetheart a good wish gesture before she entered OT.
Then I made everybody seat in the waiting area and got hold of an old newspaper and made myself comfortable at the steps outside OT.
45 minutes after, the OT Assistant came out with a broad grin “It’s a boy.” I looked at the watch -12.44 it was- the first question I asked was, “Is the mother alright?”
Getting the affirmation I put wheels on my legs to break the news to those who were present and who were not.
After another half an hour or so, they came out, she semiconscious with heavy sedatives, after going through the rigors and pains; moaning and the baby, the dissatisfied and disassociated with all the discontentment clubbed in between the eyebrows. My baby boy, 40 weeks after spending his time in side his mother womb, come out with hairs and nails formed perfectly, was in my hands- all of 3.8 kgs. The first words his mother uttered were, “Its not a lioness but a lion.” Loved it.
Since then, more than 7 years have past and I am still not able to get over the feeling of happiness.
I love you Son! Every moment have been a great learning experience and fascinating with you and I am looking forward to the day when I have to look up to talk to you Son.
Off late things happening to me can never be termed as boring at any wildest sense. It can be felt that something big is waiting round the corner for me.
Take what happened today for instance. Usually I am an early riser, so woke up in the morning and started to prepare to celebrate the birthday of Gandhi Baba. At least I was making the most important ingredient of a birthday celebration. Suddenly my mobile started to sing “Hum Dil De chuke Sanam”.
It was my rocking friend, who with the happiness of seeing the morning sun called me up in excitement. I have been told to go to a place near Jama Masjid which has become latest craze among my friends and foes alike for one superlative delicacy “Nahari”. So, temporarily abandoning the birthday preparation I set for my sojourn with my own reflection riding my most recent buy.
After having a gala time over the culinary delight and further dissection of Chandni Chawk region, I took the way home through ITO. While crossing Jamuna I suddenly saw a boy sitting helplessly near a piece of cloth and a briefcase. Within two seconds of passing it I realized that the piece of cloth is filled with a body, unsure of live or dead I went back. Meanwhile a three wheeler following me and a scooter also stopped with curiosity.
We went back to find a body of a woman of nearly 50 lying on the verge of unconsciousness throbbing without much vigor. Fortunately I was carrying a bottle full of water in my newly mounted dickey, which with the help of the other Good Samaritans stopped for help, I was able to feed her, the lady could sit up. Upon enquiring she divulged that she was walking with her grand son to Mathura.
It reminded me that within a matter of few days I have come across atleast three people who had set their foot with utter disregard to human limits to visit their destination. But this lady unlike others, has not crossed over to the land of insanity, only ignorance and desperateness is her alibi.
All of us present, the scooter rider, the Auto driver and a fine young man in his twenties wearing red t-shirt going to Mayur Vihar in that Auto were sanguine that she has set for a seemingly impossible journey. So me and the young man offered some money to her, the scooterist offered his entire lunch of Roti and Aloo sabji to her and the Auto driver offered lift to Sarai Kale Khan Bus Terminus, where with the help of the young man he will be able to sit her in a bus to Mathura.
Assured of the good deeds of the men present, I left the scene with much happiness.
A line of cult poet Tagore had popped up in my head “Praan ache, ekhono Praan ache!” Who says Delhites have become intolerant and indifferent atleast not all of them.
There is therefore still hope left.
Ciao for now!
Sometimes a dull day becomes so fascinating with injection of some elements of surprise in life. Yesterday was one such day. A dull morning started to glow when Bijoya greetings started to feel my inbox. However, nowhere to go nothing to do state of affair once again turned it into pale.
In the afternoon, wanted to watch Indo-Aussie cricket, there again also the toss of luck had a different idea- Aussies choose to bat on a dull wicket, which means another hard days for the Indian fieldsmen.
Went out in the evening to get some raw materials for dinner from near by Fish Market, with eventless, matter of fact mindset. However, an apparently small event made the heart pound with impending story telling possibilities.
After comming out of the Fish Market, I was about to start my new mode of conveyance, a sleek disco135, suddenly saw a man in his innerwere as gloomy as the dusky environment at the time, was standing on the Traffic Police Stand opposite to Brij Vihar Police post and moving ferociously with both the hands. The vigour was such that could have caused an instant accident by falling on a moving car or bike.
I with another elderly person approached him asking him to come down. But he was not in a mood to abide by. The EVER vigilant constable came fromt the Police Post and with wooden stick in his hand ORDERED the man, at the end of his sanity, to come down and threatened with dire consequences. Inspite of repeated warning from us The Policeman did what he does best. hit the poor fellow with the stick.
It resulted into a volatile reaction from him, who jumped from the stand and started to pull punches. As usual the first luckless was me. Looking at me he threw his feast fiercely. In a sudden reflex action and I turned my head and the box hit the back of my head. In return I offered him a smiling face. With no resistance from my side the mad man went for other prey, The Constable was shouting fearfully and wielding his stick forcefully. The man chose him to be the next victim and chased him. With blocked head and fear in heart the Constable hit him with his stick at his arm and that was a masterstroke from the poor Constable.
The next thing, what happened, is a long cherished dream of many a people. The mad man attacked the police man with such force and slapped him repeatedly that the Constable lost his composure. With almost moist eyes and forgetting what I and a few wise men told him he hit the man at his forehead instantly opening up a wound, which made him to go wild, he suddenly jumped and latched the leg of a moving biker and started to drag himself with him. The Constable who was about to pass out with fear started to hit him with the Stick. I jumped on the constable and made him understand that his doing something pitifully fatal.
The man in question got up and started to run here and there creating ruckus among the crowd gathered. I went to him held his hand and asked him to sit somewhere for a moment.
Then requested the crowd and urged the help of the constable to disperse the gathering, but no one was interested to leave the scene. Its difficult to get free entertainment these days or is it?
Anyways, I went to the wounded man and asked politely where from he came?- He replied ” Kashmir, Shanti ke khoj mein!!” I thought he is seeking something such difficult to get!! He asked me rather commanded ” Paani pilao- THANDA!”
I went to the nearby juice stall asked for a bottle of water and turned back to see that the man has already got up from his place and again started to move around. He went to a Opel Astra, stopped it layed on the bonnet and started to clean the windscreen with his dirty hand.
I sensed the urgency and rushed to him. By that time a sane looking Constable appeared in the scene. I asked him to take him inside the near by Police Post and make him seat there only, so that no bystanders or moving traffice is affected. The Policeman requested me to escort the person as he was visibly affraid to get close to the man who has just threw the caution and composer of the police personnel in the wind.
So I went to the man and told him to come with me, he accompanied me without any question but one-“ Thanda Pani milega kya?”
I said ” yeah, sure”
Both of us went inside the Police Post situated just opposite to the Stage where drama was on. The SHO greeted us with great confidence and asked me ” Aab ap jaiye aab hum dekhenge” and ordered his constables without any human feelings or touch that” Agar gar bar kare to do danda deke thanda kar de na!”
I interfered stating that ask him politely, he will listen to!
Then I asked the Constable who came with me to get me a glass of water. He came with one. I then went to the man and asked him to open his mouth, he did. I poured a little water in. He said with utter disdain “ Thanda Nahi hai”
I scolded him, ” peena hay ke nahi batao? mu kholo!” He became a good boy and finished the water in the glass.
I told him, ” Yahan se hilna nahi, nahi to yeh log dNatenge” He listened to and sat at the feet of a Baniyan Tree. I was set to take a leave when I looked at him. He was looking at me unabated. I smiled at him and came out of the Police Station.
Today morning, after seeing off my son for school I went near the Police Post, there was no sign of him. May be he went ahead with his search for Peace. Lucky chap.
Ciao for Now.
Chinese films used to denote third grade Jacky Chan movies or maximum Jet Li kind of non stop nonsense kung-fu movies. But Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero actually changed my idea of Chinese mainstream movies.
In this genre I watched a film sometimes back, which actually ignited my imagination with share colourful imagery and vastness. House of Flying Daggers directed by Zhang Yimou is more of a beautiful painting which changes color with every frame than a conventional film.
House of Flying Daggers is a tale of love lost and found, set in 859 AD China at the end of the Tang Dynasty. The ruling corrupt government is threatened by an insurgent rogue organisation called the House of Flying Daggers. Two deputies of the army, Leo (Andy Lau) and Jin (Takeshi Kaneshiro), hatch an elaborate plan to infiltrate the outlaw group by gaining the confidence of a blind dancing girl, Mei (Zhang Ziyi), whom they suspect to be the leader’s daughter. Mei is captured and imprisoned, then rescued by Jin who poses as her ally. En route to the headquarters of the Flying Daggers, the two must fend off soldiers who have been ordered to kill upon sight. Shadowing the pair’s movements, Leo’s secret liaisons with his compatriot reveal that Jin’s true identity has been withheld from their assailants for tactical purposes. As their journey into the wilderness deepens, so does the emotional bond between Jin and Mei. Their relationship becomes the focal point of the narrative’s tension as the story gradually arches towards the inevitable decision which Jin must make – heart or hearth, honouring nation or the love of a woman. A sacrifice is imminent.
In comparison to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero, House of Flying Daggers is a simpler story. While the former two weave together multiple narratives of their many principal characters, the latter is concentrated almost solely on the trio consisting of Jin, Mei and Leo. Although the blossoming affair between Mei and Jin arguably lacks the tenderness that marked the earlier films, it is replaced with an almost raw and fierce intensity that is equally powerful, in no small part due to the performances of its cast. Replacing Gong Li as Zhang Yimou’s muse, Zhang Ziyi is at once the image of childlike innocence and stubborn fortitude. Takeshi Kaneshiro is convincing as the playboy deputy turned virtuous hero, while Andy Lau makes the successful transition from contemporary pop celebrity into a leading character of this mythical period piece. The taut dynamics between the triptych provides a riveting study of the conflicting emotions of deception, betrayal, jealousy, sincerity, forgiveness and unconditional love.
Borrowing from the aesthetics of classical Chinese paintings, House of Flying Daggersis exemplary of ‘moving art’ with its careful compositions that hark back to an older tradition predating the camera obscura. For instance, characters are frequently dwarfed by the natural landscape – harmonious representations in which humans are but one element in the grander scheme of life. This lends the film a lyrical quality and gentle cadence in between fast and furious action scenes. The richness of the colour palette and almost chameleon-like change in the pastoral scenery – from barren woods, to lush bamboo forests to a snow-covered field – is metaphoric of the story’s narrative shifts and the characters’ emotional trajectories. Shigeru Umebayashi’s original score is a haunting addition to the film, underlying the mise-en-scene with an achingly beautiful, elegiac texture.
I express my gratitude to the UTV World Movies channel to make me experience such heavenly moments. This is a must see for subtle minds.
Ciao for Now!