Monday, December 12, 2011


Why does it seem like this is the end?
I hoped this would last longer...
I was wrong... I guess.

Pic Courtesy: ©

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

PonnKaalam, PonnTamizh and my PonnDaatar :)

A golden time has come... the rains lash across my homeland, filling the rivers to a full, brimming like never before... has the age of the plenty come back to reclaim its scorched plains and confused people?

Green seems to have taken over a brown that I was far too used to.

Tamilakkam shines... PonnTamizh is back... maybe it's time for another Sangam?

But has our thought become ripe-enough? Do we radiate self-actualisation like ripe mangoes perfume an orchard just before the mango showers?

Do our lips quiver with the need to spout beautiful words of heavenly sounding precision?

Do we tremble with anticipation of a chance to speak of wisdom and near-divine levels of literary perfection in thought and action?

Does our every action evoke the endless pregnant fields of the richly-watered flat valleys and the golden crops that sway to winds of the mositure-laden North-Eastern monsoons?

Have we finally reached that melting point of suffocation when expression in all its myriad forms burst forth in every possible medium we have come to represent with?

Or am I deviating from what really brings joy to my mind?

Do I see fruition in everything, only because my mind seems so full of vibrance and colour, that I feel like dancing, singing, floating... flying?

Listening to some wonderful verses in prose and poetry in a language as sweet as milk and honey, browned and caramelised by a rustic local culture that brings palpitations of a divine kind to my existence...

I am suddenly reminded that most of my joys come from finding love...

Love in it's all encompassing form...

Love that allows you to fight, to make-up, to rage, to calm, to have passion, to share compassion, to whisper, to shout, to smile, to frown, to cry, to laugh and most of all to care and be cared for...

The love for an identity, for a culture, for a people and for a civilization has just been equalled by the love for a person... and I am still left wondering... when the *^!@ did all of this happen?

Image courtesy: :)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Raat Ka Nasha :P

Every inch of me smells like you...
It's almost like I carry you with me...
In that smile, in that quick giggle...
In that distant glance, shiny and magical.

Last night hasn't left me, will you ever?

*smile* *blush*
*hides face*

Pic: ©Navdha Dhingra

Monday, October 24, 2011

Is it me, or is it you?

It's like a cool waft of breeze has blown into my life... a breeze that perfumes my every waking and sleeping hour. A perfumed cool draft that wakes me up, puts me to sleep, holds me close when I feel unloved, embraces me in my weakness and teases me silly.

The way it fondles me, when I am slowly swirling into those self-indulging throes of ecstasy, the way it makes me want to cry and laugh as it whispers sweet nothings into my ear, the raspy vibrations that it streams through me, leaving me begging for more, and satiated at the least — this is my breeze of life.

Gently caressing me, reminding me of the fruity fragrances born in the land of spices, embalmed exquisitely with soft pleasant notes of sandal, burning camphor and jasmine, woven into all the lightness of the touch of a cloud or a feather — it makes me want to adorn myself, beautify my existence and believe in myself.

Is this what they call love — my breeze, my cool draft, my breath?

Or is this just you?

Photo Credit: © Saina Jayapal

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words

I hope it was a calm, balmy night,
one drenched with that yellow light.
There's you two, close enough to bite;
to sore eyes like mine, what a sight!

Perched daintily atop one shiny metal beam,
your invisible eyes, reflect his gleam.
A scene so perfect, straight out of a dream,
oblivious to the world around, you two seem.

Arms resting on the beam, legs in a stationary dance,
a back bent towards him, eyes drinking him in with a glance.
Two shiny heads of darkest brown, yellow-gold halo, in a trance,
in the streets of of bang and bucks, an irreverent romance.

The green traffic signal in the background, says GO.
The palpable fire red passion, bounds does it know?
A signboard "WEAR HELMET", warns you of the foe;
And the all encompassing yellow, frames you, just so.

Felt like a not so gentle reminder, from up above,
that no matter what, men like me, can still love.

- Shreedhar Iyengar :)

Photo Credit: © Saina Jayapal

Thursday, September 15, 2011

North of the Vindhyas — No chance!

I'm thoroughly fed up answering a million queries as to why I am anti-North-Indian... and so I decided to instead write my logic down somewhere, so that tomorrow, just in case I suffer from a serious head injury and forget who I actually am, my blog shall remind me of my bias and my bias shall stay close to me, refuelling my anger and ideas — my precioussssssss!

But before I begin writing this orgasmic piece that will surely make me smile and jump in exhilaration in bits, let me be the ‘Indian’ diplomat and explain that — I am shamefully generalising and yes, I choose to do so...

I do not, never will and never have claimed that every North Indian is the same, so much so, some of my best friends are from the North — just that they are more evolved than I and often more than not, are much more broad-minded than I am.

I thank them for accepting me with all my annoying biases, but in the same breath, would like to remind them, that I am allowed to have said biases and indulge in them too. Much like they are allowed theirs.

Simply put — my biases define me to a huge extent, so deal with it!


I hate North India as an idea and I stand by every hateful word I utter with a vengeance, when I say this.

It’s not the people or their customs or their religions that annoy me... it is their identity, that they have chosen and created in the last few decades, that make me want to hate them.

Here’s a 5-point list that in-detail describes why my hatred is justified.

1) Language Issues:

India is a country with 28 states and 7 union territories and every single person who resides within these territories are as Indian as anybody else within these territories.

We might have a capital in New Delhi and Hindi might (as unfair and undemocratic as it might be) be the Official Language along with English — this however does not give anyone any legal or cultural authority to insist on the knowledge or usage of Hindi in any part of the country.

Our constitution quite clearly says that India has no National Language. What we do have is Hindi as our Official Language and English as a Subsidiary Official Language that can be used in lieu or with Hindi. We also have 22 Recognised Regional Languages that can be used in lieu of Hindi or English.

When the constitution so clearly states that we DO NOT have a National Language... it annoys me when people assume they have the right to question a person’s lack of knowledge or usage of Hindi.

It’s a free country — we’re allowed to use any of the recognised languages we might prefer to use!

More importantly, Hindi is a language native to the Ganga belt and so yes, speakers from there are naturally gifted to speak the language in all its subtle nuances and pronunciation anomalies.

Hoping and expecting people from other areas, with different native tongues, from different language groups to speak it like a native speaker is outright ridiculousness!

Furthermore, a person ridiculing someone for their regional accent in Hindi is uncalled for and illogical. You cannot force a new language down someone’s throat and then expect them to speak it as beautifully as you — that’s just common sense!

Of course you will bring up the Tamil issue and all I will say is read up. The Tamil issue was raised to counter the undemocratic proceedings of 1960.


India did not need an Official Language from among the existing spoken languages. That is just undemocratic. An Indian version of a foreign language like English would have been fairer. It didn’t belong to anyone and none could claim it, not even the English!

2) Skin Colour Issues:

Indians who come from a Dravidic/Negroid/Austric or Austroloid racial origin tend to be darker skinned than people from Aryic/Mongoloid and Semitic strains. This is a fact, deal with it!

On the other hand India is so thoroughly mixed, that no one part of this country can claim to have pure racial origins from any one of these races.

We are a mixed people and we always have been. Often more than not, it has been geography and language that has united us, not the people we originally came from.

There will always be super fair South Indians and super dark North Indians and even though generalisations may be the norm, often more than not, you cannot judge a person’s origin by their colour.

I shall not demean the reader or myself by throwing around names... but it will suffice to say that some of our darkest models are often not from the South, while some of our fairest are not from the North.

And anyone with fairly unbiased tastes will vouch for me when I say; there can be good-looking dark people and ugly fair people.

3) Geography Issues:

This is one area that I refuse to be diplomatic about.

North Indians need to brush up on their geography. South Indian geography non-savants are as rare as two-headed snakes. Even more for the North-East!

The North-East has seven states, take time out and learn to recognise them on a map. Calling someone ‘Chinky’ is as racial as a North-Indian being called ‘Chom’! A Manipuri is not a Naga and a Naga is not a Khasi! A Khasi is not from Arunachal Pradesh and the Boros are a people. Getting yourself acquainted with your fellow Indians will not kill you.

The South of India is not one big state called Madras. Nor does everyone speak Tamizh. Half of South India is actually the two larger states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Kerala and Tamilnadu are the smaller two of the four states.

Be proud of being Indian, not just North Indian!

4) Accent Issues:

Exactly how not everyone in the North speaks fluent English, so don’t people in the South. Like how there is a proper accent for every area in the North, so do English accents change in the South. Neither is better than the other. They’re all equally creative and interesting.

Remember just because you were taught something in a particular way, it doesn’t make it right... English being a borrowed language in India can afford to have many rights.

I, for example have a stronger Scottish leaning in my spoken English, because missionaries in Western Tamilnadu were often from Scotland. The same can’t be said of Chennai where the educators were mostly English. Pondicherry similarly will have more French influences, while Goa will incline towards the Portuguese — the lesson being, stop assuming you are correct. Nobody ever truly is!

5) Identity Issues:

Yes, I am Indian, but no, I do not like Hindustani music. Yes, I am Indian, but I do not consider Kathak to be beautiful. Yes, I am Indian, but I am not inspired by couplets in Urdu and I am not that into Bollywood films.

I may not be like you, but I am Indian too. I am equally as Indian as you are.

India goes beyond the popular notion that India stands for. It pains me every time I am asked if I can speak Hindi because I am an Indian. Even worse is when Hindi is referred to when someone asks me if I can speak Indian...!

India does not equal Hindi or Hindi culture and thankfully never ever will. It’s about time people realised that. Yes, Hindi and the related culture is a huge chunk of our present common identity, but that’s not all of it. The rest of the states, their languages and cultures are equally Indian too!

To sum it all up, I hate what North Indians have become.

They have become the carriers of an oppressive culture unawares and are now taking pride in an assumed pseudo-superiority.

The problem however is that, for every North Indian who does not want to see beyond his borders, an Indian like me will redefine my borders without him.

This might seem like a small ego play in the beginning, but will soon rise into a huge secessionist movement that has already shown signs of arriving.

Let’s just hope India realises what went wrong and rectifies six decades worth of oppression or when the awakening comes, it might just be a tad too late.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The South Indian Gay Me :)

Panché Katti Kurraallalonee, Panchu Naaku Thelisochindi!” (I’ve come to know that the true ‘punch’ [virility] is in boys who wear the panché [dhoti]), go the lyrics of a very popular Telugu song that’s been my favourite for quite some time now.

Why do I like this song? Why do I want to bite my lower lip in a seductive manner, every time I hum this tune or sing these words? Am I a wannabe mass-song dancer whose dream is yet to be fulfilled or am I a ‘liberated’ woman (as portrayed in these movies), trapped in the body of an unwilling man? Or worse still, do I get so turned on by the idea of being so raw and sensually brazen when it comes to talking about a young man’s virility and his sexual prowess I want to violate every code of conduct?

Lots of thinking, intense speculation, deductions, paraphrasing and debates later, I realize I am none of these colourful people mentioned above — I am just a true, son of the soil South Indian, who loves being brash and really uncouth when it comes to matters of my colourful sexuality.

Do I love singing these songs or what! They are a part of my dosa-bred imagination and believe me when I say, that the most romantic thing I might call a lover is “Tent Kattuh Interval Murukkuh” (Possible Literary Transliteration: Your fried delicious savoury item that is my only accompaniment at a movie watched in a tent!) or even better, I might just ask him to build up his muscles like Suriya (Tamil movie poster boy) and grow a nice Singuh-Meesai (Lion Moustache) to satiate all my fantasies and fulfill his in return.

What is it about raw South Indian sensuality that makes it so damn good? This is possibly a question that will never be answered, but I’m sure you understand what I mean when one sees the scraggly unshaven look of Sendhil Ramamurthy as Suresh in Heroes and imagine far more devious things than what passes through my brain every time I see him. Or when one looks at Allu Arjun in all his porikki finesse, strip down to his bare minimum (Deshamuduru) or dress up to sinful indulgence perfection as he did in Arya 2. If only I could sink my teeth into those biceps, and I know you’re wishing for that too and so much more!

The South Indian man in all his dark perfection is the new sexual symbol. Be it the bulging goodness of John Abraham (who is Malayali), pun intended or the child-like innocence of the green-eyed Navadeep, South Indian men are the new hot things on the market and they’re selling like hot cakes for good reason.

We’ve been blessed with good looks and geographical features that make South Indians far more interesting looking than several of their plain faced Aryan counterparts. I’d happily have my fill with a Ganesh Venkataraman, a Karan Rao, a Diganth Manchalé, a Rana Daggubati, or a Naga Chaitanya any day, rather than pursue a supposedly more interesting Punjabi or Jat munda with the same skin tone. The choice is much wider down south anyway and the more particular you get, the more you have to choose from.

South Indian boys and men also seem to have the amazing capability to swing from elitist finesse to lose-all-inhibitions-rawness at the drop of the hat. That surely is a talent worth appreciating and it comes so naturally to most of us. Some of them switch so fast, that most people are caught blissfully unaware of this role change and are often left confused and delirious.

Is it still a surprise why my preferences are so biased? It’s almost like I know that I’m getting so much more even though I bargained for so much lesser! Why wouldn’t I be the happy(er) customer, pray tell? Let’s also not forget how hard it actually could be to refuse being attracted to the child-like innocence of a Vijay or the incontrollable manliness of a Vikram! Are you still in doubt?

I hope you aren’t, because it’s time for my daily ritual of worshipping my South Indian demi-gods. I need to concentrate and relish each utterance and movement, for only then will the gods be pleased with my devotedness. If you are as strong a believer as me, then hop onto the bandwagon and the next time you see a fabulous looking South Indian walk by, ensure you let him know you totally adore him. You’ll be earning karma and loads of kama in the bargain. Be assured. Experience speaks. I need to go now, the next pretty thing aka hunk I adore is on TV, and my ritual of drooling, lusting and wanting begins — feel free to join me any time. Lines are always open.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Safe and warm, finally!

Broad shoulders, deep dark questioning eyes, a voice I love listening to and intelligence, a sense of humour and the wonderful gift of listening — everything I thought impossible to find in just one man. And here you are. Proving all my pre-conceived notions wrong, giving me the hope that I always wanted.

You’re everything that I could have imagined Mr. Perfect to be and yet, I know fully well, that you will never be mine.

Yes, you are straight... I know... and one small minute part of me rejoices that you are. If you were gay and didn’t choose me, I might have had no hope to believe in anymore.

I can flirt with you because you are straight and you probably think it’s really cute of me to be so shamelessly throwing myself at you — it probably is!

All I want to know is, am I wrong to want to be embraced by you? Am I wrong to have watched you while you slept beside me, punishing my heart for wanting to hold you and run my fingers through your hair? Am I wrong to want you so much, when you are the ONLY man in this whole world to have ever made me feel safe?

Why do you hug me so all-encompassing-ly? Am I wrong to hope for you to turn gay from every single conscious corner of my living soul? Am I wrong to wish I was the kind of woman you would want to be with?

Wanting to be with you has rekindled the vulnerable me and in the warmth of your ample, beautiful long neck and wonderfully shaped torso, I hope to bury my face, my love, my insecurities and my burdens that I have come to call life.

So what if I can never make love to you?

If one day I can hold you and shamelessly show you how much I care, and be held by you, like no other, as my body melts into a warm indulged pulp — I would have seen paradise and hence I shall die peacefully.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Birthday Wish-List 2011 :)

Yaah! So apparently it’s my 25th Birthday on Thursday and like every year, I am sure a lot of you wonderful people are breaking your head as to what I would like as a birthday gift...

For starters, I don’t really care, as long as there is some sense of utility to what’s being given... The ONLY thing I wouldn’t appreciate would be things like flasks and items that would probably look bearable ONLY in a showcase...

I would however much deeply appreciate items of gifting like such...

1) Fabindia — Dupattas and Kurtas... please be my guest. I like really long Dupattas and I wear Kurta Size 40.

2) Anything from Body Shop, excluding bath/shower gels... as I do not use them.

3) Books — preferably non-fiction, LGBTI literature of Fantasy fiction.

4) Anything made from Handloom or Khadi or of extremely Natural origin.

5) An MP3 player. I like Sony :)

6) Perfume.

7) Something that reminded you of me.

8) Regional DVDs... Ensure I do not already have them though :)

9) The whole of Will&Grace. All seasons.

10) A date with someone awesome. I get to decide how awesome they are. Period.

Do not however feel obliged to get me anything, as I am cool with absolutely nothing — quite content with just your warm wishes :)

Thank You,

The Quarter-Century-Old-To-Be,

Me :)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

आपको पाया, तो क्यूं? ♥

सजदे किये हैं लाखों, लाखों दुआएं मांगी, पाया हैं मैंने फ़िर तुझे...
चाहत की तेरी मैंने, हक़ में हवाएं मांगी, पाया हैं मैंने फ़िर तुझे...
जिस पल ना चाहा तुझको, उस पल सज़ाएं मांगी, पाया हैं मैंने फ़िर तुझे...
उठ उठ के रातों को भी, तेरे वफ़ाएं मांगी, पाया हैं मैंने फ़िर तुझे...
ख़ुद को मिटाया मैंने, तेरी भलाएं मांगी, पाया हैं मैंने फ़िर तुझे...
चाहे तो चाहे मुझको, ऐसी अदाएं मांगी, पाया हैं मैंने फ़िर तुझे...

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Questions I’d like to ask today.

Lunch at Coorg + Ice Cream at Wily Vanilli + Accidental, yet much enjoyed Mall darshan + Early dinner + Onir Anirban’s I AM = Happy Mother on Mother’s Day :)
Today was Mother’s Day, a day I always hoped that would be celebrated the most, for after all, what are any of us, without our mothers?

Korean dicktease TV series’ + An ex who has no shame and gives haath every single time! + A crazy Japanese TV series that has me believing in second chances.
Why is it always ‘complete reality’ or ‘complete fantasy’ in my life?

Watched ‘I AM’ and sorry Onir Anirban, but Harish Iyer’s story was way better without you meddling with it. Glad you made the movie all the same.
Now, why do I hope so much from a movie that I know is going to just be average in the first place? And why can I never really connect with the character of a gay man who faces harassment? I mean I was gay too, before 377, no? So why wasn’t I harassed? Was I that good at hiding something, I never meant to hide?

You’re hot. You’re throwing yourself at me. You find it easier to crack jokes on how you know I want you and yet you play dumb, also unzipping your fly without me even asking for it? DICKTEASE!
Why do I find straight, and funnily, available men, hot?

You say you like me. That’s what we discussed no? On that wonderfully comfortable sofa in the house of that guy who also claims to like me so much? Yet, you also say, you can never be friends with people you are attracted to, so wait... You aren’t attracted to me? What does ‘like me’ mean again? Come on, we both know you really aren’t the type who chooses intellectual over brawn!
Who are you? Why do you suddenly matter? Yes, I know your second name, so what? You’re the biggest dicktease I know? No wait, you have competition?

So will you die if you look at me? I have dealt with your hatred for far too long! What did I even do?
Why do butch lesbian women despise me and transgender queens mother me in equal passion?

You kiss so well. You’ve set my gaydar off every single time I’ve met you. Rumours abound on how you are an arse-stealer... YET!
Why is Rahul Bose not out yet, I mean, we all know he’s gay, right?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

YOU deserve so much more.

Thank you for reminding me that I am human.

Just when I began assuming that my life was finally going places, you came in and offered love to me — true love, unadulterated and without any complications — your heart, pure, sweet and lovely on a silver shaky platter — and I chose to walk away.

I am a monster. I hate myself.

I can’t look at myself in the mirror anymore, because I am doing what I promised I would never do to someone else. I promised to never hurt someone who loved me and there I was, hurting you — you deserved so much more, so much more. You deserved me a few years ago. You deserve someone who could love you, like you love(d) me — unquestioning, eccentric and hopeful.

I wish, I could love you without meeting you. I wish, I could give you my all, without even knowing where things could go. I wish, I was still the romantic I was at 16, trusting in every promise that was rolled out of a willing tongue. I wish, I could love you for who you are and not what I want you to be. I wish, I wasn’t such a hypocrite!

But, I am not 16 and I am not untouched and I am not unhurt. My baggage refuses to let me take uninhibited steps. To fall in love with you, without ever meeting you, demanded too much of me. I couldn’t even manage to imagine what life with you would be like. I feared, falling out of love, before I even truly fell in.

I am still to blame. And you are still the good one. I hope you forgive me and meet me someday, and I hope, I am less confused then. I hope it all works out and magic happens and everything clicks then.

If it doesn’t — I’ll know I wasn’t worth you.

I’m still meeting you for your Birthday. I’m no present wrapped in glittery paper, but I’ll at least prove to you how much you’re worth — way more than this pitiable writer, who has lost all faith in his ability to love, unquestioning.

I will always love you.

All those days watching from the windows... All those years outside looking in... All that time never even knowing... Just how blind I’ve been...

Now I’m here, blinking in the starlight... Now I’m here, suddenly I see... Standing here, it’s all so clear... I’m where I’m meant to be...

And at last I see the light... And it’s like the fog has lifted... And at last I see the light... And it's like the sky is new... And it’s warm and real and bright... And the world has somehow shifted... All at once everything looks different... Now that I see you...

All those days chasing down a daydream... All those years living in a blur... All that time never truly seeing... Things, the way they were...

Now he’s here shining in the starlight... Now he’s here, suddenly I know... If he’s here it’s crystal clear... I’m where I’m meant to go...

And at last I see the light... And it’s like the fog has lifted... And at last I see the light... And it's like the sky is new... And it’s warm and real and bright... And the world has somehow shifted... All at once everything looks different... Now that I see you...

I am someone’s reality. *sigh* :)

Nobody has ever written a rhyme or verse for me...

And recently Shruthi Rao did. So, while I know it’s a little too much self-obsession,
hey, it doesn’t happen all that often...

I had a dream
Of ice cream and singing
Of Tamil movies
With Romal laughing

And why wouldn’t he?
Because that’s what he is
Happiness personified
The image of utter bliss

I kept thinking
What is his secret?
Neither would he worry
Nor would he fret

All thoughts aside
We spent the whole day
Doing silly things
That indeed, made my day

It was a nice dream
One I’d remember for all eternity
And then I woke up and realized
Romal is my reality :)

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wonderfully beautiful YOU.

I feel the earth move under my feet, I feel the sky tumbling down, tumbling down... I feel my heart start to tremble, whenever you’re around... Ooh, baby, when I see your face, mellow as the month of May... Oh, darling, I can't stand it, when you look at me that way...

Ive always wondered what drew me to you. You werent like anyone Ive fallen for before. You were GAY and thats a surprise enough in itself. For someone who always found straight men irresistibly attractive and often ended up with one you were a breath of fresh air. A hope that one day I could possibly end up with a gay man.

I adore the way you doubt yourself. The way you try to not let me get close to you. I like how were both afraid of falling and I love how chemistry seems to always screw up our lives and show us both the middle finger.

You make me want to become a man you would find attractive and Im sure Im on that path. Maybe you will find true love in a form that pleases you, by the time Im ready to offer myself to you I fear that in every inch of a changing body. Yet, I am confident, that my love for you shall prevail.

I shall be yours one day and you shall be mine and even if that doesnt come to pass I shall be at peace knowing that I have loved you, with all my heart, every passing moment, from when I first set eyes on the new wonderfully beautiful you.


:: You and I left our troubles far behind, troubles far behind... but I still have just one more question on my mind... for all my pals who live in the oceans and the seas... with friends like these well, who needs enemies? ::

Friday, March 25, 2011


Naan: You who I hold special above all others...
I hope you are fine?
I hope your wounds have healed?
I hope you have found peace in your pain...
I hope you have found joy in your loneliness...

Nee: You who I hold beautiful beyond all others...
I hope you know that nothing is the same?
Ever since I’ve parted ways from you...
My mind speaks of but one dilemma...
Do I show the world my tears?
Or do I save my face and cry into my pillow?

Naan: You who I hold special above all others...
I hope you know that I am trying to force?
My mind to believe that I hate you...
My body, once proud is now shamed...
Do I let you tear me in half again?
Or do I fight true feelings and stay apart from you?

Nee: Can’t a garland be recreated with new flowers?
Naan: Can new knots be tied into a scarred auspicious sacred thread?
Nee: Won’t life be like a circle and start off again where we foolishly ended it?
Naan: Won’t life be like a circle and end again where we foolishly start it?

Nee: You who I hold special above all others...
I hope you are fine?
I hope your wounds have healed?
I hope you have found peace in your pain...
I hope you have found joy in your loneliness...


Saturday, March 19, 2011

let go.

I let go.
I now realise.
Was my fault.
I now let go.
You are who you want to be.
You are not who you are.
Who are you, to you?
Who are you, to me?
They’re different people.
You don’t want to be who you are to me.
I am no one to make you; you as you are to me.
I am sorry.
Maybe I finally understand dualities.
I now withdraw.
I let go.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

‘It just happened to me’

Bangalore girl and theatre artiste Jahnavi Kamath stumbled into films quite just-by-chance, but she’s now convinced that she’s here to stay…

L Romal M Singh

She has always been noticed for her beautiful eyes and ever since she was first seen on stage in college, experts in the field knew this young pretty thing would make it big. Jahnavi Kamath has come a long way from being a theatre artiste to an actress with a film each in Kannada and Tamil and several more projects being lined up...

When did you know you wanted to be an actor?
I have always wanted to be in entertainment, it’s just that over the years my interests have changed from being a VJ, to dancing, to being a part of theatre troupes and then acting just happened. I was in college when I performed for the first time in a huge production that involved more than a hundred actors. I was however given a prominent role and also was cast in the successive performance that was staged the very next year. It was then I knew I loved theatre and decided to be an actor.

So how did you decide to take on acting as a career?
I enrolled in an acting school in Mumbai right after I graduated with a Bachelors degree in Journalism from Bangalore. The course was amazing. It taught me to understand the smallest and most important nuances of acting. I was also readied for the camera and I am thankful for that.

Did the offers start pouring in straightaway?
Not really. I returned to Bangalore and began working with several theatre groups, before my first offer came. It was a Kannada film called Chitrana?. The film is complete but is the release is delayed for reasons unknown to me. The role as the female protagonist was amazing, especially since this was my first.

And then Kollywood?
Surprisingly so! Someone from the crew of Chitrana? referred me to the producer of the Tamil film. This being Ramesh’s debut as a director and my debut (technically) in a Tamil film, it all seemed to work out fine. The lead male actor Dileep also debuts in this film.

Tell us more about the film…
The film has been titled Puthiya Kaaviyam and the shooting was mostly around Mettur in Salem and Chennai. Being a rural themed film, I play a village girl who’s extremely happy with life and college-going. I am the romantic angle to the film, as I am the love interest in Dileep’s characters’ life. The film revolves around him and how he saves his village. I guess that’s all I can reveal right now. The film should be out in May.

City girl to village belle, wasn’t that hard?
Not really. I grew up in Bangalore, yes, but I also lived and holidayed in Mangalore for a long time. My father owns a farmhouse there, that’s quite within the environs of a village, so village life is no new thing to me. Also, I’ve never really been a proper city girl.

Any more offers?
Yes, I have one more film that I have accepted in Tamil again, this time with a debut director called Balan. This film will be opposite Dileep again, and will be a rural themed film, where I play the role of a more independent and assertive woman.

So, will it be just films and more films now?
Definitely not! I will take on more plays whenever I find something interesting, because, let’s face it… real acting is only on stage! I will also continue to model when assignments come my way. I love films but it’s never going to be my only passion.

‘I was born to dance’

He’s beautiful in body, mind and soul and this description is something that anyone who knows him will readily agree with. Charles Ma has come a long way from being a college dance-team choreographer to a full-fledged student and performer of the art of Bharatanatyam, and in less than two years, he has travelled through the long journey of being a teacher, a student, a questioner and a re-discoverer of an art that he holds very dearly to his heart.

“Life is a celebration and I’ve come to know that I celebrate it through Bharatanatyam,” Charles tells me as I catch up with him, after his year-long hiatus. “I’ve been in Chennai, re-learning an art form that I think — now looking at the past — I took for granted,” he says.

Studying a completely new style for someone so deeply rooted in the Kalakshetra baani can be quite trying, but Charles has come to love the nuances and complexities of his new obsession — the Vazhuvoor style.

“It feels great as I feel this complete transformation surging through me. Relearning an art form, with the passion for the new, much like a fresh student has helped me come to terms with a lot of insecurities and obstacles that were running me down as a performer, a year ago,” Charles shares.

“I am now a deeper person, more comfortable with me and my art and with a new strange sense of wisdom that is gained only when one offers ones self completely to an art. Everything else takes second place in a hierarchy of importance, sometimes even me — but it feels right and I am at peace, which is all that matters,” he adds.

Charles will be performing as a part of the Karnataka Nrityakala Parishath’s Natarajotsava — 2011 celebrations and so I ask him what Nataraj, as the 'Lord of the Dance' means to him, personally.

“I come from a family that’s Christian in this generation, but my grandmother was a Shaivite, and I think the love for Nataraj or Shiva comes from there. I look at him as Niraguna Parabramha, and thus I see him in everything and everywhere. It has been hard to come to terms with two often opposing faiths — but I have found my balance and that’s where my faith lies,” he signs off.

Pic Credit ©Madhu Shweta, 2009

Thursday, March 10, 2011

guava — the common man.

The world around me crumbles into small spots of nothingness, much like the flavour of guava that caught my attention, intriguing and boring me in cyclic repetitions as I tried the ‘brand’ new flavour of frozen yoghurt at the ‘around-the-corner’ much favoured fro-yo bar. So much for indigenous tastes!

The flavour was spotty and I am not trying to be ‘gastronomically deep’ when I say this. I could actually only taste the subtle crappy flavours of guava and vanilla (if that’s what the rest of it tasted like) in spots. So, why did I have it? Well, that’s as simple a question as why am I gay? — I don’t know, being the shortest, least rude and most apt answer, ever!

Moving onto nothingness —no, I am not trying to randomly use ‘ness’ suffixed words, though most anglophiles would readily agree at the prettiness of a ‘ness’ word. I meant nothingness because; the treat apparently had no ‘bad’ yummy things and reminded me of how my life was becoming — Safe. Sanitized. Secure. Sad.

I miss doing things at whim. Jumping into buses at tandem random! Making out with a complete stranger (yes, I have been slutty {subjective}, at times, only!)... Falling for someone pretty on the road and then pursuing them... falling in love... falling out of love... falling... free falling... I wished I was a fallen angel sometime ago. Being good can be such a bore!

Straight men are anything but straight. They’re often devious little, super-gorgeous, super-twisted, super-narcissistic men, who for some reason, find me, in all my gay-disapproved-boring-ness, perfect as their object of affection. Now, I am not complaining, I do enjoy every inch... did I just say inch, of course not, I meant bit... every bit of their attention, but their genuineness (Ha-ha! one more!) often leaves me wishing they were not-so-straight!

If you aren’t into men, why do I so entice you? Or do you consider me a woman? That doesn’t embarrass me in anyway, but if I am a woman in your eyes, then why can’t you date a woman, a real one, vagina-breasts-mammary glands included? Why me?

Now, don’t get me wrong! I adore you guava straight man, interesting in bits, and boring otherwise, who agree you find gay men interesting — but why make me go weak in the knees, why flirt, why throw yourself at me, and then withdraw, only because the game suddenly dawns into your reality. You guava men! You are a lame excuse for a fruit!

I’ve been playing this game for eight years and maybe now, maybe now, maybe now, finally... I give up! Nothingness guava flavoured fro-yo for me, any day! The real fruits can go and become a part of somebody else’s fruit salad.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Goodhals in the head! :(

I call you and I hate the fact that I can’t say I love you! Every single song reminds me of you, of memories that could have been shared or were imagined with you. And yet today, we’re still nowhere. Why do I love you so much? Why can’t I do without you? I have tried. A lot! Yet every soulful Rehman composition makes me want to be with you. I despise you for not being with me. For messaging me; for having a voice that makes me nothing short of orgasm and for being so far away. Most of all I love hating you for not being gay. Or was it hate loving you?

©Bibash Photography, 2010

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Simple Superstar

If you don’t know Wilbur, you are a waste! At least that’s what desi netizens of today’s Bangalore feel! We catch up with the virally popular and super hilarious Wilbur Sargunaraj.

You may not know him, you may not like him, but you definitely can’t ignore him.

Quality. First Class. Sargunaraj Trademark — screams the bright yellow logo that usually announces Wilbur Sargunaraj, who has arrived and is here to stay.

A son of the soil Tamil boy from Madurai in Tamilnadu, Wilbur moved to Canada around five years ago and began recording in his insanely popular style of humour-based rap-like songs, that revel in the madness of ‘being local’.

In less than four years, he achieved viral popularity on the internet and even released his self-titled first album — Wilbur Sargunaraj. With his subversive style of poking fun at oneself to show one’s confidence, he has stolen the hearts of millions across the world and is now finally, in namma Bangalore.

We’ve all figured that you’re from Tamilnadu, but where exactly is this Tamil’s ‘natyive’ place?

My ‘natyive’ is in several places. I am partly from Tenkasi, but also from Tirunelveli and my dad’s actual home is a small ooru (village) called Surandai. But I grew up all over India. As a child I was in Darjeeling for a year and then in Kolkata for half a year and then we finally moved to Madurai and in between I was in Ooty too. I speak Hindi also. Mujé Indi Maalum Ae, Apun Ko Kya Samajtha Hai, Baaisaab? (In a faux bad Hindi accent)

When did you realise you wanted to sing in your unique and particular style?

I have always wanted to perform in the style that comes most naturally to me and when I moved to Canada, it began just as an experiment. In no time, it was an internet hit and fans started cropping up everywhere. I now have so many fans globally that I need to work out of Chennai and Toronto. This has made me a vagabond, and I enjoy how much I get to travel to meet people who like my work and my sound.

Do you have a background in music?

Yes, I do. I have always been interested in percussion and drums and I’ve even been all the way to Cuba to learn the native style of percussion there. I also studied mridangam for a while, when I was in Madurai.

So how did the Sargunaraj style evolve?

See, many people think I am making a mockery of who I am and compare me to Borat and the likes. What they don’t see is that, unlike Borat, I make fun of my own culture with a hope of celebrating and sharing it, not mocking it and being vulgar. I have a message — the message of being proud of who you are and where you’re from, irrespective of what economic, cultural, intellectual or educational background you come from.

It’s a socially oriented message then?

Of course! I am trying to represent rural India, or at least the rural India I know, in the most real form that I can. Issues like arranged marriages are still a huge problem for the young there and even though my songs may not always have a social message, they at least speak of a sentiment that rings true to that area. I want to use my music as a medium to give these people a voice. Once that is done, I also want to be able to serve these people, which is why I’ve partnered with so many social causes.

What about your own cause, any hope of a love marriage?

There is a song in my new album called Annie Rose and that is a dedication to this girl I met when I was really young. It’s been 25 years since I met her and even though I knew her for a very short time, like that only love happened. She moved away and ever since I have been searching for my Annie Rose. One of the last songs in the new album is based on her. Love is a feeling, this song is that feeling.

The new album seems to have a lot on offer, tell us more?

I have always wanted to do much more than singing, which is why I even made a video on how foreigners should use the Indian toilet. In my new album I have a song that describes in a fun-way how foreigners can interpret what Indians really mean when we shake our head in a particular manner. The song is called Shake the head.

Anymore tracks to look forward to in the new album?

Simple Superstar — which already seems to be a hit. Then there's Vaigai Express No 2635 — which is the name of the train that runs between Chennai and Madurai and is my first song that will feature one deadly dabaangkoothu beat. And then there's Super mobile — which is about a super mobile phone. The album will also feature an extra CD that will contain my other older hits like Love Marriage, Chicken 65, Cobra Cobra and Cricket.

You performed in Chennai earlier this week, how was the reaction?

It was amazing. It felt so amazing to be performing in my homeland and soon after the performance; I was amazed at the responses from the city. People kept calling, offering film music contracts and asking me to perform in their projects — it was humbling!

What do you expect from the crowd in Bangalore?

I perform there on Tuesday for the first time and I am overwhelmed at the response I am already getting. Bangalore will always be special as I have always had a loyal set of fans in the city from the very inception. What I have missed from crowds across the globe is an energy and a fun-loving spirit that matches my own. I am almost always the only one still dancing and being enthusiastic by the end of a performance. I hope the Bangalore crowd will break this curse and out-do me with their energy. I’ve heard so much about the city’s party crowd, that I am super excited to finally meet them.

Illustration Courtesy: Nithin Rao Kumblekar, ©Nithin Rao Kumblekar