Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Drunk on Cohen, again.

I keep telling myself there is a world out there to explore, while i refuse to move on from just one poet. How, I wonder sometimes, is my obsession with the existential despair of Cohen's poetry, the cynical prophecy of Dylan, or even my undying appreciation for the clever romanticism of Ghalib's and Ramesh Parekh's poetry any different from my mother's obsession with the plain sentimental poetry of Befaam (to the point that she used to fancy as a teenager that someday she'll heal Befaam's broken heart with her love). Like I was discussing with Mitesh the other day, we all have our Asharam Bapus. Well, here's a piece from one of mine: Cohen, again.

I am locked in a very expensive suit
old elegant and enduring
Only my hair has been able to get free
but someone has been leaving
their dandruff in it
Now I will tell you
all there is to know about optimism
Each day in hub cap mirror
in soup reflection
in other people's spectacles
I check my hair
for an army of alpinists
for Indian rope trick masters
for tangled aviators
for dove and albatross
for insect suicides
for abominable snowmen
I check my hair
for aerialists of every kind
Dedicated as an automatic elevator
I comb my hair for possibilities
I stick my neck out
I lean illegally from locomotive windows
and only for the barber
do I wear a hat.

An early treatment scribble

I've made a conscious choice of dialogue over action in several scenes in the script. I felt a strong urge to revert the "show, don't tell" thumbrule, to the extent that many scenes cut abruptly at their most dramatic high point, and then in the following scenes, the characters narrate, through casual conversation, their experience of the dramatic moment. I analysed this urge to distance myself from the heart of the action. I discovered that I find some human experiences too deep, intimate and emotionally stirring to try and capture on camera. Also the immediacy and the drama of the experience end up fogging the essence, which seems to come out more honestly in the objective after-experience reflection. When a character talks about a moment experienced in the previous scene, it is not intended as a guide for the audience, but rather as an experiential lens, through which the audience lives the moment twice - once through the speculation of the dramatic high point of the moment led towards by the author, which being never shown, is experienced in the imagination, and then, the moment redefined through a tinted world-view of the character...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An unfinished song.

You had a copy of the book you bought

Was to show the taste you sought

As you queued up next to me on the aisle

Was a long time ago that you thought

I was wise for the lies you wrote

I fell for them, swam into your isle.

Then it takes a while to rationalise

Learn the hands turn anti-clockwise

Seen from the other side of the dial.

So depending on where you stand,

You get clockwork or you get orange

Get tortured by Beethoven, meanwhile.

Here we go once again, play it out

Use up one more benefit of doubt

Declare love from starbirth to supernova

Don’t Freud our childhood, let us out

It’s not the past it’s been about

Wasn’t me who whispered Naro-Kunjrova.

When I say you, I don’t address you alone

We’ve all desired, for which we atone

Didn’t Cohen apologise to Eunice D’Souza?

What’s poetry but perspective, and yet

Can’t really be mature till it rhymes at

A a b b, a b a b, abc and blah-blah-bova.