Whiskey Shebang Erotics #OdetoJim

The dawn of devils cry to heaven

spreading across a reptilian desert

to rewind years ago, sixty seven

and a life seemingly so infinite.

In the mystic river of Rock n Roll

A lizard was the king of the shoal.

It is time to bring Jim to the fore.

It was time for him to swim ashore.

He slithered ,swam in a deep river alcoholic

too shallow were the wines of human tastes.

For he was a profound child, diabolic

and dangerous , oh dangerously insane.

Laughing out of sadness sad,

a crystal soul perpetually pristine.

Crying out of happiness mad,

untarnished by fangs, feminine.

There he was the shaman rock poet,

dancing with life , a deadly duet.

stripping women while they heavily sighed

he had nothing to lose and nothing to hide.

As clouds and doctors called upon his life,

a beard grew along with premature wisdom.

An insecure muse , the poet’s wife

swam along with him, the sake of love dumb.

Drank to life until the beautiful end,

his best friend, called upon from whiskey deep.

He swam horizons from tide to tide,

Broke on through to the other side.

P.S: Words sometime gather up and get drunk in a local bar , when they leave what happened in the bar is called Poetry.

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Those hours.

This Valentine’s day my uncle (periappa-mom’s side) passed away.

It is coincidental that while I was reading the lyrics of (while listening to) Meshuggah‘s Dancers to a Discordant System , he took his last three breaths. Three long, sweaty breaths before he passed away in bed with my periamma at his side with a teaspoon of Gelusil in her hand and a face full of utter confusion. Futile.

My six hours from Trichy to Pondicherry was made bearable only by Hosseini’s Mariam in Thousand Splendid Suns. Time seemed to flow as smooth as a fresh tear on her cheek. It was almost as if the news hadn’t hit me. But thinking about it , I questioned on whether what I should feel. Sad? Broke ? Shocked? I thought maybe if I reach the house I could muster things inside to respond. A cheek flex maybe. But no. Nothing happened.

I reached at the street filled with plastic chairs and the samiyana spread on top. I remember how much I paid the auto guy. Rs. 60. I remember walking into the house filled with relatives looking urgently at me , like they all were waiting for some sort of distraction. All those swollen eyes glared at me. But after a second they seemed to look astray. Were they telling something to me ? Then, I looked at her. She was sitting there almost not existing , though people around her were chanting her name , wailing at a loss they could not even begin to understand, claiming God’s explanation at a disaster they were not even part of and crying rivers for something they could not even feel. She on the other hand, her eyes  shut open. Omnipresent in a social gathering where usually she would’ve been the life and centre.

I remember this and I also remember this has happened to me before . 5 years ago , another uncle (chithappa-dad’s side) of mine passed away due to acute diabetes , again young age. I remember myself feeling nauseated and had dried up my throat . I remember my eyes getting wet and not able to see clearly . I remember I felt. What happened in between these years can be justified in variety. But the face of death can change a person. (2 years ago, a close friend of mine had died). It is only fair that witnessing it affects.

Now this time I could see but not really feel . I could actually say I vicariously felt more when I was on the way to her house, but arriving there seemed unreal. I remember seeing women crying by the call of a second and for a span of hours. He had 5 brothers . Every single one of them cried. Then, then an interesting thing happened. People whom I see like once a year, the pseudo relatives all seemed to gear up for a mourning contest. Invisible to the clothed eye. A cry-o-meter was used by all these visiting aunties to detect the emotionless visitors and scorn at from inside. After the body was taken to the crematorium (where I also went, with his son heading the faction) People around kept changing , gossips replaced cries on day two, banana leaves were spread where an ice box was before, water sprinkled and hot food was served to make grief replace hunger and suddenly all of a sudden a person was forgotten.  And she . She had her eyes shut open. It was like she was in a soundproof room singing the most beautiful elegy the world is yet to hear and the world seemed to be outside the room shouting for her to emote more visibly.

I remember her lacking the strength to cry. More correctly put, I remember her will not to cry. I remember her wail incoherently in gibberish when his body was taken. I remember her getting shy when he used to mock her . I remember her sudden living at those hours of silence. I remember the evenings they used to spend together during my conventional visits (well, who was I kidding, I’m a pseudo relative too?) , talking and pulling each other’s legs like second-grade children. I remember her not willing to let go of him when he was being taken away.

My periamma is an amazing cook. She can make delicious food for hundreds in the quickest time possible.

But in those hours her life was shut open.

Indian Arthouse Wannabe.

Kiran Rao’s Dhobi Ghat claims being an arthouse child right from the beginning . I think that is it’s only problem.

For what the title card explains, “Mumbai Diaries”, the film is distant ,aloof floating over acute realism and lacks focus on the streets of Bombay. If the characters that Rao chose are silent who was supposed to sing the elegy of the most amazing, noisy and choatic painting that Bombay is? Is it Munna,the shy Dhobi , the wanna-be actor ? Is it Shai ,the American investment banker on sabbatical? Why would she? She is on sabbatical anyways. There is nothing for her to care for ,than a dreamy “shag” from a prospective holiday romance, a passionate “special” painter she tries desperatley hard to find in Arun, who by the way has his own problems which he seems to smoke and drink and sometimes successfully paints away with. It is a snippet in his life where he directs it towards his creative energy that he derives from the lost tapes (ignoring the logistics behind them)of an unknown Yasmin.

Munna and Shai

What does Arun see in Yasmin’s tapes? A long lasting familial bond he lives on day-to-day , away from his wife and son living in Australia? That must be the reason. Then why the unnecessary travelogue of the daily proceedings of the next-door?If there wasn’t the customary announcement of Arun in his art gallery, that his work was a tribute to Bombay, then his source of inspiration from the tapes would seem ridiculously far-fetched. By now, you clearly know the film is far from the smells , sweats and existential suffering that Bombay provokes in you by just entering the station. It is more into the short span of dwelling of its characters. Shai’s infamous counter-western-culture seems to irritate the term “cliched” and not to mention Arun’s “You see Shai. I’m more of a loner”-statement and oh, his sexually harassing agent. You see, these don’t happen in arthouse films. Yasmin’s camera with her poetic renditons are the only gateway to what little Bombay that Rao is willing to show us. The film lacks a huge thematic coherence . Arthouse films need not necessarily be unrelated arbitness stitched together desperately. If this is claimed as arthouse in the global front the birth of Indian Arthouse might very well be ignored.

It might make you say, “It is not a film for everyone”, “It is a piece of art”, “It is a film that brings up moods”. It clearly claims a greater moral film ground , but fails to achieve it. It is with Gustavo that it can be said that it just came too close in achieving itMaybe only just. Santaolalla brings proximity in distance , the same chords reminiscent of Babel. He marks his ground clearly.

Dhobi Ghat stills remains a pleasent watch nonetheless. It’s Munna smiles into you and hides what must be told but is not often said. It’s Munna runs through the middle of the road among all the angry motorbikes and busy cars to help a close friend. It’s Munna makes you care. The stunning B/W stills that appear in between, even though reminding you of a stolen Walter Salles technique of the Motorcycle Diaries book, proves to hold the thread together. But on the whole it can’t be said that this is an unique form that transcends the powerful , alomst psychotic energy that the big , boisterous Bombay is entitled to deliver through the screen. Someone must do a better job and soon.

The silent old woman next door seems to be Rao’s case. She is unwilling to talk and explain , forget what the point was.

 

Mother of Sorrow.

It is weird how the Academy chose “Kynodontas” (Dogtooth) , a true dark-horse nominee that is disturbingly relevant over “Kokuhaku” (Confessions) from its last shortlist of 9 foreign films. Dogtooth gives the audience the luxury of remaining subtle for the majority but gradually proves to be a squirmy afterthought for all ,especially American critics. Ebert’s last paragraph in his review is quite funny. But for all I care it seems to me Confessions is not only a darker horse under the same league but a better film that unfolds, shocks and educates you.

It was mid-March last year when director Tetsuya Nakashima‘s first full trailer of Confessions was out in Twitchfilm and gathered anticipation on a revenge plot-line that can’t be more inviting.

Actress Takako Matsu plays a dedicated teacher at a junior high school who’s young daughter is found brutally murdered. Believing two of her own students are responsible, she decides to leave the school, but not before a final chilling confession to her class in which she informs them that she’s already enacted her plan for vengeance. A series of further confessions bring other incidents regarding students to light, leading up to a shocking plot twist.

students

If in Tarantino’s Kill Bill series, the Bride’s unborn was her reason for the dish-served-cold , the mater dolorosa ascends new heights in Confessions. The previous year saw the dutiful Mother in Madeo taking care of her own unfinished business, the South Korean style. Still, Nakashima’s structured violence in heavy slow-mo is still going to baffle you nonetheless. For someone who made charming films like “Memories of Matsuko”(2006) and “Kamikaze Girls” (2004) his importance towards music has made Confessions more entertaining than the cruel confessions that unravel simultaneously on screen.

This is not a film that only reeks of style, mind you. The characters that resonate bring relevancy almost every minute of the film juxtaposing images from the past, present and the omnipresent . It is almost like a dream at moments and a nightmare at retrospect. It qualifies itself as beautifully disturbing, if reluctantly tagged for the namesake’s interest.

Stay put during the first 20 minutes of prologue from the teacher and you’ll never cease to be entertained.