Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why I love this city #36

1. You can do anything and everything.
2. Increase your brain power with tantra.
3. Move on sucker.
4. Food clothing and girlfriends.
5. Mera naam mera kaam.

These are five Kannada movie taglines I saw on streetside posters today.

Nothing like a "Move on sucker" to get you rushing into the theatres, is there?

Why I love Law School #16

"There are some speeches which will not cause public disorder; there are some speeches which will, there are some which are likely to, but might not, there are some which are not likely to but might and there are some which may or may not. A restriction on a speech that will result in public disorder is undoubtedly in the interests of public order; on the other hand a restriction on a speech that will not is undoubtedly not one in the interests of public order.

A restriction on a speech that is likely to result in public disorder, or on a speech that may or not result in public disorder, must be held to be in the interests of public order. There should not only be no public disorder but also there should be no threat to public order."

Ram Nandan v. State,I.L.R. (1958) All. 84.

How man, how?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Allow me this.

Something that started for me 12 years ago, at Landmark, Nungambakkam, came to an end today. This really does feel like the end of an era.

But the end of my childhood? No way, Jose.

Harry Potter, you made my childhood, my pre-pubescence and my teens so much more meaningful. You made me laugh. You made me want to be your best friend. You made me want to come to Hogwarts. I wanted to play Quidditch. I wanted to eat Chocolate Frogs. I wanted to visit Hogsmeade. I feared the Basilisk. I fell for Sirius. I respected Albus Dumbledore and everything he stood for. I rooted for Ron and Hermione to get together. I cheered for Gryffindor. I shook my head and told myself it was only a matter of time before you broke up with Cho. I felt Snape’s pain, and I felt it deeply. I marvelled at how the Great Battle played out. I smiled at how long it took, and how hard it was, to get there. I counted the days before I could get to read more of you off my calendar. I read the books over and over again, until I could get at their essence, and make sure I could stand up for them in the face of my friends’ criticism. I watched every movie, barring the last one, the first day it released. Despite their flaws, I was there.

I made your world mine.

For me, no piece of fiction can come close to what you mean to me. I only hope every little kid, and in my case, every 17 year old, has something like you to turn to. For escape, for companionship, for good writing.

Contrary to what I said earlier, this is not the end of an era. I know I’ll seek you out many times in the future, and find you just as comforting as I always have. And in the process, find the child in me who could once get high at the very mention of you.

So, Harry Potter, for now, I fare you well. My mind will wander every now and then, and as always, it will find you. I hope James, Al and Lily are alright. And if Rose and Scorpius ever get together, know that they have my full blessing. Pip pip!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy shiny person.

I think I was 4 when I first thought of doing something when I grew up. I told my parents I wanted to be a mermaid. Only to be told that mermaids didn't exist.

Then, like all good Indian kids, although I never did grow up on Swat Kats or Jonny Quest, I thought medicine. And I thought medicine was it. First it was cardiology (yes, I honestly knew all those big words), for a very embarrassing reason. Then it was Psychiatry, because I passed by NIMHANS once and it seemed like a pretty cool place to walk down the corridors of. Next was Neurology, followed by Dermatology (Dr Atulaa MD, Dermatologist; sounds mighty cool, non?) and Oncology.

Soon after, I heard of the term 'genetic engineering'. Genetic. Engineering. Something no one my age knew of. And latter half of which everybody seemed to want to do, and were impressed by. I'd dream of creating 'designer babies' (Oh, the horror.) and worse, tell people about it. And winning the Nobel Prize for setting new precedents in Bio-informatics was part of the agenda too, yes.

Before you try to imagine the kind of brat that was 11 yr old me, I'll stop. Long story short, I thought Bio was my thing. Plus, thanks to my very vocal dreaming, so did my parents. A minor application of Sod's law and a few years later, I found that I wouldn't spend any more time with the sciences even if I was paid. No sir. Not me. Good riddance. Khattam shud.

I knew it. And if Science had a voice, I'm sure it would tell you as much. The challenge was getting my parents to agree. I remember that it was hard, but I honestly don't know how I did it. All I will tell you is that an e-mail was involved. An e-mail with lists and tabulations. An e-mail with data. The objective of that e-mail was to tell my parents, and on some level to show myself, that if I was doing anything in college, it would have to be law.

I won't go into too much detail over what happened in the last two years, mostly because not much did; you are free to picture me studying hard for the law entrances throughout, chugging away like a little steam engine, preferably to 'It's my Life' in the background (HA!). But you should know that there was confusion, there was annoyance, there were periods of self-doubt, LONG periods of lethargy. Hmm.

After ALL of which, I'm now in college. I'm in law school. The dream has become a reality and all that jazz.

I'm Atulaa Krishnamurthy,
I BA LLB (Hons.)
National Law School of India University.

And I'm a happy shiny person.

PS- Yes, this whole post was an excuse for me to say that.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What you see is what you want.

A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood,
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,
A plum pin-tucked tunic from Anokhi,
And knickerbockers of cotton blue.

Soap from Lush that your nose just loves,
A hardbound Wodehouse omnibus,
A miniature Porsche 911,
Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss.

Rainbow coloured Converse shoes,
A Pink Floyd calender for the year,
Burberry Vanilla, Nina Ricci's Apple,
Some Godiva truffles to beat the drear.

All these clamour for my attention,
And succeed, but it's all the worse,
For what use is longing and wanting,
To one with an empty purse?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

To do list.

I’ve just finished arguably the most important examination of my life, but I’m not as hyper as I thought I’d be. Is this my head’s way of telling me I could’ve done more justice to them? I don’t know, and I’d best not think about it.

One piece of news is that il mio telefonino is back, and I’m glad to be in constant touch with the outside world. Although I’ve observed that texting is NOT like riding a bicycle; I’ll need some time to get used to my keypad again (Okay, the longer I think about it, the more convinced I am that I’m a disgrace to my generation).

But I must say the start of summer is evoking strong sentiment in me. The prospect of college is looming large, and I cannot fathom when getting into the college of my choice suddenly became a short term goal from being a long term one. I feel like I’m flapping around in meaninglessness, not starting my day with my Integration formulae chart or the Commerce PTA one-words. While I don’t think I’ll miss the subjects by themselves, I feel a certain degree of loss to think I won’t be studying Commerce or Accountancy or even Maths so intensively ever again. You see, it’s like this. You’re seeing this guy, a bad-boy type, and you know it’s only a matter of time before it ends. The time comes and you part ways amicably, happy with how you conducted yourself in the relationship. But there’s always residual affection for the chap, coupled with feelings of not doing the relationship full justice and memories of all the good times. But you can only move on, and hope, when you do run into him again, that some level of goodwill remains. Like that.

Metaphor fails apart, I know for a fact that I’ll miss all the people I’ve been seeing on a daily basis, and I hope college and majorhood will bring with it a lot of roadtrips, National SMS boosters and Skype calls.

Anyhow, I’ve been thinking of all the movies I want to watch this summer. Some of them I’ve watched already, some I’ve abandoned halfway and some, I’m abashed to say, I haven’t watched. So without further ado, here’s my summer wishlist.

1) The Shawshank Redemption.
2) A Clockwork Orange.
3) Mulholland Drive
4) 300
5) When Harry Met Sally
6) Yojimbo
7) Annie Hall
8) Requiem for a Dream
9) Love Actually
10) LOTR trilogy
11) Star Wars (of course)
12) Black Swan
13) Mulan
14) Reservoir Dogs
15) Pulp Fiction
16) Amadeus
17) Howl’s Moving Castle
18) Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2
19) Rosemary’s Baby
20) The Usual Suspects
21) Children of Heaven
22) Kuruthipunal
23) Snatch
24) Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
25) Superbad (Yes, so WHAT?)
26) Fight Club
27) Inception
28) Raging Bull
29) Taxi Driver
30) Rebel without a Cause
31) Life is Beautiful
32) Amelie
33) The Holiday
34) Toy Story 3
35) Godfather Part 1 and 2.

And yes, season 6 and 7 of House. Now, because I do not want any speculation on which of these movies I may or may not have watched, let me ask you a question. If faced with the Prisoner’s Dilemma, what would you do?

Friday, February 11, 2011

School of Rock

What do I remember about yesterday, you ask?

Walking down KK Lane, all of a sudden acutely aware of all the political slogans painted on the compound wall of the Collector’s office. Seeing all the Annual Day pictures up for display on the first floor landing, while speaking to a couple of ninth graders. Stopping by the second floor Water Doctor, and glancing at the Ratna Residency signboard against the sky. Walking into class and straight to my desk (third row, third column) without having to think about it, after which Thenmozhi Ma’am, in the teachers’ pink uniform sari, asked us to go down to the Shuttle Court for the Lighting Ceremony.

Standing outside the Shuttle Court and catching sight of the farewell invitation, while listening to a beautifully delivered story in the morning assembly. Receiving my brass lamp from Usharani Ma’am and falling at her feet. Standing besides Asha, trying to salvage whatever little oil I could from my leaking lamp. Rolling my eyes at the many ‘light’ metaphors made by practically everyone in their speeches. Going up on stage and finding that it was terribly hard to sound casual in what was the last speech I would make in that hall, as a student of that school. Seeing everyone else put into words what I’d forgotten to say. Seeing four boys walk up onstage and declare, ‘We promised ourselves last year that we wouldn’t come stand up here and be sentimental and cry. We really want to keep that promise, so we’re going to sit down onstage right now’ to loud cheers. Laughing as the aforementioned four boys exhorted our juniors to opt for commerce when the time came.

Posing for the Batch of ’11 picture. Posing for the XII C picture. Posing for the Leaders’ picture. Shuffling back into the Shuttle Court to hear our juniors say nice things about friendship and school life. Hearing Sandeep strum the intro to ‘Give me some sunshine’ and applauding as our juniors filed in and sang it to us. Talking to Saishree about standing up and singing along. Being unable to carry out aforementioned filmi plan as song got over.

Playing dodgeball against XII D. Winning. Running around collecting items for Queen of Sheba. Lifting a heavy fire bucket across the school grounds. Ordering people to run around collecting steel plates and tamarinds and fire extinguishers. Coming second in aforesaid event. Playing against XII A in the dodge-ball finals. Winning again. Talking about ‘defusing bio-weapons’, inadvertently setting off a Facebook gang war in the process. Getting our hands dirty while playing another event involving sand and buckets.

Standing first in line for lunch. Eating baby corn fry, parotas and fried rice with kurma. Eating some excellent thayir saadham. Jostling the rest for malai kulfi and eating the same in erm, a visually suggestive manner. Noticing how, over the course of the day, the juniors ran around getting things done. Wondering at the amount of planning and preparation that had gone into the day. Playing with the balloons and streamers that the 11th std students had hung up all over the place. Going to the girls’ loo, the French room, the library and the rest of our regular haunts. For the first time, fully understanding how much this place has given me and how much it would cost me to leave. Telling the eleventh graders just how special they’d made the day for us. Taking picture after picture and yet feeling like it wasn’t enough. Laughing. Feeling special.

Yesterday was awesome, and anything else I try to put into words will only sound simplistic.

I'll miss school. And I'll miss all of you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Attempts.. Haiku.

1) No can do.

I can't swim, but I
dip in pools as shallow as
girls on Splitsvilla.

2) It happens.

She farted, sounding
like a Dettol bottle spurt
its last bits of goo.

3) Who doesn't?

He won't agree, but
applause and validation
is what he writes for.

4) Vertical challenge

Don't stare at us so,
so what if he's over a
foot taller than me?

5) Procedure

She looks down, seeming
suitably shy as she gives
the boy's side coffee.

6) Stars

Hugh Laurie, Abhay
Deol, Jake Gyllenhal and
Clooney rock my socks.

Five Point Someone

Here’s the thing with adapting a much-loved novel for the stage. It’s not unlike Operation Pendulum; you either win public adulation purely on the book’s tried-and-tested merit, or public wrath for not doing it justice. However, evam struck a fine balance in their version of Chetan Bhagat’s ‘Five Point Someone’. While staying true to the book’s essence, they managed to hold their own, with apt lighting and a solid cast (Navin, Bhargav and Sudarshan as the three bumbling protagonists performed with flair). The audience evidently enjoyed the show, thanks to its overall feel-good quality and tight script. Barring the length and occasional profanity, which a few understandably frowned upon, it was a treat for all ages. I personally loved the undercurrent of Pink Floyd that played all evening, characterizing the play’s mood. After all, one can never go wrong with Floyd!

A review I wrote. This appeared in the Citizen Reviews section of The Hindu Metroplus.