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Dreamscape


watercolours 027

In my dreams, I  wander off

To  gardens of a thousand senses

And I melt away into the air

Of subtle sounds and fragrances.

And then I am in  the bending branches

And then I am  in the gentle drizzle

I  know myself as the  misty shadows

And as the  joy of the leaping gazelle.

The darkness wraps me in nestling warmth

The stars begin a lullaby

I rock  myself in small white blooms

I sleep, I soar towards the sky.

 
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Posted by on June 19, 2015 in Poetry

 

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“Artist”-a malayalam film by Shyamprasad Rajagopal


“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it. Remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “Its not where you take things from, its where you take them to” – Jim Jarmusch”

This was the status update that Shyamaprasad Rajagopal, well known Malayalam film director put up some months ago on his Facebook page. And most certainly, he is one of those who celebrates that “thievery” with a great deal of authenticity. Most of his films take off from works of literature and he has always acknowledges the fact with a great deal of comfort that I guess comes from the confidence that he can present it convincingly in his own style. His latest film , “Artist” too, is based on the book “Dreams in Prussian Blue “ by Paritosh Uttam. .

Creative people do indeed spark off a strange chemistry in others who appreciate the finer things of life. There is a certain awe that they inspire because they are able to evoke something in us that allows us to rise above the mundane , even if fleetingly. There is something remarkable about sentences strung together that help you forget the dreariness of one’s own routine and help you get into the skins of other people and places. There is something magical about the way composers can translate your emotions with accentuated emphasis , into melodies and about singers who can make you feel that their voices come straight from the chords of your own heart. Strokes of the paintbrush across the canvas depicting varied aspects of our lives, both external and internal, makes the artist too a charismatic person. Somewhere , somehow, we begin to believe that our lives would be richer, our existences would be more interesting, our personalities and our emotions would be better understood by such differently endowed people, that their sensibilities and empathy would be greater than the “normal” man or woman , you meet on the street.

People do talk of and assess art and writing and the individuals who create them in “objective” terms. May be that IS the right and sensible approach. And yet…and yet…..and yet….I’ve never admired Picasso. “Geurnica” doesn’t move me , not since I read about his life and the self-centred way he dispensed with the relationships in his life. Does genius absolve a person with skewed sensibilities? Can abstract ideas put forward by someone still move you, when you come to know that there is a dichotomy in the way that person has lived his life and the philosophy he professed. It doesn’t work for me .

“Artist” is a very sensitively made film. All of Shyam Sir’s films explore the light and shadows of relationships. His canvasses never depict images only in black or white , but are always splashed with all the hues in between. That “authenticity “ which he quoted is clearly evident in all of his characters. They are never “larger than life”. They come to you with all their flaws and weaknesses and their vulnerabilities and endearing qualities , so that you can decide whether you can relate to them or not , like them or not.

I did not like Fahad Faasil’s character in this film.( Oh how it breaks my heart to say this) and yet, if I was really, really honest, I would have been just the kind of young girl at seventeen or eighteen that Anne Augustine was in the film , playing the character Gayatri and I would have gladly perhaps been bewitched by Michael, the crazy,handsome, utterly confident artist . Rebels who dare to break away from the beaten track are strangely exciting , one must admit. Even their self centredness appeals to your senses. One is made to feel that it is the self -awareness of their potential that makes them shy away from false modesty and indeed that if they did not indulge in self appreciation, then that would be dishonesty. But then may be it is just as well that one doesn’t have to live with them, not the Michael kinds.

Fahad is an excellent actor. One has to say that again and again. I had watched some of his interviews. The guy admits very humbly many times that he trusts his directors implicitly and just goes about doing what he is asked to do. That may be so…and Shyamaprasad Sir has taken care not to let the scenes become melodramatic or garrulous; but it takes a really good actor too to understand what the director intends to convey and how to convey it, to internalize the emotions involved in the situation being captured on the screen and carry the spectator along with it. Fahad does it beautifully and most remarkably in the scenes immediately after his accident when he is slipping into total darkness. The stillness on his face spoke volumes. He carries off the negative shades with such aplomb and make the characters come alive…you know they are real…22 female kottayam, chaappa kurishu, anju sundarikal…loved all those roles. I can’t put my finger on how he does it…but those glimpses that he allows into the tender, lovable part of all those characters keeps the female hearts palpitating , I guess

And there was this scene , where one teeny-weeny teardrop, peeps out from under the closed eyelids of Michael, as he lies down in complete stillness on the hospital bed. My heart missed many beats there.

Ann Augustine too is very promising. In the opening scene , when she is waiting for Michael in the cafeteria , for the meeting she had arranged for him with the curator of the Arts Museum, her impatience and nervousness did appear a trifle too overt. I still can’t get used to verbalizations of ones’ thoughts on the screen and when she mutters to herself quite loudly, Michael..pick up the phone and the way she kept fidgeting …I thought …oh no!! But I was wrong. She went on improving on herself. Not many actors can cry convincingly on screen. Ann Augustine can do that just as heartwarmingly as she can smile. Her helplessness , torn as she is between he love and admiration for Michael and the growing realization that she and her dreams would always have to play second fiddle , the frustration that she occasionally allows herself to reveal, all are well emoted.
I was awfully glad that Gayatri could walk away , her head high on her shoulders and with calm acceptance of the fact that some relationships do run out their course and that even the deepest and strongest of them are better given up when they become debilitating nightmares instead of being the dream that was supposed to be dreamt and lived together. Success may have knocked on Michael’s door of blindness , with splashes of Prussian blue.. One tiny part of you feels happy for him , but the empathy disappears when he answers the only question he agrees to respond to. Why Prussian blue? , asks a reporter at the exhibition held of the paintings he had done after he became blind.”Because, it is the colour of betrayal and that is what you see all around you” , says he.
The way Michael and Gayatri’s friend, Abhi gradually transforms his character from an apparently trustworthy ,well-meaning guy to an almost cruel manipulator as the circumstances change, rubs in the fact that the potential for treachery and betrayal is there in all of us and that there all kinds of betrayal. You come out of theatre asking yourself….who betrayed who ? Are dreams the monopoly of a chosen few? Do dreams have to have the same textures and hues? Can one dream be allowed to accord itself higher priority because its fulfillment will have greater visibility and greater reach? Isn’t happiness the right of every human being? Can a person’s selfishness be justified on the basis of his or her talent? What is the purpose of art? Is all art and are all artists worthy of admiration just because it is art and they are artists?
The background scores were really nice too and were not patchworked on to the scenes and the two songs were quite melodious .
I was so glad to see my friend Sakhi Elsa on the screen in that concluding scene. She is the one who has done the costume designing for the film. Costumes shouldn’t intrude on the scene. Unfortunately, in our films, instances where the colours and designs of the dresses impinge quite disadvantageously, are galore. Elsa’s dresses mould itself into the scenes and sits on the characters with unobtrusive comfort.
A film you can spend your money on . Watch it.

artist

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2013 in Movies

 

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Accounting


It’s an hour before midnight

As I wrap up the day

And sleep sits at the counter

Piling  up  the coins in the tray.

 

I  guess  it’s an old habit

Reckoning   profit  and  loss

The mind sifts through the heap

The subtle  and the gross.

 

It’s an hour before midnight

Time for drama in dreams

A heart   full of reactions

Bursting  at the seams.

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2012 in Poetry

 

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Dreaming through the twilight


That dream returns
To my eyes wide open
Memories churn
From aeons ago

Across the meadows
Through fences broken
Our scampering feet
Stop where the waters flow

Holding hands
We wait for a token
From the ripples
And the molten sun

And then we dive
Our past forgotten
And a story ends
Where it had begun.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Dreams, Love, Nostalgia, Poetry

 

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Swinging moods


I

The house has been white-washed clean
The knick- knacks all so neatly placed
Floors polished bright and stains erased
Not a speck of dust to be seen.

Only I know where the musty cellars are
Where cobwebs hang in listless loops
Where broken door frames make you stoop
Where hope ferments and dreams turn sour.

II

Sometimes,
When nobody is watching
I take them out
Tiny gems that catch the rays
And dazzle with their brilliance

They’ve been mine
For a long, long time
I’ve never let them go.
For if I do, I’d lose myself
Don’t dreams define us, in a sense?

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2011 in Poetry

 

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A ride in the skies


This is in response to the photo prompt given in the following link:

http://bluebellbooks.blogspot.com/2011/05/short-story-slam.html

As thrilling as a ride
In a hot air balloon
The newness of our love.
Me, a young bride
In your arms would swoon
We nestled like turtle doves.

Far from the shackles
Of the ordinary world
In the lightness of love, we rose
A space for ourselves
We slowly unfurled
Our hearts in tipsy throes.

Communing with the clouds
Borne by the breeze
We were young and so full of hope
From the madding crowds
We had found release
So happy we were to elope.

The summits and the sea
The forests and the fields
Smaller and smaller grew.
Unbindingly free
Giddily we reeled
No fetters of fear, we knew.

But then came the storm
Wind and black thunder
We struggled to stay afloat.
Strange is Life’s norm
Ripping asunder
The sails of a wind-borne boat.

All tangled we lie
Here in the slush
The sky seems a distant illusion
The escaping sigh
From the dreams that we crush
Now mocks at our earthly delusions.

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Poetry

 

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