I just need to discipline myself... thoughts are in plenty...brimming
And I need to write!
... things we talk ...
I just need to discipline myself... thoughts are in plenty...brimming
And I need to write!
He is not the regular hunky-dory, muscle flexing, gyrating to music kind of an actor. You might even fail to recognize him if he walked past you or bumped into him while crossing the road. Yet he is intense. Versatility is his keynote. Meet the man of the hour – Nawazuddin Siddique. From a small town named Budhana in Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh, hailing from a farming family to the glittering world of Bollywood, his journey was not an easy one.
He began his career as a watchman in Delhi when he decided to move out of his home. His love for stage and acting developed when he began watching plays at night after his duty hours were over and soon joined a theatre group. He enrolled for a course in National School of Drama and after graduating he moved to Mumbai to find greener pastures. However it was not a cake walk for him. In an interview to The Times of India he said he was a “rejected actor” and he aptly describes himself as a “kaala kutta” while speaking to DNA.
It took 12 long years for this fine actor to finally set his foot in the world of Bollywood. From mere roles where you’d miss him at the blink of an eye in movies like Shool (where he is a waiter) and Sarfarosh (where he is a criminal appearing barely for a few seconds) in 1999 to Gangs of Wasseypur, Talaash, The Lunchbox, Bombay Talkies, he certainly has come a long way and with lots of accolades, acceptance and trophies.
He is a man who can fit into the skin of any character with great ease and conviction. Be it Taimur in Talaash as a guy doing odd jobs in a brothel or as Shaik in The Lunchbox, the guy taking Sajjan Fernandes’ (Irrfan Khan’s) job when he retires or as the eccentric and wicked Shiv Gajra with an evil laugh in his latest release Kick.
In Kick where he appears after intermission, he steals the show right away from the biggies like Salman Khan and Randeep Hooda nonchalantly!
Yet you just cannot get enough of him. For here is a man who manages to steal the entire show and attention right from the time he appears and you will be left asking for more.
The Sunday That Never Was
A stay-at-homebody that I am now, all my days are same. Be it a Monday or a Saturday or a Thursday. It however does not mean that I have stopped looking forward to the weekends. My weekends are also are not very happening as it was ago. I end up hanging around with my closest of pals. Either they come over or at times I visit them. I am off the clubbing circuit and as well off the pub hopping mode too. Not that I complain. I enjoy every bit of the receded pace my life is currently going through.
In this repetitiveness, the only thing changing was the weather. From pleasant days to slightly warmer ones and I wasn't welcoming the summers enthusiastically.
Everything is instant in today’s time. Be it food, shopping, expressing feelings and making friends. All you need to do perhaps is just a click away. And in between all this, there he was –my brand new friend. You bump into so many people in the World Wide Web. It’s usually a rare thing to find someone who matches up to you – like peas in a pod.
“Rules?” he asked me reading my post which goes like this - “My life, my rules”.
“Keep it short and simple”, I told him.
Perhaps he was one of the few strangers I bothered to reply. Let’s face bare facts. He was the only one who had the brains to read the post and ask something interesting.
This is how it all began. It was slow, it was nice and it was getting better. We were not rushing into anything. For that matter we were not even in a hurry to ask “send in a picture of yours. I want to see how you look like”.
He was talking to A-queer-N and I was talking to a Free Spirit.
It was after four days when we finally introduced ourselves, starting with our names, but that seemed not too essential as the ice-breaking stage was crossed already and we were happy with our pseudo-names. No not pseudo … it is not the right word. We were comfortable talking to our alter egos.
Much later we saw how we looked like. But then again, the comfort level was such immense that when I saw him it felt I could have recognized him anyways!
Like his name, he is somebody that cannot be tied down or chained to or tamed. Extremely moody he leaves me confused at times. One moment he is this restless, impatient, philosophical, right on your face and funny to the bone creature and the next moment he is nervous, hugely irritated and angry with some unexplained outburst of frustrations. Slowly and slowly I learnt to deal with it. And how I learnt it! That is interesting as well.
It was after about twenty odd messages when I sent him a stinker one day.
“It’s awkward when you shut up”, I said.
“I know”, replied the Free Spirit.
“So? What are we going to do about it?” I asked him.
“Let’s observe the silence”.
So there we were observing the silence.
“I’m breaking up with my girlfriend”. He sent me a message much later, but by then I was in deep sleep and I read it the next morning and I decided to still “observe the silence”!
Months later, we decided it was time we met.
I would be lying if I say I wasn’t excited. I was. Very much indeed. I looked forward to meet this man who struck the right chords with me.
“Sandwiches”, he said and also added, “beer as well”.
“Grilled chicken”, I added further.
So it was all set.
My checklist made and marked.
After a long time I had something to look forward to. I would cook with utmost care and I could not afford to let a thing go wrong.
And on that Sunday on the second week of April, 11:30 a.m. was the time I was expecting him to be knocking on my door. Inspite of having a late Saturday night, I woke up much earlier than I would do on any given Sunday.
The chicken was already marinating since a day earlier. I began with slicing the vegetables for the sandwiches and then went on to making the mayonnaise. So on it continued till my phone beeped around 10 o’ clock.
“I am sick. Can barely move from my bed”.
The message was so casually written.
I read the message twice before I pressed the reply button. I waited for a while. I did not know what I wanted to say or type. The feeling – there was a sense of rejection, denial… it was awfully negative - something I really wasn’t expecting. It was not at all a good feeling.
I said to myself, “Stop over-reacting.”
“Okay!”, is what I replied and continued making the sandwiches, wrapping them with slightly wet cotton hand towels to keep the moisture of the bread intact. I mashed the potatoes with generous amount of milk and cheese and black pepper. But at the back of my mind there was a feeling of restlessness. I was agitated.
“Oh! Come on now! The man is sick. How could he come for this brunch when he can barely move from his bed”, I re-assured myself. But still I was not at all ready to accept this. Yet I kept my mind calm and composed and went about doing my work. I told myself, even if the plan bombed, I will still grill the meat and eat it as well.
That is exactly what I did.
I wore my Davidoff Coolwaters after my bath and put on the clothes I had intended to wear… it did not matter if the Free Spirit had turned me down at the nth hour.
So I put the meat on the grill pan and uncorked one Budweiser too.
“Cheers” I told to myself as I sipped the beer. It was good. On that hot, dry April mid morning-afternoon, I could feel the chilled beer going down my through the esophagus straight into by belly!
There my phone beeped again and it was him, “So what are you doing?”
I told him all I did and how much I loved my aloneness.
“Have fun you!” and then continued, “Am alone in the house, looking after my grand-dad. He his counting his last days and so am I counting mine. Everyone’s gone out”.
Reading this made me all the more bitter, more than the beer you see.
I do not know if I would be this patient with anybody else. But there was and still is something about him that makes me react in a way I usually do not. It surprises me at times.
I knew it. I got my answers then. That he said he was sick and that he could barely move his body was a big lie. I had this hunch about it but now I was sure.
I felt bloody idiotic.
“I do not know what made you call off this meeting of ours. It was you who said Sunday it would be. Make up your mind, whether you are sick or is it your grandfather that made you cancel our brunch. At least you could have told someone in your family that you had an invitation and we had planned this at least a week earlier. How could you do this?
It all goes to prove the point that all the things we talk have been not worth it.
But I must thank you Free Spirit wholeheartedly. It was after a long time that I was looking ahead for a day when I could unwind and be me. You have no idea how much care I took while making the food. How much I had to persuade another friend of mine to buy the beer bottles for me as you know it’s a total No No for a woman to walk in to a wine store and buy booze.
Do I sound rude and nasty Free Spirit? Oh you bet I am. You hurt me a lot today. But then now I know how not to expect things this way. From now on I never will.”
Yes I was hurt.
“People who love to eat are the best – Julia Child”, is what he sent me back.
“And people who love to cook are damned fools indeed”, I said.
So that was it, my Sunday – a day I wanted it so badly. To meet my new found friend. But like I said maybe that particular Sunday was not his day. He was not at his best and thus he decided to chicken out.
But the ripples he created were far flung.
He still is a good friend. We still talk. We still talk in our alter egos. He still makes plans. He still wants me to make sandwiches. I laugh, I say yes and then I forget about it then and there. And then I smile more because I no longer feel bitter about it. Because I have stopped making plans or expecting things which I know might not happen eventually.
Is this once bitten twice shy is all about? I guess it is… it is which that particular Sunday taught me.
I broke a promise.
It’s as simple as that.
I broke not only a promise but also broke someone’s trust and heart all at once.
Bad bad me…
I don’t know from where to begin… its one long story. And this is one story I would not like to muddle and mess or edit my lines. If you get an eye sore by the time you reach the last line, don’t tell me I didn’t warn you!
I knew I did something which would not be easily forgiven. But I had a plan. I wanted to make a confession and come out clean and assure that this would never happen again in the future.
But my plans did not see the light of the day. It died prematurely.
“Why are you in touch with that bastard again?” he asked me.
I didn’t have to ask who was being referred to. I knew this was coming. But never for once did I foresee the hatred which still remained undamaged. I thought with time opinions had altered. But no! I was so damn wrong.
He waited patiently for an answer looking into my eyes fixedly. Those few seconds seemed infinite while I managed to gather my voice and grit to answer that one simple question.
As I nodded my head in affirmation, I felt the soft, pendulous lower part of my external ear getting warmer and it had changed its hue to a shade of crimson (if only I could have seen my reflection). At the same time I also felt my eyes tearing unstoppable.
Ode to my Friends and other Devils
MY CHIRPY BUDDY
A light sleeper that I am, I logged in to my messenger at the wee hour of the morning today. The very act of grabbing my phone while I was still groggy and in a semi dream like state of mind was only to know what time it was. After a dry and hot spell, the weather has been really good this weekend. It's been raining on and off. Occasional thunder squalls with lightning and clouds roaring, it been drizzling on. So it was 4:32 a.m exactly. I sat up, did a few rounds of deep breathing. Outside the sun was just beginning to rise. Was it being lazy today? Or was it the rain to be blamed? I could hear the birds chirping - the sounds are different. Too many species around I know. But I for the life of mine cannot identify birds - except for the regular crows, pigeons, dove and parrots.
The deep breathing I did made me all the more fresher and sleep was gone completely. But instead of getting out of the bed, I continued to fiddle with my phone randomly logging into my Facebook at that hour of the morning. And I must say this - Facebook gives me all the news and gory details of all and sundry. Its like a newspaper for me. As I scrolled my homepage I got a few juicy gossips and without even blinking an eyelid I immediately messaged my chirpy friend. And there he was online too... at that hour of the morning! He admitted that he knew about it and we dug deep into the matter without a care in the world and had a good laugh at the expense of our so called pop star "friend"!
So why was my friend who is chirpier than a bird awake so early? I know he sleeps very late, but this was unusual. I did not ask him. I assumed either he had not slept the whole night and was still strumming his guitar or maybe he slept very early to have woken up at the crack of dawn. But he proved me wrong. It was a horrid dream that woke him up he said. He was gorging on mutton he said. It felt so real that he woke up salivating!
And I had a mighty laugh.
We both have been on a restricted diet for a long time now and we keep updating our progress. There are times and moments when we binge, indulge and wear the "to hell with diet & exercise" attitude. I was craving for a king sized chicken burger with cheese and mayonnaise in plenty for the last few days and a day ago he was at the food joint where I wanted to be too for the burger. As rude and cheeky as a good friend can be and also get away with it without getting arrested, Mr. Chirpy Chirp sends me a picture of all that he was eating. I kept deleting the pictures and he kept sending it again.
"Why this torture? Why didn't you at least say that you were planning to go there?", I asked him.
He smiled and said, "But you were to attend a wedding today. So I did not ask you. Plus as far as I can recall you were supposed to be on the fifth day of your G.M. Diet!!!"
"My diet went for a toss. Yes I am off carbs and sweets still but am not following the diet. I gave up yesterday", I replied.
I was so tempted to go and eat that burger to my heart's content that yesterday being rainy and gloomy, I still went ahead with my plan. And as luck would have had and like the saying goes - Man proposes God disposes - the restaurant was closed!
When I told my chirpy buddy about it, he laughed liked mad and again sent me those pictures!
But now that his sleep was gone for all the mutton curry he dreamt I can actually say that at least now we are even. The score is one all.
This is how it is between us - we both can talk non-stop without breathing and you know how it is - if I call him or he calls me we don't even say the "Hello"... we start from the point we had left and this goes on till our phone batteries give up.
Its nice to have you as a buddy Chirpy Chirp. I love you just the way you are. The way you make me laugh. Your logic makes more sense. You are not judgmental. You let me be me.
Thank you! If I ever say all this to you I am sure you will think I am out of my mind. Because we are past that stage of our friendship where we need to assure each other.
Its just a feeling I had, so I wrote it down. And it gives me a great sense of achievement that our scores are one all!!!