Bangalore – Supports art, not artists!

“Bangalore has one of the best crowds in the country.”
“Bangalore has audiences that I love to perform for.”
“They respond so well. The diversity in the city is amazing.”
“Bangalore’s crowd welcomes so many artists.”

These are lines I’ve heard from, theatre artists, comedians, musicians, and so many performers that don’t live in the city. Be it international Bands, be it national performers, be it renowned singers, Bangalore’s had the reputation for selling out if someone famous comes to perform. But as a city that is known to appreciate art, we don’t seem to go out and support local performers. We would rather go out to watch someone who is already famous.

Bangalore has grown in leaps and bounds in the last decade or so and it doesn’t look like we’ll stop, but there is a huge problem. Not many people in the city live as this is their city. The mentality of the average person is that, “I love Bangalore, bust just my comfort circle.”

Not a lot of people in this city are true Bengalureans. To me that means to take ownership of the city. Not live in the city like it is transit. It just goes out to say that people will never have a sense of ownership of the city. I’ve urged folks to learn the local language and not because you have to, just enough to converse because then you’re claiming to be part of the city.

Here’s how is see the reasoning and I may be wrong, and you can correct me if I am. People stay in the city for over 8 to 10 years. Love the place and then don’t feel the ownership in the city and move out. The ones who move out don’t really go out to be a part of the city. They visit places. They visit, cafes, hangouts, pubs and malls but museums, galleries, theatres and any place that supports art is not really having the support, given the expansion and the fact that artists from other cities claim that the crowds here are a delight. If you were to learn a little about the culture, understand the language a little, discover places, own this city and be a part of it there would a bigger chance of socializing outside of a pub and office colleagues.

Bangalore has the largest amount of office space in the country. It also has people who read, listen to good music, appreciate satire. Everything that you would want in a crowd that represents progressive society, yet local talent is neglected over national talent.

This is not just a rant about the fact that people won’t come and support a live performance, unless there is a big name involved, it’s also a rant on the fact that people refuse to learn the language because they manage without it.

So ending this rant, I want to point out that venues and spaces that give local talent a chance to perform and I don’t say all of them are great but until you don’t give them a chance you would never know, maybe an International artist is right here in the city and all he needs is an audience.

Think Globally, Act Locally.

Now it’s time for me to pack to head to another city for a performance.
See you later, alligator!

A Debate (Silent Heroes)

Buster Keaton vs Charlie Chaplain
The first rule of a debate that you choose a side and state why you love that side better.
The second rule of a debate is that you choose a side and state why you love that side better. (Sorry a bad joke on the Fight Club Rules scene). You know the rest.
I control the comments on my status. Lets see who knows these two best.
May a debate begin. If you’d want to know who I like personally, I’d love to share my thoughts later. First, lets see if we can get a debate going on.
If you don’t know who Buster Keaton is, this blog isn’t for you. Or maybe it is and Shaggy with Scooby Doo is a stoner. More on that later.

Fate of a Cockroach! What Co..co.. COCKROACH! (Scream)

 

I’ve noticed most of the times there is never just the one cockroach, whenever you spot one, there is one around the corner…
There’s another one going into the distance and what scares me the most is that some of them can fly and you can’t say which ones.

Jokes aside, I caught ‘Fate of a Cockroach’
It’s a play that shows you the perspective of cockroaches in your bathroom. There’s a King, there are gurus of Science and Politics, but when an issue comes up no one really steps up.

It’s kind of funny and absurd to watch the actors all as cockroaches and the very aspect that if it falls on it’s back the cockroach can’t do anything and how the resemblance of behaviour of cockroaches and humans are quite similar.

Is there are more scientific reason why cockroaches roam together?
What is the Fate of a Cockroach?

The play also shows a couple, middle-class with problems that you and I face, that encounter a cockroach and it’s struggle, the man of the house is fascinated by it and the woman is perplexed by this.

Throughout the play in both acts the writer shows us how women are stronger although they are called the weaker sex.

I was laughing my ass off  watching them, watch a cockroach and talk their minds out.

Oh, and before I forget there’s a video in the play that is done brilliantly well. A good headstart to the team Playpen for Jagriti’s Season opener. This play is on 10 more times. Catch one of it.

Here are the tickets :-
http://bit.ly/2d1MLgS

Here’s a link to the trailer:-
http://bit.ly/2dfRqJh

Forgotten Conversations

(The conversations are real, as told by people to me. The names have been changed for anonymity. I’ve used my name instead of the guy’s real name.)

Premise:
Office environment. A guy being intimidated by a girl so much so that you limit your conversations with her. (Honestly, she was way out of my league.)

Shunky: Hey Guys! (Looks at Sonali, she’s pretty and she carries herself well in her grey and navy blue two piece office attire.)
Hey Sonali!
(He makes eye contact with her and after a second or so moves on feeling intimidated.)

Sonali: Hi!

Shunky: (Begins talking, thinking, I’m sure she won’t notice me.)
So did you guys hear about the new manager. He seems weird. You know, Saira is serving her notice period.
The other day he wanted to stop Saira from leaving her job. He asks her,”Why are you quitting?” (He notices that Sonali is looking at him and listening.)
She said her parents are looking for a prospective guy for marriage and she’d like to go back to her home town, Agra and spend time with them before she’s married. He says, “Now a days you have matrimonial sites, why don’t you stay back and I’ll look for a groom for you.”

(Watches as all laugh, Sonali begins laughing too)

A few days later during the day when heading towards the office cabs.

Sonali: Hi Shunky.
Shunky: Hey! How’s it, going? (Be cool man, be cool)
Sonali: You know, when you come around our desk, it’s so much fun.
We laugh. You’re a funny guy.
Shunky: (Awkward smile) Thank you.
Sonali: So what plans for the evening?
Shunky: I haven’t been to Koramangla. I was thinking of going there. Do you know any nice places I can see.
Sonali: Sure give me your number, I’ll text you a few places, that you can check. What time are you going?
Shunky: At 6, perhaps. (I can’t believe she asked for my number)
Sonali: Alright, bye.
Shunky at home – Sonali texts, Atta Galatta and Ice and Spice are nice places. Text me once you’re in Koramangla and I’l guide you if you want.
Shunky thinks to himself that it was nice of her to tell me places.

Shunky texts – “At Sony World signal going to Truffles. Thank you.”)
Sonali – “Wait at Sony World, next to Au Bon Pain, I’ll be there in a few minutes”
Shunky – “Okay” (Heart starts beating faster, walks back and forth, thinking, I should have been better dressed. How am I supposed to know this was going to be a date?)

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Apparently this was how the guy dressed up. Wouldn’t you agree, had the guy known, he could have dressed much better.

Shunky and Sonali reach Truffles.

Shunky: I must be honest, I did not think you’d join me. It’s much better than going to a place alone.
Sonali: I enjoy your company and you’re fun to be around.

Over the next 2 hours Shunky and Sonali, laugh and talk and become friendly and she puts it across humorously that she is 4 years elder to him. They decide to walk. He begins walking her back and they’re laughing and having a good time till they reach her lane.

Sonali: This is it. Here is where my house is.
Shunky: I had an great time. Thank you for this. (Gives her an awkward hug, sideways and says, see you tomorrow at the office?)
Sonali: Er. Yes, sure.

(Shunky begins walking back and wonders if he should have hugged her, or done something more. Agh!)

Sonali – “I thought, I would get a longer hug.”
Shunky – “Come back. I am missing that hug too.”

They meet again. They hug and it feels nice.
Shunky: Let me walk you back home.
Sonali: Thank you.

When they reach home, she’s standing quite close to him. His heart is pounding so hard, it feels like it is going jump out, sometime soon.

Sonali: Are you going to kiss me?
Shunky: I was thinking about it and was wondering if you’d get offended.
Sonali: And…
Shunky: Forgive me for.. (Kisses her.)

She grabs his hand, begins walking towards a dark lane. She kisses him. His heart is pounding so hard that she stops and says “Relax!, It’s okay!”
He can’t believe the girl he thought was out of his reach is now in front of him, kissing him.

She has a tiny mole on her face.

Shunky: I can’t believe I’m kissing you. I am so intimidated by you. (Touches her mole.) I can’t believe I’m touching your mole.

They kiss and wish each other good night.

You have to check this out! NO I mustn’t!

                     I like stumbling upon things such as series, videos, songs, movies, not all of them,but a few whenever I do stumble upon them. It’s nice. Like for heard Gorge Ezra’s Budapest when one of my friends, Kjeld was singing it and I heard it later it’s such a good song. I like listening to people telling me what they like watching. But even more than that I like finding them when I do find them. Let’s take the series Louie. The fifth season
is out. I watched up to the fourth and I enjoyed it that no one told me to watch it.
The same thing happened with Breaking Bad. Don’t tell me Walter White’s description. I’ll watch it when I watch it, man!

Anything that I find out for myself has stayed with me for longer than anyone telling me you have to watch, this! I guess what I’m trying to say is there in plain sight. Giving me a series and telling me to watch it is a spoiler alert.

Here is an example of what I mean when I say stumbling upon it, even when I find out someone else is watching.

Me: Hey so what are you watching?
Guy: Horace and Pete.
Me: What’s it about?
Guy: About a cafe called Horace and Pete’s.
Me: Is it good?
Guy: I like it.

_ the end _

I don’t wish for this to happen.

Guy: Hey! You must watch Horace and Pete.
Me: Why?
Guy: It’s hilarious and it’s got all these actors and it’s a cafe and it’s the best thing.
Me: Okay man.

                     Let me stumble. Next time you see something great. Bring it up casually and let people discover. Don’t wave it like a flag.

It could have been worse…

 

1000697_10151687303124334_1057061257_nI used to teach dance to kids during after-hours in college. It used to get late. Sometimes, the last bus would leave without me. I had hitch a ride back home or walk for 5 km. I chose to ask for a lift most of the times. I had just danced for 4 hours. I was starting to lose weight.

This one time, a middle age man stopped to help me. I got on his bike and we started talking. Over the next few minutes I gathered he is a relative of close friend of my Dad. I began to talk for the rest of the ride. By the time we reached the place where I live he knew that I had to take a bus the next morning, to which he added that he is also travelling to my home town and the fact that my brother and my cousin who live with me were not in town.

He offered to drop me to the bus stop the next morning. I had my bag packed that I would take and go home. We had dinner and I thanked him for being nice. After a hearty meal we went to his place. He in fact shared a few stories of Dad and his cousin.

He wished me Good Night and went to bed. I was reading a book and soon enough I dozed off to bed too. A while later I felt his moustache against my cheek. I couldn’t move. I froze. I couldn’t believe how stupid I had got to have trusted a stranger. He began to move his leg over me and whispered, I’ve had a few drinks and I’m sorry. I should have made a move but I only remember being very scared. He went on. He went down on me and it reached a point where I had to snap and get up. I remember thinking, I can’t get up beyond this point. It’s now or never. I did. Before he could say anything I remember rushing to the bathroom. I cried. I cried, a lot. I was abusing myself for being naive.

I saw his toothbrush and began scrapping his toilet with it. I kept it back. I gathered courage, stepped out the bathroom and said, “You stay away from me.”
I picked my bag and ran. I reached the main road and I sat down and I cried again. Did I just get molested? Was I stupid enough to not stop it? Did I mention that he kissed me? I felt like I couldn’t go any lower.

I told my parents. I was afraid to tell my brother. I couldn’t tell my brother because I felt most stupid in front of him.
My parents told my brother. He walked up to me, asked me for this person’s house and marched right in with me and my cousin, Sujay. At this point I must add Sujay is over 6 feet tall and me and brother stand at 5′ 5″.
He began hitting this man. It didn’t occur to me until later that I could have been in condition that was far worse than I was in. I felt glad that my brother stood up and kept hitting this man. This middle aged man who was apologising. I could only feel disgust.
That day my brother was taller than my cousin.
I guess all I’m trying to say is, I was naive and I wished I was more careful in trusting someone but more importantly and Thank you Tarun Chugani for making it easy for me to not let this episode become a big part of my life.

(PS :- Sujay Mehbubani, the other guy also kicked his ass)

 

A country of closeted racists…

A country of closeted racists…
You hear that the country you live in has never invaded another country as long as the country has existed in various pieces.
You hear that the country you live in is known for hospitality. Athithi Devo Bhava!
You hear that the country you live in has the best National Anthem in the world.
You hear that the country you live in has varied heritage.
You hear that the country you live in has people who’ve excelled in their fields numerous times.

How can we be a country, known for hospitality when we’re now known for Racism? Sometimes racism against our own people!
How can we be a country that hasn’t invaded another country but has got offended and attacked individuals, group of people ethinic groups out of emoition?
How can we be a country that has the best National Anthem if we require vailadition of it from every individual?
How can we be a country that has varied heritage if we claim to get offended on the basis of wholesome Indian Culture?

My definition of Patriotism has changed over time. It has evolved.
I used to cry while stading for the National Anthem, or listening to a rendition of it by A R Rehman.
I used to think that my country is the best and I’m proud to be born in it. Today I stand corrected.

My Patriotism is not to seek validation.
My Patriotism is not to prove a point but to be welcoming.
My Patriotism is not to say that I will defeat you because out of the love for my country. I will beat you because of sportsmanship, healthy competition.
My Patriotism is not to teach a lesson in my culture to a visitor but to show him that we do treat our guests well. We mean well.
My Patriotism is blanketed for true humanity.