Dec 30, 2006

Running...not just around trees! - MOOD-I '06

I thought after five years of being in the management at Malhar, lets participate in something. I've always wanted to participate. It was the auditions that scared me. i knew i was good enough, i knew the competitions i could take part in and had the chances of being placed, and had won at other places, but i just wanted to escape the auditions. of course that was not possible, so i chose the other way - management. and organising was good, and i was good at it. I managed the events very well and made lots and lots of frens, got lots of praises (:D), but then again, I still wanted to participate in something.

Considering its my last year, i decided to take part...in other inter-collegiate festivals.
Went for Brouhaha... was appalled at the mismanagement, and chaos. everything was disorganised and there was a communication gap. politics spreads its venom everywhere, but here apparently it was overriding everything else. Maybe they've a lot to learn...accepted.

But then I participated in Mood-Indigo - apparently the biggest festival in the country (Mood-I '06 was from the 26th to the 29th December this year). The pro-nites and the shows they organise are mind-blowing. They have amazing performances from talented bands, professionals, etc. But being unable to attend them as I didnt want to wait until so late in the night, I was just a participant there. When I first read the schedule, I liked the list of events, but what surprised me was that many similar events that needed the same skills were at the same time. So, it was impossible for one participant to take part in both. And most of the events I wanted to compete for were at the same time. Adding to that, they were unsure of most things most of the time, as in when the event will start, how long will it last, what will be taken into account while judging, or even who were the judges at times. I was in the Journalism event where the brochure did not mention at all what it was. On reaching the venue we get to know that the event will go on for all four days. We will have to cover the reality teams. I realised that we were just being used to cover the reality team and get some footage that they can use to their advantage. The event was made up to suit their needs. We were always told either on the morning of the day or at midhight the day before as to what time the event would start which meant a mad rush to reach on time at the far-flung IIT campus. The travelling itself was so exhausting.
The final day was the worst. We were made to run around the IIT campus behind the reality team that we were allotted to cover their activities on the third day. And it is not easy to cover four people who run in four different directions doing four different things at the same time. still, we managed to get good footage of all of them. And considering it was reality, we got some 'juicy bits' too. Unfortunately, the other three teams competing with us couldnt find their own team and so went around shooting random footage.
On the final and fourth day, we had to edit the video and make it into a 10 minute news report and it would be shown on stage. We were called at 8 am (so had to get up at 5.30!!! I kept mumbling I will murder the organiser for making me get up so early all through the day!) The organiser was apparently fast asleep and didnt turn up until 9 am and it took another quarter of an hour to start the machines. We were promised 3 1/2 hours for editing and they then told us we have to finish by 11.30 cos there was an event at the place at 12. We refused and thankfully they relented. But hard luck had it that we got a really slow comp and took really long to get our work done. We had brought some music which we had decided to add to our video with some fast fwds. The other teams heard this and later somehow arranged for music too. Due to our comp, our music didnt get uploaded onto the CD. After the CD was prepared we learnt that the video wouldnt be screened because of 'technical problems' and would later be shown to the judges. When, we demanded to know and they said they could screen it only by 10.30 pm. Well, obviously we refused to stay that long and asked for another arrangement. Wegot no answer and contacted our college representative who went and demanded a reply. The organisers told us it would be shown to the judges at 4, which we glad about. But later we found out that these judges were the reality show judgees who knew nothing about journalism. We hadnt structured our video according to the 'crime reporter' format but a more casual 'campus news' approach was used as that was what it was. We did not cover all the other reality teams cos we were assigned one and managed to get hold of them unlike the other participants. And maybe thats where we went wrong. Thats why we bagged the 3rd prize when people who saw the video immediately exclaimed we would get 1st.
But what is most disturbing is that everything was so chaotic which exhausted us even more. We did not know who the judges were exactly and still dont, and like most other events they may have been incompetent. We missed our other events cos we werent told in advance that it was a four-day event . And everything was haphazardly arranged.
(Do i sound pompous and over-confident? Maybe to some. But then that emerges from knowing that the personality events had judges who couldnt speak English or that situational acting had the horror theme with participants doing slapstick cheap comedy and still winning! Its not over-confidence in self I may say, but a doubt about the transparency and hones judgement of the events. I have organised events for 5 years and knows what should go and what not and the quality that is required of a festival of this stature. )

The good part - yes, thats exists too! The experience of being a reporter was great. And my 'cameraman' Siva, was a great partner. We did make a good team. And it does feel very nice inded when you have friends come and tell you, "Hey, you look good and speak well on camera. Why dont you go into that profession?" Whether I will or not do so is a matter that will be considered later, but it still feels good.
Another good part was the IITians themselves. However badly organised the events may have been (and its not only me who says so, other frens have gone through the same thing), the IITians were really sweet and nice. Humble, polite and always ready to help though they had no clue how to. They went out of their way later on when we complained and made a noise about the fact that because the computer was faulty we didnt get music on our CD and managed to get another one with music burned. They weren't haughty and rude like other organisers at other festivals, but just spaced out and lacked communication between themselves.

All in all, i wasted four days, got some experience, some exercise (running around the humoungous IIT campus), 500 bucks, a bad mood, dust allergy (bus travel) and projects that are still pending after four days... And yes, a revival of the belief that forgetting the pro-nites and shows, in terms of competitions at least, Malhar is still the best!

Dec 23, 2006

SPREZZATURA!!!

We had a small Christmas party today in the Lit class... well sort of. Somehow Aarefa n me got planning, even we dont know how. And somehow, before we knew it, we were already halfway thru the planning - cakes, soft drinks, sum food was arranged and sum decorations were pitched in. We reached early today n added some spunk to the classroom with the festoons. Everyone was excited about Secret Santa too. yaaay, gifts! And the best part was that this was the first time our class was doing something together, teachers included. Some signs of unity finally!
And, to add to it, our class sweatshirts were coming in! We felt like a class... at least i felt like the class was a class, one batch, and not a juxtaposition of several groups randomly put together...!
The party came, and was over in no time. Some just didnt bother to stay for it. Some thought it was stupid. And all this after EVERYONE agreed for it...!!!! It was quite a downer. We still had fun. The cake was gobbled and over in no time. We went crazy clicking mad and funny pictures with the class and posing with our new sweatshirts. And with my funky santa cap with snowflakes on it:D. And the good part was 'the absurd group' of the class was actively participating, and how. It felt nice. It felt like one class, like the ENGLISH BATCH OF 06-07.
And a few of us were dancing to silly songs, singing 'ghaati' numbers and just having a lot of fun while bonding, till late afternoon.

Another dampener to the day was a spoilsport classmate. He spoiled our moods and ruined the spirit. A fight and argument ensued, with me defending Alison and pointing out that he was wrong. Finally we managed to convince him (yaaay, i can argue, and how!!!) and resumed our fun. We couldn't let anyone spoil our fun for us.

But, I have realised I dont understand people and their various sides. It quite puzzles me. Why is it that people always turn out to be quite different from what they seem. I guess now i have lerant its nothing new. But i still cant help losing my temper when that happens. I do believe that there is something called individuality. I do believe there are personal opinions. But i also believe there is something called the world that exists that is made up of many such individualities. And if these individualities try to isolate themselves and stand up on their own, the world will crash. there has to be some unity, some merging and some understanding. I strongly believe in the much-used but very much true saying that NO MAN IS AN ISLAND! If you have to assert your individuality, its a good thing, but no one can do that without the existence of the 'others'. And therefore the 'other' holds a very significant place in everyone's life which is to be respected. And with that respect should come acceptance of others' opinions.
One can live as an individsual but a certain amount of conformity is necessary. and not calling it conformity, i would like to call that an expression of unity and understanding. its a mutual assertion of the fact that there is a certain dependence on each other and that it is respected.


And i really get angry and frustrated when people fail to understand that. Its like they are living in such a closed world that they refuse to see anything beyond themselves. They are as much a part of the social set as anybody else, but they just refuse to see that.

And that is exactly what happened. A confusion between self and 'others' and between conformity and unity, between individuality and society, separating and demarcating everything into separate halves, not realising that they are somehow related.

Well, i rejoice in my individuality that makes its mark while conforming at the same time!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS I SAY... and celebrate the spirit. Be the one with all and not the all-in-one cos thats quite a lonely person to be on Christmas :)

P.S: My secret Santa gave me a china clay showpiece which "resembles me". Thank You i say! And yeh, SPREZZATURA!! is the slogan we have on the back of our sweatshirts. It loosely means 'spontaenous outburst!'

Dec 20, 2006

Draping thoughts


Yesterday was Traditional Day!! And i was in a Saree, this time black n scarlet.

As i draped the saree around myself in the morning I was thinking of what I would do all day long and how much fun I would have. I was draping my thoughts around me along with the saree. And i was feeling nice, and sexy and happy. It would be my last traditional day. I had friends performing on stage. I had friends in the hostel which open to visitors only on this day.
And to add to that was my Literature class and my gang of close friends. The excitement and thought of having a good time naturally came.
I strutted into college, looked around, didnt find many people I knew (which is
strange cos i can confidently say I know a LOT of people). I finally bumped into some classmates and was hanging around with them. The funniest part was me and my best friend trying to locate each other when our phones had no network! I would go into the hall and she would come out to look for me and vice versa. This must have happened quite a few times after which I finally found her.

What I found strange, more with myself than with anyone else was a feeling I had. I am very comfy in a saree and was free to jump n run and dance. But I didnt feel like it. I was quite low and not at all motivated or even excited to do anything. I felt almost despressed and without any reason. I wanted to be normal and jump and run about but I wasnt enthusiastic enough. I was feeling lost, isolated from everything. And I did not know WHY!!It felt like quite a strange mix in my head... various emotions bubbling without reason or even definition.

SOMETHING’S MISSING

a VOID- hollowness
Breeze drilling through you
It’s not just your ReflEction in that puddle
that’s restless, It’s a reflection of you.

An incomplete WhOLe you feel like
A leaking jar –
filled to the brim
You don’t know where that bastard piercing is
that’s draining the you out of you.




© HAEM ROY


Getting myself to dance I hung around in college till 7 with some friends and enjoyed the college ambience, which never ceases to wonder me and fill me with awe and pride. I didnt visit the hostel. I didnt meet many people from my class. I cant say I enjoyed a lot, but I had a little fun. I went on a picture clicking spree and enjoyed it.


Today was a relatively better day. Some matters were discussed in class and for the first time the class was united and we made a decision. For the first time we could spot the enthusiasm or agreement on everyone's faces and it propelled us forward. We are making an effort as a class to do various things, to preserve our memory as a class and good ones too. And these good memories are slowly getting created. Bit by bit our class is becoming a class. I am waiting for the day when the differently coloured pieces of glass becme a meaningful collage and create something different, unique and one.
Now its time for me to sit down and sort stuff out. Prelim exams in Feb(aaargh!). Presentations in Jan. University paper drafts due this week. Honours submissions. And I am lethargic! I need to sort myself out and then all my work and begin it on a full scale.
Sigh... hope I am able to finish everything on time...

Dec 18, 2006

A paper crown for me?

It is a nice feeling to win. A very nice feeling i must add. Feeds the ego. And I am no different obviously. I feel confident of myself and its the best motivation in the world. But then, another factor that matters is the context. How bad is the competition, or how good? How fair is the system that operates it? And after considering all that, does it still remain the same? Does the elation still last? Is the crown real or just a flimsy paper one?

Yes and No.

A victory is subject to conditions like I have mentioned. But it is nonetheless a victory. And so the feel-good part is always there. Even if you compete against the worst of people, the fact is that you won and that isolated fact in itself is enough to make you feel good.

On the other hand, it is also important how deep is your sense of victory. When you know you have won when there were only two more to compete with and that you had an edge cos you were older, or more specialised, or had more experience or something, the elation decreases. But when you know u have won where there was good competition, it cannot be described! Relativity I say.

And that I realised today in a great way. And i saw both sides, experienced both.

Still, I won!!! :D

But, another dark side of this equation is the losing part, which i saw too. One, you lose when you aren't worthy enough or haven't prepared. Or someone's better than you. You do feel bad f course and regret it majorly. That is the competitive spirit. But you realise that it had to happen.
On the other hand is when you know you deserve to win and there is some kind of unfair judgement or discrepancy in the procedure. That makes you feel worse cos you cant help it but you know inside that the position was yours. And if you are the I-can't-take-injustice types, which i am, it is even more bad cos it makes you not only sad but angry and frustrated.

So technically speaking, I may have gained a lot or lost a lot, but I did understand the ways of life and dealt with a lot more. Now isn't that good? (Feel-good hormones are back!)

Oh and another good part is tomorrow is Traditional Day. I get to wear a sari and strut around. Yaaaay!
But, my university projects are killing me with tension. As always I am confused about where to start and structure. My casual style interrupts the academic paper and restricts me majorly. Even the literary theories taught in class are understood by me in a very reductive way.But the good part is, at least I understand them and so am better off than some others.I am feeling lethargic as usual, and don't feel like sitting down to finish my project. I guess its an overdose of doing too much. I should learn to choose and cut down. But thankfully the projects I have chosen - one on Realism in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's movies with a focus on Chupke Chupke and Golmaal and another on Youth in Advertising and the city - are quite interesting. Only problem will be compiling my info and choosing between and adding my varied opinions along with the literary theories and technical terms. Sigh... here i go!

Dec 12, 2006

Tug of war

A couple of weeks ago, I had a tussle with my two selves. I have a practical person sitting inside me on one side, and an out an out adventure seeking romantic crazy whacked out person on the other. and they keep squabbling like siblings. The crazy one comes up with wierd ideas and the other shoots them down. At times I hate my practical self cos it restricts me, doesnt allow me to take too many risks, explore, do something without bothering about the results. But at other times I am thankful for it. I have been saved from falling into the wrong places so many times because of the practical side intervening and taking over. It has given me the strength to keep moving on in life no matter what happens with you. I have come out of depressing phases, bad situations and got a hold on myself because of practicality and I am glad I can do that.

This tug of war has made the spaced out, confused, crazy, unpredictable, random, analysing, futuristic person that I am. And well, I guess I like myself that way. At least I am balanced, i guess.
(Yes, this is one of my narcissistic phases where I am happy with my own self mostly, and discovering my good sides. Isn't it obvious? Will get over it soon?)

TUG OF WAR

Caught between two ends
Both distant and far
A tug-of-war so intense;
None ready to let go of the rope.

But the poor rope
It's plight unseen
It knows not whether to stay or break
It's strength tested to its limits.
Every pull a trauma
grips tightening with time
Equal forces on both sides it seems
None ready to forego the winning honour.

Does it have the power
to decide its outcome?
To end the torture, and
fall lifeless on the ground?
Hanging in mid-air
weighing the options
knowing it can do nothing
It just looks at both ends.

Side A - the Abstainees,
holding back the rope,
Though not pulling it much,
they do not let it go.
Strong as ever
with practicality and sense, they say,
"We look at logic,
our side though hard, yet firm,
no wavering, the ground stiff, cemented,
and the rope must fall here.
'Cos thats sensible,
the result being clear."

Side B - the Bouncers
jump up to defend
with all thier strength they tug
trying to pull the rope to their end.
A little marshy, with soft mud,
the ground they tread on is dodgy;
"But its not hard and will not hurt much.
The rope will fall shakily yet softly;
we cannot say for sure where it will drop, but if it falls far from the line
maybe the fall will be smooth
and it can relax without cuts or sores."
They seem unsure, yet inviting,
as they continue with their excited tugging.

Pullig harder at the rope, both ends try;
the poor rope meanwhile, waiting for the tussle to die.



- © HAEM ROY 

Dec 11, 2006

SQUARE WITH ROUND EDGES


This poem i wrote recently gave me my blog title.

SQUARE WITH ROUND EDGES

Look alike… I DO
I am too but a square
The square pegs before me filled
Yet there seems to be space for this spare.

And again hard I try
Jump in, dive in, squeeze through to my peg
Fit into my cubicle in the huge ice-tray
Crawl in slowly, or even edge in leg by leg.

Everytime I manage
Fit in, adjust, and get through
It just seems uncomfortable
The cubicle seems so unfamiliar, so untrue.

I may still be a square and not a round
May not be one of the unnecessary wedges
Yet I feel empty spaces in the corners
Maybe I am just a square but with round edges.




- © HAEM ROY

The 1st!

Well, my 1st entry here.

Getting a broadband connection is quite funky I realised! But its not as good as I thought, especially when you are not home until 7 pm, and then have to fight with your younger brother for the comp, and to add to it, are not used to sitting in one place for long (let alone punishing your eyes with the comp screen)! And staying up late is fine and possible, except that because wake-up call is 5.30 am, the eyes begin to complain and torture you, slowly and steadily!

But anyways, moving on, now that I am here...
I have been in one of poetry moods these days. I am churning out quite a lot of them, and they are very bad either. And now i have finally realised what my style is - alternate, pensive, abstract and allegorical usually. I love the fact that people can extract their own meanings out of them. I guess this has come out of my love for the Post-modern concept of the interpretation of the reader and of misreading. Even when i am reading something, I take delight in the work if I am allowed to interpret it and think about the stuff written or the theme, etc. Isn't it cool if something you read teaches you to argue with yourself? You are the one defending a certain point and you are the one speaking against it too. And even if its not an argument, there is a certain aggressiveness that comes in when you read certain works or even movies and music that makes you want to be vocal, want to speak up, question, wonder, do something.

If I think of movies like that, the first that comes to my mind is Clockwork Orange. It just set my mind whirring away with so much in it that I felt it will burst open any moment. Upturning all notions that you know, it still doesn't seem wrong and you end up questioning even yourself and existence.

A few days ago when i was in one of my self-reflective moods (they come so often!!), I wrote something which even I was puzzled with when i read later. When I made friends read it, some liked it, some didn't understand it and some just gave me blank looks. It's a poem called

CANDLELIGHT MERCIES.

A
sudden convoluted minor-looking scratch
throbbing, piercing through;
Cries for mercy
Ringing.
Its trapped, its trapped
Witnesses are but a few

Pretending to see the invisible
Visions of the Psychic?
Sixth sense?
Foresight?
Can a zebra’s rash
Affect how a donkey kicks?

The iron clearing out the creases
Rather creating space
for more to come
Gradually.
Creases that demarcate the cotton
From the Silks, Satins and the Lace.

London’s bridge keeps rebuilding itself
yet the left-behinds peep through
gaze at the crossing vehicles
Speeding
A direction is set again, clearly, accidents and aimless wanderings, will continue.

The candle is in my hand, illuminating
A few metres ahead clearly seen now
but all around the ahead still lies
Darkness.
Your careful steps create screaming echoes
who can rescue you from the future?

Trapped trapped in your own darkness
The candle enlightens just right ahead
Further on the path twists and curves
With dark and dangerous bends
Guiding you is your light
But it shows not the darkness;
The dead end has been imagined
The length of the path unknown.
Still more unknown are the blackouts
Stealing of your matchsticks then
forks, choices, splits, junctions
Candles do not push you around
The sad delight lies in what they show
Too many paths when you need not know.
Brightening when you walk in jest
But winds hover around forever
A blackout looming always
And finally
You reach where you know not.

The sudden minor scratch unnoticed, calls for attention
While the candle is being lighted, honed
The journey will start. All throbbing
IGNORED.
But the screams will continue till the end
Its trapped. Potential help deafened.

- © HAEM ROY