Monthly Archives: August 2006

Lizard legends

Lizzies have always been around, haven’t they? But somehow in the past 1 or 2 years, I have come to know them at a ‘closer’ level, which I suspect is closer than most people are privileged enough. They are always there, hanging by the ceiling or camping on the wall, staring at that dinner (aka mosquito) on your head or you – you never know and may never want to either. The moment you flicker on a light, and there’s a movement in the room, trust loyal lizzie to be there. Once upon a time I managed to step onto a baby liz after not having switched on a light. I was so repulsed by it all, that I kept hopping for 2 days after that, as if it was still somehow in contact with my footwear. I soaked my footwear clean and got rid of the no-lights-please-i-am-expert-at-playing-dark-room habit pronto. My orthodox relatives gave me a bigger shock by their reaction to the incident. Sympathy can be expected. Disgust even. But if one shares such misfortune with someone and gets a question back at that, asking something as ridiculous as “Which foot was it?”, one can’t be blamed for looking as stunned as lizzies themselves. I was told by my relatives that depending on which foot I crunched the lizzie under, it could be auspicious and hold different meanings. I just wish they got as lucky as me.

When I shifted into my house in Gurgaon I thought I would have no neighbours because of low occupancy in my colony. But I was wrong. I had lizzies for company. One even landed on my lap once as I tried relaxing in the verandah on a hot summer night. To say that I had springs attached to my behind would be a mild way to express the swiftness with which I got up. As expected I developed a habit of not sitting under the ledge anymore and I look carefully whenever I am near the porch. I tried being optimistic by thinking that at least they would help in some pest control by eating up the free hotel business setup by the mosquitoes. But no, they only ended up befriending the mosquitoes, the spiders and the rest of the gang. I can see them having their frequent picnics up there till I drive them out using a broom! Now they have started playing hide and seek and turn up when I least expect them. The only thing missing is the ‘boo’ or something.

Then there was this ‘bright’ one (Do they have any brains?) which made me think and rethink my opinion about them. There was this lizzie who for some reason developed an affinity to not only my invertor but a particular spot on that. Day in and day out I saw her perched right there, always holding fort. I could not understand the reason for it. Neither was the invertor too hot nor too cold. In fact it was the same temperature as anything else. I made my maid agitate her outside the house using a broom. As soon as that happened I immediately locked my fortress and left for my work place. No prizes for guessing what happens next. Brilliant lizzie was inside when I got back from my workplace. From where she penetrated the fortress I call home, I wouldn’t know. And of course as always she was right on the hot seat – that particular spot on the invertor. Do they have brains or what?! Not only did the lizard know the what and the where with such clear granularity, she also knew the how! No matter what I tried, she seemed to be stuck (not just with those vacuum pads they have for feet) to the same spot on the invertor. If I knew some variant of Parsletongue, I would have surely questioned her. Some days later she left as silently as she had appeared with a very “Woh kaun thi” type of aura left behind her.

If you dear reader, havent already been creeped out, I will take the risk of describing yet another profound encounter. One fine day, while driving, suddenly something loomed up large on my windscreen. Thankfully I didn’t swerve, considering that I was almost about to have the kind of reaction one has while watching 3D films. A big fat lizzy was right there on my windscreen right in front of me. Not only did it stare at me right ahead, it also did the disgraceful act of ‘flashing’ (not to forget the free lift it got)! As if the vision of something of this species appearing out of nowhere, that too while driving isnt enough, there was the extra revulsion due to the feeling that it was about to land right on me somehow. The thought of switching on the wipers sickened me even more thinking about the bloody consequences. With all that difficulty, I somehow kept my eyes on the road and hands upon the wheel. After reaching where I had to, I got some much needed respite.

Be they creepy or be they brainy, I just hope their motto in life is not Kabhi alwida na Kehna.

Starry starry night

The plus point of watching a late night movie show is the fact that by the time one gets back, all is silent, still, enigmatic, mysterious, anonymous, magical and private. Before I sound like I wrote some book like ‘7 adjectives in 7 seconds’, let me elaborate. Rarely is it that the street lights happen to be mysteriously off even though there is no power cut. Seldom is it that apart from the artificial lighting (including nearby construction sites) being out, it also happens to be a moonless night due to the thin waning crescent moon. The sky right now, seems to be completely devoid of pollution. The occasional clouds floating by seem more like a bluish grey canopy near the horizon, resembling a distant mountain range. They in fact cover some of the inky darkness of the night and give it an even more surreal look. I can see all the twinkly constellations scintillate clearly. The big dipper, usually distinctly visible to the eye, has a starry blanket in the background tonight with zillions of stars peeping down at me. Star clusters can be made out without any effort. Some of the planets like Venus and Saturn are even more clearer than ever. Then there are the stars which look like they are winking at me. The whole creation of the cosmos looks so fragile that I am scared to even breathe, lest I blow the gossamer-like ethereal charm away.

Everywhere I look at the sky, it seems to be impregnated with stars and stars and more stars. Did I realise earlier that the sky is so full of those tiny little diamonds up above the world, so high? May be yes. But only as a subconscious memory of a nursery rhyme. No planetariums or artificial attempts can ever capture or recreate the mesmerising beauty of the sky tonight. So captivating did the sky appear, that I lost all sense of time, place or motion. I may have stood awestruck and gaping for several minutes before I realised that the earth does move. And when it does, it plucks ever so slightly at the corners of the sky and makes the sparkling veil that she wears, slither just a teeny weeny unobtrusive bit.

The star spangled night sky has put on a great show right now and I can only give it a standing ovation. With a spellbinding performance like this, I sure hope for an encore soon.

Free as a bird

This independence day is not going to be like most independence days I have had. I am not going to be lined up in school prayer, later indulging in mass throwing of the distributed, hardened ladoos on the blackboard, which are so hard that they stick to it, instead of crumbling. This year, I am not going to be dressed in Khaadi, roaming around the empty Lutyen’s Delhi, looking for good photo ops. This year, (though I miss that place), I am not celebrating Independence day at the Indian embassy of a foreign land, where I try to make some sense of the soft, lustrous, red petals of rose floating around the tricolour. This year, I shall just relax. May be entertain a guest or two. May be clink a glass or two. May be catch up on a movie. May be shop for myself. May be, just be. Free as a bird.

Hope we all have freedom. From our own thoughts which bind us down in so many ways.

Free as a bird,
it’s the next best thing to be.
Free as a bird.
– Beatles (Free as a bird)

My name is Anthony Gonzalves

Spoiler warning – plot revealed

Though Arshad Warsi kept uttering “My name is Anthony”, he may have wanted to utter “Mein Anthony Gonzalves nahi ban-na chahta” (I dont want to be Anthony Gonzalves) instead, as the first scene in the movie “Anthony Kaun hai“. Firstly he doesn’t even get to utter mouthfuls like “You see the whole country of the system is juxtapositioned by the haemoglobin in the atmosphere because you are a sophisticated rhetorician intoxicated by the exuberance of your own verbosity”. Plus there are people after his life because of the filmy name, which happens to belong to a journalist wanted by the local goon! He might as well have kept his name as Munnabhai. Talking of names, Arshad Warsi, is given a unique name “champ” (sounds like a dog), aka Champak Chaudhry, who lands up in one soup after another with the final soup being almost getting killed by a hitman. Like an innocent lamb, he unfolds his story to the hitman Master Madan (Sanjay Dutt) who has a propensity to shoot ppl as casually as swatting mosquitoes.

The story starts with a lot of twists in the tale. As filmy as it could get, I actually thought towards the end that Champ would be the real Anthony and would have been fibbing all this while to Madan. Champ is a local goon in love with a dame, but since there’s a love triangle here, Champ lands up in jail due to the efforts of his rival, just before he marries his lady love. In jail he meets another goon (Raghubir Yadav) who has a beautiful daughter and diamonds worth a gazzilion. Champ helps him out, falls for the daughter, gets the diamonds thru a series of twists and complications (including a change of ID aka Anthony) and just when he’s nearing his journey, he gets cornered by a hitman who listens to his story since he has nothing else to do, till he gets the supari to kill Anthony.

All in all the dialogues are quite entertaining (for eg. the dig on Air India), songs are REALLY bad (what can one expect from a-song-a-day-reshamiya), the dances are equally repelling, nubile nymphets showing skin are ample, Sanjay dutt and Mungeri Lal (Raghubir yadav) are wasted. It’s an out and out Arshad warsi movie. I like the way they have 2-3 styles of presenting the same shot. Anusha Dandekar can obviously not act. Minisha Lamba pouts and tries to look masoom in the whole movie. And yes, I like Sanjay Dutt’s car too. And Ravi Vaswani brings back the good old ‘Jaane bhee do yaaron’ memories. A good entertainer and yes, though you don’t need to leave your brain behind at home to find it funny, you can shut it off during the scenes where Raghubir Yadav does magic.