6

The Love Story


“I love you. To the moon and back” were the words of an innocent girl. Nah, she isn’t that innocent. She bullies her guy. She chides him when he pulls her legs. She cuts the phone call when he reminds her of her school reopening after a Sunday. She turns into a ‘Nagavalli’ when he makes her walk on a sunny afternoon in Bangalore. She gets worked up when he doesn’t take his pronunciations seriously. She argues. She fights. But all these fizzle out the moment she looks into his eyes. She erupts into laughter, often teary eyed, and the innocence returns. That’s her character. That’s what made him fall for her. That’s what made him come to a conclusion that she is his girl. 

When Priyanka Menon met Bhaskar NH at the Brigade Road in Bangalore on a pleasant Bangalore morning, she was thrilled. He was stuck in between reality and cinema. Filmy dialogues rushed through his mind. “Winds whisper a melody. Skies hum along. The moon nods”. And what not. He was nervous. He didn’t want to embarrass himself by trying Mohanlal’s cliched romantic dialogues. He just held her hand, looked into her eyes and smiled. She smiled back and he knew what the response was. They fell in love without even proposing. Within no time, she was making fun of his Irish Green tee and his black Puma flipflops. He looked like a school boy. She looked stunning in her magenta- black attire. He was nervous again. He remembered the dialogue from ‘Thattathin Marayathu’, “All the good looking girls in this world have awful looking boyfriends”. He wished he didn’t fall into that category. He backed himself and decided to proceed. They discussed a lot of things that day. About convincing parents, wedding, careers, dreams, books, traveling together, her idea of starting an art store and his plans to pen a book. Every moment seemed like a chapter of magic and blissful madness. Every moment triggered a swarm of butterflies within. 

She read a lot. Books and words lit her instantly. She loved the writer in him and has ever since desired that he authored a book some day. A desire he is yet to fulfill, though he hoped to break the shackles soon. 

She is creative and artistic, while he represented the other end of the spectrum. She had a craze for paintings, craft works, scrap books, photo frames and loved collecting things. Money had no role to play in her life. She treasured little joys of life like a bed coffee with a smile, ‘Rise and Shine’ message early in the morning, #100HappyDays challenge and living in the moment, something which she has unknowingly imparted to him. He loved the way she is. 

He is ‘an introvert to outspoken’ in progress. Travel bug bit him some years back and he was yet to recover from it. So, while she liked to stay put inside the closed comforts of home, he roamed around places, trying to unearth the tales of different people he met on the way. 

It is true that when a girl steps into a guy’s life, he becomes mature. He feels he is important. He feels that his life has a new meaning altogether. He feels that his voice is getting heard often. He starts ‘planning’ his life ahead. The journey becomes more thrilling, from ‘ME’ to ‘WE’. There is a shoulder to lean on. There is a soul to share your happiness and tears. There is a hand to hold on to. There is a hand to hold yours and say that everything will be okay. There is an eye that peeks into yours every time you stare at a hot girl in her party wear. And then, a hand to give a punch if the staring continues.

Their journey so far, has been like that. They didn’t ‘fall’ in love. They simply rode on it.They liked the way they are. They spoke the way their hearts could connect. They looked at things only their eyes could see. They fought over issues only they could fight. They were themselves. They had their egos as well. But their egos allowed them to understand each other better. 

Its been three years. Three beautiful years. Every moment they spent together has been picturesque. That day. Their first date. Their first selfie. The Coke spill at the McDonald’s. Serengeti. Early morning attendance at Au Bon Pain for French breakfast. Mexican lunch. Thattathin Marayathu dialogues. Bengaluru Darshan on Ashwin’s Suzuki Access. Hang outs with their crazy set of friends. Moments spent in the rain. Gossips. Shopping. The birthday cake. Fort Kochi. Scrap book. Tabbie. Cubbon Park. Engagement. And here they are, all set to tie the knot on November 8. 

 

The first selfie

                                                        The first selfie

Kitsch Mandi

                                                          Kitsch Mandi

Birthdays

                                                             Birthdays

Surrender!!

                                                           Surrender!!

Together

                                                           Together

Engaged

                                                         Engaged

2

Little joys of life


I love simple pleasures of life. Like how one fine morning a friend called me and said,”Dude, I am in Bangalore today. Shall we meet up over coffee?”. Or like how I wake up to Priyanka’s call every morning. Or like staring at my engagement album every now and then and silently giggling. These things make my day. I wake up to realize some of the little joys of life these days. I had decided to work from home for four weeks. It was like taking a sabbatical and cherishing every moment of it, in the presence of Appa and Amma. Its been three years since I ditched the comforts of my home to join the mad race to make money. And since then, I’ve often thought if life could also have rewind buttons. Appa waking me up before he sets off to the office, Amma serving those hot tumblers of filter coffees as I lie down at the couch like a prince in front of the TV, accompanying annoying Amma in the kitchen (munching carrots, onions and cucumbers as she prepares the lunch), joining her in those mother-in-law daughter-in-law soaps that has been a part of every Indian household since its inception, discussing the neighborhood as well as Television gossips, the sound of the land phone ringing and how lazily sticking my ass to the couch, ordering Amma to attend it, Appa’s lunch and his customary post-meal nap before he heads back to the office again, settling down to watch the Matinee in Asianet, Surya or Kiran TV, the aroma of lip-smacking home made evening snacks, opening the door to welcome Appa and secretly wishing there would be something in his bag, evening baths, the priceless family conversations the three of us have on varying topics, from politics to relatives, the occasional (and frequent also) visits by a family friend or a neighbour, dinner, reality shows on Television and then settling down with my laptop till late night. Its not that I’ve never come home in these three years. I make my way out here twice in a month, for a weekend or at the maximum, four days. Nothing more than that. That’s why I love this period. Memories of my semester vacations and summer holidays flash by. As I said, little joys of life.

5

The joy of watching ‘OK Kanmani’


O, Kadhal Kanmani

O, Kadhal Kanmani!!!

I was never going to miss this. As always, a Mani Ratnam film release had massive hype ever since the teasers and first look posters were out. Firstly, we knew that the Mozart of Madras was scoring the music. Secondly, we were aware that the film and songs were shot in India, the images of those would ignite the traveller in us. Like the Bekal Fort in Kasargod (“Uyire”), Ooty Mountain Train (“Thayya Thayya”), Dhanushkodi (“Kannathil Muthamittal”), Athirapally waterfalls in Thrissur (“Raavan”) and so on. Thirdly and most interestingly, casting. It has been Mani Ratnam’s forte. Dulquer Salman and Nitya Menon brought in so much freshness and it was like we couldn’t have thought of any other pair donning that role. Vintage Mani.

The film, shot in the urban landscapes of Mumbai, could be easily connected to the modern day concepts of Live-in relationships. Debates are pretty obvious but I loved the way Mani succinctly gives out a message without ridiculing the very concept. The way he beautifully presents the everlasting affection and care between Ganapathi uncle (Prakash Raj) and Bhavani Aunty (Leela Samson), will move you. The retired man’s abundant love for his wife who is diagnosed with the 2nd Stage Alzheimer’s disease is so touching. The film may have catered to the younger audiences but everyone loved the elderly couple’s love story. In this speed driven generation, there is still scope for everlasting relationships.

Dulquer Salman and Nitya Menon have beautifully synced into the character. As Mani often says about Mohanlal,” He has got an amazing ability to just BE the character and NOT PLAY the character and that is his greatest strength”. I think these words perfectly apply to the lead pair in the movie. They looked at ease with the dialogue delivery in Tamil. The rapport and chemistry was commendable. And their acts seemed so natural.

A Mani Ratnam film allows you to explore the technical aspects of a film- musicals, sound quality, cinematography, editing and screenplay. Needless to say, Rahman has done what he has always done- to reserve his best for Mani. The exuberance in ‘Mental Manadhil’ song blends beautifully with the characters. So does ‘kaara aatakaara’ with the gizmo touch. Ah, even the Carnatic numbers were so mellifluous. Coming to cinematography, those interior shots from the base to the top of the mosque/dargah in Ahemadabad should bring PC Sreeram the National Award. Every frame of his oozed class. I don’t remember Mumbai being shown so incredibly in a long time. The thoughts of feeding pigeons in front of the Gateway of India has already started running.

Easily, Mani is back. With. A. Bang. Thanks for the message. Yes, there is nothing as beautiful as an EVERLASTING relationship between a man and a woman.