Romance 2015 and a little juvenile dream of yesterday

Let me preface this by saying I am a nerdy, introvert, very very shy and the type of person who doesn’t speak much unless among best friends or family members. I had a dream yesterday which was cheesy and cute as hell and the stuff of preadolescent romance, because obviously the romantic switch in my brain is stuck at that level. Mature minds may find this boring and laughable, but please bear with me!

But before I tell you about my dream, let’s talk of some romantic stuffs. Like the new netflix series ‘Love’. The trailer showed an average, every day person w/ nothing to recommend him/her lucking out on love, I had to check it out for obvious reasons. Right from the first episode, I was rooting for Gus and Mickey. There’s a scene where I felt Mickey’s despair when she says she’s never found the type of love she wished, hoped and prayed for all the time and she has indeed wanted only love and wished for it hard! But the law of Universe is not working for her. Spoiler alert: They get together and Gus turns out to be a jerk at which point I was turned off and I stopped watching the series. Guess I like happy endings too much!

But at the same time, I didn’t hate Anomalisa! In my opinion, it was the most interesting animation of 2015. Wish it was a movie! The first half was unbelievably romantic! Imagine finding your soul mate, that one person you know you are meant to be with, who completes you and who you think is different than all the other people in the world and who totally understands you even without conversations. But then things happens so quickly, you wonder if you are watching a horror movie or ‘ex machina’ animation version, you don’t see the realistic ending coming when it hits you. And believe me it hits you hard.

And finally, Jojo Moyes’ novels ‘Me before you’ and ‘After you’. I can’t remember the last time I cried so much while reading a novel. There’s a movie version coming out this year. But movies are never better than books. And anyways, Lou and Will are not those actors in my imagination. The book is a modern day Pride and Prejudice for me in the sense, that both characters are so endearing and loveable. Poor Lou, someone manages to scratch beyond the surface and see her for the amazing person that she is and love her for the first time. And same for Will, but they are passing ships… such a heart breaking story!

After all these very romantic stories, here goes my juvenile romantic dream. I am not sure if I should even call it romantic! I think ‘sweet’ or ‘funny’ is a better word!  I saw my crush from college in my dream yesterday. My friends were visiting me and he was in the group. It wasn’t my real life home but some house I’ve never seen before. In the dream I was sure it was my house. But I am digressing. So, I began cooking noodles since that was the only thing I had. And he was the only one on my mind as I was trying to make the best noodles that I could. But then he got a call and told me he had to leave right away! I saw him to the door wishing he could stay longer and thinking this was probably the last time I’d be seeing him. He was gone quite a distance. And I was looking at him with all these wishes probably, I was feeling them! and I knew he knew!. (Delusion much! ) And I don’t know what came over me, I signed ‘I love you’, with my hands! Creepy? yes! But also practical! I don’t think I could have shouted out… I am not a shouter! I don’t know why I thought I shouldn’t let him go without saying something! But he surprises me and signs back the ‘I love you’.

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Romantic songs

It’s way past midnight… and sleep’s eluding me. So, this is what I am doing- attempting  to translate a couple of classic Nepali songs sung by the maestro, Late Narayan Gopal aka Swor Samrat (vocal king)! I find it almost beyond my ability! (with my Nepali not being the best and English being okish)…finally, I also see the literal translation doesn’t have the poetic beauty of the song….Anyways, listening to his songs took me down memory lane. His songs are sad romantic kind. At one time I used to share the room with my aunty and she used to play his songs. Because I was a kid and not cerebrally and emotionally develped and experienced, I could not bear to hear his songs and used to wonder why anyone listened to ’em. I thought they were most depressive. Now ofcourse I get ’em and find ’em beautiful. One person aptly descibed his songs. “Heartbreaking and mesmerising”.

One of my favourites is ‘Euta manchhe Ko maya le”, the song translates to “one person’s love makes much difference in life”. ‘Parkhi Base aula bhane’, ‘yeti dherai maya’, ‘aljechha kyaare’, ‘kehi mitho baat gara’ and many others are equally unique. There are songs from all over the world which are technically better, more relatable, more meaningful and sung by immensely talented singers but I find myself time and again listening to his songs only and nothing else. This led me to wonder about the reason. It must be his singing voice, isn’t it the most soothing?.The music, lyrics, arrangements, nothing matters, I guess he just had to sing and it was par excellence. He kinda had that King Midas touch, turning everything he touched into gold. Or should I say he sang like an angel? And his voice is like a balm to human hearts whether they are hurting or not. 

Literal translation 
Ma ta Lali Gurans bhayechhu

Ma ta Lali Gurans bhayechhu (I’ve become
a red rhododendron)
Banai bhari fuli dinchhu (I’ll flower all over a forest)
Manai bhari fuli dinchhu (I’ll flower all over a heart)
Ma ta lali gurash bhayechhu

Faat harule kaslai pugchha ( Are plains enough for anyone?)
Bhir ma pani fulidinchhu (I’ll flower in the slopes too)
Khusi matra kaha hunchha (How can there  be happiness only?)
Pir ma pani fuli dinchhu (I’ll also flower in grief/pain)

Heri dine kohi bhaidiye (If there is anyone to see)
Nali vitra fuli dinchhu (I’ll flower within the drains)
Laai dine kohii vaidiye (If there is anyone to wear it)
Siudo vari fuli dinchhu (I’ll flower all over siudo)

Trivia: Red rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal. They grow in forests. Khaptad National park in western Nepal is the only place in the world which has over 26 varieties of the flower.

Timilai ma ke bhanu

Timilai ma ke bhanu (what do I say you are)
Phool bhanu ki Joon bhanu (shall I say flower or moon)
Upama dherai ma ke diu (what numerous titles shall I give)
Timilai mann ki mayalu bhanu (shall I say you are heart’s lovely)
Timilai ma ke bhanu (what do I say you are)

Phool phuleko mausamma (weather in which flowers are blooming)
Yo saanjhako sital batabaranma (this afternoon of cool environment )
Yo mannlai kasari samhaalu Ma ( how do I control this heart?)
Napee behos behos bhaye Ma ( without drinking am getting tipsy

Kahile nachhutne nasaa bhanu ki (shall I say unseverable addiction)
Phool bhanu ki Joon bhanu (shall I say flower or moon)
Upama dherai ma ke diu (what numerous titles shall I give)
Timilai mannki mayalu bhanu (shall I say you are my heart’s lovely)
Timilai ma ke bhanu

Kehi jhuke jhukeka nazar (some low lowered gaze)
Kehi bolna khojda kaapeka adhar (trembling lips while trying to speak)
Dui aankhaka gahira taal bich (within the deep lakes of the two eyes)
Nasaki tarna dube dube ma (being unable to cross it, I drowned)
Kahile nachhutne tirsana bhanu ki (shall I say inseparable intense desire)
Phool bhanu ki Joon bhanu
Upama dherai ma ke diu
Timilai mannki mayalu bhanu
Timilai ma ke bhanu

Euta mancheko mayale

How to get distracted

You know how it goes, you are watching a video in youtube and suddenly you are watching other videos that came up in the related links. Since #backoffIndia is trending, I was browsing Nepali news channels and then I found this old Nepali song ‘Kun mandir ma’ sung by Mr Robin Sharma which is a poem by Nepal’s greatest poet Laxmi P. Devkota. Need I say that it has become my favourite song.

It is such a beautiful poem. I am sure it can be interpreted more intelligently and in much depth but I love whatever little I’ve understood and find it soothing to the soul. Religions are so confusing, remember the Hindi movie PK where a human like alien gets stranded on earth and is befuddled by different religious practices and beliefs and doesn’t know how to go about getting what he wants from God because one religion says one thing and another the exact opposite in their different ideas of pleasing God. When infact human beings pray to the same God and religion is just a cultivated habit, a method we adopt because it is familiar (by means of observations or teachings), and is an easy or comfortable option among the available options to us. An element of nurture! Many people including me have gone through confusion and religious ambiguity. It must be natural when you have so many questions and you believe in God too. But I think a person comes to a decision ultimately and is in peace with it. One’s frame of mind cannot be like a vibrating tuning fork forever, no?

Anyways, in this song we are being urged to look to ourselves rather then going to a temple, with emphasis on hard work, good deeds, humanity, etc. A little translation below

“Which temple will you go to, pilgrim?
Which temple should one go to?
What goods for the prayer?
How will you take them with you?

The beautiful Pillars of bones
The Walls of flesh
The golden Roof of brain
The Doors of sense organs
The liquid waves of vein rivers
The Temple itself untraversable”

See what the poet did there? He gave a little lesson in anatomy as well. Sweet! And Mr Robin Sharma has that wonderful voice. Check out the video!

L.P. Devkota, the nation of Nepal is indebted to him. If he were someone other than a Nepalese, he would have been a Noble laureate surely, I mean without the language constraint! The movie ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ kind of reminds me of him, in terms of luck not being in his favour and he being much ahead of his time. But it is said that he was the kindest man one could find. A story goes that he had nothing and no steady income, still he took off his coat and gave it to a beggar in the street. And many more. Simplicity, patrotism, kindness, humanity, progressivenss, he paved the way for all the Nepalese youths. I personally believe his essay ‘Is Nepal small?’ which was in our school curriculum accounts for the patrotism we Nepalese youths have and believe to be innate. And who can forget the snippet from ‘Muna Madan’ where a high caste person touches the feet of someone not of his stature? Not heard of at that time and until many decades afterwards. A Nepalese is proud of many things, I found one more reason today, we are of the country where these legends were born and they were great humans inspite of everything. And we have their works that graces our lives and gives us that soulful connection.

About dramas and life imitating art

I have watched too many free stuffs on youtube, I mean many East Asian TV dramas; Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, etc, more than is good. I fear I may have unintentionally become somewhat of an expert on the subject, not that anyone has asked for my expert opinion ever. Ofcourse I’ve weaned myself off this hobby
a long time ago but the memories remain! It was good while it lasted and interesting and educative. I overdid it and there can be only one fate when you do a thing excessively. The threshhold of boredom was reached!

Looking back, I think I was first pulled into it by the visuals of beautiful people (unbelievably beautiful) and kept on watching when I found out how relatable the family system, culture, friendship and personal equations shown in the stories were, not to mention the opportunity to get an insight to foreign cultures it presented. I had this one misconception that people usually have of other people from foreign countries. I thought that East Asians were unemotional and cold. Probably because of the tourists of those regions to my country I noticed at a young age, who with their cameras and cotton hats (which frustrates me as much as the fringe haircut on Asian girls, the frequency!) used to remain aloof and indifferent and never interacted with the locals unlike say Europeans or Americans. I’m glad to say I was rid of my misconception after watching the many dramas. I may have even said “Oh! They are like us!”

Any ways, these are off topic trivia and personal opinions. But while I am at it, let me shoot out one more. One of my favourites, a veteran Hindi film and drama actor Naseeruddin Shah when asked what he thought was important about movies said that the things in reels served as archives and it was important they represent the time period and society and everything in it with honesty and truth for future reference and for generations to come or something to this effect. (I am bad at verbatim), Among the dramas I’ve watched, I thought Japanese and Taiwanese were more interesting than the Korean and Chinese dramas. Taiwanese dramas were fun and realistic (I am a sucker for anything realistic, no sci-fi or fantasy stuffs for me!), I found Korean dramas OTT and stretched, and Chinese Dramas strange and surprisingly unprogressive, and Japanese atleast cracked the code with the drama length! But I wonder if and how much these dramas are representing the real societies truthfully. I am curious about these things! No reason.

My favourite Korean drama is ‘What happened in Bali’. It is not without flaws but for whatever reason, it is unforgettable. The climax is awesome!  One day, I was on my way to a supermarket, you know walking and thinking about random stuffs. And suddenly the stuffs about this drama popped into my head out of nowhere. I was like “Wow! That was interesting!”. Talk about late reaction!

The Korean romantic dramas almost always have the same story, a rich boy and a poor girl or a rich girl and a poor boy. I feel like they are selling dreams to a certain class of people. When you are young, you are happy to live vicariously through these stories. But now as I get older, I refuse to be taken for a ride. In real life people rarely venture out of their circle or social strata. I think people are usually looking for someone as good as if not better than themselves. As good as oneself means one’s equal, is it not? I feel feeding Cinderella like fairy tales to people again and again and again does more harm than good and serve only to deflect them from reality. And don’t get me started on Chinese drama. I have a problem with the portrayal of females in the drama. A stinking rich guy comes along and the female has no problem being jerked around and treated as a doormat. Ugghh! Dramas like these make you realize what you do not want in your life.

It is very easy to wish for a miracle. More than you, if your loved ones are going through difficult times and if they are not able to catch a break and you are not in a position to help at present, would you take the easy way out? I mean get hitched to a person with means and money like in the dramas, to avail yourself of his help and suppose he is not bad to look at. I imagined this scenario (thank you over active imagination!) and my whole post was leading to this question. It wouldn’t be bad, right? But is it good? The situation will always have a lingering scent of Bargain, Mercinariness, Calculation, right? I was thinking about it today. It is just a hypothetical question. But it’s come to my psyche because I see so much of this theme in dramas and come to notice some of it in real life too. How will life shape up? I thought long and hard. I cannot say after consciously taking such a decision, a person cannot be happy. Most likely he/she would. Life is all about changes they say. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to take the high road disregarding the temptations, no matter the magnitude and stake and take chances on yourself and not extricate yourself. If I ever find myself in such a situation which I doubt I will (I have the most wonderful parents who do not let me do any kind of sacrifice) I wish… you know what I wish.

This is me

I may have mentioned in my previous posts that I love stories. But here’s one more detail. I love love love stories! I love hearing stories, telling stories, reading stories, anything to do with stories. It is one of the things that has stayed with me since childhood. In the past, my appetite for stories more than for anything else could be described as voracious/gluttonous /rapacious. I think I was too fascinated and greedy, most likely due to an addictive trait that I have which I think is genetic (I have a theory on that). I used to read anything and everything I could lay my hands on, with much speed and fervour, not really quite learning and retaining, I realize. This choice that I made as a kid is probably the reason that I have a memory of a goldfish as an adult. Information overload caused some kind of explosion in my memory centre and that made it kind of dysfunctional ever since. I cannot retain information easily and for long, unless it’s powerful and means something to me. I forget people even friends who drift away except a selected few who are my absolute favourites, I think of my family less and less now because they are in a different country and only phone and skype conversations aren’t enough to make impactful impressions or move me. I sound cold but really I am not. I think I have the greatest capacity for love if I may say so myself. Unhealthy, frightening, destructive kind of capacity even (yes! I’ve suspected for sometime). But definitely, most times it’s out of sight, out of mind for me. So, now you know about my affliction, which I have diagnosed myself (mental pat on the back!).

There are times when I get together with my best friend and she’ll be like “do you remember the time when this and this happened?” And I’ll be like “No! I don’t remember at all. Tell me”. Or when I am watching a movie that I know I’ve watched before but I cannot for the life of me remember the plot and all of a sudden I get excited to know what happens next! (every dark cloud has a silver lining!! Yey!).
I sound like a probable patient of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease but believe me I am not. If that was the case, it’d be a different story. I may be exaggerating my case considering my penchant for exaggerating my feelings. But the two instances are true.

This is me, a normal ordinary person in the race of exhibitionism (E is what my generation inadvertently does), sharing personal views, opinions, and some details of my private life, dreams, frustrations and aspirations but also in a tiny way saving my memories and opinions at specific times for myself. Because I do not trust my own brain capacity, because I fear I will forget my thoughts yet again and old memories will be replaced to make way for new memories! Because being the unexpressive, ineloquent and reserved person that I am and a bit lazy to top it off I collect notebooks but do not turn them in
to physical journals. So many because…

A Trip, a decision

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A little bit of an airhead (or maybe much), a very sheltered person who took most things seriously and when not serious, came up with ideas; some stupid, some naughty, some nice to carry out with friends. That was me! I had a group of friends that did most things together. Why am I getting nostalgic? Of those days when we used to laugh and laugh till our stomachs hurt and in between laughs told each other we’d live a long life because of course laughter was the best medicine and laughter increased life expectancy. Those school days when we used to be carefree and used our brains only to solve math problems and memorise stuffs. Those growing up years were years of obliviousness, ignorance, unawareness and so, of happiness!

No, no I am not complaining nor am I saying I was happy then and not happy now. If anything I am quite liking the process of knowing my own mind. This includes realising that though I think independence and freedom are most important to a person, I have been somewhat faint of heart and have always protected myself and been happy being safe and content. Like happiness and intellectual thinking were two mutually exclusive stuffs, I tend to not think about things on an intellectual level when I am happy and am unbothered, dare I say, like animals going on about their lives, grazing or doing what they do, devoid of consciousness and awareness. I hope to change this aspect of my life. Maybe I will go on a trip to an unknown place by myself. Of course, I don’t find it enjoyable to go to interesting places alone. Who do you share your observations or jokes with if you are alone? But if putting myself in unfamiliar and unsure surroundings and situations alone will help me be brave, strong and experienced. I am gonna go for it. So, watch this space.

Now, getting back to the main story, a few months back I decided to be impulsive and spontaneous and go to a temple on top of a mountain in a district neighbouring my hometown. This was before my epiphany so, I asked my little brother (who had much free time on his hands) to accompany me. It became a road trip for us (we took a motorbike, Bajaj Pulsar), a trip where we both didn’t know the way to our destination. We planned to set out in the morning and return by evening/night of the same day. But that didn’t go out as planned and the one day trip became a two day trip. The trip was everything; fun, excruating, regretful, enriching, you name it.

Things that happened on the trip
-I woke up very early, long before the alarm went off on both mornings. Talk about divine calling.

-We started our journey by descending down the hill on the spiral road and reached hewa river in no time. After crossing the hewa river bridge, the spiral road went up the hill. Soon, we were on the back part of the hill, the shady side. We were going through villages, whose names I had only heard of. My brother like many young boys is an avid biker. He loves speed. Since it was early in the morning and the cold wind was whacking us, I took out a warm scarf and wrapped it around his neck and wrapped a Kashmiri shawl around myself. But an extra helmet would have worked better on hindsight because I did get headaches.

We were going up and down the hills on the snake like road. I enjoyed the speed we were travelling at and the scenery of the hills but after a while the same sight of the humongous hills was monotonous. The big hills were vertigo inducing. I must have stayed too many years away from my home town that I, who have grown up among these hills was getting nauseous on seeing them so close.

-On the way, we got glimpse of the Kanchenjunga moutain range (pic above, which has the third highest mountain in the world) though afar and snowclad in its glory. When we reached the Kabeli river, we stopped to rest where my brother ordered tea for himself at a roadside restaurant. Guess there are only so many hours you can ride a bike before your body gets stiff especially your back and buttom.
 

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-We reached Taplejung and went though the town to the airport area. Beyond Sukhetar airport, the road was rough and full of rocks. And it got even worse as we went further. Where the rocky road ended the muddy road began and since it had rained the night before, the road was full of puddles of water which were like little swamps. In many places, the bike was in danger of getting swamped or skidding. Whenever the bike would get swamped, I would get off and my brother would navigate it out of the swamp. He indeed is an excellent biker.

-There are two bases (fedi); lower base and upper base before you reach the mountain top. We had planned to take the bike as far as lower base but the road was so bad we decided to leave it before that point and made our way on foot. Apparently, there were 2 paths, the long one going around the hill, and the shorcut up the hill. We took the shortcut but I found it very difficult to walk uphill. It took me forever to walk even a small distance. My brother unlike me walked fast and would wait for me. He was surprised to see me struggling and was worried because this was just the beginning of the road uphill. There was a small shop on the way so he ordered tea. And as we were waiting, he suddenly said “this will not do” . Because we had planned to return the same day, speed was of utmost importance and he asked me to wait there and he himself went back to get the bike. We were going to take it as far as we could after all.

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And I dozed off in a chair. It took my brother about an hour to get back with the bike. I had enjoyed a really good nap by that time and my headache was gone! Then, we were on our way again. From the lower base we had to make our way on foot.

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-It’s customary to not eat anything when you are going to a temple to pray. What we didn’t keep in mind was how difficult it was going to be to walk uphill for hours without energy. By afternoon we knew we had not even come halfway uphill and we will have to stay overnight! That was when we had the first meal of the day.

-Since winter had barely begun and It was still warm in my home town we decided to travel light. We didn’t heed the advice of my brother who had been to the temple before to take more warm clothes. I thought it was just few hours walk uphill and we could endure it. But yes, after we took a room in a hotel we wasted no time and got under our blankets. I didn’t even want to wake up and go down for dinner.

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-Going to a place in the Himalayas where the God lives was surely not gonna be easy, this is the great Himalayan trail after all. It turned out to be the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but I had my little brother who was my messiah on this journey! It may have been hard but now I have some idea why people go on adventures. It was just a two day trip and I came back with blessings, experience, many stories to tell and memories, the best ones with my little brother.

-A picture is worth a thousand words. Some pictures taken by my brother, I didn’t care about taking pictures. I was just glad that I didn’t die of sheer exhaustion.
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Old Hindi movies

I am listening to two old Hindi songs on repeat mode as I am writing! More on the songs later.

Movies play a big role in our part of the world where it is a major and sometimes the only form of entertainment. When I was growing up, all my family members; mom, sometimes dad, brothers, cousins, uncles and aunties used to sit and watch a movie together. And almost every Saturday, I and my girlfriends from school used to get together and rent a movie and watch it (the local cinema had stopped running Hindi movies altogether).

These past few days when I had no college, I spent it watching some old Hindi movies! These are the movies I hadn’t watched before. Apparently when you are watching alone, you end up watching things besides comedy, thriller or drama. These movies were socially relevant and thought provoking kind and beautiful too!!! For me, Rekha is the only other mesmerising Indian actress besides Madhubala. It was her movies that I watched, of the 70s and 80s. Of course I loved the two movies I watched; ‘Ghar’ and ‘Ijaazat’. What more I am still mentally in the zone of influence; the thinking, analyzing phase.

‘ghar’
-I found all the songs melodious, Kishore kumar at his best! My favourite tracks are ‘Aap ki aankhon mein’ and ‘Phir wohi raat hai’. I am listening to these two songs currently. In the 1st track, the newly married couple are so much in love and just beginning their married life, it is very romantic. The latter is where the husband is helping his wife to rehabilitate after she has been raped by a group of thugs and loving her like before.

-It is possible to fall in love with a dead celebrity. Yes, it may be transient and it may be because of the character he potrays in the movie. But Vinod Mehra has won me over. He has a killer smile and he is a husband so loving and understanding. Do husbands like the one he potrays even exist in the real world?

-This movie was made in the 70s when the society was much more conservative. Being an unwed mother or a divorcee(female) were unacceptable enough, I shudder to think what it must have been like for rape victims and her family then. Of course, things have not changed much, the right to live of the rape victim is questioned let alone happily.

-The chemistry between the lead actors is off the chart. It leaves you yearning and wishing for the kind of love they have and you cannot help but day dream. The stuffs of dreams!!!

I leave my thoughts on ‘Ijaazat’ for some other day.