Monday, November 3, 2014

A short story

The door bell rang and I opened my front door with glee. "Was this it? Had she arrived?" I wondered expectantly. The FedEx girl looked at me like a dentist looks at a candy-loving 5-year old visiting her for the first time. She seemed to have a frown for every one of my teeth (in case you were wondering, the two dental references are unrelated). "Sign here" she ordered. I gave her the longer, more eloquent version of my signature. She pulled back the pad impatiently before I could finish, dropped the package angrily, as though punishing me for her bad day and stomped off. 

On another day, I would have given a shit, but today I had none to spare. There she was, packaged resplendently in glittering peerless cardboard that I couldn't wait to strip off. I lifted the package to the pre-cleared living room centre, then admired her from all angles for a minute, took a deep breath and got to work with my favorite knife. 

The assembly took me just over six minutes. Though this wasn't my first time, I was extra careful, ensuring that all the pieces went to their rightful places. When I was done, I stepped back a couple of feet and turned around as though presenting my new bike to the fan-boys. "Apple has today revolutionized yet another industry" I announced loudly in my head as the imaginary audience went beserk. "After sucking the marrow out of computing, music, movies, television broadcasting and the phone industry, we though to ourselves-what is left? The choice was obvious. We need better bicycles So today, after years of work by overpaid engineers and dying underpaid labourers, we unveil before you the iBike" The audience erupts as I pick my nose and scratch my butt crack. 

Five minutes later, I am dashing down the street in my Bianchi Vertigo 105 sporting my cycling attire. I have always wondered how the more sport-serious your attire, the dumber you look. It's as though the designers deliberately make you stand out from the normal sane-dressing crowd, so that you are recognizable to your similarly terribly outfitted brethren. Fully geared, I was prepared for injuries, listening to music, dehydration, rainy weather and I even had those specialized glasses that increased my range of viewing. However, I pretty much looked like one of those unimportant ambassadors from a forgettable planet in Star Wars. Not that I really gave much thought to how I looked, you know. 

It was a magnificent day, I was in my element... whatever that means! I wonder if chemists agree with that idiom. Whatever! It was just the right amount of cool, not chilly, not warm. I was cycling along a spectacular route. I cycled along several little bridges, criss-crossing some quiet residential areas and passing though some dense tree-laden areas towards the city. As I sped along, the breeze kissed my forehead and the wind brushed my arms. My muscles ached a bit, but it was the good sort of ache, you know, when the body realizes pain and the brain releases these hormones, dopamine, seratonin and stuff like that. I don't know the details, but I sure felt that my brain was doing the right thing. It felt great and I felt invincible and then...BANG!!

I was thrown about 10 feet from the crossing. I was hit by a bus, a frikkin' bus. I guess I wasn't invincible after all. A crowd gathered and I was dragged to the sidewalk. I felt bloody from the inside, outside, everyside. There was this gigantic pool of blood at my feet. I was almost waiting for an alien to emerge out of it then quickly dismissed my stupid hollywood-inspired imagination. It was amazing that I wasn't dead. I then got up to thank the stranger who had helped me to the sidewalk and noticed that he was wearing this ominous cloak and had a scythe by his side.

He smile gently. I freaked out. Oh! But this was halloween weekend. Haha.. HAHA! I laughed to myself, then looked closer. The stranger had a skeleton face. OMG! I was dead and this was death. 

Surprisingly, it didn't take me long to get over it. I was always a practical person and hey! it's not like I could do anything about it. I walked to my body a few feet away. I looked awful. I ran back to death with horror in my eyes. He hugged me and patted me on my back. "There there!" he said in his hollow but soothing voice, "Always be careful while crossing the street"

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The best movie ever

I have never been involved in the making of a movie, not even for a class project. Neither do I understand what goes into making a successful feature film. I also realize that everyone's taste in movies is different and there couldn't possibly be a formula for a good film, let alone an amazing one. The business is uber-competitive and uncertain and actors, producers, writers and visual effects directors have an excruciatingly difficult task already and don't need an inexperienced, conceited moron to tell them how to do their job. However, today I am going to be that moron. 

The main character would have the wit of Dr. Gregory House, the heart of Alan Shore, the charm of Tony Stark, the mystery of Omar Little, the coolness of Barney Stinson (I correctly believe that the word you expected me to use to describe Mr. Stinson is overused), the internal conflict of Batman and the brilliance of Marvin. This role would have to be played by a woman, because if a male character could possibly possess all these qualities believably, he would have had a hit show already. Her name would be Helen for no particular reason. 

Helen's good friend Rajesh, on whom she has a secret crush, would have the intolerability of Sheldon Cooper, the 'whatever it is that we like about him'-ness of Stewie Griffin, the sarcasm of Chandler Bing and the brute strength of Daya (this one's for the fans of CID, a 'hit' Indian show). The film wouldn't have any romance because that's too mainstream. Also no sex, because we have porn for that.

The villain would be a rich evil tyrant, born that way. No tragic past or lust for revenge, just greedy and cold-blooded by birth. He's totally powerful but apathetic and yearns for a challenge.

There would be prophesy predicting that a young boy from the farmlands of China would someday put an end to the tyranny of the aforementioned rich evil tyrant. Unfortunately this boy is born with a deadly disease and passes away before his fourth birthday.

The movie would have plenty of '...that's what she said' jokes because it would have to be timeless and those jokes never get old. The rest of the jokes would be written by Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld and George Carlin. No Russel Peters please... he's racist.  

There would be enough gore to make 300 look like a children's movie and enough action to make Kill Bill seem like a romantic comedy. There would be some transformers too because everyone likes them. I'd throw in some werewolves and vampires too... the ones who wear clothes and don't cry every 10 minutes. 

There you have it! The ingredients for the perfectly successful film. It's got to be successful. It has all the ingredients. I'd even hire the best authors to write the script because I don't want to wait for the novel from which to make my film.

This film would suck because it tries too hard to be a good. It believes that putting things together that are known to be good guarantees success. Making a movie is like cooking. You may have the best ingredients and follow the recipe perfectly and you may still end up with a mediocre dish. Occasionally the ingredients may carry the dish or the recipe might be honed and perfected over 10 generations, but a great dish requires a great cook. A cook who can improvise and prioritize, who takes failure in his stride and knows when to let go of his creation and yet one who doesn't give up easily. Not surprisingly as things go, even great cooks have bad days.

A movie is like a dish. So is life!

PS: I don't watch Game of Thrones... yet!

About Me

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I am Arjun P. Kamath, and I am a nice guy to know.