Saturday, November 27, 2010

Now, more snow...

I was high on a lone adventure yesterday night. Reached home at 3.30 AM. Muzammil and Soma was still awake. True to her understanding of me, Soma had a clear guess where I could have been and she was right. I was at Leazes Park, lying alone on a bed 10-inch snow near the frozen lake amidst the naked trees holding the feathers from the heaven hearing to the wind and the ‘slient’ movement of swans and ducks. Soma was so clear in mind that I was there. Well, my best friend she is. Snow, snow wasn’t an illusion. It belonged to me and will stay mine, silently. It will vanish in no time, with a promise to be back again. The whole scenery looked so alienated from the city space holding the look and feel of a frame from some Dracula film.

After work, when we left the restaurant it was 12.30 Am. It was snowing heavily and the whole road was blocked. Naturally no taxies were around, Thanks. So we all decided to walk home. The white features of sky and the festive mood of night at Newcastle was so seductive. So mid-way, I said good-bye and turned towards ‘Sinners’. Well, ‘Sinners’ is the only pub I visit here in this city coz of its row nasty dirty ambience, cheap beer and my lone corner to move to the music. As always I stopped with a pint and walked out to hug the snowy night.

While walking back playing with the snow ball and photographing the white carpet around I encountered the emptiness of Leazes Park waving to my solitude. There is genuine reason for my addiction to lone, silent, haunted spaces being a metaphor to me myself. Through the 10 inch white carpet of snow I scrolled towards the lakeside. As expected, the view was breath taking. For a moment I did miss someone to share it with. I walked around the lake and lied down on snow for a while. Photographed in that low light, as much as possible. The snow was still virgin, untouched and smooth, straight form the sky. I touched the water in the lake. It was frozen. The bed of snow had a florescent feel to it reflecting the mild light still trapped in the sky.

I cannot explain the view that I enjoyed with mere words. I tried to capture it on my mobile cam. But trust me, it has no life. I was telling Soma the other day. “I guess snow is the only thing that I am not confident to capture on camera with its real charm and flavour. On camera the white reflective colour keeps everything flat to the eyes of audience. ”As I got out from the Park, met three Chinese guys and a girl whom I could make friendship with. It was good fun.

It was a great memorable day, started with an adorable status msg from my best friend Swarna in facebook. “Swarna miss UK. All thanks to Arun Bose” for that I replied “In UK, Arun Bose miss UK too, all thanks to Swarna.” The day ended with a night at Leazes Park whispering to my solitude and snow… It was worth living… Life is beautiful.

Seeing my short film “No More Snow”, filmmaker friend Matthew Burge from South Shield and his partner Melanie said, “the English way is to enjoy when the sun is out, snow happens every year.” The problem here is, “I am not born English. Naturally I won’t be able to behave English. I’m meant to be mesmerized by snow… Now, more Snow….”


It was the first day of Soma at studio with me. I liked that surprise look on her face, seeing the unconventional collaborative process-led way of filmmaking that was new to her. As always we got into some serious action plan together. Everybody together worked on our new animation film plans and sketched. I could be a kid again plunging into the ocean of colours with Claire's paintbrushes. As always ended up crafting the same old Keralan landscape familiar to heart...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


My flatmate and brother, Tanweer Ahmad told me that I sometimes end up degrading myself in front of others while going to all extends of making friends. He said this to me on the day after Halloween party night at university. I asked him “How?” He said, “I don’t know, but in your drunken state, yesterday night, you were communicating too much with that street musician.” After hearing this I asked Tanweer, “Can you remember his name?” For that he nodded “No”. I asked Soma and Muzammil, who were with us then, the same question. The answer was still “no”. I said, “He is Tim.”

This is something crazy that happened with me on Halloween night. While returning back home after the party at late night we met this cello musician at Northumberland Street. He was playing music to the street for money. In my drunken mood I dragged my friends towards him and asked them to listen to him. I don’t remember everything fully but I do remember inviting young girls and boys who were returning home from various pubs to listen to his music. Tanweer told me that I created a crowd around him and made everyone talk to him. I was sitting with him and talking about his music until my friends pushed me away. He was as a warm and friendly gentle man to talk with. He then told me his name, “Tim”.

On next Friday, at 4.30 pm, on my rush hour from studio to the restaurant, I met Tim near Monument. I called him. We had a good chat sitting at the street again. He shared his life, experiences, music and most interestingly a lot of inputs about his other job – puppetry. He seemed so excited talking to me about himself. While leaving he gave me a card showing his puppet models and shared his phone number, promising that he will some day do music with me.

Yesterday I met Tim again. He smiled at me. He tried to remember my name “Let me remember your name, Aaaroon right”. I said “Yes, but you can call me Arun insteadJ”. He laughed. As usual, Tim was playing at Northumberland Street for money. Yet, he didn’t let me put any coins in his tray. On the other hand talked to me about his plans of buying a new mobile phone. Asked my suggestions on what model to get with the money he gathered. I felt so touched. Isn’t that true friendship? God gave me so many friends… He has no other business but shower friends all around me. J Well, God is definitely my best buddy. He is Eric, he is Tim. He is you…too…… if you are there in my life. Let me stay addicted to your smiles.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Choice to choose

Its 2.00 AM now. I’ve just finished watching one of my favourite film ‘Rock On’ with friends Soma and Tanweer sitting in my room. I’m not feeling sleepy yet. Today is a day I could learn two things about myself. The first is that my joy in filmmaking is not about the choice to make a film, but the choice of not doing a film. The second was that good feeling of hearing something from Pam, my friend Carlene’s mother.

I was chatting with a filmmaker friend from Kerala regarding a new concept I have in mind for a project that has possibilities of developing into a full-length film. He liked the concept and immediately responded that he can try getting me a producer and facilities to fulfil it, if I could do a compromise on script by changing it from my key idea of a theme centric story to a character centric story, where then the presence of a known actor can be explored for marketability. The whole idea of film is based on a very familiar English word. After a cup of a coffee I told him that I would rather wait with the same concept than doing a change. I did say this, “I'm happy that I still cherish the freedom of not doing this film”. My friend had a tough time to understand. He repeated the same question a few times, “What is that 'freedom' you are talking about?”

At studio after the screening of short film 'The Old Code' to cinematographer Chad, my friend Carlene’s mother came and told me that she recently purchased a collection of Laurel and Hardy after seeing The Old Code. She said that she never appreciated slapstick comedies during her younger ages and seeing Old Code was gaining her attention towards that genre. I naturally felt so blessed to contribute to the idea of Chris.

Life is all about choices and freedom of choices. I guess, the output follows on how sincerely one embraces his or her inner sense. I am now placed in the dilemma on a situation triggered by a phone call from Kerala. I hope everything end positive.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

System of chaos

Once while staying with my good friend Rayson at Camp Road Chennai, looking at the condition of our house and his room I argued that his disorderly nature has to be corrected. It was always been a situation of chaos and confusion for me there. For me everything was everywhere and nothing was anywhere. I told him that it is difficult to manage at such a condition together. Rayson was a person who threw stuff everywhere and I used to be the opposite. My mind is always indulged on some thought, hence I had to make it clear that my purse is at one corner and watch is at another corner. Every object that is related to me had to be in a specific place. If misplaced, that means, my day is gone. I strongly argued with Rayson that being systematic is very essential.

Rayson smiled and said, “Who told you that there is no system here? Chaos also has an inbuilt system. Ask me to pick up anything in this house, even a small needle. I can get it for you.” That was my first lesson on the system of chaos. Later I understood it through various experiences. I must admit that since then I always tried to correlate Rayson’s idea of the ‘system of chaos’ to a lot of other situations.

Looking at my country India, it is chaos everywhere. Probably, the only nation in the world that has so much of diversities to handle under the same rule. Naturally to place any system in place at a national perspective is not easy at all. I was actually trying to understand the very systematic Britain to the chaotic India. It is quite interesting to see that in India too things keep happening on time and according to the need, but not steady or systematic though. To be honest the most annoying thing for me here in UK is probably the lack of personal communications. Anything and everything end up in a call to a call centre.’ I agree that things do happen smoothly in UK through call centres. But there is something missing in between, the joy of eye to eye communicating with someone in person. In India too things keep happening... without any call centres but passing through various stages of chaos.

“Chaos has an inbuilt system”, today I agree with Rayson. System and chaos are two sides of coin – Choas has a system & the system has chaos too. Societies that live on chaos co-exists with the one that has system in place.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


Best evenings with my best friends... Swarna & Soma . I still keep calling Soma, Swarna :) by mistake, even now, since the time I have known her. Riding cycle beside Tyne river at Quayside is the most peaceful time today... It was nice touching the river. In fact I took a tiny sip of water, salty water. People say it is dirty... but I wanted that experience.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Coconuts..., But Where !!!

A few weeks back, one evening, while carrying some sacks of coconut on my head to the kitchen store of the restaurant for which I work, I thought about my village days. My father used to be so adamant that I must do everything by myself. He used to leave me at our ancestral home on weekends to take care of the farm. I used to spend a lot of time alone cleaning rubber sheets that had fungus or gathered coconuts, nut mugs, pineapples etc from the farm and carried on my head. He always used to leave the motorbike with me to go out and call autorickshaw to transport the coconut, pineapple or rubber sheets to the local store and do the sale. There were very few lucky Sundays that I could manage to finish work and return back home to watch the Malayalam film that started at 4 pm in television. Either I had to miss early morning Hindi film music program Rangoli or the evening Malayalam film, though I had an addiction for both. My Sundays had a disturbing end if by chance the electricity go off during my favourite program of the day, Surabhi at night 9.30 pm.

Though I hated the work at farm during my childhood, later I developed immense love for the art of agriculture. My stay away from home since the year 2000, never allowed me to have the same feel of soil and water again. But each time when I was at home on a holiday, my father made it a point to take me to the farm and get me involved in some activity. The agriculture scenario is not the same anymore as it was once. At those places where paddy or pineapples plants stood waving to the wind, there are concrete houses. I have seen this transformation in past ten years being an occasional visitor at my own land.

While carrying the sacks of coconut, I read the words written on that. “Made in Srilanka”. For a moment I was curious to know where there is any coconut exports from the land of coconut, Kerala. Producer to a consumer state- the transformation that is happening today could be an expensive scenario tomorrow. I must be blaming anyone including me for this. Where is that Arun who roamed around freely in the farm cutting pineapples and climbing nut mug trees? He had wounds on his hand caused by the thorny pineapple leaves. He always had sweat on his face. Last December before coming to UK, while I was at the village, I did climb a nut mug tree to the top chewing the flavour of its leaf.

With all my gains in life, I am sure I am missing a lot too… Yet in this journey of life, I have never came across anything better than watering a plant at the farm. Only for that feel, I do maintain a plant in my room wherever I stayed. There is a little money plant near my window that smile at me each time I sprinkle some water on her face.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Afternoon I got a msg from an young filmmaker named, Dwarakh Anath in Face Book,
"My short film "UNKNOWN" got selected to the final round in Minibox International Short filmfest.. You guys need to help me as every viewer counts me a hit.. so pls help me WATCHING THE FILM 'FULLY' and putting ur valuable FEEDBACKS. Thanks."

I truly enjoyed watching this film for the very peppy feel of the concept, music and dialogues. I could relate to it so well. Three months back, in Newcastle, I could save a love-relation that would have got spoiled completely because of distance. A friend who was at the point of break up, called me out for a coffee at night to have a chat about it. Her eyes were wet. Ironically, I was going through a similar state of mind. Yet, I told her a lot of things that came to my mind that I was been telling myself though my actual thoughts never came out as actions. While leaving back home, she told me that she could remember only one sentence that came from my mouth, "Poor fellow is busy and you are confused. If the one who knows him leave him today on a momentary thought and misunderstanding, who else would understand him tomorrow." When I said this, I hardly knew her boy friend. I also told her that, in case she is confident at her decision on break-up, that must not happen over an email or a phone call, but face to face on a friendly talk sharing what is going on in their minds so that they need not have to be hiding their faces from each other in future. The decision to live together was taken together, then how could one person alone decide on a break-up. Three weeks back, an early morning, I left her at National Express bus station, Newcastle for her bus to Heathrow for her flight to India. She give me a tight hug before getting into the bus and today I am so excited to know about their marriage in December, on a day that happens to be my birthday too. There is a crazy commercial film on dance, music and romance that came decades back in Tamil, where the guy tells the girl to count till ten before making her choices. That included the choice to hug him too. Though it sounded awkward then, today it seems to have some meaning to it. Decisions in life are always difficult to define. I can now reveal a weird habit I do follow during such tuff moments in my professional life. At the peak of a situation beyond my control, I quietly sneak in to the toilet so that nobody see me for five minutes and free myself of all cloths and make it feel "I came alone like this to earth without anything. I am not taking anything back too. Let me face this silently, sincerely." Trust me that always worked. I could look at the same task as a different person then. I am not asking anybody to try this, I know it sounds weird. If it is possible I would rather stand naked in the middle of an empty ground to make myself understand how small I am. My best friend, my twin soul and the parter of my loneliness, messaged me "Guess my body doesn't like me anymore. Don't know how long I can be with you. Please learn to live yourself." I said this, "Promise, I'll live for sure - laughing and making people laugh."

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Old Code

My best friend for past seven years, Deepu always says, “Macha, Be a villain or a hero, but don’t ever become a clown. I prefer me as a villain.” For that I always had this reply, “People can forget the hero and the villain, but not the clown. I would rather be that clown. I'm addicted to smiling and smiles.” Till date, neither he accepted my point nor I accepted his point. That was always been my relation with him. 100% a true Liberian-Sagittarian one. Our friendship happened from the college with his routine cigarette break outside the campus. Deepu and me are from two extremes fighting with each other on anything and everything, every single day since the very first day of our friendship. But the result of our togetherness was always been magical. At MCC we did projects together. The documentary we did on Bishop Heber Hall was more than a college project. It is the first video document on Hall Life in MCC. With the screening of our the film ‘Forever Heber’, at Heber Hall day 2003, we set a new trend of video screenings about Hall life in halls on their respective Hall Days, that is being followed religiously since then. From ‘Forever Heber’ we now reached ‘My Paper Boat’. Still busy in our arguments, strong as ever before. I was on phone with him, few minutes back. Blame it on our zodiacs - He is water and I’m fire. I do remember the same with my cousin Sharath too and somebody else who is special to me.

I wanted to write a blog on the film “The Old Code”, but after talking to Deepu his statement on clowns came to my mind. Even now I stick to my opinion and I thoroughly enjoyed performing as a clown ‘Lord Fredric Mongomery Smithers’ as called by the Director Chris and team. Well, more interesting was acting with my adopted daughter Char and brother Stuart, here in Newcastle. I also enjoyed being directed than direction, stepping down from all the tensions carried by director’s hat. Hence I had more than enough time on the set to fool around with everyone, the activity probably best suit me as my identity.

Of late, I had this realisation that most of my friends admire for me being crazy and goofy and expect me to be that way. For one or two months I was not been myself, this year. But the very moment I was back updating a status message ‘I scream, you scream we all scream for ice cream.’, I got a reply from a good friend “Oh God, you are back.” followed by the next one that gave me goose bumps “Walking with you grantees that I will have an extra year to live. You have no right to go.” More than understanding those comments on its surface level, it did realise me about my responsibility as an individual. It was a state of incarnation to recognize what I am probably good at and what I could be doing in future and what others admire me for.

Till now, I never pampered my sister, but she relate to me more with my craziness. Once at Dakshinchitra, while watching a dandiya performance by a Gujarthi community club, I saw my sister quietly following the steps in her mind. Without even telling her I pushed her into the group and asked her to follow what her intuition says. For the next half an hour she was dancing dandiya. Following her, a few other women joined from the crowd. My sister was silent while returning back, but she had a surprised smile on her face that I cannot forget for this lifetime. I have never gifted anything to my sister except for a few such moments and that is what she probably expects from me too. Two days back while returning back from the Hallooween party, late at night, I dragged my friend Soma to the middle of empty Nunsmoor Park and asked her to look at the stars. Well, how many of us are missing such views in life. we returned back touching all possible yellow leaves on the ground. At home once while the music of Yanni’s ‘Adiago in C Minor’ was playing I closed her eyes, spreading her hands, whispered in her ears, about my experience of watching the Atlantic sea from the tip of a cliff at Jurassic Coast. Soma did follow me so well, that she said she felt the ocean in front of her. I was making fun of her saying, I must teach her fiancĂ© the same trick to take it to another level :).

Actor/writer Srinivasan once said, “ The characters's tragedy is what we call audiences’ comedy.” My role model Chaplin (Deepu hates me for that) said, “I wish to cry in the rain so that no one see my tears.” I am not satisfied as a performer or an individual unless and until, I could make someone special smile… that might not happen ever again in life.