Sunday, February 18, 2024

Three of Us

Last night, I watched the movie Three of Us. It's a Hindi film that was released in November last year.

(By the way, I don't understand why a Hindi film should have an English title. There is nothing in the movie to justify it, either. There are many such Hindi and Malayalam films. Possibly, it is because of the demands of today's English-dominated Internet.)

Anyway, that was a digression. 

The film is about Shailaja Patankar (acted by Shefali Shah), a middle-aged woman from Mumbai who has been diagnosed with an early stage of dementia. 

As her memory fades slowly, one day, it occurs to her that she should visit the small town of Vengurla, some 100 km from Goa, where she did her schooling. She left the place 28 years ago.

The film is about all that she finds as she travels back in time.

The film is about nostalgia. It's much more than just memories or thoughts. It's about actual reality. 

It's also about the idea of time. "Later" is something that we take for granted, little realising that there might not be a "later time".

The movie is on Netflix and has English subtitles. It is a short film - 1 hour 39 mins. I hope it's available worldwide.

Sunday, January 28, 2024


Around 8 pm, the doorbell rang. My wife was wondering who might have come at that hour. 

Upon opening the door, there was my son's friend VB at the door. (My son works in Sydney, Australia.)

My wife was pleasantly surprised to see VB and told him, "Come on in!"

But VB sort of hesitated and told my wife, "There is someone who has come with me to meet you."

For a moment, she thought, who could it be.

There is a common friend of my son and VB who we knew was in the city. So, my wife's first thought was it must be him. 

And then, from behind, emerged our son, with his baggage and all.

It was supposed to be a big surprise, and it very much was!

Only a few days ago, he was on one of the regular video calls with us! And here he is!

It was so surreal; my wife couldn't believe what was happening.

I was in my office, and I wasn't told about our son's arrival. 

When I returned home from work at 2 am, as I always do, I couldn't believe it when I saw my son!

He had booked the flight tickets as early as October, and he didn't give us even the slightest hint all these months. 

Only two of his friends knew, and they all kept it a well-guarded secret.

Have you been surprised like this? Or, have you surprised someone?

(Illustration from Freepik)

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Inside the Magic of Bengaluru's Chitra Santhe

What makes a work of art sell? This is something that I have always wondered about. 

Is it something that depicts reality as it is? Or something that depicts reality with a little or a lot of distortion? Or, is it something that is totally unrelated to reality?

Maybe all of these sell. It depends on what you are looking for.

All these thoughts came to my mind when I went to Bengaluru's Chitra Santhe last Sunday, Jan 7. 

That's the famous art fair of the city, wherein artists from all around the country come to showcase their work. The last time I went there was almost 10 years ago. 

This was the 21st edition of the event. It's organised by Karnataka Chitrakala Parishad in January every year. 

The entire stretch of road of over a kilometre in front of the KCP turns into a market of sorts with artists displaying their works on both sides of the street.

Every year, there is a huge number of visitors, especially in the evening. This year, apparently, some four hundred thousand people came for this single-day event.

Everyone from the curious to the aficionados come over. Why not? Because art isn't about one particular form, nor has it any limits. It exists both on canvas as well as on one's mind.

Though these artists are selling their work, they are not into it for money. It's pure passion, like for one of the artists who had come to display his works at the Chitra Santhe. Back home, his studio is next to the provision store that he runs for a living.

There was another artist who actually runs a small IT solutions company which executes projects for some of the well-known names in the industry.

Yet another was someone who had worked his way up from being a wall painter. Probably buoyed by his self-confidence, he had an enthusiastic demeanour about him. 

There was quite a buzz around his booth, and many of his works were getting sold out. They were all vignettes from various aspects of our daily lives, depictions that radiated contrast and brightness.

One of the artists told me that it's not the experts who mostly buy their works; it's the layperson, who has simply fallen in love with the creation and doesn't want to leave without possessing it.

The connoisseurs, on the other hand, spend time at the booth, staring at the works, admiring them, chatting with the artists about the intricacies and layers of the strokes and the curves.

Even if they leave without a buy, the conversation usually ends with an exchange of contact details and a firm assurance to pick up from where they left off sooner rather than later.

As one of the artists told me, "Money takes care of the material needs, but it's those smiles and nods of appreciation that stay with us forever."