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Dear Sir Naipaul

You probably do not remember me. Correction. You definitely do not remember me. Unless I am mistaken, it would be truthful to say – you do not know me. Not in the least. But like so many readers of your literary genius, I am a huge fan. Which brings me to believe that I know you. I remember the very first time that I saw you. You were in a tweed jacket, strewn across the center page of Sunday(India), holding a glass of wine. Correction. It was not you, but your photograph in the stead. And clinging around it, was your interview. One which I cannot remember much about, except that it was not well received by the aam juntaa (the common man). As you will notice, being an aspiring writer myself, I have (rather discreetly if I may add) begun the use of colloquial words in otherwise routine sentences with no specific direction. And I digress !!

The reason I am sending you this note,  which really is a letter of apology is because of a collective feeling of guilt, emptiness and delight that I have experienced in the last few weeks. These emotions were dispersed over several sporadic instances. While some of these outbursts were set off  by a complete lack of control on my part, others were in fact well anticipated. As I write to you, I feel within myself an urge to bring out what has been inside, for days. I am ashamed for what I have pampered myself with and this is my confession !!

Forgive me, Sir Vidiadhar  for I have sinned ! I have spent several hours reading your books. One after the other. Most of them notable affiliates of your non-fiction empire. And during this time, (that is when I was soaking your words in), I was most comfortably situated in one corner of my humble abode. The corner that houses a white commode. Every day (and sometimes every night), as I commenced with the business of natural evolution, my eyes have devoured your writings with the speed of a high power evacuator. There was no stopping me, if you know what I mean !!

I know, that most your books have found their place in numerous academic syllabi. They have been provided with the highest form of ambience. And I wish to assure you, that it has been no different with this wonderful piece of masonry. The respect for your work is firm. For whatever it is worth, I do have an explanation. You see privacy has been a rarity since I immersed myself in matrimonial bliss and natural parenthood. Till the day, when I devised a way to transform my stay in the lavatory to what I like to call mini-vacation. True, it did induce some curiosity and a lot more concern from my spouse, who was used to my lightning speed visits for purposes of (for lack of better word) – Number 2. And for this I apologize !!

All fed said and done, I do wish to conclude this rather boorish correspondence. As far as my reading habits are concerned, I know it is not the best of the times. But believe me when I say, it is not also the worst of the times. Specially after a heavy dinner. I do believe that somewhere you will find in yourself the heart (and maybe the stomach) to forgive me. I would be relieved to know that you value my desire to experience gastronomical and intellectual ecstasy with equal density and spontaneity !!

Warm regards

Your ardent follower – (from the times when M.J.Akbar  changed the face of newspaper journalism)

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It was a Sunday morning when Arnold and I met  for the first time. We were in our own living rooms. His, was in the high rise on Manhattan while mine was in Salt Lake City, Calcutta. The most striking ingredient of that memory is his big smile which used to render a display of the most innocent and chocolate invaded set of pearls.

Arnold, was my best friend for several years to come. Our friendship grew stronger with each passing Sunday. If not for his accent (which I had to initially struggle to keep up with) , we had hit it off, almost immediately !! He would do most of the talking and I would be the one breaking out into loud hilarity. I loved everything about him . He was my childhood role model. I even begun dressing like him. There was the cowboy hat ( from the Book Fair) and bell bottom pants (green corduroy) that I had to be in, all the time.  I would  even cross my arms (like him) across my chest during all conversations. It did not matter who I was listening or talking to, I would always strike the “Arnold pose” with all my weight  on the right leg. Strangely Miss Biswas found that extremely annoying (during “drawing class”) and promptly sent me out to bake in the summer heat !! But that is a different story !!

I am one of the several thousands, whose earliest memories cherish loving hues from Diff’rent Strokes. It was my introduction to anything American. I was too young to see beyond the innocent wit  that the show contained. Today, as I look back at those times and the show, I realize that it was so much more !!  All the years that Diff’rent Strokes was on air, it carried a banner of love, of acceptance and happiness. And Arnold,was the star of that show !! Everyone loved him !

Arnold (Gary Coleman). passed away on Friday, May 28th 2010  This is a farewell note from that little boy  sitting on the cold mosaic floor with his eyes glued to the black and white of the television screen, as Arnold slides down the wooden railings. Adieu !!

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Bengalis (by birth) like me do not like to admit that they have a sweet tooth. They land up at a Bengali get together(read : loud exchange of  opinioned ideas on everything and anything) and when offered, push their open palms in the air, like that on an invisible bench press and noisily decline “mishti khaabo naa …sugar achhe“(no sweets for me, I have blood sugar)”. And then after the party, on the way back, ask the wife “do we still have any of that key lime pie you made? “.

And then some days, during the coffee machine chit chat when I am asked . “you are Bengali right … you must love rosogolla?” And the sarcastic genes inside me scream “thanks for the stereotype, again!”. But on the outside, I say ” I love sandesh as much “, totally forgetting the part where I am supposed to go …”actually I do not like sweets at al. I have blood sugar .Instead; I love to use jalapeno seeds as mouth freshener“. But that never happens!!

What I am attempting to draw from the above, is how you could be immensely fulfilled with two completely disparate experiences from the same source. Another example  – when on a perfect day  your wife is giving you the silent treatment, and making spicy onion masala uttapam ,both at the same time!!  As for the female readers, I do not have an example … since men usually are not good with multi tasking!!

So when I watched Kaminey, (something which I have wanted to do since its release last year) it was that whole different kind of happiness feeling. “This is a complete movie” I told myself . Just like ..The Blue Umbrella.  And yet completely, unlike. The source – the creative genius of  Vishal Bharadwaj !! The man who has been proven guilty of being in my list of favorite directors, composers and all of that jazz since his Maachis days!! He started of as a composer and of late made some really good movies.

Now about these two movies. Why did I pick just these two?  Purely because of the experience as a viewer, watching two of his creations which have no one common point that they meet at, be it theme, design or any of those elements that work towards graduating a good story into an awesome movie and yet inspire me to write a post about them. Whether anyone is reading or not!! Wait, I did not mean that. I do care about who is reading. I digress. Let’s get back shall we, to my duo- analysis, or whatever this may be called.

The Blue Umbrella touches you,  for the simple story (courtesy: the esteemed Ruskin Bond). Pankaj Kapoor (side note: I am his fan since his Karamchand days) as usual is brilliant in the role of an aged shopkeeper who desires to own something which does not belong to him. The Blue Umbrella – the prized possession of a little girl. The movie was shot in Himachal Pradesh and just like me, as you watch the film, you will want to be part of that rustic ambience. There is innocence, love, deceit and finally utter kindness that make this a masterpiece. To me that is the sign of a great conversation – one that happens between the characters and the audience. Thank you Vishal !!

About Kaminey, let me start with the music. It will blow you away!! That is, if you are open to the idea of being blown away by music, I mean. Since the time the music released (last year), whenever we are in our small blue car, I have made myself, Onga and his mom listen to Dhan Te Nan as the overture to any journey, be it as insignificant as a quick run for diapers. And I digress again.

And I am back. Kaminey’s story is one which cannot be called unpredictable. But sometimes  cliché, when served nicely tastes good, kinda like how karela (bitter melon) would taste like honey, if Priyanka Chopra were to serve it to me. Talking of her, she did pretty good in her “not so glamorous” role in Kaminey. As for Shahid – job well done, times two (he plays twins in the movie)!! All the actors who acted as crooks, including the Bengali trio did very well, proof being I was rooting for them when they set the house(s) on fire. You see, it is not every day, that you see Bengali men who have an established career as kingpin(s) in Mumbai!! Good story with beautiful songs (which fit in perfectly even in this Satya style story) makes Kaminey one of my all time favorites. Thank you Vishal !!

In essence, this is my personal message to all movie makers – “I have some news for you. If one of your hits was a thriller, guess what, your next one need not be one, unless you are Shyamalan , and even he made some bad mistakes for e.g. The Happening.  So, ..please explore, and make us feel…. what good movie making (no matter what the story) is all about. Kinda like what I heard in the men’s room of Lighthouse cinema (Calcutta) so many years ago – “ khel khatam, paisa hajam” (the show is over, it was worth every penny)!!” The End!!

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I am very pleased to share some good news with you. And you …and you. After several months of hard work and commitment to succeed I was able to achieve, what I had aspired for …what seems like forever.

I am now on Facebook. Le Embrouille Blogueur is on Facebook !! It is official. I logged in…filled up intimate details about myself and….. am ready to dive into the meaningless ocean of trivial necessities….like …..why white onions are perfect for red curry chicken ….and the likes !!

On this joyous occasion, my beloved parents (who are currently in India) broke a coconut at the local temple. In addition they fed a cow and trampled a lime ….following which my father lit up the incense sticks in front of a print out of my profile image (see attached).

Now let us cut to the chase. Since this is a weekend and since I know you do not have a whole lot to do, it would be completely appropriate of me to expect that you will log into yout FB account….ASAP. And for the “dont know how you get on with your life without FB ” people …here is some free advice. Get an account. ASAP. And then copy (Ctrl C) and paste (Ctrl V) the following …. Le Embrouille Blogueur in the Search box. And there you have it.

From that point on … there are just so many things you can do. You can poke me….become a fan…write on my wall … and then share with the world what you wrote on my wall …and so on….the list is endless.

I am looking forward to seeing you there …..!

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walking : good for bowel movement …..,

walking along Lake Michigan : scenic and very relaxing … or… extreme hypothermia …….depending on what month  it is ….,

walking along Lake Michigan and dropping some poo : priceless content for some useless human  blog ..!!

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One of the incentives of being married to a girl from South India is easy access to kick ass South Indian food! ” After having gained hundreds of pounds, since I transitioned from “self” cooking to “herself” cooking, it is but natural of me to delight in my wife’s culinary skills . Now, if she was not a great cook. I would have started this post slightly different. I would probably say, “One of the perks of being married to a girl from South India is easy access to some of the greatest movies”. Now that is a fact, which by the way sits perfectly well with me as well. I am not sure if she can say similar thing(s) about being married to a Bengali. But for that she needs to start her own blog.

My love affair with South Indian movies (mainly: Tamil) began almost the same time, that I started ogling my “baby momma” from the last bench of our engineering class. Back then, I was always humming Tamil songs, watching Tamil movies and gawking (from behind myopic glasses) at a certain Telugu girl…and let me tell you, I was committed to all three responsibilities to the best of my ability. I listened to the songs, for they made me happy, even the sad ones did. Once I had listened to a song I needed to go watch the movie. Unless of course it was movie like Padayappa, in which case, the music would suffice!! And being new to South India, I wanted to feel safe in the company of someone who could speak Tamil and was a treat to sit next to, in the theatre!! For the first time in my life, there was purpose to everything I did!! I journeyed with the stars during those several hours in at Devi theatre and Satyam complex.

Disclaimer : Before I go any further I would like to remind the reader that anything that I say beyond this point on, is from within my limited knowledge about Tamil cinema. I am just another Bengali who used to live in the Kodabakkam area during my undergrad and was exposed (rather densely) to the Tamil film world, both on and off-screen. I am no movie expert and my views are purely based on how I have felt towards each of these creations of art. So what follows is not a review, but an attempt to collate how I felt as a member of the audience.

The most significant characteristic about Tamil movies (from recent years) that I find so absorbing is the style of narration. A film maker picks a simple story and makes it into a 90 minute package of pure entertainment. These are great movies made from everyday life events. They are rich in emotion and easy to relate to.

One of the Tamil directors that I am a huge fan of, is Cheran. I have watched all his movies, the early ones without even knowing who he is. It was not until recently when I found out that Porkaalam is one of his movies. It had one of my favorite songs – “Thanjavur man eduthu . Beautiful words woven with the popular “gaana” style of music by Deva. I digress. It was the brilliance of his movie, Autograph, that got me sitting up and paying more attention to his work. I was moved by the sensitive elements of life in his stories, masterfully played out by artists (including Cheran) who did full justice to every character they portrayed. Maya Kannadi felt too close to me,  since our neighbours in the building we used to live in were two girls who worked as assistants to a make up artist.  

Pokkisham is the latest Cheran movie that I watched. I had not read any reviews. I never do. I think it ruins the “wow” factor that cinema deserves. It is a love story, one which is spun out of pain and emotions that will make you want to reach out into the lives of the characters and redo the story all over again.Parts of the movie were filmed in Calcutta and the scenes portrayed, brought back to me, glimpses from my childhood memories of the city. What was most admirable was how Cheran was successful in preserving the 70’s look of Calcutta. Cheran is just perfect in his role and as always so is Padmapriya and together, they acquaint us with how one’s love and life can sometimes part ways for good. And when that happens, it hurts bad and truly nothing can ever make that pain go away. We get through life with that pain, every moment of it, knowing that things could have been different. Sure, there are other movies which touch similar topics, but nothing I have watched stirred me the way this movie did. And I think art like this is not to be compared.

What Pokkisham brought to me, was an aide memoire about the definition of true love!! What a lot of us hear about, some experience and some will never know. Over the years, I have become, what I would like to believe – Cheran’s biggest “non Tamilian” fan. Someday if I do meet him, I wish to stand up in honor, shake his hand and tell him – “thank you for sharing all that beauty!!

I leave you with the  last scenes (sorry no subtitles), when Nadheera sheds silent tears for a love she deserved for a lifetime!! A lifetime, too late!!

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Thanks to the densely retarded media world – Tiger Woods’ press conference about his alleged affairs with 25,781,230,732.00 girls got a lot of publicity !! Apparently there were reporters from as far east (matter of perspective) as Japan, to cover this “very important” news event, though if you were not as half drunk as I am, you would think, that they would cover the Winter Games or the aftermath of Haiti relief efforts instead. Now how about that ? Do you think Mr.Baby Face can touch celebrity excellence ? Would the world stop salivating and try to remember that every celebrity’s private life is his/her own business ? Would Tiger come out of the Woods again?

You guessed it right !! I was up all night yesterday. Making corrections to the speech that the Tiger had to deliver this morning in Florida. He did not get time to thank me personally !! He was busy doing Betty  pretty important stuff himself. I must warn you ….what follows is a glimmer of im mature  insanity and if you are wearing pace maker(s) or suffer deep rashes on your skin from rat poison …….you should probably consider revisiting this blog at a later time ….. !! If you still want to face it …. do not complain ……I did warn you …!!

beginning of transcript………

Good morning, and thank you for joining me so early after a wild night..Many of you in this room are my girl friends. Many of you in this room know me intimately. Many of you have cheered topless for me or you’ve worked with me or you’ve supported me through my infidelity.

Now every one of you has good reason to demand some cash reward to be critical of me and my body odor . I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, Screw You !! I am not in the least deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish self pleasure behavior I engaged in with all of you hot babes.

I know people want to find out where the sex tapes are how I could be so selfish and so foolish not to sell them on Ebay. People want to know how was it to party with porn stars  I could have done these things to my wife, forget her name Elin, and to my children. And while I have always tried to be a private strip dancer person, there are some parties things I want to  dance with Paris Hilton and her muah muah say.

Elin and I have started the process of discussing about getting a new maid and the damage caused by the golf clubs my behavior. As Elin pointed out to me we already have “18 ” ass holes, my real apology to her will not come in the form of words but a diamond bracelet and onion rings; it will come from my reality show Cheating in the Bunker behavior over time. We have a lot to discuss about pre extramarital affair agreements; however, what we say to each other will be available for sale during Christmas on Amazon  remain between the two of us.

I am also aware of the pain in the privates my tiger “balms” behavior has caused to all the honey bunch Cheerios those of you I have “played with” in this room. I have let you use my iPad down, and I have let down my pants fans. For many of you, especially my hooker friends, my performance behavior has been a personal disappointment. To those of you who have been paid out work for me, what the f@#$ are you still doing here?? I have let you down personally and professionally. My bad breath behavior has caused considerable worry to my mistresses business partners…………..

much blah blah ensued ……and then finally …….

That also means cheating some more relying on others for help with fake excuses. I’ve learned to seek athletic support from my underwear company peers in therapy, and I hope this evening someday to return to the club scene that support to others who are seeking for some quick bogies help. I do plan to return home in the morning to golf one day, I just don’t know through which window when that day will be.

I don’t rule out getting high on weed that it will be this year. When I do start drinking and gambling return, I need some extra cash to make it to Hooters my behavior more respectful of the game. In recent weeks, I have received many thousands of free condoms in the mail e-mails, letters and phone calls from the Mothers Against Drunk Pregnancy people expressing their deepest desires good wishes. To everyone who slept with me has reached out to me and my family, let’s do it again and again and again thank you. Your fetishes encouragement means that now I can have my own naughty movie the world to Elin and me.

I want to thank The Hilton, Marriott, Red Roof Inn, Motel 6, Sulabh Complex PGA Tour, Commissioner Finchem and the belly dancers players for their patience and understanding while I keep scratching work on my private parts life. I look forward to seeing you all in Room 420 my fellow players on the course.

Finally, there are many people in this room who I have not yet slept with, and there are many people at home who believed they would sleep with me in me. Today, I want to ask for your phone numbers, emails and Facebook ids  help. I ask you to find a nice hotel with a spa room in your heart to one day believe in UFOs me again.

Damn, I need to work on my strokes!! Thank you.

 end of transcript…….

As you must have guessed by now, the man is really ashamed of his actions !! I would say he is bleeding and wants to make an reentry. Wait ….that came out all wrong !! What I am really trying to say is …. let us pretend (for a second or so)  that we believe in every word he said or thought he said !! That does not make sense either. …..what the putt !!

Source Material and Photo Courtesy : here

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