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Freaky Chakra and Karmic Konfessions!

February 22, 2010

Before you click on this link, expecting ‘yet another’ movie review, I am sorry to say it’s going to disappoint you. I have chosen the title for this post which bears resemblance to some films, but then it’s too relevant in the context of what I am about to write. Now that I have made my point clear, allow me to elaborate more on this Freaky Chakra and Karmic Konfessions.

Today, the 22nd of February, 2010 is my 24th Birthday. It means, I have almost lived one third of my life (considering that the life expectancy is 70) and I think it’s really a big deal considering that our average life expectancy is going down year after year. As I look back to what has happened in the past 24 years, I realize that the actual life where you finally begin to realize the various facets of life sort of begins when you are 21. More or less, that’s the age when you graduate from college and the world is such that it expects you to be “someone” almost immediately. I guess, I need not elaborate on what you go through immediately after graduating from college. However, I shall restrict myself to what happened in the past 1 year of my life since Feb 22nd, 2009.

February, 2009 was one of the scariest months of 2009 for me. It was then, that I slowly began to wake up to reality that loomed large right infront of my eyes after Mr.Raju’s bomb exploded in Satyam earlier that year in January. The freaking out of January was replaced with a much larger question, “ Now that your life is fucked, what are you going to do about it?”. To be honest, I frankly had no clue about what I was going to do. And when you get a million advices from far and near (even from people/relatives whom you have never met in your life), it all boils down to one thing “You are responsible for landing in this shit.” Well, they won’t say it but you can read between the lines when you get the “Advice”, if you know what I mean. If it wasn’t for few of my closest friends, I am pretty sure I would have landed in  a rehab!

After 18 months of my stint in Satyam, on 18th June, 2009 I was one  among the 10,000 odd people in Satyam to be placed in a so called ‘Virtual Pool’, a sugar coated corporate slang for ‘Slaughter House’. Even by the wildest estimation I think I would have had a negative (sub-zero) chances of being called back to render my services to the firm. Of course, I shouldn’t say that I felt like I was being ‘choked’ while working for Satyam. It was a blessing in disguise for me. Which other company would take the risk of keeping an employee on bench for 2 full years? Being a ghost, it gave me the opportunity to work on things that did interest me. FILMS.  (I will come back to this later in this article). As I tried to connect the dots, I realized what Mr.Ramalinga Raju did was exactly what I would have liked at that point of time. Satyam gave me the freedom to mould my personality and I didn’t disappoint myself and the company. I happily accepted the ‘Virtual Pool’ offer and looked ahead for treading across the storm ahead.

There is a reason why your (and mine, especially) parents are worried about you all the time. I believe it comes from the inherent need to lead a comfortable life all the time and it’s gauged by how much you earn and what position you command at your work place. Now that, I had neither of them, freaking out was inevitable. And they did freak out! My mother was (and still is), concerned about where my life was heading to. She would argue, counter-argue, vehemently deny, encourage, give me options, share her grief, joy, almost everything, so that I could learn something from her incessant pleas to lead a comfortable life and get back to work in some other software company. Leaving aside, what she said was right or wrong, I couldn’t find fault with her. She had a point. The root of all this cajoling and counseling sessions lies in what the ‘neighbours’ would say when they hear about my status quo. If I may add this unreasonable concern in ‘Lives of Others’ (often unnecessary) is unwarranted and adds as a catalyst to more mayhem. In my opinion, it has given rise to a whole new level of hierarchy in Caste System and Apartheid.

1. Caste System: It’s not about where you were born and who your parents were, now the Caste System is decided by which “industry” you work for. If you are an Engineer or a Doctor, nobody even dares to question your decisions and judgment. Further, if you live abroad and earn good money, you earn extra-brownie points in the eyes of your elder generation.

2. Apartheid: It’s not about the colour of your skin anymore. The new age apartheid is based on how ‘Successful Vs Unsuccessful’ or ‘Well-Settled Vs @#%^&*’ you are considered. Whatever you do, if you earn more than what the person next door earns, then there’s no problem with you!

Before, you come to a conclusion that I have gone mad, I must tell you that I have sort of gone through ‘madness’ and the countless hours of discussions I have been a part of on this subject is a proof of my conclusions. Two things happened in 2009 which have sort of changed me and I consider these two things are the turning point of my life so far.

1.Travel: Now, I don’t call myself an avid traveler, but a 10 day trip to Singapore and Malaysia in July, 2009 taught me a lot. The three days that I spent in Singapore along with some of my closest friends were awesome and that was the closest I have been through what is called as ‘fun’ in our slang. However, a learning experience came in a little later when I backpacked for a week on the western-coast of Malaysia. I went to Ipoh where I happened to have a random conversation with Mr.Ramu, who works for Anand Bhawan Restaurant. I went to Penang, where I met Mr.Joe, a German who now lives in Thailand and runs his own dog-school and then I met Mr.John, who’s a captain in a ship. I met an artist from Netherlands, who’s based in Indonesia now, I met a teacher who teaches in Indonesia, I met another student who’s from Canada and two more students from UK. However, the single most cherished event of those 7 days of backpacking in Malaysia was a conversation with a Travel Guide. Mr.Omar Dee, in Langkawi. The loneliness of being in an island without a plan was replaced with an awesome 2 hour conversation with a total stranger. And after those 2 hours, I know that I will recommend him to every single friend of mine who’s planning to go to Langkawi.

What I have realized is Travel and conversations sort of go hand in hand. It’s also important to know more about yourself and your country when you talk to others because that’s when you can share a lot and in turn the conversation is much more meaningful. Travelling to new places gives you a glimpse of life and you sort of learn to appreciate the differences and accept them whole-heartedly. This, frankly, makes you a better person. Thank You, Singapore and Malaysia for all the wonderful people, breathtaking landscapes and all the Yum(!) food. I would love to come again some day in future.

2. Films:  We all watch films for a reason. You watch it for your  ‘weekend entertainment’. I watch it because I love them. I love stories and great films are always good stories which are narrated with great panache. My love for films goes back to my college days and I will be eternally grateful to BITS-Pilani for letting me choose my interest. No one forced me to take up films as a passion; it was more about the freedom which the college offered me. I am also grateful to couple of my professors, Sangeetha Sharma (learnt a lot about Media, Advertising in her classes) and Geetha B (learnt a lot from her with respect to films and literature). If you find me blogging today, it’s because of these two professors and a “Good” remark for an answer (related to the analysis of Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Nostalghia’) in the final exam of ‘Critical Analysis of Literature and Cinema. I have  never been overwhelmed in those 4 years of my life and that single ‘Good’ remark sort of gave a meaning to what I had been learning. Perhaps that was the beginning of things to come and I had decided that one fine day I would be a film critic. Slowly I started writing about cinema in my own amateurish way and over a period of time, I learnt the art of articulating my thoughts on paper when it came to films.

I began writing about Telugu Cinema on my blog ‘Waking Life in 24 frames by Hemanthology’ in March, 2009 and it sort of let the ball rolling. After 6 months of this beginning, I got my first opportunity to be the “official” film critic. On September 16, 2009, I began writing for www.123telugu.com and ‘Baanam’ (directed by Chaitanya Dantuluri) was my first film review on that website. I have written over 100 film reviews till date (Venkatesh’s “Namo Venkatesa” was my 100th review) and quite frankly I wouldn’t say I am proud of all those 100 reviews. I think at this point of time, I can do a much better job than what I used to two  years ago. It sort of became a necessity to express my views openly on quite a few public forums especially Facebook and Twitter apart from this blog because I was full of hope that my voice would be heard. I couldn’t be happier about the way life was going because that’s what I wanted, watch films, write about them, talk about them and interact with other film buffs. Probably, that’s one of the reasons why I landed in my second job. Now, I also work for one of the leading entertainment magazines in South India, Southscope.

Life has gone through a full circle, more of a freaky chakra if I recount all the details and events which have occurred in the past one year. A year ago, I was going through, what is commonly called as, Quarter-Life crisis, where you end up feeling fucked and hopeless all the time. The fear of rejection and failing is no longer a part of my life; I have been through a great deal over the past 3 years. After all, there’s a limit to which you can get screwed.  Now, as I look ahead, all I see is people to interact with, places to explore, films to be watched and reviewed and a life to live. I hope I will continue to grow as a person and I wish I have the strength to never say ‘Ohh…I regret’! Maybe all roads lead to Rome, but the point is I don’t want to go to Rome. As they say, the destination doesn’t matter, it’s the journey that counts and I really really want to make it count.

P.S: This post is dedicated to all of you who know me in person or virtually. Thank you for your support and I hope I continue to hear more from you.

Yours Truly,
Hemanth

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. Ankur Grover permalink
    February 22, 2010 9:01 am

    Cheers Dude !!! Wish you success and don’t forget to party today 🙂

  2. mrinalini permalink
    February 22, 2010 10:12 am

    cool!!! 🙂 i specially liked it that you went back to college days n thanked a few there…but…i didnt think you were even this senti 🙂
    i keep saying it…but then, guess i shud say it today being your birthday…lovely writing. makes one smile…frown…sometimes go back n think what has this guy written?..oh! now i have to check the dictionary…aleast does that to me…so i thoroughly ensoy it!!!

    happy birthday n wish you all success!

  3. February 22, 2010 10:20 am

    First Things First; Wishing you a Happy Birthday.

    I couldn’t agree more with about the changing dynamics of Apartheid & Castesystem :p Its all the more relevent for Telugu People.

    It is impossible to change peoples perceptions, However it is also important to find likeminded people. Wishing you all the success in life

  4. February 22, 2010 11:08 am

    Good post bhayya!

    Really loved the caste system and apartheid part. I concur.

    We should keep fighting anthe.!

  5. suresh permalink
    February 22, 2010 11:27 am

    Dude…

    Happy Birthday…

    And congrats as u have got a chance to LIfe your Own life…..

  6. suresh permalink
    February 22, 2010 11:39 am

    Dude…

    Happy Birthday…

    And congrats as u have got a chance to LIve your Own life…..

  7. Ganesh permalink
    February 22, 2010 12:18 pm

    Nice post. I am a good follower of your reviews .. keep going.

  8. Kinnera permalink
    February 22, 2010 4:37 pm

    Happy Birthday!

    “Maybe all roads lead to Rome, but the point is I don’t want to go to Rome”

    Being gult, I understand the Telugu context. We all struggle with it, and it is good to see someone who has escaped the system and is very happy because of it. 🙂

  9. Nikhil Wad permalink
    February 22, 2010 7:05 pm

    Nice post! All the best for the success in the life.

  10. Prasanth Diddi permalink
    February 22, 2010 8:31 pm

    I postponed reading this blog (for 6 hours) seeing the scroll bar. And now ‘Ohh…I regret’! 🙂
    Awesome blog! 🙂

  11. Akhilesh permalink
    February 22, 2010 11:36 pm

    I like this. I think I am now actually in the phase you were a year ago. Am working hard to face it.

  12. February 23, 2010 12:44 am

    Congrats man. All the best.

  13. Ayushman permalink
    February 23, 2010 11:50 pm

    From heart to heart…
    Septillions of luck for the JOURNEY dude 🙂

  14. love you.. permalink
    March 10, 2010 11:57 am

    good shot at redemption … which is cyclic .. I wonder when you are going to write a second article on redepmtion.!! ..

    🙂
    love ya..

  15. Abhijit permalink
    March 20, 2010 10:08 am

    wish u all success mam… hope u’ll do good with ur second job..

  16. March 22, 2010 12:18 am

    Happy birthday Hemanth! Loved this post of yours a lot! Cheers and all the best. 🙂

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