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Breaking the ice…

July 24, 2010

The silence of the night was disturbed by the drops of rain. It is past midnight and I find myself mesmerized by Clint Eastwod’s Invictus. More than the film, the subtext of the film caught my attention. Inspiration is what Madiba (Nelson Mandela) asks from the captain of the South African Rugby team. And it comes from a poem titled Invictus. Do words have such an immense power to move you to tears and also inspire you? Yes, of course. One of the few people who inspire me again and again has been Roger Ebert. I don’t think I will ever meet him in this lifetime but everything he writes fills up my imagination which I cannot fathom. Not that I don’t understand what he writes, the fact that I find myself smiling or even in tears at times takes me by surprise. Talking about inspiration, how can the list be complete if I don’t mention the names of few more friends – Sriharsha Majety, Arun Sethuraman, Akshaya and Vrinda Prasad. And then there are my professors Sangeetha Sharma, Geetha B and my boss Vanaja Banagiri. Back in college, I had the honour of sharing some splendid moments in the august company of some of my dearest friends. We called ourselves ‘Da Bombs’ and I must say that each one of them have influenced me in their own way. If there’s one thing that I treasure the most, it would be the time I spent with all of them. They taught me (and continue to teach) about things I wasn’t aware of and more than I learnt more about myself from them.

Flashback : Year – 2003

My first impression of Sriharsha (Harsha) was nowhere close to the deep bond that I would share with him in the four years of my college life. He appeared to be quite elusive and we would hardly see him in our wing. This was back in the autumn of 2003, our first year in BITS. Couple of months later, we started talking a lot more than ever before. I don’t know what the catalyst was but I am glad that few barriers were broken. Perhaps it was our passion for films and the Hyderabad connection. During the same time I met another guy, Arun Sethuraman. He was from Chennai and we were both members of the English Press Club (EPC) on campus. His interest in literature, theatre and quizzing was quite addictive. Neither did I start studying books (fiction) all of a sudden nor did I try to understand the world of Albert Camus or Samuel Beckett. He had a hand-drawn poster of the map of the Middle Earth from ‘Lord of the Rings’ and my first impression was – Gosh, this guy is a geek! He definitely was a geek and continues to be so, but he was also kind enough to teach me a thing or two. When it came to articulating an emotion on paper he was the best. His poems and stories were filled with metaphors, which till date I haven’t been able to understand. Till then, I had never seen or even attempted to understand anything abstract. Over a period of time, I began to understand what powerful emotions word could convey. Few months later I saw her, Akshaya. If there’s one thing which I will be indebted forever to her, it’s the conversations. She could ‘talk’ and when I say talk, I mean that you end up losing track of time without losing even an iota of interest in that conversation. The transition of topics or random gossip used to be so quick in her company (along with Arun and Aswini) that I used to find myself completely lost in conversations.

Cut To : Year – 2007

Towards the summer of 2007, I was disillusioned than ever before about future. On the last day I had promised myself that whatever may happen I would accomplish three things in life.

  1. Be a film reviewer/critic
  2. Write a book.
  3. Continue to be soft spoken and polite to everyone.

Three years since that day, I confess that I have broken one of these promises. I learnt the hard way that if you can’t take a stand about your aspirations, then everyone around will take you for a ride. Life changes you and it’s not a good feeling especially when you keep lobbying for – ‘Give me sometime. I need to figure out what I want to do.’ Nobody listens to you and you lose your cool. Later your apologies hardly make a difference and in no time, a part of your heart becomes indifferent to certain emotions. And it sucks because you know that it’s not how you want your life to be. But you find solace that you haven’t changed who you are. If someone has figured this out, then they have found the secret ingredient of life. It’s one never ending saga – you keep filling pages and pages of memories until you attain nirvana. However, the aspect which pricks your conscience the most is – how do you decide who gets the honour of being in your memories? Does it make a difference at all if you are (or not) a part of someone’s life? That would be a thumping YES!

Anyone who has ever been to college would concur that some of your best friends were your college mates. No matter how many people you meet after college, some of your old mates will always hold a special place in your heart. Here’s another catch 22 situation. Your life resembles a solar system. If you are the sun, then there are thousands of planets (people, in this case) revolving around you. You keep some of them closer to you but your persona has an effect on others in some way or the other. The wiser ones try hard to get closer to you and others continue to build their own solar systems. Planets clash, planets collaborate, and sometimes they jump across solar systems depending on where they get the maximum warmth (attention). But then, there are a select few who desperately try hard to break the ice and jump across orbits to come closer to you. Ironically, it takes a long time to break the ice and out of nowhere Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle plays the spoilsport. My profession (film journo) stands testimony to this.

It’s tough to break the ice right in the first meeting. It’s understandable because, as always, celebs are a little careful when they interact with journos. Diplomacy becomes their shield and it takes a while to convince them you would quote them verbatim without any reinterpretation. For all this, your chances are limited and after a point of time you are ignored. That’s worse than diplomacy. I told you this story to tell you about someone I know who has mastered the art of breaking ice. Vrinda Prasad.

The first time I met Vrinda, our conversation lasted for 2 minutes; it was nothing more than a formal introduction. Six months since our first rendezvous, it’s a different story altogether. Both of us write for the same film magazine – Southscope and talk a lot more than ever before. She is a brilliant writer, has an impeccable resume so far and I am sure she will go places in her career ahead. It occurred to me that she is a lot like three of my closest friends from college (Harsha, Arun and Akshaya). Although in what exact perspective, I wouldn’t know. Affable is the first adjective to describe her and the list of such similes would be endless. I have asked her umpteen times how does she manage to be a livewire all the time, but she wouldn’t answer. All I could figure out was, maybe it was a gift. Her aura walks two steps ahead of her. No wonder the ice melts within minutes, maybe even within seconds sometimes. And I am still trying to figure out how she does it. Nevertheless, I have a reason to celebrate that I am a distant planet in her solar system; although I don’t have a clue about my orbit! 😛

You meet lot of people in your life, but only few manage to make a strong impression. They become part of your memories and stay there forever. You remember their animated conversations, their voices, eyes, smile, anger and a whole lot of evenings spent in their company. The past shouldn’t be forgotten when you are in present. The past shapes your life to an extent that it has a huge impact on your present and future. The past defines you. No matter how many layers of dreams are added with time, there are only a handful of recurring dreams. The question is – have you managed to break ice with that person whom you dream about? What happens when you become a part of someone’s life is a matter of bigger discussion. Your guess is as good as mine. You never know what lies beneath the thin veil of privacy. It’s a world full of unpredictable, scary, interesting and exciting things. And it all begins with the art of breaking ice.

P.S: I haven’t mentioned a lot of things about my friends especially my wingies…shall write them sometime soon.

Photo Courtesy : Harsha



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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Vrinda Prasad permalink
    July 24, 2010 1:01 pm

    Awwwwwwwwwww…….. I have no words, just a Big Thanks Hemanthuuuu.. 🙂 🙂 I’m moved. My gosh I can’t believe someone from the same field as I’m could think highly of me!! Hugs!

  2. Aakarsh permalink
    July 24, 2010 1:18 pm

    Nice Post Hemanth.Well written.

  3. July 24, 2010 2:09 pm

    Killer Hemanth… Good write bro 🙂 oh god when will i write like this????

  4. sunder permalink
    July 24, 2010 2:49 pm

    Good one Hemanth!!

  5. Sapthagiri M permalink
    July 24, 2010 7:18 pm

    I decided, I am gonna comment on this..
    Hemanth, there’s certain inspiration in this writing too.
    You broke it, the ice I mean.
    True to your honesty, this writing would be a great testimony to yourself.
    Can’t really believe someone writing, positive of course, about some one who is a close competitor to him. If you are that first someone, guessing the second someone would fetch me no easy one… all smiling Vrinda ji.

    Thanks Hemanth…not sure will I ever be able to break ice…
    but the nostalgia that loomed around me after reading this write up is quite countable.

    way to go buddy…smiles

    • Hemanth permalink*
      July 24, 2010 9:30 pm

      @Sapthagiri : Thanks! By the way…there’s absolutely no “competition” between me and Vrinda. She’s one of my sweetest friends and I can’t even imagine competing against her!…We always work together…:)


  6. Kunal permalink
    July 26, 2010 4:49 pm

    I have a feeling I am going to kiss you one day 😛
    keep doing what u r doing .. write

    • vivekananda permalink
      July 29, 2010 1:57 pm


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