September 19, 2015


I'm home. That is what the Japanese expression "Tadaima" means. And I feel like shouting it aloud. Because I am glad to be back on my blog. I was away for so long that it had started bothering me. I also received phone calls from people wondering what's up with me, when they saw no activity on this blog for such a long time. But the inactivity on the blog is just one side of the story. Over several weeks that just went by, I have hardly done things I usually do. I have not worked at all. And the biggest surprise is that I have not watched a movie in forty-five days!

So what happened all these days? As Mumbai faces its biggest water crisis in years, and it may hurt my swimming all through next monsoons; as preparations for the Bihar elections are in full swing, and I may have to miss voting unless I take a flight to be in my constituency on the day; as Roger Federer keeps his promise alive by stunning us all with his magical innovations before going down to the greatest player in the game today and I am humbled once again by the spirit the two men have displayed; as my new batch at Anupam Kher's school struggles to keep up with the enormous work-load this course comes up with and I try my best to keep them motivated, what is it that has kept me away for so long?

Well, one, I had this amazing three-week trip where I roamed about the coastal towns, temple towns, hills and rain forests, and cities of Karnataka. The first half of the trip involved travelling alone and then my parents joined me. The trip finally culminated in Bangalore where I met some dear friends and conducted a one-day film-writing workshop. My parents saw me teach for the first time and I was so glad to see my father sit through the entire day as I talked about what I love the most in a language he did not completely understand. It really meant a lot to me, and to him.

Once I returned, I could not forget the blissful solitude the forests of Agumbe provided to me, or the 125-year old house where I spent two days, in a village that has only a few hundred inhabitants. A couple of episode of 'Malgudi Days' were shot in this house and I slept in the very same dormitory where it had happened. I could not forget the amazing food that I had all those days on my trip, and those long walks that eventually allowed me to achieve my target of getting under seventy kilos. And I could not forget the joy of travelling alone and then with my parents. But the days that followed, after my return to Mumbai, have been a tremendous revelation of life and my own self to me due to reasons too personal to share on this blog. I must admit, though, that in the last few weeks I have had the most special spiritual, emotional, and romantic experiences of my life.

So yes I was away. And I didn't watch any movie. And I didn't work. But life has given me so much in these six weeks that I'll be the last person to complain. There was a time when I doubted my love for cinema - after all I had had perhaps my longest break from it in almost a decade. A friend of mine reassured me instantly. He said - "You think of cinema all the time. Watching or not watching a movie cannot be any indication of your love for cinema or lack of it."

I felt glad. And I smiled. And in my heart I thanked him. Now as I scream "Tadaima" from all my heart, I hope to indulge in my first love all over again, and somehow compensate for my absence on this blog for this really long time.

I hope you agree with me that whatever has happened has only happened for good! :)

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