Posts Tagged ‘TV’

The Perpendicular Universe The Cunning T-Rex by Scottshak

I remember, if not clear as a crystal, Jurassic Park to be my ‘first’ Hollywood movie. The movie we saw on a black and white TV in our school set the benchmark for monsters in my life. Two hours of awestruck moments that I lived watching these beasts traverse a little screen literally defined my love for dinosaurs. Then there were school visits to dino-themed parks that left an everlasting impression. If it were not for that disciplined lad in me who would follow the swarm, I could have lived more, stood there staring at our crazy ancestors roar, growl and move. But we were short on time, and our teachers squeezed us from every tunnel to take us to the roar of the jaded bus instead.

Sometimes I wish to go back in time, and spend a whole day there, in that dino landscape, with my my mouth wide open in awe. That inquisitive head of mine was ready for it all. That sense of amazement that saw every minute detail, from teeth to horns to eyes to structures to scars. That fleeting moment of less than an hour, I wish, I wish to relive every day.

Four years later crawled “The Lost World”. Its imprints still fresh, probably from watching the movie too many times to forget. As we left the theatre, we were impregnated with images in our heads. We kept swiveling around, little kids as we were, to watch our 6 for a T-Rex to pop up or a raptor tail to dance in the grass. The Jurassic Park 3 ushered in the Pteranodon fear for the first time. All these movies defined my childhood – the stories we shared as kids with each other, the “did-you-see-thats” and “do-you-remembers” that played a second fiddle to jackhammer that fear into us; a profound and eternal love to see them breathe through a screen literally pulled them closer.

After 14 years of punishing patience, the project Jurassic breathed again. And I am glad it did. I don’t wish to forget them. Them beasts that traversed ground that we tread over now. We walk over their graves unwavered and unbothered like they never happened. That they are mere bones for archaeologists to explore. We trample over them, their sad fate like a boss, as if we made our own existence happen, and brought us to life.

Jurassic recreates them. A theory that we might not possibly achieve, but can only imagine on a big screen. If we can bring them to life, it is through a media that is capable of resuscitating the dead. We should all be thankful to people who work so hard to bring us close to our true relatives, the beasts that knew nothing about life, just like we don’t.

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I wonder what took me so long to write this one. Maybe I wanted it with a glint of perfection. Maybe I wanted it to come straight through my heart. It is about the God I write. I can’t be impetuous.

I am trying to bring the God of Cricket to these pages. It takes a lot. I have to choose my words carefully. I have to be thoughtful. I have to take as much time it takes, as much effort it requires and bring as many memories I could possibly garner.

Sometimes I would sit and ponder where to begin? He was forever in front of me. He was always there with us. We believed Him to be perpetual. We took Him for granted. We thought He would always be around. We thought He would be there with us till our last breaths. Like a star in the sky, He would see ages go past Him. That He would never give up. Why would He? After all He is not human. But alas! Those were make-believe stories in our heads. And like every good bit that makes a silent promise of eternity and that eventually bereaves us of its bliss, this story too trickled down our faces gradually leaving a mark so profound that it could not be forgotten.

I still remember my early childhood days when a black and white TV used to adorn our living room. Cricket would be written all over it. Zeal of my father and my brother for the game would incite my curiosity. The fact that it was, probably, the first sports game that ever managed to leave its mark on me, could be another reason that could have, possibly, piqued my interest.

As a child, I held bat close to my heart. My only weapon. Ball would stir my inquisitiveness just like it would do to a puppy. The way it would bounce. The color. The shape. Everything about it fascinated me. I became an instant cricket lover. Rules were simple back then. You clear the ropes..er…fences. Hit the ball hard. No such thing like technique. Just get it on the bat. Do not miss it. If you do, do not let it hit those imaginary stumps (three bricks that disappeared into thin air as it reached waist height). Back then, it was so difficult to make out whether the ball hit the stumps or not. Whoever spoke the loudest was always right. We based results on conviction. Majority had the judgment knell. If all shouted in unison, “Out hai. Out hai. (It’s out)” you have to either leave the bat or go home crying.

I am pretty sure my early lessons began at home. Education germinates there. I had my father do that teaching. I would suck at it in the beginning. But I had a mentor silently playing inside the black and white screen, one who always inspired me to keep trying and never give up.

Things are pretty hazy right now but I do remember hitting my brother whenever Sachin got out. I would accuse him of getting Him out, which would always be followed by my incessant tears. My silence would speak for the rest of the day. I would hit the pillow to avoid getting hurt (Smart thinking). All those pillows prayed real hard for Sachin to stay at the crease. But they always had that fear. They knew that punch was coming.

I would never miss a match. If I did, I would just inquire about His score and whether He hit sixes in the match before He fell. It would be like a festival at our house. While my mother would go on in the background, scorning the damn cricket, for it never let her watch her routine TV programs, I would sit in utter silence and amazement at every ball my God tackled with sheer pizzazz. While He would play awesome strokes inside the screen, I would imitate him in my reality.

Superstitions came into existence. Now this is something every sports fan is acquainted with. You do not move your leg, if He is playing good. If you do He might get out. If He got beat, you should probably cross your legs and sit, coz when you did that, He was hitting sixes. There would always be someone, whose arrival would affect His wicket. We would hate that person to our guts.

Ads by Sachin were the most celebrated ones. I remember getting His merchandise every now and then, as if that would make me a better player. Each one of us had an MRF bat simply because He used to play with it. Every batsman on the street, on the ground, on the roof, wherever cricket happened, was Sachin. We would embody Him while hitting a shot. We would be Him, when we ran down the pitch for a quick single. Our sixes would be our achievements. Our memories would be our rewards. Our victory would be our motivation. Our hope would always be Sachin.

My mother would often ask me the question, “What if you get to meet Him one day?” I would always say, “I will faint.” Then later correct it. “No! No! I will just die!”

The entire country would stroll towards despair whenever He got out. Nothing was more deafening than the silence. The aftermath of dismay that followed it up would be equally shattering. When He would fall, we would just know that the rest would follow Him up like pieces of dominoes. It used to be like that. He used to carry the weight of the team, nay, country, on His shoulders.

Growing up, I heard gazillions of criticism that would try to rope my God in. None of them were true. None of them I believed. He always managed to keep calm and play His way through it all. As a human being too, He is so amazing, it just makes you respect Him even more. He is so down-to-earth. Just carved in gold. With heart so pure and pious, it makes you doubt your conscience. So humble. So good. So righteous.

Sometimes you are compelled to contemplate, What if you were in His shoes? Would you be able to handle all that pressure when you walked down to the stadium? Whilst all that applause, would you be able to concentrate? When the entire country is on their feet counting on you to score runs, wouldn’t you rather have a nervous breakdown instead? Wouldn’t you shake yourself to death when you grasp the fact that every ball you face, every decision you take, affects more than a billion people? How would that make you feel when you realize that you are the most loved person on the entire planet and that over a bazillion people are always looking up to you? He used to play under all of that. He has been hitting all that pressure all across the ground. With tons of accolades in his baggage, this superhuman has managed to win gazillions of hearts.

I needn’t mention His achievements and glory. His bat spoke louder than His words. His bowling department too was equally blessed. Perfection spoke whenever He took those beautiful cover drives, straight drives, pull shots, sweeps, square cuts, flicks, and uppercuts. He wore the country on His body. Our emotions directly reflected His game. His cricket would mess with our reality. If your boss was cranky, he probably had seen Him lose His wicket. If you got extra marshmallows in your coffee, probably Sachin had something to do with it too.

He made the entire world cry when He was calling it quits. If not the world, then the country at least. His final words were drenched with tears. They came straight from the heart of the God. How hopeless that makes you feel! How empty that feeling is when you see your mentor in tears! Then you know. And lo! behold! God is just a human, carved in flesh. Still He is better than us, who loves madly, His game, His profession, His family, His country and His people.

The whole world saw Him go emotional as he struggled through the final Farewell speech. When He manifested His gratitude towards His wife, even the toughest soul in the world broke. It was then, we all realized what tragedy lied in front of us. A world without cricket. A world without Sachin.

We are shattered. We are afraid. We don’t see the light. We are groping in the dark. Cricket feels like an empty game now. The void only resounds those indelible cheers of ‘Sachin…Sachin’ from the crowd. We won’t be able to hear it again. We won’t be able to watch him play. That magic is gone. The 5 ft 5 inches miracle has bereft us.

We will be forever in His debt. We have loved Him unconditionally. He has loved us back and given us memories that we will forever be proud of. Our children, our descendants would listen to stories of His legend, stories of God, from diverse mouths.

Here I try to ink my way through tears. Just as, He might have, whilst preparing his Adieu speech.

There is so much respect in us for you, that you cannot imagine. So much love, that any person living might not have ever received. We understand, you leaving us like that. It was going to happen one day. Like any good story. You had an ending. Words fail to describe the hollow you have left. The choke in our necks. The sinking feeling that makes us feel your absence. The gloom that has been penned with depressing grief in our hearts.

We are glad, we knew you in this life. We feel privileged, that we were a part of the Sachin-era. We are humbled, by your final gesture. We felt great, when you acknowledged us with such kindness and love. You would always be our God and we would always be your devotees. Your cricket would be missed in this life and every other life to come.

Now that we see the team fumbling, fidgeting and scrambling without its backbone, we know how much He meant to us. Now He is gone. Now He is history. Yet a legend, to be narrated till time comes of age. His story would forever be sealed in our hearts. His final words would be celebrated till the end of time. His love for cricket and most importantly our love for Him will be cherished till the world would breathe.

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I happened to come across an interesting list on IMDB, wherein people shared how customary, goofy, yet slightly terrifying movies used to scare them as a kid. How some unique features of some character played horror-games into their brains and how when they grew up, they laughed it off. This brought something from my childhood to the front page too.

I remember the time, when I used to be dead scared, owing to a stop-animation series they showed on TV. The show was called ‘Bump in the Night’. It aired on an Indian channel DD Metro (believe me that was the only interesting channel they had back in the days), right after I would complete my homework. I became a great fan of animation, ever since I laid eyes on one. They aired a bunch of cartoons at dusk. My brother and I, animation’s biggest fans, would make sure, we didn’t miss a single episode the channel aired. We would sit in utter silence and amazement, as the shows appeared one by one on the Idiot Box. It was our time. Nobody messed with us then. Primarily, because we would always sit right after we were done with our homework. Right, mommy?

The concept of stop-animation was entirely new to me. I didn’t know there was something like that until ‘Bump in the Night’ bumped into my life. The show was about little monsters that lived under the bed of a small boy. They would come to life in the dead of the night. It was a fun show actually. Comedy. I don’t know what but something back then made it look formidable to me. I was so scared of the character Squishington. Her droopy eyes would scare the shit out of me. The fact that she had everything drooly on her body, made me hate her even more. I started imagining if these characters were alive and living under my bed too. The fact that Squishington owned the toilet made me scared to go to the loo. Even though she was one of the better looking monsters amongst the other ugly ones, I would always be horrified, and peek through my fingers to see her talk, politely.

I would often ask my brother, “Why are they like this?” But I would never show that I was literally pale.

It was only recently, when I happened to see one of the episodes from the show again. All the characters look so funny now. The show was hilarious for kids. I, on the other hand, peed my pants, watching them fool around on the screen.

While at it, there were some other things that scared the bajesus out of me. I remember the first time I saw Chucky. Boy! I was afraid of that toy. I stopped loving dolls ever since.

Ron Weasley wouldn’t have the slightest idea that a fellow fan, facing the screen was even more afraid of those spiders in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets than he was. That snake, in the end, nearly killed me and believe me, there was no 3D back then. I am sure it bit me. Oh Wait! Those were my teeth on my fingers.

Even some of those dreadful episodes from Courage the Cowardly Dog would slap horror, every now and then, into my terrified brain. Some of the minacious batman villains from the animated series like Scarecrow, the Man-Bat from On Leather Wings and Mad Hatter, (this reminds me, I was more scared to read Alice in Wonderland than intrigued) ushered in terror, whilst I grew up watching my superhero.

Bats, ever since I watched the movie as a kid, something told me bats aren’t at all mushy mushy. The precise reason, the trepidation still lasts.

One time I watched Coraline and revisited my childhood, back when horror and thrill used to be BFFs. Yeah I know. What a wimp! Totally!

I wouldn’t go to my school because I was afraid that an eagle, (actually a bunch of them packed around my pathway everyday), might take me off my bicycle just like a ‘Sindbad the Sailor’ show manifested in an episode. I am pretty sure they were plotting against me. That boy on the red bicycle. One day! One day!

There is a reason I am afraid of lizards. Primarily, because they used to be dinosaurs once. And when they come pretty close to you, they beat all odds. And Grasshoppers! I am sure they are concocting something up every single second. And BTW, who asked them to be so big?

All those days are in the past now. Today, when I watch them, I don’t feel even a tinge of horror in my guts. I can walk in the dark. My brain is prepared. Miracles are a myth. I realize that unwanted imagination is a bitch.

Today, I am a grown up and not afraid of anything. Today…….Don’t you even think about attacking me cockroach!

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I ended up working late in the office yesterday. Actually, it was planned. With a consensus between me and my project lead, it was decided that I would pump in some extra hours in order to complete a pending job. Yeah, work I did. But I didn’t foresee that I would be all alone.

It was the first time I was all by myself in the office and that too after the sunset. I worked till 8 PM, additional 2 hours, from my usual time of leaving. The peon had switched off the lights, those not required, and so the rest of the cubicles went pitch dark. I hardly cared as I was busy with my work. I had constantly been glaring at the screen, which was unrelenting too. My orbs would hurt. I was feeling the way I used to, when I would sometimes succumb to insomnia. I badly needed a shuteye. I would occasionally get up from my seat, and peek from the window, down at the traffic. The hustle and bustle below kept me company the whole time.

Whenever I would come back to my seat and engage myself in useful work, I would hear the ticking of the clock, occasional honks of the cars below, din of a drilling machine coming from the building next to ours and sometimes loud shrill of something, which my mind would always confuse with heavy breathing. It was spooky. I know it is hard to work in such an environment. It was eerie. Yet there was nothing that really bothered me as such. I guess, time has made me brave, unconcerned and intelligent.

Yet in the back of my mind, all those scenes from the flick ‘The Grudge‘ kept visiting my head. Yeah, remember that office bit? I would occasionally turn around to check the plant which stood in the dark, that had a bizarre resemblance to a human being, when looked from a particular angle. I would tilt my chair occasionally to have a good look at the door in order to eschew any out of the blue surprises. Even if someone tried to play a prank at such an hour, it was still not good for the heart, so I thought.

Amongst all that non-existent commotion, I worked my way through, without getting consciously alarmed of anything mentioned above, and groped for the switch in the dark to turn off the remaining lights.

At this point, I remembered, how as a kid I used to be strangely conscious of everything around me. I would startle at every movement or noise. I wouldn’t go to sleep for hours, wondering if a monster would come up from under my bed and devour me. I would endeavor my best to avoid watching horror shows on TV, so as to shun any formidable memories later at night. There used to be a spot at my balcony, where I would always study unaffected and unaware of my surroundings on a regular basis. I believed it helped me to understand things better, with the view and all. Until one day I saw a horror show on TV. From that point onwards, I wouldn’t even go to my balcony, wondering, “What if a hand comes from behind and grabs me?”

I am glad now sense has slipped in. I ‘now’ desire for miracles. I want them to happen. So that I behold the unusual.

I don’t understand if fear is good or bad. The only thing I get is that, it is there. It has always been there. It is real. Just in different forms, in all of those eras we lived. We have simply named them. Human minds are built this way. We can’t help being apprehensive. We can’t help being afraid of the extraordinary.

We would always be afraid. Sometimes for a reason, sometimes without one. It is one of the harsh truths of life, which I surmise, keeps us in check, all the time.