An album of angst..and love

Vishal Bharadwaj may possibly be the most low profile creative genius Bollywood may have, overshadowed only by the technical brilliance that A. R. Rahman displays. The quirkiness of Amit Trivedi. And maybe silenced by the nasal din of Himesh Reshammiya.  While AR’s music has nuances in instrumentation and arrangement that makes you go wide-eyed in jaw dropping cerebral amazement, the former’s music tugs you at your innards. With a simplicity of melody that transports you into an unexplainable world of joy, anger, sadness or love – all combined, deep inside your heart. And you do not quite know which emotion to put your finger on, and go “yay, that is what I feel”. It is like a puzzle you are trying to decode by listening to the song over and over, finding little nooks and corners that seem to hold your hand and walk you through in a gentle sway. All the while telling you, ” it is alright, you can feel whatever you want to”. And this is exactly what makes me feel when I listen to Haider’s songs – possibly his best so far; skilfully adapting Kashmiri strains into the music of a very modern version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet that captures the brooding, dark, passionate and intensely complex backdrop there is. Haider Having watched the movie after listening to the music gets you to place the emotions in a context. Although you do not see the “movie version” of the aggressive and angry Aao Na (sung by Vishal Dadlani), the heavy guitar riffs of the song during key moments in the movie are thrilling enough. While taming a beast of a play that is Hamlet, is itself a daunting and ambitious project, depicting the complexity of the main characters is something that requires a very strong heart and a sharp mind. As an audience, you feel the confusion, angst and love all rolled into one from the eyes of Haider, and that is ably supported by the background score that just haunts you long after you leave the movie hall – coupled with the brooding hues of the paradise, that isn’t – Kashmir. There is a horrifying insanity that prevails in the characters you see, in a place where you have always imagined the colours of spring and the waltzing blues of the lakes. In the midst of all that, you have a Khul Kabhi (Sung by Arijit Singh, and my personal favourite) that transports you into a lilting world of love, warm passion, and mystifyingly poignant. And then it harks back to Haider’s reality when he breaks into tears. And talks about his existential conundrums given his father’s disappearance and his own confusions of which truth to believe in – or the lie to disbelieve in – Hum Hain, Ke Hum Nahin Hain – Haider’s version of “To Be, or not to be”. And that confusion runs throughout the movie so much so, that every other character remains open to interpretation. Some of the other songs such as Bismil (sung by Sukhwinder Singh) weave right into the screenplay and strike a much harsher chord in the movie than when you just listen to it. Shahid Kapur’s acting and dramatic skills are on ample display in this song. The movie does seem a little disjointed in parts. It is slightly choppy, but one cannot fault Vishal Bharadwaj for taking on this intensely complicated plot and transform it into Haider that is powerful, brooding, thrilling and ambitious. At the heart of it all is the love between a passionate, complex woman who seeks just a sliver of heaven in her life, and her son whose love for her (displayed in quite daring sexual undertones) is consumed only by his hatred for her for betraying his father. And yet in the end, it is this woman who loves, longs and ultimately loses everything; leaving Haider to fight his own demons – exact revenge or liberate himself from consuming this poison. Go into the hall expecting a problematic movie to understand and analyse. But watch it for the same reason. And then switch on the music in your car on the way home.

What I think about…

..when I am running.

I have actually always wondered about this. Am sure you have too. Especially if you have been into running, jogging, long-distance endurance runs, ultra-marathons, the works.

But I do not think about this when I run. Because then I would know what I think about when I run. And then I would not need to write a blog post about it. You know what I am talking about? No? Think about it.

Since time immemorial – err, last year i.e, when I started running, post a long one, I always tried to recollect all that I would be thinking during the run – was it about work? Or the girl I saw in the office? Or the dog that would look at me amusingly early in the morning whenever I came out for a run wearing my balaclava?

That never happened though, because post the run, I would be either:

  • Grimacing at sore thigh muscles, OR
  • Trying to look all cool about it especially because I would have the Hyderabad Runners T-shirt all drenched in sweat OR
  • Looking frantically for a glass of water OR
  • Looking around to see if there is a nice chick checking me out, so I can check-mate her (notice the play again? ha!). Look of gloating pride on face.

But there has always been one aspect of my runs that has overshadowed everything else. Even my runs. And that is the concept of Recovery. Having tried my hands (legs, actually) at training plans and all that, I literally arm-twisted my legs into doing something that, well, they should not have been doing at this point in time. But once they realized what they were being subjected to, it led to a host of issues – stress fracture, shin pains, ear and tooth infections, flu and fever, laziness. Phew!

Actually you can ignore the last few issues. They do not have anything to do with running. But lets face it – am sure you have realized that I do exaggerate a little on my blog posts. 

So, back to Recovery. During my runs, I would always think about recoveries. How to include recovery runs post tempo or intervals. Or after some long-ish runs, when and how I should run for recovery. How long I should take for recovery. What I need for recovery. Why I need recovery. Recovery, Recovery, Recovery!

That is all what I was thinking about. I was getting mad. It was like Chinese torture. They wanted something out of me and I would have told them everything. Only, I did not know what!!

And then it happened. Whenever I would hear the word Recovery in my head, I would also hear the word Kolaveri. Strange no? Well, stranger things have happened in this world. Like Himesh Reshammiya. And nasal singing. And sex on the beach. Oh, I mean naming a drink so. What? Noooo! Not literally?! 

Ok. Back. Now that is when I realized something profound. Especially when I was running and it hit me smack in the middle of my eyes, like a silver bullet screaming out of the thinness of the air, melting the morning silence into a smoldering, smoking line!

“When something gets stuck in the head, it gets stuck in the head”.

Upon checking later, I realized it was an insect that had got stuck inside the balaclava I was wearing. But lets ignore that for now, pliss. The philosophical underpinnings of what had stuck is what is more important you see.

I saw everything clearly. That the sun had started rising was just incidental. The dog stopped looking at me as I smiled at it, with a condescending look. And the beads of sweat that were rhyming with every forefoot strike I was taking, started playing the tune in my head….“Oh this Recovery Recovery Recovery di”.

And that was it! All the pain and angst of having this stuck to my head suddenly disappeared. I knew what I had to do. I realized what the Chinese wanted from me. Finally, I was relieved of the curse of Recovery as I started humming the song.

Presenting to you, for the very first time! From the unimaginative stables of the Whatitees Guides!

The “Oh This Recovery Di” song, sung to the tune of “Why this Kolaveri Di”! That was obvious, no?

Run, Sing and Enzoi!

Yo runners
I am sing song
Run song…
Tempo song …
Oh this recovery recovery recovery di..
Oh this recovery recovery recovery di..
Rhythm correct
Oh this recovery recovery recovery di..
Maintain please
Oh this recovery.. aa di.
Aa.. distance la finishu lineu
line-u colour-u white
White-u background night night-u
Night-u coloru black-u
Haan.. Oh this recovery recovery recovery di
Oh this recovery recovery recovery di

Running shoes-u pad-u pad-u
pad-u type-u gel-u
gel-u ees on only heel-u
My shin-u hurt-u
Haan..Oh this recovery recovery recovery di
Oh this recovery recovery recovery di

Maama, water edhuthuko,
Appdiye kaiyla banana edhuthuko,
Pa pa pa ppaan, pa pa pa ppaan, pa pa pa ppaan pa pa ppan
Sariya vaasi (@%#…….)
Super runner ready..
Ready.. one..e.. two.o.. three.. four.

Hun… um
Whah, wat a change over mama
Ok mama, now pace change-u
Kaila garmin
-Only english-a
Hand-u la watch-u
watch la pace-u
Eyes-u full-aa tear-u
Empty life-u
slow-u run-u
Life-u reverse gear-u
Aa..tempo tempo
Oh my tempo
You showed me speed-u
Run-u run-u, holy run-u,
I want u here now-u
Godu I m sleeping now-u
Shin is happy how-u
This-u song for runner peoples-u
We dont have choice-u..e…
Oh this recovery recovery recovery di (Aahaan.. aa…)
Oh this recovery recovery recovery di (hun tan ha meyyah)
Han Oh this recovery recovery recovery di
Oh this recovery recovery recovery di.