Categories
fiction

NEWS OF AN ABDUCTION #2

THREE

A video loaded as Maran emptied the coffee cup, an irritated constable sat at the screen, the local inspector sat in silence cap by his side with one hand on balding head.

“Why did they have to go public?” the inspector asked around. The remainder of the khaki population in the small Saidapet station kept up the silence; it had been almost a day since young Ramesh had gone missing. Still not a word had gone into the file, now the video had turned up and someone from HQ had seen it and alerted Maran and the police station.

Maran liked to think of himself as some kind of guardian angel, but what others thought of themselves rarely reflected in others minds, perhaps he still had a standing after the break through in the bomb scare case that originated from North Madras and went up to the Sansad Bhavan, that had  brought him some press even from Delhi. But hardly the poster boy image of the Madras Police, he had of himself. For superiors and colleagues he was the self destructive and striving, stinking mostly and grudgingly indispensable detective. For his juniors, he was someone who smiled at everyone, known and unknown and at all times of the day.

 

 

The video was a public call out for help, it showed a mother in tears and a grim and serious father in the background appealing to the public, to report any findings of the boy; they also held up one of his recent pictures and descriptions of his school uniform. The final catch was however in the statement that father said out quite loudly even if the recording equipment was adequate, that was the only thing he said and that was the amount of money the family was willing to pay. There was no mention of the police, the inspector still had his hand on head in mock shame.

“It is not something we should worry about, unless of course the boy has been kidnapped” Maran said, he had expected more or less the same thing when briefed about a new video.

“Don’t you see sir, they have no faith in us; they want to find the boy themselves, let us all take leave and go vacation then” retorted the inspector, if it had been some other detective standing there, the addresser would have suspended for insubordination.

“It’s been 24 hours, Daniel naturally they would be worried and no ransom note yet, we will have to put a man at their place to regulate the response calls” Maran said, he suddenly observed that he was the only one in the room in colored suits; it had been a while since he wore the uniform. Lucky, he said to himself.

 

Not far from the police station, someone had not been quite lucky. In a mountainous garbage dump, a dog found a girl. A dead girl, aged twelve.

 

 

 

 

Categories
fiction

News Of An Abduction

 One

The black rubber shoes made the brown stagnated rain water to cause a flash, the shoes moved slowly and lazily. Their movement indicated a lack of interest to return home especially after tiring but intense football game.

It wasn’t exactly a ninety minute game but for twelve year old Ramesh it was exhausting but the need to play more still persisted, wiping previously unnoticed sweat the boy stepped into that small street the smell of which accentuated due the slow dripping of heavy rain drops which were just beginning to reach the earth.

The street wouldn’t be preferred otherwise, if only it had not offered a cut in time to reach the rows of bungalows that stood on the far side, barely visible from Ramesh’s school.

Unknown to the boy, a van waited in silence. The occupants closely watched the footwork of the boy lost in thoughts about the football game, it was not his fault  even an adult would have failed at noticing the van in that weather. It looked perfect for a long spell of rain, and perfect for the kidnapping of the school boy.

 Two

Detective Inspector Maran stretched his legs in his medium sized living room; he called it the ‘TV’ room because the only thing he did there was to watch television.

It was a couples program, the one where the anchor goes around in a much neglected theme park and asked creepy couples, their opinions on love and their favorite movie. The short interview was often followed by the latest hit song which somehow also happened to be the favorite song of the suddenly bashful girl.

Maran chuckled, all channels had such a show on select evenings and he missed them not. He liked them; he especially liked to look at the expressions of lovers coming into the open; the boy seemingly brave and open and the girl still under the shadow of fear from her household.

According to Maran, the show acted as a tool to bring young lovers into the open, he secretly wished that the channels would do a follow up on the couples and whatever happened once their parents got to know. From experience he knew, or he thought he knew the sons and daughters came from not so liberal families. He chuckled even more, the things people do for love.

The mobile phone on the ornamental teapoy which looked alien to the surroundings came to life.

Read Part Two

Categories
cinema

Green Lantern

GREEN-WASH

Ok, now some amount of recollection was required as to what was the first scene from Green Lantern. It was an introduction to the cosmos according to the comics of course. First there are the guardians, typicial brain coming out of head aliens sitting on high, sorry very high seats with superman’s cape stitched to the bottom of the universe. The guardians are responsible for everything that happens in the universe except of course the guarding part which they silently gave it to the corps in green.

There are some idiosyncrasies that need to be addressed with respect to Super hero movies, like for example, how is it that English is spoken throughout the universe? Aliens portrayed in the film, highly evolved and cerebral all speak English just like the terrorists in a Vijaykanth film who are versed in Tamil.

Next to the abstract things, I have never understood the exact meaning of abstract maybe it is one of those words which people use now and again, like metaphysics and existential. One shall never know what these things mean, the comics are (ok not all, most) are based on the simple set piece of good vs evil.

In Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern, the good vs evil is morphed into not so better sounding ‘will vs fear’. The power of the Green Lantern corps are entirely based on the will of the universe, umm then if there is the will of the universe why do we need the guardians?

Anyway, Ryan Reynolds stars as Jet pilot Hal Jordan, like every other super hero he must overcome his past. I like that phrase ‘he must overcome his past’ that generally means the hero had seen his parents being shot, like Bruce Wayne. But then that is reason why he became a vigilante in the first place: to remove the scum from the streets of Gotham.

We cannot also elevate Green Lantern to a planet-hopping Batman, because he seems have this ambiguity thrust upon him. Everybody complains about Hal Jordan, but on what issues is something I have not been able to zero in on. His father’s death seems to have a permanent scar on his life, but it isn’t as driving as to him becoming a super hero all of a sudden.

Elsewhere, a fear gobbling monster called Parallax is threatening the end of the world. The ‘this is the end of the world’ situation seeds the heroism in our Hal Jordan who becomes part of the Green Lantern corps and how he tackles the situation forms the rest of the film. Yes, and before I forget, there this the irritatingly beautiful Blake Lively as aviation mogul in waiting Carol Ferris and predictably becomes the love interest. A sudden shimmer in a under drawn character, and the usual geeky computer expert cum confidant and the mad scientist also playing the second villain when bored.

Apart from what I thought was formulaic, there are certain moments which stand out. For example the sequence when Green Lantern first flies, that always seems to work. The moment where someone learns that he can fly, even though it is something that has been repeated it always seems to work for me when they come up saying ‘whoa, I can fly!!! Yeah!”  Also is the undercurrent of sarcastic wit coming from Ryan Reynolds.

I have not read the Green Lantern comics and my views are based on what I have seen in the film, maybe followers of the comic might appreciate the film better and help me understand it. When I walked out of the theatre I felt that the film itself had some problems on liking itself, everybody wants to like Hal Jordan but at the same time for some unknown reason everybody stays away. It is indeed tough to completely like something that has problems with itself, just like that friend in high school whose only weaponry were self pity and self pity alone, and yet you have no option but to sit next to him.

I am as undecided as the film itself.

Categories
Uncategorized

Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya

I know it is quite late, quite can be substituted to mean more than a year and I have nothing but my stupidity to blame for it. After much arguments and an unusually tired day I watched Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya( will you cross the skies <for me>? shouldn’t there be a question mark somewhere)

I hit my head with my own hand after a few minutes into the film, It is not my opinions on Mr. Menon really matters nor does my inherent dislike to mountains of sweetness and sadness love stories, which I was expecting and as usual I was wrong.

Most of Menon’s films begins with a voice over by the protagonist, in VTV it is Karthik who while sitting almost tear eyed asks around why he chose Jessi of all the women in the world, a similar observation was made by Humphrey Bogart  in a much loved 1942 film but that concerned gin joints too but essentially the same thought. Emotions are universal, there is no logic involved. Logic came into the movies only as to propel stories into an ending, but VTV defies conventional storytelling.

I remember during one of the promotion interviews, the director himself humbled his film as ‘one line story’ and that talking about would only be a giveaway, but what does one expect in a love story?

Rephrasing the question what should one expect in a love story? Should it be an encyclopedic and complex plot winding and winding till there is a climactic moment at a mountain top or river bridge? Or should it have extremely loveable lovers and tinsel free love.

Ironically the part of the film is actually about Karthik getting a break in films and yet the content would put ‘realistic’ directors to shame, personally never having realized any romantic relationship  I felt if this what love is all about then I’m all game for it.

Never mind the age difference, never mind the opposite religions. These are just to bring about a storm between the leads just like the emigration papers in Casablanca, it could have been anything. The problem could have been about the naming of their dog to create a rift; the film would still have been great. Karthik and Jessi would have fallen in love even otherwise, it was written; not by the director but something a higher force which brings together and separates people at will. This is what a love story should be about, lovers and their love. Not their problems, everything else should be given minimum importance.

Never has music went so well with the visuals, it seems as though the camera composed the notes while filming the water, especially the hollowness of ‘Aaromale’ which also acts as the main leitmotif is simply amazing and the sudden burst of the Nadaswaram in ‘Anbil avan’ adds to the mystery that is music and the experiments of Rahman, in the same song Thamirai writes the most poignantly happy lines

‘Nee vanavil aaga,aval vanam ezhaaga,

andha vaanam veedaga maaradho  maaradho’

The above appears as the refrain in the song, pointing the few happy moments between the lovers and how ‘their’ world celebrates it, the simply genius poetry takes the film to (use the word again) poetic heights along with the sadness of the ending, the sadness which splatters on the screen, a display of Karthik’s loss. Indeed sadness is infectious than happiness, but this sorrow is not only mind narrowing but uplifting, uplifting that unseen air which seems to rise from the heart. If it is not uplifting, then is it love?

Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya is a film about love.

Categories
Uncategorized

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