Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Life and Times of Anurag Kashyap.

For over six months now, I have not posted anything on my blog.

Something that started soon after having shot with the great Mr. Bachchan last year, I had, true to my proclivity, soon lost interest in this new fad called blogging. Himself an avid blogger, AB had inspired me to pour my feelings out to the world…to connect with a community that was, kind of, invisible…and endless…to just write, post , and then forget about ever having written or said anything ever…it was indeed a novel, exciting prospect…and for a month or so..I had actually been quite prolific myself. ‘I just have to connect with my extended family, even if it’s at 3 in the morning,’ Mr. Bachchan had confessed to me during Aarakshan. But in my case, first, there were not really over-three-lakh people following me on my blog, A, and B, some shoot or the other started, and I found myself preferring to hit the bed after a hard day’s work rather than to sit with my comp and stare at the blank screen with the cursor blinking…almost challenging me to come up with a few words of any kind at that hour of the night.

‘No,’ I had decided,’ this was not my cup of tea…Mr. Bachchan was an actor…and a Megastar at that…and had the luxury of living the day as he wanted…he could write his blogs in the comfort of his luxury van, even when shooting…I, on the other hand, was a mere ‘laborer’…who had to strive hard with the director the whole day in intense heat or pouring rain….and thus, this blogging shlogging would not be possible for someone like me..who was never he master of his own time.’

The bed had taken precedence over the blog…and a seemingly formidable task had been deleted from my daily chores.

But there is something called tasting blood. And having tasted that blood of being a part of the cyber community for some time, the yearning of going back to it returned sometime when I was deep in the jungles of Pchmarhi…shooting for my latest venture, Chakravyooh, with my regular collaborator , Mr. Prakash Jha.

Two things stopped me from doing that, the speed of the only available internet connection in that part of Central India, which, i’m sure, could give ‘snail mail’ a veritable run for it’s money, and two..a genuine lack of something concrete to restart my blogging life with. The first problem was solved immediately as I touched base back in Mumbai after two and a half months of literal ‘vanvaas’, ad back to my 2mbps internet connection. And the second, and more nagging problem was solved yesterday.

When I saw Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’.

Having studied with him at school for a number of years, and having known him for what he was, at least there, I have always watched his films with a tinge of doubt for his talent and contempt for his sensibilities…for in school…he was considered as nerdy, if not more, than your’s truly. A total ‘loser’, a social outcast, and, in our school lingo, a certified ‘local’…a compliment from no angle. That he was capable of having written a Satya, or having directed a Black Friday or a Dev D, was beyond my serious comprehension and belief, so much so, that I often used to have arguments with another of my regular collaborators and one of the most staunch Kashyap supporters, Mr. Sudhir Mishra.

But yesterday, as iIsat in the theatre, watching one roll after another unspool in the theatre, I realized that I was watching, not a mere film, but a work of art of from man who was one with his cinema. The oeuvre of someone, who was born to do it. Yes. Even as his fierce detractor, by the end of Wasseypur, I was forced to admit, most of all, to myself, that once was possible, twice, could also be a fluke, but if I was finding a third film of his to be blowing me away with it’s sheer genius like the way it was…it was time for me to throw in the towel and admit the greatness of the man who I, and a whole host of batch mates like me, had looked down upon in our school days. Yes. there is something called a dark horse. There is something like a loser.

But like they say, every loser wins, once the dream begins.

Anurag Kashyap’s dream, I know, has just begun.

I know that what I saw yesterday, was the work of a man, one with his craft…one with his passion. Deftness…effortlessness…and the ease of it all. Like a Maradona dribbling his way through half the English team and scoring a goal…and making soccer look so damn easy and effortless in the process. But anybody who has played a world cup, or made a ‘Bollywood’ film like a Wasseypur, will vouch for the fact that it requires a veritable master to make it look so easy.

And that loser and outcast from The Scindia School, Gwalior, I admit, is one such master.

Well done, Anurag Kashyap. And for the sake of cinema, and genuine, meaningful entertainment, keep it happening.

A football world cup, happens once in four years. And a Maradona or a Messi, is born, once in ten…Kashyap…keep your frequency less…maybe one film in four years..I will not mind waiting for it..but when you do make that film…I will expect you to score that magic goal, once again.

And I know that even the next time, you will end up scoring.