The Cult of New Year’s: Delusion, Pandemonium and Hedonism

This date of 31st December – which in essence is like any other unremarkable, run-of-the-mill day in the western calendar, in so much that it is has a span of 24 hours, beginning with a sunrise and a sunset in between – has actually been elevated into a cult.

It has been fashioned into an extraordinary day carrying excessive symbolic value, simply on the basis that it is the day and night preceding the beginning of the New Year on the Gregorian calendar – which obviously, like any modern man-made calendar is a construction from a chosen point in time, in this case after the birth of Christ (AD), and not actually the 31st/01st of the year since the dawn of human civilisation.

But even if I discard this fact, there are still other interesting revelations about human behaviour and the importance this day is bestowed.

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Why do we fear silence and solitude?

Eric Lacombe – The Weight of Silence

“We come from a generation of people who need their TV or stereo playing all the time. These people so scared of silence. These soundaholics, these quietophobics.”

(Chuck Paluhniak)

“My solitude does not depend on the presence or the absence of people, on the contrary, I hate who steals my solititude without in exchange offering me true company.”

(Friedrich Nietzsche)

I’ve often wondered why so many of us are afraid of silence and solitude?

Is it because we have been surrounded by artificial types of noise from such a young age, that we now crave its presence at every moment in our adult lives?

Or is it that people simply fear sitting on their own, with themselves. And, that any type of noise – even it is of little substance and value – gives them a temporary, superficial feeling of company.

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Believe those who seek truth, doubt those who find it.

Believe those who seek truth, doubt those who find it.

(André Gide)

Prophet of the Most High by Jean Moore

I first came across a similar version of the above quote in first few pages of the book ‘Makhmalbaf at Large’ written by Hamid Dabashi.

The seekers of truth(s)

I have discovered them through the ages, and undoubtedly they are few in numbers, yet they are the ones who I feel a deep reverance for.

Sometimes the world has called them saints, philosophers, poets, artists, or revolutionaries. Other times, they have been called heretics, or madmen.No matter what their labels, I believe they have shared a precious and rare commonality. This is their inheritance of an abnormally sensitive and fragile soul.

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Do we forget our memories, if we have no one to tell them to?

‘Life is strange… I think we forget things if we have no one to tell them to…’

(The Lunchbox)

A Failed Memory by David Szauder

A Failed Memory by David Szauder

After months of waiting and reading about The Lunchbox (Ritesh Batra), I was lucky enough to watch it last year in a local art house cinema.  It turned out to be a beautiful meditation about love, longing and loneliness that ended up leaving me close to tears.  I felt that Irrfan Khan (Saajan Fernandes in the film) had once again stolen the show with his naturalistic performance, breathtaking screen presence, and the sheer intensity of his eyes. Yes, I do have a major man crush on him.

But truth be told, most of the praise for this masterpiece should go to Ritesh Batra – the writer and director.  In June this year, when I decided to read the screenplay, I ended up teary eyed once again. I realised then, that it was the dialogues of the film that were actually so powerful. They appeared to be simple and minimalist, but contained so much within them.  Continue reading

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka – Tragedy of a Family?

The Metamorphosis -

Now, I’m not an expert, nor even a pseudo-academic of literary devices that are used in this book – even if I ignore the loss in translation from its origins in German. Yet, the anguish in this story has not only touched the innermost of my soul, but compels me to read it again. This, in my humble opinion, is what makes it a masterpiece, which after all is a subjective label that is given to so many works of art.

The Metamorphosis was written in 1915 by the great writer Franz Kafka.  It begins with a nightmarish scenario of an overworked travelling salesman (Gregor Samsa) who upon waking up, is transformed in to a giant hideous beetle-like creature (although this is open to translation). As frightening as it sounds, what follows is not really a straight forward horror story. In fact absurdly and darkly comically, Gregor is at first more concerned with the consequences of missing his train for work, and the dilemma of explaining this to his oppressive employer, who has gathered in the adjoining room with his parents.  Continue reading

The Paparazzi Circus


There’s no shortage of actors, celebrities and socialites who love to bask in the flashing lights of the paparazzi camera. Many strategically turn up to events just so that their faces and designer dresses can make it to the pages of glossy celebrity magazines and entertainment gossip channels. Its all part and parcel of the fame game, and meeting the growing demands of the celebrity obsessed culture.

Yet, many artists hate it. There are filmmakers out there, who despite appreciating and embracing the selection and promotion of their film to a wider global audience, still despise the pretentious aspects of many film festivals and award ceremonies. Continue reading