Races are for rats, not artists (So…I shot my first film and why it took 15 years – part 3)

2. Races are for rats, not artists

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

(Lily Tomlin)

Just until a few years ago, I found it very difficult to escape the burden of the rat race  taking place around me, and as much as I knew that it was an exploitative and selfish way of living, I just could not escape the feeling that with each passing year, I was falling behind everyone else.

In fact, when I had decided to extend my years in higher education, it had not only been a desperate attempt to appease the questions that were evolving in my mind, but it introduced me to a reservoir of extraordinary ideas such as the malice of capitalism, which I previously knew nothing about. These next few years of real education then also became an opportunity to delay my entrace into what I confirmed as being the oppressive 9-5 grind. Continue reading

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A Steppenwolf cannot live amongst sheep (So…I shot my first film and why it took 15 years – part 2)

1.  A Steppenwolf cannot live amongst sheep

“I am in truth the Steppenwolf that I often call myself; that beast astray that finds neither home nor joy nor nourishment in a world that is strange and incomprehensible to him.”

(Herman Hesse – Steppenwolf)

Wolf with Sheep

In this world that seems so indifferent and alien, the rebellious, creative, artistic Steppenwolf many a time craves to be around other kindred souls, so that there can be an exchange of alternative thoughts and ideas, which then nourishes the already afflicted soul, and provides some kind of mutual motivation to stay alive.

In the absence of this, and in reality, we end up preferring to live as loners. Continue reading

So…I shot my first film and why it took 15 years (part 1)

On Friday the 23rd and Sunday the 25th of March 2018, after about 6 months of writing and planning, and a lifetime of varied life experiences, conscious and subconscious inspirations, so many years of writing down and accumulating ideas in secret notepads, and then tiring people who had to listen to my crazy dreams – I finally directed my first short film.

Scene

Location 1

The days were long and arduous but exhilarating. I felt like a fish that had finally dived into the sea after spending a lifetime in a fish tank, imagining the sensations the sea would arouse.

This is such a life-defining moment that I am compelled to write about my journey… Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Abbas Kiarostami: The Cineaste, The Philosopher

“If you look at the four seasons, each season brings fruit. In summer, there’s fruit, in autumn, too. Winter brings different fruit and spring, too. No mother can fill her fridge with such a variety of fruit for her children. No mother can do as much for her children as God does for His creatures.

You want to refuse all that?
You want to give it all up?

You want to give up the taste of cherries?”

(Mr Bagheri in Taste of Cherry)

Anything I can possibly write praising the late, great poet of cinema Abbas Kiarostami will be an epic disappointment. One, because I lack the finesse to write well, and secondly because the art that this grand filmmaker and artistic polymath has left us behind is beyond the limitations of words, it’s beauty is simply inexpressible.

Although, I had only seen ‘Taste of Cherry’ (quite a few years ago) and ‘Close-up’ (last February), prior to his untimely passing, I was so moved by just these two films that I felt compelled to say something – but I just didn’t know how or what. Continue reading

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.

I find that it neatly summarises the philosophical position at which I have found myself arrive at, since 2013.

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.

Continue reading

Intoxicated in Love

Laila and Majnun

Many of us may have heard of the legendary and timeless love story of Qays and Layla, popularly known as Majnun Layla. It is reported to have been composed by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi as well as Amir Khusrow later on, and many others who have interpreted and been inspired by it in different cultures. The love that Qays has for Layla is such that it surpasses the boundaries of mortal love, and he becomes known by the people as Majnun – meaning the mad or possessed.

Here is one of the anecdotes which involves Majnun and the Praying Man that I came across many years ago and which I have presented in my own words. Continue reading