·pədʎʇ I ʇɐɥʍ sı ɓuıʍoๅๅoℲ

This post is directed towards the people who are already in the film business and not to the new comers. I don’t think the rest of what I say will make any sense to them. But if it does then please be my guest and please read on.

Ok So there is this course on film direction that is offered by Masterclass.com and is taught by one of the greatest figures of the New German Cinema Mr ” Werner Herzog”.

The course has 26 video lectures along with some exercises for the students.

Excited to learn I joined the course and tried to make sense of his wired outlook on life. But eventually and sadly I lost my interest in Mr Herzog’s lessons after watching the 14th lesson. I found myself in a mental state that said “Oh this is a personality development course disguised as a film direction wisdom course”. For about one and a half months I didn’t visit the site and got busy with my work. A few weeks later I received an email from the sweet people at Masterclass stating that they miss me and would like me to re-join the classes. And so I did. But this time I took a different route. I got myself a crate of beer, switched off all the lights in my room, switched off my mobile phones etc…switched on the fan and dressed myself in my most comfortable clothes and started watching the lessons backwards. From the 26th till the 14th. And I started typing my thoughts as they came as I watched his lessons backwards.

Following is what I typed.

It makes more sense to me now. In fact, I can see clearly how true and valuable his words are. Something that I probably would have realised when I would have become 70 years old and would have looked back at what I learned from this profession and why did I do what I did. Mr Herzog’s wisdom can act like a time machine for you. You can travel back in time with him and learn what he did.
Everything we do as filmmakers will be etched in the memory of this human civilisation. Your films will fail. But they will outlive that failure and will be appreciated someday. But you must make sure that the films that you make are true to your dreams and not to the whims and tastes of the current phase of society.
With his lessons he has given me an insight to a world that I normally would have taken me 30-40 years to grasp. He has given me an idea about the tornado hiding in the background and how to deal with it. Convince your audience to pay to watch your films. Don’t make films for film festivals. Don’t make films to be shown for free. Earn from your films. If you don’t then figure it out. That is a successful way of filmmaking. You will not succeed all the time but that should be your goal. Filmmaking is your livelihood. It should both nourish and feed you and your soul and your family. Film making is like being a pirate. Society will love and hate you at the same time. But you must go out there into the wild unknown deep vast space of knowledge and experience and bring from that place whatever riches you can. The established paths will change. Don’t follow the established paths instead learn to create your own. Filmmaking is lying in its absolute sense. You lie but you do it to comfort yourself and the watchers of your film. And that is okay. They want you to lie. They will protest it but they absolutely, desperately want somebody to lie and tell them that they are beautiful. We are not entertainers. But liars. Always do the right thing. No Matter what. Do the right thing. Don’t be a thief. Be a pirate. There is a difference.

You know earlier I was watching the Louis C.K’s web series “Horace and Pete” and Alan Alda’s character reminded me of Mr Herzog. But I don’t think Mr Herzog is as rude as him. BTW you should watch this series, it’s absolutely awesome in so many levels.

I think Mr Herzog is giving us a survival course. Giving us the advice that we will need after we make our first film and the courage to make our first films and the films later on.
Among all the greats of his time, he is the one who has survived till now. Doing what he loves and still going strong. What I have learned from his classes is to respect and understand my profession and not get swayed away by the big MTV dreams that Hollywood and glossy magazine covers have created in my mind. He speaks the truth. The truth is as always a boring, frightening and an awakening thing. The only thing I will take from this class is that I should be more honest, respectful to everyone, selfish (not greedy, read Ayn Rand) and disciplined in my approach to film making. The rest are only myths.

Thank You Mr Herzog
You are my Obi Werner Kenobi




Imagination is our milk


A farmer needs a cow for milk. The milk is the fruit of the cow.

We as Artists need to know this very clearly that “Imagination” is the service that we offer.

“Imagination” to us is what “Milk” is to the cow.

People hire us for our ability to imagine things.

They don’t hire us because we know how to operate fancy equipment or the latest modern gadgets.

They hire us for our imagination.

Anyone can buy a set of crayons to draw pictures.

But would they have the imagination that would make those pictures pretty?

No I don’t think so.

Not everyone has that sort of an imagination.

Imagination is not a product, it’s a skill, and it’s a talent.

And we as artists need to sharpen our ability to imagine things.

How did the world’s longest love story end?

There was only silence.

A lot of silence for a really











long time.

The kind of nauseating silence that you can feel when you fart yourself in a crowded metro train.

Especially after a weekend spent feasting on the delicious “Rajma Chawal” that only your mother can cook.

Sometimes even “Mutton Biryani” has the same effect.

A bit unusual for an argument though isn’t it?

Well “life is a big fart” that  is what the two thought at the end of it.

As usual there was a boy and there was a girl.

None of them had spoken to each other for a




















long time.

But their fingers were greasy with lies that they were typing to each other.

Like a trigger of a UZI, the backspace button on their keyboards was their unknown assassin.

Killing hope and other silly motives with the push of a button.

They fired at each other with an uninformed accuracy.

Each time laying a brick of indifference between them.

It grew and grew.

Slowly the black wall was nearing completion.

Only words could save them now.

Words of courage.

Words of honesty.

Words of acceptance.

But in this desert of silence, the snake of their egos filled every hour.

No one, out of the two wanted to bow down to the other.

Yet secretly both of them wished

to forgive,

to be forgiven,

to unite


to make merry.

Waking up one day after watching two lovers kiss under the beautiful sunrise of a napalm sky on his big screen TV, he decided to save their friendship from stumbling down into the pit of darkness.

And he started typing a love letter that sounded like a poem.

But before his finger could press the send button, the arm of the “Control Z” button on his keyboard grabbed the umbilical cord of a tiny thread of an old lingering pain and pulled it right in front of the center of his third eye.

He could have resisted but he gave in to the delicious ecstasy of the bitter coldness that unusual traumatic experiences bring to the heart after a long period of tolerance.

And so did she.

Her mobile phone text editor did not have an “Undo Button” either.

The damage was done.

It was too late now.

Finally, the silence was broken with the sound of his shattering heart.

Their misunderstandings feasted on his salty palms

“They could have lived happily ever after”

and maybe they did…


Art is this space in our society where one can behave like a child. In this society we have created rules to help us survive physically as a group. But because of its limitations we lose the child in us. In our quest to survive physically our psychological self dies a slow death. We become adults and that urge to live freely, like we lived in our childhood days, gets suppressed. Art and other unexplored areas offer us that opportunity to become a child again. A place where you can make mistakes and practice full playfulness. Look at a two-year old playing around you and learn from them. They will teach you how to truly enjoy and participate in the creation of art. They know no boundaries and hence experience freedom that some of us will seldom re-experience again. Please practice some form of art. Otherwise you’re missing life’s real purpose. Or at least be in the presence of real art. Art that has not been created to be sold to you but that has been created out of playful love-making.


Day by day her appetite was growing.

She first ate the food around her, then the tables, then the chairs, the walls, the sofa set, the TV, the fridge, the plants, the books, the motorcycles, the ex-boyfriends, the neighbors fucking pet, all the choking compliments, all the frandsheep requests, the ogling eyes of the bystanders, all the arguments, all her bad memories, all her ugly Facebook photographs, all her calories, all the Honey-Singh songs, all the politicians and the chat shows, all the Ekta Kapur TV serials, …..

Then one day she realized that there was nothing more left for her to eat anymore.

Tired and lonely from the jaw-breaking work, she cuddled herself and slept like a baby.

Like Snow-white she slept for a very very long time but unlike Snow-white she had turned blue from eating all that junk.

A merciful spider thought she was dead and spun a blanket of cobweb to save her from the cold.

A hundred Mondays passed.

Everybody forgot about her.

On a spring morning she woke up and had her cobweb cocoon for breakfast. Like a butterfly she had magically grown jet propellers that looked like wings. She flew across the seven seas. She flew to the moon and back. She made some friends in Pluto, Egypt and Cairo. Then she made few more friends in Mars, Neptune, Rishikesh and Alaska.  She also did a Skype call with her friends in Andromeda. There were others like her, with superpowers but sad faces. They all told her the same thing “with great powers comes great responsibility” and that all these years with all their superpowers all of them had failed to do one particular thing. These thoughts filled her mind as she ascended from Jupiter to Lajpat Nagar. She could not forget what her friends had told her that day. She decided that she would become more courageous. That she would be the magic and not wait for the magic. That she would regret the things that she did than things that she did not. She quickly took her keyboard and ate all the “14 backspace buttons”. She promised herself that she will write a short story every day. She will become the inspiration behind other people’s work. With her writing she would eat up all the “ignorance is bliss crap” in the world. And then she lived happily every after.

You know what’s the biggest secret ?

“Nobody has a clue about what they are doing. They are just doing stuff because there is a lot of pressure from the outside. But on the inside everybody is lost. Everybody is clueless. Just take a moment and see for yourself. You think you are in control. But you are not” said Stanely as he smiled at the surprise in her eyes. Hiding her surprise inside an expression of unfriendliness Kritika questioned him back “are you high mister?” Stanley took off his headphone and asked her “I am sorry, what did you say?”But before she could reply back the announcer announced that in a few moments the gates to the Rajiv Chowk metro station will open. Stanley said excuse me and left. To hide her disappointment Kritika looked at her watch. The time was 9:30 AM. She whispered to herself “Fuck its 9:30, and I don’t know what excuse should I give to my boss this time for being so late , Fuck” . A little boy’s shocking gaze was reading her up. He whispered a complaint in his mother’s ear. The mother asked to pay no attention to such uncultured people. In order to look busy and to cover up her awkward outburst of anger she quickly pulled up a pair of headphones and played some music. The music soothed her chaos. Kritika smiled while humming a melody and then said to herself “Forget it ! You know why do we have this ability to forget ? That’s right ! Cause if you remembered everything then nothing would be new. Cause its our ability to forget that makes us tolerant. Cause pain is inevitable but its nonetheless also forgettable”. These words just spilled out of her mouth and sprayed Kabir’s mind with splendor. Kabir was sitting nearby her and was completely mesmerized. He had never thought that his ugly mug could afford a girl like that to speak to him so profoundly. Kabir smiled at her with the smile of the tramp from the Chaplin film “City lights”. Kritika however realized that her station was near. She paved her way out through a wall full of Kabir like lookalikes. The announcer announced “Please Mind The Gap”

Look Alikes

So this is my ongoing investigative and observational account of some stuff that peculiarly depends on my wired brain synapses. I don’t know why it happens but it does. So I might as well keep a note about it in the hope that some people may find it useful someday. May be some scientists. You really don’t have to agree with me though.


Julie Delpy and Lindsay Duncan


Aditi Rao Hydari and Meenakshi Seshadri


Bruce Greenwood and Tom Skerritt


Clarke Gable and George Clooney


Robert Redford and Brad Pit


Paul Newman and Matthew McConaughey




Everything that makes sound is a musical instrument

If you call yourself a musician then you should be able to take anything that makes a sound and then make music with it. Just like our forefathers did it with sheep gut and wood (Oudh, Tabla) or like the grand daddies of hip hop did it with Vinyl records and Vinyl record players or like our big brothers a few decades back did it using sounds from a computer. So just look for stuff near you that make sound and use it to create music. And don’t just stick to musical instruments. Everything that makes a sound is a musical instrument. Like words, if you can make music using words then make it and they should call you a poet. A rapper is a poet too. He makes music using words but he focuses more on the rhythm rather than the pitch. A singer focuses on the pitch. But that’s all you need Variation in Pitch and Variation in Rhythm and Voila you have music. The same goes for film editors. You play with the duration (long take or short take) and size of a shot (LS, MS, CU and or also the colour of the shot) and Voilà you have visual music. So keep at it. Its music. Just  fuck all the rules and just have a ball. Do whatever satisfies you and only you. No audience no producer no mom no dad no brother no sister only fucking you. That’s all you want and the rest of them will or should eventually like you for your style. If they don’t then don’t worry they don’t deserve it. Your pie is for yourself to cook and eat. If anybody wants a share feel free to give it to them but don’t make it just to please them. Please yourself first. If you don’t like it then it doesn’t matter if the whole world likes it. Just like the old cave man made noise because he was getting bored. So he banged and banged and banged the deer bone on the tree log with all his heart and soul. Till the time he started enjoying it. Then the others came and called it music. So go on bang something.