Most movies about writers, journalists, etc. would have at its core a scene in which we see the actor at a keyboard – cue zoom out, pan, montage, music builds up, zoom in, crescendo, close-up – fingers typing THE END, krr, krr, krr, the novel, screenplay, report is ready. Only, nobody tells us what happened between the hyphens.

I for one start with an outline, cut, paste, hew, hack, struggle with it for a couple of days till it takes over my brain, initiates an infinite rewrite loop…till suddenly, like some North Korean stadium display thing, everything fits together and…works.

But today morning was different. While driving to work, playing Dodge ‘Em Cars on Royapettah High, I almost subconsciously started composing a post on, er, driving to work, playing Dodge ‘Em Cars on Royapettah High. The words came ea-si-ly, a little too easily, there was something about the flow, the cadence, that was familiar…as if I was channelling something from the depths of my memory.

Took me an hour to fish out the original…it is from the movie The Perfect Storm, the Clooney – Mastrantonio scene.

The fog’s just lifting.
You throw off your bowline, throw off your stern.
You head out the South Channel…
…past Rocky Neck, Ten Pound Island…
…past Niles Pond, where I skated as a kid.
Blow your horn…
…and wave to the lighthouse keeper’s kid on Thatcher Island.
Then the birds show up.
Black-backs, herring gulls, big dump ducks.
The sun hits you.
Head north, open up to 12.
You’re steaming now.
The guys are busy, you’re in charge.
You know what?
You’re a goddamn swordboat captain.
Is there anything better in the world?

Now, back to my stuff. To use a phrase made famous by mimicry guys, ഇനി ക്ലൂണി ചെന്നൈയില്‍ കാര്‍ ഓടിക്കുകയാണെന്നു വിചാരിക്കുക

The sun is blazing.
You start the car, release the hand-brake,
You head for Royapettah High…
…past Vivekananda College, the roundana…
…past Vijaya Medicals, and almost drive over a kid.
Blow your horn…
…and shake your fist at the shop keeper’s kid.
Then the natives show up.
Black faced…TVS50s, big dump trucks…
An auto hits you.
Head north, open the window…
You’re screaming now.
The cops are busy, nobody is in charge.
You know what? You’re driving in goddamn Chennai.
Is there anything worse in the world?

Advertisements