Sunday, July 29, 2012

Of Overcoming Fear, River of Smoke, And Modern Day Love

So long time no see...

Have been a bit busy for the last few days. As the day comes near, I am getting goosebumps. The feeling has still not sunk in. I am feeling surreal. Pata nahi kya hoga aage..As Shaan wrote brilliantly, chalna akele hain yahan, tanha dil, tanha safar...Mummy is getting emotional day by day :\ I don't know whether I am doing it right or wrong, that time will tell...I have to be positive and will try to be :)

This week I watched Modern Family Season 3 Episode 3. As usual, it was amazing. The 12-year old Luke is just awesome. He is so funny that he keeps his money frozen in the form of ice. So when his sister asks for some money, he says he is not very liquid right now. Heh! But that is not what I am going to talk about. In the episode, Phil tries to cross their porch on a rope. He keeps on trying but always kept on falling as he was never able to balance himself on the rope. Now enters Luke. He sees his dad trying this and says to him, "Maybe that's the problem. Maybe you keep falling because part of you knows that you can fall." And then listening to this, what Phil does is that he raises the height of the rope from the ground so that there is no support to hold back even if he falls. And voila! When he tries to cross this time, he does it. So beautifully they tried to show that if one keeps thinking about the back up options, one would never reach his goal. Sometimes, one needs to have no other options, then you have to do it. The lack of a fall back thing will force you to do it.I loved that episode. Luke has become my favorite character. I was thinking to myself that I have to write about this. But as always, cosmic connection theory came into picture.

I also saw The Dark Knight Rises. It was terrific. I had seen The Dark Knight only recently, about two months back. That one was also brilliant. I don't know about comparisons and all but I simply loved The Dark Knight Rises. The movie dealt with so many themes. Ethics, morality, corporate responsibility (the scene where Miranda Tate says we have built the reactor and it is our responsibility to clean it up), communism (references to the Occupy Wall Street movement where Bane asks people to get back the rights from the rich), heroes (how anyone can be a hero: A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy's shoulders, to let him know the world hadn't ended), nuclear warfare, hope, fear and pain. Each scene of the movie has something to say about (such as the prison break-out, reminiscent of the storming of the Bastille). The movie deserves a separate post. But what I found the most interesting part of movie was the Lazarus Pit. The conversations between the doctor and the Batman in the pit were so profound. He tells him the story of the child who was the only one who was able to get out of the pit. And the way child did was the he did not use a rope. He gives the same advice to Batman to try without the rope. Because maybe a part of you knows that the rope is there to hold you back in case you fall. And when you go without the rope, you have nothing to fall back on, so you have to give your best shot as it is a matter of life and death. And this is exactly what the Batman followed. He failed the first time because he had tied the rope but the second time he didn't use the rope. And he literally rose from the pit. That was the essence of the movie - The Dark Knight Rises. Isn't this so similar to what Luke said in Modern Family!! As I was watching this scene in the movie, I immediately thought of Luke. Cosmic connections no? :) Talking of The Dark Knight Rises, it deserves a separate post but Greatbong as always wrote a terrific review of it on his blog. So many insights he talks about. I loved the part where he says how the Batman used fear as a weapon.

The Dark Knight Rises takes it to a glorious conclusion in its greatest sequence,(the only one that I felt truly transcended the narrative), when Bruce Wayne, with his back literally and figuratively broken, ascends the Lazarus Pit of darkness, death and despair towards “light” and “freedom”, ironically by embracing fear again. But fear of a different sort—one that stems not from the instinct of self-preservation (what will happen to me if I fall) but from empathy (what will happen to others if I cannot make it).

There are so many quotes from the movie. "There can be no true despair without hope." "Suffering builds character." It needs repeat viewing :)

These days I am reading Amitav Ghosh's River of Smoke. Each of his book is a lesson in history itself. He writes about the cultures with a meticulous research which leaves one wondering about its detail and exhaustiveness. Whether it is The Calcutta Chromosome or the Sea of Poppies. Brilliant! The way he weaves characters in the story is fantastic. River of Smoke is the second book in the Ibis trilogy. The first being the Sea of Poppies. Sea of Poppies was about how the British started cultivating opium in India. River of Smoke talks about trade of opium with China and the opium wars. He has done such exquisite research on the subject that it is simply unmatched. He talks about how tea came into existence, how Chinese were fascinated by handkerchiefs and thought that the Europeans used it to store their snort, how Hong Kong and Macau were just islands where no body preferred to live, how the name Pearl river was given and so many other facts....fascinating to learn about history with an equally intriguing story. And above all, he writes some lines in pidgin, a simplified language which is used to communicate between two different cultures that do not have a common language. It is extremely difficult to write in pidgin but Amitav has mastered it perfectly. Superb!

And this week on The Front Row, there was a discussion on love. Imtiaz Ali said, "I feel that the modern time that I can see around me has loneliness, it has yearning, it has pining. It’s just that the format or grammar is different. I feel that people do feel very strongly despite the communication network and the fact that they may be able to reach out 25 times in the day does not really mean that they are reaching out still."

Karan Johar said, "Technology has almost killed old world romance. There was a time where writing letters had its own mystery. There was pining, there was love. Today you are on Facebook, you’re on Twitter, you’re on Facetime, you’re on BBM, you’re texting, you’re sms-ing, it’s more annoyance and irritation."

Anupama asked Karan whether Rahul, Anjali or Tina ever had sex? And he said, "Are you mad? No, they never had sex, they just touch once and produce a baby." And then he recounted how a couple had left Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna half way because they were so appalled by the sex scene between Rani and SRK. He added, he will be more comfortable in shooting a sex scene now because the audience has accepted such things.  

Anupama then recommended the DVD of the week - Kabhie Kabhie. She said her favourite character in the film is Vijay Khanna (Shashi Kapoor) who has the maturity and grace to accept his wife once loved someone else. I still haven't seen it but will see it soon. I love Anupama. She is awesome. I want to be a film writer like her.

Also, Sidin Vadukut wrote an excellent piece on movie watching like I wrote about that how audience has become extremely judgemental these days. Read the article here. He says

Thank God movies like Sholay got made years before you lot came on the scene. I can see the Twitter updates and blog posts now.
“Sholay shamelessly promotes vigilantism. And denim suits.”
“Did Thakur first file an FIR with local Ramgarh police? No? Typical.”
“No one can dance on broken glass for that long. Lousy script.”
“Now our children will think it is perfectly normal to climb water towers. Ban this farce now! A concerned parent.”

“This movie is clearly loaded in favour of people with legs.”
So true! So true!

I need help in one thing. For the last two three posts, there is a very weird thing happening. Sometimes when I try to justify a passage, it becomes white and nothing is visible. I don't know why is it happening. Sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn't :(

I have to write about so many things but not getting time to do so. I will try to remember them because I keep thinking that I have to write about this and that..but then forget it very quickly :\

Dialogue of the Day:

"Sanjana, zindagi nikalti jati hai aur hum pyaar ke bina jeena seekh lete hain, kyun hum pyaar ko ek mauka nahi dete, kyun hum khud par vishvaas nahi karte, kyun hum khud se itna darte hain, yeh zindagi nafrat ke liye bahut chhoti hai."
 - Ram, Main Hoon Na

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