Saturday, September 7, 2013

Of Losing Friendships, Finding Solace, Corner Seats, Loneliness of Success, Ra.One, and Sahib, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns...

A few days ago, What the Fuck Facts posted this message: "More than 90% of people are no longer friends with someone that they once called their best friend."
As I read this, I felt a tinge of sadness. It is very true, at least in my case. I am not in touch with even one person from my school. I feel really bad about it. There was someone I used to call my best friend in school, but somehow, things got weird once I left school and I saw a change in the friend. I was hurt at first, but then I realized that he had never considered me as a friend. I mean how can a person you know for twelve years suddenly change so much. Was I partly to blame? I think not. At least not in this case, maybe in some others. I made effort initially but when I saw some behavior that made me feel that I am not required anymore, things got awkward and so awkward that when I bumped into him at a movie theater five years later, I had literally nothing to talk except a hello. How a once intimate friendship withers slowly into a distant acquaintance, reeking of signs of awkwardness and avoidance. There is perhaps only one friend from school with whom I am in touch with but I do not know if I can call her as my best friend anymore. We talk like once in two years, chat sometimes on social networking, but I do not tell her anything because she doesn't understand any more. She has her own set of problems of married life, which I cannot help her with, and after all there are some husbands who don't like their wives talking to a guy friend. But at least once in a while, it feels good to talk to someone about some things of the past. The reason that I thought of this today again is because I think I lost one more friendship today. I spoke with a close friend after probably like a year or so. While speaking to him, there was this hesitation on his part of not telling me certain things. He avoided telling me about his new friends. I, too, had my own set of deliberate avoiding of some issues, thinking that he probably does not care any more. Slowly and slowly, people get busy in their lives. New friends come. We will always in touch becomes we will try to be in touch, which slowly becomes we somehow lost touch. We will definitely meet becomes we will try to meet which becomes I did not get the time to meet, even if you are living in the same city. I am partly to blame, at least in this case. As Sarah said in Brothers and Sisters, distance does not make the heart grow fonder but it means that it can make us learn to live without each other. And as Siddharth had said earlier, 
How easily we are mistaken as proprietary or insecure when we see our friends stray into each others lives – secretly, we resent such intimacy. Then we repent the burden of the introduction. And slowly we lose trust in the friend. This is possibly because we conduct our friendships with the secret voltage and high color of a love affair: this leaves anyone else who enters the parenthesis of this friendship a threat, or an outsider (even if they are a familiar).
I suspect another known entering a private friendship holds the threat of diffusing an intimacy built over years. They can scatter, with their unnecessary insight or observation or analysis, the knowledge two people held as true to themselves. This is the blinding light of the outsider: it reveals more than what needs to be seen, or it reveals erroneously. And so. Things are lost. Things will never be the same again. Come away.

Perhaps, I now understand its meaning even more. This is a part of life. People move forward. I still have the friend but I lost a friendship today or I realized that I lost it today. It is all right. We learn to live without people. A part of me got broken but time will heal it.

This week, I got messages from three people that they read this blog after a really long time and it made them feel good after reading. As much as I write this blog as my personal newspaper or a diary, it gives me immense pleasure, even if one person says it made them feel good. I consider as an accomplishment. Some people write about happy things. Some people write so beautifully that it sometimes makes me jealous by their choice of exquisite vocabulary. As much I love these things, I am not able to write happy stuff. I just cannot. I do not have a evolved viewpoint on a whole lot of issues, most of my thinking is naive and kiddish, some of it is even hypocritical, but this is the way I am - confused. But I find solace in expressing myself in a world that is running at the speed of the light. I am not a confident person. I have made so many mistakes in my life, so many wrong decisions, so many regrets but I will fight like I always have. I will learn from them and maybe I will commit those same mistakes again and still try to make sense of the world. My blog is a testimony to all that and if someone else finds solace here, then maybe they are like me.   

And as someone on timeline posted this article, it brought a smile on my face. 23 Signs You're Secretly An Introvert. I love number 9. When you get on the subway, you sit at the end of the bench – not in the middle. I thought only I did that. In fact, in my class in engineering college, we used to have long continuous desks, in which about fifteen-sixteen people could sit in one row. I was the only person whose seat was fixed. Second row, corner seat to the left. Everyday other people used to sit on different seats but I never budged. Every single class, I used to sit there. Sometimes, I fought for it. If a person came in late in class, I will not go inside, instead I would stand up and let him/her go inside. I sit in a similar seat here, though third row, corner seat to the right. When I was in college, S had even written this poem beginning with from where I sat ;-) I just hate sitting in the middle. Corner seats are the best. No surprises there as I am unashamedly an introvert :)

At one corner of our class,
Sits a boy with great presence and splendid poise,
With heart of gold, he never goes loud
Yet he stands out in the crowd!
To his diligence, we all salute
But ghissu title wont really suit,
A big movie fan and what a critic
Be ware Rajeev Masand,your job is at risk!
He reads, he blogs and his opinion eminently rocks
You just cant ignore him when he talks.
Smart on thoughts, immense talent imbued.
That's why he got through the smartest route!!
His perseverance and modesty is rarest of all 
In future he shall stand bright up and tall!!! 
So on behalf of entire crew
Hey Pankaj, best wishes for you!!! :)

And as always, this topic of loneliness. Deepika talked about her loneliness to Anupama Chopra here. She said that she talks to flowers. Isn't it really sad that such an actress, who at an age of twenty six has got everything but yet she is terribly lonely? Success does make you lonely. She said,

Anupama: The other thing you talk about often is living alone, coming home to an empty apartment. You said you now have conversations in your head about the color of the flowers. It sounds really sad.

Deepika: I don’t want sympathy and all, but it’s the truth. I have always been a shy person and I feel like over the years I’m becoming more and more quiet because I’m now so used to not speaking or not being surrounded by people at home. In a way I enjoy it because in my line of work I’m constantly surrounded by people all the time, the minute I step out of the house. So it has its pluses and the minuses but I miss my mother asking me how my day was. We speak on the phone everyday but it’s different from her physical presence.

And in the same week, Vir Sanghvi wrote this. There is a lonely and private Shah Rukh beneath that extroverted exterior. Will we ever get over loneliness? Will we ever try to find that will stop us from feeling restless? I don't know.

A few thoughts on two films that I watched recently.
I did not like the film as much as I hoped that I will like it. Rather, I found it very very boring. I may be one of the very few people who just did not get the film's plot. It was too complicated for me to understand. A lot of criticism is given to films in which the characters have to explain what is going on in the film as it is said that audiences are smart enough to understand on their own. But I was actually thankful that the makers had to explain what is going on in Ra.One because I just could not understand it. Why was Arjun Rampal in the movie? A lot of criticism was given to Ra.One as a film aimed at kids talked about gaalis, condoms and homosexuality. I was fine with all of it but I just could not get thrilled by the plot. Sonia talked so much about not giving gaalis using women but she herself gave some of them using women's features. Utterly confused as was the movie. There was some hilarious moments which made me laugh a lot like when Iyer Uncle (Satish Shah) does that funny exercise routine and calls Jayalalitha. Or the the line love at first fight :)

Rather than the science fiction plot, I think Ra.One was more about a father's love for his child. As much as Shah Rukh loves his own children, Shekhar loved his Prateek like him. Just as this movie was SRK's gift to his children showing how much he loved them, Shekhar makes a video game to give it to Prateek on his birthday. Shekhar was Shah Rukh. 

Shekhar loves his kid so much that wouldn't even let the doctor hurt him :)

Ra.One also tried to inculcate some good values in the kids by educating them about the difference between good and evil.
Neki par chale aur badi se dare taki haste hue nikle dam.

Buraai acchi nahi hoti, buraai sang jo khel rachaya, to kabhi na chhoote uska saaya.

Aankh ke badle aankh puri duniya ko andha bana degi.

At another instance, he educates kids on the harmful effects of smoking.

No Smoking

I also liked the fact that they did not have the same face for the villain meaning that there is an evilness in all of us and any of us could be bad but we can fight it with our actions. If there is good in the world, then there would be evil too as one cannot survive with out the other. G.One has no meaning without Ra.One.

Shekhar puts a folder containing good quotes in G.One and I loved it when Sonia said she did not want him to delete that folder. There are some beautiful lines in the folder. Kaun kehta hai bada size sab par bhaari hai, kabhi machchar ke saath ek raat guzaari hai.

There were some references to spiritualism. At one point, G.One is reading Journey To Self Realization by Yogananda Parmahansa.

At another instance, G.One says, geeta me likha hai, jaise insaan kapde badalte hain, aatma shareer badal kar vapas aa sakti hai.

At another point, they show that Ra.One is made of seven deadly sins - wrath, greed, pride, sloth, lust, envy, gluttony. 

The ten avatars of Ra.One from Ramayana

Ek kal hamare peeche hai, ek kal hamare baad, aaj aaj ki baat karo, aaj hamare saath.

Shekhar's Coffin

Some other references to evil books,

I can see Dracula, Idi Amin, Adolf Hitler, Ivan the terrible, and Charles Mansion

Book on Ghenghis Khan 

I loved loved loved Bhare Naina and Dildara songs. The use of Dildara as a background score is lovely. 

Actually, I was very very surprised that most of the reviews missed the fact that Ra.One was a scene by scene copy of The Burning Train. The train not stopping, the technique of separating the engine from the main train, people praying, even having teachers with kids on the train. In that film also, the train was going to Bombay and the engine rams out of the station like here. That is still such a thrilling movie, even without any superheroes.

The Burning Train or Ra.One

Anyways, I will be excited to watch Ra.One 2 if at all there is one :)

Read this scathing piece by Baradwaj Rangan on how Shah Rukh has emasculated the Hindi film hero.

Sahib, Biwi, Aur Gangster Returns
Excellent plot as always like it is in every Tigmanshu Dhulia's film. Characters are so evil and manipulative that somewhere Machiavelli would be writhing in his grave. In fact, the opening credits, Tigmanshu shows us the signs of things by incorporating images of chameleons, alcohol and guns. 

Numerous other references on books explaining character aspirations.

Chhoti Rani reads Constitution of India  - wants to gain power

Sahib reading Victoria and Abdul - a sign of his unconventional love for Ranjana

But there is a very very interesting line in the film. At one point, Sahib says, aapko pata hai, mard zyada gali kyun dete hain, kyunki vo rote kam hai. It is true no? That we all need to let our emotions out. Women cry, some men do (like me) while other men give gaalis.

There are numerous other reference as there are in Tigmanshu's films but I forgot most of the things I observed and I do not want to watch it again. But probably for the first time, I agree with Raja Sen in this review. I observed the same things myself like he did, for example, the books :) So, I guess I will just post his review only. 

Meanwhile, I have started another blog on Books in Hindi Films :) 

The next three weeks are crazy. I am not looking forward to them. There will be tension and heart break but I have to get through it.  

God grant us the Serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the Courage to change the things we can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.

More later.

Dialogue of the Day:

Hasogi to jeet jaogi, rogi to dil dukhaogi, chahe pass rahu na rahu, hamesha apne saath paogi.
 - Shekhar's Folder, Ra.One


  1. I too loved the article on introverts. Most of them are true for me, but the one that resonated with me the most was Number 14 - You screen all your calls -- even from friends. This is so very true in my case. I have to be in a certain frame of mind to pick up phone calls, even from my friends and family.

  2. is the same with is like I have to prepare myself.. whoever it is..


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