Monday, April 09, 2007

the flute-seller

The notes reach out to me on the 13th floor, I wonder for a moment where they are coming from, and then going to the window, I see a flute-seller. He plays as he walks down our lane flanked by two high boundary walls, but his melodies are hardly going to entice anyone from the tall towers. Surely, the flute-seller is for smaller lanes, smaller houses, where people still hang out of their windows and sit near the doors, and the children play on the streets. With his fan of flutes behind his shoulder, he looks as strange as a peacock would here in Mumbai, and the sweet sounds he coerces out of his flute yearn for more open skies.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

For me, "Namesake" was about Irfan. Though he is barely 4-5 years older than me, he reminded me so much of my father. He had the same sad and loving look that a lot of fathers have, someone who has worked hard to provide for the family, someone who loves them, someone who has a hundred things to say to his children but somehow, can't. Of course, I cried buckets and buckets.

And for me the longing of the immigrant, was in the landscape shots. When you cut from Calcutta to the US, and back again, you don't even need to see Tabu's face, to know how much of an alien she feels, a creature taken out of its natural habitat. It's physical, the loneliness, the alienation.

The next day, I saw "Pursuit of Happyness" and cried again. I did want to see an out-and-out comedy after that. Not the romantic comedies that Hollywood makes nowadays, which are mostly vacuous fluff.

Saw "Bullets over Broadway" yesterday. It's Woody Allen doing what he does best, making fun of artistic pretensions, the artist. Of course, the hoodlum's girlfriend's bodyguard is a better writer than the protagonist - he knows more about life, death, sex, love. In the end, though, the hero gets the girl, and goes back to a happy, middle class life, and all's well. I did need that unadulterated dose of laughter. No tears.

And staying with Woody Allen, saw "Interiors" a couple of days ago. I found it tedious. I know it's his homage to Bergman, and it's well done, but I'd rather Bergman had done it. That's how directors get typecast by their audience. Please do what I want you to do, what makes me like you. Please don't try anything new.

Friday, April 06, 2007

i don't want to share my chocolates

Just saw "Bob and Carol, Ted and Alice" (Paul Mazursky, 1969). What does free love really mean, and when it comes down to it, can one really take part in an orgy, have intercourse with a friend, swap wives and husbands? "It's all love, it's all beautiful, let it all hang out"- the film takes the 60's creed to it's most bizarre, funniest limits.

But can we really let all be love, without jealousy? I know I couldn't. Ever since my sister was born when I was two, I have been consumed by jealousy, and to date, I haven't really learnt to share, not deep down inside, whatever politeness, and social norms may demand. And whatever I may teach my kid. Being an only child, she's more secure and giving than me however, so I don't get put to the test that often.

I love the sixties hippie look though, the girls look like little dolls, everyone is so well dressed. You hardly see that in Hollywood movies anymore, people dressed up glamorously, unless it's a Bond film or period. Was fast forwarding through "Rear Window", and drooling over Grace Kelly's dresses.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

brats

The little monster we met at three, has become a "little big monster" in its adolescent years. Earlier, it used to stomp, scream and wail. Now, it grunts, growls and snaps. It's parents smile helplessly as if to say, " We didn't know how this happened". I smile back, politely and lie, "Yes, couldn't see that coming."

Though Newton's law of action and reaction was first published in 1687, and the general principle of it has concerned religions and philosophies down the ages, it is strange that parents continue to think that little brats will transform into angels as they grow up without any interference or attempt to discipline them on the parents' part.

I must be old-fashioned, but I think it's important for a parent to be a parent first, and then even pretend to be a friend.