Black Forest Outer-space

The valiant and strong commander Igor Stormbearer of the Samarian clan had fists as large as watermelons and feet as rigid as tree trunks and when his mountainly figure stood lead his fellow soldiers, it dwarfed them. And they followed his shadow as blindly as they’d follow the gods themselves. And when the thrice strong army of the Rohaans’ attacked them in the unaware vicinity of the night, he didn’t shriek or frown or dread or tremble. He banged his wine mug on the table, rose before his fellow men and as he took the sword out of his scabbard, only two words roared from his mouth- “How many?”

The colours faded, the picture dissolved. The humongous commander was now Rudy, the blue jay, with wings that kissed the sunlight and the crest of a king on his head, he soared over the Atlantic, piercing through the clouds, as the chilly breeze almost froze his beak. He rose to the abode of Heaven and lunged into the darkest of abyss only to rise back again, and again and again. With his tiny black eyes he saw clouds of the shape of boots and dogs and sheep and stars…

Only now the clouds weren’t clouds anymore, they were stars; And the sky wasn’t the sky anymore. Or maybe it was. And as Flight Engineer, Max Thrillseeker, of Shuttle no. 177921 Leia, spacewalked in the void of nothingness in the star-studded outer-space, he realized that space is nothing but a huge Black forest pastry spread all around with sugar sprinkled over it. With his spacesuit attached to the spacecraft with a pipe for oxygen, he could see the giant marshmallow they called the moon on one  hand and a piece of blueberry they called the Earth on the other. And he’s floating and floating and floating…

And so is his ship, the Whiteskull. Captain Earl one-eyed Kruger, leader of the Pirates of the Southern Pacific, mean and treacherous yet compassionate and adventurous, decided to hold on to the wheel himself as his beloved tumbled and lunged in the storm. He knew the Oceans at the back of his hand and his one left eye (The right one he lost in a duel with Red Harrington) searched for hidden treasures to recover and enemy ships to plunder. And although the Oceans today were loathsome, he still had the same smirk on his face as he sung- “Fee fie Foe and a bottle of rum”.

And as the little boy woke up on the study table on which he fell asleep last night, he realized that the gigantic Commander had been beaten by the Rohaans. And that the blue jay which soared free as the wind, had fallen into the abyss. And the Astronaut, who had his connecting tube detached from the shuttle while spacewalking, was lost somewhere in space, still floating as there was no Gravity. And even though Captain Earl ‘one-eyed’ Kruger was an excellent sailor, pirate and leader, the Whiteskull that plunged and rose in the furious waters, could not survive the storm…

The little boy’s arm hurt from all the soldiers he’d killed. He suffered from a slight cold because of the freezing Atlantic breeze. He wasn’t still accustomed to the Gravity of the Earth. Perhaps the Earth was a bit too heavy for him to bear. His fingers had shriveled because of all the time he’d spent in the Oceans. He looked out of the window searching for the skies. Searching for the characters. He was all of them. He was none at all…

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Just an idea….

This might be one of those randomly insightful midnights full of sleep-deprivation, excess of caffeine, probably a good book (I don’t know, haven’t finished it yet) and the haunt of my existential crisis that lingers (WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH LIFE?). There is a little chilly, palpable breeze and the clatter of raindrops, yes, but all too mundane perhaps, nothing unusual, and all your thoughts are somehow so overwhelming that all you have to do is write about them.

So I came across this artwork called ‘Chiaroscuro’ which basically creates, or should I say enlightens the effect of something through appropriate amount of light and darkness and perhaps there was a chain of intricate thoughts and Wikipedia links as I consequently came across the works of Salvador Dali and Andre Breton and his Manifesto of Surrealism (It is brilliant how the internet has done wonders to our lives) and I was wondering perhaps where do all these surreal, obscured yet beautiful ideas come from? Are people perhaps born this way? Or is it something that is perhaps endowed from our genes? Or has it come from widespread exposure?

For it is but strange and ironical in a contrasting way that we have had the privilege of experiencing both Mozart and Beethoven, one who was a childhood prodigy, had over 20 symphonies by the time he was 19 (Me? Umm.. I’m still trying to figure out) whereas there was Beethoven who had been molded from the excruciating heat of a furnace as his father had made the poor, little kid subject to all sorts of mental and physical pressure to excel from the very beginning thereby creating the illusion of him being a childhood prodigy. Both have made inimitable and significant contributions to music. To perhaps compare one to the other would be sacrilegious. Which again leaves us to the question of how did both of them have the same, delightful and significant ideas despite being grown up under different circumstances?

There was once a very profound, intellectual idea I read from somebody (Somebody who might be reading this. Just might be! :)) about how our ideas are our particular home. Interesting, right? I mean somehow it makes sense as perhaps it is the place that we live in no matter where we are. We always carry our home with us. It maybe sparse, sometimes too filled, sometimes full of filth, there might ba sofa abandoned somewhere, roof that leaks, a window that creaks, but it is our very own home and we love it and accept it the way it is. It further dwells on the fact that sometimes we do let others inside our home and maybe then, for a short period of time, it becomes their home as well, and when they leave, there is something so significant of merely their presence that now our home may never be the same again. How, perhaps a certain idea could affect the very foundations of what we believe in and we may turn out to be skeptical, or maybe even enlightened, after the certain encounter. Interesting thought, stranger. Very insightful *wink, wink*.

Sometimes, or maybe it’s just me, it may happen that a lot of different ideas may never surface you know. That perhaps a certain idea, although it may be brilliant, but we’ve thought about it so much and the whole thought of it has been so repetitive in our minds that somehow have lost their meaning. I mean I read this somewhere that a certain writer said that sometimes when you repeat a certain word over and over and over it starts to lose it’s meaning. I mean think about this, a certain amount of significant words are so repetitive in our heads for example- ‘Exams, exams, exams…’ ‘Career, career, career…’ ‘Jobs, jobs, jobs…’ Nothing. See, nothing! Somehow it starts to lose it’s significance in the whole repetition. He further took the example of his parent’s divorce as the whole idea of separation was so frightening in the beginning but then there were ‘Fights, fights, fights…’, ‘Separation, separation, separation….’ and there was nothing! Same goes with ideas I guess. A certain ideas may be so interesting in our heads and then somehow something happens and we have to abandon it for a while and when we come back, the whole idea has been playing in our heads like a vinyl record on a loop, that somehow the music doesn’t feel the same way. Like for eg, I once came across an idea for a story and in the process of it I couldn’t figure out what do you call a doorknocker. I mean now I know that it is called a doorknocker but then at that particular instant I was devoured by the fact that I couldn’t find the appropriate word to fit that I abandoned the idea for quite some time and thought about it over and over and when I came back (After finding the meaning of the word doorknocker, that is) that the whole idea somehow never felt the same way. Does that mean that there are yet many such ideas which do not surface at all? Holy shit! Or maybe it’s just me. It’s just how delusional and neurotic and lost and dreamy and unfocused I am maybe.

But we still haven’t had the answer to our question? Where do all these ideas come from? Do they drop in from the skies like shooting stars? Or do they perhaps grow from the Earth like Dandelions? Does a stork carry them in it’s beak to deliver to out heads. Or maybe they’re just delivered at our doorstep buy a magical owl whose only job is to post ideas? I mean their might be some smarty-pant suggestions to be thrown ‘They come from the brain, dude! Haven’t you figured that out yet?’ Well, no! I haven’t. Because maybe in the world where we live in everybody has a brain right? We don’t use it somehow, but we do. My question is, from where does these ideas originate in the brain? What consequences, in retrospect, lead to its budding?

There is a very whimsical yet somehow insightful thing that comes to mind. Maybe I shouldn’t, it’s a bit too silly! But anyways, there was this random, mundane (yet interesting) thought in the film ‘Before Sunrise’ (Have you guys seen it? You should stop reading further and go watch it! Spoiler alert!) in which the lead character Jesse is asked ‘What a problem is to him?’ to which he very playfully says that he had this idea of reincarnation. That maybe in the beginning of the human evolution there were like 50,000 people, then there were around a million and now there are almost 5 billion people that live and breathe on this Earth. So where do all these specific souls for all these people come from? To actually come up with all these different souls might be a little hectic for the makers. So maybe what happens is that our souls, just like the souls before us, split into these various other souls when we die and so all we are are tiny bits and pieces of the souls of the people that we have split from. And so in this way, our ideas are what come from the ideas of the different people whose souls we have inside of us. Or maybe it isn’t so? See, this is how delusional and lost and…- well you get the drill right?

But maybe what if it’s true you know? What if our souls are split from the different people who’ve lived before us? If that is true, I wish I’d been split from Kurt Cobain man! I mean that’d be so cool, right?

Movie Review- Finding Fanny : “All that is FANNAtical about out lives….”

Our films over the years have had all these bizarre, contrasting images of Goa. From Goa being a suburban Christian community with music and intimacy and emotions (apropos Kabhi Hann Kabhi Naa), to Goa being the demonic and savage underbelly of Crime and Mafia to a Goa still in its deranged,  delusional state with all the young blood and all the liquid LSD flowing through it, but somehow Homi Adajania’s potrayal of Goa as a whimsical, Marquezian universe with characters that are neurotic and music that is quirky and colours that seem like a world dressed in Instagram filters is all so picturesque and  the whole unreality of it seemed so surreal that I had to had to write about it.

It’s been a long time since I’ve written about a film, but then each and every other film that there has been, in it’s own genre, could be well perceived of being either good or bad and that could be well distinguished by the audiences that behold. Whereas ‘Finding Fanny’, in it’s own way is all too intricate and layered and has this tinge of unconventionality that somehow manages to knock the wind out of your stomach. Maybe during the end of it it makes you question the fact whether you liked the film or not? Was it an inspiring road-trip film or did it  have any poignant moments of self-introspection by the characters, to which I’d like to disappoint you by saying there’s none of this in the film. Then what is it that makes you like a film like this? To which I’d say are the characters, who are so incomplete in their own being (just like any of us) that they seem to complete you.

What is more questionable is the fact that all of this is being written about an Indian film, but then all of this could only be felt about an Indian film. That even among the cacophony of poorly made films lacking in both luster and substance there perhaps might be a few hidden Easter eggs that fill you up with all this inexpressible zeal of it’s discovery. Which is what I love about our films, that even after all these years, they never fail to surprise us. They did that with the highly unconventional ‘Delhi Belly’ which was all so mad and hysterical yet had so much substance and also with ‘Udaan’ that had substance and artistic integrity filled upto the brim. ‘Finding Fanny’ could be described as a film for me that was a sly reminder of two things, how much I love watching films and how much I miss writing about them. And it filled me up with all these delicate emotions that I almost felt like a Zeppelin on the verge of blowing up to pieces. So here’s my short, personally opinionated review of a film that I found interesting.

Pocolim- a fictional town in the whimsical parts of Goa, with people as whimsical as the location. Quoting a line from the film ” It’s a place where life doesn’t pass you by, but rather  moves along with you” It’s a village where somehow everybody knows everybody and where all that is unproductive and pointless is somehow a part of life. In the backdrop of this village is a young widow whose husband dies just a day after their marriage; a puerile, hopeless romantic postmaster with no mails to deliver and a broken heart to mend; an obnoxious mechanic whose father just died; another old widow with her nose up in the air and has the same bitterness towards the world as does the mechanic;a  fanatical artist with all the extremism for his art and his fetish for ‘big’ women; tightly- tuned guitars; accordions; a dysfunctional vibe in a village which speaks it’s English in tattered ways, with phrases like “What you doing?” “How this possible?” “How you speak!’; a dead cat; a rusty, foreign car; a bizzaro painting; and somehow all this quirky chaos is doing the one thing that it is set out to do- ‘Trying to find happiness.’

Now that pursuit of happiness may be initiated by the postmaster’s sudden revelation of the fact that after 46 years of his life, his love ‘Fanny Fernandes’ had never received the one letter of his confession of love to her and all his life was based on the illusion of rejection. He, along with all the other four nutbags, set out on a journey to find her. What happens next, perhaps, changes their particular lives for the better (and even for the worst). A film like ‘Finding Fanny’ never really lies in the conclusion of it all, but rather in the characters and their journey and Homi Adajania’s characters are all so messed up, that they all seem likeable. There’s the postmaster, naive and oozing in love Naseerudin Shah who is unarguably spot on with all the precise emotions at all the necessary times, but then this is the Naseerudin Shah that has been all so formidable in all his films and all those who’ve been to naive to notice that should perhaps have their eyes melted in a furnace. Then there is the all so egoistic yet pretentious artist played by Pankaj Kapoor and again, these are actors who never fail to deliver. A very appreciative revelation was Deepika Padukone as the widow with all her puritan beliefs and who somehow tries to find happiness for herself by finding happiness for others. Arjun Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia were all too sparse yet likeable in their respective, bitter roles filled with a tinge of sarcasm.

Homi’s style of film-making is a little similar to Wes Anderson (just a little) with the dysfunctional characters being involved in awkward situations, but the imagery of a Wes Anderson film is what our films would perhaps need quite some time to accomplish. There is also this serene yet humorous background music of accordions and violins, so as to create a sense of ethnicity. There are a few staggering situational humour instances, for say, when a Father reveals his intention of getting married the postmaster retorts by saying “Then what are you waiting for? The second coming? You’ve waited for that since the last 2000 years and look where it has got you.”

‘Finding Fanny’ leaves us with the most cliched question there is- ‘How do we find happiness in our lives?’ To which the answer might be that happiness doesn’t lie in the conclusion after it’s chasing, but in the journey there is in it’s pursuit. We may find it in lost love, surreal artforms, one night stands, flattery, sunsets or even in ice-creams. All we have to do is stop searching for the pot of gold and feast our eyes with the rainbow instead.

“Were we any wiser at end of it?” asks the widow. To which the answer is I do not know. Or it might be, as Antoine de  Saint Exupery had said, ‘for what is essential is invisible to the eyes…’