WEEKEND THOUGHTS # 32

CHAKRA

Dear Ornetter,

This week's article is from an enthusiastic Oriya-Programmer- Analyst-writer-poet rolled into one, Sujata Pradhan. This article is pretty preppy, it has a kind of smooth and amusing flow. I am tempted to say that it is a poetic narration of an experience which happens to be Hindi movies in this case. Hope you enjoy the article.

This article portrays a different and distinct flavour of our day-to-day life. I am sure, you'll find author's style of presentation quite amusing and the article enjoyable though you may have a different take on the very issue.

sincerely,

surjit (10/27/95)


Self-Introduction

Sujata Pradhan

There's not much that I can list under self-introduction except for my exceptionally exceptional parents (they must have found me under a tree), my 5 ever-tolerant overindulging brothers & sisters, a very fetching group of 5 nephews & nieces AND a grrrr...eat, groooo..vy and gem of a group of friends.

Almost 80% of my family members have been Attorneys (or should I say Lawyers?). So Lawyer jokes don't go very well with my diet.

Me - I am an underpaid (isn't everyone? Ask anyone!) Programmer Analyst with Dell Computers. Been in US for last 4 (or is it 40?) years.

I am a BJB-ite, a VaniVihareno and a Rengcolian (REC Rourkela) a la an "Oda" trying walk the Hans kee chaal.


NOSTALGIA


Almost every time I watch a new Hindi movie, I swear on my life and my annual salary that this is it. This definitely, absolutely, positively without a shadow of a question or a tinge of a doubt, is it. Never again. Never ever again.

And the fact that my worthless inutil only-good-for-umm- let'see-umm-well-nothing life and my scrawny pitiable only-good-for-a-happy-meal-a-day-at-MickeyD annual salary, my only two possessions that I can afford to wager on and loose, are the ones on line has absolutely nothing to do with the ardency, fervency and earnestness of my resolution.

Because after the movie, as I force my brain (which has temporarily shut off all communication channels with earth) to figure out an attack plan to put the cassette (which, by the way, I do not have to rewind since I had to rewind it to watch the movie and by Texan law you are required to rewind the cassette only once per viewing) back into the cassette cover - I do not see myself going through another self- inflicted routine of trying to figure out if the movie came like a big jigsaw puzzle with missing bits of pieces or did I myself have an internal core dump because of which the movie seems like a set of n-1 algebraic equations with n unknowns.

And as I try to wake up my friends, now sound asleep on the sofa, and try to formulate an intelligible answer like "There was a boy... there was a girl... ya di ya di ya da.. and finally the boy got the girl" to their slumberous "Huh? What? It's over already? What happened?" - I just can not picture myself going through another one of these algorithm of "while not EOT (End-of-Tape) fast forward until you see a Madhuri swinging to some kind of music - then you watch the song, humming along (my friends do not take kindly to my humming along since I am completely tone-deaf or should I say slightly musically challenged!) and then loop".

I can not imagine myself watching another one of those long lost siblings finding each other in the last scene, the Bheeshma-Karna-Harishchandra-Rama-Laxmana-Krishna all rolled into one Hero chasing and beating up 50 bad guys single-handedly, followed by the ever punctual entry of the "police", another mother making the Devi Maa make the miracle happen, another beast (a dog, an elephant, a monkey, a snake, a goat - take your pick) risking its life to save its master, friends dying for each other, another third point in the triangle sacrificing itself on the altar of love, another story of the feuding fathers losing to the immortal love of their young ones, another a song and/or dance sequence every 15 minutes, Raaj Kapoor making a gump out of himself, Amitabh doing another one of his unparalleled Sharaabee scene, Sanjay Dutt throwing a raging fit, Hema dancing, talking, eating, sleeping BharatNatyam style, Rekha doing another moojra, Madhuri dancing to the ek-do-teen, one of the Khan trios chasing Kajol or Raveena around the trees to some catchy beat. I simply do not see myself going through that kind of transcendental out of the body experience all over again.

And so, I vow, never again. Never ever again.

And time starts passing. At first by day. Then by hour. Then by minute and then by second. And then the clock stops ticking. Before long I start showing acute withdrawal symptoms. Those no-songs-no-dances-no-dhishum-dhishum-no-khans-no-Raveena, every-other-word-has-to-be-blipped-on-network-tv. English movies start break dancing on my jagged nerves. I start getting grouchier, grumpier and more favorably disposed to idea of biting people's heads off for no apparent reason whatsoever than usual. Very soon my craving reaches a fever pitch and in an adrenaline rush I break my Bheeshma-Pratigyan and drive to the video store on the other end of the globe like a maniac. I feel like a junkie as the storekeeper hands the "only" cassette in demand to his most privileged customer of the micro moment with a "Ye copy aapke liye alag se rakha tha (sure buddy!). Wese to ek hi din ka rental hota hai (uh - huh!). Aap parson wapas kar dijiyega (Oh Glee! Genuine unadulterated purebred Glee!)".

And on my way home I pick up a couple of buttered flavored microwave-able popcorn packets, a 6-pack of coke (diet) and a couple of friends (who were my co-swearees in the last swearing off ceremony). Back at home, I rewind the tape and we all settle down in our usual spots on the sofa with the popcorn, the chips and the coke (diet)......

To watch another one of those long lost siblings finding each other in the last scene, the Bheeshma-Karna-Harishchandra-Rama- Laxmana-Krishna all rolled into one Hero chasing and beating up 50 bad guys single-handedly, followed by the ever punctual entry of the "police", another mother making the Devi Maa make the miracle happen, another beast risking its life to save its master, friends dying for each other, another third point in the triangle sacrificing itself on the altar of love, another story of the feuding fathers losing to the immortal love of their young ones, another song and/or dance sequence every 15 minutes, Raaj Kapoor making a gump out of himself, Amitabh doing another one of his unparalleled Sharaabee scene, Sanjay Dutt throwing a raging fit, Hema dancing, talking, eating, sleeping the BharatNatyam style, Rekha doing another moojra, Madhuri dancing to the ek-do-teen, one of the Khan trios chasing Kajol or Raveena around the trees to some catchy beat.

Like moths we can not keep away from the flame. Like those nicotine addicts we keep saying this is the last drag (may be if the tapes came with a statutory warning!). Like blundering idiots we keep coming back for more.

But is that what this is?

Life needs sustenance from time to time. A battery needs recharging. An identity needs corroboration. A question needs reaffirmation. A doubt needs familiarity, simulated or other- wise, of it's domicile. A fish has to swim, a bird has to fly and an Oriya needs Pakhaala every now and then.

This is not about Hindi movies. This is about the Mangal Dhwani floating across from the radio in the next room as you get up in the morning and about the "Aapke Pasand" on Vividh Bhaartee as you go to sleep. This is about the unsynchronized sounds of the tablaa, sitar before the show starts as the musician try to tune their instruments and this is about the sound from your kitchen as you wait for the cricket match to start on TV. This about your father's grammar and mathematics trivia and tips as you get ready for bed, this is about the voice of your mother in the background, as you try not to get up in the morning, telling you what she thinks of the late-to- bed-late-to-rise-never-studying-always-goofing-around you.

This is about the gupchup and chat evenings, this is about the khati at Bhaina pana dokana. This is about your mother's besar tarkari, this is about your father's paratha burnt beyond recognition. This is about the smell of your sahi, the sound of your 4th grade, the touch of the pebbles under your feet and feel of rain on your face, the scene of a gobara lipa chala ghara, the tsate of Chhenapoda and and about the feeling after a fight with your brother or sister or a friend about a small stupid thing or a big important issue.

This is about the things with which, about the people with whom, about the times when and about the places where I "am" and you "are". To be or not to be is not the question here. It is not a choice. You can not but "be".


Your comments are always welcome...

Sujata Pradhan
Sujata Pradhan


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