Friday, January 27, 2012

Last few days

For a couple of days I've had to stay at the company guest house. This guest house is mid-way between my home and office. Rooms were neat and they had the friendliest staff. I wouldn't usually eat there because I'd get my staple of Pune viewing and course-wise eats at Linger On. However, one day I did have their vegetarian dinner- daal, rice, kofta in a spicy curry that carried the slightest hint of nutmeg, and curd. It was delicious!

Another excellent consequence of the guest-house stay was my re-acquaintance with T.V. I haven't had one in a long time now and don't plan on keeping one in Pune either. But there's something so delicious about T.V. programs. It's such a mixed bag! You have salty treats like F.R.I.E.N.D.S. or Rules of Engagement, rock candy like The Shield (has anyone seen Glenn Close in that series? She IS rock candy!), or sweet and pickled prunes like Sex and the City. I think it's a great idea to call a service that provides T.V. programs 'dish'. What else could it be?

It's my new resolve to do some meditation every day. And after the meditation, the idea is to reflect upon the meditation, or quietly wind down the brain, maybe read a few quiet pages, and sleep. But the time after meditation, at the guesthouse, was spent observing the hand gently reach for the remote and turn on Star World. I mean, if the subconscious has to get in touch with me, maybe it's trying to do that through Homer Simpson. My sub-conscious isn't snooty that way. And Homer Simpson is as valid a representative of Id as any.

So there I was, tucked under swathes of blankets, all lights off. Just the flicker of the T.V. screen dancing on the headboard of my bed. I switch, switch, switch, and come across a set of movie channels. Now, I haven't seen a film on T.V. in ages! For a minute, I had to get used to the idea that I was watching the film alone. I could go get myself a snack in the middle of a film without steeling myself against angry stares. And I could even take a phone call without hushing up.

One night, I caught a couple of really good films. One was 'Half Light' starring Demi Moore and another was an Irish production called 'Once'.

Half Light's a thriller set in Ireland. The cinematography is beyond stunning! Moore plays an author whose son has drowned. She carries the guilt about her son's death and tries to immerse herself in her work. She's actually based in London but I think she needs a break from her marriage. (I missed the first half-hour or so of the film). So, she comes to this part in an Irish village that seems to be a break-away tuft of land. She puts up in a lonely house away from the main village. There's an angry sea dividing Moore's house from the other end of a cliff where there's a lighthouse.

There are scenes where Demi has rowed over to the lighthouse, waves lashing against sharp, rust-colored rocks. Over there, her dark hair keeps getting whipped around her face. Her fingers are pink and her face is flushed from the cold. She's clicking three large, beautiful horses - black, white, and dark brown. That's where she meets the light-house keeper.

The movie has scenes of storms and darkness that have that Celtic iciness I love.  I wondered what if Pune turned out that way someday? Sure, today there are people-distractions now. I have a house, neighbors and heaps of shops I could just go into and talk to a shopkeeper. There is a very different place in this world that could some day take this city's place too. Maybe all I could have one day is a little window in a pretty isolated cottage from which I'd be looking at a light-house. And listening to epic sagas of the sea.

It's a lovely film - visually, at least. I like horror flicks and this film has a supernatural theme going on. But mostly it's predictable. What's unexpected, though, is the lasting, lingering touch of Ireland. It's like remembering, forever, what it felt like being a piece of melted ice.

The other film, co-incidentally (although I don't think there are any such things as 'co-incidences'), was by an Irish production house called 'Once'. It starts with a musician playing at a street square in Dublin. Some people stop to listen. One guy tries to steal his guitar case and run. The musician stops him and they exchange a few exasperated words. It turns out they know each other. The musician gives the thief some money and they part ways.

One day, a young woman throws in 10 cents for a song the musician is singing. This is not a popular or a known song; it's not a crowd puller. The musician stops, thanks the girl, and says sarcastically, "Thank you for the ten cents." The girl (we later find out she's Czech) is not really fluent in English but sarcasm she gets. They talk and she learns that he actually repairs vaccum cleaners. Excitedly, she brings her bright blue vacuum cleaner. He tries to dodge her off, he fails, and they end up eating together.

She is really keen on his music and he shares some songs with her. Stuff happens between them - a night where he propositions her, a morning where he tries to make it up by asking her to write lyrics to his songs, a bus ride where both their personal histories tumble out, their difficult families, their meiotic dreams. Then they record some music together - after which they go their separate ways.

This movie, to me, is memorable because of the songs. I can't imagine how those songs could be so innard-scopic insightful and yet sound like easy ditties! They're fantastic. That movie is a keepsake because of the songs. Each of them has maybe 10 to 12 lines. Yet, they cut through thickets of love, longing, loss, pain - and whatever vegetation of feelings poetry grows around a broken heart. The songs just make it simple. Cut down all that angst and silence and make it easy. There were, in the end, only two things to say, "That hurt" and "I'm okay."

I'm back at home now. Time for books. That's okay, though. A book is just a movie in my head anyway.


Vinita said...

I'm really interested in 'Once' and will look it up in the library. I've never really given poetry a chance - at least not the haunting romantic one...i dont know why. Ireland's a place I'd love to see, in this life if possible.

Mukta said...

oh yes, definitely do! let me know i you like it as well!

Anonymous said...

Once is nice. The song in the bus about the hoover fixer guy is fantastic; also do you remember the pink wall hanging on the white brick wall at the recording studio? When I stepped into my current apartment that is the first thing that came to my mind.

vennila said...

Hey Mukta, Welcome to the TV world. the demi moore movie sounds good. see the descendents if you can...the landscape is amazing and of course, george cloony is, as always, delicious :)
and hey, call me!