Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A spontaneous evening date with the sea

Off late, I feel closer to nature – especially to the sea. I don’t know if this is because of the decisions I made recently or due to the rains. Spending time with nature is always refreshing, rejuvenating and comforting. There's some magic in the embracing openness of mother nature that helps me shed all inhibitions and savor the peaceful, silent moments.

Yesterday after work – I found myself planning an impromptu visit to the seaside. It was raining and the sea beach is at least an hour-long journey from my office. But then my heart said ‘let’s go’ and I didn't want to kill the impulsive wish :).

I walked by the sea for sometime and then entered a coffee shop adjacent to the sea-shore. It is among my favorite tranquil corners in this busy city. I got myself a cup of tea while rejoicing the beauty of silence. The only sounds that my ears would register were that of the roaring sea waves and the soft 'whoooosh' of the gentle sea breeze. My tea was cold in seconds but that did not matter. My date with the sea was far more intriguing.

I kept gazing at the sea waves and the rocks that they crushed against, time and again. It was as if I was witnessing a love story. I set my imagination free. Silence can speak volumes! 

Each time the sea wave approached the rock she said, "Here I come again. Don’t let me just go past you- hold me and let me stay with you. Or better – why don’t you break into pieces and we can flow together?"

The rock did not move an inch. But he became shiny and lively each time the sea wave kissed and embraced him. 

"I want to come with you’ – the rock said. "But I cannot. Don’t you see that’s how I am? If today, I ask you to stand still beside me as a rock, would you be able to? Oh would you?" 

The sea wave replied – "I wish I could. But just like you, I am also bound by nature. I will come back to you every day – but will never be able to stay with you. Isn't it beautiful that we cannot do without each other and yet we cannot stick to each other? Our differences make our relationship so beautiful."

"I love you" said the rock. 

"You are my lifeline" replied the sea wave. "Our love for each other ensures we bump into each other’s arms a hundred times, every day".

The rock smiled and took his time to respond. "It is these moments that make us love each other so passionately, perfectly. No matter how far we are from each other, we will always co-exist. Again, no matter how close we are, we can never be tied to each other." 

‘I’ll always come back to you – even if you don’t move or come along with me", the sea wave promptly added.

"I will wait for you forever" replied the rock, "No matter how much you hurt me with your violent mood swings".

In response, the sea wave suddenly hugged the rock tightly and said, "I cannot say - don’t leave me and go. But I look forward to hugging you once more – oh just that one more time". 

Life’s choices are like that. We can choose to be the free-flowing sea wave or the solid resolute rock depending on situations that life challenges us with

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The stubborn eccentricities of true love!

Film Review - Lootera
Starring - Sonakshi Sinha, Ranveer Singh
Music - Amit Trivedi
Director - Vikramaditya Motwane
Producers - Anurag Kashyap, Ekta Kapoor
Based on- O'Henry's 'The Last Leaf' (partly)
Backdrop - Bengal in 1950s

A romantic to the core - I was bound to enjoy Lootera –an emotional saga of true love beyond possibilities. What I didn’t expect was the maturity with which the lead actors portrayed the depth of a simple emotion like love. 

The story is fresh, sensitive, and romantic. Perhaps I instantly liked the movie because Pakhi (Sonakshi)- the main female lead, aspires to be an author. Despite the hardships, her passion for writing keeps her going.

I don’t know if many people believe in true love these days. In the age of social networking (which is a great thing by the way!) and the ease of having multiple choices for everything—sometimes we miss the ‘real’ thing. But when the feeling is pure – even if ties get severed, the truth gets established sooner or later. When the conscience awakens, lost love comes back – even if only to apologize. 

I am a firm believer in true love. Just like adversities don’t deter true lovers, misunderstandings don’t destroy everlasting friendships. After all, there is still more ‘good’ in this world than ‘bad’ – that’s why ‘life goes on’.

Lootera delicately explores a plethora of these emotions in the backdrop of post-independent India—mid 20th century rural Bengal to be precise. This was the time when the newly elected Indian government decided to abolish the zamindari system. The history angle has been fitted into the movie very intelligently. 

While we focus on the love-story between the Zamindar’s daughter Pakhi Roy Chowdhury (Sonakshi Sinha) and an archaeologist Varun Srivastava (Ranveer Singh) - there is a strong narrative in the background highlighting the social situation and the plight of the Zamindars in the 1950s.

The first half of the movie keeps one captivated with the magic of new-found love. Simple moments made extraordinary just by spending time with each other - no exotic locales, no out-of-the-world conversations - just two people enjoying ordinary days together and gazing at each other as if there is no tomorrow. Some of my friends found the movie boring. On the contrary, I thought it was poetic, romantic and very classy. It successfully created a 'wow' factor which has been lacking in the recent few flicks I have watched.

In the second half, Lootera becomes even better. There is a sudden twist in the story and the female protagonist’s life falls apart. Strong storytelling and diligent direction have contributed to excellence in each scene.

Possibly only in an idealistic world can one love someone so unconditionally - despite betrayals, shortcomings and a world of ruthlessness. One may fail to see logic in loving someone who has been an estranged lover and a disloyal friend. But love and hatred are emotions beyond our control. Like me, many others will relate to the emotional dilemmas that Pakhi goes through. 

Pakhi realizes that it is impossible to think of harming someone you have loved - even if they have humiliated you in the worst way possible. Perhaps that’s why true love is immortal. There is so much depth in the emotion that words are unnecessary, explanations are meaningless. 

Hat's off to Sonakshi Sinha - a powerhouse of expressions and acting. She looks beautiful and exudes an innocent appeal onscreen. Ranveer Singh is brilliant and charming in the underplayed low profile character he portrays. The music is melodious - especially 'Sawaar Loon' by Monali Thakur.

The supporting cast - Pakhi's dad Zamindar Roy Chowdhury, Varun's friend Dev – excel in acting. But Divya Dutta is wasted in the short cameo.

The metaphors used in the movie - the Raja's story - about life of the King being locked in his favorite parrot's heart- drawing a parallel to the father-daughter relationship - and the emotions they evoke is fabulous. The inspiration from O' Henry's 'The Last Leaf' works very well in this flick and makes the emotional viewer leave the theatre with moist eyes.

Lootera is a must-watch. We don't get to watch too many movies in this genre these days - don't miss it.