Category Archives: 2 Minute Thoughts

Tom Hanks & movies

It is incredible how much Tom Hanks brings to his character. It is like he is some very malleable and ductile individual who just blends into the character so much that there is absolutely no ‘ Tom Hanks’ out there just the character.

Watching ‘The Terminal’ again yesterday, one is struck by the gullible naive Victor Navorski of Krakozhia.

What a delight the movie is!

I was for some reason reminded strongly of the ‘Maid in Manhattan’ and of the Cindrella moment in the life of Marisa when she puts on that necklace and the dress of one of her clients in the hotel and walks to the ball room to the collective sigh of every one present. What a moment!

The stories of the under dogs is what we all root for. We some how adore stories of triumph in love and life and when the lead character who is a commoner achieves something uncommon out of sheer grit and courage or that leap of faith, the viewer is hooked. Could that not be my/our journey?

Plato talked of the catharsis of how watching an intense act of drama purges the viewer of a lot of accumulated negative emotions.

The lock down has been a time for movies,books and discussions.Each of these movies has been a revelation in some sense apart of course being great entertainment.

Here are a few movies I caught up with:

Image result for the terminal
Image result for the parasite
Image result for the great debaters

So what movies have you been watching!

ParasiTe & a Reality Check

Ever since I watched the movie’Parasite’ yesterday with my daughter I have slumped into a state of a willing suspension of disbelief! In fact I could not bring myself to watch the whole movie, it was so real that it hurt.

The movie has been a long standing recommendation from her but as always I am rather lazy to do things on my own and keep clamoring for company.

The Book Thief is a book she had recommended me long back,two years ago to be precise.

You can get that I am rather slow, given to imagination and much self-absorption. That is not a secret and well I don’t intend to change much !

Anyways, it is impossible given the times we are living in not to think of parallelism between the metaphor of staircase in the film Parasite and the reality of novel corona virus spreading across the world right now.

While a middle class university assistant professor like myself has got a work from home order and perhaps can spend time to rethink my research paper,or that writing project or the fitness that half a century mark calls for, the maid who reports to my home can not perhaps afford to take even a day off.

In fact, her daughter who works on Sundays included in a mall has no off even though there are no visitors or customers to take care of.

Out there those on the higher elevations of the ladder will be relaxing more before the pinch gets to the skin.

The street vendors have to forego their daily earning.

The daily wage laborers are stuck. They never learned to save.

The enormous population of homeless are definitely the last to get any form of health care.

Beyond this country though there are vast majorities of people who the Corona will not differentiate but will attack all the same.

Death they say is a great leveller

well, Corona is no less!

A class & a confession

I am thrilled to bits to be back to the classroom. To have 2, just 2 sweet ladies drop in to learn Spoken English with me.

Ah! joy ,that makes me realize why I was so morose?

So malnourished in my soul without a soul to share

the tit bits of knowledge that I beg, borrow or steal!

Then it happened, the class.

A young man who teaches Mathematics expressed in anguish that there was a certain complaint about his teaching, believe me not, it was because he was teaching too much! Well! he was summoned to the higher ups who said, ” So, what do we hear, YOU TEACH???!’

The young man who would die for math and said, ” I do so with all sincerity”

“Stop this nonsense, don’t stress the students, we hear that you delve deep into concepts and it is totally unacceptable”.

“Why, pray ,”said the young man,” I came here to teach.I turned my back to offers far more alluring and sought the joy of sharing, actually I thrive on it , Sir..ji”

“It’s against the constitution of our institution to think. We admonish you to henceforth not force our students to know that they have brains and can actually think, it’s the forbidden fruit of education. Dare thee not dream of it nor ever dare to touch it”.

“But”, the young man started and soon saw it frivolous and gave up in dismay.

A young girl who wanted to do her job well walks off in disbelief at the large gap between promises and deliverance.

Others live on with jaded hopes

But she stomps out

‘I gotta live my life, the way I want. Good bye’.

They I heard are still looking for a replacement.

Friend, foe, benefactor be around as I tick a few boxes

gather a few more experiences

fill my heart

then recede!

Pain and overcoming

The young man stood lost in deep sorrow. ‘I don’t know what to do. Everything happened so quickly she did not give us time. ‘His eyes forlorn, he talked about the sudden demise of his beloved mother.

‘My dad is heart broken. He is feeling very low.My relatives have been insisting on my marriage and I have almost committed. I was in a daze. What do I do?’

Caught between extremes of emotions the most demanding of situations, the loss of a beloved one and the trepidation of a new start, he stood confused.

‘Who can I talk to? Who would understand me. Have not slept for the last few days. It is tough’.

What does one do in times of such pain?

I remembered how having just returned from my brother’s funeral I wrote the lesson I was teaching on the board which said, The Dear Departed! I was stunned at the irony but put up a brave face and continued with the class.

The dice of fortune

throws up

challenges a plenty

sometimes in company

sometimes lonely in companionship

many times just plain single

you just learn to deal with it and move on

perhaps think of a stray dog somewhere

who would have none to care

or a bird cut short before its flight

the very first one

sigh and know

it’s life

the way it is!

When all the world's a stage, why skip acting?

For days now a single thought has possessed me, stage a play.

I called my students during the semester end vacations, but alas, they were not available, except for a single persistent supporter who said, ‘mam, we can do it’. But do we have not done, not yet.

I moved into a new flat and have been seeing a bunch of enthusiastic kids. I am waiting for a chance to approach the parents and say, ‘Hey, I have a script ready, ( in fact I have 3 already!) I can train your kids to do theatre. Could you help me get started?’

Hmmm….So I am on a mission to befriend the moms in the apartment who perhaps think of me as the odd lady who lives with a bunch of cats!

A few years ago I was smitten by story telling and did not lose an opportunity to do it. I even got invited to a few events to tell stories and had a blast doing it.

So, there I am on an odd Monday, conspiring theatre tricks.

PS: Coz stage fits well, and stories are never too old

art heals and holds

After organizing a successful event, I was tired, restless and oddly low, very low. I could not concentrate at work or bring myself to look at the computer. I got up and walked to the library came back with books hoping it to help. I tried engaging in conversations, ‘Talk to me’, I said, ‘let’s discuss something’, I urged my young colleague.

I tried vainly to cheer myself up until another colleague and young friend started talking excitedly about the possibilities of a well managed Dance club at the college. Still, restless, I was about to get up when Ras came and said, ‘You have 3 days of holidays, and what are you doing?’. ‘Nothing’, I replied, and she said,’you look so low, what happened, are you fine?’ .’I am, well not feeling great!’, agreed I without any hesitation and she said, ‘how about coming out with me to watch a performance?’ I agreed instantly, thankful for the opportunity. ‘But you don’t back out, ok’ , she warned and I smiled reassuringly.

The next day, I stepped out maybe after many years feeling a little odd, while going about it but definitely excited and worried if I was going to be late.

I managed to reach the venue on time, ‘Shoonya, Centre for Arts & Somatic Practices’ and saw a very young crowd and started to feel low again, ‘I don’t think I fit here’, a thought rushed into my mind which was banished when Ras embraced me warmly,’come, come,’ she introduced me to the new friends she had made.

The performance started soon. There were not more than 30 people in the hall. A small intimate space, and I watched how the audience was almost reverential in their approach. I had no clue what to expect but the sight of a young performer’Joshua Silo’ sitting still in the dim light in the centre of the stage space got me more than interested.

As the music intensified, Joshua spoke with his muscles, his bare body communicating a range of emotions, Factor Y , strangely making sense as the performer drew the audience into his space, in a very involved,energetic, intimate manner. Not a breath was heard, no hustle, a muffled cough rose but did not distract anyone, the captivated audience looked on, as if watching the mythical Icarus take his flight and perhaps succeed even against the burning sun!

The performance aroused empathy, stirring deep emotions, thoughts and niggling deep set fears and insecurities and celebrating success, the performer played with the audience, ‘come on , cheer’, he said and then lapsed into ‘a state of subconscious monologue’.

The next performance was by a trained dancer, communicating with perfectly chiseled countenance decorated with large beautiful eloquent eyes was titled ‘Phurr’. Supplementing the range of emotions on her face with an athletic and trained dancer’s physique she connected to the audience at different levels. At some point, I did feel, the script can still be tightened further but the dancer, the performer, Riya Mandal blew my mind away with her intensity. Stepping in and out of her character with ease, she teased the audience with provocative questions.

I turned to thank Ras for her kindness and vowed to be part of as many events at ‘Shoonya’ as possible. ‘I come here’ said, Ras and I forget everything, it keeps me charged for a long time’. I definitely got that.We dined at Koshy’s and returned home, with memories of a well spent evening.