Thursday, December 25, 2008

Three strands

The mumbai terrorism shook us all....

some days later I happened to recall the song "September/The Joker (by Earth, Wind and Fire)

then I watched the movie "The day the earth stood still"

It was amazing yet saddening for me to have made sense of the meaning I interpreted from the three sources; for them to have come together like this, given my state is ironical.

I cant say much about the terror attacks, we all know what happened. But this time I felt it was so much more horrifying. the frequency, unexpectedness and impact on the landmark of the city struck most.

Then I was just selecting songs from my laptop and dug out a song I had heard long time ago. This song - September, the joker, is fun, fast and pacey. I remember it, and had downloaded because I saw it in the movie "Babel". The song is pretty long and it has been featured in the movie the complete length of it. And the song reminded me of this haunting and psychedelic imagery. I felt the shocks and the silences and sorrow of being alone in the crowd. The sorrow of being unable to communicate and the unfairness of the whole situation.
The song has been featured on Chieko, who cannot speak and hear. She is in a club where the song is playing and there are intermittent moments of silence when we get a glimpse of what she might be experiencing. Its arousing as the music is great, thumping, fast and people are dancing in the strobe lights. In the silence we feel the ugliness. ( A digression from my message, this scene has invoked a serious negative impact in few screenings). But I cannot put a name for how I felt when I watched it for the first time. The music sent my pulse racing, Chieko made me sad, the fact that she is yearning for attention, trying to dance to a tune she cannot hear made me hopeful, when there were moments of silence I was shocked, when her heart broke I was sad. When she starts walking as the last vestiges of club sounds faded, there was a moaning in the silence which i still feel. It was the reason why i watched the movie a couple of more times.

In the context of the movie, when I watched it the first time I was unable to make a single conclusion out of it. I was a bit disappointed too. I was exhausted experiencing all the events, the ups and downs in the elaborate scheme. But there are people – the humanity shines from different nationalities. An impersonal look at food, languages, and ways of survival brings the audience closer to them. Sometimes we wince too. One word screamed in my head was "unfair". And maybe yearning for love, the basic human desire misleads us, as it is true for the characters in the movie.

Then I watched "The day the earth stood still" recently which had a pertinent message. We have to change the way we have been living. Either we will kill this earth or kill each other. There is a reason for us to wake up from our routine. How many generations of majority of the population of the earth will follow this fixed path for their life:
Spend childhood learning from the best school possible in the city
attend the best classes - develop all round personality - swimming, dances, art, music, sport, hobbies - all sorts ...... be good at all these, you are a gem of gift to this universe
go to the best possible college get degrees
work for the brands, power through the rungs, claim the rocking salary
bring happiness to the lives of your young ones.... love someone, he / she will love you back you are done for life
the direction is always upwards for you, everybody says i m fine. You’ll socialize, travel, fill the online profiles and one sad day die.
In the process you didnt give a damn about the poor and needy, use up tonnes of natural resources like fuel, spread plastic, smoke, noise, and other poison on this earth.
But there is only so much we can do. Wasnt it great that i earned this amazing salary gave my parents and my children all the comforts of life? That I live in this reputed locality and work on a gem of a technology, manage a team?
Lives of majority on this earth will follow the same trajectory. Earth will suffer and one day we are doomed to be destroyed. Am I being paranoid? We know it will happen. Either life from this earth will be sucked out by the humans or the humans will kill each other. Mumbai blasts tell us the uncertainty of the timing/ location/ severity of such destruction.

What can we do? I think first thing is to realize that the capacity of human life is infinite. I can not just take care of my life but also am responsible for the community / country / earth. It is our responsibility because we live on this planet.

Secondly we have to unite, individual actions will die out. All of India adored Lagaan, proud to be in management case studies; very few among common people show an inspired initiative in life. If, as in Babel chain of events can spread terror, grief and misery why can’t it be the same about positive thoughts and actions? Can my acts of compassion here, ultimately bear fruits in some other country? Do we have capacity and will to cooperate and heal?

Which generation will see the last sunset of a healthy and peaceful planet? How close is it?

But I am just writing a blog.

I felt about the soul of earth - its like Chieko, she cant speak, has no ears to listen to our reasons or excuses and in the end of the film is naked, yearning for help if someone ever can listen to her. We are confused like the character of little boy (jaden smith) from TDTESS. Our motives are selfish, we are more geared for survival, will kill the stranger just to make sure it’s not a danger to us. A moment in TDESS stands out for me when jaden smith asks the alien (keanu reeves) to show him the way home. Our species is just unaware and lost in the path that we have chosen towards modernity.


keeths said...

man... i love your words and the way you express yourself... its been a long time since i read a good post of yours...

Nike said...

Thank you so much for your compliment. I feel better when I write, I hope I sort out painful chores soon to find more time to write.

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