Thursday, November 15, 2012

watching a devotional movie with the eyes of an atheist

So what makes Jab Tak Hai Jaan's Meera different from the dyed in the wool devoted sati savitris of yesteryear Bollywood? the type that we saw in movies like "jai santoshi maa"..??

The intensely devoted to god with a Pooja ki thaali perennially in her hand 'good girl' of the days gone by has been replaced with a "i don't wanna marry an Indian boy" cigarette smoking, minidress wearing 'businesswoman', but she is still following the 'god will do as i ask if i pray hard enough" motto of any true blue (K)Ekta Kapoor heroine....
She makes bargains with a perpetually surrounded by candles statue of Jesus in a gorgeous London church, but ultimately decides that her love's life is at stake since she broke her promise to daddy and Jesus to marry whoever daddy had chosen for her..

I actually cringed at her dialogue when she told SRK that she had to pray to all gods for his wellbeing since he kept getting into'life threatening' accidents! (and if i start ranting about his f%^&%# accidents thats another whole blogpost)

I guess Meera personifies my own confusion about what 'feminism' and 'strong womanhood' is... and where faith and devotion fits into the convoluted lines of tradition and modernity... is a 'god will provide' attitude an outdated concept? or is making life choices with faith firmly entrenched in your conscience modernity, coz you have a moral validation for your life choices that do after all remain YOUR life choices, notwithstanding the 'god' looking over your shoulders...

She behaves as her daddy and 'society' expects her to, is devoted to god completely, even though she tends to bargain with god, saying that she'd give up chocolates, or cigarettes, or her boyfriend, if god would continue to give her daddy happiness and keep her lover alive. and yet she is strong in her convictions... she goes out whenever she wants, does charity work for the poor and underprivileged every day, falls in love and decides NOT to marry daddy's choice and wait for her love... she is a 'businesswoman', even though we don't ever see her doing anything except looking pretty in tiny dresses(in the London snow no less) and gallivanting around with SRK the 28 year old..

 Heck she's strong enough to deny herself her love, refuse to marry daddy's choice and live the life of a nun coz she choose not to be with the man she loves in order to "keep him alive" as is her last bargain with god...

Shahrukh's 'Samar' is the opposite of Meera's devotion. he constantly challanges god, dares him to do his worst.. He doesn't believe in any divine plans, he doesn't care about god but has his own moral code in which his lover's the sole deity... he only backs down from what he wants not coz its something 'god' decreed, but its what Meera wants... "do this for me" is the line that gets him everytime... even when he rushes to join the army and put himself in front of live ammunition and explosives for breakfast,lunch and dinner... i half expected him to go "aaj khush to bohot hoge tum" when he's arguing with god and the surprisingly aptly named Meera about her choices and his life...

Samar reminds me of Krishna's words in the 12th chapter of the Bhagvadgita... "he who does his duty with complete devotion and aids his fellow man is my favorite, even if he denounces me and refuses to worship me..."

and yet the image of Katrina Kaif holding an arti ka thaal while wearing a little chiffon minidress (which i would LOVE to get) is just so incongruous that i can't figure out what the hell the movie trying to show..

"its not a story of courage, its a story of undying love"... blerrggghhhhhh

on a slightly different note...
I think the depiction of journalists/filmmakers and army personnel in the movie turned my head around so much that i think i'm incapable of  liking it despite the awesome music...
When i heard of an Army Bomb disposal squad with an embedded documentary filmmaker..  THAT is not how i pictured it!!!!!!!! i don't know any 21 year olds who behave the way Anushka Sharma does in the movie... i can't even IMAGINE anyone 'serious' about their work being that unprofessional during a shoot..
and SRK.. i'm officially over the adoration i had for you as a teenager.. even though you've finally given up on trying to play a college kid.
Hamare ishq k waqt nikal chuka hai...

Thursday, November 01, 2012

quoth the raven, nevermore

came across a reference to this poem while reading randomly.. then decided to look up the poem... its so beautifully haunting that i had to share....


Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore —

While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.

"'Tis some visiter," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door —

Only this and nothing more."

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;

And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.

Eagerly I wished the morrow; – vainly I had sought to borrow

From my books surcease of sorrow – sorrow for the lost Lenore —

For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore —

Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain

Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;

So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating

"'Tis some visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door —

Some late visiter entreating entrance at my chamber door; —

This it is and nothing more."

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,

"Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;

But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,

And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,

That I scarce was sure I heard you" – here I opened wide the door; ——

Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,

And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore?"

This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!" —

Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.

"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice;

Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore —

Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—

'Tis the wind and nothing more!"

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,

In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore;

Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;

But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door —

Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door —

Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,

"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,

Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore —

Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"

Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,

Though its answer little meaning – little relevancy bore;

For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door —

Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door,

With such name as "Nevermore."

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only

That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.

Nothing farther then he uttered – not a feather then he fluttered —

Till I scarcely more than muttered "Other friends have flown before —

On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before."

Then the bird said "Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

"Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store

Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster

Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore —

Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore

Of 'Never – nevermore'."

But the Raven still beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,

Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door;

Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking

Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore —

What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking "Nevermore."

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing

To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;

This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining

On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,

But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,

She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer

Swung by seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.

"Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee – by these angels he hath sent thee

Respite – respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore;

Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!"

Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil! —

Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,

Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted —

On this home by Horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore —

Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!"

Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

"Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil! – prophet still, if bird or devil!

By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both adore —

Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,

It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore —

Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore."

Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

"Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!" I shrieked, upstarting —

"Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!

Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!

Leave my loneliness unbroken! – quit the bust above my door!

Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!"

Quoth the Raven "Nevermore."

And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor

Shall be lifted – nevermore!

—Edgar Allan Poe

(Taken from Wikipedia)