Monday, May 26, 2008

Some Random Musings

Over these one and a half months that I have been at home, an appreciable time has been spent talking to Sreeni, a friend from Cal. We have had some nice discussions on everything under the sun, right from the typical banter, to cricket, to music, to movies, and to life. It’s been a pleasant surprise to know that we have a lot of common interests.

So, anyway, this post is a sort of a comment on this post on Sreeni’s blog. Being a part of that discussion, I thought I might as well write about it too.

I know that the idea of ‘living in the moment’ is somewhat idealistic. But then again, isn’t the idea of labeling things ‘idealistic’ or ‘realistic’ akin to seeking an easy way out? And anyway, who decides what’s idealistic and what’s realistic? I think, by hoping and waiting for a better life ahead, instead of working towards a better present, we are guilty of indulging in escapism. It requires considerable tenacity and courage to come to terms to the fact that this moment is what we have. I suppose we all have this insight and hence coin terms such as ideal and real in the first place. I was talking to Sreeni about Al Pacino’s famous speech in the grand finale of the movie Scent of a Woman where he says, “I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew it. But I never took it. You know why? It was too damn hard!”

Of course, this does not imply that we go looking for problems to prove to ourselves that we are on the right path. But, I guess it does mean that we should not retreat from following what we think is the right path, just because we face a difficulty or two doing it. I have seen ordinary people around me do it. There is no reason we can’t do it for the entire stretch of our lives. After all, happiness is not something to be bought. It’s something that we have to excavate from within ourselves. And then again, as I read somewhere, “Human Beings exist to be happy, just as birds exist to fly.”

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Heil, Hitler!

Let human beings die
Let Mother Nature cry
Let blood colour hands thy
Throw them off buildings high
Go on, give it just another try

Do that, let me sneer in mirth
He said, "Of Impunity there is no dearth"
Do that to get rid of this dirt
Can't you see that flag fluttering on Our earth
And that star on the sleeve of His shirt?

Oh! Don't tell me you don't know!
Of mind dumb and of spirit low!
It isn't that I really want them to go
But just give him another blow
'Cause one Adolf Hitler said so

This poem was all that I could come up with as I went to my room that night five years ago, when I had just been shaken up by Roman Polanski's The Pianist. This movie, stills from which continue to haunt me, is perhaps the best movie amongst all those made on the Holocaust during WW II. Adrien Brody's performance was mind numbing and the scene in which he plays the piano after being found out by the Germans would remain etched in my memory for ever.