Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Story of a Cinema Going.


How many times have you gone to a theatre to watch a movie? I've gone plenty of times, and probably the list may well have been destroyed beyond recollection. But every now and then one of those movie-going-experience becomes different, memorable. Don't ask how they become memorable, it could be the rush-hush and adventures of getting the ticket, it could be the face of one beautiful girl you came across and it could also be for some disgusting incidents that took place. Here's my little story of going to a cinema some days back.

In this land where names sound more like that of a breaking of plates, getting to talk in English is rare. Even rarer is to watch an English movie in theatres and the rarest of incidents took place this December 1st. The movie My Name is Khan released in China.

Traditionally only 20 foreign language movies are permitted a release in China and this year My Name is Khan was one of those top 20 movies which makes it to the cinema halls in China, and stunningly, 10 months after its real release. The news of the release came out in the first week of November and we happened to know that Shahrukh Khan & Karan Johar would be there in Beijing for the premier of the movie in China. So our initial plans were to fly to Beijing to meet them. Fly to a city 1200 KM away, to meet an actor, and almost during our exam time. Plan dropped!

Then we came to know that the movie is releasing in two malls in Nanjing and we were again excited. Days passed by as exams came and swept us away. Someone had kept a remainder for the 30th of November, reminding the release of My Name is Khan and things were back in minds and plans were to be made again. Anxiousness was the ask of the day even though the movie had been watched a few days after its release in some cheap camera prints and later in crystal clear DVD's.

We will whistle when the titles roll. We will throw paper pieces when SRK makes the intro. We will shout; we will clap; we will create havocs.

Every Indian had a reason to be proud of because no movie of any other friends of ours had come here; none of those Pakistani/Nepali/Srilankan/Indonesian/African movies. God knows if all of them have even a film industry. So this positive energy continued from the classroom to the lunch hall and several friends from other campuses joined us too. The energy followed us through the metro trip to the place, and racing against time, we reached the hall at 2.45 PM and the show was supposed to start at 2.40.

Having reached the ticket counter, there was not many people enquiring or picking up tickets even though the mall had 9 theatres or so. We asked tickets for "My Name is Khan" which they didn't understand in the first go. So the geek among us who ate-drank-and-slept on Chinese language asked the lady in that language and she replied with a mouth full of flourish. "Wo de ming jiao ke an?" and the smile continued. That was incidentally the name of the movie in Chinese which translates to My Name is Khan literaly. So we shouted back "Yeah!!".

Suddenly her smile kind of disappeared and she asked the lady in the next counter, who seemed to know better English and the lady informed us. " Wo de ming jiao ke an mei you yinwen, shi zhong wen"

All our plans were broken down to pieces!! The damn movie was in Chinese and not Hindi/English. All the excitement and preparations only to see a Chinese poster of My Name is Khan.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

~A Random Thought about Life~

I seriously used to think, wonder how my life would have been, if i was born to a different family? belonged to a different religion? raised in a different native place, a different state and a different country? belonging to a different age/time, the 60’s or the 70’s or even before?

How magical is life, for each of this simple and silly things have made you the person you are now, completely!

A random thought which could open out to a vast ocean of questions, answers and even more thoughts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

His Excellency, The President of India.

…memories are vague, no beginning and no definite end. The finer the knots are tied, the clearer the image becomes, and the better…

...thunderous applauds break the silence in a huge hall in London…

The man clears his throat,

“That was a very inspiring piece of oratory from the Chief of World Bank. Now i take this occasion to welcome the Man of the evening, His Excellency, The President of India…”

…another round of thunderous applause. The man stood up waving his hands and moved to the podium…

“Those were very kind words. Good Evening respected guests, dear brothers & sisters of London and the rest of the world. It is indeed a very privileged feeling to be speaking in front of this grand audience on such a grand occasion.

I am honored to be the chief guest of this session of the world economic forum, which is celebrating the platinum jubilee anniversary, completing 75 victorious years. I am also very glad at the fact that my nation has given me reasons to be immensely proud standing in front of all of you. This march, Indian economy, along with Chinese has become the biggest economies in the world, and if the predictions are anything to go by, we will become the biggest economy in another 12 years.”

the audience interrupts to present another round of applause…

It indeed is a very proud feeling to be the head of state, which has returned to the very zenith of it all. I am sure if the founding fathers of our nation lived now, they would’ve proudly felt jealous, for we live in an India, which they couldn’t have even seen in their dreams. India now has completed a full circle. For years, for centuries and millennia, we used to be the land of gold; the land of power; the land of prosperity; the land of cultures; the land of wealth and the land of ultimate intelligence. But then as a cycle don’t speed forward if the tires stay fixed and hence the darker periods of our history began. The might, wealth & intelligence attracted ambitious foreigners who along with time changed roles from anxious visitors to obnoxious rulers. Great selfless people fought them, not with guns and fire, but with words and principles and brought the light of freedom once again to our great nation. Those 90 years of selfless revolutionaries followed by a century of rebuilding takes us to where we are now, once again the biggest economy in the world.

Decades ago in a visit to India, an American President had pronounced that India had emerged, and was no longer an emerging nation. Back then, I had felt good, and proud. But everyone knew then that those words were just meant to sooth your emotions and that it was far from the truth. Then, it was far from the destiny of us being an emerged nation, which indeed was in all kinds of mess, the corruption, poverty and terrorism issues. But now, right now in 2045, a couple of years from hundredth year of our Independence, I can repeat those words and say, we have really evolved, emerged as a supreme power in the planet.


The thing about dreams is that, we have no sense of belonging, no beginning and no end. The same dream might recur over a course of time, night after night, may be. Being in and under the spot-light in a dream every night is fun, but the real challenge begins when we try to find a way, our way to the beginning of the dream. That’s the challenge ahead for me, to find a way to the beginning of my dream, to  find a way to that very podium.

(Recollections from a dream that’s been soothing me during my sleep, of me standing in front of the world as the President of India. Certain facts from Wikipedia added in the speech, & a thought from the movie Inception.)