Sunday 31 July 2016

The forgotten bucket list

Way back in 2010, having bucket lists and ticking off items from that list was something everyone was doing. I am guessing that people still do it. Many blogs I had then followed had these fascinating lists and also encouraged others to have a list. I did make a list and labelled it "101 Things to Do Before I Die." Those days, I was a passionate being, quite restive and found a thirst for many diverse things/activities for me and my family. Later I even ticked off certain items with a smug feeling. For a long time now, I had forgotten that I had a list like that. Today, while rummaging my Google mail folders, I saw a label titled, "101 . . . " and felt nothing; There was no desire to do those things listed there and what I once saw as fascinating, did not evoke any vigour in me. I think somewhere down the line, I just stopped imagining that I needed the urge to experience certain things.

I would not say that I have lost my zest for life and living but I have let go of that hot pursuit of experience that I needed to possess before I die. Perhaps I have learnt the art of acceptance - the acceptance that if something has to absolutely cross my path, it will! In 2010, I was a different person - scarred by certain life-changing episodes and learning to cope with crises and hence I was desperately looking for a purpose, maybe to keep me distracted and busy and the bucket list seemed a fantastic placebo. But then as I began healing within and life started in full force - I forgot the bucket list.

Getting married, finding a job and engaging with every single day with complete focus and concentration has somehow left me with little time for bucket lists. Today, the list makes me smile and wonder about the diverse things that I wanted to do sooner or later. I still want to do some of those things but I have no urgency - I will do it when I do it but never do it for the sake of doing it or striking an item off my list.

That said and done, I am in admiration of people who draw a list, patiently tick the items off and experience new levels of adrenaline rush. They remind me of me when I was down in the dumps and full of energy for something purposeful and fun.

Sometimes, only sometimes, I wish I could have the same gush of excitement as I had when I was eagerly drawing up a list to tick off. Ah, well . . .

Monday 25 July 2016

Watching Kabali in Goa

I cannot say that I am a fan of the Superstar Rajinikanth but I like to join in the excitement that surrounds him and his films. Having been in Chennai for the better part of my life, a Rajini release did not incite any excitement in me. I did have friends and acquaintances who went insane over tickets and detailed planning on first day, first show matters but I remained aloof from all of them.

Then marriage happened.

Along with marriage, change of location happened.

Then Rajinikanth became one of the synonyms for home and Chennai.

It is always said and largely believed that one starts craving for home in different ways, some of which are quite unusual and one of those was Rajini. Heaping praise for the superstar and getting a high talking about him were aspects of me that baffled me. Very easily, I could turn from a demure teacher to a crazed fan of the Superstar when my students criticised him. I was always a fan of good acting and films that were close to reality. But Rajini was beyond the circumference of my usual like of films. He is a phenomenon worth studying - a vortex that one gets pulled into willingly.

But for the first time catching a Rajini film after two days of its release was something I did not expect that I would end up doing (I guess earning and having one's one own money in addition to living out of Chennai does that!) I JUST WATCHED A RAJINI FILM YESTERDAY!

Watching Kabali was an entirely different experience in Goa. The theatre was housefull (what else!) and almost the entire hall was filled with Tamil speaking people. It was definitely a joy to behold Tamil Nadu in Goa! But alas! my joy was short-lived because many of the Tamils here were only Tamils by birth and not spirit. The children were not as fluent in the language and hardly knew the charisma and wonder of Rajini. They sat there placid and unmoved while I was jumping and hooting in glee. I was quite sad that I was not able to whistle otherwise I would have shrieked with full power. The claps and hooting were only present when Rajini first made an appearance in the film after which the spirit slowly ebbed away. I was quite excited and beside myself and could hardly contain myself whenever the superstar crossed his leg or uttered, "Magizhchi," (translated joy) but everyone around me were unmoved.

For me Rajini is not Rajini but my years of growing up in Chennai, my memories of school, sightings of huge cutouts of superstar when any of his films were released, friends bunking classes to watch first day first show of Rajini's films - In short HOME. Home means many things to me but on this occasion, home was Rajinikanth and Chennai. This explains why I was a bit low when I did not spot any cutouts, life-size posters or any merchandise of the superstar - In Goa and for Goa, Kabali was just another film (from South India). I went to watch the film not because it was a Rajini film (I also watched Mani Rathnam's O Kadhal Kanmani on the second day of its release) but because I wanted to vicariously experience the spirit of my growing up years and memories of distant teenage.

Needless to say, I enjoyed the film - the complete package with popcorn, hooting, clapping, standing up and applauding the man and also shedding copious tears when the superstar misses his wife whom he assumes to be dead.

Thalaivar - magizhchi!


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