Of Violence and the madness of it

What’s with movies and violence ?? Thinking of it, almost a big chunk of mainstream movies (Hollywood and Indian alike) have it in them that the complexity of the story can only be resolved by an out and out fight towards the end. The other day i was watching a movie deemed the latest trend setter in malayalam, the movie was back to back fighting for a good 2 hours. Some scenes were of the extremely violent kind themselves, I just happened to look at the seat directly in front of me and there were two little girls watching the entire movie with rapt attention…are we giving these young ones the right messages ??

Villains in movies are blessed with arrogance,thick headedness, ruthlessness and well….almost everything that we associate with villainy in excess. I think it is this reason that makes us all feel happy inside when the protagonist beats the living daylights out of him/her. More of it might have to do with the fact that the hero(ine) accomplishes on screen what we could not or cannot in real life. How these would impact the younger generation is something to be thought of…I come from a state where kids become goons at the age of 16 or 17. Could these movies have impacted their psyche somehow ??

Questions & questions but alas I have no answers to them…..

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Musical Massacre

I take the company transport to work and back and this post has been on the back of my mind for quite some time now. The bus which i take quite an antique one, it is an old model from the Toyota stables but still in prim condition. The major part of the maintenance is done by our protagonist, the driver. He is an affable character, friendly and helpful..but then you wonder why write a post about the blatantly obvious ?? Well, he is quite a music connoisseur and his taste in music does have a synonym in the english language : ATROCIOUS !!!!

The bus is never devoid of music, whether this is good or bad is a subject open to debate.  Am pretty sure most of us passengers would debate you to death with this topic :D. Some of the songs you hear are so good that you wish you could jump out and run away at the speed of light…to give you a taste of it, one song that plays in the bus goes like : Thannithotti thedi vanna kannukutty njan ( this translates as : oh…am the calf that came in search of the water trough !!!). This ladies and gentlemen, is but a taste of the musical massacre that happens in the bus. The other day i got a call when i was traveling and the song playing at that time was from a Malayalam movie that featured a yakshi ( similar to the greek sirens). Yakshis in the movies have an irritating quality, they cackle and cackle as if there is no end. The call came in just when the cackle started and i could hear the caller hesitating before talking ( he might have wondered : Jeez, where is this guy ??). Such incidents are quite common place.

Afterall tomorrow is another day….of god knows what songs….

Hindi & Me….

Tales begin with the much adored “Once upon a time..” line, but mine in this case is not a tale but an incident. Then again, thinking back i do not see much in the incident but a laughable good five minutes. However, in the frame of time that it happened those five minutes shook me to the core. Here is how it went :

The exact year or the class in which i was then are sketchy now, I used to walk to school daily and it was a good 15 minute walk from home.  The road was more or less a straight one and it went through a residential area occupied by the well-to-do, which meant that sparing the occasional jogger or one out walking a dog the road was more or less empty in the mornings. As for me, i was quite a paranoid kid then with all the notions of kidnappers and strangers offering you sweets filling my head for good reason, I walked to school alone !!! One fine morning as i was walking to school and when i was passing a particularly deserted stretch of road, I felt someone coming up behind me and looking over my shoulders i did confirm it. A middle aged guy definitely not a Malayali in ragged clothes and with a haggard face carrying a dirty satchel ( it’s been years now, but the imprint of the face and the way he walked are still fresh in my mind !!!). I did look back a couple of times again and yes he was right behind me. Wonder of wonders, there was not even a living soul in sight let alone even a stray mongrel. I could see the school building up ahead but it was too far off and the watchman was but a dot from where i stood….

I slowed down and stole a glance behind and to confirm my worst fears he did slow down too…pretending to tie my shoe laces ( which were knotted prim and proper by the way) i stopped altogether on the road and hoped against hope that he would pass by, but no one passed by me. Then came the inevitable contact, i sensed someone standing right near me and looking up i saw him smile with his betel stained black teeth. I would have gone pale then and am quite sure of it, the tales of kidnapping and so forth ran pell mell through my mind. What followed then was incredulously a dialogue between him and me, which went as :

Him : Taariq kya hein aaj ?? ( What’s the date today ??)

(I was learning Hindi in school then and was able to pick up the words and make sense of them, but given the situation even English would have sounded Swahili to me )

Me : duh !!! err….. ( I dont think this needs translation :P)

Him : Taariq ?? Taariq kya hain aaj ?? ( He would have been thinking : Kid, are you dense ??)

( I remember having a watch from whose face the date jumped out at me & if it had a life it would have went : ” hey, hey kid..am here…hello..am here…yea yea the D A T E…look at me”, but then i chose to ignore it. I made a show of looking at the watch but nothing registered and it did not make sense either & the first word that came as a pop-up to my mind was..)

Me (blurting out) : Maalum nahi….bilkul maalum nahi… ( I have no idea, no sirree..no way am i knowing a thing called date…)

(He looked thoughtful then, scratched his chin and said..)

Him : Achcha, theek hai ( Oh, alright ..)

He walked on and I stood on the road not knowing whether to laugh or cry with relief. He walked on and i remember him walking past the school gate with barely a glance inside. I was broken out of the reverie when i heard the school bell going off in the distance…I ran to school and was I happy to see the watchman who looked surprised to see me giving him a smile…Classes began but still the images and the words stayed with me.

As a footnote : When i got out of school that day, I walked in a crowd and yes I did look this way and that while walking…but obviously i didnt see the man. To this day, i have never seen him…and with his life I dont think he would ever read this blog. But my friend, you gave the fright of my life and had you asked one more question, I might just have wetted my trousers there….and wouldn’t that be embarassing or what ???