Friday 13 November 2009

Friday the 13th

Ah The ominous date-day combo when something unlucky has to happen. If the whole world is facing the day, the bad luck is uniformly and evenly distributed. Why should one worry then? If I am gonna have a great fall, isn't the person who is laughing at me, stepping on a banana peel simultaneously?

This way of looking at things is very interesting though. One can read his horoscope and live a day before even living it. Prejudice comes easy with superstitions. Thoughts, actions, all of them get affected by thinking in this direction- the grand scheme of things, God's plan, nature's course of action. I would call it micro-time-travel. You live the immediate next moment before even it touches you.

A car is coming to hit you, if you are told that in the grand scheme of things, you are supposed to die today... you won't resist it. If you are told the opposite, you will drag yourself out of the deepest mud to make it come true. Knowing what someone would think, say or how he or she would react to you, may determine your course of action. It's even worse than not resisting a car accident.

If you think you know someone, you tend to project him into a virtual existence and daydream about his actions and behaviour. It kind of takes away the spice...

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Voices in the head

Watched the movie "London Dreams" recently. The movie adopts a style where one of the characters is also the narrator of the story but, the story he is narrating is just a string of thoughts he underwent during the course of time. It is talking to oneself. Francis Bacon in his essay "Of Friendship" says that we all need friends to talk our hearts out. So that our thoughts are out in the open for dissection and analysis. Self-talk doesn't let you do that fully. It's a way of burrowing aimlessly into a wide open trench.

The other side of the fence isn't so pretty either. The majority of people consider someone talking to them as an opportunity to argue and to prove a point. Conversations should be had for the heck of it. When someone tells you how he or she feels about a particular person, it is not for you to judge their views and tell them what to do. It is more about letting them talk, providing the punctuations in their speech so that they can iron out the wrinkles in their soul.

It actually is easier said than done. It is hard not to advice. It is hard to keep a conversation going without arguments and suggestions. But, it is hard to keep a friendship going with their continual influx.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

The role you choose to play

We often see actors complaining of being typecast as mere "action heroes" or "comic actors." that there is more to there skills than what the public has typecast them into. They would complain just for the sake of complaining to satisfy the inner urge of justice. Justice to the profession, and justice to themselves.

So, in Bollywood, as Sunny Deol continues to play the umpteenth someone in the umpteenth movie who can smash pillars to dust, he wouldn't react well if told that he has failed as an actor. It is what I guess is called "playing oneself."

In life too, we assume roles and accordingly, we play them. If you don't choose a character, your friends will assign you one. The world runs on the fuel of simplification which is used to detangle certain complex situations. Typecasting is one way of achieving this simplification.

If you are an angry young man, you cannot just wake up one day and start cracking hilarious jokes. It is out of your character. These are long-term deals. There is also something I call as "point typecastings"... or more accurately "instantaneous role-assignment."

If you are sitting with a group and among them, someone calls you a shy kid, you will, to a certain degree, oblige the comment with your acts even if you are one of the most chirpy kinds. This act of obliging is not voluntary. It just happens. This psychological tool is often used with hard to control, unruly children. Saying that, they are "good boys" or "good girls"... gives them an opportunity to change their image in front of the audience. It is another matter that kids have long deciphered this code language and have stopped obliging the orator and audience.

It is a nice thing, in my view, however, to understand this setting. If you know what is where on a stage, you can perform better, you can play more diverse characters, win more accolades. Likewise, in life, if you know which character to play, how to have a control over your character, and when to stop... you can win.

The last three words taken without permission from Mr. Shiv Khera.