Saturday, June 13, 2009
This Day, That Age..
With the sun beating down like there's no tomorrow, and the weight and heat of a black-colored backpack threatening to vaporize me to nothing- I finally managed to beat the irritation to get a DVD box-set of a reasonably old Bollywood movie from the university library. I should admit, the predominantly American support staff of the library mediastore were finding it very tough to understand a huge phrase with big "oh-so-obvious" Indian words. A deadly combination, that. I had to suppress a laugh when I ventured out to find the English translation of the name for them. It said "Brave hearted will take the bride". I just could not stop bursting into a laughter characteristic of "Hey Dude, we call it DDLJ, got it? Now go get the DVD up for me!"
I remember the late 90's when DDLJ came about. It was the age of the perfect Bollywood song-dance-melodrama blockbuster. Three hours of singing, running around trees, symbolic love scenes, sister-brother sentiment, villain bashing and a happy ending. Add a local theatre and the entire family for company, and you had the perfect moneymaking machine for the film distributor. Bets were placed on who would watch DDLJ or HAHK the most number of times. ( local cable TV viewing of the movie would count as a negative ). Funny times, those. Even film extras oozed with makeup and glycerin tears.
The last time I had watched this movie, was back in 1997/98. After an eleven year break, here I was- watching it again, in a different age, in a different milieu- where we used to go to theatres to watch movies with family, I had a laptop and nothing but my room for company. The movie by itself, surprisingly, failed to impress me. I could not believe I had watched a movie and liked it for the first seven times, and hated it the next time. Surely something should have gone wrong somewhere- I cross checked to verify if I was indeed seeing the movie or its blooper DVD.
The DVD of the movie it was, alright. But maybe, all these years of my life coupled with movie watching had tinkered with the way I look at things. Where I used to see joy and color, I now saw garishness and a surfeit of non-detail. Where I once saw love, I now saw just two people acting what someone else told them to. Where I saw jokes, I now saw boredom. Some things in life never seem to change. Age doesn't seem to be one, unfortunately.