Friday, December 14, 2012


Whatever is wrong with people?! The other day, I had been to the Cinema with my dad and a friend. I was just too excited to watch "Talaash", the latest Amir Khan flick. I had restrained myself from reading reviews about the film, so that I could enjoy the experience of watching a story unfold right in front of my eyes. Once the movie ended, while my mind drifted off to a fantasy world where everything the movie spoke about was 'real'- my father and the friend simply said- they didn't like it much. I understand how the phrase goes: 'One's meat is other's poison'. But one simply cannot do away with a movie, just because the movie has "ghosts" in it, can they?

I must tell this here. My "tryst with" ghosts began very early- say since I was 4-5 years old. My Granny (Seethu Paatti)- was a master story-teller, who specialized in stories with a paranormal touch. Hailing from a village, that had witnessed exorcists and elaborate Tantric rituals, she knew how to spin a tale in a believable fashion. Her narration was fabulous and it always brought those rituals, ghosts and spirits alive, when one imagines the visuals. May be that was why I had always been able to enjoy a good horror-paranormal thriller.

But "Talaash" was not just about ghosts. It was about a human mind. A mind caged in thoughts. And thoughts that stop time and try to change the past. I must say that I was very impressed with both Amir Khan and Rani Mukherji, the protagonists. Farhaan Akhtar too deserves a pat on back for his wonderful dialogues. The "accident" that triggers the story of "Talaash" was a brilliant scene. The story takes its time and has its own pace. But at any point, when thought about it- the story does not lose its logical flow, which was the one thing that impressed me, the most.

I do not wish to brand this article as a "Movie Review". I would like to look at it as my own "Talaash" into my lost memories. The movie helped me remember my Seethu Paatti and some of her best tales. There was this story about Paatti's elder sister. It was dark when her sister did not come back from school. A search party was organized. They searched the whole village for the girl. At last, one of the girl's friends told them that she had taken the "forbidden short-cut" way back home. Apparently, she was sitting on top of this big boulder, with a vacant expression. She was brought home. The story was about the week-long rituals and violent exorcisms after which the elder sister recovered back to normalcy. The secret of the "forbidden short-cut"- then unfolds when the village Tantric explains that the grounds were actually the place where victor kings beheaded and executed the soldiers of the enemy troops. I wish I were half as good as her, when it comes to story-telling!

The way back home after the movie was a blur. My mind was full of images, some from the movie, a few from the past. The evening was a trip down the lane of memories- where my father and I remembered and shared some of the best paranormal stories we had shared earlier, from when I was a child. "Do I believe in ghosts?"- Well that is one question which troubles me. I would like to believe. Honestly. Believing in ghosts is something as exciting as believing in fairy tales or Santa Claus, perhaps even God. But I think "Belief"- the very term has found a dead end in this century. "Hope"- is the new term that takes us through our journey.

May be I am a romantic. Or some would call me- "Foolish". People these days decide about a film even before they watch it. They decide whether to actually watch it or would reading the story be suffice. Internet has made movie-watching faster. I confess. In my childhood, I have watched movies like "Chandralekha" or "Ashok Kumar" (1930s-1940s super-hits!) etc., where there were barely any dialogues, for the movie was full of songs. I just cannot muster such patience now, even if I wanted to. Besides, in an age where time means everything, why waste it watching a movie for a full 2.5-3 hours, only to realize that you did not like it? The quick-way makes more sense.

But I think that sometimes, it's better to go back to the old methods. What would be the problem with those old methods? Disappointment of watching a film that did not take the course you had imagined? Or the film simply surprises you with its end? I only say this. We need such disappointments and surprises in life. They make our lives- life. Don't they?


Bikramjit said...

hmmm well I have not had any experience with ghosts and i hope not too ..

and good to hear about you and your dad sharing the little stories :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Matangi,

Long time. I am afraid I am one of those who was did not like Talash's ending.
I have nothing against paranormal, but it somehow didn't go well with the movie plot I felt. This particular movie perhaps needed a better ending for its other superbly exemplified aspects of life.
But I agree with the fact that it portrayed the human mind very deftly.
You are lucky to have been in a family where you were introduced to story telling at an early phase in your life. It reflects in your stories as well.

It's good to be back here! :)
Wish you a very Happy 2013.

Best Always,