Just a thought

I didn’t sleep all night,well,again. But this time, instead of the grogginess in my eyes and showering of expletives from my mouth that welcomes the first ray of morning, it was a contended smile that was waiting on the sun god. The reason was 90 minutes of sheer viewing pleasure in the form of Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris”. It can easily be termed as my most enriching movie experience till date. The movie starts with snapshots of the beautiful city,showcasing its jaw droppingly gorgeous monuments and cathedrals, the Louvre, Notre Dame and all that Pari-in French,has come to be associated with. To the philistine’s eye, it would seem like another beautiful city,but if you’re blessed enough to possess the discerning mind of a philosopher, you’d marvel at Woody Allen’s genius as to how he portrays the city to have a life of its own, separate from its citizens, almost like the people of Paris don’t live in the city, but for it. The leisurely tone it lends to its fortunate occupants is such a far cry from the rat race that most cities produce today. New Delhi, anyone?
The portrayal of the city as a juxtaposition of such pristine scenery makes it look surreal, like it was born out of the perfect strokes of a famed Renaissance painter. The background score comprising of piano humming in perfect rhythm with the guitar does no good to someone who already spends half his nights wondering why he didn’t overstay his London visa !
In spite of the striking scenery and the mesmerizing dialogues, the part of the movie that really got me ruminating was how one of the rather eloquent characters(though only a shadow of Ellsworth Toohey of Fountainhead fame) chooses to define nostalgia- “denial, denial of the painful present”.
That’s a rather contentious way of defining an emotion as endearing as nostalgia. What is nostalgia to me? Put simply, it’s a longing for the past. I think about my past every day, every minute. I think of my school days, right from the times my mom dressed me up and even tied my shoe laces. I think of the first tennis match I saw more than 15 years ago. I think of the time I took Sachin’s autograph. I think of the time I first drove a car and rode Karizma. Heck, I am eerily reminded of Bill Clinton’s words,”when your memories outgrow your dreams, you’ve grown old”. But why do I think of my past? Is it because my past is even more beautiful than the city of Paris? Or is it because,as the character opines, my present sucks like Pilani which makes my past seem so enchanting? It’s difficult to say, I don’t have the answers. Come to think of it, does anyone? Welcome to my cul-de-sac.


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