Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Green Slumdog and a Ring

A few years back, some friends had recommended Vikas Swarup’s Q&A to be added to my reading list. Vikas had been their colleague but besides their personal acquaintance with the author, my friends had found the book a very interesting read. I remember reviewing the book then as overly predictable although the narrative had a very pleasant lilt and warmth in its motions. A few weeks ago, a friend was raving about a movie she had recently seen. As she went through the plot, it struck me as being rather familiar. On further connecting the dots, I found out that Q&A was now on serious film production –though by another title. Slumdog Millionaire! I came out of the theater quite satisfied that the screenplay proved my earlier review of the book quite wrong. The movie itself is well written and shot. Set largely in Bombay through three phases in the life of the protagonist, the camera was honest in capturing the depraved yet resilient and colorful spirit of wresting oneself from the alleys and backwaters of an Indian metropolis. The casting could have been a tad tighter though. Rather than spill all, a plug for the movie would be a lot more appreciable. So, if you were waiting for that one movie worth your investment, Slumdog Millionaire could be it.

(Click on pix for a fuller view)
Given that one has internalized much of the normative ways of being and parameters of reference, December tends to inflect our senses of not only ourselves but also that of the world around us in ways that remain dormant for much of the rest of the year. Giving takes on a whole new sense of urgency as we plan out our list of stuff to send out from our resources. Beyond the confines of our selves and those within its ambit, we are acutely aware of those beyond who are less privileged than us. A heightened sense of urgency to intervene or “make a difference” for unnamable faces takes on priority levels that upset the balances we plan with. Decorations and cooking bring out our creative best. These photos of a Christmas tableau in our locality exemplify just that dash of ingenuity inflected by sensitivity to world conditions. Hope rings poignantly this year. With a radically new president for the US, and a change in the leadership in Mizoram –a rehash of sorts for some –there is a measure of hope for alternate governance in the coming days. Amidst all these flashes of self consciousness, I happened to mull over the waste we produce as a byproduct of our festivities. The disposable cups, plates, and spoons, leave alone the rather sinful leftovers we eyewash with quixotic senses of abundance and nonchalance, and the toll our foods imply –they all impact us, though not immediately. Beyond our human-centered considerations in planning for the season, I am dreaming of a green Christmas!

Planning for my nuptials has been a little hairier than I bargained for, especially when done remotely by phone or email. There are more black-holes than I could ever throw light on. Minute details become headliners. For instance, my decision to plan the venue at my partner’s place rather than mine provided much fodder for the rumor-mill. The many angles this decision blew up into really tweaked my learning curve. With humility, I have learned to gracefully take their umbrage as sincere familial concern for me. So if you will be in Lunglei around the ides of January, let me know. As a gracious reader who has painfully ploughed through this posting, I can, in the least, invite you.