Monday, July 03, 2006

Weekend!

I had an absolutely fantastic weekend. As uneventful as it could ever be. My flat mate is on vacation so I was all alone and I loved it (Bhaya, if you want to extend your vacation, please do so:)) . I think the only time I opened my mouth in the entire two days was to answer the cook when she asked which vegetable she should cook. That was all. Other than that it was almost like a maun vrat (vow of silence). No Superman Returns. No Krissh. No calls from or to home. Same for friends. The film society was screening Aparna Sen's films this weekend. I gave both 36 Chowranghee Lane and 15 Park Avenue a miss (I had seen the former before) and went to the screening of Sati on Saturday evening (it was disappointing!). I went in silence and came back without opening my mouth too.

Back home the four football matches were all great. I was really glad England and Brazil both lost, both ridiculously over-inflated and pompous teams. I hope France sends the Portuguese back home too. Their win over the Dutch was really unfair. After watching the France match I remembered the movie (it is actually a video-installation) Zidane: A Twenty First Century Portrait, about which I had read few weeks before, somewhere in the dispatches from the Cannes film festival. I hope I get a chance to see it somewhere. The installation is based on a simple though very original concept. The documentary filmmakers decide to train their camera exclusively on Zidane for the entire course of the match (its real madrid vs something) that is even when he is not near the ball. I won't call myself a footfall fanatic or even a fan but there is something in Zidane's personality and the detached, melancholy air that he exudes that I won't mind seeing him for an hour continuously at all. A report about the film from the guardian newspaper.

Other than that I was busy reading W G Sebald's The Emigrants. I was actually re-reading the book, having read the book in a hurry and without paying much attention before. What an appropriate book to read in such circumstances! Soon after finishing the book, I felt as if I was levitating in the air over my bed and voices inside my head became louder and louder and of course all the thoughts of dead people, who as Sebald says, are always coming back to haunt the living. It is fantastic the way Sebald stands up for the dead, the gone and the forgotten. Truly a brave warrior in the fight against oblivion. A powerful antidote to the (much-popular) philosophy of "living in the present", peddled by the self-helps gurus and other fraudsters and peddlers of fake happiness. But yes, Mourning and Melancholia should have their limits too and it is not advisable from a mental health point of view to read Sebald in large doses! Thats why I shut the book (though I wanted to re-reread some of the passages again) and spent the rest of the evening listening to the soundtrack of Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna. The title track is quite good, though Sonu Nigam and Alka Yagnik try a little too hard to make you cry ("Door jaake tum meri yaado mein rehna..." Yuck!!). Still the song is quite good. Other songs are average or even boring. I was also reading about the film and it sounded quite interesting. I think I will go to see it when it gets released.

10 comments:

Jabberwock said...

That is one eclectic weekend! Completely with you on Zidane - I've never been a foorball fan myself and only recently started watching it (with very little context on any of the players), but the man is magnetic. And this concept (keeping the camera on him throughout) wouldn't have worked with any other player - no one else serves as a centrifugal force for their team the way he does for France.

anurag said...

I thought your post is about Godard's Weekend. :)

ventilatorblues said...

"it was almost like a maun vrat"

Good for you. A strict application would also have required you to not read or write anything, or (in my case) not listen to any music. I have done one of those over a three day period. By the end of it, I think I got a good sense of what those "fraudsters" mean by "living in the present". :)

Alok said...

vb: :) wasn't making fun of meditation or any spiritual philosophy !! just that "living in the moment" shouldn't mean ignoring the past and forgetting the dead... that seems to me a cowardly, selfish and immoral escapism.

In fact Sebald's book is deeply meditative in the sense that it tries to dissolve the boundaries between past and present, through an act of remembrance and precise re-evocation of all things dead and gone.

regarding maun vrat, a strict application sounds a little too difficult to me but I think I will try it next weekend :))

Alok said...

jai: precisely...it can't work with any other player. though on second thoughts rahul dravid would come close. he has got another mysterious personality and depth of character! :)

anurag: do you have Weekend in your collection? have forgotten so many things about the movie. need to watch it again :)

ventilatorblues said...

Alok
No worries, my brother. Just giving you grief. :) But yes, dont knock it till you've experienced it. The only litmus test is your own experience, not what someone says from a pulpit.

anurag said...

ya, I have

Alok said...

vb: I think I lack some spiritual circuit in my brain. I will have to go for LSD and such stuff to get a real out-of-body experience :))

anuarg: okay I am coming down to Hyd'bad now :)

anurag said...

I thought I am good at making false promises but you are master in that :)

Alok said...

okay before the end of next month!!