Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Little Miss Sunshine

Though it’s a ‘road trip’ movie but it is quite unlike the others of its genre. While such (road trip) movies are aimed at showing the fun encountered during a road trip, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ shows a trip which brings the members of a family together wiping out the differences among them, and at the same time an eye opener for some of them. However what interests me is the following piece of dialogue between two of its characters, Dwayne (played by Paul Dano) and his uncle Frank (played by Steve carell):

Dwayne: Sometimes l just wish l could go to sleep till l was 18, and skip all this crap, high school and everything. Just skip it.

Steve: You know Marcel Proust?

Dwayne: He's the guy you teach.

Steve: Yeah. French writer. Total loser. Never had a real job. Unrequited love affairs. Gay. Spent 20 years writing a book almost no one reads, but he's also probably the greatest writer since Shakespeare. Anyway, he...he gets down to the end of his life, and he looks back and decides that all those years he suffered, those were the best years of his life, cos they made him who he was. All the years he was happy, you know, total waste. Didn't learn a thing. So, if you sleep until you're 18...Think of the suffering you're gonna miss. I mean, high school? Those are your prime suffering years. You don't get better suffering than that.

Dwayne: You know what? Fuck beauty contests. Life is one fucking beauty contest after another: you know, school, then college, then work. Fuck that. And fuck the Air Force Academy. lf I wanna fly, I'll find a way to fly. I mean, you do what you love, and fuck the rest.

Steve: I’m glad you're talking again, Dwayne. You're not nearly as stupid as you look. Wanna go back?

Dwayne: Not really. [Pause] Yeah, we should go back.

Nice Conversation. Ain’t it?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friends & Friendship

For the past couple of days, I was thinking to write this post but had been a bit busy (and lazy too). For some reasons the idea of friendship is not leaving my mind for the past few days. Why do we become friends? And why are friends needed? What leads to great friendship? How do we define great friendship?

After thinking a lot, what I conclude is that it’s again a matter of the old ‘Demand-Supply’ equation. The only difference is that the demand and supply here are at emotional and psychological levels and not at the material level. We generally need something from our friends and in turn supply something the later needs, and this leads to the basic friendship equation.

And perhaps this is the reason we choose our friends and don’t accept ‘anyone’ who comes our way. When we are kids, our chuddy-buddies are the ones with whom we enjoy the most playing, getting soiled, shouting and screaming. Here also, there is a lot of choices made by kids. Every kid is not happy playing the childish games with every other kid. When we start going to school, we again make choices based on our needs, may be the need is to have a company while coming or going to school, or that of sharing the lunch box, or even academic needs.

When we come to college, the ones included in our friend circles are the guys with whom we like to have fun or share our thoughts. Yes, there are other reasons too which lead us to make friends at the college level like complementary skills for various activities to be carried out together. Later, after college, our friends are those with whom we can share the chaos of our lives and from whom we expect great solace.

Man (and woman too) is a social animal and needs others of same species to live a contented life. As we are getting into the culture of moving into joint families and leaving homes for work or study, we need more and more friends around us to take care of us, to pull us out of difficulties and to make us feel their soothing presence at the times of need. And perhaps this is why our friends become our extended family at a later stage in life.

So, I guess, great friends are those who satisfy many of our needs with less resistance and make us feel better than others. They are the ones who don’t think us to be fools when we behave like complete idiots. And at times, love our complete idiotic behaviour as well. They are the ones in front of whom we are comfortable enough to reveal our true selves and they love us for what we truly are.

So, can it be concluded that friends are made to fulfil some of the needs at different points in our lives? Well, I think though friends do this work of catering to the needs to friends but I would refrain from terming it ‘attachment for need’ partnership. Let us leave the human nature the way it is. And keep making friends and loving them. :-)

P.S. Happy Valentine Day! May the great saint’s soul rest in peace!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Why should I Buy a Ticket?

Actually this post should have been titled “Where should I buy a ticket?” instead of ‘Why’. But since the location is not defined, how can the reason be.

Anyway, my latest angst is over the pathetic situation of Indian Railways which gets worsened every day despite soaring revenues and claims by honourable railway ministers. A few days back, I was returning from Delhi and had a booking in H Nizamuddin – Rajendra Nagar Garib Rath. So, I got down at Patna Jn. and went to the ticket booking counter to get another ticket to home. But when I entered the ticket booking complex, I was for forced to believe that the actual population of India is not around 1.20 billion but actually three times that number. The lines were so long that I was almost sure to miss my train in order to get a ticket. What I couldn’t understand was why more than half of the booking counters were closed. And then as I stood thinking about what to do, a person approached me and offered to buy a ticket after taking 20 rupees as his commission. I refused and got to the end of a line which, as I later found out, was barely moving. The ticket booking clerk was moving his hands as he was learning to type. Moreover, he also didn’t hesitate getting up for sipping tea or even drinking water. And then all of a sudden, I heard the announcement about my train arriving on platform number 2. I went to the booking counter, requested a man buying ticket to get a ticket for me as well explaining him my situation. But again, the booking in charge refused to give another ticket to him despite pleading by me.

As I was moving out of the booking complex, I thought of asking an old man standing at the senior citizen counter to buy a ticket for me again explaining to him what plight I was in. I thought he would be kind and listen to my situation and understand it but to my utter dismay, he was rude and refused me bluntly. And we are taught to respect the aged people and treat them well!! Our social values need to be restructured soon. The young population should be given more credits for its helping tendency, patience and what not.

With the idea of undertaking a bus journey, I moved out of the station. And then, I again thought of talking to the TTE in the train and asking whether he could do something. I went running to the platform 2 and see if the train was still standing there. It was there. I found the TTE and told him the story. And what he told pleased me like anything. He said that he could make an extended ticket even if I had not bought any. And thus, I returned home learning new lessons about life and travelling.

However, this ticket problem is not new with railways. Similar kind of long queues are there for Mumbai Suburban tickets. And I have even witnessed the booking clerk refusing a person refusing him ticket after about half an hour of wait because it 12:30 pm and the clerk got up for lunch. Though railways are the cheapest and best means of transport in the country in many parts but still its condition is degrading every day. Trains are becoming overcrowded, coaches are becoming dirty and the speed is getting lower every day. Something needs to be done urgently so that commuting doesn’t become a pain.

Ms Bannerjee, listening?