This weekend I cut myself from the rest of the world. Shut the lid on my lappy and turned off the lights in my apartment, baked some fish and did something that I hadn't done in a long long time. A movie marathon.
I would do that occasionally in Karachi. Once in a few months, Id rent a number of movies and watch them back to back all night long. The movies would spark ideas, the movies would spawn thoughts, questions and concerns. But most of all I could entertain myself by spending a little time in someone else's fantasy.
So this time, my choice were five different movies from five different parts of the world. From Italy, Maleena; a story of a child becoming a man, his infatuation with a woman and the woman's strife in a Sicilian village that wont accept her on her terms. From Argentina, a Spanish movie called The Motorcycle Diaries, took me deep into the trans Latin American trip that changed one Ernesto Guevera to the revolutionary that we know as Che. From Brazil, The City of Gods, a Portuguese film that described the evolution of criminal gangs in the Rio De Janeiro slum called The City of Gods. A true shocker, the movie described a real life story of two young kids growing up in the same slum, one becoming a kingpin and the other becomes a news paper photographer and despite of the difference of their profession both their lives revolved around the crime infested slum. Next in line was a slow pace satire of the Iranian culture in a Persian movie called The Secret Ballot. Imagine a woman polling agent who lands on a remote Iranian island municipality for a few hours on election day to ensure that everyone votes. That's what the secret ballot is all about. And finally, there was an English movie too, Ray. I now know and completely believe why Jamie Fox deserved that best actor oscar. That was one gripping movie with a great performance by all those involved.
Everyone in the movies was following an objective, Ray Charles was trying to find self fulfillment through music, Che was seeking self discovery through the trip, Lil Ze was seeking absolute power in the City of Gods and in the same slum Rocket was seeking an honest way to make his name, Maleena was seeking respect as a widow while her sexually frustrated guardian angel was seeking true love, Khanum was seeking people who wanted their voices to be heard while her military aid sought an explanation to how a vote from the small island would make a difference to the nation and the people who voted!
All this made me wonder, how many of us, in all that occupies our life, have been able to figure out what our objectives are in the larger scheme of things. Why are we doing what we are doing and is that what we should really be doing ? And finally does the load of work, the lack of time, and the diminishing role of spontaneity call for changes in life ?