Dev

Dev is the protagonist in Anurag Kashyap’s Dev D. Devdas is a cult movie which has been adapted in many languages, originally a novel by SaratChandra Chattopadhyay.

Dev is a man deep rooted in patriarchy but is unaware of it. Dev and Paro have a long time long distance relationship.  Both of them are in love with each other. Their age warrants raging hormones and none of them is in denial. At Dev’s request,  Paro sends him her “pictures” which she gets developed at a photo studio first. Dev is Ok with it till he believes that Paro is only his. Their rendezvous continues even when Dev comes back to India.

 

But the problem arises when Dev hears loose talk about Paro. It comes from rumors spread by a spurned lover. But much like village folk, totally leaving behind his foreign education and thinking, he believes everything he hears. When Paro confronts him, he breaks up with her. He has no idea what he is doing. Giving up on his childhood love on hearsay rumors. Paro is heartbroken and decides to marry the guy her father chooses for her. It’s only when Dev sees Paro on her wedding day that it finally hits him. And there after, he goes down that long road of alchohol, drugs and self destruction.

Dev is a character I find hard to empathize with. He comes across as a very selfish person who only cares about what he wants. Even Chanda, who he meets later and who takes care of him, is left alone because he finds out about her background and the reason why she forays into prostitution. 
I feel like Dev is caught between his patriarchal thoughts and western sensibilities. He cannot handle a Paro who is independent,  owns her sexuality and is not afraid to ask for respect. Dev’s deep rooted patriarchy doesn’t allow him to accept what his heart wants. He is a narcissistic person who chooses the path of self destruction over anything worthwhile that he could have done with his life. This character is iconic for the way it has been portrayed by both the Abhay Deol (the actor who plays Dev) and Anurag Kashyap (the director of the movie).

Julie and Julia – My take

 

After moving to US and watching a few local American sitcoms, I heard the name Julia Child being passed around a lot. Sometimes as an inspiration, sometimes as a funny reference to motivated home chefs. I had never heard or read about her hitherto. Yesterday, I chanced upon this movie called “Julie and Julia” on Netflix. The description said something about it being inspired from Julia Child’s life. So I just thought I would watch the movie a little, because a) I am not very interested in English films generally b) I did not have any reference of Julia Child. But then I watched the movie.

It was one of those movies which just caught me off guard. It had such a warm fuzzy feeling to it. The story is about a girl named Julie who works in New York but hates her job. She is going through a quarter life crisis, and wants to do something big, some challenge that she can take on and come out top of it. And so, she decided to take up Julia Child’s recipe book which has 524 recipes, and decides to finish it up in exactly 365 days. Like most of us, her pump fizzles out through the middle of any challenge. To overcome that, she starts a blog which she updates everyday with the recipe she tried and how it turned out. The movie then keeps going back and forth between Julie and Julia’s life. While Julie tries a recipe, the movie transports us back to the time when Julia developed it, and how her life was at that time. The character of Julie is played by Amy Adams, and if I may say so, she is equally adorable. I could so relate to her when she starts her blog. And waits for people to read and jumps at every single comment. How sometimes, she is sleepy, and yet makes time to blog because she believes her readers would be so disappointed if she didn’t. It was so funny to see it in retrospective. 

The character of Julia is played by Meryl Streep. Forgive me for saying this, but I hadn’t watched a single movie of Meryl Streep, until yesterday. And that’s only because I am not as drawn to English movies as much as Hindi ones. But now, I am a big Meryl Streep fan. Now I now why people consider her a legend. The way she has played Julia’s character is so adorable, it makes you fall in love with both of them. Maybe it was Julia’s character that makes her so warm and fuzzy, but I still can’t shake off her beautiful face and smile. I had never seen Julia Child before I sat down to write this piece. Even though now I know how she looks like, but I think from now on, every time someone mentions Julia, I am going to think of Meryl Streep. That’s like two legends together. Too much to learn. Too much to love.

If you haven’t watched this movie, do watch it. Bon Appetit !

Leaving you with the official trailer to enjoy 🙂

PS: This is not a movie review. 
PPS: Images taken from Google.

 

Separation anxiety of a different kind !

The husband has been away for a while now. It will take him another couple of months to be back. The little one is keeping me very busy and on some days, I do not even remember that he is not there. Some days we do manage to squeeze in to talk for a few minutes. On most days, thanks to the time difference, we just about manage to acknowledge that we are doing fine by messages that are replied to, hours later.

There was a time when I could not bear to be away from him, even for a couple of days. I would call him all the time or chat and invariably miss him when I got home. I also wrote about how strong I was while he was leaving the country here. Any other time would have had me crying and bawling and being depressed for entire days after he was gone. The other day I was just wondering about this. All sorts of thoughts crossed my mind. Had I changed after becoming a mother? Did my love for the child overpower my love for him?
Or was I just over imagining things because I was so busy at all the other times?

I got my answer when I was watching “Two States”. It’s one of two movies I have watched in the past 7 months (all thanks to the entry of the little one in our lives). I am known to be a book lover and I, almost, never (except a few times) like a movie adapted from a book. And this was a book I did not even rate too high. It was OK, average. But I liked the movie. I loved the way Alia’s character was portrayed. I loved all the cliched drama of the loud Punjabi family and not-so-convincing South Indian accents. I loved the songs. And I liked Arjun Kapoor the best. His face had such a lost puppy look to it that you would immediately want to run and hug him. He didn’t seem like a quintessential “hero”, but a very normal guy who has his  ambitions and apprehensions mixed up.

Another reason I also loved this movie could have been because H and I also faced a lot of opposition when we decided to get married. Somehow, I was transported back to those years when we were the boy and girl in love. When we just had to get married to each other or no one else. When there were lots of tears, emotions and melodrama. And suddenly, all those emotions which I thought I had lost came back to me. I had a lump in my throat. I wanted to cry, I wanted to meet him and say the I love you. I wanted to be with him right then.

And then the movie ended. The ear phones came off. And the little one woke up.

But there is this song “Chaandaniya” (from the movie) that I have been playing in a loop ever since. It’s my favorite song these days.

Disclaimer: If you are missing a loved one, hear the song at your own risk. It will make you all sad and mushy.

 

 

Love – a habit, an addiction or sacrifice?

I was watching Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam for the nth time today. I always feel the same rush of emotions while watching the naked display of raw emotions, as Ajay Devgan is torn between his love and responsibilities. And especially the last scene where Aishwarya finally gets what she’s been seeking all along – her love but turns it down in favor of her husband.

Till the last time I remember having seen the movie, I never felt the way I felt today. Maybe it was because of the fact that I have loved and married the man I chose and maybe could relate to both Salman‘s and Aishwarya’s emotional suffering. There is this last scene where Aishwarya walks away from Salman and I felt angered. I mean, there he was, suffering as much as she was, suddenly weaving dreams of a happy future once again with the love of his life, only to be rejected and turned down and left forlorn for the second time. I mean, once is more than enough for anybody to go through that hell!

The love birds – Aish and Salman!

Anyway, I felt my anger directed at Aish but then I thought that it was not her mistake entirely too. It’s not easy to forget your first love and get married to somebody and just resign to your fate like that. At least you need some time to come to terms with that. Anybody in her place would still long for the ex after the unceremonious exit of Salman from her life and a quick marriage to Ajay Devgan. But there’s our hero who wants Aish and Salman to unite and takes her to a strange country to find him. Through the turbulent times together Aish realizes how selfless her husband is and begins to believe that that is true love! And then I got angry at her parents for making her go through this.

Because if Aish had never been forced to get married to Ajay Devgan, there would never have been that guilt that she was probably feeling because of which she throws away her love. There was nothing wrong with all three of them. All of them were true lovers and one of them lost. Why? Only if she wasn’t married, and she was on the quest to find her soul mate, I am sure she would have probably happily married him by the evening without a second thought.

Aish with her on-screen husband Ajay

And that led me to think that is Love actually the other name for sacrifice? Or is Love merely an addiction that we can shake off with the passage of time? Or may be just, a habit or getting used to a person that we can shake off with time?

I mean, if Aish hadn’t spent some quality time with her husband, she would have never come to know of his godliness. And then there was the marriage to honor. And so her parents succeeded at what they had set out to do. Destroy her first love. Was it right? I can’t really say. With time, she began to like Ajay, her love faded a little and marriage won over. I kind of felt cheated. And I have no idea why.

And then there is the sacrifice part. We love someone, we sacrifice a lot of things for their happiness. But was it love when Aish sacrificed her love to be with her husband, and in turn broke Salman’s heart? What kind of love is that when you break someone’s heart and balm someone else’s? Can love really be measured? Ajay’s love was greater than Salman’s and so she decided to stay with him, does it work like that? I don’t know. And I can’t help thinking.

The more I think about it, the more I feel that the theory that “we find true love only once” is an eyewash. I think, as life progresses, we change and find different people who we can love. And I don’t mean it in polyandry kind of way. I feel that Aish loved Salman when she was young, wild and passionate. But because of the heart break and subsequent marriage, something inside her changed forever. She wasn’t the same girl anymore. And may be that’s why she was able to appreciate a rather mature (Ajay Devgan’s) love rather than the almost childish (Salman’s) love. It was right, and yet I felt a little wronged. All these years, I always felt happy for Ajay Devgan in the end. But today, I think time has changed something inside me too. Having gone through the struggle to be with H for life, has changed me. Seeing someone’s love story break half way just brings out my defenses strongly. Even if that love story is a fiction.