Thursday, February 10, 2011

the unbearabe lightness or heaviness of being

I remember coming here five years back. I remember getting off at Mumbai Central and riding through its lanes to my cousin’s house at midnight. Autorickshaws neatly lined alongside the road below the neglected mercury lamps. I remember walking early the next morning to marol naka to see my friend off for office. The air had urgency. Every foot was in a hurry. In the evening I was at Victoria Terminus for the first time. The atmosphere was still. The heart was numb. Amongst that chaos there was stillness inside. I lived that moment. I remember falling in love with that calm inside.
And now I’m here. Living that frenzy. Now I’m one of them. Though I still feel like an outsider. I’m an outsider. But I feel like that everywhere. Chuck that.
A distant, lonely, ignorant, artist stumbles on fresh inspiration after finding his gateway to the heart of Mumbai. The exciting intimacy of living in someone’s house. Walking the same corners, having the same view, meeting the same people, living the anxieties. Knowing her as intimately as one can. Interacting with her through a window with one end. A city glowing from a distance. A fire glowing in someone’s eyes. Wondering chaos inside.

A free spirit, on a break from a mad world trying to understand something madder. Or just trying to live the madness. At ease with her limit. She’ll always be an alien, she knows that. She gets entangled with someone who is trying to live in chaos.
She gets involved in the flux herself. To guide her through the flux she hires someone who is the flux himself but is not aware of it.

The Mumbai we see from the distance. The underbelly. The ghetto of dreamers. The railway track which is the pride and the shame simultaneously. The mud of the sea.
The face at the next signal. The world that we can only aspire to know.

Neither world. The largest segment, the least known. The lamenting voice. Caged. Burdened. Helpless. Clipped. Walking through empty landscapes, shouting in crowded streets while no one hears.
the death of hope. the agony and the ecstasy of bourgeois.

Welcome to Kiran Rao’s Dobi Gat. A very well collaged, painfully exotic,moving canvas.
Lifelike in its forgetting. Divine in its reach. The unbearable lightness or heaviness of being. Held at unknown breath’s distance. The chill of a winter ride through misty unknown. The dissatisfaction of empty nights played out on newly whitewashed walls.
The echo of nostalgia amok.

“Dear Leonard. To look life in the face, always, to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last to know it, to love it for what it is, and then, to put it away. Leonard, always the years between us, always the years. Always the love. Always the hours.”

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