Warning: If you’re sitting in office like me, don’t play the song. Your colleagues will never understand what caused the flood of tears.
I am fairly open in my choice of films and music, books not as much. I usually try recommendations from people. A lot of it is nice and makes its way into my BB but not into my heart. Last year in July, I received a number that stayed with me the entire year and also at the exact moment the year was ending. Yeah, I ended 2010 with that song. It remains one of my favourites.
Yesterday an old friend asked me to listen to her. Now, the strange thing is that yt and I are as different as Fox News and MSNBC. Whenever we talk, we usually fight - hard bitter fights. We are usually at loggerheads about everything – from the invasion of Iraq to thoughts on philanthropy to his constant barbs at my taste in literature. He is also fairly disdainful about my notions of love. Why someone like him would recommend this song is beyond me.
If you do happen to play the song, listen to it twice back to back – the second time with your eyes closed, let her sadness wash over you. Soak in her grief as she apolgises, “I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited.” Great works of art spring from some source of eternal, irreversible sorrow. The sorrow needn’t be personal. Maybe it is associated with Man’s fall and our collective sins or some personal tragedy. I don’t know, but I am sure that such beauty cannot spring from happiness. When she sings, you wonder at the depths of her sorrow. And you find echoes of your own sorrow.
Is it any wonder that she breaks down at the end of the song. I can’t get over the repeated ‘Don’t forget me, I beg’ refrain. I don’t detect shame, I don’t detect any self-consciousness. All I sense is a crushing sorrow; a voice that doesn’t shake even when the world around has collapsed. Such confidence in love comes only with acceptance that your love is futile.
There is a lovely scene is Ye Saali Zindagi with Irrfan Khan & Chitrangada Singh inside a car. She’s in deep shit and he’s wondering how he can help her. When she asks, why he hasn’t been responding to her calls, he offers an invisible shrug and tells her what else is he supposed to do when he returns to find the girl he loves in his friend’s arms. There is neither self-consciousness nor abject misery written over his face. There is an assurance that nothing will ever change – he will continue to love her and she unable to return his love. This acceptance of the status quo lends a quiet dignity to his character. He isn’t like the lover of fairy tales who dreams of whisking away the princess. He’s hurting but he’ll die before he shows it. I love that confidence, that sense of self-assuredness even when there is no self left worth preserving.
Last, I am reminded of that lovely scene with Vinay Pathak in ‘Dasvadaniya.’ I doubt any of you have even heard of the film, let alone watched it. Amar (Vinay Pathak) is dying and he has been given 6 months to live. He makes a list of all the things he wants to do before his time is up –he keeps ticking items on his to-do list. In this scene he goes to meet his childhood friend Meera (Neha Dhupia). The two were best friends in school and were always partners during sessions of dumb charade; but they haven't been in touch for over 15 years. I’m not gonna say much, watch it here. The actual ‘dumb charade’ sequence lasts merely 10 seconds but what’s captivating is his face at the end. Watch him slowly turn around in the falling rain, watch him ‘shush’ her with a wave of his hand as she starts to say something.