Sunday, August 23, 2009

Melodrama and Poignancy: Outsourcing The Emotional Communication

Versatility is an attribute that, in my opinion, will hardly ever be associated with SRK. Although some of the performances in the beginning of his career can be deceptive and may make one believe in his acting talent. On the second thoughts it may well be the case that he is a versatile actor but to bank on the exploitation of emotions, which he is good at, is the choice he has made to clench the dreams he had come with to Mumbai. In the words of one of my good friend "he has very good business acumen". And indeed he has. To cry is his forte and the realization has made him the Bollywood king. His character more often than not and the ones that are likely to be hit require him to take a seemingly ordinary scenario and fill it with piercingly poignant emotions.

For example a departure scene at an airport with the protagonist leaving for "Amrica" to pursue a career can be made so melodramatic, in the presence of SRK with eyes moist from the pain of departure from family, friends and seemingly distant relatives, that the viewer could be left in the state of such exalted emotions that _if_ there was a flight waiting outside to take him or her back "home" then he or she would just jump in only to realize later in the mid-way, as the senses come back, that could only be best expressed by "what the...". Even more stereotypical scenario where the protagonist realizes that the girl (or a guy?) he is in love with loves someone else and he must sacrifice his love for the love of his life. And here comes SRK and what words cannot express his eyes will. No statutory warning is provided beforehand, but witnessing such a scene can leave one with such sacrificial emotions and such, if one really is insane, belief that the true love is complete only with sacrifice. In the state of such hypnosis with sacrificial emotions running through one's veins one may actually go to one's girlfriend and say "Jaao jilo apani zindagi paalo apana pyaar" (Go live your life and get the love your life). Obfuscated by the outburst of such god-knows-what may leave the girlfriend in the state that can only be described, again, by "what the...". (Although note that, for the stereotypical scene of SRK, there was no real sacrifice made since he never had the love of his life in the first place)

Despite of all these he is the beloved king of Bollywood since we, as Indians (forgive my generalization), love to go through the emotional roller coaster. And it sells well. That is why anytime a producer or a director, most likely Johars or Chopras, need a crying man they know where or rather who to look for. Although not entirely accurate it sounds a lot like the character of a 'rudaali'. (The title 'rudaali' is a reference to a custom in certain areas of Rajasthan where women of a lower caste are hired as professional mourners upon the death of upper-caste males. Their job is to publicly express grief of family members who are not permitted to display emotion due to social status. Source: Wiki) Such is the idea of outsourcing the lamentation that it makes me wonder if people who are really rich but seemingly incapable of expressing emotions were to hire SRK for the job then it could perhaps make him more money than those movies.

In fact, given that India has almost become a synonym for outsourcing, an outsourcing enterprise can be established that expresses emotions on your behalf.

"Abhivyakti: Express your emotions in Indian accent.. call us at 1-800-XPRS-URSELF. We do all kind of emotions: dejection, joy, anger, gratitude, love and of course lust.

Testimony from our celebrity clients.

'No one could understand what I wanted to say, but these guys have changed my life.
Now anytime I get in fight with my wife I call them and give the phone to my wife'
- Sylvester Stallone

'People of California used to make fun my accent before as they couldn't understand me or my
expressions and as if my accents were funny.. hi haay... But now.. well now they make fun of
"my" Indian accent ... hi haay.. I am a funny guy.. hi haay'
- In Austrian accent governor schwarzenegger

And not to mention our life time member Arjun Rampal. In his own words
'Before I was like a chair you know, didnt know how to show my feelings you know,
but abhivyakit has changed my life. They are ... err... I dont even know how
to express my gratitude for Abhivyakti.. hold on let me call 1-800-XPRS-URSELF'.

Call us now and with love express lust for free."

Of course, there will human right activists who will abhor the idea and will cite that the expression of one's emotions is an intimate thing and no one shall be allowed to hire someone else to express emotions on one's behalf. That , according to them, will be the gross viloation of human right of 'expressing yourself'. Of course ignoring the fact that the one in question is not capable of expressing one's self and by not allowing such an enterprise to exist, indirectly, you are denying the one the right to choose, the right to choose someone to express the one's self on one's behalf. And there will be a story of a victim of such an enterprise.

"Mr. Besura could not sing and/or dance around trees and he hired someone from Abhivyakti who sung and danced around trees with his girl on his behalf to express his love for his girl. After that incident Mr. Besura has never seen his girl".

Absent from the scene would be Mr. Besura since he, perhaps, is not capable of expressing dejection either.

Moral of the story:

With riding waves and running thru deserts
Restless so, no one place itself it asserts
So astray could be the thoughts of mind
Begun at home, them in a strange land you find

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Seduced by the sound of silence

Seduced by the sound of silence
Dream that I woke up within
Amidst the snow clad sentinels and
Over the blue sky's reflection, floating

Sun light bouncing off the waves
Seemed a sheet of jewels weaving
Dream this was not, as silence of the
Pebbled shore the waves were breaking

Sliding away from the shore and
Consumed by the serenity
Nature I lost myself into, like
A moment lost into eternity

Tranquilized by that sedating
Shade of blue waters
Buoyant I felt with the joy, like
Those gliding eye floaters

Sweeter grew the melody of silence
As the bells nature rung,
With the sound of those two gorges
Like the chimes of a jaltarang

Dissolved in that divine ambiance
Like the fragrance in the air
Caught by waving self reflection
I discovered my 'lost' self