Jul 30, 2010

My Inception Experience

There were compulsions from two sides in making me watch the movie ‘Inception. One was a young blogger friend’s latest blog post about the movie which was written emphasizing its ‘dream element’ and the other was a new house mate’s suggestions regarding the serious talks that the film stimulated among the film critics.

The person in the second case, (let’s call him a mini-encyclopaedia of the world cinema), told me about the curious structural twists the movie possesses. Apart from encouraging me to watch the movie, he also taught me that the film ‘Inception’ belongs to the ‘heist genre’ and it is an example of ‘caper films’. Above all, what temped me the most to watch ‘Inception’ was the fact, that the top three things I admire in my life have the ‘dream element’ in common, viz., Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, Sigmund Freud’s ‘Interpretation of Dreams’ and lastly, the dreams themselves.

I would say 'Inception’ is one of the greatest movies of the world cinema history. I really enjoyed the dream elements and the surprising twists the film had and really its structure that interconnected dreams captivated me. I was ‘boastful’ after watching the film and I said about the film everywhere I have acquaintances. One such a person, who became victim of my suggestion to watch that film, was my film teacher Louis Matthew (who appears in this blog in an earlier post titled Left...Right, Left...Right).

Though busy with some meddlesome schedule, he agreed to watch the film and to comment what he had felt after watching the movie. The next day, I was pulled up from my early morning bed by his phone call, which I attended in half sleep. Attempting to open my partly closed eyes rubbing, I spoke him in half closed husky voice. 

“I saw the film, but it did not surprise me as much as it did you,” he said.

We had a discussion regarding the structural twists of the film and the intertwining of dreams.

Quoting Leonardo DiCaprio, I said, “One has to see the film at least twice to understand its main plots and sub plots”

“The reason for the film not surprising me much is actually another film...,” he explained, “a 1965 made 'The Saragossa Manuscript', which had several layers of multiple sub plots. The film would completely baffle the spectator without clearly telling whether the protagonist is watching dreams or he really is a part of the real happenings”. (Later, I checked what my teacher said in the internet and found a blog post written by American poet Silliman, who described ‘Inception’ as the Spiritual Grandchild of ‘Saragossa Manuscript’.)

After a twenty minutes talk, we stopped the conversation. Then I remembered that I had been dreaming another house mate SK, exactly the moment I was woken up by my teacher’s phone call. SK, who was appearing in one of my earlier blog posts as the victim of my horoscope experiments, had just two days before left for his home town, and to my best knowledge, he would have been back only after a few weeks.

“I understand now that the film ‘Inception’ is true in many aspects, especially where it narrates the cases of shared dreaming and lucid dreaming,” I said my roommate who was staring at me in a ludicrous manner hearing my alien like talk over the phone.

Widening the eye balls, he asked, “What do you mean?”

“While waking up, in the half conscious state I saw a dream, that the man SK, who left for home has today come to our room and asked you something. He was smiling all the time and I am so sure that he was wearing his T-shirt with white and black stripes.”

Watching the staring eye balls of my roommate, I continued in growing enthusiasm, “It was a lucid dream and even the thread of his dress was so clear. I wonder, what it would be called, if a dream takes place at the exact surroundings in which the dreamer sleeps.”

“So, you mean that you dreamt SK in the morning exactly at this room?” my roommate inquired.

“Yes! That’s what I mean! Only creative persons can have such clear dreams,” I claimed.

I saw a hilarious smile sprouting at the corners of his mouth. Slowly, it became a big embarrassing smile.

“Don’t laugh like that. Is there any funny thing happening,” I became irritated.

“Nothing,” he said in between laughing, “the thing that you supposed to have dreamt was happening here exactly the moment you mentioned”


“Yes. Don’t say such idiotic things again. SK came to our room when you were woken up by that phone ring and he left after taking a bag that he placed here. Will you claim again that there happened something creative?”

I was silent and when his jeering reached at its heights, I warned him in a revengeful tone,

“You wait! I am gonna write about this thing in my Vanity Moments!”

Jul 24, 2010

The Third B'day and a Beautiful Gift

Today Vanity Moments turns three. The blog, which launched on experimental basis in July 24, 2007, with the single purpose of featuring my Shankhumugham video along with a screen made script written in English for the non-Malayalam speakers was initially named as ‘Droplets’. Only later, the blog turned out to be one of the ‘biggest boasting stations in the blogosphere’, which featured sequence of boastful recollections from the blog owner (that’s myself).

The initial purpose of the blog was, as I said before, to act as a mediator in bringing my Journalism day project Shankhumugham beach video to the world of travellers. I was happy, when the video was awarded a consolation prize in the Kerala Tourism–YouTube video festival and I was expecting a memorable gift from the government. I was offered a one day & night stay on a houseboat in the famous backwaters of Alleppey as the prize when I was actually expecting something that I can keep as a memento for a life time.

The offer for a houseboat trip, which was initially allotted for 1 pax did not make me happy. ‘What would I have done alone on a houseboat that floats in water with no hold up?’ I asked myself. However, I decided to accept the facility and planned to get one professional camera as I thought that taking photographs of the journey will be the only resort to escape from the boredom. But, later Kerala Tourism decided to give the facility to two persons, that means, the winner can take one more person to the boat.

I contacted one of my best friends, (who secretly appears in some of my previous blog posts) who after spending the college days with me had left for Cochin City pursuing a promising career. Over the phone, hilariously he replied ‘so you want me to act as your girlfriend, since you have none!’ I also remember the funny comment made my previous boss, ‘if you had married, you could have taken her for a honeymoon trip at the cost of the government’.

However, the day was 11th July 2010. While taking some photographs using the professional Nikon camera (thanks for my friend in Thiruvanathapuram for giving me the camera), my travel partner reached Alleppey beach on a prior-fixed time and we went to the ATDC houseboats at around 11 O clock. Despite of the lack of any documents proving my prize, we were welcomed warmly by the three staffs of the houseboat. We embarked on a sightseeing journey through the backwaters and I felt it as something like a journey that made by the Grecian King Ulysses during the legendary period.

Our houseboat darted slowly through the heart of the backwaters touching many places including Pallathuruthi, Kainakari, Vembanad Lake, Chambakulam, etc. We also had a brief visit at the Chambakulam church during the evening mass (it was a Sunday). Our camera helped us very much in collecting the wonderful stills of the destinations. In the noon time we had a wonderful lunch with Karimeen fry, salads, curd, lassi and a pineapple specialty.

In the evening we returned via a short cut to our starting point and finally anchored there in the night. After supper we went to the deluxe a/c double room, which was allotted for us and it was about 11.30 pm when we said good night.

In the morning at 5.30, we woke up as both of us had to go to our own offices since it was a Monday with its usual blues. After our breakfast we began to say good bye to a few wonderful hours of my life. Our Grecian journey now comes to an end, I thought, but this time there was no Troy to be captured, no Paris to be defeated and no Helen to be retrieved. 

This prize was for my Shankhumugham video, which was aptly titled as "This Beautiful Land," and let this post be a "Beautiful Gift" to my three year old Vanity Moments blog.

Jul 6, 2010

The Science of Horoscopes

A hartal day. The Opposition in alliance with a few supporting parties have announced a strike to observe civil disobedience in all over the Republic of India protesting the price hike. That means no office, no shops, no movements on the streets, no picnics, no theatres, and what you have at hand is only sleep. Our landlady has already left for a visit to her relatives deserting us and that means no food at all! Understanding this situation I had stored one pack bread and two eggs purchasing from the nearby shop the last day itself as I felt that the combination of bread and omelette would be a favourable one. Two eggs means, one for the morning and the other for the noontime. As the hartal ends at 6pm, the case of supper could have been easily managed.
In the hartal morning, I picked up the newspaper and accidently let one glance drop on the daily horoscope column. As an Arien, I just looked at what the fortune-teller had told about Aries for the day. It read like this: Till 6 pm, unsuccessfulness, discomfort, loss of money. After 6 pm, availability of favourite food. 

Hearing me reading out loudly the daily horoscope, my housemate SK, who has been reading the GK column sitting beside me, began to giggle.

“I can’t understand, why these educated people also go after such nonsense,” he remarked.

“I am just reading it to check whether they have at least one percent of truth. After all, we can’t swallow whatever been taught in the name of modernity,” I argued.

“If we have the will, we can change whatever is destined for us,” my optimistic friend said.

“What is your Zodiac sign?” I inquired.

“Hmmm...I believe...yeah...I am a Capricornian,” he turned the pages of his newspaper.

I read the daily fortune of Capricorn, “Success in everything, Happiness, Recognition, till 6 pm. After 6 pm, Unsuccessfulness, Loss of money, Botheration”

SK continued his giggle and glanced at me through the top of his specs with a hilarious mocking manner. 

I began to prepare my breakfast. After taking out one egg from my bag, I went to the kitchen. After making an omelette in my own style (I like the Bull’s-eye both sides fried), I returned to my room. 

At my room, while adjusting the table space to give room to the bread pack and omelette plate, I picked up the bag in which the second egg was kept. When I placed it on another space carelessly, I heard a pathetic sound of the egg crashing. I understood the misfortune. Without wasting time, I ran to the kitchen with the egg bag and carefully poured the egg contents to the frying pan. I called SK, who was standing close to me and said him, “your good luck!”

With a hilarious smile, he said, “Sometimes Horoscopes are true”

I replied sadly, “Yeah, loss of money to me and happiness to you!”

SK winked.

The hartal ends at 6 pm. When I went to SK’s room, he persuaded me to go outside to have tea. I started my bike (yeah, the sincere bike) and asked SK to keep his purse as I was wearing a pajama with no pockets.

When we reached the junction, we found that the tea shop owner has given a full day rest to himself. We drove further through the dead street and found one hotel, which is a specialist in non-veg items, was kept open. I asked SK about eating one Shawarma (an Arabian chicken speciality), which was my favourite dish for sometime. He agreed.

After savouring the delicacy of Shawarma, when the bill came, my eyes protruded and SK had a brief giddiness. The price was something huge that we could never imagine for two Shawarmas.

SK paid the bill and when we came outside the hotel, he sadly said,

“Now, I believe that horoscopes are completely true. Today’s experience shows that”

I looked at my watch. It showed 6.20pm. I said,
“Yeah, after 6 pm, loss of money and botheration to you.....”

“....and availability of favourite food to you,” he completed.

I winked.

What do you think about the credibility of fortunetelling and horoscopes?
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