Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oh, that's a Lie!

I am addicted to Lie to Me, the serial on Star World. I started watching it last Sunday and I'm done with one and a half seasons now. It is intriguing, and in my opinion scientifically and logically quite sound. It is interesting to watch the chemistry among the team members and how well they study and ignore each other's faces, yet are able to put the same skill to test every time a case comes up. Dr. Cal Lightman's agility is awesome, and his restless behaviour keeps you on your toes too as you begin watching every episode. Of course, like with every sitcom you do begin to understand the patterns and are able to predict a bit around here and there, but the reason why this sitcom still keeps you interested (also given that there is no direct spotlight on sex, relationships, love and complications!), is that it simply circles around the most basic human instinct that each one of us has tried hard to conquer - Lying. Whether we like it or not, we all lie! At some point in time. It is different from not telling the truth, the whole truth as one of my friend suggests; but the fact of the matter is we all have told lies to someone - a white lie, an intentional lie, a blind lie, a naked lie etc. We have also felt remorse, guilt or even appreciative because of all those lies. Some we carried off well, some got caught, some were never believed. But, none of us have been able to conquer a lie as perfectly as Dr. Cal Lightman. And that's what is most intriguing about this character. He reasons scientifically about it, puts no super-natural powers as his defenders of the skill but it surprises me every time he catches a liar with a blink of an eye in the one-fifth of a second! Fiction at its best parallels with reality here. 

Try an episode or two, and you might just like it as much. For those who watch - my favourite is the Jenkins episode from season 1. Amazing twists in the tale! An absolute Lightman delight!

Talking of lies, I watched Jhootha Hi Sahi on Sunday. Although I don't write reviews here, I felt I should write about this one for two reasons. One, because I felt it was quite unnecessarily bashed by critics. Comparing it with Anjaana Anjaani is, frankly, too far fetched. Second, because JHS is delightful in places, and has a certain goodness and honesty about it. One should watch it for the spontaneity in Raghu, for the different types of proposals one can make, of course to the same girl, and simply for the imperfections in each of those characters. It is worth the laughter it infuses for those two and a half hours!

"While it might be hard, to say what's true,
 would you want a white lie be told to you?" :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No Baggage to Check-in!

Tweaking the lyrics of a song by Norah Jones, I have:
"If I were a painter, 
 I'd paint my memory
 If that's the only way for you to be with me..."

She sings she would paint her reverie, instead of her memory. Well, it means the same, more or less! Of course, memory is more validated and there is an element of truth in them. That's why, for me, putting "memory" above  instead of "reverie" made more sense. Talking of memories, I always boast about my awesome ability to remember and recollect everything in excruciating detail. But sometimes, having such a fantastic memory overburdens my mind. My mum always asked me to discard old stuff, but I could never detach myself from those paper cuttings, greeting cards, red ribbons, pamphlets and flyers I had collected over time. I am not saying preserving such stuff is a bad thing. I am sure not. And I am also sure many of you do it. We all keep our notebooks, diaries, wrappers, stickers, comic books, junkies - stuff we were once close to and now preserve to keep that side of ours alive and intact. We, essentially, try to keep that memory alive within us by not discarding them. And given how constantly things change, it is not such a bad idea either!
But I was thinking about it this afternoon about how much I actually remember; believe me, my memories run like a reel of a film. Sequentially, colourful, sometimes not, and clear faces of the entire crew with all the dialogues in sync! I realised, it is a baggage that I have made a choice to carry with me. For those of you who watch How I Met Your Mother, season 5 episode 23 shows a clever sight gag about our emotional baggage by a physical representation (the scene of random people walking by gave some amusing and bizarre pieces of luggage, one carrying "Elvis is still alive" was particularly funny!). 
The other day, I met a colleague while on my way out of office in the evening. She was leaving for the day too, and we got into the same cab. After a while I noticed, she wasn't carrying any handbag, in fact not even a wallet. She had her cell phone, id card and some money in her pockets and she was sitting next to me, empty handed. Not able to contain my surprise, I asked her how come a girl is seen without a bag! That too now that the big colourful bags with huge buttons, laces and prints are in fashion. She casually shrugged at me and said, "no bag, no baggage". Ah, I thought, how convenient was that and literally, how free (saying liberated would sound too feminist I guess!) she looked! I got out of the cab before her and looked at my bag as I walked towards my apartment. Half the things in there I carry because I think I might need them... but, this was a reality check right in front of me. 

It is these small habits that slowly allow space for all that baggage we begin to carry for the rest of our lives. Carefully avoiding to be preachy here, but how lucky are those who are forgetful! They have more to look forward to than to look back at, from time to time. Again, I am not saying preserving memories is a bad thing - but don't you agree too much of sweetness spoils the sweets after all? Of course, it is all easier typing than doing. So, I decided to try out my colleague's technique and observe how difficult would one day be without my big handbag! Will post about my experience soon. Try, if you are curious too! 

P.S. I have updated my list of things-to-do when in Mumbai. Thank you all for adding to my list! :)
And here's that song by Norah Jones: PAINTER SONG

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quote Un-quote

It is one of those kinds of days, I guess, when you find yourself wondering, if it's one of those kinds of lives. I sat down to write and instead ended up reading a lot of quotes and interesting things some very creative people had to say. All of these, I have collected over time; and I sifted through them all evening and took a walk down the memory lane. Memories of how I had come to collect each one of these quotes. From who, where, and when. Some of them were from the newspapers (I think I still have the cuttings somewhere). Times of India's Sunday edition always carried some interesting lines on page 17. A friend of mine and I would often sms each other "Page 17, TOI" and then it became sort of a subtle competition as to who would read them first and tell the other. Then, there were these days when something somewhere I read would remain in thoughts for the whole day - and every time I thought about it, it would turn out to mean something different. Soon, it would be shared over Pine with this friend and smiles exchanged! This habit continued for quite some time after BITS too. When I was at home, I had indulged myself in a lot of books and these would inevitably lead to a lot of discussions over gtalk chats with this friend again. Of course, this was the time when it was not just limited to reading quotes and adding them to my collection, it was about putting my mind to it and wondering about it too. I enjoyed that a lot. 

These days, it is not so much about that any more. So, as I came across these lines today I just smiled at the me back in that time. It felt good. 

Here are some lines from my collection that I felt I should share:
2007, ToI - "It doesn't take any longer for an enlightened to get a an intuitive grasp of what it's all about and that grasp that they get is so fundamental, so comprehensive and so deeply internalised thereafter that virtually nothing can shake their faith in it. but ask any of them to explain their particular thin slice, they would run out of words to do so. or if they did manage to speak about it, the essence would suddenly go missing - even to themselves. that's because the power of thinking with thinking belongs to scientific world of empiricism and rationality which always acts on the "more information is better" principle."

By Nora Ephron - 
"Insane people are always sure that they are fine. It is only the sane people who are willing to admit that they are crazy."
"I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive."

Food for thought, eh!