Archive for December, 2010

Love’s me, love’s me not

Posted: December 22, 2010 in Life and Living
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Sometimes in love, job interviews and arranged marriages, everything seems to hinge around a single meeting.

Often it winds up being the big build- up moment, where nothing really clicks.

So too I discovered in December of 2002, as I reached out to hold the world, and was left grasping the empty coldness of the December air instead.

Since then, every December many questions return to haunt the loneliness of the empty spaces. Maybe if I had planned things better everything would have worked out differently? Maybe if we had more time together? Maybe if we had met in my own hometown – a city where I was in my own element?

Today eight years later, I finally have the answer.

It was not my fault.

The beauty of my face, the surroundings and our time together were all irrelevant. There’s nothing that I could have done that would have made a difference that night.

You either love somebody or you don’t.

Once-in-a-lifetime meetings just help you make up your mind more quickly 🙂

Decision meets instinct, without the romance.

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Erich Segal’s Love Story has always been amongst my favourite books. When I was younger I also remember feeling terribly moved when Jennifer told Oliver those memorable lines, “Love means never having to say you are sorry”.

But as I grew beyond my teenage years, I quickly began to see that as a lot of hogwash. Love does mean saying you are sorry – one time, every time. Love is only richer when it is valued and never taken for granted.

Yet it’s also true that every once in a lifetime, you do meet a person with whom you are instinctively understood. ‘Sorry’ and ‘thank you’ are irrelevant… Not because one of the two people in the equation are taken for granted or you don’t feel the emotions of regret or gratitude very deeply… But because sometimes you don’t need the words… The other person already knows.

So it was not that Oliver did not feel sorry. He did.

It was just that he did not have to explain himself. Jennifer already knew.

Sometimes, there are some rare relationships of love and friendship that do become that.

Yet this understanding is never demanded of another. It just evolves.

You’re my best friend

Posted: December 12, 2010 in Life and Living
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Few people know (even the ones who know me really well) that my favourite song since the time I was 16 has always been Don Williams’ “You\re my best friend”. For those of you who have never heard it, the lines go something like this…

“You placed gold on my finger
You brought love like I’ve never known
You gave life to our children
And to me, a reason to go on.

You’re my friend when I’m hungry
You’re my shelter from troubled winds
You’re my anchor in life’s ocean
But most of all, you’re my best friend

When I need hope and inspiration
You’re always strong when I’m tired and weak
I could search this whole world over
You’d still be everything that I need.”

 

And since the time I first heard this song, that’s the kind of woman I always tried to be for the men that I loved, and that’s the kind of man that I always wanted them to be for me.

But this evening as I looked across at my husband of so many years who I dearly love, I realized why we both get it right, just as why it failed with so many equations in the past.

You don’t struggle and work to be another person’s anchor, you just are.

After all, if an anchor is always struggling against itself to be an anchor, it can only fail. The anchor’s strength in fact comes not from its restlessness, but from its ability to be at rest.

Being an anchor is rarely about some selfless act of heroism. It’s about just being – with yourself and another person.

It’s not the tortured labour that produces a one act wonder. It is the effortless harmony that can only become lifelong symphony.

Of course, there will be times when it will need effort, patience, discipline and great faith. But those are phases. It still remains largely an act of harmony.

A perfect moment of balance where you breathe so deeply that you do not just exist or perform the meaningless dance of a rootless twig tossed around by empty passing passion.

You are.

As simple as it sounds, few people reach that stage of just being in a life time. Even fewer arrive there in the company of a lover, husband or a friend..

The twins

Posted: December 9, 2010 in Life and Living
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Two pairs of hands were held in mine,
Till time had emptied itself of meaning.

Two pairs of eyes looked into my soul,
Until I spoke with their voice, no more my own.

Two pairs of lips,
Hungrily searched for self in me.

Hearts that beat as two,
Found a single harmony.

One etched the we into the me.
One a diminishing memory.

Twins.
Identical, born different.

Vision.
Illusion.

Love.
The original, cheap imitation.

The Godfather has been on my ‘must see’ list for the last decade. I finally got a chance to see the film on the big screen a couple of weeks ago when PVR played a re-run of the old classics.

There are many things that make a film a classic. One of them is that the film sets the trends. This is true of Godfather too, which firmly wrote the standards for all gangster films that followed.

But Godfather is not merely to be seen because it puts all gangster films in perspective. Almost forty years later it continues to hold its own as gripping, well narrated cinema.

Yet even as the events move forward at the brisk pace of a gangster drama, director Francis Ford Coppola weaves together a story that has the same intricate richness of the Sicilian tradition on which the story is based.

Excellent editing ensures that Godfather dictates the pace for gangster films for the next three decades. Yet it is not merely fast action that draws the audience in, instead they also feel pulled in to the complexity of situation that Coppola gives his film.

The story is inhabited by characters and not caricatures, brought to life in no small measure by powerful performances from Marlon Brando and Al Pacino. If Marlon Brando’s greatness could be remembered by just one film, that film could very easily have been Godfather.

There is also one of the last times we will see an intense sweetness to Al Pacino, which will soon be replaced by brooding darkness in his later films.

The music does add an extra dimension to the film, and it is not without reason that it is sometimes remembered in isolation.

All this comes together to bring a memorable book to life, while becoming one of those rare instances where I rate the movie to be better than the book.