Saturday, June 18, 2011

No happy endings

So I've seen two movies over two weekends and they both have the same basic message: Bure ka phal bura hota hai.

Or, if you do bad stuff, you will ultimately meet a bad end.

'Shaitan' is a stylish film about five stylish friends with too much cash and too little purpose in life. Their descent into hell begins accidentally (drunk rich kids killing motorcyclist) but thereafter, they make some really bad choices. To cover up and 'get away' with the initial crime.

'Bhindi Bazaar' is a tale at the opposite economic end of the city, where young Tabrez is enticed into the world of crime by an aatthane ka ice-gola. Here too we see a group of 'friends' who eventually falls apart. Their story is likened to a game of chess, except in the end there *is* no winner.

Marne ke baad pata chalta hai ki Bhindi Bazar ho ya Malabar Hill - kya farak padta hai.

Unfortunately life itself is not so black and white. There seem to be a large number of people who seem to get away with assorted sins. While Tez and Fateh in Bhendi Bazaar were pickpocketing hapless commuters, our leaders continue to pickpocket the entire nation.

Sending a few individuals to jail - and denying them bail for a while - is not going to change that!

While Amu, KC and gang in 'Shaitan' stage their own kidnapping and become headline news, our leaders create their own daily drama to stay in the headlines. Some of them appear to spend more time hopping from channel to channel participating in schoolboy debates than doing their actual jobs...

And yet. I am sure these pocketmaars with Swiss bank accounts must be suffering. Do they have the health to enjoy their wealth? The peace of mind to enjoy a sunset? The genuine respect or admiration of the people who live and work with them?

I think not.

The world would be an ideal place if bad people met a bad end within 120 minutes, but lessons of life are far subtler and slower. And we aren't directing this film so we can't see the big picture, the connections within connections, and their consequences.

They say that if a butterfly flutters its wings at one end of the world, it can produce a hurricane at the other end. There *are* hurricanes all around us, inside us. Or cases of exploding mangoes (as in the classic black novel by Mohammed Hanif)

Only the timer mechanism is sometimes faulty.

Bhindi Bazaar mein paida hona kisi ke haath mein nahin hai, says the movie. But maybe it is. You reap what you sow, and a tree of hate, greed and violence offers no shade.

In future lifetimes.

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