My Ramblings on Lakshya (movie)

After having attended a workshop on screenwriting, cinema makes more sense to me now. And because I believe in the prior statement, I am going to attempt a tribute to a beautifully written movie which didn’t become a blockbuster but deserves a place in our hearts. Today, let’s talk about Lakshya.

lakshya
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Lakshya is the journey of a man named Karan Shergill who starts from being someone who says “main aisa kyun hu” to finally finding his goal and accomplishing it. The story also revolves around his conflicted love relationship but we will come to that later.

Journey of self-realisation
Many of us are on the quest to find the reason behind our existence and give a meaning to our life. While it is true that only some of us realise our true goal, it is wrong to diminish the importance of those who spend their lives in the pursuit of finding a goal but fail in it.

Karan Shergill, a pampered boy, from a good monetary background is fine with his meaningless life until one day he realises that he too must have a goal. Whether it is peer pressure or parental pressure that makes him question his identity, it works well for him. He decides to join Army hence finding his true Lakshya.

But the inspiration wears off when he joins the Indian Military Academy. The realisation is quick and he heads back home where he meets his father who has always known that Karan is good for nothing and is happy to know that his opinion of him is still intact *bad parenting signs*

However, it doesn’t break Karan’s heart. It takes a romantic love relationship for his heart to finally feel shattered. Romi, his girlfriend, refuses to see him again when she realises that he has quit his training at IMA and is back home. That’s where cinema comes in. Romi didn’t have to leave Karan, he could have still accomplished his goal but without a good drama, you cannot create catharsis. It is the catharsis of heartbreak that motivates Karan to accomplish what he set out for. Either that or ego, I am not so sure.

lakshya

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Whatever it is that drives Karan, he joins back IMA and successfully completes his training. All this while, Romi is in his heart. So when Karan becomes Lieutenant Karan Shergill, he calls her. The motive isn’t to boast about becoming a Lieutenant but to reach out to her. This is where cinema steps in again. When they could easily reconcile, cinema highlights how the barrier of communication can give rise to conflicts where they shouldn’t even exist. Both of them love each other but the script should go far enough to depict what breaks important relationships. It helps us learn a valuable lesson. There are some points in life when effective communication can save precious relationships but we destroy them because we want to have the control.

Equality
This is one of the most beautiful aspects of Lakshya, both Karan and Romi are driven by their passion. They exhibit fearlessness when it comes to the pursuit of goals. Both are equal. However, both are flawed. They fail to realise that their pride, while it keeps them equal, kills their bond. I do not intend to say that Romi shouldn’t have taken the call to break up with him, no. But at a time when both could reconcile, their ego clash stops them from being together.

Some would say that it is futile to discuss relationships when the movie revolves around self-realisation. But I would beg to differ. Love is the most human element in our lives that gives us contentment. Many studies have proven time and again that despite huge wealth, successful jobs, people are unhappy because they do not have loving relationships. While a loving relationship doesn’t necessarily have to be a romantic one, in this movie, it plays a significant role in how Karan’s future shapes out. Romi was already self-driven but for Karan, it took Romi’s loss to realise his goals. Reality can be different. You don’t have to lose someone to find your ambition.

In a fight between the two countries, India and Pakistan, many people lose their lives. In this art of storytelling, the writer has created the pain of loss to make the story relatable. As an audience, I wouldn’t connect with it if I couldn’t feel their pain. I can feel it because they have strung the chords of my heart. I connect with it because I also know how loss feels like.

Coming back to Karan and Romi, both the main characters evolve and grow individually without falling out of each other’s lives. Destiny brings them together slowly and steadily. They did not have to fall apart in the first place but that’s cinema for you.

This one movie leaves us with memorable characters. We will always remember Karan (Hrithik) for his journey, Romi (Preity Zinta) for her fearlessness, (Sub. Maj. Pritam Singh) Om Puri for his thoughts on war and peace, Karan’s father (Boman Irani) for bad parenting goals.

The movie creates catharsis at different points. The first one (catharsis of pain) is when Karan gets his heart broken, the second one (catharsis of pride) is when Karan completes his training, the third one (catharsis of sorrow) is when he comes back only to find Romi engaged to someone else, the fourth one (catharsis of ego) is when they can reconcile but have an ego clash, the fifth one (catharsis of loss) is when people die in the battleground, the sixth one (catharsis of joy) is when Karan completes the final mission and places the victorious Indian flag on the winning ground.

At the end of it all awaits a beautiful life with Romi.

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Reflection: A short (horror) story (Part 1)

It was a sunny afternoon. I was alone at my house, everyone else was out for a movie. Since I wanted some alone time, I decided to stay back and it was perhaps the worst choice I made that day.

There was no food in the house, so I ordered some. Estimated delivery time: 40 minutes. 

So I made myself comfortable in my bed. I was lying down scrolling through movies on Netflix. I chose to watch the Shining. 

30 minutes into the movie and I was struck by the hollowness of the horror. I couldn’t understand why it is so popular. So I gave up the idea and kept my laptop aside to read a book.  
I was expecting my order to be delivered by now. It had been 50 minutes. As soon as I called them, the doorbell rang. I was quite sure it was the food delivery guy, so I ended the call. 

The doorbell was pressed again, they seemed to be in hurry. I reached the door, it made a creaking sound and then it got stuck. I checked the door stopper, it was raised. While I was still looking at the door stopper, I noticed too much light coming in from the other end.  Someone had left the balcony door open and surprisingly I noticed it only now. 

Ignoring it for a while, I pushed open the main door. Whatever was blocking it was out of the way now. However, the delivery guy wasn’t there. No one was there. 

I stepped outside and looked around, I couldn’t notice anyone who could have rung the bell. There were some children playing but they were too far to have done it.

So I went back inside and decided to call them which is when I noticed that the balcony door was locked now. It was confusing. I remembered looking at the open door when I was checking the stopper. 

I called the restaurant to check on my order. They told me that my order was delivered. I got furious and asked them to check where the order has gone.

I went to the washroom to wash my face, I was flustered. While looking into the mirror, I started wiping my face with a towel which is when I noticed something strange.

There was a scar on the right side of my face. I was sure it was never there before. 

Then the reflection seemed to become hazy. The water wasn’t hot, it couldn’t be moisture. 

I noticed a movement in the background, it was being reflected on the glass surface. So I turned around but there was nothing. 

When I looked back into the mirror, the scar on my face was gone. The reflection was proper now, no longer hazy. I kept the towel back and turned around only to see myself standing behind me but she had a scar.

A note to parents: Don’t cripple your children

“We shouldn’t always have what we want: it spoils the best of us, doesn’t it?”
― Anne Bronte

Convenience spoils people. It is an obstacle to being a better version of yourself. It gives pleasure, but it keeps you from brilliance.

Pampering is the word that separates us from people of previous generation or the less fortunate ones. Every parent wants the best for their child, the best school, a healthy environment, a good future, a risk-free life. Sometimes they want it because they did not get any of that. So they want their children to have the best things. Every possible convenience the child can have: school busses, ready-made food (breakfast, lunch and dinner), good toys, best school, fancy stationery, gifts on birthdays etc etc. The list is never ending.

What does the child learn in this process? He learns that he will always have enough resources and that he doesn’t need to own the responsibility for anything.

But if we were to think about that child, he suffers a lot of harm in this habit of getting pampered. This child will always be dependant on people for one or the other thing. He will need constant appreciation all his life, without that he will start to wither. You will need to hold his hand throughout his journey, he will be lost the moment you leave him. And seriously, when do you leave him? You probably leave him at the riskiest crossroad, when he turns 20 or 21. All of a sudden, you want your child to be responsible. He needs to do everything he hasn’t done before. He feels pressurised and broken.

Is it his fault? No. A child grows up and becomes a reflection of what he has seen and experienced. Not everyone is born with wisdom. They do not have greatness thrust upon them. By spoiling your kids, you fail their chance of even achieving it.

It is important to realise that sudden expectations from this “never really grown up” person will not help him. You have saved him all his life, you have protected him hard enough to not let even a drop of blood spill out from his body and now you ask him to fight his own battles. You want him to get through them. Will he? Most probably, he won’t. He will be scarred and may not heal. He will never be able to figure out what went wrong. He would try to stand up to what you have imposed on him and he will lose himself. Once he is scarred, it cannot be reversed.

What we fail to understand is that time is needed for change to occur. When you want change, you must allow room for it, where the person can breathe, he doesn’t suffocate. He will try to bring out the best in him and he may/may not succeed. But if you fail to appreciate his efforts, you will leave him in a mess. Love has harmed him. And love will continue to do so, because all his relationships will suffer. He will find himself trying to fulfil people’s expectation of him and will lose his own identity. And there is no love that can heal that. None.

They were nothing their words told

You cannot connect the dots
no, you can’t
until you know the story
they will laugh about their woes
and stand in glory
even when they fall
making molehill out of a mountain
so it looks small.

They will weep
and cry through their words
even when the pain is too shallow
they can portray a blessing as a curse.

Though some penned to express
some just wrote to be sold
and while some were everything their pen wrote
some were nothing their words told.

The Void

void

 

The term has become so unpopular, the moment you read it, a negative emotion crops up and you wouldn’t want to read the article. You will resonate the word with you in all the wrong ways, all the emptiness you feel and yet putting up that happy face for the world, so it doesn’t know about the void that exists. But I think void is necessary. And it needn’t always be always be associated with the “emptiness” but more with “solitude” or “peace”.

For me, my void is my refuge. I go there to rejuvenate and to fulfill all the selfish desires, rather than trying to fulfill anyone else’s expectations. Void is not my emptiness, but my essential part, that brings me closer to myself. If I didn’t have the void, I will always be full. And that’s very exhausting. To always feel something, pleasure, pain, anger, sadness; whatever emotion it may be. When you slip to the void, you are your naked self, in your most pure and crude form. That’s something you must learn to enjoy and not label it as something that it is not.

People committing suicides often leave in their notes that they felt empty. That there was not one to fill their emptiness, hence they couldn’t move on. They give up. The way our society laments over the fact that the person involved was alone and that maybe if he had someone to share his thoughts with, he wouldn’t have died. It is good to have company, but much more necessary to learn to live with oneself. To make peace with all that you are, it is necessary to experience empty and out of emotions, but only sometimes.

There will always be stories to share, there will always be responsibilities to fulfill, words to say, tears to cry, hate to express or love, but there will always be something to go back to, where you learn the most, where you resign to, when your life becomes unclear. That will always be the void. Why do you even want to fill that void with someone else when you can have that little space for yourself!

 

Simple pleasures

I have never been very fond of flowers, but always had some curiosity about leaves. The simplicity, the evenness, the falling off. They do not compete to be noticed. With flowers, you can never tell. Some would want to stand distinct amongst the crowd, some would want their fragrance to be noticed more than others. I am not really sure if they do it purposefully, but I would always want to buy leaves instead of flowers, however weird that might sound.

Eyes have a tendency to deceive us. Ears also do that. Their combination also doesn’t work very well, for I always believe the truth has three sides, your side, the other’s side and the true side. While we will always look at the world from one perspective, our own i.e., we must be able to see and appreciate other perspectives.

Many people are standing at the red light. I observe each of them closely and they all have similarities and differences. I try to put myself in the mind of the traffic policeman and see the world from his eyes, the incessant flowing of traffic, the noise of the horns, standing in the sun, breathing in the pollution. And my mind tells me the world is really very different then. I try to put myself in the mind of the beggar child across the street, I see things from his perspective, the way he has been taught that he only needs to wait for the red light and then he’s supposed to beg for money. What does a kid know? He knows nothing, he mostly follows what he is told and he will probably grow up with a set of thinking that was planted long ago. I see things from his perspective and the world is strange, it is merely a struggle to feed yourself enough to continue begging for the rest of your life. What’s his fault? Absolutely nothing. But once I switch back to being myself and judge from the angle I have built over the years, my mind says, he is an idiot.

I’ve always been impatient with people and usually thought that the way to win the race is through hate. You put in your anger and resentment to fulfill your goals. I was proved wrong. While hate can be a really good thing, love can be equally fulfilling at times. One needs to shed their skin more often than they think they should. That’s the lesson we are taught about change, but never do we realise the depths. Sometimes the important thing is not to conquer but to let the thing remain in its raw form and accept it the way it is. The pleasure is immense. Ultimately the urge to compete will die out and that thing will reveal its natural form. Once the simplicity is achieved, the purpose is served. You win with love and acceptance.

And about hate, it’s a very powerful emotion. But to master it and know when to use it and how to use it is something not all of us can achieve. We can try, though.

But the simple pleasure will always come when one is at peace with himself and with others. And while such pleasures don’t last very long, you must rejoice while they exist. The beauty will always be in the simplest of things and it will depend on the emotion in the eyes of the beholder. Always.

 

I can’t let my child go

mother

 

He is ready to go overseas. He will be spending two years and probably settle down there. And I just can’t let him go.

As children, we were detached, we never could make peace with our parents being touchy all the time. We hated it. Every time I would leave for someplace, my mother would just start crying and not stop. I cannot tolerate people who cry, I mean how do you even handle them. And in any case, I would be back home only, that’s what I used to think, until today, when my kid is leaving.

This home is full of his memories. He would forcefully make me watch all his cartoons, I had to make him do his homework, he never did it alone. I had to sometimes run after him so he would eat something, he has always been such a trouble. Even now. He forgets to carry his ID sometimes, other times, he would just forget to take the money and then call me in need. He went to a trip for one month and got back home in such ill health and then wanted me to look after him. Such a child!

He will never grow up. I love the way he puts up that face where he acts like he’s independent and that he doesn’t need us anymore. And deep down in his heart, he is still that little kid who can cry very easily. He is still afraid of ghosts. Can you believe that?

It’s almost time for him to leave. He won’t cry. He has dreams to build, he has his life to live, he will go on, with or without us. But a part of him will remain in us and hopefully, he will carry a part of us wherever he goes. That will suffice.

And I will only hope that I won’t cry when he leaves, but then my mother did cry and probably, so will I. And he will know how much I love him when he has to let his children go, even if he doesn’t want that to happen.

I can’t let my child ago. Oh, but he is not a child anymore!

Denial

 

 

heart
Source: tumblr.com

 

 

She chooses to run away. Every single time. Whether it be her unresolved life issues, her anger or any of her other emotions, she likes to remain ignorant. Addressing them is like taking a look inside and she would not want to do that and get lost in trying to figure out the answers. And it works most of the time. You find an addiction and you immerse yourself in it, even if you are drowning, you won’t realize, it will be peaceful and abrupt.

Many people came and many left. Some left imprints, some did not. Some made her close the book further, making her almost unreadable. Some tried opening the book and failed. Some successfully opened it but didn’t want to read what was inside. Some read it and failed to understand. Some understood, but did not stay. And for her, she always managed to escape.

Running away is always better than accepting, accepting that there are some people who will stay even after leaving, that some people have left even though they assure that they are here. She finds a fix. She would immerse herself in her work, not only because she loves it, but because it suspends her emotions. She can delay what she feels at the moment and probably escape unhurt. That’s what she thinks. What she doesn’t realize is that solely will become the cause of her suffering. If not now, some distant day.

Disappear

drop

 

Curiosity bites me sometimes. There are a lot of things, that seem normal to the eye, yet they make me curious. If something exists, there must be a reason, there must be a purpose it serves. But do we all leave a mark?

Some of us go through life creating memories, capturing the good days in our minds, learning from the bad ones. Some of us live through it so shallow that we never dive into the depths. Heights are scary. But so is shallowness.

A musician leaves his mark in a way that what he produces echoes in eternity. A dancer gives you a visual treat that shall stay in your eyes and never wash away with the tears you cry. A singer pierces your soul, makes your heart dance. An artist lives in his art. A photographer will live in the pictures he takes, a baker will live in the bread he bakes, a teacher will live as wisdom in his pupils, a sweeper will live in the streets he cleans. There is always a purpose.

And though we all will try hard sometimes, to leave ourselves behind, to create something that will outlast us, we will fade and disappear. The void we leave shall be filled and there will be a replacement. Once we make peace with the fact, we will know our purpose. And there is always one purpose, to learn.