Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Smiles and Cries

The title above has been shamelessly stolen from a film. OK, new game. The first person to guess correctly (the title's context) wins a day's supply of Ravalgaon toffees...


I know, I know, I know. I'd promised myself to stop posting... to even stop thinking about posting... But that was many-days-ago, and this is... many-days-later. But why post? Because I feel like. Because, amongst the arcane things I read today, were the following: 1) how western philosophy is an 'onto-theo-erotology', and 2) absolutizing relativization (as "a way beyond the dialectical double of the relativization of absolutes and absolutization of the relative" -- still haven't figured this out completely :-( )

Hunh? My reactions exactly (more so to the second, actually.) I spent a few minutes trying to explain these two phrases, but the result was an unending digression. Hence, edited them out.

Why this post, then? Because in this seemingly never-ending bleakness, two events/experiences reminded me that amongst the phenomena I like the most, the smile probably occupies the top spot. Others in that list are: the smell of a wet earth after rain, being able to cozy up and read on cold winter afternoons, and receiving sms's at midnight :-) Thankfully, this is a list that doesn't remain static.

This was
maybe some time last year, during one of those extremely relaxing and memorable conversations that can be had only with some friends. The type of meeting/encounter when people are at ease not just with each other, but about themselves. Catching up, enjoying the time shared; voicing worries, confiding insights, discoveries and joys.

She told me that no matter how unhappy or disoriented or weary she was, seeing the faces and smiles of children would immediately, magically, almost necessarily feel better. When it was mentioned sometime last year, the words really struck me. It was one of those things about friends that makes me feel more-than-happy to (continue) know(ing) them, to be confided in/with. Incredibly (because we very rarely get to do what we feel deeply about), her work now concerns child labour and education :-D

As importantly, this was (in) an atmosphere incredibly different from some of the noisy hustle bustle I've been exposed to recently... Empty (club) conversations - the type that revolve around repetitively exclaiming "Hi! Haven't seen you in a long time! Really crowded here tonight, na?" The pointlessness of these phrases is reinscribed each time these exchanges occur. Somehow, they're always conducted with people who formulaic responses can't be heard over the jarring music/noise. :-(


It was this expression and feeling of joy that I remembered, on seeing these photos/posts at BoingBoing a few days ago:

The story detailed a takeover of earth by invading robots. Human resistance, organized by the not-yet-youth, was fighting 'forcible assimilations into robot consciousness.' (sic.)

Notice again, the toll this heroism is exacting on the young 'un. See other images and accounts here, here, and here.

Caught Memoirs of a Geisha a few weekends ago. Before anyone points out the many differences between the way the film is implemented and how the book moves, here's something interesting. My experience of the concept/narrative was of first seeing the film, then reading the book (thank you undernet!) , and finally, seeing the film again. What's happened now is that I'm able to visualize, in terms of, with and because of the film, those sections that are missing in it...

The film's visuals and aesthetics were incredible. Later while wondering about what would constitute, for me, a "representative" screen grab, I realized it could be none other than a moment from one of the film's turning points, the encounter on the bridge.


  • An essay I discovered, titled "The Death of Conversation."

  • "0wnz0red", about a future in which people hack the mechanisms and code that runs their own bodies. Contains subtle clues about why, in my opinion, the West will fall over the edge, in a generation and a half's time.

  • After spending a year and a half dressed as and pretending to be a man, a woman plans to write about it.

  • "O Saint, we can see..." - an analysis of the most recent suck-rifice...


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