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Sometimes happiness, sometimes sorrow
Indian films are like dreams

December 12, 2004

Generally I have no patience to see a whole film, few minutes are more than enough. I rarely go to the cinema and from time to time if a film can catch my attention I watch it at home.

Recently I saw a Bollywood movie on a German station. It was a 4-hour giant production called "Kabhi Khushi, Kabhi Gham" (Sometimes Happiness, Sometimes Sorrow) with Indian superstars like the old giant Amitha Bahchan, heart breaker Shahrukh Khan, wonderful Kajol, the charmingnew comer Hirthik Roshan and the lovely Kareena Kapoor -- yes, the grand child of the legendary late Raj Kapoor. It's a colorful celebration for the eyes and ears.

A family is divided when the first son falls in love with an girl below his class. She is not acceptable to the man's father, who is wealthy and traditional. There were more than 2 hours of song and dance with tens of dancers in the background to accompany the leading stars.

I was taken back to my childhood when I saw "Sangaam" and loved it. Now, I don't care about artistic value, but I enjoy the charm of the actors using their eyes and hands to transfer their emotions. It is a typical Hindi way of acting, which I love with the movements of their heads and, of course, a lot of tears.

Yes, 4-hours long and I didn't budge from my couch. Although I tried hard not to cry, it was impossible. Beauty, love, tears, sorrow, happiness, a rainbow of emotions.

After a 10-minute love song near the Egyptian pyramids, with breathtaking views, the girl comes back to reality when we see her running under the rain in the streets of her city. What a beauty in the garden of Shiva!

Hindi music touches my soul and frees me from the cage of logical, reasonable thinking and I don't care about what is real or not, or if it is art or cheap commerce. I just don't care. Many people like realistic art, which I respect as well. But how realistic are your dreams? When you are sleeping?

Sleep takes up one third of your life! You cry, laugh, fly, fall in love, and meet your high school sweetheart again. You take walks with friends you haven't seen for decades, see your deceased parents, or feel horrified when you see yourself as a child taking a final exam you are not prepared for!

Now, I see myself standing under the rain of flowers, observing those heavenly looking women with the most beautiful dresses I have ever seen, dancing and singing the heart-touching music I love.

India is an amazing land. A world power with about a billion people, leading in computer science, and an open democracy without losing their traditions and values to the Western model. Many people live in poverty, but see this as a part of their karma which is needed to free them from their endless reincarnation.

At the end of this film, the father embraces his two sons after a decade and they all cry. We see their wives behind also crying, and the title song begins "gAhee Khoshi, gAhee gham..."

Afterwards I went to wash my face, happy to know I have not lost my inner child. I am still able to cry with tears of joy or sorrow when watching an emotional movie, free from reason and logic. You know how easy kids cry? As adults we don't like to cry and we don't want anybody to see our tears. What a failure...

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