September 13, 2005

Outlive

I should stop wearing my new pair of shoes, which is olive green and pretty nice to look at, since it rains every time I wear it and yesterday it rained really damned hard. It was nothing compared to what Mumbai recently had gone through (and still going through), but it was bad enough for my old war horse of a motorcycle to break down thrice and the third time was three times too many for its own good. What followed was pushing it through knee-deep water and pouring rain, over three kilometres, all the way back home. Earlier, when starting from work, I was looking forward to an adventure of sorts, but this one was a little bit over the top.

Following the wading episode, I got cleaned up and dry at home and took off with friend in tow to watch the late-night show of Salaam Namaste -- featuring a very brawny Saif Ali Khan and a considerably toned up Preity Zinta. To my surprise, the movie was actually pretty good. Good, that is, strictly in the commercial sense. Most people should like it if you don't go into it expecting some statement on the inner workings of live-in relationships, abortions and so on. Only negatives in it were Javed Jaffery, who was an absolutely avoidable overkill, the songs and the melodrama which just about managed to get away without pulling the rest of film down.

In any case, the movie was interesting for me specifically because of the reason that I've just come out of a live-in relationship that lasted for roughly a year. The movie could have done justice to the subject matter with a deeper look at the factors involved in such a set up. But hey, they don't make any pretensions about what it is all about and I had a hearty laugh, which does not happen too often when I run into Bollywood. Still, I was quite impressed with the quality of the on-screen smooching, the way the movie was paced with no drag at all and the production, which was, well, of exquisite Yash Raj quality.

Coming back to the pet theme of live-ins, it is interesting to see another perspective on it. Even though it is no longer a rarity, in the metros at least, live-ins are a hard one to pull off, even without the couple having problems between themselves. Without the mangalsutra, it is hard to find landlords who are willing to let out their places and when the problems do set in between the couple, all hell breaks loose. Regardless, the concept in itself is quite funny, not in the least because of the fact that the only binding rule is that there are no expectations in the long run. With the consistent intervention of human nature, expectations do creep in and that is where the fun starts.

The thing about setting boundaries in what is a boundary-less arrangement is that there are no reference points. You are essentially setting one of those based on where you think the point is, which might or might not be a fair distance away from where the other person sees it. Chaos follows and every sentence spoken is laced with numerous "I thought" bits. And when it goes off well, you soon reach a point -- one where you desperately grasp at something that resembles an outer boundary -- of no return from where you either go different ways or define the relationship in a traditional manner. And we picked the former.

To conclude on an off-topic note, I would like to present you, my tiny and loyal audience, with another of those shameless plugs for interesting friends who have just taken to blogging. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sacred Insanity who is quite new and grounded by the rains in Mumbai. Tread softly, please.