Monday, January 5, 2009

THE ANT AND THE ELEPHANT

"170 cores within the first ten days!"

No other movie, in Indian-film history had made this much. And, the money is still counting. Maybe, it may cross 500 crores. The biggest, greatest and mightiest box-office hit of all times. May be.

The greatest movie? If only that was true!

The most hyped-up, cleverly marketed? Yes, that's true.

It is not even two weeks since I saw 'Ghajini'. And, except for the 'possessed' Aamir Khan's eyes and face - and, of course, his cute head - I remember nothing. So short is my memory!

I do not know about yours.

And, it is nearly a decade, now, since I watched 'Lagaan'. It was a three-and-half-hour movie. But, you ask me about it, I can recall it frame by frame. Ask me about 'TZP', I can replay it for you, all live. Still, these 'great' movies did not spin so much cash. Nor did 'Sholay' - hailed to be the greatest Hindi movie, ever made.

Sometime back - we saw a similar hype, similar hysteria - when Reliance Capital came out with an IPO of its shares. Within seconds of opening the bid, the issue was oversubscribed by several times. Never in the history, such a phenomenon had been witnessed, never had so much money been raised from the public, in one go; in a blink of an eye!

But, history had also not witnessed the kind of hammering the price received, within days. It tanked so much, that Mr. Anil Ambani had to take it personally upon him to compensate for the investors' loss, by an issue of bonus shares.

What goes up, has to come down. Boom is always followed by gloom, the famine; feasting is always, followed by fasting, the hunger. As in our Hindi films, at the end of the Holi song, Gabbbar is bound to come.

Still, we refuse to be pessimists: "What comes down, has to go up!" ...
When fasting ends, there will be feast, again ...
The heroes - Veeru and Jai - will come to redeem us from the bandits ... And, there will be a song and dance, once again!

We always peg it high ... Marks, money, madness - yes, every thing. We are the ants, and the elephant is our benchmark.

I was a huge 'hero' for my student Pratap. He used to go home and talk about me, quote me, try to even ape me in some ways. His simple mother had noticed this sudden madness in her young son, and warned him not to imitate an elephant. And, she would dramatize it, very colourfully, in their native Malayalam:

"The ant is watching when the elephant is busy unloading its big bowels, in a big way ... and it is fascinated, inspired, by the incredible sight. Then, it tries!"

But, this ant went about setting up a school. It did become an elephant!

We need heroes to inspire us; we need great benchmarks. We need a 'Ghajini', a Reliance IPO - the mighty elephants - to propel us to action ... to unload so much, and so fast, from our bowels. And, above all, we need a very short memory to perform all that ... for our instant gratification ...

and, for our fly-by-night glory!


GERALD D'CUNHA

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Must watch Slumdog millionaire...I loved this movie.
I wonder how Danny Boyle could create the reality of
Aamchi mumbai so so so well...
I wish I could give back our mumbai in some little way...

Reshma Alag

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Hey Reshma,

How come I failed to see your comment?

I am relly waiting to watch Slumdog ... And, to post a blog on it ...and, maybe, to get battered the way Amithab had been!

Did you read my blog 'Missed Call'?

Many have liked it. Pl. read and comment.

I will get back to you through e-mail.

Love to all at home,

GERRY