Danny posted a selfie, which would garner hundreds of likes. The Taj Mahal was seen in the background. I was certain that he wanted his coursemates to be green with envy, but I wasn't one of those people. I've been to the subcontinent a year before. I wanted to witness the Holi Festival, and I got more than I wished for. A local threw colored powder at my face, and my brother managed to take a good photo of that unexpected moment. My family had a good laugh (at my expense). It took me days before I figured out that it couldn't get worse than posting that picture on Instagram. My friends have a field day (at my expense).
I had no holidays plans this year, which meant I have all the time for navigating the Internet jungle. After what might have two (or three) hours of browsing, I stumbled across an interesting piece of information. August 15 would be the National Day in India. Even if I didn't travel to the subcontinent, I knew India was something else.
My housemates were movie enthusiasts, who have an unusual habit of watching films with subtitles. They would eat, drink, and breath cinema. It didn't surprise me that they have a disdain on Hollywood blockbusters, yet I couldn't understand their reluctance to apply for a passport and plan their first overseas trip. (Nothing would beat the real thing.) But they have good taste. I never thought that they were feminists after they recommended Deepa Mehta's "Fire". It was about an affair between two women, both unhappy about their married life. Viewers would be misled to believe that they already assumed after the film reached midpoint. Mehta was (subtly) critical of India's customs, which would put women in the corner. I wasn't surprised that the authorities condemned her picture.
â€œFireâ€, as the title would imply, could push buttons. I was taken aback until I realized that I was a fortunate fellow. And I was taking my (First World) comfort for granted.
So much for controversy
"Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India" was my favorite. It's a Bollywood picture, which doesn't mean that I would turn into a huge fan of grand, lengthy musicals. I would believe that there was once a small village in India that wanted to break away from the colonial chains. The inhabitants would be courageous to tell their (British) masters that they must leave the place if they beat them in the game of cricket. After all, sports could be a diplomatic means of settling a score. (We would do it too. I was veering off, though.) It was remarkable to think that time could turn the colonial era into a romantic, if not exciting, period. This might be what James Cameron was thinking before he pushed through with the filming of "Titanic". I was certain that my housemates would disagree with it.
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" won't be a distant second. Jaipur wasn't the reason, which I was fortunate to set foot (on it) not long ago. The photography (by Ben Davis) couldn't be better, as the red, orange, and brown would be the reasons why this metropolis never failed to lure tourists. And I didn't mind the rickshaw's high speed while gasping at structures like Hawa Mahal. I knew National Day seemed irrelevant in this story, and I might be tempted to relocate to India. I was beginning to miss it. I started to become restless.