but now i am sadly lowercase
with the occasional italic

Roger McGough

this morning, i woke up with a heavy heart. the air outside was – and still is – hazy as though some wretched god had intended to trap us in this asphyxiating hell hole. this god is pissed as fuck, i gathered. my eyes were red, corneas scratched from the night before due to a sudden bout of eyeball dryness. my eyes were also red for another reason: i was sad the night before.

the night before, i watched kal ho naa ho, one of those movies with the godlike shah rukh khan (henceforth abbreviated to SRK) with all his chiseled features and big albeit unique nose. the movie is as any big budget bollywood film set in new york city would be: there’s this pretty girl who has childhood issues who prays for an angel to save her and her constantly bickering family. an angel in the form of who else but the great SRK arrives at her doorstep all the way from new delhi. the girl has a terribly handsome but obnoxious best boy friend who is not a boyfriend but just a friend. just a friend, and then you know how it goes. turns out SRK came to the united states for treatment of his unknown heart condition which leaves him with little time left to spare. he’s fallen in love with the pretty girl, but….so has pretty girl’s good looking boy friend. mr khan lies to the girl, tells her that he’s married because he doesn’t want her to fall in love with a dying man. at the same time, he uses his SRK powers to make the boy friend confess to the girl that he loves her. so, the two besties get married in a very elaborate shaadi in a very expensive looking mansion somewhere in suburban america. but alas, by some ill stroke of luck after the shaadi, the girl finds out that SRK has been lying to her all this while and that he is dying and that he set her up with rohit her bestie so that they will continue to make each other happy. SRK does die. i didn’t expect him to, but he did and i felt terrible and i didn’t know why.

this movie is the bollywood version of memento mori, crafted specially to lull old aunties and young girls into thinking they’re watching a boy-meets-girl 3 hour long picture. it is, i guess, sort of, but it is also rather sad. like, you’d seen the death and the betrayal and the despair coming, but still it makes you sad. and then when a girl’s brain is sad and vulnerable and all sorts of messed up, it immediately goes into hyperdrive and begins to extrapolate the future and imagining everything in the mind to be true. every seemingly harrowing episode from the past both real and imaginary plays repeatedly like a telepathic torture device at the hands of an evil insane scientist. everything from the future too comes crashing down like wave upon wave upon wave: where is he now is he safe when will i see him again why isn’t he here with me what if everything’s not ok this is not my damn life oh god


somewhere amid the chaos and the rubble, i keep telling myself it’ll be all right in the end.


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