Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Shame in Mine?

When I discovered that Heather (a young Hindi-speaking American volunteer at Jagori) had seen Bhag Milkha Bhag, I started sharing what was topmost in my mind about the movie- audience reaction. I told her how surprised I was to see a very quiet crowd in the Chandigarh theater. There was no excitement or emotion even in the scene where Milkha won the race in Pakistan. I was the only one shouting and clapping (much to my niece's mortification), but even my excitement could not energize more than ten people around me.

Heather's experience in the fanciest movie theater in Jaipur had been quite the opposite. She said the entire crowd, consisting mainly of young men, was up on their feet and shouting in all the racing scenes!

Just as I started thinking aloud about the possible reasons for this difference in crowd reactions, she shook me out of my pointless analysis by saying quietly that the same crowd of young men in the theater had clapped and hooted in the scenes when Milkha's sister was raped by her husband. 

I remember looking into her kind eyes and seeing pain. Did she see shame in mine?

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag: Divya Dutta makes Farhan cry with her performance
Picture from: http://ibnlive.in.com/news/bhaag-milkha-bhaag-divya-dutta-makes-farhan-cry-with-her-performance/401975-8-66.html

1 comment:

  1. i don't think we need a lesson in biology, nor do i want to be caught generalizin irresponsibly. but it's my firm belief that excitement in the sub-continental male is largely driven by testosterone, and not by any positive emotions, such as appreciation, discernment, love, patriotism, even affection. which is why they'll as a rule watch india play lousy cricket, but wouldn't be interested in a fantastic cricket match between two other countries. any take on why our art museums, public libraries and places of historic interest lie disused, abused, unpatronized, while dabaang and ras leela or whatever draw sellout crowds week after week? no one comes to watch and appreciate: they come to leer and get their kicks. why should we feel ashamed? i could put it down to a combination of climatic conditions, soil, water, social conditioning, planetary influence, luck, intelligent design or random coincidence. but fundamentally, we have a different genetic makeup that i do not want to qualify in public. thanks for sharin. :)