Time Travel

And I continue to look for words. (Scroll, to see the length of the post – long one!)

A quest that will forever be unfulfilled, not because I don’t have words, but because I have no idea which one makes sense, when it is most demanded.

owe |əʊ|verb [ trans. ] have an obligation to pay or repay (something, esp. money) in return for something received : they have denied they owe money to the company | [with two objs. ] I owe you 25 cents.

• owe something, esp. money, to (someone) : I owe you for the taxi.

• be under a moral obligation to give someone (gratitude, respect, etc.) : I owe it to him to explain what’s happened | [with two objs. ] I owe you an apology.

• ( owe something to) have something because of (someone or something) : he owed his success not to chance but to insight.

• be indebted to someone or something for (something) : I owe my life to you.

And I have Jack Johnson singing Belle/Banana Pancakes on my left. And a while ago I just finished watching Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho (SAG, hereafter). The first thing that pierced my head was that children, students, should not watch this film. This should have an A certificate. This is one Adult film, if I have seen one. Mahesh Manjrekar has a great capacity to touch you where it matters with most of his movies. The one thing that, I feel, he cannot control, is the Dus Kahaniayan syndrome. Somehow he feels compelled to tell a detailed story of every peripheral factor in the movie. Except for this fetish of his, I think he makes good movies. SAG, is one of them. I will not be reviewing that movie here, but will be talking about it. Obviously, I will talk about it, so risk the rest of the post at the cost of spoilers. But, be also aware, this post isn’t about the movie as such. Yet it will talk of SAG.

indebted |ɪnˈdɛtɪd|
owing money : heavily indebted countries.

• owing gratitude for a service or favor : I am indebted to her for her help in indexing my book.

I was looking for words. Before I saw the movie. After, I was exasperatedly looking for words. Because, as much as less you have them, they are the only ones capable of saying what you exactly want to say. I am a slave of words in that sense – because I prefer expressing as close as I can get to what I mean, think, and feel. I had no words. They refused to join my party. I offered them an Indian wine that’s winning awards, to no avail. I wondered why. Then I realised, I can be a slave to words, but words are slave to no one. They are open, free and available, but you have to deserve them; unless you deserve them, they don’t come to you.

debt |dɛt|noun
something, typically money, that is owed or due : I paid off my debts | a way to reduce Third World debt.

• the state of owing money : the firm is heavily in debt.

• [usu. in sing. ] a feeling of gratitude for a service or favor : we owe them a debt of thanks.
be in someone’s debt owe gratitude to someone for a service or favor.

SAG is a good film – that could have been 30mins shorter than the editor imagined it to be worth. What’s it about? Good Q. I can’t really say. It comes across as a criticism of the (apparently harsh) education system that prevails in India. That (apparently) shouldn’t have been in parentheses. It does prevail; the education system. Yes, we have problems. Yes students commit suicides because they are under immense pressures. There must be however, something good about this education system. There must be some reason that the IITians and the IIMians (are they called that?) are successful in a walk of life that you can put a finger on. Three years ago I talked of a dance that wasn’t hugely entertaining. In my personal opinion, we have an education system that is unparalleled; the only thing we are missing is acknowledgement of aptitude.There are careers apart from engineering, medical and accounting & finance. And people can excel in fields other than these three contrived ones. Sports – Sachin Tendulkar. Social Services – Medha Patkar. Fashion – Manish Malhotra. Politics (Pick your name, or leave it blank, who cares?). Point is, if we choose to be successful, we can be.

gratitude |ˈgratɪtjuːd| noun

the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness : she expressed her gratitude to the committee for their support.

ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French, or from medieval Latin gratitudo, from Latin gratus ‘pleasing, thankful.’

But coming back to SAG, to my mind, it has got nothing to do with the problems of education system that is prevalent in this country. We aren’t missing the content – we are missing the context. There is a repetitive dialogue in the movie about the multiplication of 17×7. It’s 119, by the way. Why is 17×7 important or not? What’s the context of the date of the first fort that C. Shivaji captured? Nothing really, if you are anyways going to leave the country and work for an Enron-like-company in the US. You would be better off knowing facts about the Civil War, if at all.


appreciation |əpriːʃɪˈeɪʃ(ə)n| |-sɪ-|
1 the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something : I smiled in appreciation | she shows a fine appreciation of obscure thinkers.

• gratitude for something : they would be the first to show their appreciation.

• a piece of writing in which the qualities of a person or the person’s work are discussed and assessed.

• sensitive understanding of the aesthetic value of something : courses in music appreciation.

2 a full understanding of a situation : they have an appreciation of the needs of users | the bank’s lack of appreciation of their problems.

3 increase in monetary value : the appreciation of the franc against the dollar.

It’s always about context. Content, you see, is a eunuch, if not in context. Context gives content balls. So what’s the problem of knowing the ATP cycle by heart? I didn’t know why. Let us say I had a choice in choosing what I learnt. Here’s what I would choose: Process of making an FIR at a police station and the fact that an FIR is made in the local language, always; that when my car is dead and people are pushing it, I need to move it in the second gear; co-operative society laws; how to apply for a passport; content law, so that I wouldn’t buy a PS3 that discriminates against Indian buyers; and a million more things that make sense.

acknowledgment |əkˈnɒlɪdʒm(ə)nt| (also acknowledgement)

1 acceptance of the truth or existence of something : there was no acknowledgment of the family’s trauma.

2 the action of expressing or displaying gratitude or appreciation for something : he received an award in acknowledgment of his work.

• the action of showing that one has noticed someone or something : he touched his hat in acknowledgment of the salute.

• a letter confirming receipt of something : I received an acknowledgment of my application.

3 (usu. acknowledgments) an author’s or publisher’s statement of indebtedness to others, typically one printed at the beginning of a book.

But, really, lets come back to SAG. Mahesh Manjrekar wanted this to be a movie bout the ills of the education system that permeate and allegedly threaten our future. While he may have wanted to to also talk of the implications that these have on our society; he probably succeeded with an audience like me.

As people who learn – whatever – we have only one [insert the word that I am yet to find; which is close to but not “obligation”] to the system.

To the parent.

Not to teachers or to the system; but to the parent; if you haven’t realised it as yet; the tallest pillar of the education system in India, at least, is the parent. It doesn’t matter if you have become what your parent(s) wished you to be.

What matters is that they thought that you were the one who would change the world. It doesn’t quite matter if you aren’t the Einstein that they imagined. What matters is the height of their belief. What matters is that we have to achieve only a few inches of the height that they imagined. You see, I have come to believe that they only thought of the ultimate success that we could achieve. Unfortunately they could only think in the limited context that was available to them. It was our problem – that we were pulled into that narrow context. We may not be the doctor or the engineer or the IFS officer that they saw in us. But the day we forget and become blind to the star that they saw in us; we have committed injustice to the purest of dreams and sacrifices.

Have you reached here (in the post)? I commend you. This is the kind of post that never is read. Just like the dream of a parent. Never mind the profession your parent wanted to be in; deep down; only because your parent did not know better, all he (or she) wanted you to be is happy an successful.

respect |rɪˈspɛkt|

1 a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements : the director had a lot of respect for Douglas as an actor.

• the state of being admired in such a way : his first chance in over fifteen years to regain respect in the business.

• due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others : respect for human rights.

• ( respects) a person’s polite greetings : give my respects to your parents.

2 a particular aspect, point, or detail : the government’s record in this respect is a mixed one.

Talk to them if they are alive or pay homage, if they aren’t. Tell them, that their dreams and yours have become one, and they are on their way. Tell them that their dreams and yours – have understood each other. The content of the dream isn’t important, the context is – and given that they were a generation before you; they will understand.

Some messages travel at the speed of light; and they traverse universes. Say it, today.


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