Saturday, August 06, 2005

Journeys Without Destination

We finally watched the visually sumptuous The Motorcycle Diaries this afternoon.

Some years ago, we had gone camping with friends in woods by the Chesapeake. There, among the crickets, mosquitoes, and bats, we first heard of Che Guevara from a World Bank economist of all people.

We dismissed Che then, principally because of his status as the icon of the left. This is why we didn't watch the movie either when it first came out.

This was a mistake, as we now concede having watched the movie. It is based on Che's observations as a young man traveling through the heart of his continent.

There is much majesty in all our lands & people, obscured by all our modernity. This is why many personal & intellectual revolutions happen during journeys without destinations.

Given this, how is it that so few of us travel through India, abandoning the trappings of our status in life, catching up on what India really is? How is it that few expressions in our cinema and literature are of these journeys of real people?

Why is India's matinee icon an angry young man, not an adventurous young idealist?

Why do our actors sing around trees rather than standing still for the singing of trees?


phucker said...

Why is India's matinee icon an angry young man, not an adventurous young idealist?

Easy. If you are a socialist country, then in order to pander the general poor public, your man has to be poor and angry.

Adventurous young idealists are out to make money, have a good time and challenge social norms.

Angy young men claim to challenge social norms, but are usually out for their own interests, and don't want to make money (not in any entrpreneurial sense, anyway)

I'm talking purely in terms of bollywood here.

Adventurous young idealists are all namby-pamby compared your angry young macho men....

Primary Red said...

A self-destructive machismo then?

You are likely right.

Best regards.

Rahul said...

A few weeks ago I travelled down a narrow stretch of India. It brought out in many ways the difference between my perceptions and what really was.

For anyone to write about India is an overwhelming task. Layer after layer unpeels and you remain unsure about exactly what you have seen. During the day the part I visited showed itself, but at night, with no electricity, it hid once again. It is forever like that: the part you can see, and that part that forces you to imagine.

I am curious about this place. Everyday fascinating things happen here. It seems to be growing and collapsing at once, and pulling apart in different directions. I wonder if it is even a country. Or a collection of people, like a lawless zoo. It is wonderful.

Ravages said...

I've been doing my own version of the Motorcycle diaries for about 6 months now. I do have a destination in mind, but i usually try to reach it much after the scheduled time. I just ride around, pick a spot to cool off, sip strong coffee with the farmers and discover alternate routes to never before visited places. And I tell you, i can't have enough of it.

Primary Red said...

We envy you guys!!


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