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The Muse

July 30, 2006

Movies and Priorities...

I caught the brilliant "A River Runs Through It" - again - on cable the other day. This is a true work of art, and the movie follows the life of two sons of a minister in a rural town. The sons are obviously different, but all share a common love of fly-fishing. The setting of the film is lovely - serene locals of Montana, the plot is simple and the acting is brilliant. As is the case with me (and probably many of you), I tend to remember certain scenes and certain dialogues. Here are a few that stood out:

"My father was very sure about certain matters pertaining to the universe. To him, all good things - trout as well as eternal salvation - came by grace; and grace comes by art; and art does not come easy."

"Dear Jesse, as the moon lingers a moment over the bitterroots, before its descent into the invisible, my mind is filled with song. I find I am humming softly; not to the music, but something else; some place else; a place remembered; a field of grass where no one seemed to have been; except a deer; and the memory is strengthened by the feeling of you, dancing in my awkward arms. "

"Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."

A good movie makes you smile, a great movie makes you think. I was thinking about how I have grown up (well, I have grown up in some ways :)), and its almost funny to see how my priorities have shifted with time. Everyone says that schools days were the best, and that is probably because life was simple. I think that a richer and more fulfilling life is achieved not when life is simple, but when we try and succeed in not making our life more complex as we grow up. As we become older, as we become more capable and develop the abilities and the strength to aspire for bigger and better things, we run the risk of getting entangled with issues that are not really aligned with our priorities, and before we know it, life passes us buy.

I also think that the our lives are characterized by the decisions we take and the people we meet when we are confronted with situations that relate to our priorities. Do we stick with our priorities and align our decisions with them, or do we end up changing our priorities? When I was in undergrad, we had a group of people who were all into GRE/TOEFL. The other group, of which I was a part of - was into CAT and the whole MBA thing. Now, obviously my interest was to get into Management. But I ended up thinking that this interest was in some way linked to the whole India/US thing, and one of my priorities was to not go to the US for studying! When I did not get into a good MBA school I ended up taking a software job with the idea that I would try for the CAT again. But joining work, I was able to realize that being here or there had nothing to do with my goals, so here I am...doing what I've always wanted to do. Did my priorities change? Not really, they just became a little clearer. Without meeting the right kind of people and getting the right kind of advice, I could easily have ended up confusing and convincing myself that I did not want to study in the US when that was really not the case...

In any case, I think I've been thinking too much. I forgot to mention that I also watched the brilliant "Pokiri". Now this is a Telugu film, and as I hardly understand a single word, you would think that I would have a hard time following it. Not really...Mahesh Babu is a rowdy, who kills all these baddies, and ...SPOILER ALERT...gasp...he is actually an undercover cop! Seriously, I really like these kinda movies too. Sometimes, movies are all about escapism too...and you can hardly beat Pokiri or a Rajini movie or a Vijaykanth movie for sheer entertainment value. I think its awesome that they stick to their "core competency". Whatever works right?


  • I had forgotten just how much I love "A River Runs Through it" .. I think I'll have to rearrange my Netflix queue so I can watch it again.

    By Blogger Reel Fanatic, at 3:26 PM  

  • Hey Reel Fanatic, I'm on NetFlix right now doing the exact same thing!

    By Anonymous Christy, at 9:06 PM  

  • Thinking deeply - Life does changes with priorities...
    What meant to you a lot at some point of time , might have no meaning now!
    People whom you thot are ur alter ego might not even come in your second thots.
    Still we move on! and YEs life does revolve around priorities and the first priority is yourself!
    Grt one!

    PS: pls this word verification stuff is a real pain! can u pls remove it?

    By Blogger raz, at 4:39 AM  

  • nice one da machi....

    Yeah ure right...

    nice movies; nice people; nice fun and nice life.... I guess these are the ingredients culminating a tasty dream....

    Especially for Connoisseurs of food such as us....

    By Blogger prosaicblabber, at 5:34 AM  

  • i think i have committed a sin by not watching this movie ;O
    "art does not come easy."........this could not be more right!!!!

    and there is so much happening in this post.and alot of profound words have been uttered in here...would like to come again for a second and a third read.
    going great guns,dude!

    By Blogger Maya Cassis, at 5:36 AM  

  • Hey...I too saw it on TV one day and loved it....Cant really point out one factor why but in enterity it was just something that made me reflect and wanted to visit Montana too! :)

    By Blogger SCRIBBLEZ TO WAKEUP, at 6:39 PM  

  • Good way of linking up movies & priorities! And yes priorities do change & I think its kinda good as it keeps a tab on the present priorities of each!

    By Blogger Has to be me, at 6:07 AM  

  • Reel fanatic/Christy - glad to have bought this film back to your thoughts.

    Thanks Raz, well said. Re: word verification I removed it but was forced to put it back on as I started receiving invites to try the latest Canadian drugs and attend Las Vegas conventions! Please bear with me while I wait for the spam to abate.

    Kicha, mano, you have time to tear your eyes away from home and visit blogs? I am deeply honored! How's life? I hope you are know having double the fun enjoying friends, food and films!

    Maya, thanks doc. You know exactly what I am talking about. Hope life's good.

    By Blogger Ram, at 6:04 PM  

  • Glad you caught it too Scribblez..Montana was awesome right?

    Thanks hastobeme, well said it does keep tab on what's important to us as we move on...

    By Blogger Ram, at 6:05 PM  

  • I knew there was something special in this post.So just came back to look at it again :)

    By Blogger Maya Cassis, at 3:16 PM  

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