Sunday, 12 July 2015

An ordinary Saturday

My first weekend off the job at  Mercy Corps, I decided to have a very fun and packed couple of days. We were hosting a movie night in the evening. 

I decided to first go for an afternoon walk with Kavita to get some exercise. I was initially going to do the full route from Randall Street to UN Drive and onwards to the Masonic Temple but when I saw some children in a 'yard' on UN drive, very close to the second house I lived in in Liberia, I thought about getting some new friends for Kavita.

Kavita, green apple and a green mossy wall
The 'yard' was actually below street level so, we climbed down the stairs to get to the children. I had to kind lug down the stroller, step by step, bump bump. Luckily, we always have a ball in the basket under the stroller and in no time, we had some friends. I asked them to show Kavita how to play foot ball. 

At first Kavita was quite shy but soon got jealous when her precious red ball was being expertly maneuvered by the boys. 

After the game, I went back to the apartment on Randall Street so I could prepare for the movie night. 

Before heading for the kitchen, I checked out my gardener's latest work on my roof top garden. He's not only kept my garden in tip top shape but also used all the empty yoghurt boxes to plant flowers and plants. 

Having finally conquered the oven, I wanted to make something that needed to be popped into the contraption. Since we had done so well with the lasagna, we decided to give it another go and also added eggplant parmesan to the menu (we used this recipe Aubergine, tomato & Parmesan bake (Melanzane alla Parmigiana)). 

The eggplants Bendu bought from Benson Street were ginormous (would you believe that I spelled this and didn't have it underlined in red i.e. it is an actual word). 

For dessert we had mangoes with mint and a Cointreau. We found this wonderful and simple recipe here: Marvellous mangoes

As you can imagine, we were quite proud of ourselves for the dinner we prepared. 

The cherry on the top was of course the film itself. I had watched Ship of Theseus the night before. I guess I was in a rather pensive mood, the last day of my work at Mercy Corps and was a little blue. What is it about good byes one might ask? The film had really rocked me, inspired me. 

It was on the list of films that I sent around to our group of friends to peruse through. The idea was to select a film that night. 

(By the way, this is the list of films: 

i) To Sir With Love (1967, Sidney Poitier)
ii) The Darjeeling Limited (2007, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, and Jason Schwartzman)
iii) Get Hard (Will Ferrell, Kevin Hart,  2015)
iv) No Country For Old Men (Tommy Lee Jones Javier Bardem Josh Brolin Woody Harrelson, 2007) 
v) Birdman (Michael Keaton Zach Galifianakis Edward Norton Andrea Riseborough Amy Ryan Emma Stone Naomi Watts, 2014) 
vi) Bored to Death (TV Series, a couple of episodes)
vii) Ship of Theseus (2013, Aida El-Kashef, Neeraj Kabi and Sohum Shah)
viii) Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011, Hrithik Roshan,  Abhay Deol, and Farhan Akhtar) 
ix) Purple Rose of Cairo (Mia Farrow Jeff Daniels, 1985)  
x) All About Eve (Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, 1950))

As the group looked through the movies, I casually recommended Ship of Theseus and said it was a life changing movie. The group was close to choosing No Country for Old Men or Darjeeling Limited but quickly took my advice! 

I loved the film so much I was happy to see it a second time and, relished it even more. I feel like describing the experience of watching it and, am searching for metaphors. It felt I was watching stories of rebirth, characters grappling with and finding meaning of their lives. 

Movie buffs like me watch so many commercial films that forget to know how to watch art films which have such a different, measured pace than mainstream movies. 

The experience of watching Ship of Theseus was seeing time slow down and seeing moments depicted in vivid reality. One could almost feel one was there. One of my favourite scenes, in terms of appreciating the director's and cameraman's technique and artistry, was the one where the blind girl, after her sight-restoring surgery, becomes overwhelmed with the noise, traffic and commotion while trying to take photographs. Originally, she used to follow sounds to take photographs but ironically now the darting objects would not allow her to focus. Her sight did not serve her at all where once she enjoyed following sound to take photographs. Her sense of helplessness was conveyed in that scene where she stood on a busy intersection. 

Another favourite but haunting scene is where the monk's disease ravaged body is shown closely at night as he gets up to clean himself after having accidentally wet his bed. 
I'm really glad that we watched an art film as a group rather than opting for something which would have been easier to see and comprehend. 

Meaning, the fundamental raison d'être of all our journeys, discoveries, and angst, is still so elusive and subjective as the film showed. Is meaning the human condition itself or our reality in relation to the human condition?

Isn't it also interesting to think that a philosophical conundrum was explored using the film medium?

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