III Place: Aliya Abreo, SJC.
Yes, I know. It’s almost midnight, and I was supposed to have given this in by 9:00p.m. But, you know what, I’m just gonna go right ahead and write it, and give it in anyway, because I’m feeling lonely right now, I need to talk to somebody, about something. Anything. So I choose to talk to you, about this film, “Where do we go now?”
I’m not a big fan of films. Except for the odd romantic comedy every now and then. In fact, I might have dozed off for a bit during this film. No offence, I was feeling zapped even before I started watching it. Anyway, the reason I bring this up is to say that I might have missed an important scene or two. Which is probably why I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand what the blond chicks were doing in the film, with the exception of making the guys ogle. It seemed pretty funny to me. The rest of the film was fairly easy to understand, but I realize I have to do some analytical stuff in this space. So here goes.
I liked the part where Amal and the painter do their mutually imaginary romantic song and dance number. (RomCom fan, remember?) I realized, even before they showed it in the film, that Amal and the painter were from different religions. That’s what made the dance so special, for me. It was as though two religions, more than simply two people, wanted to be friends. In fact, they are friends in their head, but the reality has to be different, because of a thousand and one societal structures which do not permit such a friendship, and highly discourage it. What struck me was, with the internet today, we think that these boundaries are broken, and that, online, we can be friends with anyone we want, and it won’t matter, because, at least online, we are all equal. But this isn’t the case. Even online, we must carry the baggage of our real world identities, even if we don’t want to. Our tweets/ statuses reflect who we really are. I would like to be friends with so many Muslims online, because that community has always fascinated me. But I am restricted, because I am not one of them. I am an outsider. Even if I eventually make friends, it will be a strictly formal friendship, and cannot spill over to outside of the internet. Yet, for me, they are my friends… in my head. They are my friends secretly. For me, this is what the dance between Amal and the painter signified.
The next thing that struck me was the television. It actually seemed to cause more harm than good. The villagers seemed to live together peacefully before the arrival of the TV. But once the TV was brought in and they began hearing things from the outside world, it seemed logical to them to imitate the outside world. Were they even ready to be brought face to face with the outside world? I think this is a question that is relevant in every society today. In India, a lot of the urban youth watch American TV programmes, and automatically and subconsciously, we want to imitate the people on the screen. They became our role models, and we cease to think rationally. (E.g. That girl in the “Big Bang Theory” is blond, sexy and goes out with a lot of guys. I wanna be her! That girl in the “Big Bang Theory” also never went to college. Still, who cares? She is popular. I wanna be her!) Just like this, the people in the village begin to have inter-religious clashes, because they hear about the unrest in the outside world. (If the people on TV are living in discord, why the hell are we striving so hard for harmony? Let’s be like the people on TV! TV= the heroes!)
The last part of the film was unquestionably the best for me. (After the romantic imaginary dance, of course.) The people make up their minds to bring about peace. They realize that if they cannot live in harmony as two separate religions, they must become one. So the Muslims adopt Christianity, and vice versa. They decide to forget about religion, living in peace was more important to them. Michael Jackson’s ‘Heal the world’ comes to mind – We must stop living as though someone somewhere will soon make a change. If we want the world to be a better place, we must be the change we want to see.
I really think it is irrelevant to the gods, how we choose to personify them, so long as we accept each others’ personifications of the same life force that lives within us all. As Nassim’s friend says, you and I came from the same womb. We all come from the same womb – the Earth. Why pretend like we’re different, when we’re actually all the same, we’re all trying to figure out this big mystery called life.
A little of the film reminded me of ‘Fiddler on the roof’. Where do we go now? Well, we just go…on…