July 22, 2009

Total Eclipse

That photo of foreign tourists making a beeline to the campsite to observe the solar eclipse got me thinking. Is it that the average Indian is a bore who won’t make any effort to see some thing like a phenomenon or just that we have seemingly better things to attend to. I mean there were Indians too who made an effort to see what was termed the eclipse of the century; which troubles me as the bloody century is only nine years old, but it didn’t look like they were half as crazy as the foreigners.

If I scratch deeper I might come up with a couple of reasons why we don’t make the effort but that would be largely about me. I, for one, won’t make half the effort for a quarter of the things that happen around me. Don’t get me wrong I have put in gargantuan thought to numerous things like meeting up with people who bore the hell out of me, doing things in the name of charity, showing up at places where “people” expect you to be but that was a thing of the past. I’m a firm believer in doing exactly what you feel needs to be done. Some times you learn from experience and mostly bad experiences but you do get my drift.

Now the question that boggles me is that does this transformed approach seep in to other facets of one’s life? Some months ago I was enjoying a nicely made Som Tum or Raw Papaya Salad. As I munched on the Thai goodie I wondered if some crazy American were enjoying it he’d have packed his bags and gone off to Thailand to learn the damn thing. In addition he’d have written a book on how to live life in the slow lane and enjoy every sickening moment. I went back and checked out the salad on the Internet and Google taught me everything I needed to know about raw papayas. As I sat through I couldn’t help but wonder, was it that simple now?

Had we started living so many armchair experiences that perhaps reality didn’t matter?

If not Thailand I could have gone to some fancy Thai joint and tried to do some thing about my extreme fascination with raw papayas. There are so many things that one wants to do before cashing out. Perhaps racing the Monaco Grand Prix, live like a recluse in some Japanese village, work on an oil rig, race snow dogs or whatever the hell they are called in Siberia, cross imaginary boundaries like some whacked out spy or maybe even go a Walkabout…no not really. But thanks to Hollywood I don’t mind missing out on eclipses now. I have had it with people gushing about F1 so that takes care of my need for speed. I read Pico Iyer and didn’t enjoy his time out in some obscure part of Japan, so Soyanara it is. Hmm…I should stop being a tourist!

By the way do try the Raw Papaya Salad…it was worth the thoughts!

2 Responses to “Total Eclipse”

  • You know you can't see the sun from Swati! Besides you won't know if it's eclipsing or cloudy. Well ok, I got back from a gig at 3. I don't think I'd wake up to see "dim light". And I did my number when I was a kid.
  • I remember going to rajasthan for the total eclipse in 1995. The funny thing was that i had just finished making a film on it for television and then gone to see the real thing !
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