Sunday, 22 February 2009

Cinematic Reflection


When I was a little lad

Indian films were all I had,
And that too only once a week.
What to say? I was small and meek.
But then I grew up (as everyone surely would)
And discovered the bigger (but not always better) charms of dear ol' Hollywood
And reveled in the movies of giants like Stallone and Schwarzenegger,
And even though my mom wouldn't want to give me money for these films, I'd beg her
Till her resistance would give way to resignation
And she'd hand me the currency notes of requisite designation,
With which I could have the inimitable experience
Of watching 'Rambo' on the big screen (rather than read 'The Moon And Sixpence')
And come back home only to pester
Everybody by narrating to them the adventures of Sylvester
Who fought for truth, justice and the American Way,
Even on a Sunday.
But then my brain did something that was curious and scary:
Of such films it started to become wary.
Explosions stopped giving me a zing
And only made my eardrums ring,
And I found out I'd rather watch drying paint
Than endure another film of that Austrian gent
Whose one-liners, witty as they are,
Were quite repetitive (to be absolutely fair).
But what else was there to see?
My brain started asking me.
So I bought myself an atlas of the globe
And hither and thither I began to probe.
With time and patience my scope got wider and wider,
And I came to know of Kurosawa, Fellini, Bergman, Herzog and Wajda.
But knowing their names was one thing,
And getting to see the actual films was something
Entirely different, as they were hard to get hold of
(Even when the local video stores their collections sold off)
Until I discovered the secret of the Film Society
Where they regularly screen movies from as unlikely places as Tasmania and Haiti,
And if you know someone who knows someone who's a member
You can get yourself admitted into that darkened chamber
And watch the celluloid curiosities from the antipodes unfurl
On the screen, while in a cushioned seat you recline and curl.
But sadly, though, my Society days were numbered
As with a budget-cut it was soon encumbered
And had to raise the admission price
Beyond the reach of us mortals who live on simple curry and rice.
Seeing this last hope get crushed, I was left without glee,
Until I was saved by the workings of Tim Berners-Lee -
Bless that fellow!
May his old age be peaceful and mellow!
May his health be as good as a soldier from Sparta
And, in case of a war, let him be the last martyr! -
For, in the relentless pursuit of his technological dreams, he did something spectacularly great:
He invented the internet.
And as this wonderful thing started growing around the earth,
It became the cause of unbridled mirth
Of people pursuing offbeat hobbies like piranha-painting and eggshell-eating
For, in its hallowed halls, they all started meeting
And exchange the fruits of their toils
With strangers from faraway soils
And, as luck would have it, there were quite a few
Who loved obscure movies, and their numbers grew
And then, instead of exchanging reviews, they started exchanging the films themselves
And to other collectors they achieved the status of Santa Claus (without elves).
Oh, bless you, RapidShare, and bless you, Pirate Bay!
May your fortunes soar and may gold pave your way.
For it's because of you that humble souls like me
Can finally download and watch the movies we want - and all for free!


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