Sunday, February 13, 2005

Finding Doubt

I thought I had always been and will be a rational thinker. I was open to suggestions and ideas and that elusive other point of view, always eager to get the other perspective as well. I thought I was a sensistive guy, with a taste for the subtle and the sublime. I used to think I understood something of colour, space, light and composition - be it in writing, arts, cinema or in physics, mathematics, biology. I was the king of my castle, safely tucked away in the fortress of my imagination well cordoned off by a moat of calmness and satisfaction.

But then came a movie called Black, and I saw the movie. As with everything I had my opinion about it. Only this time it was different from a vast majority of other people. I tried to voice it, and I did not even get a patient hearing most of the time. What I got was this:

"You're crazy", "You're insensitive", "You've no sense, no understanding of art or of acting", "Its such a great movie, out of this world - you are just being cynical about the whole thing", "Look around you, Hindi movies these days are such a pile of junk - this on is a diamond in the rocks", "Who are you to judge Amitabh and Rani, and Sanjay Leela Bhansali - you are an idiot", "You are wrong", "You are dead."

I thought damn them - they just do not want to listen to what I have to say. I went back and researched my material, trying to find a basis for how I felt, trying to materialize my intuition. I even decided at one point I'll write it in a blog entry. And unknown to me, amidst all these fervent discussions and searches - it crept back into some recess of my being. Doubt - doubt that perhaps I was wrong, perhaps I was mistaken, perhaps I was being irrational about it all, perhaps I did not understand anything at all.

And that frightened me, it did. Suddenly my castle was a house of cards which blew over with a gust of strong wind.

I was reading my old art (as in painting) notes today. I wrote them when I was in class 8th or 9th. And I found in those old pages something which I had forgotten - an innocent curiosity to explore and understand. And that nagging doubt which appeared dark and devilish, became bright and haloed. I remembered it is ok to not know, to not understand, to not sense, to say as I feel, to ask why, to be confused and chaotic. Doubt and chaos are a way of nature, a way of growth, a way of life.

I am smiling now, and the second law of thermodynamics flashes through my mind, "All (physical and chemical) processes involve an increase in entropy in the system and its surroundings" - so there; I do know my high school physics.

Thank you Black. Thank you for finding my doubt for me.


  1. So, what was your opinion of Black? I'd like to hear something different :)

  2. Was it that bad?

    I somehow like South Indian movies better than the average Bollywood fare.

    True, on some occasions the heroines need not be so fat and the handlebars need some control.

    But overall they are somehow better shot and better edited. More modern in a sense, in their use of color and perhaps more classical in their use of light and shadow.

  3. No No No .... I never said it was bad. Infact I did not say anything at all about the movie in the post.