Monday, January 28, 2008

Quasimodo's utopia

Zihaal-e-miskeen mukon ba-ranjish,
Bahaal-e-hijra bechara dil hai,

Sunaai deti hai jiski dhadakan
Tumhara dil ya hamara dil hai.

As I watch Disney's Quasimodo sing from the bell tower of Notre Dame, wanting and wishing for that one day to live "out there," I can't help but think about how it must be to live trapped in a single, lonely, tower all one's life.

But then I do not really have to guess, for loneliness does not really have many flavours, no matter where you pluck it from. As the cold settles outside, and creeps through the walls into my quilt, I find myself thinking about love. Again.

In that tangential, normalish way everything seems to reek of love. That is just me, I know. But how does one not fall in love with Esmeralda. That wild free spirit that one wishes would see the human behind the hunchback. But animated adaptations rarely follow the story of yesteryear's on which they are based. The years that stand on the wisdom of appearances being the sentence one is dealt with sometimes, from birth.

Life smirks, and takes a bow. And as I learn to spread myself so thin that I can be beaten into any shape possible, I smirk right back. Spirited? Foolish? But what is the shape of foolishness and what is the taste of spirit? Oh, I digress. The topic was love.

Do you hear laughter in the ranks? In the air? Love. Poor love. What am I pitying love for? Well, tell me someone else who takes more beating for all the stupidity that takes place in this world. For all the perfection in the world, perfect men and perfect women. For all the riches in the world. For all that burns and twists the insides of hearts. For all that and more, there is some fool, some where, pining.

For what, you may ask. A lover's utopia? And what might that be? To be loved back, of course. With equal fervour, with every iota of passion that flows in one's veins, with a touch of dreams and a dash of colour. But perhaps we shouldn't foster such impossible utopias.

I see Quasimodo cringe as Esmeralda kisses Phoebus and I wonder. I wonder at the only flaw in the utopia. For you can love whoever you want. You have been blessed with that gift. What you cannot do, is make "whoever" love you back.

What rubbish! We always knew that, you'll say. Well, try and remember it then, when you are being driven mad with the flames from hell that devour your heart. Remember and find peace. Remember and let go.

And to all the Quasimodos of this world. Stay in love. Your utopia will complete itself one day.

The lines in urdu/persian/hindi at the top are from a song from the film Ghulami, written by Gulzar and sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Shabbir Kumar.


  1. i felt like a Quasimodo for the loooooooongest time!! so its true!! the Utopia does come true!

  2. there's no such thing my friend. no such thing.

  3. @grafx and sonia - Very consistent opinions, I see :P Well, I guess everybody is different and sees things differently. So am happy for you Grafx, and I'll hope for you sonia. :)

  4. It's amazing how love surrounds us in the most desolate of places...

    Thanks fr the inspiration :)