of a grumpy bum, and a movie

“You mustn’t be like this at this point of time in your life. You are supposed to be happy, and I would like to see you that way”, he said.

I suppose he had a point; most people I have known do seem happy. They seem happy in spite of the fact that in many instances, it is not a matter of choice, but just a consequence; a result of many things, including societal beliefs, the need for the illusive ‘security’, peer pressure and, perhaps, even a matter of routine to some, so to speak. And who knows, and that I believe is possibly the best (and to the rational mind, the most illogical) explanation one can offer – that it may perhaps be just a question of the baggage some people choose, what some people call destiny. Nevertheless, the fact still is that it is not everyday that one makes such decisions in life. And if it ‘all goes well’, as the cliché goes, one probably wouldn’t need to make such a decision again.

There are a few things in life that one is forced to carry the burden of. They may be strange to the others, seemingly harmless, perhaps even silly things. Like the way it baffles the priest when Walt Kowalski, goes to church, to confess.

A little background will perhaps serve good at this juncture. The man is a war veteran, obviously troubled by his past, and has just lost his wife who is apparently supposed to have been a religious woman. The priest from their church is after him, to get him to confess, because that was what his late wife wanted. And our man makes it amply clear that he gives half a dime to the church, or to the priest, whom he calls ‘an over educated 27 year old virgin who holds the hands of old women in the promise of salvation’. And yet, he does confess, for having kissed another woman (“it just happened while the wives were in another room”, he says), for having made a meagre sum sometime in life without paying taxes, and having been unfriendly with his sons. The young priest who has had an unexpected visitor at the church is quite flummoxed, for he had possibly expected a lot more. The violence is obvious, if there was something more violent ever, because this one was real. And yet, there is hardly any violence actually portrayed on screen. I am a bum, not a critique, but to those friends who are reading this (and I would like to think I have indeed been fortunate to have made the most wonderful friends here) and like good cinema, I would certainly recommend this movie. It is about ‘life and death’, and about a grumpy old man.

To me personally though, it was about a dream, or perhaps, an imagination. It was a certain fanciful picture of the future of a much older bum, though not of the pleasantest kind. And it was one reason why I could instantly relate to this movie. It seemed to paint the details of what I had imagined myself to be, as an old man. And something tells me, that despite a lifestyle that has been as close to atrocious as one can think, I am among those not so lucky ones who will bear the burden, and see many long years.

Many long years of resigned acceptance; not of love, but of what it brings along with it. The myriad hues of life, that are sometimes as fascinating as they may initially seem either exceedingly happy or excruciatingly painful.

May be he is right after all, he has been many times, in retrospect, for after all, I am nothing but a tiny little part of him. Appa (father, in the Tamil language) had said that the bum has been unfair (in his comment to this post), and that is how most people seem to think about it.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I am not having it the bum way. It is going to be just another one of those events, those occasions that I have in the past been a part of, and have chosen to forget, for more than one reason. And yet, I did it for the sake of the one person who would hopefully stand by me in thick and thin. I love her, and this was probably one to way to show it to her, however grudgingly. For once, I am putting a picture of mine here, and hers.


I would not have liked to invite anybody. As heartless as it may sound, I believe everybody with a heart (and a sane head) ought to let others live their life, as long as they don’t cause harm or threat to others. It seems to be that this is a miserable belief, or so I am made to believe, in the name of the society. They say that people of the society would be unhappy, and the more I think of it, it pains, and may be even shames me to be a part of such a society.

I had wished to say that you would not be invited for the ceremony that ‘they’ call the wedding, for I had dreamt of something quiet, simple and meaningful. That has for all practical purposes been quashed, for whatever reasons. But I am hoping that there may be some people, specially the people here, for there aren’t too many people I have connected with in such a way, would understand. Because when I had not written for ages, one of my blogger friends, touched me in the most beautiful way, when she said this –

His words flow like butter
spread on a crisp golden toast.

He talks at random
about journeys in the night.

But he talks seldom
When will the Bum write?

And so I invite you – to our home, to our hearts, for you all already have a place in the tiny heart that a bum like me can afford. You are invited to share our joy of looking forward to a new life, for I at least had never thought this would happen, or happen this way. You are invited to the bitter sweet feelings that our hearts will doubtless go through. You are invited to a humble abode, which we hope to jointly make, a place where all would be welcome.

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59 thoughts on “of a grumpy bum, and a movie

  1. Such a beautiful post . And a lovely snap. May God bless you both with a happy and fulfilling married life. Finally, the bum chooses to disclose his identity , eh ?!

  2. " I believe everybody with a heart (and a sane head) ought to let others live their life, as long as they don’t cause harm or threat to others. It seems to be that this is a miserable belief, or so I am made to believe, in the name of the society"Thats exactly how I feel as well in many ways…good post 🙂

  3. I must say that is the most unique engagement announcement I’ve ever read. Leave it to our dear Dharmabum! And yet it turned out to be the most delightful admission of love and the most genuine and openhearted welcome that I’ve ever read. Bless you both eternally. May you have one of the most uniquely delightful, loving, genuine and openhearted unions known to humankind (and may you post photos of your big day when that time comes!): )

  4. My husband, the Sage (though he had not then achieved sagacity) and I had a very small wedding, inviting only my mother and his parents, my father having died. But we had a big party afterwards. I still think that's the best, as a marriage seems to me private, and meaningful only to the participants, but I love to share happiness with friends.But most people don't feel that way, and after all it's your life, not your wedding that really matters. I hope you have a wonderful time and relax unbegrudgingly into the occasion, and I wish you and your lovely wife all the happiness in the world.

  5. ZEUS,thanks dude! i only wrote it and then figured i had actually doen that :)GAURI,thanks a ton :)VEENA,well, i guess i did choose to – its been a while, and i was always looking for a good opportunity. thanks :)JAYCEE,i hope there are more and more of us feeling that way, and soon there will be change. thanks :)VATS,thanks da. no major envisioning – leaving it to the tide :)MISSALISTER,:) thanks. your comments are always special. APPA,thanks pa. it means a lot, coming from you.MENTALSYRUP,:)Z,glad to see you here, as always. you are lucky to have had such a wedding.thanks a ton :)SHRUTHI,:) back yes. and thanks!KUSUBLAKKI,thanks 🙂 what does your name mean, i wonder…

  6. dearest DBHeartiest Congrats Mr & Mrs BUM ; )Welcome back too, hugs! I was abit lost for words and all i could do was smile broadly! I felt such a surge of happiness for you. Coming from a half Indian family myself, my mum pushed me to a corner, insisting that i threw somewhat a grand affair but i fought back and told her in her face that i agreed as long as she foots the entire bill! Then she backed off ; ) Abit cruel but this is my union hehehhe Anyways DB, sincerely from the bottom of our hearts, we send u our best wishes, may you both be blessed with all the great and fun things in life!And that whatever challenges life throws at you, know that now you have 2 heads, 2 hearts and 2 pair of hands too to share whatever comes ahead!Love from across the globe,Mush, Brecht & little Nora!

  7. Goodness, am back after a really long time and am so glad to be welcomed by this post! Many congratulations to you and your partner 🙂 It's sad we have to follow certain rituals for the sake of the society. But it's also good to know that the wishes of people who really matter are always with you! May the two of you have a wonderful life ahead 🙂

  8. congratulations again! nice post. and a lovely picture. very happy for you 🙂 although i must say something about it is mildly funny having known you only as a kid and as quite a mischievous one!

  9. First, congratulations to both of you. The best comment, I think, came from Appa. Secondly, I think you ought to give yourself a bit more credit – in every way possible, for many reasons.I wish you both the very best that life has to offer – a full adventure, where every experience is meaningful and becomes a worthwhile foundation to build the rest of your life.Way to go bum!

  10. I have read all of your posts (multiple times :-)), but have never commented. I think this is a good time. Thanks for all the wonderful posts.And hearty congratulations and good luck.-easwar

  11. Dharma, Quit writing titles like "grumpy…"etc. With such a dignified and beautiful lady by your side too.You make a fine couple. Do all you can to keep her happy. Hearty congratulations, and wishing you both very many years of joyful companionship.anbudan,Priya.

  12. Dharma, Forgot to add – don't let your dislike of ceremonies color your joy of coming together. " I believe everybody with a heart (and a sane head) ought to let others live their life, as long as they don’t cause harm or threat to others. It seems to be that this is a miserable belief, or so I am made to believe, in the name of the society"Miserable belief இல்லை – just that society can make your life miserable if you don't abide by some rules. So this is the price to have peace…picking one's battles.Priya.

  13. "Quit writing titles like "grumpy…"etc. With such a dignified and beautiful lady by your side too.You make a fine couple. Do all you can to keep her happy. Hearty congratulations, and wishing you both very many years of joyful companionship."Amen.

  14. Hello!Heartiest congratulation on decision to tie the knot. Hope you enjoy a long and happy married life! It felt good to see you and your better half. Would love to know your name :)"I believe everybody with a heart (and a sane head) ought to let others live their life, as long as they don’t cause harm or threat to others." I whole-heartedly subscribe to this belief!!

  15. 'Idadu kai kodupadai, valadu kaiki teriya koodaadu'….or something like this I had heard from my father. I will have a wedding, the unpretentious and should I say unceremonious way, partly because we want it that way, and partly because the society will want it that way. :)My best wishes to both of you for a very Happy life together. You guys look very good together.

  16. I come 'back' into the blogging world and I see such a beautiful post as this one, definitely an incentive to keep the blogging world alive more often!I can't add any more to the comments already here – but my heartiest wishes to both of you. Savour the journey. 🙂

  17. i am such a violent romantic, and she is beautiful as are you. you should write more and let us know how it went.i totally agree with you, i have not had the pleasure of the ceremony known as matrimony, but if i did i would like it very quiet as well. i hope yours is as close to the tranquility as it can be.Congratualtions!Novel

  18. First of all I am really glad I read this entire post. I don't think I will ever get to the links.Secondly nothing ever happens the way we wanted it to. And last of all, a wedding or the coming together of two people is a very private affair, unlike what most people think or say. If you haven't committed to being a unit, no matter how it is done where it is done, you wont be much of a success.I am not sure why people get married. I got married because I wanted to validate the relationship I was building with a wonderful young man who celebrated my existence. I wanted to celebrate his and we joined in matrimony.I quite disliked the social dance, but in the end, I am happy to get that out of the way and to now lead my life the way I want to.I wish you good luck. Enjoy this journey. I know I am enjoying mine.

  19. Wish you both a happy time ahead. Need to see Gran Torino. The plot seems intriguing enough.Maybe society is afer all a grouping of individual souls trying to make sense of one another together.

  20. You have an amazing blog, it is really very awesome, if you’re interested here is the link to my blog of poetry, it would be awesome if you could check it out and follow if you like. http://thehumanicana.blogspot.com/Or my facebook pagehttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Poetry-By-Grant-Grey-Guda/399397276060?v=wall Hoping you have a wonderful week filled with inspiration and laughter,Grant-Grey

  21. Though belated, here is congratulating both of you. You make a handsome couple.I shall certainly land up unannounced at the first opportunity. I did not invite even my parents for my wedding. None of my family attended my wedding. I sent an announcement about my son's wedding and specifically said that it was not an invitation but only an announcement. I have an elder cousin who is currently the clan chief by default living in Vashi who was the only relative from my side to attend my son's wedding.So, from one retired hippy to a current bum, not to worry, there are other mavericks around.

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