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.