Sunday, February 27, 2005

Teary Eyed Day

My day yesterday started with the news that due to an avalanche a lot of people had died in J&K. The article was titled "Snownami" or something to that effect. I thought that was just mean. If the writer meant to play on the emotions of the Tsunami tragedy, he/she succeeded. My mom had told me about it the night while asking me to be careful if I was going to Tahoe for skiing and I hadn't paid much attention at that time.

In the evening we went to see "Black" which was a tear jerker. I tried very hard not to cry, but had tears in my eyes by the time the movie finished. I can't remember crying in a movie for the longest time. My two favorite parts of the movie are when Amitabh Bacchan is taking the little girl's first lesson and the power goes out. She is unfazed and he hurts himself. The second one was when Rani Mukherjee asks her teacher to kiss her. I was really surprised to see the sexual aspect even touched on. After the movie even a friend who I least expected said he was on the verge of tears.

On the way home I started falling deeper into the gloom and developed a mild headache. I didn't even have the energy to listen to a program on NPR in which James McBride was reading 2 short stories. My mind wandered to my upcoming citizenship interview. I was suppressing the thought since the appointment letter had come. I talked to my friends about it at dinner, but didn't get much sympathy. They dismissed me saying that don’t do it if you feel that way. But I do for different practical reasons. I just consoled myself thinking that it doesn't really matter. It's just a document and not having it won't make me any less Indian.

When we were done with dinner, in an effort to lighten the mood, we decided to rent "Page 3." It turned out to be another heavy movie. At one point I anticipated a child molestation scene. I hoped it wouldn’t be so, but in vain. It was absolutely horrifying despite the pre-sentience. It didn't make me cry though, just added to the heaviness.

Finally after the movie and the discussion ended, I decided to sleep it off. It was too late to drive back to the city so me and my other friend Anupam, who also lives in the city, decided to stay over at a friend’s place in South Bay. We spread our sleeping bags and comforters in the living room and I lied down while he checked his email. He opened a link which was A.R. Rahman's video of "Jan Gan Man." I can't explain why but it makes me very uncomfortable to listen to the National Anthem like this. I hate it when it’s played in a movie. I have to stand up, and if I’m stuck in the middle of a row, I have to disturb everyone and run to the back. I had a bitter argument with Anupam in the morning about it. When he challenged my standing up saying it was just a superficial gesture, the best I couldn’t come up with in my defense was that this is what I’ve been taught.

Anyhow, I stood up at 3 am in the morning and watched the video with him. It exaggerated the feeling of loss I had about giving up my Indian citizenship. When we finally went to bed I couldn't sleep. I told Anupam that I had to cry. He said sleepily, “sure go ahead.” Then after a while he added, a bit reluctantly, "Do you want a shoulder to cry on?" I said I did. (Reminded me of the Seinfeld episode about the girl who cried at everything and Jerry wasn't able to decide if he should make the effort to go over to her couch and pat her back.) I cried for a bit and went back to my side of the sleeping bag and slept soundly. In the end the real culprit turned out to be my hormones. PMS was the physical instigator, causing my emotional sensitivity, ultimately leading to a day of tears, that too a precious weekend day.

Heard of dual citizenship? I guess India started giving that.
Yeah, I was excited to hear about it. But it's so backlogged that they've stopped it for at least a year. And I think it's more like a PIO card. I would definitely get it; don't want to take a visa everytime I visit my own country .
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