Movie Scenes That Have Stayed With Me.

Recently, I solved a crossword puzzle with the word ‘CASABLANCA’. This brought back such vivid memories of the film of the same name that I thought of another film that also has stayed with me as a favorite. That was Spartacus.

In Casablanca, the two scenes that have stayed fresh in my mind as though I had seen the movie only yesterday are the first one where, Rick (Humphrey Bogart) tells Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) to go with her husband as otherwise she would regret not having done so sooner than later. The other scene that has stayed with me all this while is the last one, typical of films of those days, when the two heroes walk off into the sunset, and Rick says “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
On reflection, both scenes are very ordinary in current cinematography standards. You will however have to give allowance for me in India seeing the film much after it was made as a rerun at a Sunday morning show, when I was perhaps in my early twenties and everything American was fascinating. I remember going to the movie primarily to see Humphrey Bogart as my parents used to talk about him a lot and I had never seen him in any other film. I thought that the film was a let down after the great promotion for the morning show.

I believe that both the statements have stayed with me all these years for the impact that such decisions have on human beings. In the first scene referred, one never knows whether the decision that Ilsa takes is the right one nor whether the reason that Rick offers for the decision, the right one.

In the case of the last scene, the fact is that I have made many friendships from some seemingly difficult situations. Two such friendships have continued to be extremely strong and have endured more than three decades. The two friends that I refer to will read this and understand the underlying emotion. It is difficult, even after all these years, to write about the situations from which we ‘escaped’.

In the case of Spartacus, due to a series of coincidences, I had to see the film, if my memory serves me right, seven or eight times. Much later, during my Senior Management days, I remembered the film and got a Video Tape and used to show it in training programs. The scene that has stayed with me all these years, is where Crassus (Lawrence Olivier) asks the captured slaves to give up Spartacus so that the others can at least live. Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) steps out and says, “I am Spartacus”. Immediately, all the other slaves stand up and say the same thing one after the other. This scene had such an impact on me that I used it and got other trainers to use it in team building exercises as well as to illustrate the value that death is sometimes more valuable than ignominy.

One of my greatest regrets has been my inability to find the famous “Me Tarzan, You Jane” quip in a Tarzan movie. I understand that it was neither used in the original novel nor in the films. What a pity! I have of course used it in many situations where I had gone to the help of damsels in distress.

There are some memorable scenes from Hindi and Tamil films too that have stayed with me over the years and I shall blog about them in another blog where I intend posting essentially Indian matters.

Have you some scenes/famous lines like these that have stayed with you for many years?

Health Check.

I was introduced to this site by my blog friend Mitch.

He spoke so highly of the site and also challenged his readers to take the test. I did and am glad that I did. While there is nothing seriously wrong with me, the advise that I have received after I answered the test, is very reassuring and based on common sense.

I strongly recommend my readers to visit the site and check out for themselves.

Being Informal? Or Is It Rudeness?

I am normally up and about before the LOH comes out of the bedroom and on her way to the porch, pops in at the kitchen to say “good morning” while I struggle with our morning cuppa. When I take it to her at the porch, she inevitably says “thank you”. In a normal day, she would thank me, the help and some of our friends to the extent of at least a dozen times. She would also say “sorry” a few times to the same recipients. We have been married for forty years and before that, knew each other for another eight years, and she has always been like this.

It is not as though she is alone in our household who is like this. Our son, brought up excellently by her while I was mostly away from home, does this too. AND, believe it or not, so do I.

It is not that we do this automatically without really meaning it. Far from it. We really mean it and hope that by saying these words, we can convey our gratitude or regret in a sincere manner.

By now, you must be yawning! The point of the post is that these simple courtesies, that we grew up with, seem to be disappearing. Recently, perhaps because of my creeping senility, I have been noticing that the younger crowd simply cannot be bothered. When I pointedly ask about it, I am told that it is passe. What is “in” is informality.

If informality means that one need not be well mannered and polite, I do not want to have any thing to do with it. Unfortunately, informality, perhaps also means insensitivity. While the other person considers being informal as cool, he or she does not have the sensitivity to recognize that the older person is not in the same “band width”. I personally believe that such behavior is not informal, but rude.

While I have been musing about this particular aspect of modern life, I came across an amazing OP ED reflecting on similar thoughts, all the way from New York. Since it is written by a professional journalist, it is much better written and I wish to share it with all of you.

What is your opinion on this development? Do you also come across this often, or am I being paranoid?

The Refugee Problem In India – II

I dedicate this post to my blog friend Teenie. Why? For these pithy words in her comment on one of my earlier posts “I enjoyed Mitch’s post and your comments. I like how you are “divinely” gifted with your blog post ideas. LOL. Mine just seem to happen to me too. Herm Albright’s quote was great. I hope I annoy lots of people. Heehee.”

Teeni, Here is how I am divinely gifted with my ideas for blog posts.

A friend of mine, who reads all my blogs but, much to my dismay, refuses to comment on them but sends me emails on them. He has, for a change telephoned me this morning to complain that I have overlooked three very important groups in my post “Give Your Voice For Refugees”

The first one that he complained about is the group of Hindu Kashmiri Pandits who had to flee the Kashmir valley when
Islamic terrorists made life difficult for them there over 19 years ago. I plead guilty and have given a link to a news item which should assuage my friend’s hurt feelings.

My friend however is a stickler for details with a prodigious memory. He and I were neighbors in Delhi in the early 1980s and he reminded me of the Afghan refugees who fled to India when the Russians invaded Afghanistan. Both of us had met quite a few of them as they rented accommodation near where we lived and participated in many of the locality’s social activities. I had to do some digging to find out what ever happened to them and did eventually come up with some information. I offer a poor and aging memory as an excuse and give a link to an interesting article here.

The third group came as a complete surprise to me. I did not know that they existed within India. Apparently, some Palestinians landed up in India after the fall of Sadam Hussein. While I am indeed happy that they are happy to have found new homes and are about to leave, that they were accomodated here by Indians is precisely the point that I had made in my earlier post. I plead ignorance of this group and give you a link here about them.

Having done this, I shall now send an email to my friend and tell him that I have made amends.

A Poignant Story.

A friend of mine from the USA has just sent me this very poignant story with the comment that this story reflects certain popular feelings just now in the USA.

I am not qualified to comment, not being an American, but this humor is of a genre that is rather outdated for all its effectiveness. I am sharing it with my readers many of who are Americans and eagerly await some comments!

One sunny day in February 2009 an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he’d been sitting on a park bench.

He spoke to the U.S. Marine standing guard and said, ‘I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.’

The Marine looked at the man and said, ‘Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.’

The old man said, ‘Okay’ and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, ‘I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.’

The Marine again told the man, ‘Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here.’

The man thanked him and, again, just walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same U.S. Marine, saying ‘I would like to go in and meet with President Bush.’

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, ‘Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I’ve told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don’t you understand?’

The old man looked at the Marine and said, ‘Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it.’

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, ‘See you tomorrow.’