Friday, June 22, 2012

Today is the tomorrow you worried about...yesterday

Often, in life, we don't appreciate what we have. We try to go after what we don't. And thereby lies the hitch. We want every day to be perfect, knowing fully well that it is going to be anything but that. So what is it that keeps all of us going? Hope? Ambition? Love? Whatever you may want to call it, I feel given a chance we'd all like (sub-consciously) to live life - live every single day in fact, in exactly the same way as today. Because then we get a chance to better ourselves. We get a chance to change things for the better if you will. We get - a 2nd chance.

I watched the movie Groundhog Day today.

You know, the funny thing is, many years ago, when it was supposed to be aired on TV (Star TV I guess - back in the early 90s, when star movies was just a segment in Star TV, and not an independent channel), I rescheduled a whole lot of my plans just so I could sit and watch this movie. I'd heard a lot about it.

Guess what? I couldn't.

Some years later, I saw the DVD of the movie, sitting on a shelf in a bookstore. Aha. I had to buy it. I said to myself - "oh well, I'll browse some more, and pick it up on the way back to the payment section."

I never did. I got several opportunities after that day to buy the dvd, borrow the movie from a friend - borrow from a library even. But...I never did. I don't know why.

Then the Internet arrived. Torrents arrived. And One afternoon, it struck me that I'd never gotten around to seeing this movie, after so many failed chances (I don't know if the chances were failed, or whether it just so happened). I ran a search, and voila! It was available. I set it up on queue, and forgot all about it.

This was in 2005...I think. I don't know, I think it was that. Yeah.

So, anyway. I forgot all about it, and the movie might've just sat in the hard disk for the whole time. I don't know, I never bothered to find out. I fixed my computer several times along the way, got myself a new processor (twice in fact), and two monitors. But I never got around to watching this damn movie.

And today, was a day I'd not planned for. Nothing at all. I was sitting in the living room, not thinking about anything in particular. Had a rough day at work, so was just letting my hair down. No TV, no book, no newspaper. Just me (wife and daughter had gone to visit an aunt) and my thoughts.

It was then, that I started thinking about what I could change in my life, given another chance. What. Was it the job? The city? The life? What could I change? And would it be for the better. And oh yes, I did think about writing. Would I be a writer in that 'other' life? Huh? Would I? Would I want to change anything at all?

And Bam. Just like that. I suddenly thought about my old computer. The one that I'd unplugged a while ago. I did most of my work on my laptop anyway. And the old thing had become just that. A thing. And with its thought, came the memory.

Groundhog day! Was it downloaded at all? Would it still be there? Let me check, I thought. I pulled the dusty box off the attic, wiped it clean and assembled the whole thing back again. Yeah, you read it right - I assembled the whole thing again.

As the "1998 model AMD athlon-upgraded-with-at least 2-processors-and a motherboard-son-of-a-metallic-gun" spluttered to life like Rip Van Winkle, I watched the familiar green meadow appear on the monitor. I watched those icons that I'd almost forgotten. I heard the familiar 'ding-a-ling' tune that windows xp (the first version) played when the desktop appeared, and smiled.

Opened the explorer, navigated to a folder I so creatively (and always) name 'movies' :), and opened it. And guess what, I'd actually deleted all my movies from it. Say, as a part of backing it all up on dvds, or moving it all to the laptop. All but one. Groundhog day.

It was like digging a fossil out of a long forgotten era.

I settled in front of the computer, right there on the floor where I'd assembled it all - and watched the movie.

After 7 years. And believe it or not, with tears in my eyes (toward the end). It was as if the movie was a part of my destiny. A part that I would not change at all. A part, no matter how many days I woke up to the same day (watch the movie to understand what I say), would remain the same. Unchanged. Undeleted. Waiting for me to watch it. Again. And again.

It was like time traveling.

So then I asked myself. Would I want life any different from what it is today? Would I want tomorrow to be today - again?

Heck, why not?


cmus said...

Ah non-fiction, finally! I was waiting for such a post, you know. You raised some fascinating questions in your old blog posts. (Yeah, I think I have covered almost all of them.)

Be it background score in real life, or memories via smell, or the origin of music (hilarious :D).

Unfortunately, I haven't seen Groundhog day.

Haritha said...

Nice one! :) Insightful and thought provoking.

Swarnali said...

Ah the joy of finding that thing you thought was lost. I had exactly the same feeling when I saw Kuch Kuch Hota Hai after about 10-12 failed attempts!! It was like meeting a long lost friend :D

Kanthu said...

I sat for a complete 10mins staring at the monitor, thinking, what to comment. This is one of those very special posts. I think its been ages since you posted a Non-fiction, or to be precise, of self-experience or self-observation. And this movie is definitely going into my download list, tonight. I really enjoyed reading this..:-)

phatichar said...

cmus: Ha remember the 'background score' one, huh? Yeah, it's been a while since I jotted down non-fiction. And by golly, it felt good! :)

Watch Groundhog day. It's not an oscar-winning masterpiece, but yeah, it'll definitely strike a chord. Somewhere. Go watch.

Haritha: Thank you. :)

Swarnali: You put it so nicely - long lost friend. Yep, definitely. :)

Kanthu: Thanks, maga. Yeah, after ages is the right expression. And it felt good getting in touch with myself. :) That's great that you're going to watch the movie tonight. Enjoy. :)

kruti said...

:) :)

Shreya said...

It's weirdly not that difficult to understand why you ended up with tears in your eyes. It was even better than finding money in the pocket of really old much better.

Loved the post! And without a ghost of the computer past :P

phatichar said...

Kruti: :)

Shreya: Thank you. And you had to mention 'ghost' :P :D

Rahul said...

LOved this post!!!!Reliving the same day over and over again....that's what Groundhog day was all about!!Making the best of today..your post echoed its sentiments well...Awesome job!!!!

sumitra said...

" Would I be a writer in that 'other' life?" -- You already are one. :)

I've watched Groundhog day three times so far. The first was, in fact, on star movies. Way back in 1998 I think. :) It's been on my all-time-favourites list ever since. Yes, it is a movie worth dusting and assembling your old computer for, and watching it then and there.

Strange how these things happen, eh? ;)

phatichar said...

Rahul: Thanks, buddy ;-)

sumitra: Oh, you bet they do! :)

austere said...

i think you'd. No?
Compliments on your RH story too.

phatichar said...

austere: Welcome back! :) Oh you read that? Pleasantly surprised. :P

How're things? :)

Vidya said...

So beautifully written! The kind of post that grows on you.
The world around me is always in such a mad rush- to a seemingly important tomorrow...sometimes without the realization that today is that tomorrow!
Havent watched this movie...but i must. Loved the title of your post. Also the analogies- digging a fossil out...
Most things that percolate our minds are at a very subconscious level. We r often not aware of them being tucked into our mind...or we just choose to ignore them. And then some day, they just gently surface...knocking harder n harder until we heed to them. That is the moment destined for them- for we r ready for them now. The fact that this movie was always ther...within reach...and yet it took so long to heed to the urge to watch it, makes it immensely valuable to u :)

phatichar said...

Vidya: Welcome! :)

I think you managed to nail it in a way even I couldn't have. Articulate, yet not without the feelings flowing through the words. "That is the moment destined for them - for we are ready for them now". Ah. Beautifully conveyed. Which is exactly what I intended to say. And believe me, that very thought was coursing through my brain-cells even as I watched the movie ( you must definitely watch it. Once.), that here it was, lying so close - yet, unwatched.

I read your post about childhood. Left me speechless. :)

Rohu said...

Its such a profound post! And title took my brains for a spin.. I am awestruck at how beautifully you have managed to put in words. My poor expression wont allow me to really tell you how deeply I felt it. What an overwhelming feeling it must have been. Of rediscovering..and how much pains you took just to see it there.. waiting for you... This one will be one of my absolute favorites on your blog. :)

Rohan said...

I think I have never seen a non fiction post here, ever since I start reading this blog.. It is good to see the change..
Really deep and profound thoughts you have put across.. I think each day is different from any other day in your life. Life is the biggest and the best suspense thriller for you dont know which moment the twist is gonna come and change your life forever.

Arunima said...

will check out the movie and see if it evokes any feeling.

Aishwarya said...

OKay i am totally a fan of your writing now! This post is beautiful:)

I love the narrative style in your posts. Grips the reader.

Have a nice weekend!

Aishwarya said...

OKay i am totally a fan of your writing now! This post is beautiful:)

I love the narrative style in your posts. Grips the reader.

Have a nice weekend!

Mirage said...

How do you write so effortlessly? It is always a pleasure to read your posts. Smooth! :-)

Groundhog Day..hmm..the concept of the movie is really nice. I too have days where I feel the urge to relive my present either to mend my mistakes or to enjoy it one more time. But then again isn't it so human to have this urge? Plus, I have this strong belief that whatever happens, happens for the best and if I change it, I might not get the best result as has been planned for me in the natural course. :-)

Vidya said...

I have always believed that writing is a two-way process. The reader extends the writer's thought process. A phenomenon of mutual growth.
This post has sparked me to write about an experience from my own life. Will put it up very soon.
Also, if we look at life very closely, we realize that life is an assortment of todays...our tomorrows are merely about us growing enough to be able to absorb our todays and give it newer dimensions.
It is the same infinity that surrounds us each day...just that we have travelled a little more each day :)
look forward to reading more of u....

phatichar said...

Rohu: Thanks...your comments make my day, as always :) (how're you doing now?)

Rohan: Yeah, been a while since I switched to only fiction. Dig into my archives of around 5 - 6 years back;full of non-fiction notes. :) Thanks for commenting, friend.

Arunima: Heyy..look who's here finally :) - erm, I don't know if it would evoke any feeling in you at present - given your newfound 'love', you're most likely to be engulfed/smothered/taken up by the 'ga-ga-goo-goo' kinda feelings. :D How're you doing, girl? Congrats, once again. :) Take care...

Aishwarya: Nice of you to say that :) - you have a great weekend too! :)

Mirage: Come to think of it, I don't write at all :) I just key in the words as they spill out of my brain, heheh.. :P No, seriously. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

Vidya: Aha, now that's nice. Looking forward to that post, doc. You take care now. :)

Bikramjit said...

Well finally the tomorrow became TODAY.. which is just awesome isn't it .. Loved the way you explanined ot all .. you have a gift SIR of weaving magic..

nd that movie indeed is a lovely movie , I think I will watch it tooo today , when i return home


phatichar said...

Bikram: Welcome sir, long time indeed! :) Thank you for the kind words..

Anonymous said...

I just loved this experience you shared with us Sri.
I know what you mean. It has happened a lot of times. It has happened to me with "You've got mail". it is precisely these reasons that make one's day so special. And then when the whole chain of events unfolds and you link your today, your past and everything with the movie and realize how apt and how eeriely it was conspired to happen then, it makes you wnder in awe.

I just lvoed the way you said it. I haven't watched the movie. I am raring ot watch it now. Or maybe someday, a spate of events will lead me to it in the strangest way possible.

phatichar said...

Toffee: Thanks for the kind words, and its lovely the way you put it all - " eerily it was conspired to happen..."- true, true. :)

Watch it, if you get your hands on it. It's a nice li'l movie; will bring a smile on your lips I'm sure.

the little princess said...

wow! reading a piece like this feels almost like connecting to the person you are...have known you only through your fiction so far, so this piece sure is special!

but you know what, fiction or not, you have your own spin, your own way with the words, they just dance how you make them dance! lovely..

phatichar said...

Princess: Ah, long time :)'re being too kind. Thanks a lot.

Me said...

Wow...reminded me of my passion for a particular song of Kenny G. Till date I have bought some 15 CDs /DVD/ casettes with song and mysteriously it vanishes as I lend it to someone. Time and again I take the pain of getting it back..and do i enjoy it - yes I do. I love it and enjoy every bit of the searching that it requires because the song has a part of me in it.

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