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Showing posts from February, 2005

Invisible Cities - II

Calvino's fictional cities delve into the mind of each city that you and I have known or could have known from our personal view of immediate outside world. The personal account of your life could exactly sound like someone else'. Or the kind of experience and people that you met at first job that you had done in city C would sound agonizingly similar to some one else, if you shift the time a little bit. There must always be someone who fought your fights, cried your cries, dreamt your dreams and lived your life in some city that you think you lived and known for a lifetime.

I remember watching the movie American Beauty starting with a flickering mosaic image of the city populated by the affluent and the succesfull before it begins to tear down the beauty apart to reveal the ugly, it reminded me that it could have been another city I knew. Alright. Let's have Italo calvino's account of a few more cities:

...In Olinda, if you go out with a magnifying glass and hunt caref…

Invisible Cities - I

Sometimes you get hold of a book in one of those rare triumphs of neural probabilistic chances. Memory of the reading would make you realize the existence of a whole different set of tools to sculpt your concepts of this world and beyond, upon opening page after page. I have been haunted by the memory of such a book I read a long while back. It is titled Invisible Cities, written by Italo Calvino. A skinny book which condensed the experience of living in and sensing cities in abstract and revealing ways.

Since I am as fascinated by the metaphysics and architectures of cities equally or more as the nocturnal rodent, the cab fellows and the hitchhiking executives, I got hooked with the matter-of-fact, almost parable evoking but incisive visions set ablaze in the book. Each chapter unveils a different city as narrated in the conversation between Kublai Khan, the tartar emperor and Marco Polo, the traveller. Marco talks about the cities with such great tangents that would leave you gasp in…

The short lasting moments in life

Watched the movie Raincoat the other day. The twist at the end owed it to O.Henry's "The Gift of Magi" - the endearing story of Della and Jim who were in an exalted state of affection for each other, set out in their own selfless ways to make each other happy. Della Counted her dollar and dimes again and again to think of the right gift for Jim. She finally settled for a platinum chain for his watch he inherited from his father. How would she buy it? She sold her long cascading hair. When Jim came he popped his little present - a Comb Set for her hair which he bought in exchange of his gold watch!

It is a simple plot and an emotion captured in a single twist. To carry that the spark to a full length movie would be too much to ask. However Raincoat is exploring a much more delicate and deeper sense of life in a familiar situation. Manu (Ajay Devgan), still grappling with the reality of his shattered dreams, hopes and desires afetr the love of his life married to another an…