Sunday, 19 October 2014

On FC midway point, movies and on absolute anonymity

Exams may come and exams may go, but I can not shake off the habit of watching movies and reading fiction and eating more than twice the daily calorie requirement during exam time. I watched an anime, 'Perfect Blue' (1997) by Satoshi Kan (who also directed 'Millennium Actress' (2001)) and the ever green big daddy of cool movies, 'Big Lebowski' (1998) (The Dude abides!) by the Coen brothers. 'Perfect Blue' is the source/inspiration movie for 'Black Swan' (2010). In fact, many think (including me, after I have watched the movie today) that 'Black Swan' draws heavily from 'Perfect Blue.' Among the many critiques and analyses available on the net, I found this to be the best that compares and contrasts both the movies.The caffeine driven binge movie watching then dovetailed with listening to the OSTs from both the movies and then reading reviews from various fora.

Do my batchmates realize that the 89th Foundation course is half done already? The 'mid term' exams cleave the course duration in to two neat halves. How do you feel now that the course is half empty (or half full, as you wish). The defining event of the Foundation Course, the Great Himalayan Trek is over. Other high points that the OTs may look forward to are the village visit and the India Day. I am guessing the cultural programmes due every fortnight will have been a matter of routine by the end of the course and not many may be enthused by the cross country run and the athletic meets. So what do the OTs look forward to, now? Many deadlines for submission of essays on various topics and reviews of books etc loom on the horizon, like the snow peaks of the Gangotri group, Chaukambha, Kedarnath groups visible from the campus. We move ever closer to scaling new heights.

There are two places in the campus from where one can get unhindered views of the snow clad Himalayas- the library reception area and the mess hand wash area. The Gandhi Smriti Library reception area has the added benefit of having an almost panoramic photograph of the Himalayas on the horizon, labelled with the peak names pasted on the wall above the window making for easy identification. The bronze plate with the peaks marked on it, on the Kalindi Guest House lawns is of no use. The peaks do not correspond to the direction in which they are present and trees in front of the viewing area spoil the views. Other areas in Mussoorie from which an unhindered view of the peaks can be had is the Lal Tibba. Even the Nandadevi peak is said to be visible from there. A visit to the Lal Tibba on a clear sky day is due. The Chaukambha peak group is the most impressive among all the peaks visible from the campus.

Half way through. I am guessing the academy will be a much duller place once the OTs from services other than the IAS leave after the Foundation Course comes to a close. We will think about it when the time comes. As of now, I am yet to know most of my batch mates and vice-versa. The situation can get a bit comical at times, like how in a class of just 7 OTs (a language class), a lady OT wanted to know if I were in the same class as her. After about 50 days in the academy and after as many as 10-15 language classes, I suppose it was a rather tragi-comic statement on many things. Namely, that mere physical presence does not get registered. That people are likely to mistake me for a wall paper. If it were the first time that this has happened, I would be wallowing in self-pity. Alas! This is the umpteenth time that people wake up one day to find that I have had been their group/team mate/coworker etc for quite some time. My colleagues from my stint at a private MNC would identify this incident with that of the 'kind stranger' moniker. I only hope this sort of presence whitewash does not happen with my wife to be. Imagine the awkwardness and the embarrassment if the future wifey wakes up one day and wonders aloud and in alarm as to what I am doing in her house. 

This level of anonymity has its advantages, too. I am seeing a bright future for myself in the world of espionage where the ability to pass off as a wall paper is a great talent to possess. A fly on the wall type is just the kind that a wannabe spy has to be proficient being.

I sincerely hope that by the end of the Foundation Course there may not be many fellow OTs who mistake me for a wall paper.

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