Sunday, 7 December 2014

On a ruined building and a boring movie

There are good places for a short walk of less than an hour around the academy. One such place is the ruins close to the Mussoorie Modern School. A road branches off to the left when one comes from the Library Point towards the academy. The ruins are visible from afar. One reaches them by a short walk on a gravel path, the stone chips under the shoes sound as if a giant has been munching potato wafers underfoot. The fried variety, not the boiled ones.

The ruined building with a fire place had an eerie feel to it. The roof had caved in and the walls too would follow. The premises were free of tell tale signs of tourist abuse-graffiti, declarations of love etched in to the plaster on the walls, bottles of beer or cheap whisky, ugly plastic wrappers of chips packets etc. 

The neat ruins were a contrasted juxtaposition on the nature of the ruined building. The decency and the cleanliness with which its walls still stood lent some solemnity to the ruins. Access to the building might have been regulated or outright banned for there was a rusted old sign prohibiting trespassers and glaring dire warnings. However, the paint was lost with large flakes of rust and the unkind admonition was ignored, with good results.

Immediately behind the ruins was a rocky outcrop which has the best views in Mussorie and of Mussoorie. Seated there on the ledge, with the sun rising ahead of you, a sapphire blue sky above you and yellowish green mist and grass and the trees beneath you, one can see the snow peaks and the massifs (Swargarohini, Bandarpunch, parts of the Gangotri range) to the north, Dehra Dun to the south east and the twin towns of Mussoorie and Landour to the north and the north east. A near panoramic view.

One dreads the day when one has to leave these hills and the pleasant winter mornings and go back to the grey, dreary, joyless cities, crowded, polluted, soulless artificialities dead to beauty.

An occasional foray to Dehra Dun reinforces the dread. Add to the toxic fumes and the intemperate city spirit a headache of a movie, the 3D version of Exodus: Kings and Gods and etc. Ridley Scott terrorized us with Prometheus with atrocious dialogues as this.

"Janek: You know, if you wanna get laid, you really don't have to pretend to be interested in the pyramid scan. I mean, you could just say, "Hey, I'm trying to get laid." Heh.
Meredith Vickers: I could. I could say that, right? But then it wouldn't make sense why I would fly myself half a billion miles from every man on Earth if I wanted to get laid, would it?
Janek: Hey, uh, Vickers. Hey, Vickers. I was wondering... Are you a robot?
Meredith Vickers: [scoffs] My room. Ten minutes."

He continues the streak with Exodus too. There seems to be a prudish turn to Scott which makes him approach the subject of sex with stilted dialogue.

This is but a minor niggle compared to the lugubrious length of two and half hours aided by a very thin, familiar biblical plot. In the end there is only so much a director can imagine and it shows. The only effort seems to be in trying to provide a pseudo scientific explanation to the 10 plagues visited on the Egyptians by the god of the Jews. This effort too gets abandoned midway. The movie therefore was a disappointment.

The last week of FC is hard upon us. And so are the deadlines for pulling a rabbit out of one's hat and organize the one act play. A last gasp of strenuous activity.

The academy wore a deserted look today on account of a host of people going home for the weekend, the usual Delhi suspects, people taking part in river rafting at Rishikesh, organized by the Adventure Club and by people visiting the Rajaji National park.

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