Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thoughts through a free fall

Well, whaddaya know, I finally managed to watch a movie in that hallowed realm of budgetary reality, last minute arrival and fear of returning from the theatre empty handed, without a ticket. Yup, I finally became what I had long imagined myself one day to be, a front bencher.

The movie chosen for the honour was Avatar. Not much of a story as such, but what a rich canvas! 3D is the way of the future for sure. But since coming into touch with my limited critiquing abilities, I have ceased reviewing movies and games. What I will talk about instead, is the one image that I carried back with me, all the way to home. That magical moment when we dive into Pandora, from the gates of heaven. A heart stopping, breath taking moment that left me numb and smiling wistfully like a dumb pup.

Why do flying and diving hold such fascination for most of us? Is it an inner expression of freedom that rings true throughout the passage of time? A defiance against the oppressive bond of gravity that makes us drag our feet through the earth? And the activity of diving, when you return to your abode, picking up speed, wind whistling around you, wind buffeting and holding you up, the ground swelling and sprinting to embrace you. And in the last second, you hold up, and pull thumb your nose at the eager earth below as you take your time in making contact again.

We build the tallest buildings in the world, straining our necks to see the top and imagining what the view must be like from up there. And when you get there, the first thing you do is look down at the ground you just left. Why?

It's the same thing with flying. On the ground you can't wait to be airborne and during take off, a weird thrill courses through your head, as you wait with bated breath for that magic moment, when the wheels break free of the runway and the wings shudder. A couple of drops and rise that churn your stomach. All this while, your eyes are not focused on the unfamiliar neighbourhood you're passing through, but instead gazing back at the land below, taking in its shapes and contours, even though you've spent all your life on it.

Is our life then spent in jealousy of the birds and insects, free to go wherever they want, unencumbered by visas and passports, not fazed by the huge tracts of lands between destinations? All the shifting of bases nothing more than a throwback to our migration instincts? Is it why each time, a plane passes overhead, we all crane our necks up to take in its passage, even though it remains a sight as familiar as the bus or train arriving at their destinations? Is that why poets soar on flights of fancy to reach new heights and crash to all time new lows?

Cripes, where's the rip cord on this thing? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHH