Saturday, 21 November 2009
"The World is a lie, The World is a dream" sings Karim, the protagonist of the Persian movie, The Song of Sparrows.
The film is so strong in its emotional and ethical content that you would want this movie to just go on and on.
A brief storyline: Karim, an honest man, lives in a village in Iran with his family and works in an Ostrich farm. He loses his job when one of the Ostriches runs away because of his mistake. Then one day he travels to Tehran to buy his eldest daughter Haniyeh's hearing aid where he is mistook for a motorbike-for-hire and thus begins his new job as a motorcycle-taxi driver. The new, mean place tests at every point his honesty, his struggle to make living, his efforts to impart honesty in his children and his patience for Hussain, his young son, who he thinks is becoming a wanderer.
The best thing about the movie is its screenplay, every frame of every scene tells a story.
Here are some of the best scenes from the movie:
Karim collects junkyard at his home of which is one blue door. When his wife Narges gives it away to a relative Karim runs to their house to get the door back. They offer tea but he donot accept, then while he struggles to get the door out of the house they offer sherbet, but he doesnot listen. An old man carries the door on his back over vast field back to his home. This shows how materialistic he has become. And when that night Narges cries over it he sings a beautiful song to console which shows that he is still a caring husband.
Karim finds his son Hussain and daughter Haniyeh selling flowers on the highway with other bunch of kids. He thinks these kids are wasting their time and chases them to stop it. He takes her daughter home and when Hussain comes back he very angrily slashes him with a whip. Narges stops and says he did so to get money to buy fishes. This makes Karim more angry as they were talking impossible because the reservoir of water is a filthy place. He takes a shovel and rushes to the reservoir to bring it down. As he approaches it he slows down to see the water beautifully green and clear. The light coming out of the window enhances the beauty of it. He cools down and sits on the ground. Then he sees all the mud and slit that was cleaned by Hussain and friends lying at a distance. And to add to the emotion the hand and leg prints of the kids are shown on the mud.
Karim has to move a refrigerator from one dealer to another but due to a problem in bike he losts his way. He brings the fridge to his home but next day tries to sell it to some genuine dealers. No one buys. One man offers him quite a good amount of money to sell it to him unofficially. But Karims decides not to and returns it to the one he gets it from.
Karim while in traffic sees a young girl which reminds him of her youngest daughter. He thinks of giving her some money but he doesnot have change. He makes an effort to drag his bike and ask change to nearby people in cars. But he get none and the traffic runs green. The point here is he asks change which itself is a small denomination of money. He wants to give her something but also thinks of his situation. Finally he moves away without giving her anything.
Karim meets and accident and has to stay at home. He sees all his family members working together and working hard everyday. Haniyeh applies ointment to his bruised legs while he asked about her hearing aid. She says it is working fine and she can hear loud and clear. He insists he will bring a new one from town but she says she can replace cells and it will work better. Just then she turns around to search the cap of the ointment tube to her right. Karim tells her that its to her left but she doesnot respond. Karim repeats but in vain, then he taps on her shoulder and says the cap is on the left. She takes the cap and leaves.
Karim is sitting while her youngest daughter is drawing on the plaster on his legs. Narges calls Hussain from outside the house while Hussain sleeps inside. Karim thinks of waking him up and when he drags himself towards him he discovers bruises on Hussain's palm. He then realises how serious is Hussain about the fishes.
Karim is waiting on the bench in the town for his friend to pick him up along with Hussian.
Hussains goes to a shop and asks for Orange Juice which costs 400 tamans. Hussain asks for 350 but the shopkeeper denies. He takes one and goes and gives it to his father. When asked why did he not bring one for himself he says he doesnot like orange juice. Karim takes a sip and gives the rest to Hussain.
All the fishes that Hussain and friends have earned accidentally spills while they try to save them from dying as the drum that held them had a hole. But now the drum has a bigger gap and all the fishes are on ground gasping for breath. As they see all their dreams and hardwork shattered they quickly decide to save the fishes from dying rather than finding another drum. They push every fish in the alongside, flowing water and let them all free. All were sad and crying as they do it. While returning home Karim consoles them all by singing a beautiful song that goes somewhat like this, "My flowers are withered, My fishes are gone.......The world is a lie, the world is a dream."
The movie ends with a beautiful ostrich dance.
This is the most beautiful movie I have ever seen. There is NO hanky-panky in the movie. It is emotional, humourous, pure and simple life.
Here a sneak-peak:
Friday, 20 November 2009
First thing thanks for all who submitted their stories, I have presented the relevant ones below as links. These are really great! The others I received were not stories so I didnot post them, I am sorry but this is strictly for short stories.
Second thing, sorry I am two days late to post this edition, was busy in office stuff.
Those who submitted post 15th of Nov, will be posted in next edition.
So here goes...
Welcome to the November 18, 2009 edition of writers lounge - only short fiction stor.
That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of writers lounge - only short fiction stor using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.
Friday, 13 November 2009
Two friends watching television while having dinner, me and he. I had the remote in my hand and was surfing channels in ascending order.
I came across "GOD" channel which is a christian faith channel on which are aired christian music, programmes, commentaries and stage lectures.
One such lecture was being shown on it and I stopped for a while to listen.
He: Move on, change the channel.
Me: Few mins, let me listen what is he saying.
He: Change it man!
Me: Few mins dude.
He: They will be going on speaking something, you change it.
Me: Let me listen...you know everything I dont. (sarcastic)
He: Nope, change it quickly...(he understood the sarcasm :) )
Me: Aah, whats the use, you are not letting me listen, what do you know about christianity man?
He: I know one thing, you sin as you wish, then confess on a sunday and you are sinless again, thats christianity.
Me: Oh yeah, what else? (sarcastic again)
He: Nothing else and I dont want to know more...
Me: Well you should then.
I changed the channel as I knew I can watch it later. (GOD is a 24 hour channel)
We all had our dinner and just talking and were about to go to sleep. Me, He and They.
Me: Think I will go to sleep now.
They: We too.
He: I am not feeling like sleeping. Do you have any thing to read, any novel?
Me: We have one, "Tell me your dreams" , Sidney Sheldon's.
He: Oh, I have already read that. Anything else, feeling like starting one now.
Me: We have ebooks..."Time Machine" I think....
He: No ebooks, I like to read it from a paperback...
Me: Hmm, I have a copy of Quran in my cupboard, you can take it from there...
He: Oh, Quran? Thats in arabic rt?
Me: I have an english translation and transliteration too...
He: Oh, ok, aanh but no, not Quran..
Me: Thats what we have now then, its good, you can read...
He: No, I was thinking of reading a story..I think Quran will have all the stuff like dont tell lies, dont do bad things, etc...
Me: Quran is like a story, although poetic, but you can understand it nicely...
He: Aanh, Someother time... if nothing else is there think I should go to sleep...
Me: Nothing else, ok.
I was reading the first chapter of Bhagwad Gita where I came across the name "Sanjay", reminded me of a friend. I was readinng an ebook on my friends laptop. Me and He.
Me: Hey you also have a audio file right, for Bhagwad Gita.
He: Yes, but thats in pure Sanskrit, we will not understand.
Me: Ohk, tell me one thing, the whole Mahabharata's fight is told by Sanjay to the king? How does he see it?
He: That is like supernatural, he could see the battlefield through some mantras while sitting in the court, he had that virtue.
He: And Bhagwad Gita is only a part of Mahabharata, it contains all the teachings of Krishna to Arjuna when Arjuna withdraws to fight with his brothers.
He: After the teachings, Arjuna fights with his brothers and thus Mahabharata ends. Only the teaching part is Bhagwad Gita, remaining story is in Mahabharata book.
Me: Ohk, so you are telling that Bhagwad Gita basically teaches why you should fight with your brothers.
He: Nope, its not like that.
Me: But you just said so... you know it right, its your religion...
He: o, I didnt tell you completely, Arjuna's brothers were Kauravas, the evil ones...
Me: I know that, I know the story of Mahabharata, every Indian knows, B.R.Chopra gets the credit...
He: Then how can you say so...
Me: I just wanted to tell you one thing... since I am not from your religion, and so I hear stories from people who belong to your religion. They are not well read in it, so they tell me in bits and pieces and I create a mindset of mine and thus "misconceptions" start from here. When I said that Bhagwad Gita teaches why should you fight with your brother, that's a misconception in my mind, and this misconception will hinder me from further researching in your religion. I will think "Oh yours is a bad religion, why should I even bother to read about it". This is the reason why you don't want to read about Christianity or Islam. Some misconception stops you. Or thoughts like "its the same old thing in all religions so whats the use in reading it" stops you. So my suggestion, if you have any idea, may be right or wrong, you should not move away from getting knowledge...
He: Whats the use in today's world? It will not fetch me a job...
Me: Atleast you will know it, so that tomorrow if someone wants to create a riot by telling something about other religion you will know who is right and who is wrong and not take part in such riots...
He: Aah, ok. May be slowly I will know about all religions...I know mine for sure.
Me: Yes ofcourse, you will know slowly, I am only telling that dont move away because of any pre-conceived idea when you have a chance to learn. You know yours, hmm, may be, can you tell me how many gods are you supposed to worship mainly as a Hindu?
He: 3, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.
Me: You sure, it is not 300 or 33 crores?
He: Yes sure.
Me: Well I think your answer is wrong.
Friday, 6 November 2009
"It's quite cold today, oooo," sighed Dinesh while rubbing his palms together.
"What do you mean its cold today?" argued Hanif, "Its cold everyday!"
"Let me tell you, this is the winter season, you know weeen-terrr," acted Rajiv and everybody bursted out in laughs except Dinesh.
"Hey! I mean its colder than other days, you know, colder than yesterday."
"Hey, hey cool down, temperature boy!" said the most elder person in the team, Manoj.
"They are always picking on me Manoj sir," continued Dinesh in the tone of a weeping-five-year-old.
"We are picking on you?" exclaimed Hanif, while everybody grabbed their cups of tea. He continued, "No way, its just the statements you make. Is your body a temperature measuring device, or remaining all of us dont have senses?"
"Where's the scale, Dinesheit" laughed Rajiv.
"Hey stop it, alright. Its not, alright, its not colder today, it never was, so just change the topic," reasoned Dinesh.
Manoj could see that Dinesh didnt like it and so he said, "Enough you guys, now." Although Manoj was only two-years senior in the team, he was quite elder than all and was much respected. He continued, "By the way Dinesh, how can you say that its not colder today, I think it is."
Everybody bursted out laughing and Dinesh smiled.
Just then Srinivas, the newest member of the team joined them in the "tea break".
"Hey Srini," welcomed Hanif, "wanna cigarette?"
"Anh, No, I don't smoke."
"So Srinivas, where you from?" asked Manoj.
"Ante Manode anamata," smiled Rajiv.
"Hey, hey, hey... no code languages," said Dinesh and dipped in his cup.
"Parledu, vadiki konchem loosele," gestured Rajiv running his forefinger on his temple.
Srinivas gave a faint smile.
"So whats your experience in it my boy?" asked Hanif.
"In what, ah...s..sir".
"Call me Hanif," he puffed his cigarette, "You know in this field."
"Oh, Ah, Its my first time."
"Ooh, you still a virgin," shouted Rajiv, "Dont worry, you will be totally fucked up too."
Very inspiring words for a fresher Rajiv," said Manoj.
"What do you mean?" asked Srinivas.
"He means," said Dinesh, "We are heating our butts since five weeks and still no action."
"I wanna join another team," said Hanif, "I heard people at the back end are doing well."
"Technically, we dont normally see much action there," Manoj argued.
"Yes, atleast we would know what and when something happens and we dont have to waste our time in frequent tea breaks," said Hanif.
"You all are wishing..." Srinivas tried to say something when Rajiv interrupted, "This is not a waste of time, its called de-stressing."
"Yeah, de-stressing, and Dinesh is our de-stressor!" said Hanif and laughed.
"Hey, dont come back on me again."
"What he means, Dinesh, is," reasoned Rajiv while stressing on each word, "If you were not in our team the morale of the team would have been low." Dinesh felt a little pleased when Rajiv continued, “You know, it always makes us forget our worries when we hear how you, during our training, toppled of the six feet wall while trying to peek at a girl, and how you jumped of your seat when a lizard crawled over your lap, which by the way was a piece of rope, and how you tried to crack a …..”
“Hey! Manoj sir, asked them to stop,” argued Dinesh.
“Bottomline….,” said Rajiv, “You keep our spirits alive, maybe unintentionally, but you do.”
“You sure do!” said Manoj.
“Did you hear about the heroic act of Dinesh when he tried to runaway from the training sessions but was caught because he forgot to tie his shoe lace?” said Hanif to Srinivas.
“Havaldar Manoj Singh,” said a voice while entering through the barricade, “Your presence is required at the Subedar’s base…seems it has started.”
“I will be right there Havaldar Ahmed Shah,” said Manoj while answering his salute, “Any more news.”
“Not exactly sure but inside word, infiltration has been confirmed.”
Manoj turned towards the others and said, “Let me check out.” He left the fortification.
“That’s bad news,” said Rajiv.
“Wait a sec,” said a surprised and confused Srinivas, “Weren’t you a little while ago wishing for it.”
“Well, sort of,” replied Rajiv.
“We don’t wish for a war, no soldier does,” added Dinesh, “It’s just that when you hear about it, and know that its inevitable you want it to start and end quickly.”
“Tell me one thing, Srinivas, why did you join army?” asked Hanif.
“And don’t tell me that you want to die for the motherland. Your father pushed you, friends or just the situation. You want to earn, marry and live a life don’t you.”
“Aanh, ,actually..I do want both of them. Earn, marry, live and then die for the motherland.”
“Oh, come on,” said Rajiv, “You cannot do it that way. What you can do is fight, survive, win and earn and marry.”
Dinesh got up from his seat and saw Manoj exiting from the Subedar’s tent and heading towards them. He said, “Well, I think the moment has come for it.”