This weekend we didn’t plan any outings. Usually, the missus and I take our kids to places like the children’s museum where they can learn and have fun at the same time.But not this weekend. Why? Well, sometimes you need to spend time with yourself too.So, I spent the weekend curled up in my pajamas and watched movies.
As a teen I didn’t have the time, money or even friends who had the time to watch movies. We were busy preparing to get into India’s elite engineering colleges.Between the entrance coaching, the school work and sleep, 24 hours was just enough.But this gloom lasted only for two years. There was treasure at the end of the rainbow. Engineering syllabus was a walk in the park. I had ample time to finish my assignments and engage in my favorite pastime – watching movies.
To make up for lost time, I used to watch a movie a day. We used to pool the movies between three houses in which my friends and I were put up. I wasn’t choosy. Quantity over quality.Language was never a barrier either. We watched English, Regional languages or Foreign movies like Arabian, Japanese, Thai, South American, or just about movie with English subtitles. The fact that I wasn’t too particular about the genre helped a lot.
In 2002, I graduated and took a job in my hometown. As worked piled heavenwards, movie watching took a back seat. During weekends, I used to take my mom out or spend time at the beach with friends. As there was no computer at home, some weekends I spent time at the office working or just sleeping. The Indian IT industry has managers who don’t mind calling their resources on weekends to do extra work. Of course, we were never paid overtime.For three years, I worked as a tech coolie and prepared for my MBA in parallel. Again, there was treasure at the end of the rainbow.
In 2005, I cracked CAT and went to North India (Gurgaon) for my MBA. Although the demanding schedule squeezed every ounce of energy from the students, I managed to average 2 movies a week during first year and a movie a day in the second year. This time, resources were plenty as most of my batch-mates carried a mature collection of movies on our external hard drives. It seemed as though a generation of youth had been brought up on a staple diet of movies.
So, Why did I do it? Simple. It was an escape.At times, therapy too.
Some people do drugs. Some smoke or chew tobacco while others drink themselves silly to escape the mundane. Watching movies was my thing. It was my meditation. I used headphones to hang onto every audio visual detail. When engrossed, my breathing would slow down and I was focused completely on the present moment. Pure “Here and Now” Zen bliss.
This weekend, I relived my experiences as a college student by watching 4 movies. It was fun. It was relaxing. It was a welcome change from my usual weekends as a twin-dad. There’s another reason too. I’m disappointed with myself that I’m living in an another continent while my brother got engaged to his girl friend of two years. Although we are visiting India in December for their marriage, I wish I was with him today to share his joy.