Monday, August 27, 2012

Itna sannata kyun hai bhai - The real implications

The allure of this article was its promise to reveal to us, at last, the implications of the iconic dialogue that has haunted us for years. Why was it iconic when neither the actor nor the character ever was? The answer must lie in the words themselves.
Disappointingly, the article is another bogey, another Rahul-Vatsiyan mediocrity trying to catch our eyeballs, like the lifting of a eunuch’s skirt with nothing to show underneath. The implication turned out to be, hold your breath, it was “a great example of understanding the value of silence.” 
Ergo, If Hangal stepped out asking “Itnee garmee kyun hai?”, he would have understood the value of heat. Brilliant insight.

And then it informs us in phrases seemingly cut and pasted from an IITian’s tale, that “The drama in the scene was heightened to such a level that the spectators found it easy to cry than to see Rahim's about to happen condition.
First of all, I have never, never, seen anyone cry for Rahim chacha. In the 70s, moviegoers used to clap when Sachin died.
Secondly, the thing about “about to happen condition” needs to be explained to me again. “Than” what? If you have to murder the language, just murder it please. But don’t hack at the tenuous threads of semantics which bridge this chaotic world to our comprehension.  

Undeterred, I continued in my quest, and examined the implications from all possible dimensions. Here are my thoughts on why Hangal chacha’s iconic phrases were really a statement on his times, 1975.

Itna sannata kyun hai bhai? Wherefore this silence?

Politically -­ The gagging of the press during the emergency

Economically -­ The stagnant licence-raj economy

Sociological ­- The society obdurately ossified in its caste and class divisions, after the collapse of Nehruvian optimism

Technological ­ - The echoing silences in our labs with all the brain-drain

Biological - The departed stirrings under his lungi

Philosophical - If I break this silence with this question and no one speaks yet, did I break the silence?  

Metaphysical ­ - Our essential existential alienation despite the multitudes

Literal ­ - Which bad joke did I just missed?

Psychological -­ Am I going deaf too?

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