Monday, April 25, 2005

And... another weekend rolls by...

The weekend is gone and monday returns with a vengeance... but the only bright spot on the horizon is the holiday on May 1st... long weekend and all ...

This weekend was the typical lazy easy kind. Friday evening we tried out a new South-Indian eating place someone recommended ... Anand Bhavan oppposite to Mustafa. She assured me they served a decent Pav Bhaji. Can't tell you how disappointed I was! Needless to say this friend is not a Bombayite and hence has no idea what Pav Bhaji really tastes like. And anyways I am the one to blame, not her. Why you ask? Well...
1) Coz I expected good Pav Bhaji in a South Indian restaurant!
2) I expected a non-Bombayite to be able to judge where one can order Pav Bhaji and be assured that it will be authentic stuff and not mashed potatoes drenched in 'ghee' and pav deep fried in wott else...'ghee'.

Got back home and fought with AG... It being a given that everytime we even walk past Mustafa, we HAVE to fight... the place does bring out the worst in one and cheerfully throws in a splitting headache as a bonus. And then after patching up watched Akira Kurosawa's 'Kagemusha' or 'Shadow Warrior' (with English subtitles of course).

Kagemusha is a multi-layered movie based in 16th century Japan where clans ruled and fought each other and western influences including Christianity and muskets and feather studded hats were recent introductions. It deals with the subject of impersonation where the impersonator can never completely transform into the real man, and yet there is between the impersonator and the real person an undeniable, unexplainable bond which brings them together inspite of the vast differences in their personalities. The Takeda clan's powerful and charismatic warlord Shingen's death is kept a secret for 3 years by his clan's retainers using his double, hence the name shadow warrior. The double is a petty thief and by no means capable of carrying out a convincing deception easily. So throughout the movie the audience can see the enormous difficulty the man undergoes in carrying off his role as a titan who had been called 'an immovable mountain' by even his sworn enemies. The movie revolves around the strange relationship the shadow warrior has with his dead master. It is very well articulated in a surreal dream sequence in which the lord breaks open his burial vessel and appears dressed for war in armour and warpaint, carrying his sword, looking menacing and scary. The thief struck with terror runs from him, his feet floundering in sand dunes and water streamlets while he scrambles in search of safety and then suddenly the lord vanishes. Now the shadow is filled with a longing to find him because without the lord he has no direction and no identity and he starts looking desperately for the lord. This scene symbolically demonstrates the relationship between the warlord and his shadow.
In real life too the same scene is replayed in a different way. After Shingen dies from his wounds the thief defies the clan's elders and refuses to take on the role. He is aware of his insufficiency and also finds the crown a tad too heavy for his head to bear. For a petty, penny robber to essay the role of Japan's most powerful warlord is a herculean task and when he does finally take it on out of loyalty to the warlord, at every step he finds it difficult to carry on. Even to the end this relationship remains unchanged and 3 years later when he is no longer playing the lord's double and has suddenly lost his purpose and even his identity, he ends his life in a final display of loyalty and perhaps in a pathetic desperation to finally be one with the deception he had strived so long to keep alive. The closing scene is particularly symbolic where the shadow warrior is shown dead, with a Takeda banner floating close by but yet out of reach, in the same lake which was Shingen's final resting place... in death too the Kagemusha is bound to his master but yet he could never be the man himself.

Anyways back to the weekend... Saturday was spent at home in idle splendour! Evening met up with Mitesh and Pallab and their families over dinner at Margarita's Am not a big fan of Mexican food but these people do make some to-die-for Fajitas and great Sangria, also delectable Tiramisu.

Sunday... went for another bout of house-viewing with Clifford. This time he showed us 4 houses, 2 of them were disappointing... the condos were old and the apartments were in reproachful condition. The other 2 were quite good. One of them was on the 29th floor and has a breathtaking view! And the other had been built on the grounds which used to earlier accommodate the American embassy. In fact the colonial looking embassy building is being used as the clubhouse for the condo... hmmm... interesting place! Had lunch at Olio... they serve great linguini in cream sauce (unforgivable for someone trying to lose weight) and wicked profiteroles... yummm! Spend a few hours thereafter in the welcoming sofas in Borders. Got back home in time to catch Ramgopal Varma's 'Jungle'.

That's it! That was my weekend:( and now a long 5 day wait till another one comes by. Am such a weekend junkie. I often wish for an endless loop of Friday evening-Saturday-Sunday and friday evening again! But then I better be careful what I wish for... I might get it and then absolutely hate it!