Sunday, April 28, 2013

Of life, ‘Draamebaazi’ & ‘Nautanki Saala’


We all feign, act and portray certain behaviors at some point in time in our lives, even if we are not truly what we are portraying ourselves to be. What is true (especially mental states) and what is not is again subjective, it depends on your inner state of things. Say you are nervous and feel low in confidence - is it really so or is it that your mind is auto-suggesting itself that you are low on confidence when you are actually confident (could be the opposite too). Pretension and faking/falsehood are not really positive aspects of any personality especially if the motive is ulterior, as in the case of professional swindlers. However at times we have to 'act' in order to get something done! Act pricey, act polite, act hurt - acts that we play out everyday.

The movie ‘Nautanki Saala’ seems to have this underlying thread of fake it till you make it within the movie along with several aspects of the acting that we do. Act righteous, act nasty, act good and act bad to achieve our own end, and drive our own agenda! Sometimes good and bad are mere symbols and nothing more. Based on the day and age, culture and which side you are on - we can portray anything as good or bad! Ram and Ravan have both been prescriptive models / symbols of good and bad, but sometimes you can flip the story and the good becomes the bad, and the bad the good! Notwithstanding flaws in the acting, story, pacing or the direction and all the melodrama, the movie has some nuggets of inherent wisdom cloaked in comic shades that only the medium of cinema can bring forth to a discerning audience. And the music is mostly apt and fun throughout!

For example sometimes we quite unconsciously act out a role based on our mental model. Acting like a victim – unknowingly. It is perhaps a psychologically comforting factor that we may not even be aware of as driving our day to day behaviors with others. Our own mind creates a persona for ourselves based on this mental map and we get caught in the loop and behave irrationally or as helpless beings like one of the protagonists. We decide it is a choice albeit sometimes unconscious or subconsciously. So such mental models can be easily changed and we can act or fool our own mind into believing certain things. Although the flexibility is more in some and less in others due to the views or notions that we imbibe and reinforce right from childhood. Some have to adapt to the changes around and other may not have to, so that is something which becomes essential for some.

At other times we depend on the opinion of others or enact a certain behavior to please someone else, get brownie points or just keep a pleasant rapport. Are we being true to ourselves at these times? This can take chronic overtones as we become sycophants or timid personalities trying to keep others happy or act as righteous beings. There are ethics and principles that each of us follows however some may continue to suffer or behave in a certain way that is hurting their own selves and also not helping anyone else instead alienating others. Maybe we as humans are tuned to be natural actors like the bard states ‘All the world’s a stage’ and as per age, requirement, situation and our wants we enact, such great actors that we are! All it takes is a little tweaking of our mental models and we can act and be what we truly want to. And sometimes we have this desire for a seismic shift, through an overwhelming dramatic turn of events in our lives!

The movie through its comic appeal generates a lot of ‘food for thought’ and stimulates our cogitation! So as the movie states there is drama in each of us and in our lives: "Tu bhi Draamebaaz, Main bhi Draamebaaz, Saale Draamebaaz sab yahan … "


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