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the simple life

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Live a little

I saw Diane Keaton naked last night.

The rest of Something's Gotta Give was equally lovely.

Diane Keaton plays Erica Barry, an uptight, divorced writer who falls in love with Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson).

In the following scene, Erica tells Harry she loves him. Harry likes her too but being a man, is afraid to commit.

HARRY: Can you cut me a little slack? My life's been turned upside down.
ERICA: Yeah. Mine too.
HARRY: Then let's each get our bearings.
ERICA: I don't want my bearings. I've had my bearings my whole fucking life.


This Sunday, I'm flying off to Mumbai for work.

My boss encouraged me to extend my stay for a few more days. Keenly aware of its Bollywood connections, he chose to describe my trip there as a "homecoming".

Curious choice of words.

The last time I was there, I had an entourage. If I extend my stay, I will be unchaperoned.

I am used to traveling alone and exploring strange, new worlds. Oddly enough, this time, I am not too sure whether I am ready for the clutter and chaos that is India.

My little excursion to the Indian embassy did nothing to subdue the niggling fear.

I took queue number 278 and waited to collect my visa. The collection counter was supposed to be in business at 4:15.

Alas, it wasn't the case yesterday and you can smell the tension in the air.

It was close to 5 when the doors opened. That brought some measure of happiness for some.

It was short-lived.

Sometime between 5:15 and 5:30, the queue counter stopped working.

And Man became animals.

The whole jungle swamped in front of the counter. The cheetahs and the hares at the forefront. The tortoises and the snails, who looked like they had too much curry, were far behind.

I was in the mediocre middle.

Someone shouted, "They are still stuck in the 40s". Another waved his ticket angrily, "I paid for express". Others suffered silently.

It was another 15 minutes before I left that piece of India.

I am thankful that I live in an orderly and efficient society. But there are many times I feel that I am missing out on some of the fun, some of the life, some of the vitality.

I think Erica Barry must have felt the same way. Enough of bearings, enough of structure, enough of order, enough of comfort, enough of the same old boring lifestyle.

I haven't made up my mind yet about staying longer in India. But I probably will.

It's time to introduce a little mess, a little chaos, a little unpredictability, a little disorder into my life.

It's time to live a little.

11 Comments:

At 10/28/2004 11:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Isaiah. This post was pretty relevant to me (unlike the last one :P)... I do agree that being an orderly nation with efficiency being the pursuit of many, I feel we've somehow taken things for granted. My short stay at a very popular tourist destination was aneye-opening experience with inefficiency and the lackadaisical attitude of the vast majority toward work. And I'm not talking about a developing country here! Still, I found that because of such a prevailing culture, people tended to spend a lot less time than the average Singaporean and live more, so to speak. So yes, we have to learn to live a little, even if it means the inconvenience of inefficiency. Sometimes, it's ok to take a step back and wait in line a little longer... observing people, for one, can be pretty enlightening too.

 
At 10/28/2004 11:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Isaiah, just extend yr stay for a few more days! You may discover new things about the country! Well, when would one actually have the chance to travel to Mumbai??? I don't think that Mumbai would be "top" country in the list to travel to right? (not
for me..) since you have to go non matter what, just make use of this opportunity to "smell the flowers there". I am green with ENVY ok!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Come back and tell us about yr experience there! A good blog topic.. hehehe - meow

 
At 10/28/2004 11:45:00 PM, Blogger isaiah_sg said...

Hello Anonymous,

Thanks for posting.
I'm glad you like Diane Keaton naked too.
But enough about the Aussies already.
-isaiah

 
At 10/28/2004 11:51:00 PM, Blogger isaiah_sg said...

Hello Green Envious Feline,

Thanks for posting.
Yes, I'll take your advice.
Except the smelling part.
-isaiah

 
At 10/29/2004 01:55:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Make use of your extended trip to get featured in one of the big time Bollywood films. How often do you get to jiggle around a banana tree here?! Not to mention with many sexy babes in mid-riff :P

 
At 10/29/2004 05:37:00 PM, Blogger isaiah_sg said...

For all you Bollywood lovers, try this cafe next time you're in Mumbai:

Leopold Café


Tip: If you're keen to get the inside scoop on how Bollywood films are made, hang out here; casting agents looking for foreigners to work as extras on current productions frequently scan the clientele for able bodies at this favored travelers' hangout.

 
At 10/30/2004 11:00:00 AM, Blogger charlieboy said...

Have a great trip in India, Isaiah, in case I don't see you... which is quite possible considering it's Saturday morning and I have a full day of smashing to get up to... ps: was she really naked? oh, yes, one scene... watched that some months ago. it was quite funny.

 
At 10/31/2004 03:24:00 AM, Blogger Midst of the Woods said...

Take good care over there bro. Too bad you have to miss our little gathering. Life is lived between the delicate tension between the unpredicatable excitement of chaos and the unbearable efficiency of order. To live well, ah, that is a skill indeed.

 
At 10/31/2004 05:15:00 AM, Blogger isaiah_sg said...

Thanks everyone for the well-wishes.

Funny, I talked about naked women and somehow, I've got many comments on this post.

I wonder why.

 
At 10/31/2004 10:53:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sex sells! That's y! hahaha. Meow~

 
At 10/31/2004 09:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

U will truly understand that the word queue is not in the Indian dictionary if you ever venture out into Little India and try to get a cab...weird thing though they seem scared to tuff it out with ang mohs.3
nekotang

 

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