2046

Everyone who goes to 2046 has the same intention, they want to recapture lost memories.

Because in 2046 nothing ever changes. But, nobody knows if that is true or not because no-one has ever come back.

So begins Wong Kar-Wai‘s movie 2046. The start portrays 2046 as a magical/fantastical place, where everyone goes to in search of lost memories but never return; except one man. He gives vague reasons as to why he returned and is on the train back (the start is like a science fiction movie). The narrative then shifts to the protagonist living in Hong Kong in the 60’s. He has just returned from Singapore and is starting as a journalist here (the movie is like a non-linear sequel to Wong Kar Wai’s earlier movie In the Mood for Love). He rents a room in a hotel where he spent some time before he left for Singapore and wants the same room as before. But the room is under renovation and so the owner offers the adjacent room and he accepts.

The adjacent room gets renovated after a while, but the protagonist has settled in his new room and doesn’t want to move into the room he originally wanted, the one that held a special place for him, a room numbered 2046. The rest of the movie explores the relationships between the protagonist and the serial occupants of the room 2046. The first is the owner’s daughter who is in love with a Japanese man. The father doesn’t approve of the relationship and the lover returns to Japan. The next occupant is a girl who works in a club, who initially starts out being platonic friends and ends up falling in love. The protagonist refuses to get into a relationship with her. After she leaves, the owner’s daughter returns, depressed after what it seems to have had broken up with her Japanese boyfriend. The protagonist finds that she’s interested in martial arts stories and makes her his assistant, writing stories for the newspaper. It is now that he gets an idea of writing a science fiction story about a place where everyone goes to recapture their lost memories. They even decide to name it 2047 after the room number of the protagonist. Eventually, he develops feelings for her but she doesn’t respond. After a while, she leaves for Japan and hears that she got engaged to her Japanese boyfriend.

The protagonist is reminded of a past lover in Singapore who helped him recover the money he lost in gambling. He thinks back to all his past relationships and makes them all characters in his science fiction story with him as the guy who returned from 2046. The story is told in a very non-linear fashion with the science fiction segments interspersing the actual storyline and a flashback to the time the protagonist was living in Singapore. There are several references to the earlier movie In the Mood for Love but this can be watched on its own too. The movie is a bit slow moving but the pace is well suited to the story. The cinematography is excellent and the dialogues even more so. The parallels between the protagonist’s own relationships with the women around him, who happen to share the same room, 2046 and the way it is used as the object of metaphor in the science fiction story is simply a brilliant piece of work by the director. In the end, despite so many women falling for him, and he too falling for a few, the protagonist walks away from it all. The movie doesn’t show where he goes. Has he finally returned from 2046? What would become of him? Will he change? Or remain the same? There are several unanswered questions… but as a movie, it’s sheer poetry.

Religious people are from Lilliput

The people of the fictional island Lilliput in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels were at war with the people of their neighbouring island Blefuscu. The reason, disagreement over the right way to break an egg. The people of Lilliput said that the egg should be broken at the big end and hence were called Big-Endians and the other party naturally were the Little-Endians (Not the same as the bit order in computing). Gulliver being captured by the people of Lilliput helps them and wins the war for them. Now that’s the story. A recent brainwave suggested that there may be some meaning underneath Swift’s portrayal of the reasons for the warring factions.

As anyone can see, the most obvious comparison that can be made to real life situations where people fight based on reasons as frivolous as which end of the egg to break is religion. People of different religions and sometimes within the same religion, fight and kill other people claiming that their way is the only way and the others are so wrong that people following the way ought not to live. What makes this all the more ridiculous is the fact that human beings are inherently selfish and would do anything to survive. When resources are limited, only the strongest and the biggest were able to survive. That happens all the time. Now why would they fight over something/someone they all claim is the creator/protector/controller of all life on earth. If they were trying to reach that someone, they shouldn’t they work together to achieve the goal? Or is this something part of human evolution where humans find some reason to fight where there are none? I can only hope there are answers, because a great many number have tried to answer this question but ended up getting beaten and forgotten.

After I wrote this, I was curious if Jonathan Swift had really made religious references and checked Wikipedia. I wasn’t surprised to find that it indeed was the case. No wonder he made the Lilliputians little people.

On Solitude

Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or god.

The above is a quote that I put as a status message on a chat client, and sparked a question from a friend who asked if I was the wild beast or god. It also led to a discussion on why a god would prefer solitude.

According to the creationist theory, everything we see, hear, feel and know has been created by a single omnipresent entity called god. Those who believe in god are not united either. They are divided into several camps, give god their own name and “properties” and try to put down those people that have given god a different name at every opportunity. The one place where all of them are united is in blaming god for all their problems, when they can’t even think through why they have the problems in the first place. So, that answers the question why god prefers solitude. God does not want anything to do with whatever god has created and wants some rest. Seriously.

Now coming to the wild beast. Why would a wild beast prefer solitude? Because it’s a wild beast. A wild beast is to be feared, loathed and shunned by everyone. This, despite anyone not knowing anything about the beast or even trying to understand it’s intentions. Everyone assumes that since it’s a wild beast it is to be shunned. The wild beast now resigns itself to the fate it finds itself in, and prefers solitude and realizes sometimes, there is delight to be found in solitude. Seriously.

After the rain

These flowers signify the optimism that makes them face up to the world even after a heavy downpour that tended to tear them away from the plant.

The water drops may also stand for the tears shed after a bitter fight between lovers with the flowers standing for their faces after the fight. (Wish I could put this into a story format, to make it more interesting)

Experiments with light (Abstract)

This photo was taken a while back at one of the parks near my place. The view from the top was good and the winding road made an interesting picture.

 

The post processing involved increasing the contrast and boosting the colour saturation to get what is seen above.

The Septic Sceptic

That’s the latest title I have earned from one of my friends. Exploring on what it meant led me to the following definitions.

septic:
containing or resulting from disease-causing organisms; of or relating to or caused by putrefaction.

sceptic:
someone who habitually doubts accepted beliefs.

So according to the friend, I am a person who doubts accepted beliefs that my brain has become putrefied. How did this happen?? The answers are HERE.