Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The new perfect

When I watch a TV show or a movie, I look for two things:

It should either:

1. make me laugh
or
2. make me think

I need to 'take something home' after watching it. If there's no thoughts for me to take home, I won't watch. Also, the key words are very important. Take 'Desperate housewives' for example. Neither of the key words 'desperate' or 'housewives' evokes any interest in me. Which is why, in spite of my friends going ga-ga over the show, I refuse to watch it.

Ditto used to hold true for SATC. When I first heard about it, I was like, "What?? I won't be caught dead watching it!" (Ok that didn't make sense, but you get the point.) It sounded like a really dumb chick flick. But I happened to watch a coupla episodes for lack of anything else, and slowly I realised that it did have a lot of stuff to 'take home'.

On many levels, yes, it is a soap about desperate women seeking equally desperate men on the streets of New York. But if you look beyond the S, the ATC part has a lot of intelligence and thoughts put behind it. Look beyond the surface and it will make a lot of sense. And though I know lots of guys who dismiss it (just like how I used to) as a frivolous girly show, I know many who watch the show for the characters and the way they deal with the complexities of life.

I'm sure that every girl, who's ever watched the show, has at one point in time, asked herself, "Which character am I?" I've seen girls admitting that they're a Miranda Hobbes, a Charlotte York (never a Samantha Jones though, for obvious reasons) but never a Carrie Bradshaw. And I find it quite strange, because if at all anyone in the show, I am a Carrie. And I am not just talking about the obsession with shoes. I am talking about the Carrie with the flaws. Plenty of 'em, in fact. The Carrie who does not seem to think twice before messing her own life up. The Carrie who so spectacularly portrays the song by Pink -- 'I'm a hazard to myself!'

One of my friends muttered, "She's an idiot. Idiot!" when he (yes, 'he') saw the episode where Carrie tells Aidan she can't marry him. But somehow, to me it made sense. I could actually see myself doing what she did. *Shudder* but it's true. Ok fine, Aidan was perfect. Any girl would be an idiot to turn down a guy like that. That too, without a good reason. But then, maybe he was too perfect. Maybe she did not deserve such a perfect guy. Maybe she deserved someone who was as flawed as her, as ordinary as her. And just like that, she turned him down. No one really understood why. Maybe she herself didn't. But her decision just went on to show that in spite of her fabulous lifestyle and success and confidence and style, she was still that poor little confused girl who screwed up her own heart with amazing regularity. Don't we all do that at times? Aren't we all hazards to ourselves?

As I graduated from being a teenager to an adult, I found all my candy-eyed views of movie characters changing. Perfect became boring. Unreal. Flawed became real. Human. Carrie's flaws are so human. She is so obviously not perfect, and that's what makes her character so believable. And that is why I identify with her. I have uncountable flaws, and I am so not perfect. And yet, here I am, utterly proud of my imperfect self, thriving in the sea of my own mediocrity. I remember I took it as a big compliment when Bonatellis called me a simple girl next door on his blog. I feel that the ordinary, who make mistakes with their lives, live life much more than the perfect who live it up flawlessly.

And here's another one. This one's closer to home. The reason why I felt that Karishma Kapoor (in spite of herself) walked away with the laurels in DTPH was because of her character sketch. Nisha had flaws, and she was open about them. Instead of displaying the perfect behaviour of a typical silent sacrifice by the perfect best friend, she did what a human being would do. She ran. She hid. She resurfaced. And then she went ahead and told Rahul exactly what she felt. Which made that character so much closer to the heart that the perfect Puja.

I just watched the lake side scene for the millionth time, and I still can't get over the absolute perfection of the script.

Nisha says:

"Main achhi ladki nahin hoon, Rahul. Main bahut buri hoon. Tum nahin jaante. Ab dekho na, ek ladka hai, jise main bahut pyaar karti hoon, aur hamesha se karti aayi hoon, aur aaj mujhe pata chala ki woh mujhse nahin, kisi aur se pyaar karta hai, toh mujhe achha nahin lag raha hai. Dard ho raha hai. Gussa aa raha hai. Jalan ho rahi hai. Mujhe aise nahin lagna chahiye Rahul, main bahut buri hoon."

("I'm a bad person, Rahul. You don't know. You see, there is this guy I love, one I have always loved. And today, when I found out that he loves not me but someone else, I don't like it. I feel hurt. I feel angry. I feel jealous. I should not be feeling like this. I am a bad person.")

"Rahul, woh kya hai na, woh ladka sirf mera pyaar hi nahin, mera sabse achha dost bhi hai, aur aaj pehli baar maine uski aankhon mein muhabbat dekhi hai. Jo pyaar main itne saalon mein nahin laa payi, aaj woh ladki le aayi hai. Toh shaayad woh ek doosre ke liye bane hain. Shaayad main uski kabhi thi hi nahin. Shaayad yehi uska sacha pyaar hai."

("Rahul, the thing is -- this guy is not just my love, but also my best friend. And today, for the first time, I saw love in his eyes. The love that I could not bring about in years, is now there because of that girl. So maybe they are indeed made for each other. Maybe I was never his. Maybe this is his true love.")

"Toh dekho na, mujhe apne dost ke liye khush hona chahiye, uski khushi mein meri khushi honi chahiye, par main khush nahin hoon, Rahul, main khush nahin hoon. Main bahut buri hoon."

("So you see, I should be happy for my friend. I should find joy in his joy. But I am not happy, Rahul, I am not happy. I am a bad person.")

(DTPH lovers, if you're yearning already, watch the scene -- DTPH DVD, chapter 30, 02:28:48)

We've all been a Nisha at some time or the other, isn't it? Imperfect. And fabulous. What is the point in being perfect if you're not yourself?

Life is simple. Everyone gets one. You do what you can with yours. There are no rules. People may judge you on how you live it, but at the end of the day, what matters is how you judge yourself.

Move aside, perfect people. Ordinary is the new perfect.



37 comments:

Princesse said...

i LOVE this post. I think it's the bestest. yep, bestest!... and u just rooted out my most favourite scene in the world (between two friends) having a heart to heart. IT's just amazing this scene - replayed all over in my head.

This post - ROCKs. Thank you sayesha - for being perfect sayesha :)

Arz000n said...

'Desperate housewives' is one show after SATC I watch without missing an episode. Desperate is enuogh to generate curiosity for me...housewives elevates it more...hehehe

DTPH is one movie I never allowed anyone at my home to watch coz I never felt like watching it. Though I luv to songs...movie...naaah naah. I cant take it.

what matters is how you judge yourself. This is so truly put in words. I spent most of my life thinking wht others think about me and wht there opinions n all. Then I said FO to everyone around...n have started living life of my own. n Im happy....almost :)

Nice post Sayesha...especially the way you put down those SATC and DTPH analysis. Pretty kewl!

virdi said...

sorry pretty hand.. she makes you work too hard na?? such a loooooooooong post?? hmmm sayesha august is a senti month for you i guess.. b.t.w i watch TV for sports.. men will be men.. bol do aab..
V..

Leon said...

I submitted the following blog profile to Blogstreet India and Technorati..

"A blog intended to make people "laugh" or "think" or both..." ;-)

Conclusion: You should be visiting my blog more often.. :p

Carrie turning down Aidan seems like a contradiction of her character to me. 'Ordinary' girls don't turn down a perfect guy just because he's too good for them. Only girls out of the ordinary would think so far ahead.. ??

Anonymous said...

A refreshing new view about ordinary people. I loved it.

Prince

Sayesha said...

Hey Princesse,
So you're still around, huh? That silence was long, girl!
And yeah, thanks for your comment! 'Ordinary' would do jus' fine though :)

Arz000n,
Cool stuff! Being a guy and admitting to watching SATC and DH. I like that.
ps: You should watch DTPH. Should should should. Really.

Virdi,
Stop talkin' to my hand and start talkin' to me, man!

Leon,
Haha! Hope you're successful in your lure!

//Carrie turning down Aidan seems like a contradiction of her character to me.

You know what? I think that's the best part about being an ordinary character. There are no absolute rules, so there are no contradictions. You just go by your heart, and even though the whole world may wonder why you did what you did to your life, somewhere in your heart and mind, it all makes sense. And that's the essence of being the 'ordinary character' I wrote about.

Thanks, Prince! It's great to know that people out there identify with the 'ordinary imperfect character' in my life's show. :)

viv said...

This post makes me think. I have a lot of questions. But I can't find words to express them... Wish there was a less ambiguous language than English...

The Village Idiot / Soldier said...

Sayesha :

This post of yours has also made me think a lot. I think I am very imperfect, very ordinary - and in some ways - very 'bad'- using the DTPH analogy that you highlight. But maybe, that's how I am meant to be.

Sayesha said...

Viv,
I guess the best language to express these kind of things is the language of thoughts.

Village Idiot,
We're all bad. Bad and fabulous. I love it. Don't you just love it?
ps: I miss you, man! :(

viv said...

My thoughts don't speak, do they? Of course, they speak to me, but if it's a question I can't answer, then? Maybe that's why it's referred to as being reflective... Can't talk to anyone but yourself.

The Village Idiot / Soldier said...

Sayesha:

Sometimes, I am bad and selfish. The mind is such an entity of its own and it conjures up these kind of emotions that you just need to acknowledge, and not resist.

Cos whatever you resist, will persist!

PS : I miss all of you!

-Cheers
BBKK :P

Sahil said...

Even with the risk of sounding like a CIG, i'm still gonna say this.. you are by no means mediocre Sayesha.

Such depth of thought. I'm quite impressed really. This makes perfect (or rather 'ordinary') sense to me. When you love someone, it's usually the small 'imperfect' things about your other that you adore to death, and that's what you miss most about them when they're not around. You don't miss how 'perfect' they were.

DTPH. I loved that movie, and I used to love that scene. But in my 40 years of experience, i've learnt that views change. And while I still find the scene very emotional, I don't identify with it anymore. I don't buy into the 'tere khushi mein meri khushi hai'. Nor do I buy into how she feels guilty about loving her friend. She has the full right to feel the way she does. And if she does, she just does. 'Rahul the friend' and 'Rahul the guy I love' just can't exist together. Its one or the other.

Well, mujhe aise lagta hai. And that's me, imperfect (read perfect) Sahil. ;)

and Viv - the language of thoughts crosses all boundaries. Sometimes by saying so little, sometimes by silence even, we can say to much. Our thoughts can just penetrate the minds of those close to us. Its a beautiful language, the most elegant of all.

Anil said...

Psst.. I love Desperate Housewives! I also like SATC very much, and I admire Samantha the most. Closely followed by Charlotte and Miranda. Carrie was the only one whom I couldn't stand, because
1. She was very shallow. She couldn't see beyond her shoe collection.
2. She was a total snob. I'd hate to be the guy who had to be married to her.

Now Samantha.. she was something else.. she didn't care about relationships and she wasn't hunting for a husband. She was always brazen about everything and was always willing to take a risk and try out something new and unconventional. She was the kind of girl who used to act the way every guy wishes girls would act.

:-)

Jasmine said...

Sayesha, you know how, sometimes, it seems that some things were put there just for you to see them?

Well, your post made a lot of sense to me, because I'm going through a bit of a crisis in my life right now and what you said makes me see that it's rather silly to cry over such small stuff. After all, we are all imperfect, aren't we?

A sincere thank you, Sayesha, for that post.

viv said...

// Our thoughts can just penetrate the minds of those close to us. Its a beautiful language, the most elegant of all.

I agree to some extent. When it works, it's great! But otherwise, it's frustrating.

When I initially said unambiguous, what I meant was that there should be no loss in translation (from thoughts to words and back). Ok, with thoughts you don't need translation, but you risk complete misunderstanding.

Btw, WHA, I like Samantha's attitude too, but Charlotte was just too pretty to be number 2! :P

Sayesha said...

Ah, I see Sahil's back :)

//I don't buy into the 'tere khushi mein meri khushi hai'. Nor do I buy into how she feels guilty about loving her friend.

Well, you're right -- that the whole "teri khushi mein meri khushi hai" doesn't work in real situations. But let me tell you why I still buy the scene. The reason why Nisha feels guilty about falling in love with her best friend is because at first, she expects certain "ideal" and "perfect" behaviour from herself. But when put in that situation, she realises she can't do it because she's not being true to herself.

When Nisha leaves for her trip, she believes that when she gets back, Rahul would have fallen in love with her. She even tells him that confidently. But when she comes back, she realises she was wrong.

Remember Dance of Envy? She does that to put Puja down, to prove that even with a bad ankle, she is a better dancer, and that no one could take her place on that dance floor, because it had always been hers. And then, later she goes and apologises because she thinks it was wrong of her to do that.

Self-conflict. Contradiction with what she thought she was. It's a constant process of self-discovery. And that's how we are, isn't it? Every moment, we are discovering new truths about ourselves. To the point that it becomes impossible to define ourselves and predict our own behaviour. And that is the real stuff. And the reason why I'd rather be Nisha than Puja any day.

And yet, once upon a time, I actually wanted to be more Puja than Nisha. The perfect Puja. I guess it was Rahul's remark about her -- "Woh aisi ladki hai, jise koi bhi, kabhi bhi, kahin bhi, pyaar kar sakta hai." ("She's the kind of girl anyone can fall in love with, anywhere, anytime.")

But now I know, I don't need to be a Puja for people to love me. I can stay Nisha. Those who love me in spite of my being Nisha are the ones who love me the most. And that's all I need.

:)

Sayesha said...

Sahil,
//Our thoughts can just penetrate the minds of those close to us.
I couldn't agree MORE! :O


WH Anil,
//"the kind of girl who used to act the way every guy wishes girls would act"
Yes yes, guys love Samantha. I know that :)
Bu rarely would any girl admit to being one. So good luck with finding a wife who's not a Carrie but is a Samantha! ;)

Jas,
//it seems that some things were put there just for you to see them?
I agree! Many a times, I'd been seeking answers, and someone would just place it right there, in front of me.
Glad I was of help :)

Viv,
//I like Samantha's attitude too.
Aha! Did I read that right?? Haha! That was an unexpected statement from someone like you! Can't really picture you with a Samantha, but hey, whatever rocks your boat! :)

vin said...

" What is the point in being perfect if you're not yourself?"

I think that just sums up how we should be!

cant say if I am perfect (in other people's eyes) or I am myself (in my eyes) but would surely love to love myself the way I am...did that make sense!

P.S. Been following your blog for some time though commenting for the first time!

Sahil said...

That's very true Sayesha. We're all learning new things about ourselves each day, and there are certain aspects of ourselves that we are constantly re-defining.

You raised a very interesting point though here. When I saw the movie, it was Pooja all the way, and how amazing she was. But when you repeated Rahul's dialouge just now:

"Woh aisi ladki hai, jise koi bhi, kabhi bhi, kahin bhi, pyaar kar sakta hai."

It makes me feel that there was nothing special in Rahul's love in the first place. I mean, after all, Pooja was such a girl ANYONE could fall in love with her, so what's the big deal that he did? hmmm.

Arnav said...

Great post!
But now after I worked so hard to be perfect, and succeeded, I'll have to work again to be ordinary. Damn you!

You should watch Desperate Housewives too. I have never seen SATC for exactly the reason you gave but, after your glowing analysis, will have to search for the episodes on my LAN. In fact I had dismissed DH as another girlie show too, but accidentally watched the pilot and got hooked. It's brilliantly written, and would make you think as well as make you laugh (or at least smile).

viv said...

You don't have to picture me with a Samantha. We're talking about those 4 and not every (kind of) woman in the world :P

But anyway, Samantha's chilled out. Not many episodes (of the few I've seen) show her mulling over tiny issues. In some ways, she's larger than life. That doesn't mean I like everything she does, but she's cool.

Beware he/she who rocketh my boat! I hate to swim, especially when there's fish around! ;) You(nnn) know tha(aaa)t... (says Dennis Cooper)

Sumedh said...

Simply Fantabulous Post.

Anonymous said...

Well the post wz a real OHT 4 me.

Think its time to get glued to TV.

TC

HoliDevil

Ro said...

i have always been an advocate of imperfections. without them, i dont find people attractive.

woody allen does an outstanding job of portraying human frailties - in all its interesting nuances.

// You don't have to picture me with a Samantha.

Trust me, not many would do that, viv :) If anything I'd picture Samantha with Carrie or Charlotte to help rock my boat :)

Sahil said...

> If anything I'd picture Samantha with Carrie or Charlotte to help rock my boat :)

hahahaha good one man!

virdi said...

sayesha... aisa mat kar yaar.. aapne haanth se itna hardwork mat kara... comment ke aandar mein ek blog?? kya ho raha hai madam?? u ok??
and i will talk to only your hand.. i dont care about you!!! thrrrbbrttttt :-P
V..

Sayesha said...

Vin,
Welcome to Sayeshaz and congrats on the transition from 'silent reader' to commentator! :)

Sahil,
//so what's the big deal that he did?
Nope, no big deal.

Arnav,
Sorry man. Perfect is out this season.

Viv,
I have one thing to say. Hahahaha! :D

Sumedh,
Thanks, dude! And welcome back!

HoliDevil,
Dun turn into a couch potato! :)

Ro,
//without them, i dont find people attractive.
I agree totally, man! :)

//If anything I'd picture Samantha with Carrie or Charlotte to help rock my boat :)
Errrrr........

Sahil,
Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.........

Virdi,
// comment ke aandar mein ek blog??
Hahahahaha! You're such a funny guy! :)

Lucia said...

great post as usual. :) perfect perfectionism is overrated anyways.

Sayesha said...

Thanks, Lucia :)

Ravi said...

Sayesha, I don't know why you rate SaTC as a programme for the gals. Being a guy, I used to enjoy the episodes. What makes it a "for-gals" series? just because it's centered around 4 lasses? Come Sayesha, guys are in the same world as the gals are! Apart from that, a nice writeup!

Princesse said...

i actually meant 'ordinary' when i said 'perfect sayesha' .. as in thanks for being a 'perfect YOU' rather than PERFECT. :)

Suds said...

hey Sayesha, I am reading ur old post u have link to on ur anniversary blog. Amazing one. I read quite a few but this one was just too good not to write a comment on. The DTPH scene is my fav one... :) Enjoy Keep writing...

Sayesha said...

#Ravi,
Yeah, you're right. A lot of guys do watch and enjoy it. :)

#Princesse,
Thanks :)

#Suds,
Thanks a lot yaar! :)

The Smiling Girl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bivas said...

Simply adorable scene...and yes DTPH is up thr among my fav movies.

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Bhavya said...

Just awesome! I've never seen SATC but when you were talking about being hazards to ourselves, I was, all the while, thinking of the DTPH sequence that you later described!