Sunday, June 24, 2012

The genius in three Idiots

This review may be a real late, but a great movie for me deserves the best review it could get, no matter how late it might be. It will be idiotic for me not to speak wonderfully of a film that leaves a lasting impression as it rouses the viewers emotions and intellect to look at college education and life with heart, mind and soul.

"Three Idiots" is a typical Indian movie that follows the Bollywood formula of having song and dance at the height of the drama and action. Written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and directed by Rajkumar Hirani, it is not the usual comedy that would make the audience laugh their hearts out. Its representation of college education, the life of struggling students, the common Indian family's hope for a future, opportunity and helplessness in society, love and happiness are like a blend of spices that put the movie to become a world-wide hit: a delectable Indian dish that fills the taste buds with a soul.

The movie, starred Aamir Khan as Rancho, whom his two other college friends, Farhan (R. Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi) lost after graduation. It was flash back of memories as Farhan and Raju searched for Rancho who was the wisest amongst them. They were the three idiots in their batch, for they did the strangest things, made worst decisions, cracked the wildest jokes, and resisted the system. They were not the normal college dudes who took the studies seriously, as to the eyes of the school director Mr. Virus and their other teachers and classmates.

Rancho, Farhan and Raju were three idiots for they violated the expectations of the society, they did not live to the norms and standards of the school. The movie is a myriad of stories that unfolded as Farhan and Raju happened to have knowledge of the whereabouts of their long lost friend. Idiocy has been represented in the many egotistic life-decisions of the characters, and the dysfunctional school system and the society that looks at status and achievement.  

Rancho was the son of gardener who ran for errands at the residence of rich family. This was a secret his friends have to discover later. He has a brilliant mind ahead of his academic grade. He delights in learning, so he skipped into school with his master's uniform, and would complete and attend school in behalf of his master. While his master had no knack for schooling, he was sponsored by the older master of the house to pursue engineering for the latter's son. He excelled until college, but he has his own way of learning and expressing ideas. He topped in their batch, although he was often pointed to be influencing his friends badly.

He was a wise counselor and gives good advice but he has no courage speak about his feelings to Pia, the daughter of the school director. Pia is engaged to Suhas, a rich guy who has price tag for everything. Until Rancho made him discover about Suhas, Pia began to fall in love with Rancho. Their love affair did not progress until the end of the story, when Pia will run away from her wedding to find Rancho.

Raju is one poor guy who dreamed of earning an engineering degree so he could buy a car as dowry for his sister and medicine for his dad who uses up his mother's pension. Farhan is an excellent budding photographer, but ended up taking engineering because that is what his father wanted for him. He found himself always at the bottom of the list in terms of academic performance, next to him is Raju. The story of friendship among these three idiots were glued by the passionate desire of Rancho for life.

Rancho has simple philosophies in life, grades don't matter, they actually divide people into classes. Life must be lived for one's happiness and not for others'. One must stand on their own feet and learn to live well for others. "Pursue for excellence, and success will chase you." Rancho's character was built to represent a happy-go-lucky, non serious, college student but with a passion to learn the profession. He gets to be scared too and lacks courage, but he takes heart as tricks his own heart with a belief and mantra that "All is Well".

After years of having lost each other. Farhan pursued his dream of becoming a photographer, an advise he heeded from Rancho. Raju became successful to as an engineer. Rancho, who took a degree for someone else was revealed to be Pukshin Wangdu, a popular scientist with hundreds of patented invention, who worked his passion for learning as teacher in village so far away. The search culminated with Rancho fulfilling his dream of seeing Pia getting off the scooter in bride's dress and removing his helmet to kiss him. But of course, it did not happen with a kiss, instead a spank from her.

There are many scenes in the movie that would really make the audience laugh, but it also has a lot of tearjerking scenes, mushy moments that would wet the audience's eyes. The movie is indeed amazing with all the lessons it imparts to everyone. I have to admit that I watched it 3 times in a row, the whole afternoon and cried the same way I did as the first time.  It is a commentary about life as a school.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Splurge of Travelling

To others what I have gotten into recently must be a splurge. To me, it's all worth it. Since April I have spent the days mostly off Manila. I've been traveling in places where I have never been. After my first trip in Banawe and Sagada, I went up there again. Then to Aurora and Quezon, next to Tarlac and Mt. Pinatubo. The last one I had was in San Antonio island in Northern Samar and Calbayog City in Western Samar.

It's a splurge if I am to account how much I've spent. Nevertheless, my eyes will never behold the beauty of my country if I don't spend for it. Even if I take the expenses at budget line, I will still be spending. The joy of traveling, seeing places, learning things around the countryside, getting lost in the outdoors and finding my way back, being greeted with warm smiles -- these are perks I could not get from being couch potato in front of the TV.

One time, my cousin asked me an honest upfront question. It must be out his curiosity that I've been away from the house most of the time. "Do you have mission?" He got me there, and I replied. "Yes, I wanted to see the Philippines, that's my mission for now." And, I am really enjoying it.

I am not running away from any obligation. I have my research proposal done, with very little revisions needed. I just needed that prodding, sort of internal motivation. I have this time "now" to be away from work with pay. I have dogged into work for years, and never really had myself a long break for myself. Should I spend it in another way?

I did not save any money for my travel. I actually loaned for it. My mom and my sister, sensing that I had money asked me if we are going to do some house renovation. In my mind, I don't want to be watching over construction men break and refurbish the house, not on days that I should be recreating myself. I also know that moving one beam in our house will need a lot of money, because almost everything above the ground needed to be replaced. Budget wise, my money won't be enough.

I saw an SUV on sale, the day before I left for Aurora. The money I had would be enough to pay the down payment, and the monthly dues are affordable. I wanted a car for me, but I had to let that one pass. I thought, if I get the car it would just sit in the garage more often than when I am going to use it. I still can get along commuting and I know the right time will come when I'll be driving my own car.

Staying in a house where I have my own room, and driving my own car to where I want to go. Those are fine things I want too in my life. Earning my PhD by completing my research this year, that too is a priority of mine. Traveling came to me as a new discovery and I am really enjoying it. It was never in my plan. I may not be able to see all of what the Philippines has to offer, but I am taking this time to see whatever I could, given the resources I have.

Call it a splurge or perky, to me traveling recreates a person to know himself better in relation to other people, to learn what books and online articles don't say about places and culture, and to reinvigorate the burnt out body and down stressed mind. Those things perhaps keep me moving as traveling feeds in me great memories of everything my senses could feast on - that's the splurge of traveling.