Saturday, August 4, 2007

Love Actually ....

The Hubby loves his movies to have loud comedy, lots of actions and if possible a Govinda thrown in for a good measure...and since Govinda does not do "English" at home we have to satisfy ourselves with whatever Bollywoodi comedy is on air.

In a classical "married life" situation, I love quiet movies - of the mushy -mushy feel good sort and British comedies. I have a thing for Brit actors (read Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan) and never pass up an opportunity to watch a Brit comedy.

A few years ago, when The Hubby and I had just hesitantly begun to date, in a rare magnanimous gesture , he took me to watch this movie, Love Actually. In that film, you had Hugh Grant playing the British Prime Minister and at one point in the film he says :

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around. "

The dialogue sounded very nice that day while watching the film but it really hit home the day before yesterday when I went to drop The Hubby off at the airport.

At that time of the day, you had a few flights taking off for Bangkok and Dhaka and for a good measure one to
Paro too, but the big flight then was the Emirate’s flight to Dubai.

Outside the terminal, I watched people getting off cars, taxis and auto rickshaws. There were all kinds of people , well-heeled and some not so well-heeled. It was easy to pick out the first-timers embarking on their “Gulf Dream” – they were the ones who were more humbly dressed, who carried the kind of airbags which are sold at the
Esplanade Market who looked at the airport hesitantly and in awe and fumbled repeatedly for their passports and tickets.

There was one such family evidently a working class family – widowed mother, wife and a son and a daughter (both below five years of age). The father watched his children run about excitedly and kept trying to hold them close to him, but the children were obviously were excited and would break free and run off to see the pictures of planes or something else. The mother and the wife quietly wiped there silent tears on their pallus. They said little to one another but kept looking at the father as if to imprint his face into their memories. The father finally realized that he could not hold back his emotions and said a hurried good-bye to his family and walked into the airport without turning back. His family could not follow him inside as obviously paying for so many entry tickets would be expensive for them. So his mother and wife and tried peering into the airport for sometime and then gathered the children and quietly walked away. I later on saw the father sitting alone inside the airport and wiping his eyes. All that I could do for him was to pray that his dreams of a better life for his family which was compelling him to make such a difficult sacrifice would be fulfilled and he could come back to his family never to leave them again.

There was another family which had accompanied a youngish looking man also off on his “Gulf Dream” accompanied by a large crowd of family members. There was one girl in the crowd who wore a “mangalsutra” which evidenced her religious difference from the others around her who was left out while the rest of the relatives said their good byes to this young man. She hung at the back and wept quietly into her hanky. Then the young man requested that he speak to her alone and the rest of his family melted away. She held his hand and wept as if her heart would break. He consoled her saying that in a few month’s time he would be coming to take her with him and they could live like they wanted. It was not difficult to put her story together – a halcyon romance , an inter-religious marriage with parental opposition and post-marriage in-laws who did not consider her to be their own and a husband determined to give her all that he promised and the much-needed acceptance. This young man too walked away without looking back at his sobbing wife to hide the tears in his eyes. Indian men don’t cry in public.

I saw a newly wed bride with excitement on her face as she went to join her husband at the same time the tug at her heart-strings as she left her family behind…taking her first steps into a new chapter in her life.

All around me there were good-byes and a lot of love and prayers. Grandparents hugged their grand-children, parents hugged their children and friends and relatives held each other close before letting go. No one acted indifferent, no one asked the other one to just get going… almost every one tried to hold on to their loved ones for that fraction of a second more.

We talk about “love” being commercialized, of people being selfish and indifferent , of families falling apart etc. etc but one morning at the departure lounge of an airport reinforced the belief that love hasn’t gone anywhere…we have only begun to believe that love is a glamorous, in-your-face kind of a thing while
Love Actually is as they say in the song “ all around”…in a very quiet, mundane sort of way; it is only when it leaves us that we realize that what we are about to miss.

The next time I go there, I am going to be in the “Arrivals” section and I know that my mushy little heart will not be disappointed !

P. S

I have just discovered on IMDB that the working title for Love Actually was Love Actually Is All Around".


Aqua said...

i quite liked love actually and i loved what hugh grant's character said about airports. i fully agree. i love observing scenes at airports departures too and forming my own stories about the travellers and their lives.

lovely post debbie!

the mad momma said...

oh what a sweet post... really feel good. i do that too.. people watch and make up stories..

The Weekend Blogger said...

Aqua - thanks !

MM - Thanks for your is a big boost to me. As for observing people and making up stories go..I do that all the time but sometimes I get a bit too judgemental.

Broom said...

that was one of the lines that stood out for me as well.
I really love going to the Arrivals at Heathrow and watching people get so excited and happy and hugs and kisses all around.

Anamika said...

i remember that dialogue and i liked your impressions of the airport. yes, they can be sad places or happy ones, depending on whether you are in arrivals or departures. but they make you FEEL!

hope you're waiting at arrivals soon for your husband to come back!

Bit Hawk said...

"Love actually" has an amazing opening sequence. Not too in-the-face-sentimentality, but very touching nevertheless. I agree with Hugh Grant's narration there. Also airports are great places to "observe people"!