Monday, January 11, 2016

Day 11

So I did watch The Revenant today, right after work. Inarritu and DiCaprio, among several others, have to be credited for going to extremes to bring their movie out with a level of purity that astounds. There are some great performances, and if you go watch the film watch it for the performances, and for the moments where it forces you to examine a past human life, which was a life in the pursuit of survival, just like the animals yet so indelibly like humans still. At the level of plot, it may be called a revenge movie, but if you must watch the movie at the level of plot, you might as well skip it.

After the movie I stepped into the Barnes and Noble next door, after maybe a couple of years, and was looking at those elegantly handmade leather-bound notebooks with recycled paper. When I was new to the US and first saw those, I was quite enamoured by them. I remember thinking how I could've pleased my then girlfriend so much if I gifted her one of those, but I ended up not buying anything because I was pretty broke. It is just as well, because we broke up shortly after and if I had bought them I would've had to keep these beautiful things on my table and never write on them.

I picked up "The Road to Character" by David Brooks from the store after reading about 15 pages sitting there. I was already riveted. I came home and read a little more until Rohit called and we ended up talking about the young generation.

When I was a kid, or even when I was collegiate, the distinction between us and the adults was pretty clearly etched in my mind. There were those of us, and there were those of them, the adults. You couldn't mistake any of us as adults, or any of them as us boys, even if you only interacted with them by mail or phone, such that you had no way to infer by physical appearance. Even on a behavioral level, in our conversations, views, and preoccupations the difference was crystal clear. We were another people, with another set of things that we deemed important in life. As I've grown up, I've held on to most of the same preoccupations and a largely same world-view as back then. And so for long stretches of time I latently believe that I'm still a boy, just the same as I was 10 years ago, even 15. In the demarcation between boys and adults, there is no reason to assign me to the latter category.

Not quite. It is easy to crush this notion with simply an hour spent with a 15 or 20 year old of today. And then you see that there are those of them, these kids, and those of us. And perhaps that's the whole difference between boys and adults. It is not as if our elders underwent fundamental changes on reaching a certain age that made them different from us, made them adults. In all likelihood, they were just as they were when they were 20 year old young boys, only that they remained the 20-year-olds of 1980, which seemed rather 'adult' to us 20 year olds of 2006. And similarly, even though I feel the same inside as I did in 2006, I talk to a 20-year-old of today and can immediately see that we're different. It is another thing that I think they're a bit fake, but didn't our elders think the same?

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