I used to watch a show long time ago on American television. It was called Spin City, and it had one of my favourite guys star in it - Michael J Fox. Although not a big fan of the Back to the future series (have watched them and enjoyed them, but not obsessively), I really like Michael J. His social work, his spirit, and of course the fact that he is small-built and never looks his age are the main reasons. I figured that the show was called so because his job, as assistant to the Mayor or something like that, was to turn every situation around so that its favourable. Give a spin, so to speak.
I can do that myself most times. It has crept slowly into my life and forms somewhat of a core of how I lead my life. 'Everything happens for the best' I used to say earlier, trying to console a disappointment or rationalise an action. Now my aim is to constantly find that positive side to everything, actively, not passively. Which is not to say I don't waste time in self-pity and general mild depressions (of course yes, its a waste of time!), lets just say its an ongoing effort.
Again a long time ago I saw the movie 'Rudaali' - you remember that? Dimple Kapadia, Rakhi (no, not the Sawant, that moon-faced person from Kabhi Kabhi), and so on. Beautiful melodies. I had even bought a cassette of its songs since I liked them so much. I had thought that the movie was quite depressing. I might not have seen it through to the end. I bet I cried copiously as I watched.
Then again, yesterday, I read the original story. Mahashweta Devi. In this book:
I thoroughly liked the story. Not in the least depressing, despite the deaths and the poverty that are depicted. She talks about these in a practical, no-nonsense voice, which did not tug at the heart strings of this thirty-five year old. I mean, yes, its all sad that people are hungry, and so exploited. But then its also a very hard everyday fact, staring you in the face all the time. I see that the only way to cope with it is by being practical, not whimsical, by action and not tears. The way this story ends is just wonderful. The parts that are said, and those that are unsaid. I have always liked Mahashweta Devi's writing - mum and I have collected a few of her books between us, but Rudaali, her short story that found its way to us through this collection, gets a big thumbs up from me, specifically because it ends on what I think is a particularly positive note.