Books, Movies, OTT, theaters and my Sunday Times in Four Acts.

2023 started more than a month ago and I have not read any book. Sometimes that fact reflects and haunts you pretty quickly. For me it is in the form of a restlessness. Not the restlessness of not having read anything. But the restlessness of not having spent enough time calmly going deep into something.

Without reading regularly everything for me seems superficial. I start finding the world to be too fast. Like everyone is in a hurry. There seems to be so many people on their thread mills that don’t have a destination. I am not saying they don’t have any destination. They might have. Who am I to judge someone else. But I find myself standing amidst countless thread mills with faces some that I recognize and some that I don’t.

They don’t smile. There is only a rush that I see. A rush to finish ? I don’t know…

I have two options. Get out of there or look around for a vacant one and then get on it and be part of the pack. I hate both the options. That is where books help me. To get off the thread mill and go in depth into something.

Movies used to do this same thing for me once. When I came to the United States in 2001 for the first time in my life I had access to so many old movies that I had only heard of.

I used to live in Blockbusters back then. I used to bring home old classic movies and watch them through the night. Movies from the 60s to 90s that I never had access to. That coupled with internet browsing into rabbit holes for those movies and moviemakers I missed. It was fun.

Then Netflix came, and the OTT Era.. It was so easy.. so convenient. The binge watching. But….

Lately I feel so bored watching these OTT stuff. May be I am not even watching them but just browsing.

Some of these platforms are also giving me a kind of anxiety. I open a platform and then I want to watch everything. But I just end up two minutes on each. It is so lame.

I think I spend more time mindlessly browsing than mindlessly watching. Watching movie at home has become just a distraction prone event. I don’t enjoy it.

I feel like I am forced to watch because I am paying. I could stop paying but then I have FOMO. Everyone talks about some stupid show and I can’t even browse and decide. So I pay.

I think I have enjoyed some limited series lately, but don’t seem to remember. I am just forgetting what I loved. That is bad. I have to watch movies in theaters in order to even be part of a movie. Such is my distracted restless mind.

I have decided a few things.

Act-1 Back to reading. And reading fiction for a change and continue in memoirs and essays. I want to be transported to some distant land that was created in someone’s mind and live there through the pages and words.

I want to walk with someone in the shoe they lend me through their words… I have started… I wanted to watch Neeraj Pandey’s Khakee on Netflix and then realized I had Amit Lodha’s Bihar Diaries that inspired the series. So I stopped watching and picked up the book. How dare I not read what I bought years ago.

I look at my shelf and I see all these books I have bought over the years staring back at me like I am some mindless collector maniac and not a book loving reader.

In 2021 I had read about 29 books but in 2022 it was much less may be 10, I don’t remember. So 2023 you better have more days and hours in you. I am holding all my hopes on you.

Act-2 I will also seriously find and watch foreign language movies on OTT. In the original language and not the meaningless dubbed way.

I will connect the visual to the subtitles and in that between space which will exist only in my imagination I will wander and find the depth I want.

I have started…. I am currently watching ‘Decision to leave’ on Mubi and one dialogue is in my mind

“Every dead body that has open eyes, I ask who was the last person it saw” A wonderful Korean Movie directed by Park Chan-Wook

Act-3 Watch Movies in Theater more. I cannot let my love for movies be alien to me. The big screen is needed to bring the charm of the motion pictures back to me.and try to write about it in detail. Just how I feel about them. And find how deep I can step into it. And I am now going to watch ‘Women Talking’ in the Theaters.

And finally Act-4 where I will write these silly notes every Sunday. My Sunday Times Word Project about my puzzling pulse.

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