Monday, October 02, 2006

Better the madness

Amar Akbar Anthony are and always have been dedicated escapists, addicted to the world of improbable fantasy and make believe. If it isn't a revolutionary cell fighting imperialists in an alternative 1930s Desh, it's cross-border intrigue and suspicious goings-on in a piligrimage town in the 1970s. We interfere in Desi and international politics, and create bollywoodised pasts and futures. There are worlds where Bush is the anti-christ, where Mullah Hantoush sells virility sandwiches outside the Grand Mosque. Where Qari Bond 00786, licensed to kill, wears a secret talcum powder specially made for him by the sufis of Harappa. And there is a Desi ghetto somewhere in phoren where the 20th century history of Desh is played out as soap opera. The wilder our fantasies, the better, because then there is no danger of thinking or hoping they may actually come true.

The one fantasy where we slipped up was the one we hoped need not just be fantasy, but something that might come true. we imagined a future for ourselves where friendship and love would triumph, where we would do ordinary and everyday things in the company of the people we loved and liked, and that would be enough. we would laugh a lot, and be happy and content. there would be no need for escapism. We imagined a foolish domesticity like this:

The Ordinary Life (excerpt)

... but there will be good things too. There wil be lots of good food, there will be camaraderie and backslapping and loud laughter, there will be companionship and taking up whole row at cinema and watching movie and cracking jokes and sharing big bags of popcorn, there will be raucous behaviour at restaurants, and impromptu summertime picnics, there will be comfort and relaxation and ease with oneself, there will be friends for support and encouragement if ever any problem, there will be someone to look after house when one goes on holiday, or bring hot soup and comforting words if someone is sick. yes, there will be food friendship and laughter.

It was a plan for a lifetime, but even the possibility of it only lasted one month. Love, life and friendships are too fragile to repose so much faith in. But I hear Qari Bond is going on a secret mission to Kabul soon...