OK, I’ve never been a die-hard patriot… never made speeches about how much the motherland means to me, never told people about the nation and its glory, never talked about how I would give up my life for the country. None of that is even remotely me.
But then there are times.
The time when I made a fuss about the guy who thought it would be interesting to make faces when Jana Gana Mana was sung. The time when, along with the rest of the crowd, I booed the Britishers all through the cricket match of Lagaan. The time I ran out my hostel to make it in time for the Independence Day flag hoisting. The time I pitied our country in the hands of the politician who said the order of colours on the tricolour is green-white-saffron.
There are times.
But this is not about how patriotic I am. It’s about how, sometimes, a commercial film can bring about that feeling, even though you know there is nothing true about it. Swades started off for me as a normal, Shah Rukh movie in which all I would be able to do was sit through a boring (though novel) story for three hours. Now, when would those days come when Hindi movies would be worthy of the money spent!
And so these thoughts I kept repeating to myself, over and again, so that I could get everything across to the first person I met or called. This was going to be one bashing session! And then twenty minutes before the movie ended, the thoughts were no more. They just ceased to exist. All in five minutes:
Rahman magic? Art Direction? Camera work? Scene timing? I don’t know. Suddenly Mohan Bhargav was a hero. Suddenly the movie was a feeling. Suddenly India was a heartbeat.
In five minutes.