“MY heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains”
Do you feel the same, my friend? Haven’t you ever known
“The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs;
Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.”?
Surely, you too share the same pain as me. Oh! How badly do I need some respite---
“O for a beaker full of the warm South!
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And purple-stainèd mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen”
Would you like to call me a fool? An escapist relying on the power of narcotics?
Mind my dear, the Grecian poet had the power to fly “on the viewless wings of poesy”. Do you like to call that a vague romanticism? Dutt has got some another answer for you then.
The romantics are often criticized for their meditation upon unworldly imaginations, for not being realistic enough. But Dutt in his film Crossroads has shown the path in just the other way round. We mistakenly rely on an imaginary make-belief world and take it for the real world; whereas the real world, wherefrom we are so far away, seems to be the imaginary world, and we pine for it.
And so, Victor suffers. Alongwith him, suffers Saswato and Atul too. Victor, the loving husband has written his words for his dead wife for a long time, considering it to be a real game, thereby only tiring himself out. Hence he seeks respite in death. Saswato has thought his puritan attitude real, therefore hating his wife’s career [ perhaps he suffered from inferiority complex, he is often seen sneering Rupa for a flop career which is surely not true as her fans often seeks her autograph. Moreover, she has got money, which is never associated with a flop career], sneering in a typical non-teacher like manner at his students for their language inefficiency, and lastly, even asking a man about his sexual intimacy with a lady; only exhausting himself in the process. Atul also suffers for his attitude. Who relies on him is a serious issue for him, only because he has lost his faith on his partner across the phone. However, an accident and an incident saved the lot. Atul intervenes timely by chance when Victor was going to dive away from life, Victor experiences an epiphany, and shares the realization with Atul. Saswato also realizes the difference between his imaginary hatred towards his wife and his real love for her; as he learns about his wife’s cancer and finally believes it.
You may not be so lucky to get an accident or an incident timely to make you realize the difference between the real and the imaginary. But friends, you have the movie to watch and learn yourself. Rupa’s boyfriend, Aparajita’s husband, or even the bar-man will make you feel the difference. Learn that the real world is so beautiful, and we have many real beautiful stories about this world to tell others. Else you have the choice to be as Aparajita, finding pleasure only in nagging others, not sensitive enough to feel any true pain even.
The movie is really vibrant in tunes. It is very likely that you will be humming the tunes whenever you think about the movie. Nothing to say about the cast, everybody seems so real and convincing. The movie, surprisingly is without any comment on Jyoti Basu, or even any political comment. The old man has grown now much more contended than before, his leniency in the matter reflecting his greater wisdom, though it robs away a hearty laughter from a part of the audience. Many may share the nostalgia of Darjeeling, their honeymoon, or their occasional stroll amidst the madding ‘cheap crowd’ with Dutt.