The Japanese stranger stands up to leave. For a moment, he thinks to himself and eventually reaches into his slinging bag to take out a notebook. He hands it to Paterson calling it a gift. He says, “Sometimes empty pages present more than possibilities” and walks away. God knows where he went. Even though Paterson was feeling distraught ever since his dog chewed up his ‘secret’ notebook where he wrote all of his poems, he felt somewhat dazed after the Japanese stranger left. I guess life teaches us things we were supposed to, not because we want to. Destiny has it’s own supernatural path barely known to nimble human minds. I was feeling a little out of place ever since I got home, my favorite team lost and I couldn’t write at all. I posted a status on facebook saying I was dealing with a sizable writer’s block (which I am) and was bored to the point where I could go insane. But then I watched the beautiful movie ‘Paterson’, I picked up where I had left last night. I like think the words that came out of the Japanese stranger’s mouth meant something. I mean, artists cannot always keep creating. They need space, time and bits of inspiration every now and then. Paterson dealt with his shredded notebook in a very mature way which was impossible in my case. I would’ve cried my heart out. He was shaken yet couldn’t show. After he was gifted the notebook and those words, he was inspired enough to write something that naturally pleased him. Such is the highlight of my day. That Japanese stranger broke Paterson’s incubation period and so did mine. Hell, I am writing now. What could be more delightful than writing something that feels good? I can never put something before my writing. It’s what I live for and what I want to do. It might be the only thing I’m good at. Maybe Paterson felt the same as I did when I was dealing with this block.
On a more spiritual level, Paterson is real. He’s a living, breathing, walking and kissing human being. He is not a rock star or a multi billionaire. He’s a plain, blue collar citizen who has an ambitious girlfriend and a hungry dog. Nobody shall put this movie on the fiction shelf. Movies like these don’t come out very often. There is nothing extravagant or eventful about Paterson. He just wants to wake up to listen to a dream his girlfriend saw, eat cereal, write some ordinary piece of poetry based on what he sees everyday and drive the bus. The words he jots on paper are not mesmerizing or memorable; it’s observation disguised in detail and simple musings. He’d eat lunch on a bench looking at a scenic waterfall. Some things about Paterson feel so enchanting even though it’s so simple. I mean, for most people the movie is boring or not entertaining enough. There is a reason they are not artistic enough. They have no idea how to praise good, natural cinema.
“A good cinematographer must know how to present normal, routine elements of life in the most beautiful way possible.” Well, that’s quotable. Paterson is haunting. It’s so simple. A shoutout to the makers of this brilliant film, for they have created a world unto itself. And half the credit goes to Adam Driver to have acted so naturally complemented by a equally strong cast.
It is one of those rare movies that cast a magic spell on the patient and humble lovers of cinema. It has appealed to me in a way I didn’t think it could.
How many minutes does it take to smoke one regular sized cigarette? I’m guessing 5-6 minutes when you’re alone. I mean it’s a whole different story when you smoke alone; all the things you did yesterday come floating aground to your awareness while you get dizzy by the drags. I like to think that people who tend to be busy work are chainsmokers. They drown a hard day’s work into several smoke breaks spread out during the course of the day. They do it to become docile, almost to the point where nothing can invade your consciousness. You get so calm when you smoke that even if you want to be violent at that moment, you can’t. Those five minutes are somewhat precious. Take my father for an instance, sometimes I feel that he carries too much on his shoulders than a person of his mettle should’ve. He has so many problems regarding his brother, his son, his multiple jobs and an angry wife back home. He doesn’t want me to see him smoke but he does. I think he smokes a lot without being too cautious about it. He deserves those heavenly intakes. But what about me? I started smoking just to look cool. I can’t entirely smoke a large cigarette in one sitting, alone. I go on rampages only when my friends are around. I still think it’s cool to have a cigarette in between your lips burning lightly. You don’t know how cool Gaurav looks when he smokes with one hand pushed into his jeans’ pocket.
But smoking isn’t ‘cool’. It is not what you do for fun. It is probably the most harmful thing ever created. It has enough capabilities to tear your lungs apart until you form cancer or what not. That’s why most places restrict smoking. In the 70’s, smoking was even allowed in flights. Now it’s all just a matter of shame. People won’t miss the chance to give you an eye when they see you smoking. Our parents aren’t cool with it nor are our teachers. Cigarettes aren’t illegal, they are bought and sold openly and in large amounts. It’s one of the biggest industries in the world. But still, people are touchy with the matter of smoking. I smoke rather regularly but not much. I’ve seen people who I think have ace smimmers’ lungs. I’ve seen their eyes lit up when they come to know that this café’s got a smoking zone.
So where do we finally land on this subject? Is smoking bad? Well, I don’t think so. The smoking part doesn’t kill you so easily. But being obsessed about that smoke and the nicotine odor will definitely kill you. Anything can kill you. You smoke you die, if you don’t you still die. You must go by that age old statement,” too much of something is bad” which is delightfully true. But in the end, nothing beats the feeling of sharing a cigarette with your best friend under the stars. Also, cigarettes can prove to be effective catalyst for a good conversation.
Sometimes I miss you, talking to you and being with you. Nobody could ever kiss me like you did but life now tears apart making us head in different directions; in search for people to fill the gaps we dug on each other’s hearts. I don’t want you thinking I’m unhappy, I’m just doing well not because I’ve moved on but because the fire of resilience still burns bright inside of me. I don’t want you to love me again, neither will I ever love you but how can I tame this nubile heart. It has taken a vow to love you forever. I just don’t think I’ll ever get over you. I don’t miss you, I miss all those moments we were in together. It still kills me and makes me wonder how could we end so unexplained. I could persuade you again but it will only keep me in vain. Funny how life turns out to be. What if I move on? Is that really possible? I loved you so much it hurt but now it’s all forgotten and we don’t even talk anymore. I’m not hurting myself now but there is something wrong with the working of my life. I don’t know if I’m ready for another relationship because no one can take care of me like you do. I have a girl who is a friend with benefits (she’s pretty cool but I don’t know if she could be my other half), I have this crazy ” best friendship” with Bhavna and only God knows what it will bring. I am in the throes of a ill fated love story. So strong yet so fragile.