Of oblique views and sudden realizations

I recently watched a movie about a little, lonely girl. This nine-year-old girl lives a very tough life of a slave amongst people who could not care any less. She rises and she works, day after day. One day, she meets a kind gentleman who takes a moment out of his busy life to talk to her, buys her a cup of sweet ice, and gives her some money for food. Touched by his graciousness, the little girl vows to grow up to be a geisha, and win him over. I watched the entire movie glued to my seat, and relished every moment of it. I sighed at her pain, clapped at her victory, and smiled at the happy ending.

Only now I think, how is the ending happy? Geisha is a Japanese woman trained to entertain men with conversation, singing, and dancing. These men, almost always, are rich and married. So, my little hero grows up to win a married man's company and I call it a happy ending! How skewed is my perspective?

Nick Hornby wrote a book about a middle-aged married woman, who sleeps with a guy because she does not like what her husband has become after twenty years of marriage. This woman, mind you, is not in love with this other man. She does not particularly love her husband at the moment either. She has two kids and she loves them. But she catches herself disliking them, every now and then. She dislikes what they have become; what her husband and she have made of them. The husband realizes that his behavior has an important role in driving his wife to some other man and he changes. He stops being angry. He wants to be good. He tries to be good. And, I hate him. I, the stickler for fidelity, do not hate the confused woman but the confused man who is trying his best to be understanding, forgiving, and accommodating. So skewed is my perspective.

One needs to see the larger picture, from an unbiased panoramic view. Every event in life, just like in movies and books, often has multiple vistas. Sadly, I am not a reader of subtext. It takes a second view, a second read, or at least some retrospection for me to empathize with the real picture. Sadly again, this does not work very well in real life.

And by the way, this is just a thought and all is well in the sunshine land. If she can survive for quarter of a century with such a skewed view, cannot see why it would be a problem now. =)


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