I have been glued to my TV screen lately. Watching a lot of movies back to back. It has been a very long time since I did this. Even though my list of pending tasks grew, dishes piled up in the kitchen sink and the family felt largely ignored, I am glad , I did this.
Watching movies is an escape into a world diffrent from our own and if you come from India, the home of the largest movies industry in the world, you are bound to be a little bit filmy …sometimes! For me some movies are milestones, how and when I watched them and the impact they left on me is etched in my memory. Bollywood songs and dances were at one point reflective my own youthful voice. I am still moved to tears while watching old movies like ‘mother India’ or listening to songs like this one. Once a Bolly-bhakt always a bolly-bhakt (my own term for fans of bollywood movies!) and It surprises me how many good movies I have missed recently. One sad part of being an NRI is that very few indian movies are released in theatres and by the time the CD’s hit the markets the movies themselves have fizzled away. I think , as a young nation India found its voice and a medium to reach the masses in the movies. No wonder then lot of views of life and love can be attributed to movies.
I read reviews for one recent bollywood movie which was based on an old classic hindi movie and that prompted me to look for bits and pieces of that old movie on youtube and the affection was rekindled. Our cable provider thankfully was providing a free preview of a movie channel and some other channels also had a good line ups of movies for the summer.Once I started I could not stop. I went ahead watched lot of hollywood hits, few Hitchcock classics for the very first time and old, all-time classics like Casablanca and Carousel. Watching old musical sort of reminded me of the bollywood musicals. It also gave me an insight into the collective popular history of this part of the world. Infact, I feel movies and literature of any generation reflects the prevailing mindsets and upcoming ideas of a society at that point of time.
These movies were a reminder of the power of good story telling. We are living and telling our individual story everyday and to some degree influencing others and impacting the world even. These words from John Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business school (author of Leading Change) seem to hit the nail on the head –
“Over the years I have become convinced that we learn the best – and change- from hearing stories that strike a chord within us….” what he goes on to say for companies/ corporation can be applied to ourselves, ” …those in leadership positions who fail to grasp or use the power of stories risk failure for their companies and for themselves”
Whether you like it or not, your story is developing everyday. It rests upon us whether we choose to do something about it.