On Humans, and Gangsters
I completed the first of the three acts on my play yesterday (a really young draft) but the feeling of completion felt as If I have achieved the world. It was different then what I feel when I complete an essay or article. Maybe the distinction is not different, but it’s just the idea of writing a play, doing a play is much more romantic to me. After reading my play’s first draft, I felt that maybe because unlike the articles and essays, the story and opinions both are mine. I own the characters, and the thing getting critiqued here is a very fictional but not so really fictional culture.
Among everything the most logical example is my narcissism, In the end, I want to feel that texture of originality, however observable my thoughts on an essay (Like this piece of essay) Those thoughts are incepted from a certain piece of art. But the idea of my play is mine. It feels original. I feel creating art out of nothing is the most religious thing…The idea that I might change art, and society forever is vaguely stupid but very hopeful. And with the completion of the first draft, I started writing this essay on narcissism which then got metamorphosized into the gangster genre because of Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) from Scorsese’s ‘the Departed’.
“I Don’t wanna be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me”
The gangster Genre is a very romanticized work of art, The genre in itself is often a symbol of Masculinity in Indian men, a Symbol of India, and a symbol of being a man. The story might have started in pre-colonial India, But the spotlight is not there, the truth and myth might have mixed up to start the story in Post-colonial, Post-Independent India. And mixed up in this magic of myth and reality this is the most richly spoiled genre.
Characters in these films from Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘Parinda’ to Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ are just characters. Their idea of being is taken from, real people, real crime bosses. But I can’t see them as humans. Faizal Khan, Don Corleone these people with all their human emotions in them, and I still can’t see them as humans, the problem I thought was me, It might be in a very deep and moral sense (I would explain this in the latter part of the essay) but even for these names like ‘Manya Survey’, ‘Aslam Kasai’, ‘Ibrahim Dawood’, ‘Arun Gawli’, ‘Tiger Memon.’ Even these people who are very much real in the pages of history feel not humans but characters.
It’s also my fault, Because I’m the product of my environment even though I wish to have the situation turned but my idea and understanding of my culture is far away from these people, Violence and crime are very subtle and corporately legal. Whereas these dons and gangsters have been given this promiscuity to kill. It’s palpable to understand them. And often because of this necessity of moral criteria I can’t feel them as humans. My idea of humans is also necessarily small, I’ve put boundaries on it. It’s my moral personal problem as well to see these gangsters even with moral promiscuity as characters in a fictional world and not really as humans. But it’s a philosophical paradox in a much deeper sense.
In V.V. C’s ‘Parinda’ Karan (Anil Kapoor) an educated and simple citizen in love is killed alongside his love interest Paro (Madhuri Dixit), by Anna (Nana Patekar), because of Kishen (Jackie Shroff) who works for don Anna. When Kishen is confronted by Karan about why he’s a don, Kishen tells him his legal moral duty towards him made him a gangster and after killing Anna and avenging his brother, The final scene is him practicing the last sacrifice of Karan and Paro. In the voice-over, as the bodies are burning we hear “Takat se darega Har Aadmi hamari” When Karan says “Aise nahi bolte Bhaiya, Taakat se nahi, Pyyar se, Saadgi se” “Duniya se jeetigi Saadgi Hamari” The bodies lay dead on pure contradiction and as in the flashback, Young Karan and Paro free, the bird, I understand this essay is not about gangsters but Humans.