A Quote for life!

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for Insects

Robert A Heinlein
(American science-fiction writer,1907-1988)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Forrest Gump – movie that left me inspired

At this age, where there are at least 20 flicks seeing the daylight every Friday nationwide, powered with month long trailers and previews that pave the way for the release, it is very easy to choose between the films even before entering the theater.  One would get an idea about the film well before the release, by the posters that hung from every wall and tree in the city showing the cast & crew; by the media coverage and promotional activities carried out by the producers and distributors and even the actors.

There was a time though, when there were not this much of attentions provided to a new motion picture by the media; and if it was a foreign movie then one would not even know about it until the posters were hung outside the theaters.

Not every picture we see leaves us flabbergasted. Neither do all of them teach us things that have long lasting influences in our lives. Movies were instituted as a mode to pass time; though, at times there were a few that hit the hearts, as soon as they were made public in the silver screen. Again, every good movie may not be a hit in the box office; but then, if an amazing movie does amazingly well with the revenue that it generates nationwide (nay, worldwide) it is equally amazing!

Forrest Gump was such an English movie that was released way back in 1994 with a lesser known cast & crew (of that era) and an even lesser known topic – life of an autistic man doing things in his own way – funny to many, but changing lives.

This flick made the lead actor Tom Hanks, a household name. So much so, that there were articles, short stories and even books written on that character later on. A few dialogues from the movie became so popular globally that people started using them in their daily conversation. This was undoubtedly one of the supreme movies that the golden nineties gave us to remember, appreciate and experience for a long time to come.

In that movie a boy by the name Forrest Gump and with a lower than average intelligence grows up and finds his own way of living life. As he crosses each phase of life, he meets people, touches and changes their lives too. From having to wear braces on his legs as a child he went on to become one of the fastest and longest runners of his time. He studied with a scholarship in the sports quota. Forrest joined the United States Army and went to Vietnam to participate in the war and eventually became a national hero. He learnt to play table tennis (they called it Ping-Pong in the movie) when he was recovering from injuries of the war, as he had nothing else to do. He excelled so much in such short time that he went on to represent the US in friendly tour held against the top seeded Chinese players. He was motivated by his childhood girlfriend and eventually went on to meet her, near the climax of the movie. The movie en bloc, was a narrative of short stories from his life that Forrest tells to the various unknown people he meets, sitting on a bench in the bus stop while waiting for a bus to his girlfriend’s; in the end he discovers that he was sitting just a couple of lanes away from that place.

Well, I do not want to tell you the story of the movie here. You could do far better seeing the movie yourself. What I want to tell you through this blog post are the special things about the movie that have left everlasting influence on my life. 

The simplicity of the character in speech and thoughts is the uncanny highlight of the movie. His straightforwardness was shown in the incident where one of his friends-to-be introduces himself as, “My name is Benjamin Buford "Bubba" Blue. People call me Bubba.” In reply Forrest says, “My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump.” Such was the character that made an impact in the way I live my life at present.

In this age where we are taught to lie to avoid detrimental situations, this man with below average intelligence does not mind speaking the ruthless truth on his way to the zenith. He has never left the path of truth and genuineness even when he was thrown to the wolves in the school bus, in the Army training camp or when his girlfriend left him. He stood up and continued with his life as it came.

In his journey from a kid with leg braces to the well accomplished man waiting for bus in the bus stop, with a below average IQ throughout, Forrest achieved so many feats which are mostly unthinkable for a normal man with more than average intelligence. His acts in the movie seemed stupid to others, but he was never a stupid. His mother, who inspired him all the way, once told him, “Stupid is as stupid does.So, he knew that he would be a stupid only if he does stupid things – it does not matter what others think I am doing, I would ensure that I do no stupid! Forrest proved to be one of the smartest ones around.

The film is full with witty proverbs and educative instances. One does not fail to see the humor in the acts, but I feel his weird behavior in diverse circumstances and the way Forrest narrated the stories of his life to the nameless strangers sitting around him can be the only things that can be laughed at. Whatever else he does in the film is something to learn, imitate and practice in life, daily.

Life is not the same always. It changes its form and shape every moment. Forrest was always prepared for life and whatever came towards him. His mother used to say that life is like a box of chocolate (obviously, in their part of the world at that time of the era they used to get chocolates of various flavors, shape and size in the same box) and you’d never know (when you put your hand in the covered box, grab something and take it out) what you’re going to get. It can be anything – what you have expected or that which you have never expected at all. So, be prepared. And Forrest was prepared for that – when he was slapped for saving his comrades in the war or when after years of separation he meets his girlfriend, comes to know that they have a kid together and his girlfriend dies. The ups and downs in his life never deterred him from his path – he just walked on.

When I see myself today and the way I live my life, I find a lot of influences of Forrest. Initially, it was intentional – when I tried to incorporate his ways in my life, wherever possible – asking myself, what would Forrest Gump do if it was him? After years of watching the movie and getting inspired by his character, his deeds and his words I am thankful that I saw that movie in early days of my career. Forrest has inspired me since then, in almost every step of my life.

Not every day you come across such a character either in a book, movie or in reality who can persuade your ways of looking at and dealing with things. Those who have seen the movie would know what I have experienced. I have watched that movie more than twenty times in last 10-12 years. For those who have not seen the film, I have a special request to go and watch it, from wherever you can. It is always better to watch it yourself, rather than listening to what I or others have to say about the movie. It will be a memorable motion picture for sure…

Wrote it for a Blog Competition in Office

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