Thursday, January 16, 2014

A month in India, part 1: Introduction.

I always knew India was a country one would enter and have all of their senses overwhelmed at once. Especially coming from a sparsely populated, cold northern country such as Finland, I was prepared for some sensory shock, a bit of culture shock and more. I also knew that even if there was a laundry list of inconveniences and things I couldn't wrap my head around about India, I'd probably fall in love. You can't spend a decade reading and learning and thinking about a country, and then visit and be completely disillusioned. It just doesn't happen. And thus, rather predictably, I did fall in love - with the overwhelming India, the actual India, at once so similar to the hundreds of filmed Indias I'd seen and yet completely different.

So understandably, India was a lot to take in, even for a fairly seasoned traveler such as myself. One acclimates, though, and during the month I spent there, urban India - be it Kolkata, Mumbai or Chennai - became a sphere I could actually navigate pretty successfully. For a while I could even imagine myself living there. As I went with a friend, who was a fellow Indian film fan, despite having grown distant from the films (due to lack of time and occasionally, lack of interest), we followed the path of our mutual interests; no stalking of film stars, but plenty of tracking down CD and DVD shops, seeing a film in each city we visited, sometimes two, and turning on the TV channel that played the latest hits when we went back to the hotel to relax. We also read a lot, ate a lot, walked a lot, saw sights - when you spend that long a time anywhere, there's no way your time is taken up by just one thing. But since this is a film blog, I'll focus on the films.

In the coming days I'll review the movies I saw there, and hopefully in the year that follows I'll get around to watching and discussing all the films I bought on DVD or VCD while in India. I say a year because I bought around 20 films and knowing myself, how bad I am at arranging time to watch anything, it'll probably take me a year. And maybe one day I'll actually get around to also doing my Filmi Year 2013 post.  Maybe.

Happy 2014, everybody!

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