Sunday, 10 November 2019

Titanic & Me - a lasting love

While reading my old diaries, I came across the thoughts I had penned after watching Titanic for the second time on April 5, 1998. It sounds pretentious, but the thoughts of my younger self do manage to surprise me pretty often. So, here's what I found written on the now-yellowed pages of a thin, old journal:


Poster Titanic Movie Kate Winslet Leonardo DiCaprio
Titanic (Image taken from here)


Saw 'Titanic' for the second time today. And maybe because it was the second time I could look beyond the indescribably good looks of Leonardo DiCaprio (Jack), the flawless beauty of Kate Winslet (Rose), the elegance of the first-class passengers, the comparison between the 1st class and 3rd class passengers, the beautiful sets and costumes, the reality check of seeing the engines and the workers operating them - all in all, the whole grandeur along with a certain shallow realisation of 'there's more than meets the eye'. Now, I was not preoccupied with the story of Jack and Rose... I knew that already. The fact remained that it would have been a happy, hopeful and romantic ending, had they both lived... and lived happily ever after.

Today was the second time. The first impression, as I usually feel it always is, was shallow and ephemeral. (Is the first impression ever the last impression? I have never ever experienced it to be.)
After the second watch, the significance struck home - Jack died, Rose lived... Life for Rose went on. Many people aboard Titanic died, many lived... For the ones who lived, life went on. One may stop and look back from time to time... Rose must have... But one can't die for the dead. The beauty of it is that Rose didn't just survive, she lived a good, happy life.

The first time I watched the movie, I had felt shattered when Jack had died. Yes, 1500 people had died in the movie and in real life and Jack was the only one who mattered. Some realisations take time to sink in.

Even the 101-year-old Rose didn't let go. Towards the end of the film, when she climbed on the deck of the ship, my thought was that she would commit suicide for Jack... but she doesn't. Today I realised she wouldn't. That would have been out of character for the strong, happy Rose, who loved life. That isn't how life works.

Life works on dreams and fantasies, on hopes and wishes, on memories (Rose had Jack's) and promises (she made one to him - 'never to let go') and on being open to making new memories and promises.
Above all, life goes on, because you have that strength and courage to face it and live it... and because you have it in you not to let the sorrows drown you, but let the memories of it keep you afloat, as you live each moment, making more beautiful memories... but never forgetting the old ones.

My favourite - 'He saved me in every possible way a person can be saved'.


I was surprised that I understood all of this back then. But I also realised that what we get from a great piece of art continues to evolve. It keeps giving.

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