Monday, January 5, 2009

I Want to See Good in 2009

by Pat Brown

It is the start of a new year and this is my first post for Women in Crime Ink in 2009. I began pondering about what to write, and my head began to hurt. Did I want to think about the horrible Christmas Eve massacre enacted by Bruce Pardo (pictured on the right) who took out nine beautiful people ? Or would I prefer to just think about the guy on the left and all of the beauty he brings into people's lives through his movies?

Yes, I know I am a criminal profiler, and these stories are part and parcel of my work. I should want to write about them today, but I just don't. Maybe it is the glass of Chianti I just consumed that is making me feel ambivelent. Maybe I just need a break from mayhem. Maybe I just want, for once, to start the new year with some optimistic thoughts, a bit of happiness, something that makes my heart sing. And, I have ultimately decided, I am going to do just that! So, readers of true crime, I am here today to introduce you to the sweetest movie of the year, a family picture you can take your grandmother to see (if she can read the subtitles) that helps us remember that, in this world, there are men, yes, men, who would lay down their lives for their women rather than stab them to death because they became inconvenient.

The movie is
Rab Ne Bani di Jodi, a Bollywood megahit from India. A middle-aged man who is no less than a bespectacled nerd, shy, and not much of a ladies man (well, he admits to his new wife he has never so much as even been on a date) ends up marrying the beautiful young Taani after her fiance dies on their wedding day in a bus crash. Surinder (Suri for short) is the stand-in, the man her dying father requests she marry so that he knows she is safe in the world without him. She agrees to her father's wish, and Suri becomes her husband. However, Taani is grieving and unhappy so Suri sleeps in the attic to allow her time to recover. He does not force himself on her. He then tries everything in his power to make her happy again and, at the climax of the movie, is even willing to leave her his home (the one he had before he married) and go quietly out of her life if she cannot be happy with him.

Suri is a regular man with a heart of gold who see's "his God in his wife," and therefore loves her, and worships her. What a fine concept for marriage!

Is that not inspiring? And what of Veer-Zaara? In this Hindi movie, Veer, a Hindu man, tells the Muslim girl he has fallen in love with (and who is about to return to Pakistan to marry the man her father has chosen for her, a political match, a cold, controlling sort of man) that Zaara should always remember that "across the border is a man who would die for her." Eventually, he rushes to save her and spends seventeen years in jail protecting her name. What a guy! I want one of him!

And, finally, the longest running Indian movie of all time, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge Dilwane (known as DDLJ) which just reached its 650th week showing in Mumbai! Now THAT's a run! Two Brits born of Indian parents, Raj falls in love with Simran on a Swiss holiday but she is going to go to India to get married. Raj follows her there and attempts to win the family's heart. He dearly loves Simran and he hopes her father will see his great love for his daughter and consent to their marriage. He is a good young man who would not break the hearts of the family by eloping with the daughter. What morals!

Okay, so this is all fairy tale and make-believe, or is it? Shahrukh Khan, the star these three movies and dozens more, King Khan as he is called in Bollywood, the most famous movie star in the world (except we have no clue who he is in the United States) inspires us not only with his acting but his own life. He is a married man, a Muslim married to a Hindu woman, raising their two children with respect for both religions. He doesn't do sex scenes in his movies nor does he ever kiss a co-star. There are no rumors of adulterous affairs because, after all, as Shahrukh asks, "Why can't I be in love with the girl I'm married to?" I am sure his wife, Gauri, appreciates the sentiment because there is no shortage of fangirls and fanwomen the world over who would give anything for a date with the King of Bollywood.

While wars rage aound us and men kill their wives and mothers kill their children, there are still pockets of beauty that exist in men, in women, and in the imaginations of us all. If we as a human race can understand the sentiment of Raj ne Bani di Jodi, then perhaps we are not doomed. Perhaps if we all are able to see God in others, then 2009 will be a better year.

Happy New Year to all of you at Women in Crime Ink, contributors and readers. May you all have a Suri, a Veer or a Raj in your life this year and let's encourage the next generation to become like them.

And, for a little more sweetness, the music video from RNBDJ or for Shahrukh at his most romantic, a music video from Veer-Zaara or for Shahrukh showing undying love, check out this one from KKKG. Oh, and for very sexy Shahrukh, check out this one from Om Shanti Om.

Enjoy! Happy New Year!


Anonymous said...

Pat - what a great post. Where do you find such great movies??

Pat Brown said...

Hi Leah,

Well, I own over 150 Bollywood movies myself, 50 of them starring Shahrukh himself. But you can get them from Netflix and if you live in a large metropolitan area, there is likely to be a movie theatre showing them on the big screen. Bollywood movies are typically 2 1/2 to 3 hours long with some six song and dance sequences in them (even the movie is a murder mystery or a war film)!

Bollywood films give me a break in life from all the stress. One really gets to know the stars in these films because they constantly show up in one film after the other; they are much like family to the audience.

Shahrukh Khan, voted sexiest man in Asia (and why not the world?) is a fabulous actor, doing everything from Jerry Lewis style comedy to playing psycopaths, and mafia dons. He is, however, loved most for his romantic roles because as he jokingly states, "I could make love to a cow on screen and make it look like chemistry" and he is so right. He represents the perfect man to many women and he certainly has raised the bar for any men in my life::laughs::

piper said...

You post gave me a warm smile. Thank you.

Mia said...

I'm convinced - I have to move to India. What a concept they have there.. husbands who love their wives. Interesting!

Pat Brown said...

::laughs::well, Mia, we DO have to remember the movies are fantasy! But, isn't it a grand thing to have an ideal?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

When I saw Mr. Pardo's pic, I mistook it for a sullen mug shot of an out of shape Troy Aikman!

Sorry, Troy! My bad! :)

Anonymous said...

I came all the way back, and scrolled for miles, to tell you how great you were on Dana's show! This post is wonderful, but hearing you express it was even better. We all wallow in the muck so much we lose sight of the fact that there are really good people out here, also.
When I was a child, there was a popular country song that went something like, "Let's forget about the cheatin and the lying, the killing and the dying, and the fellow with the switchblade knife.. Let's think about living, let's think about life". It was as twangy as they came and my mother was appalled that I had learned it, word for word (at a neighbor's house).
I probably haven't thought of it in 40 years but, as I listened to you, it came back.
Yes, there are horrible people out there doing unspeakable things to each other--but sometimes we just have to stop and search for the good and wonderful, even if it's only a corny movie, with no bad words, and a happy ending!!
Thank you for reminding me,

Pat Brown said...

Thank you, Karen, for your lovely words! I love that song! Yes, I think we just have way too much negativity in our lives and we are not looking to counteract it. We need pretty stuff, funny stuff, loving stuff...not all garbage and mayhem. It is a matter of balance. We need not be Pollyannas with no concern for serious matters but we can also celebrate what is joyous and wonderful about life. Unfortunately, beauty needs a lot more pushing in our society today - in the way we dress, in the television and movies we watch, in our reading material, in our activities.

Here' hoping this year we decide to improve on that!