Sunday, December 30, 2007

Drug addiction- the eternal riches to rags story.

I am looking at a patient who was a pharmacist, and after starting his heroin use around 10 years back(for which there are hundreds of reasons- curiosity, cheated in cigarettes, sex..) he is living in the streets as a beggar for years. His family has forsaken him. He is so weak that he cannot even work as a manual laborer but somehow he manages 100-200 Rs per day for heroin. Pick pocketting, mugging who knows..

I differ with you when you say that if he is suffering its his fault-10 years- there was lot of time to change or to take control of his life.
He may have done one thing wrong in his life- that he first tried heroin. But I don’t think he would have tried it if he was able to see 10 years into the future.

What makes him do what he does?

There is a part of our brain called 'reward and reinforcement system'. When you take nicotine, alcohol, heroin etc dopamine is secreted into this pathway and you get the feeling of fulfillment.
After taking the substance for the first time its memory is imprinted in your amygdala and you run like the donkey after the carrot forever after it. Along with it, due to chronic use, you get conditioned like the pavlovian dog to expect the substance in situations where you have earlier used it. Like the feeling that you should smoke after the food.
I have seen a patient who vomits every time he sees a medical store where he used to buy fortwin injections earlier.(vomiting is a sign of opioid
You become like a zombie who has only on e aim in life- to satisfy his hunger for drugs- you will be so desperate that you will lie, cheat, steal and murder for it.
All the callousness that you see in a drug addict was not there in the first place. They attain it over time. They subconsciously learn what behaviour earns them money- brings them drugs.

If there is a hell on earth it is this, it is this...

Snakes in a plane

I heard that the title was decided by the public in the net. If the argument is that it gives more information about the movie they could have kept it 'snakes in a plane and after many people get killed the tough hero saves the day.' As someone said great pieces of art are produced not by committees or groups but by individuals.(except Hollywood screenplays I guess)
As you would have guessed by now, unless you are thoroughly suicidal, its better to keep away. Then you may ask how I saw this movie. Well it was one of those days when you are thoroughly procrastinating and you are ready even to watch business news. But I assure you. I changed the HBO after 20 minutes of this movie.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The farewell

I was seeing him after quite sometime. I could have gone earlier. He was just a stone's throw away. But I didn't.

Now he is dying. Yeah I know- I know... we all are dying. But he is dying pretty fast. He has a lung condition.

He was alone, cheerful. Nowadays he does not get out of his house- the slope in the courtyard made him breathless.

He told me , ''pray- whatever you become, pray''
How can I tell him that I have become something that I can't even pray anymore?
I guess he knows that.

Then he started to talk. About what I should do…regarding profession, regarding marriage, faith, life- everything. Suddenly it occurred to me that he didn't expect to see me a next time. That this was his farewell to me.

When I stood up to go he was distressed that no one was at home to give me a drink.

After that I returned- to deadlines, late flights, tax evasions, overloaded days- to pretend that I don’t have death...

The constant gardener

A British diplomat investigating the murder of his wife in Africa realizes that she was working as a spy and was getting involved in a bigger game. As we go through his memories we see the whole relationship unfolding and his inner conflicts whether it was just a 'marriage of convenience' for her.

The problem is of genre. People expecting a spy movie will end up with an emotional drama in their hands and those who are expecting a drama will get a sort of spy movie. Bottom line: both the groups will not be satisfied.

The movie is made in the 'self conscious' school of direction where actors get very less dialogue to speak and they pass time staring at each other.( Remember the staring contests by the Bacchans in 'Sarkar?')

Understatement is the rule and so though many central characters die you won't see the bullets being fired or even the dead bodies.

The movie contains two three different streams of plot. So it is not able to pursue all of them to full advantage in two hours.
But such things always occur when you adapt a novel. Novelists are lucky bastards- they get 500 pages so that even the kid peeing on the sidewalk in the story gets to talk about his life.

Ralph Fiennes is nice as usual- he should have been the next Bond. But I don’t understand why Rachel Weisz was nominated for an Oscar for her performance in this movie.
Visit to discover Indian blogs