pi-darren-aronofsky-1

Surreal dream, pain and Darren Aronofsky’s Pi

When watching a film is not about entertainment.

I was staying with a bunch of young hippies who were playing guitar and singing songs early in the morning. I took a shower and went and sat next to them listening to their music and smiling. I had to catch the train at 9.30 am and I remembered the station was very close to where I was. I can’t remember when I fell asleep listening to their music, when I woke up it was just about 10 mins to the train’s departure. I quickly picked up my suitcase and rushed out of the building to find a cycle rickshaw to take me to the station. Gaur railway station. But the rickshaw wala said he’d take Rs.200, and its 2 hours away. I said, what? Are you crazy? Its just round the corner. He said there are two stations. I realized the guy doesn’t know anything, I got off the rickshaw and started running towards the station. But I couldn’t.

You know when the sleep is really deep, but the mind is still hell bent upon watching a dream, which is being played in front of your closed eyes, you cannot really walk or run or even scream. You try very hard but your feet seem to be glued, you struggle to move, you panic, you lose your voice, and then you get tired.

I don’t know what was this town in which I was lost, unable to find the railway station and then I missed my train. When I was too tired to run anymore I found myself in front of a puddle. There were about 5-6 white paper boats floating on the water. Suddenly there was whirlpool in the puddle, it started growing and then it was windy and pouring heavily, the puddle was now a lake, and now it was an ocean with huge waves. I remembered I had lost my suitcase.

I woke up.

Our Mahavir Enclave house needs painting, we have been planning various things on each weekend. Today I had to go with dad to talk to the paint-wala. At 10.30 am after breakfast, I was revisited by my long time companion, the GERD+IBS pain, bloated stomach, acid reflux. It gave me palpitations, headache, breathlessness and a general feeling like my whole body is going numb losing its strength and am about to go into a coma. I drank a lot of water, and then lied down. Decided to watch a film.

I needed a distraction from my pain and uneasiness. Not entertainment. So Darren Aronofsky’s 1998 psycho thriller Pi it was.

Crazy film. You cannot understand anything. Shot entirely in black and white with grainy images, nonlinear unreliable narrative, all timelines are mixed up. Maxmillian Cohen is a mathematician or a number theorist. It is not clear if he has a job or not, but he lives with computers in a dark apartment and is seen losing his mind trying to find number patterns in everything in life. He takes a lot of drugs when he gets these attacks when his hands tremble, and he starts to hear sounds in his head. He is paranoid about locking his door, avoid human contacts, and fears someone is following him. He meets a Jew who tells him more about numbers. A woman stalks him to give him money, but it wasn’t really money she wanted to give, it was a micro chip. Then she and her men tried to abduct him and kill him. He ran for his life. He found a shell with a pattern. Pattern of the whirlpool.

That same whirlpool, that I saw earlier in my dream. The spiral shape of the whirlpool is found everywhere from micro-organisms to the milky way. Then Maxmillian gave his new hypothesis,

“If we’re built from Spirals while living in a giant Spiral, then is it possible that everything we put our hands to is infused with the Spiral?”

I can now spend couple of nights trying to figure out the connection between spirals and the futility of hope. This is one hell of a distraction.

Note: My GERD flare up has subsided. Facebook asked me if I want to ‘switch to a note’ as I typed this update which FB so prudishly assumes that nobody is interested in because it is ridiculously long. This level of intrusiveness, I mean seriously FB doesn’t even bother to pretend to give you any privacy. Theme of surveillance from the film is also coming back to me now.

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