Shahrukh Birthday RePost! How I Overthink Everything and How Shahrukh Stops Me From Doing That

I just had my usual agonizing ten minutes of deep moral complexity when deciding what milk to buy, and I thought I would walk you all through it so you know that I’m not just insane about overthinking movies, it’s my whole life.

I am one of those people, who will be familiar to many of you (possibly from within your own brains), who cannot enjoy something without justifying it as in some way serving the greater good.

For instance, milk!

Every time I go to the grocery store, I find myself starring at the milk fridge and this is what goes through my head:

“Oh!  Milk of Evil [not the actual brandname]!  I want that because it is so tasty and I enjoy it!”

And then I think “I can’t do something just because it makes me happy, that is WRONG.  I must consider the greater good and determine of my actions will serve it.”

And then I consider the greater good:

“It’s a local company that uses small family farms, recycles their bottles, and doesn’t give the poor cows growth hormones-Good!  I should buy it.”

(Small family farmers!  I should buy their milk!  GOOD!)

 

“But on the other hand, the owner of the company has terrible evil political views-Bad! I shouldn’t buy it!”

(Evil!  Khalnayak is what he is!)

 

“But in a larger sense, if I believe in free speech, I shouldn’t economically punish someone for expressing their honest opinions, and if the product is high quality that is all I should care about-Good!  Buy the Milk!”

(High quality product!  Deserves to be rewarded merely for the quality no matter who made it!)

 

“However, in this case, it isn’t just free speech, he is actually running for political office self-funded using the profits from my milk purchase, I am in essence donating to a political campaign for someone whose values are antithetical to my own-Bad!  Don’t Buy the Milk!”

(He has to pay for TV ads not helicopters, but it’s still expensive)

 

“But his political campaign is doomed DOOMED because he is running in a moderate district, and by his self-funded aggressive campaigning he is blocking the Republicans from fielding a more viable candidate and therefore guaranteeing a Democratic victory-GOOD!  Buy the Milk!”

(Yes!  Good Ajay will win instead of evil rich Manoj Bajpai!)

 

And so, after ten minutes of starring at the milk fridge, I finally buy the milk.  But I am careful not to enjoy drinking it too much, because that would be WRONG.  I am buying the milk as a political gesture, not for fun.

 

And this is my life.  You should see me deciding when (if ever) it is justified to use the dryer at the laundromat, buy cut flowers, or the real luxury, getting a dog (I landed on “I am allowed to get a dog because if I don’t, I will spend my life curled up and miserable and not be able to do any good in the world”).

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(And now through the transitive property of dog ownership, Hazel is the one who is curled up and miserable)

 

Anyway, that’s why I blog.  I was getting too much pleasure from watching movies, which is WRONG, because you shouldn’t waste your life on things that merely give you pleasure.  Well, not more than the bare minimum of pleasure required to get you through all the things you are supposed to be doing for the greater good.

So I went back to school which made watching movies into “learning” and learning is GOOD (so long as I’m still working full time and paying my own tuition and generally not enjoying it too much).  But then I finished school which meant watching movies became pleasure again and therefore WRONG, BAD, and unjustifiable waste of time and money that could have been spent on making the world a better place.  And thus, this blog.

I write here so that my watching movies becomes a donation to the greater good of the world, to teaching others, to providing content and value.  And also (I’m sorry) removing some of that pure escapist pleasure for the rest of you.  Because pleasure is BAD!  Learning and empathy and cultural understanding and seeing the lies peddled to you by the media is GOOD!

 

And now, as a surprise twist ending, let me bring this back to Shahrukh.  This is why I love Shahrukh.  He brings me a joy so intense that it breaks through all my guilt and messed up mind and lets me reach a place where I am just happy, purely happy, without worrying about if it is right or wrong or justified or wasteful, but just happiness.  If I look at his face or watch his songs or his interviews, everything else drops away and I feel like I can fly.

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10 thoughts on “Shahrukh Birthday RePost! How I Overthink Everything and How Shahrukh Stops Me From Doing That

  1. I super over-think stuff too, though it tends to be different stuff. One of my areas of painful overthinking is writing, which I don’t run into while commenting, but do if I’m writing a post for my blog, or anything longer than an informal email at work. For example, for weeks now I’ve had a draft blog post to put up on my blog about how surprised I have been by my mid-life obsession with Shah Rukh, and the nice things that have come from it, including finding a community of nice and interesting people, including you and the commentariat here. I have included my favorite SRK candids to complement your post, and links to some of my favorite writing of yours and others about Shah Rukh.

    But I get bogged down and lose momentum, so it sits in my drafts. Today I want to try to just post the candids so I can link them in your post, and write the blog another day. 🙂

    Your last paragraph here resonates so strongly with me. Watching Shah Rukh in a movie, interview, stage performance, anything, just bypasses my ego, my anxieties, my over-thinking brain, and goes straight to the endorphin rush. It doesn’t take away my ability to think critically about him and his work if I want to, but I do have to make an effort. No one else has ever had that effect, though I’ve been a fan before, of individuals, shows, bands, etc. So many times my husband has walked into a room where I’m looking at my phone, or watching TV, looked at my face, and said, “Oh, watching Shah Rukh I see.” Even though he doesn’t mind, I do try to put on more of a poker face. But soon the smile breaks through again. 🙂

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    • I never over think writing, which is why there are so many many typos. And also posts where I lose the point in the middle and end up in another direction. Rather, I should be over thinking writing, but whenever I do I get into a similar problem as you, I re-write it so much that I end up losing the juice of it. Or I play devil’s advocate of my own arguments so much that I end up not arguing for anything. I am so happy with my blogging, I write so much here and so quickly that I feel like everyone KNOWS it isn’t going to be perfect and I can just relax about that. It took me a really long time to grow into being able to do that, when I was a little girl I used to get hysterical about things like my ponytails not matching exactly.

      And yes! Shahrukh just grips you in a certain way that makes everything else fall away. And I don’t think it is limited to him, I think it is something about the wya Indian film is structured, and the goal of reaching a primarily illiterate audience that desperately needed an escape. You have to grab them by the heart or else nothing will work.

      On Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 12:57 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Good point, it’s like Indian films are the delivery system, and Shah Rukh is the drug–one doesn’t work without the other.

        Though I have to say, Shah Rukh, Irrfan, Juhi, and Rani are the handful of people whom I seem to be able to watch in anything, good or bad. Even Amitabh or Madhuri, as much as I like them, I need a decent story, pacing, and script to keep me engaged.

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        • A hypodermic needle straight to the heart, with Shahrukh as the heroine. Does that metaphor work? Or am I not cool enough to know drugs right?

          On Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 1:35 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Oh shoot, did I miss-spell the name of a drug? Is that why everyone is on meth now, because it is easier to spell? Oh wait, it’s short for some super long name that is even harder, isn’t it?

            Oh well, let’s pretend I was doing a super clever little pun and not just confused.

            On Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 2:32 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Remember Sinead O’Connor and that whole Pope controversy? My second grade teacher asked to speak to my mother because I’d written my name “Sinead Margaret” on one of my assignments and she thought it might be a cry for help or confusion or something. And in the middle of their conversation, my big sister wandered over, looked at it, and went “Oh, ‘signed Margaret'”. Tragically, sometimes it is just bad spelling, not brilliant subtle social commentary.

            On Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 2:35 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Indeed! I could have ended up in intensive therapy just because of a little typo.

            On Fri, Nov 2, 2018 at 2:47 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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