Friday, August 12, 2011

Escape from NY, Breakfast at Tiffany's

Last week, I discovered that my passport was lost in the mail en route to the SF based outsourcing company in charge of dispensing visas for the Indian embassy. The business I entrusted my documents to were giving me the run around. The event sent me into a minor tailspin. I felt vulnerable, alone, and far away from home--a home I don't really belong to anymore.

So, last Thursday, in an attempt to escape from my worries I rallied friends and joined a throng of New Yorkers engaging in one of the fave summer activities in the city. Every square inch of Brooklyn Bridge Park's main lawn was occupied for a free viewing of Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

The classic movie with the stunning and gracefully long-legged Audrey Hepburn and the dashing young George Peppard is a classic romantic flick that not only lovingly looks at the charm of New York but also explores some of life's serious themes (search for self, ethical quandry between survival and self respect, art and, of course, love)--for now, we'll just ignore the blatantly racist yellow-faced portrayal of Yoshi by Mickey Rooney. I think the movie is so good that those who love it, like myself, may not find it forgivable but are certainly able to overlook it.

Its ironic, however. I was feeling picked on and fed up with NY. And was now watching a movie based in the city surrounded by New Yorkers. I was feeling anxious about traveling, about writing and my place in the world at large. And here are the two main characters, Holly struggling with who she is and where she belongs, fraught with fear of being caged and Paul, the writer afraid of failure.

Hm. Sometimes, there is no escape.

I enjoyed the movie and the experience thoroughly, especially being able to watch with a special assemblage of friends new and old, connecting Boracay, India and NY, all of us snug on our expanse of picnic blankets, but I also couldn't help but relate with the characters and their human struggles, how perversely wounded we are by our histories, our need for survival, our misconceptions about ourselves.

Sure, I was bummed by my lost passport. But I was reeling because of how lost it made me feel, my current homelessness, my insecurity about what I was doing, or how little I was doing in terms of writing or yoga.

And as I looked up around me, I could see that hundreds of others were fixated on the screen. Yes, its a charming movie, filled with many beautiful tender moments, tear-jerking and heart-lifting. But it also strikes a chord somehow.

I think we all want to create. We want to belong without being owned. We want to be honest and unmasked. We want to be whole. We want to be loved. And we want to accept love when the real thing finally comes around.

Movies like Breakfast at Tiffany's remind us of our human condition and that we needn't sell ourselves short of the things that we really want.

Moon River
music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer

Moon River, wider than a mile,
I'm crossing you in style some day.
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
wherever you're going I'm going your way.
Two drifters off to see the world.
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end--
waiting 'round the bend,
my huckleberry friend,
Moon River and me.

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