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Comments Over Content- Why We Love Youtube’s Comment Section, So Much!

While the world seems to be in the midst of crisis: Syria amidst war, China amidst global politics, India amidst protests and promises, Kashmir amidst dodgy ceasefire regulations, and so on, the comments that lay in thousands of likes on Youtube are stuck in far better times. 

Times that we keep revisiting through Levine’s, Swift’s, and Perry’s hits from an era unmatched.

These typed thoughts have found a forever home in the section below- on a street address I find myself upon more often than not.

There’s an urge to read what others, with similar taste in content, have written for the world to see. To know that at some point in time, someone’s heart must’ve felt, dropped, and skipped the same beat as yours is…for the lack of a better word- magical.

Imagine listening to a Bon Jovi song while an out-of-tune chorus follows- this voice of a stranger, reveling in his room, somewhere afar. 

With every video, comes a string of thoughts. Experiences punctuated, feelings adrift. A story from yesteryear interweaved with a song timeless, and love disguised in likes.

People always have something to add, to express, and to point out- one timestamp per moment. Every moment you might’ve missed out upon, they fill you in- like that one friend who faithfully checks whether you’ve completely immersed yourself in the content being watched. 

Comments connect when content divides.

Under a video titled, ‘Zayn Malik cancels his appearance at Wembley at the last minute’, contrary to what one might expect to come across, there are very kind, and heartwarming comments from his followers.

‘I get that the people would be pissed since they spent dollars to attend the concert just to see him perform BUT I do respect Zayn’s decision though cuz ANXIETY IS NOT A JOKE.’ writes Catherine Arenas.

Whereas in another comment, Ayla Basheer cites the other side of the story saying,

‘P(eo)ple have the right to be upset at this, don’t call them toxic. This isn’t something that he is doing as a favor it’s his job and people invested a lot of money, time, and hopes in this.’ 

There might be a fraction of people that see themselves divided between the two sides that these comments represent. But to see such warmth topple even the coldest of murmurs makes you believe in a more tolerant generation- a feeling of belonging with the right people at the right time.

The entire experience of consuming content feels uninhabited without the babel that fills the room. Once we find our voice in the speech of another’s, only then does everything come full circle. The insight into this might stem from the fact that we LOVE to pass comments in general- gestures only our eyes are accustomed to.

In the absence of company, there’s peace in silently judging, observing, and finally, in knowing that you didn’t spend the evening alone- that miles away, someone must’ve felt the same way.

A World Beyond Our Own

How do you know it’s real? 

When there are so many worlds of you alone, how then, could there be just one for all?

Paulo Coelho once said, “Whenever someone dies, a part of the universe dies too. Everything a person felt, experienced, and saw dies with them.” 

How then are we to believe that we live one truth? 

Who’s to say this is not a space opera we live in? We could be a civilization unheard of. A settlement of those that pride in being scholarly. Of those that rule and those that follow. Blind leading the blind, morals compromised.

The stars that twinkle above might have residents like you and me. An entire celestial society unbeknownst to the human race. What if, in reality, some other-worldly beings are living a truth of their own, not knowing of Earth and those that live under the blue?

They could have their own ideologies, their own time frame, and a whole history of unique occurrences that the human mind can’t even comprehend at the moment. 

To think of it, the theory of everything is really limited to what we know and what we’re yet to. Thousands of light-years ahead, there could be a settlement in all shades of pink, red, and maroon. Where when the sun rises, the beings run and hide fearing the ‘big yellow monster’ or…not. There’s so much that’s yet to be explored! A whole different way of living, loving, and moving about. Would they have poetry for the soul? Or are we the only race to have felt the pleasure of perusing the literature? Do their tongues know the language of love?

With all that’s left to wonder, I wonder if there’s a world beyond our own.

That One Scene – Masaan and the Kiss of Love

While a kayak sails into the sunset, Deepak says, “Sangam insaan ko do baar aana chahiye. Ek baar akele, aur ek baar kisi ke saath.”

And just like that, there felt the need to revisit Masaan– only this time, with a pen and paper to try and speak about it, the way it spoke in return.

In its poster, Masaan claims to be a celebration of  life, death and everything in between but the dilemma still remains- can you celebrate a tragedy? 

More often than not, the answer must lie in the attempt. Here’s an attempt at understanding the film for it’s tragedy, via one pivotal scene.

Deepak Chaudhary (Vicky Kaushal) and Shalu Gupta (Shweta Tripathi) are two very grounded characters in the universe of this story. However, these grounds differ a whole lot from one another.

While the burning pyres embed deep into the backdrop from where Deepak hails, Shalu comes from a much higher ground- the Guptas of Banaras. In fact, the youngest of the Guptas. Much loved and adored.

He’s seen people covered in white all his life. He’d carry their weight to the pyres. Just like his father used to. And just like his brother does. Throughout the film, the societal difference lurking between them can not only be seen but heard as she continues addressing herself as ‘hum’, while he speaks in ‘mai’. Barring all the odds, the two meet and their worlds collide. Hesitantly so, but they do.

Woh kisi rail si guzri, woh kisi puul sa thar-tharaya. 

However, that’s the way it keeps on being- She touches, he sways. She talks, he moves. Completely in awe of his luck, he paves her presence a path full of flowers – until they sit besides each other, on a common ground. They embrace, they accept, they kiss.

And here’s why it matters-

Prior to this scene, Deepak is at a loss of words when he’s asked anything remotely related to his background. There’s a reality check that hits him every now and again. But when the two arrive at the shore of Sangam, it’s calm and quiet. There’s the two of them, their stolen glances and their desires. There’s a chance to redeem. To not answer the question but kiss it instead.

As humans, we’re habituated to feel moments in bits and pieces, to savour them- slowly, then all at once. This is articulated well within the frame that only allows us to view this redeeming kiss by giving it the space it deserves. The shot is still- like the air around them.

They struggle a little, their hands- unsure of the way ahead, their minds- altering between varying thoughts. 

How should they move? Which way to tilt? When to stop? Should they stop?

It’s a sangam. Masaan, as a film, has an on-going theme that connotes a circle of life. How individual stories intersect at some point and merge into each other. There’s acceptance. 

Something that Deepak struggles to accept is his reality- only when compared to hers.

This moment changes that for him. Which is what makes it even harder to see him lose her.

For the first time, their hands meet each other. Their bodies converse with eyes closed. He feels compelled to love her because ‘woh ghar mein sabse choti hai’, while she accustoms herself to yet another being’s affection.

There’s still a difference. But here on, there’s acceptance and comfort. In the quest of finding a way to deal with her questions, he found the courage to answer his. The what’s and the why’s and if he were to change his reality, then the how’s and the when’s.

In this moment, he’s redeemed. There’s love, there’s hope- the tragedy can wait.

Note from the Writer

Introduction-

Hi, I’m Vaishanavi Raul, and I write to taste life twice. I’ve always liked to surround myself with beautiful stories. Eventually, I was fascinated by the rage in the passion, the heart in the cruelty, and the pain in the laughter as these stories progressed into a more realistic retrospect of life itself. Hence, to delve further into this magical world of stories, I chose to become a filmmaker.

I’ve put in all my love and hours of work into penning down my thoughts. As you read further, you’ll realize the purpose behind making my interpretations public. I wish to entail my vision, the way I see what I see and why I see what I see. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment, I would certainly love to hear from you.

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