Like a Breath of Fresh Air

I want you all to listen to a track from a movie that is very dear to me; Blade Runner. I have talked about the film time and time again in reviews on this blog. The track is composed by the legendary composer, Vangelis who is accredited with  epic tracks in movies such as Chariots of Fire (click to listen), Alexander  and etc. So without further adieu:


This track seems to blend in well with my state of being today; The weather gods outside are still trying to make up their minds whether to cast yet another forbidding cold spell or give in to the warmth of a long overdue spring. The events of last few months have been quite extraordinary and for the first time I have experienced the full extent of living in the fast lane (as cliched as that may sound). I use to say that I am not doing anything here in the UK that I wasn’t already doing back home. I still say it actually, but being on your own is quite an experience even for people like me who have always considered themselves furiously independent.

Things are different, to say the least. I have felt myself age in the last two months. In a good way of course, I feel wiser, more experienced and more responsible. Life has been particularly good on the social front and I want to talk about one particular event, the 1st St Albans Film Festival.

It all started with a little interest in screen writing that I showed during a meeting with one of my professors. As a result of which I found myself joining a team of fellow students on their way to provide media coverage to this film festival.

Now the town of St Albans is small and has close proximity to Hatfield. It is better developed, has great entertainment and night life. But what I personally love about the place is its architecture, the cathedrals, hand paved roads, history and a rich filming heritage. It is perhaps the most ‘European town’ in the UK I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. Also, it is the home town of Stanley Kubric! enough said?

Towards the most famous pub in St Albans. Naturally I do not remember the name of the place 😛

The film festival comprised of a series of film screenings, actor workshops and exhibits during the day and social events in the evenings. The events were scattered all around the towns historical sites hence it was quite adventurous sorting out each venue on foot in the rustic ambiance.

I met some really amazing people here. Actors, directors, filmmakers, publicist etc. Self starters all with the common aim to collaborate and create something beautiful. One group of people I made friends with were these Spanish girls who were contesting in the short films category. They turned out to be big fans of Salvador Dali and Stanley Kubric much to my excitement. Honestly I mean how many desi-girls do you meet who share the exact same passions in art, love and politics as you do? We ended up checking out all the events together and became quite chummy. What followed was a crazy hearty evening full of fun, drama, romance and promises to stay in touch.

One of the exhibits was inside a clock tower at the town center. It comprised of a series of human characters dressed up in bizarre medieval fashion all set to complement movie characters from a surreal film screening at another venue. The claustrophobic staircase inside the tower made the whole experience even more bizarre. However on reaching the top we were greeted with an amazing view of the town and a local guide who explained its rich history. For me it was quite liberating walking in to an open space and facing the clouds. I love rooftops and have not been to a single one since I arrived in the UK.

clock tower
The Clocktower – sounds familiar to a Clockwork Orange doesn’t it

This festival was like a breath of fresh air after successfuly surviving the English winter and crappy food. I suppose the end message here besides the razzle dazzle of travel is that to meet more people like yourself you need to dive head first in to the moment. Do not give a rats ass of what others think, within reason of course. At least that’s what works for me. With time you do find exactly what you were searching for, it takes patience yes but above all it requires conviction on your own idyosyncarcies. Not an easy thing to do.

It helps that over here you can meet people that are tailored to your needs, moods, interests and personality. But maybe that principle can be applied everywhere in the world. Maybe one needs to try harder.


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