The Things Which We Fail to Express in our Words…

   [life is what happens to us when we are busy planning other things – said John Lennon. And that precisely what  happened to us when the series on Guns & Guitars journey got derailed – or rather took a long halt on the way… But better late than never. We restart the journey here with a visit to the state of Assam…]

‘Guwahati has changed a lot, hasn’t it?’ – enquired my friend Ashim as we were driving by the mighty Brahmaputra for the shoot of Guns & Guitars. Being a friend from my college days, he knows that it is more than quarter of a century since I moved out of Guwahati. ‘But this river has not changed’ – I had replied spontaneously, without really thinking much. But as I looked back, I realized that perhaps the mighty river is one of the few constant factors of the Guwahati I had left behind…

‘The people…these are a different lot of people’ – Adil da (actor Adil Hussain) was telling me, as he was trying to analyze the materialistic mindset that seems to be grabbing the general people of Assam. Like me, he also left Assam way back in 1990…and some of the things he was mentioning seem to echo exactly things in my mind. Perhaps these things appear to be even starker to us as we have the benefit of being an outsider who is also an insider to this beautiful land. Time and again, we come back to our homeland expecting it to be exactly as it was in our memories – happily forgetting that only constant thing in life is the change… Yet, we complain about the same change – perhaps justifying with genuine reasons at times… Especially when we see the wave of covetousness grabbing the idyllic homeland that we had left behind…

Zubeen Garg with Bidyut Kotoky

That’s why we all are such great fan of nostalgia! Nostalgia stays evergreen – it has no danger of changing into something that could surprise us by catching us off guard. In other words, we never have to face nostalgia in a parallel timeline – unlike most other things of our homeland… No wonder, a visit to my college was in the card during the shoot of Guns & Guitars. We shot a conversation with Assam’s musical superstar Zubeen Garg there. Yes, Zubeen is also an alumni of Guwahati’s B Borooah college like me… and we spend some intense moments there talking about the time that went by… Times which were not exactly ‘nice’ … in fact scary, dark & dangerous, to be precise…  Where common people like us had become pawn in a game of death & destructions… where the importance of an organization was measured by the no of people it manage to kill… Did I just say ‘WAS’? More the things changed, more they remained the same… In today’s era of inflation, the only commodity whose price has actually gone down happens to be the human life…

The scar that time left in our lives takes a much longer time to heal… And many a times, although the scar seems to fade away, the pains remains…Time and again this truth has drawn to me during our shoot of Guns & Guitars. The youngsters of the region have found their own ways of dealing with these pains. When I was talking to the young music band from Guwahati for the film, one of them had remarked – ‘everybody seems to have a reason – even those who do the bomb blasts… We fail to understand… there must be some other ways to settle our differences…’ And another young boy from the band adds – ‘the things which we fail to express in our words, we try to do it through our music.’

-Bidyut Kotoky

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