Saturday, March 26, 2011

The question that makes me go....aargh!

One of the all-time, top-10 irritating questions that I hate to answer is which is my favourite book/movie? Its not the question per se which causes irritation. I actually dread that line of questioning. I have read quite a few books and intend to read many. I have seen a lot of movies and I want to see many, many more. In spite of that I am unable to give a ready answer for a simple question like that. You know whenever I get asked which book or movie is my favourite, my mind goes blank and I feel dumb, confounded and clueless. Imagine the sufferings of my ego. How badly bruised I’d be to know that I still don’t know what is most preferred by me. So I get irritated. Whenever faced with questions like that, to conceal my inability, my failure I joke about it and say that my favourite is Dilbert or Dennis the Menace!
Anyway, tell me what one means when one says that this book/movie is his/her favourite. Does it mean that that book/movie is the most loved for whatever reasons or for no reason whatsoever? If a book/movie has become your favourite for some reason then it, in my opinion, cannot be The Favourite of all times. The chances of you finding another book/movie which can gratify that reason in a better way are greater. And if something becomes your favourite for no reason, then there is no reason why others should not be included in the same category.
When one says that this book/movie is one’s favourite do they mean that that book/movie stands out from whatever else they have read or seen, that it had a great impact and in their opinion it would be like that for the rest of their life. If you agree with the first part of the statement then it means that that book/movie was the best thing you have read or watched. But if you say its the best and hence it is your favourite, you cannot take it out of the competition. Publishing industry and show business is a thriving sector. Like defending champions of any game this book/movie which you call your favourite because its the best has to every year face competition from the flourishing tribe of writers and directors which is growing at a rate faster than the India’s population. This somewhat does not sound alright; one’s ‘favourite’ slogging out every year to prove its worth. So I am not in favour of putting one’s favourite under the best category.
Sometimes people call a book/movie their favourite because they would have read or watched them as kids and they cannot forget it. And then as grownups even if they are able to see the obvious flaws they cannot help but love it because it helps them to relive the memories associated with it. I would somewhat tend to favour this if this is what everybody means by their favourite. This loving something in spite of its flaws. But if you call a book/movie your favourite for this reason and not for its greatness or for its artistic quality then nine out of ten times others would be surprised by your choice. And they would try to reason with you and try to convince you why it should not be your favourite by listing out/tearing apart the book or the movie you would have described as favourite. So its better not to call them your favourite.
If I actually try to answer in all honesty this ‘my favourite’ question, so many books/movies rush to my mind. Its difficult to say that one book or a movie can become one's most preferred book or a movie. I love so many books, so many movies for so many varied reasons. I don’t have a favourite book or a movie. Of course, people who know me expect that I would say GWTW is my favourite. But it isn't. I won't deny that I like it, love it most. But I like it not because it is a great book, though it is a great book. It was the first romantic fiction I ever read and the memories of reading it comes back to me every time I talk about it. But to say that its my favourite is like admitting that the Nimbu juice I had when I was 8 in my neighbour’s house after a day of outdoor games is my favourite drink! I have read far better novels than GWTW. But I love it the most but I hate to call it my favourite. In fact I cringe at the thought of it being my favourite. No, it isn't!!

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