Sunday, February 06, 2011

94 minutes. 1 life. Many chances.

That's what 127 Hours was for me. What it factually is, is Aron Ralston's story portrayed with excruciatingly painful detail by James Franco, orchestrated by Danny Boyle and team. While my post isn't to talk about the technical aspects of the movie or the viewing experience, I have to say this movie has some unparalleled cinematography - further upping the ante on the otherwise superior stuff Danny Boyle's films are made of. (seen Millions anyone?)

What 127 Hours also is, is an awakening of sorts. A medium of self-realization. A barrage of questions that stare you in the face, uncomfortably.

How much can you really endure?
What would you pick - the easier way out or the more difficult, painful and uncertain one?
What do you do with the cards life's dealt to you - sit and brood or make the best of them?

What's interesting and inspiring is that Aron Ralston was always the kind of guy who'd pick the tougher way out. The road less travelled. (check out

He wasn't afraid to try the new (an otherwise shy and introverted person, Aron discovered his love for the outdoors in his 20s and took to it like a fish to water).
He quit a well-paying job to follow his newly discovered joy of the outdoors (Aron quit his job at Intel to give climbing and skiing more time).
He knew what he wanted and went after it (the Fourteeners).
He set and reset his goals (the Fourtneers in winters!)
He DID NOT brood for long (I love the way he takes stock of what he has and what he can do best with each of them).
He did not sit there waiting to die (not till Day 4, at least). His mind kept going over what he can do best with what he has.

The question in my head since yesterday has been, what would I have done in a situation like that? Would I have sat there waiting for death, cursing my 'luck'/'destiny' or would I have said, what can I do to get out of here? Would a vision of an unborn child have moved me to do what Aron did or would it've only added to the misery and crying?

Another more relevant and perturbing question is, how much can I endure? At the end of the day, Aron's story is about endurance and courage. Today, while our lives, my life, is far more comfortable than most around me, I still have things to crib about. I still have problems (sometimes, people) I wish away - more so at work. Am I really enduring? Or am I taking the easier way out, of blaming people, situations or life, in general? What is living about, if not the superiority of the human spirit and grit - of the ability to say, 'I can deal with this'.

My immediate efforts, if not actions, will now consciously be in the direction of enduring more and being more courageous. I may not be able to cut my arm off, but I surely can tolerate many boulders in life smilingly and make the best with the cards life's dealt me.

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