Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Doc Holliday - Part 2 - Life is a game, play it!

Doc Holliday - The name gives a feeling of work and play.   For a short 36 year longlife, it was a quite an eventful journey. 

Doc Holliday, Original
A doctor by profession, Doc tried his hand in practice.  Hitch - he was suffering from a perennial liver and lung infection - mostly by tubercolosis.  Treatment didn't fly, and he practically carried the disease to his grave.   His patients would turn away quickly, not being able to cope with his perennial cough.  

For a person full of life, Doc did not give up. He took to gambling.   He was reasonably good at it.   Still the good name 'Doc' stuck for life.  

He was born with a cleft lip and cleft brow - both on the right side, and they say, it made him only more handsome.  But he cared less for his looks - but he dressed well.  

He was a good gun-shot- probably the best in the Wild Western during that period.  A constantly edgy feeling seemed to have come into his life, as he grew up it become worse, with his disease eating him inside out.   

In each of his encounters ( as illustrated in Tombstone - the movie and the wealth of data available on Internet),  this edgy feeling seemed to have pushed him for a quick-draw-shoot or die solution to all arguments or meeting with his adversaries;   He always succeeded because of his natural ability of being the quickest draw.  

This temperamental talent became the friend of the Law Dog Wyatt Earp, who was considered a perfect foil - older, mature and polished to Doc Holliday.  As his friend-for-life, Wyatt seemed to bring the best out of Doc, and it also served him the '30 minute gun fight of OK Corral' and the historic duel with the best shot among the Cowboys- Johnny Ringo.

He personified confidence, that bordered arrogance.   When Johnny Ringo meets him in a bar - he says '"All I want of you is ten paces out in the street.".  The movie shows the encounter in a different circumstance - the dialogue below is self explanatory. 

Ringo: You must be Doc Holliday.                 
Doc : That's the rumor.                
Ringo: You retired too?                  
Doc : Not me.I'm in my prime.

A clear illustration of Doc's cockiness facing his much-reputed adversary.

Alcohol was his constant companion, and he was with one woman through his life - big nose Kate.   But this seems to have been more of a functional relationship than a relationship of the heart. 

When he sees Wyatt one last time, he says ' he loved a girl when he was young, and when she got away, he carried his memories for life - and advises Wyatt - ' My friend, there is no 'normal life', just life.  Live it. Grab the moment, and marry that actress you want to live with'.   

Finally, when he becomes too sick, he dies in his bed- after 36 years of zestful life.  

By that time, he had become one of the most enduring characters of the Wild Western Folklore - a gambler, a hot headed hunk, a gunshot-par-excellence, Earp's best friend and the hero of the 'greatest gunfight' of the Wild West.  For Doc Holliday - life was a gamble, and he played it!

-The One

Next - Doc Holliday -3 - 'Wyatt Earp is my friend, I dont have many'

Source - Tombstone, the movie, and Wickipedia on Doc Holliday.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Doc Holliday - Part 1... Inspiration from Tombstone - the movie

This is one blog, I have very less to say - but want to say more.  

The usual events late evening - entry into house at 9, dinner with wife and kid.  Channel surf,  vacating the news turf - watching India being 'anna'hiliated within and annihiliated out on the ground - and the cursory glance at the movie titles for the 11 pm slot.

Tombstone - Zee studio... ahem.. an inconspicuous stay... 5 seconds - more and more... saw Kurt Russell, but stayed more for Val Kilmer.   

 I did not know then that I was watching a legendary event of the wild western.    Earps vs the Cowboys...  Wyatt Earp - the Law Dog and Doc Holliday - the dying gunslinger... the most proficient of them all...

Consumed by tubercolosis, but not letting the spirit of death consume him... standing by his friend, holding his own against a calmer Wyatt Earp, and nixing the sharpest gunshot of his time Johnny Ringo is a character that the reader should enjoy.

The way the movie panned out - is for every one to watch.   I intend to write more about Doc Holliday, the more I read about him,  the more interesting his character becomes. 

Val Kilmer's rendition as the dying, hot blooded, risk taking, talented gun slinging and gambling role of Doc is one of his best ever performances - I liked his 'Templar - Saint among of Thieves' as well.  

A meagre collection of the dialogues of Wyatt Earp ( Kurt Russell) and Doc Holliday ( Val Kilmer) , in no necessary order.  I will share the savoring moments - in the next few days... 

Tell 'em I'm comin' and Hells comin' with me...

It appears that Mr. Ringo is an educated man, now I really hate him. Doc

Why Johnny Tyler, mad cap, where ya goin' with that shot gun?

stick wid me il make ya famous

i havnt even begun to defile myself

Wyatt, I am rolling!!

Billy: You are so drunk yo're seeing double! Doc:  Well i got one gun each for both of ya

Doc!? I didn't know you was back in town.

Wyatt-' doc why or what drives ringos anger'.Doc' he's mad at life for being born'

 "you aint a daisy! you aint a daisy at all!"

poker just aint your game! i know. lets have a spelling contest

 i told u keep that damn cigar outta my face!!!!

"Why Johnny Ringo, you look like somebody just walked across your grave"

"I already got a guilty conscience...I might as well have the money too."

ENJOY THE MOVIE, while I am back in the town...

-The One...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A distant canary...

One day, near the window sill of my bedroom, I saw this yellow canary chirping tentatively.  A small young one, seemed to be lost.   I opened the window, and it flew in.  It build a nice little nest - warm and cozy, against the winter rains and cool during the summer.  

Everyday, it would chirp, bringing hope to a routine human life - joy of freedom,  wantonly ecstatic, bundle of vivaciousness.   It become part of my life- small, but significant.  

One morning, it had flown out of the open window as usual.   It did not come back ever again. One week later, the empty nest remained, at that.  The nest remained as long as I was there.

I moved out of this city and the nest, mostly removed, by the new occupiers of my older abode.

Then while ago, I watched this movie - The Canary ( 2010)...a story of an emotional roller coaster of an young, deaf girl living in the Scottish wilderness shaken by the arrival of an unexpected stranger...a small blip appeared on my rear view mirror- of the yellow and black canary and the nest.

One of my friends, a colleague - lives in this desert city - now consumed by cement and its wilderness replaced by urban chaos, sent me a photograph of his pet, almost incidentally at the same time. 

He is moving back to pursue his passion in photography - will fly past me to the Indian capital for a brief while.  He said he intends to give up his pet - donate it to a bird park in this desert-city before he leaves.  Another story of a canary becoming distant...

So,thinking as I drive, down another bend of the road, the rear view mirror throws up a different scene, and the canary becomes a distant view - smaller as ever.   May be I will see the canary again... on my window sill..

Monday, August 15, 2011

The curious case of Arowana... ' the blackfish is missing'

Life is a rat race these days... 730 - hit the dirt, 2200 back at home.  Most of it goes in travel.   Can't remember much so different between each of these days.  

One of these mornings, last week, my friend and I  landed up in a small restaurant.  An aquarium tank - was usual. Fish inside it -was usual.  Arowana - now that was unusual.

Arowana are bony fish found in the tropics.  Look deadly, that people sell it as the evil-eye fish, vaasthu fish.   Guys are fierce ones,  adults are 2-3 feet long, so only one fits in a medium size aquarium.   Some of the smaller fish could co-exist,  but Arowana decides the fate.

On that morning, cutting chai and a small vada- pav was consumed at leisurely pace, watching the Arowana swim around. He swam contented, but we always felt something was about to happen.  There were couple of fish - one, a type of frog fish, and another black - angel fish types, can't place it.

The frog fish, clutching the sand below, lied low, and the black fish could not swim freely - whenever the Arowana turned in its direction, this guy ducked to hide - under the air feeder or dove to depth.

Suddenly, in one turn, the Arowana spewed a few fins out - remnants of a digested fish, perhaps.   We asked the hotel employee - he said that there were about 20 live fish in its tank, three mornings ago. 
'Arowana ate only live fish' he said.   'The black-fish was the last of the lot.  The frog fish was from an earlier group, but still has managed to survive.'

We were, somewhere inside, shaken. My friend, too confirmed that.  Did not have a good feeling.   We went after our morning office chores.  

About 2 pm, I had lunch and started to work on something else.  Arowana, blackfish all forgotten.   Then a short-text popped in my blackberry- from my friend, saying  'the blackfish is missing'.   I could not recollect, and responded later ' what the heck are you talking about'; he messaged me back - ' the aquarium'.  

The same chill, we had felt in the morning,  returned.   I was silent.  Thinking more about it, I felt that the situation threw up life in its different perspectives.

The hotelier - probably fed live fish to Arowana - and more than, kept that fish - more to get some customers, than to ward off evil.    Making life by taking lives?  Or was it making business sense?

The customer - comes and returns again to watch the fun - feeding the crass curiosity of  the prey-predator duel?  

The Arowana - becomes a show, while living its natural life and character?  Wrong place? 

The black-fish - did it have better chances of survival in an ocean than it had to lead a life of fear and struggle to die?  

The frog-fish - still clutching the floor, lying low - escaping the eyes of Arowana... he survived beyond the Arowana's lunch...
Who is right and who is wrong?   What is right and what is wrong?  Or is it the way life is?  Well... life goes on... the Arowana still swims, the frog-fish is still on the floor,  the customers come, the hoteliers make the money, but the blackfish is missing!!!