The 27th Year of My Existence

As has been a repetitive practice, developed most inadvertently in my teenage years, on the date of my birth, every year, I take a few minutes (sometimes hours, rarely days) to think through what I have done, where I am in that present moment and how many pathways there are left to tread. I can acknowledge that I realize and see the change. The difference.

Outdoor music festival - Grant Park
Outdoor music festival – Grant Park

Every year I grow up a little bit more because there are 365 days worth of events to account for, however an insignificant dot of a breathing life form I am in the vast unknown of the universe. As I do every year, there is always one thing new or different. Naturally things happen in the course of time, but I make a conscious decision on my birthday. Last year, I cut my hair to the shortest length it has ever been. As my mum put it, “That’s almost as much hair you had when you were born!”; I had a head of jet black curls falling up to my jawline, there are pictures to prove it. Anyway, apart from that, it also signified my dedication finally pay attention to exercising and eating. This year, I decided to get my driver’s license!

I have driven a lot. My first license, I obtained at the age of eighteen and immediately took to riding my scooter everywhere and

Driving!
Driving!

practiced driving my Dad’s, uncle’s and Granddad’s cars. Driving through every possible situation, with music playing in the background, my dad providing the foreground track of a constant stream of, what he called, instructions and mindful suggestions, my mum gently cautioning me to not respond and my voice adding to the cacophony of horns, curses, yelling, music and so forth. This time around, I did it myself. In a matter of two weeks, I was finally armed with an Illinois Driver’s License. There was an immediate sense of accomplishment that coursed through me the moment I was handed the red coded card. So much so that a week later, I was already zipping through the city in a very nice Audi A3. Yeah, I go for the luxury vehicles and have an extreme soft spot for Audis.

That was just part of my celebrations though. Most people that know me are aware that I usually spend the whole of July bouncing about and doing things using my birthday as an excuse. Instead of going through the whole month in words, I though I’d use pictures, since I seem to have taken to some form of photography (a fancier term for photographs taken on my Galaxy S3 and sometimes enhanced with Snapseed or PicsArt).

 

The running theme of the month was food, tea and the outdoors (as much as I despise summer).

A vacation after six months definitely adds to the festive mood. Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota in four days. The wondrous outdoors with the family, whom I hadn’t seen since our winter trip to Miami. Four days in the Rockies, near 14000 ft above sea level for most part, delighting in the wildlife and simply enjoying being together.

Edging towards Pike's Peak, CO
Edging towards Pike’s Peak, CO
Estes Park
Estes Park
Mt. Rushmore, Keystone, SD

The day of my birthday dawned bright and clear. The weather was perfect. And the mood was one of fulfilling happiness. A dozen fresh croissants from a hidden gem of a Belgian bakery kicked off the gastric indulgence. A Mediterranean dinner and two tea parties, one Russian and another prim and English at the Drake.

New age Mediterranean foodie indulgence
New age Mediterranean foodie indulgence
Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court, The Drake and Russian Tea Time
Afternoon Tea at The Palm Court, The Drake and Russian Tea Time

Afternoon tea is quite my thing. The proper way, I mean. Biscuits and scones with lemon curd and clotted cream, finger sandwiches and quiches, with a dainty tea cup of full bodied black tea, some milk and sugar. My friends were of the agreement that it really was ‘me’ – music, conversation, ambience and the general idea of being posh, apparently.

As summer draws to an end, much to my complete relief, I find that I spend more time reading and hanging about my balcony drinking tea and listening to my neatly selected Pandora stations (stuck on a Chopin, London Symphony Orchestra, Carl Orff, Heavy Metal and Globus as of now). I, once again, vow to write often as I continue to explore the city and other places and rediscover several forgotten things. My mind screams for an outlet, which I understand since I seem to feed it a lot of information and being the sort of person that likes to have a written record of anything, putting those thoughts into words is the ultimate goal. Though, of late, pictures have made their way into my vocabulary. Simple, everyday moments of beauty transfix me.

And so I shall continue. 9861 days on Earth, every tide and turn of a clock that still ticks on, as I hurtle through space with billions of other living organisms into the vast unknown, cutely encased in a nutshell that we term ‘life’. I will make the best of it. It is my one aim. The driving factor of it all, other than integrity, independence and poise is that little voice that whispers, “Knowledge for knowledge’s sake.”

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These Things Matter

I feel rather heavily distressed for not having paid any attention to my writing/blogging in the past few months. It hasn’t been one of those phases when I have nothing to write. It has, I must admit, been the lack of time. Several things have happened and come to pass since the time I last wrote – most of them good events and some emotionally taxing ones. I’ll go backwards in time as I recount them.

I have moved. Moved apartments, I mean. I still reside within a mile of the lovely Loop of Chicago, just a tad bit closer to one of my favorite spots along the coast of Lake Michigan. Why did I move? I wanted a larger space than my cramped (it was starting to be) convertible apartment of 540 sq.ft. Given my tendency to fill up any available nook with books and trinkets that catch my fancy, it was high time that I upgraded my living space. The search didn’t take its toll on my like the previous move and I had signed my new lease within two weeks of beginning to look. The packing, however, did take its toll on me.

I have NO IDEA how I accumulated all the things I own! I threw out at least 6 garbage bags filled with clothes, toiletries, packaged food, sheets, random objects… and gave away two bags of clothes and shoes. What fascinated me even more was that I had 4 boxes of books – I came into the country four years ago armed with 3 books – and 4-5 boxes of kitchen stuff – things that I bought in a two year period. The rest of it, clothes, electronics, shoes, bedroom fabrics, and some other random odds and ends accounted for the other 20 boxes and 5 huge suitcases. And then there was the furniture.

For someone who landed here with 4 suitcases and lived in a dorm for two years, it is a lot. I would have had more had I not realized the sanity in waiting till I moved to purchase other furniture – book shelves, stands, bar stools and the like.

So yes, I moved. I warded off falling sick till the week after I moved; surprised myself by actually unpacking 15 boxes within 4 days of moving. Now, I’m half settled in and still slightly disoriented by the fact that I need to travel 30 minutes to and from work, and I move South instead of North now. I have returned to the South Side, or as it says on the map ‘Near South Side’. It’s so much more quaint than what I was originally looking for, but then I have my lovely kitchen, a nice balcony and 800 sq.ft. all to myself!!

In other news, more intense from a personal standpoint at least, there were somethings that happened over a period of two months that made me question the very office of an arranged marriage. Not that I have been in favor of it, to begin with, but coming from an Indian family there are certain social expectations that I am expected to fulfill. I was alright with it because my family, I believed, has always been more open minded than most conventional families. There were several factors would affect any decision, I knew, and I trusted in my parents to weed those out if necessary. Well, the wheels of ‘hunting’ were set into motion, and sometime in March it was popped on me in a fairly decided manner. What followed, in the six weeks after that, I can only describe as tears, arguments, fears, and more tears (it also turned me quite completely against the whole idea of an ‘arranged marriage’).

Obviously it did not work out. The reason being – I was not ready to pretend to be a typical traditional South Indian girl. The guy concerned was painted out to be an absolutely fantastic person with a great job. Not in my books. It isn’t that I expect something more. I just want to be able to, on the simplest of terms, have an interesting conversation with someone. Anyone. It is the most basic foundation for any relationship. It took a week of very few conversations to prove that I would never have that with said person. That said, the only thing that really and completely annoyed me was the fact that the guy seemed to think that just because this was being arranged by our parents, he didn’t have any work to do. That he needn’t bother with actually trying. Apparently I should have been impressed with his multi-million dollar investing clients, while all I could think of was ‘they aren’t your millions, so why would I be impressed?’

I’ve always been more about the mind. The brain fascinates me because while we are all wired the same way, as homo sapiens, we still act and think differently when looked upon as individuals. As a species, we are the same, but by ourselves… there lies the unending curiosity and intrigue. Yes, the material world we live in demands that we place a higher importance on physical appearance but the mind is what keeps you engaged. That should be what draws you in.

Without going into the more intricate details of this particular dealing, which I am glad I got out of my way as quickly as possible (though it did set into motion a different set of consequences to battle with), I must admit that it lead me to think through my priorities and for what I’d be willing to change them. It isn’t easy because of the very many definitive details in them… the fact that these are the essence of my being make them all the more hard to ignore. I couldn’t do that and I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do it either. They aren’t set in stone, no. But they are principles and ideals. Things you believe in. So, what is worth giving all that up? Was I ready to do that? Will I ever be? The answer to the first is, I’m not sure, and a big no is the answer to the latter two.

Despite the tears and agony of those few weeks, which I will remember for the rest of my life, I came to the wonderful realization that is myself. I understood myself better and nothing can surpass that enlightenment.

The Wheel That Turns

One always wants and hopes for a great start to the New Year. While mine did seem to get off to a happy start, soon things seemed to grow their own neurons and think and do things that I’d rather have not had happen.

In the aftermath of a rather surprising move that left almost everyone at the office in a state of shock for three whole days as news and rumors seeped through glass walled meeting rooms to our ears, I have realized the importance of always being prepared. And having a backup plan. I cannot, and will not, go into details of what happened and why, but I can talk about the effect it had on me.

Just a week prior to all these things suddenly coming to light, I had a thought that the moment I question what I am doing is the moment to get out. To move on. To find where I belong, keeping with my general theme. I have had this job for a year and nine months now and am getting into the motion of things as I still try and figure out what aspect of technology I want to be working on. I love code. That’s a given. But what part of it? The part that people actually use. I want to create and see something I’ve done being used by others. I want to know what they think of it and learn from that experience. I think that excites me more than just a career. The learning. The constant need to keep oneself updated and discovering new ways of doing old things and creating brand new ones.

While I like a bit of a plan to be laid out for me (by me, of course) I never nail it down, because s&^! happens. What happened last week was just stark reality. It’s not that I don’t like what I do now. In fact, I love it. It’s the thought of a productive day that awakens me every morning. But I know that when the time comes to move on, I just have to do to. I have to face it whether it is at my discretion or someone else’s. I would rather that no one face certain things, especially a day before Valentine’s, but there is reality. Bang smack in the middle of everything. Life, it’s called. Such a bittersweet symphony.

2012 – A Retrospect Pt. 2

What should have been a hundred line post has now become two posts of more than a hundred lines each. It’s a whole year that I am attempting to surmise. I know it can be easily accomplished but I am not that skilled, nor am I in the mood to mince words. Hence, here I go again.

July

Summer fun went on in full swing with several picnics in the park during the Grant Park Music Festival, a 4th of July trekking trip and the thrill of another birthday. A Greek dinner with the larger group of friends, a riverside sea food restaurant and a steakhouse marked the week of my birth. That and my hair make over! Short hair, a bob cut that went with my suddenly thinner face and leaner self 🙂

There’s possibly just one other thing that must not go unmentioned – that token of acknowledgement and appreciation my manager initiated. He had already earned my respect for being a manager, a team leader and yet one of the team. He knows each person in his team, allows them enough lee way, but is trustful and has faith in each person’s abilities. Naturally each of us has to live up to those expectations and prove our worth as well, but my point is that when you’re working with someone who acknowledges you for who you are, professionally and in that informally formal manner, it’s easy to give your best.

August

A trip to New England was in order to drop my little sister off at college. At Yale, to be precise. It was a long drive up from Atlanta to New Haven but the weather was companionable all through. I believe it was at this time that I went on my American authors spree as I tried to keep up with my reading challenge.

The only major change, significant for me at least, was that I finally upgraded my phone, a Galaxy S III nonetheless, and moved out of my family plan to take on the responsibility of paying my own cellular phone bills, something I have not done in the ten years that I have had a cellular phone number to my name.

September

There was all of the going out and enjoying the light, dinners and the German classes. I had enough on my plate with just that and becoming a gym rat. Literally, no socializing apart from the people I already knew and even them I began to ignore at one point.

The highest point of this month, apart from the constant headache and annoyance emanating from certain people, was my promotion. It was a surprise to me because it resulted from my mid-year review, which apparently was excellent in every form. It was my first ever promotion at what I consider to be the first job of my professional career. Cheers to that!

October

I’ve begun to pay more attention to the city this year, exploring its many culinary and cultural offerings in addition to the quite conspicuous architectural glory. The city never ceases to fascinate me, this I have said in wonderment a million times over. Open House Chicago was fascinating in this venture of mine. I also took to visiting a new restaurant, by myself or with a friend, every weekend and treating my palates to various cuisines.

November

Fall set in a little late, or so I thought. I had been so caught up with work that I had failed to notice the change of colors till the very last week of the falling leaves!

Either way, a team outing of Whirlyball paved the way to wonderful business trip to Guatemala. The country had such an earthy feel to it I loved it! Of course, we stayed at a fancy hotel and were chaperoned through Guatemala City and Antigua, so I didn’t see the ‘real’ country, but you get a pretty good idea of it. The visit to Antigua was a short, quick one, and I so wish that we had more time! I would love to go back and visit Tikal and other centers of the Mayan civilization. Even the churches, the ones that have stood their ground through the ravages of time and nature, took me over – and I’m not religious. The whole trip made up for what is currently my worst flight experience – a cancellation, a rebooking, a change, a technical difficulty a second before take-off, another change, actually taking off, rushing through tourist traffic and making a connection in 10 minutes with my name off the passenger’s list… yeah, for me, that’s bad.

Thanksgiving became an affair with friends with three dinners over a period of five days, not including the left overs. I have never indulged in the madness of Black Friday sales and I can honestly say that I still haven’t done that. I settled for doing my shopping online and as is always the case with me, nothing I bought was on sale. When I received the eight or nine packages a week later I was reminded quite starkly of the amount of money I have spent online in the past year. Most of it on clothes that I required to replace all of those that no longer fit me, winter jackets and fall coats included.

The month included a very late night at work for me, an occurrence I do not wish to repeat, a surge of attention – some of it putting me in an awkward position of reluctance and non-responsive/placating mode – and a more secure footing of faith and trust.

December

The last month of the year. I had decided in November that I wouldn’t be able to complete 100 books in the year so I set my sights at the more achievable 80.

A longer trip home this time encompassed a five day sojourn to Miami and Key West. The sun and heat did not agree very well with me though I very much enjoyed the open, unrestrained lifestyle of the city. The vast flowing waters of the Atlantic and the Bay are enough to convince yourself that this is better than having a white Christmas and missing the first snow fall of the season (something I have missed in Chicago for the past four winters).

There are several things I wish I could have done this year, but I must admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed myself all through. I want so much more out of life, things that I know only I can accomplish or do anything about and I will be giving it my all as I take a deep breath and welcome another year of the 21st century. Here’s to more traveling, discovery, achievements, laughter, relationships and growth.

2012 – A Retrospect Pt. 1

I have not written as much as I would have liked to this past year and the only proof of this exists in the form of incomplete draft posts. All my ideas and thoughts, though, have remained rather fresh in my mind and so I decided, as I did once before, that I shall simply put together one (or a few) liners for every month of the year.

January

I returned, rather relieved and feeling more determined, from a visit home, my first in two and a half years. While I was glad that I made the trip and met friends that I hadn’t seen in more than thirty months, it only aided in cementing my fear that I can never conform to what is actually expected of me.

Anyway, it was also in this month that I attended my first social gathering from work – the annual holiday party. It was interesting and nice and I was so glad that my best friend agreed to be my date ’cause it meant that I got to dress up and dance the night away 🙂

I should also mention that I began swimming again, after a ten year hiatus. My muscles moaned, groaned, protested and ached as I subjected my body to a paltry beginning of 200 meters a day. Sucks, I know, but I was gladdened by the fact that I hadn’t lost control of  my technique, though I knew I had to work extremely hard to get back into the proper flow. I was a moderately fast competitive swimmer in my school days but I decided to go for endurance swimming, i.e. distance swimming, concentrating on my stroke and strength rather than the speed.

I resolved, also, to aim at completing one hundred books this year. I got close enough last year, so why not give it a try again! (While I can never give up printed bound books, I have invested in a Kindle Fire which I hope will aid me in my reading ventures).

February

After the fantastic winter storm last year, my hopes were pretty high for a good pile of snow this year but it wasn’t to be so. It was a weak-ish winter though I was treated to some gorgeous views and walks of a frozen Lake Michigan, including the Chinese New Year celebrations.

My first ‘review’ at work came back at a rather low level which made me wonder what I had been doing in the past few months and what was expected of me. Of course, I thought it was a little unfair considering that I did as much as I could, being as involved as I could without being intrusive. I didn’t think that what I did was being properly recognized though I appreciated the chances I had had in the past few weeks to prove my worth. I didn’t need to do anything better or more, I just needed to make sure that the proper people saw/knew of what I did. Which is why I think I was one of the few people in my team who welcomed the change.

March

Michael Flatley’s Riverdance is a fantastic piece of work, dancing and music alike and in concurrence with St. Patrick’s Day, I got to watch a rendition of his Riverdance sequence at the Oriental Theater. A quick trip home, rooftop dinners and roaming the city as it celebrated its 175th birthday rounded odd this month.

April

I had long decided to spend my bonus on a vacation. It wasn’t much but a weekend away was just what I wanted and needed as I took on more responsibilities at work, what with one of my team mates going off on a long vacation.

I chose to go to Seattle. Why? Because I’m not a party person, I’m not a big fan of beaches, and my type of vacation is one that has a cultural or nature streak to it along with good food and art. I was treated to a beautiful mix of both and I know I will do it again.

Speaking of culture, I went back to school to learn German 🙂 I had forgotten almost all that I had learnt of Deutsch and decided to sign up for classes at the Goethe Institut. Once a week for the next three months to begin with.

May

Work got intense – twelve hour days, spending lunch break swimming because I needed to do something to relax. I think my social life went down to zero in this period but I made the best of my evenings and weekends. I once again played host to my visiting family for a week, showing off my city as Chicago has now become, and assuring them as subtly as I could that uprooting me from here and my job would not be as easy a task as some of them thought it might be.

There were several things that I got into surprisingly this month. I was taken in by theater; I found that a little theater in the north part of the city was putting on an adaptation of Pride & Prejudice! After the disconcerting experience of attending Persuasion adapted as a musical last year, I kept my expectations low. I was happy to be proved wrong. The Lifeline Theater did a fantastic job of it and rekindled my interest in attending plays. There was also that one day I spent at the Art Institute of Chicago and surprised myself by being taken over by the modern art wing! I actually understood it. I felt it.

A visit from a school friend was another cherry on the cake for the month. She and I had kept in touch via emails, lengthy, verbose ones which covered everything from our every day lives to books, the English and politics. A lot of reminiscing and bonding happened over a fine meal at the Signature Room and I realized then that I hadn’t really expected to meet her after all this time and the fact that we could talk to each other about anything just goes to prove that good friends always pop up in the most unexpected yet satiating situations.

I do not intend to overload this month but I must mention that Chelsea finally won the Champions League beating Bayern Munich in their own home ground. Champions against all odds. I cried and exulted as I watched the game. It was meant to be in that moment.

June

It turned out to be a very very fun one at work. A bunch of team lunches and talking brought my team closer than we had been before. It felt like a proper working group of people that enjoyed the company of each other and produced great results. This along with my one year anniversary at Orbitz made me feel like I was actually getting somewhere with my career. The fact that I had grown in a mere four months to someone that could be depended upon to get the work done without supervision or a mentor crowned the little glass globe I received.

A surprise trip home startled the joy out of my family; it was a much needed break.

I took to enjoying summer in the city this time – as much as I still despise the heat and humidity. My wardrobe went through a complete makeover for this reason, and the fact that I couldn’t wear most of the clothes I fit into six months ago. I lost about fifteen pounds, had toned a lot of the extra fat in my body and felt fit, active, healthier and stronger all by just swimming for thirty minutes every day. I was forced to cap it at 30 mins, which in June was about 45 laps in a 20 meter pool. It isn’t much but it worked.

Anyway, I took to riding the boat to and from work. It gave me the time to watch the city from the river, a view and feeling that is unmatched. It brought out the hidden photographer in me. No fancy camera, just my phone and a digital Nikon and I went all out with it.

My July in Pictures

From the Tribune Tower looking South
Birthday dinner at Morton’s The Steakhouse (the Original)
My haul of books from the 2012 Newberry Library Book Fair
A gift from a best friend
Birthday treats at work
Sleeper & Dreamers – one of the concerts at the Grant Park Music Festival

From the Other Side of 25

I’ve never felt old, even though I am the oldest child – the only child actually, but with the youngest cousin ten years my junior, I probably should’ve felt old when I hit 20. I didn’t. It’s not that I don’t care about it, because now when I pick my ‘age group’ on forms I’ve moved one more radio button lower from the top! I just don’t think that getting older is a bad thing or something one ought to fret about. It is the natural progression of things! Enjoy it!

This year, my 26th year of having tread this planet, will probably go down as one of the most expensive birthdays I’ve had. In terms of my own spending, I mean. Dresses, dinners – the fun and fine dining, parties, gifts to myself, a hair makeover, massages. 🙂 The highlight of it was the fact that I received a star award at work – an appreciation award for things I’ve done/accomplished AND that I can now wear skirts that are about 6 inches in height and feel fabulous in them 🙂 I only mention the latter as I’m quite proud that I’ve been swimming for about six months now and not only do I feel good but I’m also stronger, more healthy and lean that I was a year ago!

I digress. What was this supposed to be about? Oh, right. The other side of a quarter of a century. Since my last birthday a lot has happened, personally and professionally. They have left me the same in essence but having experienced the past three hundred and seventy days has made me a much wiser person than I was before. I’ve met some absolutely wonderful people that I admire for their minds – it’s the intellect that I’m attracted to; interesting ones have wandered in and out. I’ve done a bunch of exciting things – exciting on my terms; I’ve been to places and learned so much. I’ve found more focus in my life though I still walk along the path of life with cautious steps. To a large extent I feel that I have asserted and earned my independence, which to me, is one of the biggest achievements of my life so far. It’s not just the feminist in me talking.

I have now also added an entire year of professional experience to my career, the past six months accounting for most of what I’ve done and learned. Other than the technical aspects of the job, which includes my personal technological advances, I have had the chance to work with a multitude of people. I have discovered my work ethics and style of approaching a job. I have found that I can come up with good ideas and solve issues and problems as good as anyone with much more experience than I. I have fully understood the extent to which I will allow my professional life to encroach upon my personal. I would like to keep them at a distance and I believe I will find it easy to do so because I’ve already done it. I have definitely grown in the personal aspect of life too. Dealing with a multitude of issues within the family made me and others realize that I am grown up. I can handle a lot of unexpected things on my own.

A lot of the above might seem repetitive – it does to me. But hey, that’s my life. I find ways to keep it exciting and I’ve loved every moment of it. Every year that goes by I know I’ve done something new and I’ve become a better person because of it. I sought ways of keeping the ball rolling. That’s all you need. I don’t need to be a ‘wild-child’ to enjoy life. The finer and simpler things in life, as contradictory as that might sound.

So here’s looking into the next year – end of the world or not – for adventure and life itself! Prost!

From the Ashes a Fire Shall Be Woken

Very few movies have me on tenterhooks, tense with anticipation and excitement. This year, 2012, ushered in an early onset of nerves; for The Dark Knight Rises and The Hobbit. Since I have precisely 5 months to build up to the second and am still reeling from the after-effects of an early morning showing of the first, I shall deal with the first.

I must say, before I get any more into it, Christopher Nolan is genius. The man is spectacular! He sustained a comic book character, that has been on screen since the 1960’s, through three movies, three brilliant storylines that have kept everyone on their toes.

One of the main reasons I’ve fallen in love with Nolan’s trilogy, starting with the first Batman Begins, is that he made Batman more human and realistic. “He could be anyone” to quote from the film and it comes through to you while you watch it, be it in Bruce Wayne‘s dulcet billionaire playboy tones, or in the gruff vigilante’s. He made it more than just a movie – which is usually supposed to be a popcorn & drink affair. He made it so real that you feel yourself being taken in by the story, you feel the pain, the fear, the exultation, the displeasure, the pleasure, the unworthiness, the tribulations, the injustice, the compassion… the need to make things right, to fix it, to be involved in something larger than life. It makes you want to believe. That was the essence, and the magic, that Nolan wove into each of his movies and he has ended it on an absolutely fantastic note. I could not have asked for more.

I haven’t watched a lot of superhero movies because they’re literally almost the same. Iron Man was good because of the dialog, The Avengers and The Hulk too. But it’s not realistic. I mean, when compared to Nolan’s Batman. At least to me. Most superhero movies stick with the theme of – I’m good, there’s a bad guy, I’ll try to beat him, I can’t, I’ll try again, and I win. Yes, in theory Batman is the same, but while you watch the movie you begin to deal with a tumult of emotions. Watch, for instance, the last few minutes of The Dark Knight.

You understand sacrifice and are left with a need to do more. It speaks to you on a human level, one you can identify with because it’s all true. Even the evil ones – Ra’s al Ghul, The Joker, Bane – are perfect. We see and hear of atrocities happening all over the world and the bad guys in the Batman series give you that. That men can be brought down by pure evil. Harvey Dent, for example. “(The Joker) took the best of us and tore him down” as Commissioner Gordon says in the second movie. Isn’t that true in real life? Corruption and manipulation?

There’s also the human spirit that Nolan emphasizes on. That mankind is not doomed to evil, that we not always need superheroes to save us. People are enough. People that have morals. Bruce Wayne, billionaire philanthropist that he is, wants to do good for his city. That’s why he comes back and becomes the masked crusader. He believes that his city deserves more and is willing to sacrifice for it, as Batman. The innate faith in people is something that should exist and it’s beautifully brought out in all three movies.

I came out of the theater speechless. Literally. I’ve loved the movies, as I’ve stated before, and couldn’t have been more satisfied with the way it ended. It gave me all I wanted. I felt every possible humanly emotion at 6:00am in the morning and as I told a friend – I hyperventilated for approximately 160 minutes. Hans Zimmer‘s composition aided in making me feel that way because I was already in that tense, open eyed state since the soundtrack was release a few days before the movie.

This movie, along with the other two that make up the trilogy, will remain as one my all time favorites. Not just because of its darkness but because of its near accurate representation of reality. (Here’re some quotes from the trilogy, as a parting gift).

I think the following lines from J.R.R. Tolkien’s poem about Aragorn are appropriate:

“From the ashes a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring”

He is a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A Dark Knight.