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The Rainbow of the Setting Sun

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    The Rainbow of the Setting Sun

    Wonder how many of you would have seen the classic movie Fanny released in 1961. It starred Leslie Caron, Horst Buchholz and Maurice Chevalier. It was a love triangle with a difference. In a small sleepy town, a young Adonis-like hero gets what he has aspired for all his life, a sea-farer’s job. It’s a five year contract holding out a lot of promise for the young man. Just as he prepares to leave, the voluptuous young heroin comes running to him to tell him how much she loves him. The young man realises in a flash all the love for her that he kept suppressed deep in his heart. All the pent up emotions for each other explode into some frenzied love making and the young man leaves in pursuit of his career....

    Soon the girl finds herself pregnant. An unwed young mother in a conservative town like that is total disaster and the girl is in utter disarray. There is an old but a very kind-hearted merchant in town, who is extremely fond of this girl. He offers to marry her and become the legitimate father of her illegitimate child. The grateful girl accepts his generous offer. Soon the child is born and the old man lavishes all his love on the girl and her son. The girl too gets drawn to the old man in course of time. On one fine morning, the young man returns from the sea and seeks his girl. To the girl, all that old man’s love is something that can be dispensed with. She sees her future only in the company of the young man. She bids adieu, though a tearful one, to the old man. What the old man did for her in giving her a name and her child a father was just an act of compassion as far as she was concerned. Nobody understands the old man’s love for the girl.

    I saw the picture about five decades ago as a young man of 19. The film cast a tremendous spell on me at that time. I was ready to empathise with the girl’s practical approach and did not see much in the way the old man was jettisoned like unwanted cargo. His anguished look did, no doubt, haunt me for a long time. But today, in the evening of my life, I can understand how that old man, portrayed beautifully by Maurice Chevalier, would have felt.

    I do not know why but there is a general perception that all the feelings of romance and adventure are the prerogative of youth. No one understands that the passage of time can only leave its imprint on the physical body but not the spirit within. The ruthless march of the seasons may leave the body crippled and immobile to wither in decay but they are absolutely powerless over the undying spirit. ...The rainbow of a setting sun is just as beautiful as the rainbow of the rising sun. There is something soul-stirringly romantic about the setting sun after all the awesome power it wields across the sky during the day. Look at the way a million lamps are slowly lit across the sky as the sun sets. Those glittering diamonds lovingly preserve all the unexpressed romance of the vanishing sun until he is back again. The setting sun and the starry nights have enraptured more poets than the fury of a youthful sun.

    But alas, the beauty of romance hidden in a man in the evening of his life never evokes any similar feeling of ecstasy in any one. ...Do you ever realise that the chirping of the morning birds, their majestic flight in breathtaking formations across the sky, the pearly drops of the morning dew, the gentle waves caressing the shore, the rolling sound of the distant thunder, and the cascading waters of a mighty waterfall can move an aging man as much as they do the youth to a rhapsody of romance? The raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings and all such favorite things of a young and vivacious Maria can also be the favorite things of men thrice her age. The intensity of feelings is not inversely proportional to age. On the contrary, it is directly proportional. Age may numb the body but not the feelings. ...Next time you meet an old man in a romantic mood, please do not look at the distance he has traveled ahead of you in time but how close he remains with you in feelings.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
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  2. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir,

    I was just so moved reading your article. I did see the movie Fanny too, when I was in my early 20s. And i was moved and cried for the old man then . And I do too now.
    Yes what you have said is totally cent percent true. Romance never dies in a person , however old one might be. Recently I read Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul , and every one of the articles written in them were so full of love and romance.

    Yes , in this day of fast food and fast paced everything, we must make time to listen to an elder talk about their life experiences. Not out of kindness to them, but for the fact that we benefit a lot and learn so much in the process.
    Thank you for posting this beautiful write up.

    Vandhana
     
  3. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you Vandhana for your appreciative feed-back
    I have a limited audience but I am happy that they do come regularly to read my posts. I'll continue with my posting even if I have just one reader only as long as what I write is 'felt' by her/him!
    Thanks again!
     
  4. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    Cheeniya sir,

    Liked this piece very much. Sometimes, I read, enjoy and move on without posting a comment. Must remember to verbalise it more often. It is said in jest,'there is no greater fool in love, than an old fool'. I have always been saddened by the inequity in this quip.In fact, as I grow older, I find that my need for companionship increases. Sivasankari has written a couple of novels on love in an advanced age. Though I read them years ago, I remember them for the grace the 'senior' lovers portrayed, and above all their thirst to reach out to another soul.
     
  5. jothi

    jothi Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir,

    I have not seen the movie Fanny. Your narration of the movie does give a broader view of the story. You have written it very well. Totally agree with you on the fact that romance is ageless.

    I love the line "Age may numb the body but not the feelings".
    But I feel like we dont have the pleasure of seeing that kind of romances in India, atleast not many. I see that here in the US day in and day out. I once went on a vacation to Hawaii, the majority of the people that I saw in the hotel that I stayed were older couples enjoying their time with each other. I did manage to strike up a conversation with few of them and found out that they go on vacations once every year... I reaslised hmmmmmm What fun....
    Thanks for that thought provoking post.
    Regards,
    Jothi.
     
  6. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Vidya!
    Nice to see you again!
    I think that much of the confusion arises because of romance being understood only as a feeling a man has towards a woman and is mistakenly considered only as a synonym for love!
    It is the emotional ability that equips us with a rose-tinted glass enabling us to look at ONLY the beautiful things around us.
    I am happy and thankful that I have been able to preserve that glass till date while many lose it somewhere on the way!
    Regards
    Sri
     
  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Jothi
    I have realised at 64 that love expresses itself better thro emotionl bonding and overtures than thro physical. It is the process of evolution, I guess! It is such an irony of life that when you reach my age and the heart is full of love to the brim , there is no one to shower it on! No one has time to sit and spend time to the outpourings of love from a senile old man like me!
    sri
     
  8. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya,

    Enjoyed your account of the rainbow.

    Don't underestimate the 60's is what I can say, especially in this part of the globe! Like Jothi mentions, it is celebrated here and they know how to enjoy their privileges!! Some of the roaring romances are happening in the seniority brackets..likes of Larry King are still going strong and Donald Trump seems to be the ravishing hero:)
    Well, even Amitabh Bachan seems to be contributing his bit by making films like Nishabd and Cheeni Kam...If America sneezes, will not the rest of the world catch the cold?!....No doubt, it does:)

    L, Kamla
     
  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamla
    I am not as ambitious as Amitab to expect a young maiden to fall in love with me!
    I'm looking for a toothless seventy!:2thumbsup:
    Sri
     
  10. sathya

    sathya Gold IL'ite

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    hello

    mm sixty four and a toothless seventy?
    ahahaha

    rain and rainbow...
    there may be heavy rains
    but rainbows are rare
    or atleast we dont get to see them
    we are so busy running around
    putting life right ..right?

    anyway
    this kind of love
    is mostly misunderstood
    in india atleast...
    zz
    one may shower love
    give all there is to share
    and yet
    like in the movie
    if she refused to go with her youthful lover?
    u think the movie will sell?

    not at all

    izhappathil ulla sugam
    ninaivil nirkum...

    sathya
     

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