Monday, December 15, 2014

Dr. Clooney rescues my mood, but is he Indian?

Well, my family's embargo on the news is over: one of my immediate relatives has one of the worst forms of cancer. The aftermath of it all (my new phrase of 2014 is "receiving catastrophic care," yaaay) is horrible, but it's equally daunting to manage the daily grind of life - work, chores, friends, future plans - while trying to maintain oneself through it all.

It's less scary, in a way, because you join in the familial effort to "steer into the skid." But being a grown-up means not only accepting bad news and helping out instead of feeling self-pity, it means adding this new burden to all that you had going on before. It means not snapping at annoying co-workers, or being harsh with a roommate when they screw up. It means showing up to a party or a date in good spirits. It means not taking your personal pain and drama out on others, because that only makes things worse - and represents a failure to act like a proper adult.

And, fortunately, it's not too hard to maintain my perspective, because I've grown up in terrible neighborhoods, because of attempted muggings and beatdowns, because of managing the family medical business at 17 years old under great pressure - with a loaded gun under my desk. Big problems shouldn't overwhelm a proper adult - and, if you're like me, it means that you try to let hard times bring out what's truly best in yourself... Even if at the end of the day you find yourself having a drink or two to help decompress.

It gets hard, though, as the initial shock at the news fades into months of sleeping in spare hospital beds and scheduling visits. But, in times of crisis, I find it helps to turn to a doctor - and not just the ones I am related to.

I was so glad when I saw this picture of George Clooney from his early TV days. It was not just a nice reminder of how times have changed, but also it suddenly struck me that holy crap, George Clooney totally looks Indian in that picture!

Even better for my mood, Clooney's appearance reminds me of a figure from one of the funniest movie posts I have ever read. The link was sent to me by Nikhat, a wonderful woman who I adore and whose blog, Being Norma Jean, can often put mine to shame.

The post in question is a plot summary of Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham..., and you will laugh hard and often throughout the course of Imaan Sheikh's coverage. KKKG's story is so uniquely insane, and Sheikh's humor - both in text and through many cool gigs - is so infectious, that I now plan to see the picture as soon as possible. I didn't even get 70% of the Indian-specific jokes Imaan made (I like just learned what Diwali is), and yet I was wiping tears from my eyes. Fine writing and comedy truly do transcend cultural boundaries...

Even better, reading the movie's surprisingly-long wiki entry reveals that the crazy-ass movie has received a ton of critical analysis, bigtime box office success, and even awards.

Yes, multiple awards! For a movie that sounds like it was written on a fever dream and directed on a dare.

Hell, at this dark time, my sense of humor is working as hard as it can, and it really helps to be reminded of something that made me laugh so much. So I feel blessed that the old Clooney picture reminded me of the film, as I can put it into my DVD queue before I forget.

And who, then, does Clooney remind me of? An actor called Hrithik Roshan, whose role in this family drama is the once-chunky and now-hunky youngest brother Rohan. Sadly, his name does not mean that a Bollywood film managed to include the country full of horsemen from Tolkien's novels. Just take a look below, read that review I linked to, and make your owns plans to watch KKKG asap.


  1. Aww thanks for the link. Lol I've never thought of Roshan as Clooney but maybe it's the hair? The film *is* insane but I love it :P

    And I hope all your troubles go away soon and all gets well :)

    1. It's the hair and the overall shape of the face, especially around the jaw-line.

      Thank you so much, love!

  2. I know how you feel, I have an uncle going through cancer troubles(his wife just finished up her chemo,too!) and my half brother is sadly in hospice care in another state. On the plus side, my mom is recovering from her surgery(which turned out to be two,due to a follow-up procedure) rather well.

    Keeping a sense of humor and appreciation for the good things in life is hard but that's when pop culture proves it's value. Discovering new genres or stories doesn't solve your problems but it can make your day go a little bit better.

    And yeah, Clooney does look like that guy!

    1. I'm so sorry! Multiple illnesses in the family just make it worse - nobody gets a chance to rest up. And hospice care... it's like a neonatal intensive care unit: I wish such places didn't need to exist.

      One resource that might help is they can provide a lot of advice on treatments and whatnot.

      Pop culture helps, yes - although I insist that movies and tv are only distractions, while music feels like actual therapy/help. I make at least two or three people laugh every single bloody day of my life, & it's nice to get that energy from someone/thing else, instead of always generating the positivity on my own. It's even more important with the hectic pace of this month...

      But this image in particular was nice, and if you saw my post in June you know my roommates & I spray-painted a stencil of George's smiling face into our home-made table. It was enough to perk my spirits, then it reminded me of that amazing Indian film...

  3. Thanks for the link and while I do agree music can be very therapeutic, for me, a good novel does the trick. I can name at least three books that helped me thru my dad's death several years ago(one of them was a children's book) and right now, reading The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan is truly helping me keep focus.

    Glad to hear that Clooney's face is causing you so much joy:)

    1. Nice point, and I recall making it in our comments on my Interstellar review, that literature is an art that I hold in highest regard. And, best of all, books can serve both purposes (distraction, therapy), among others.

      Thanks for the suggestion! Maybe I'll add Tan's book to my reading pile. I have a few particular texts that I might turn to in times of stress, but nothing that "helps" me in the way you seem to mean.

      George Clooney's smiling face, however, is a comfort to us all, like a shining light in the darkness


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