Reality vs Movies – An Engineer’s perspective

Calvin once wisely said “My life would be more interesting with a musical score and a laugh track“. Wouldn’t it be awesome if real life were like movies? Right from the vibrant colors on the screen to the air brushing of old people to make them young(you know who), the background music to the drama. As if hitting someone isn’t fun enough already, in the movies it is accompanied with “tubush,bishum” sound effects. I would randomly hit people for no reason if such awesomeness were possible in real life. Now lets take a sample demographic.
Here is a comparison of an average day of an average young male Software Engineer in real life and in movies. Since a male Software Engineer is the most stereotypical character you will ever find, I think he is the perfect sample for such an analysis.

Morning breakfast : Real life guy opens the fridge sleepily while scratching parts of his body and wondering if he can cook something nice and quick. Nope, nothing in the fridge which is not smelling like a (warning : subtle racism ahead) Chinese Food court. He settles down for milk and bland corn flakes again, cursing his life.
The movie guy does not do all this. If there is a breakfast sequence in the movie, it will be as follows:
If he is a South Indian, he presents himself primly dressed at the breakfast table with a “Good morning Amma” and his mother serves him idli along with chutney and hot sambar. Its always idli in South Indian movies. Dosa, vada etc are too tedious to prepare.
If he is a North Indian, then good ol’ aloo ke parathe or mooli ke parathe. No question of compromise there.

On the way to office: There is one coincidence in real life and movies. The bus is always crowded. Guess we just cannot escape this reality. But the coincidence ends here. Suddenly the bus screeches to a halt and the movie guy falls right on to a pretty young thing, who of course is the female lead of the movie (this will be revealed to you later when she breaks into a dream song with the hero half an hour later). For now,he gets chided by her for bruising her modesty. Now for our real guy. He will most definitely fall into the lap of a heavily mustachioed elderly man who will then enter into a abuse mode in chaste vernacular focusing on the younger generation being manner-less,insensitive nincompoops. He will not stop his tirade until he has got everyone’s attention in the bus, even if it means getting down at the next stop.

After getting down the bus: Say by some freakish sort of miracle, the real guy also chanced upon a girl in the bus. So what does he do after coming down the bus? He gushes about it all the way to office making up dream sequences in his mind, get shouted at my a motor cyclist while crossing the road for not paying attention and eventually reach office. And the movie guy? He is absolutely in no hurry. He gets down the bus in slow motion to the starting tune of a Rahman song, with slightly ruffled hair and grinning from ear-to-ear (I am leaning towards South Indian movies here, because its more fun), and immediately break into a impromptu dance sequence in the middle of the road. And do the people walking on the road look at him like he is retarded or the people in vehicles start yelling at him? No way! The pedestrians who are all dressed nattily for the occasion, join in the jig with the hero with amazing synchronization (except the lousy one in the last row.Lazy bugger) while cool,shiny cars park in the middle of the road waiting for the song and dance to end. Where is the traffic police, you ask? Of course he is among the background dancers, happily dancing away.

At work: Okay lets give our real guy something to cheer about. Our real guy reaches office and is at his desk checking mails,when the office hottie, who works in the same team, comes to his cube and starts chatting and giggling. Gotcha! We all know the office hottie being in the real guy’s team is an urban myth. IT NEVER HAPPENS.
On a serious note,his boss comes to him “Mr.Real guy, seems like there is a typo in the report you sent yesterday. Let me point it to you” and he points it out in the report on the computer screen. Real guy apologizes for the mistake and tells his boss that he will resend the updated report. Boss thanks him politely and leaves. That’s all(there are exceptions, of course). This is where the movie guy doesn’t have it easy. His boss barges into his cube, already livid with rage and carrying a printout of the entire report, a full 42 pages. He does not explain what the mistake is. Instead he just yells at the guy and throws all the papers on his face, which then proceed to fall down all around him in slow motion.Cue background sad violin music. Movie guy picks each one of the papers and reads through all of them as he has no goddamn idea where the mistake is.

Now for some reason, both the real guy and movie guy are frustrated and angry with their respective bosses(Movie guy has a valid reason now). Real guy calls up his buddy,and they go to the chai dabba below. If he is a smoker, he smokes up and both swear at their boss and if he is not, he orders a chai and both swear at their boss, they come up to their cubes and get back to work. But the movie guy has a masterplan. He sneaks to his boss’s cabin when he is not around, and looks into his boss’s PC monitor which displays a MS WORD document with the word “PASSWORD” in a huge red font and blinking letters. He furiously keys in lots of characters without using space bar even once (we don’t know what he types or does though. The camera is focused on the guy’s face, flushed with concentration and intensity), and finally, he is “logged” in. If you still don’t get it, EVERY computer engineer in a movie is also a hacker who can hack into anything which says “PASSWORD” in huge red blinking letters. Now he will proceed to upload some virus or open a presentation his boss is supposed to give and screw it up, a genius trick which his boss will totally fall for.

In the evening : After a stressful day at work, the real guy either goes to a mall with his buddies and have a good time ogling at girls or sits in a pizza place with his girlfriend listening to her evening Suprabhatam about her boss until the pizza gets cold. Meanwhile, the movie guy goes to a mall too and who does he meet there??? Bingo! The same girl who he ran into on the bus (Dammit, what are the odds?) But she is on the other end of the mall. Mission: Reach hot gal on the other end of the mall. One frame, he is running after her frantically to a dramatic background music. Next frame, she is walking in slow motion as leisurely as a girl who has ever visited a mall walks,oblivious of the world around her with a soft,soothing music playing in the background. Next frame – He is jumping and dodging and running. At this moment, something miraculous happens in the space-time continuum of the mall. All laws of physics have gone for a toss. The hero propels himself into the air as if there is no gravity, their relative velocities always remain the same no matter what their absolute velocities are and sometimes the electrons and protons in the air get disturbed enough by their chemistry that sparks start flying between them,literally. Einstein and Newton would be spinning in their graves, not just tossing. Our hero finally catches up with the heroine at the parking lot, panting while the girl is standing there, her make up and hair still spot on and intact. Right when he is about to open his mouth and say something, two events occur,again in slow motion. One,a huge,muscular hunk comes out of a car next to them staring at him with a I-will-crush-you expression on his face and two, the camera focuses on the engagement ring on the girl’s finger and instantly zooms to a shocked expression on the hero’s face.

CUT! CUT! CUT! Looks like I got a little carried away. After this point, the movie guy’s life becomes so dramatic and action-filled that it is unfair to even compare to our real guy’s life who is most probably cutting onions and tomatoes for dinner right now. If you really want to know if the hero and heroine get together at the end and live happily forever, get me an appointment with a bigshot movie producer. Picture abhi baaki hain mere dost!

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7 responses to “Reality vs Movies – An Engineer’s perspective

  1. I lost interest while reading the bus episode :P and then continued reading today morning :D not your best one.. I liked the Gotcha part :D I was hoping something nice happens to the real guy :D:D but finally he ends up with Onions n Tomatoes.. Poor guy ! ;)

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