Monday, 1 June 2015

The Whisper of My Heart

WARNING: Some spoiler is included in this post for Whisper of the Heart. Well, sort of.

I finally got around to cleaning out and organising my drawers for the longest time. Longest being I left Manila for an indefinite vacation in my hometown which ended up lasting a year. All the while leaving almost everything I’ve ever thought of and felt [in paper] here. When I got back (last May 5, yey!), I’d been too lazy to do anything about it.

But now as I was taking everything out and riffling through the pages of my old notebooks, I saw this essay I actually called Old Letters to Myself (PART I). What the hell had I been thinking of in those times to make me come up with a title like that? What happened to part 2 and 3; is there a 4? The “letter” was talking about the latest book I’d read so far then, First French Kiss and Other Traumas, a collection of semi-related short stories by Adam Bagdasarian. [Very good book, by the way. I do recommend it.] How it inspired me to write. The stories I thought of writing. My muses. But there’s this passage that gave me a “mind-blown moment”.

It’s about this “… work of the one who created Howl’s Moving Castle, and it tells the story about a young violin maker and a writer girl who didn’t know what to do with her life until the boy left for Italy to hone his craft… of making violins. I can totally relate to the girl in almost every sort of way. Even her best friend and my best friend look just about alike. [And, yes, my best friend was a smart hopeless romantic, too.] I can see my own childhood in that girl. Except there was no violin maker in my life. And no one asked for my hand in marriage. And so I grew up like this. (Now you have some sort of idea would happen to the girl if there was no Seiji in her life.) Darn it!!! I really couldn’t remember the name of the girl. It was really good, though. Very inspiring.”

*laugh* Boy, could that passage be more wrong?

The movie was, in fact, called Whisper of the Heart, my favourite by Studio Ghibli, and the protagonist’s name is Shizuku—a name that became so dear to me that I decided to use it in one of my never-ending stories. Still no violin maker… but there’s this girl who out of the blue just claimed to be my owner, and I, her pet cat—yeah, yeah, thus, the name Kitty. I thought her offensive at first but she was just really trying to be friends. We bonded over the littlest things and were comfortable in each other’s company. I knew she was going to someone special. And when her impending departure was starting to sink in to us (she flew back to her country), we were so miserable that she actually suggested we get married. Not the most romantic of proposals but we never wanted to be parted with.

                                          Seiji and Shizuku photo from Google

In the movie, after two months of internship in Italy, Seiji went back to Japan to tell Shizuku he will be going away again, this time for ten years. Like, what the fuck, right? Proposal comes next. But they’re only middle-schoolers anyway so that should give Shizuku plenty of time to get her life in order. As for me, I don’t have the luxury of ten years so the plan is to study very hard to make up for times I messed up, graduate, get a decent job with a good pay, save, fly off to Bangladesh to be with my one true love, kidnap her and go to Paris. There’ll be boys, maybe (and a real proposal), but right now, this is what I have to get by.

The point is it’s hard to live when you have nothing to live for. To change your ways when you don’t see anything wrong with it. You get contented with the way things are. Sometimes, there will be that one person who will turn up just to point it to you. And you’d better be prepared for it. ‘Coz you ain’t gon be the same. If Seiji and Jahan (the one that got away) didn’t come into our lives, my dear Shizuku and I would still be a hell of a mess right now.

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