Rhapsody In Blue
‘He adored New York City. He idolised it all out of proportion’…
The faint skyline of New York City in black and white flashed on the big screen followed by the montage that made me fall in love
with New York City and, well, montages. But that’s not what this story is all about. The story is about the tune that kept ringing in my ears long after the movie was over with.
The first time I saw it, I could hear the movements of Rhapsody In Blue from a distance in my dream with scenes from the movie sliding in and out of view. Although in my dream it was a different town. It was a blend between the high-rises and the narrow alleyways. For those of you who don’t know me, I lived a major part of my life in Calcutta and the parts I didn’t, I have admired it from a distance. It has the fine texture of an oil-on-canvas. As Annie Hall once snapped back at Alvy with a Death In Venice quote, I could relate to it—Calcutta is a dying city as well. Yet it continues to live on. It’s strange how the soul of one city is so remarkably similar to another like it. With corners that look right out of a Satyajit Ray movie, (well, literally) you could almost hear the music amidst the hustle bustle if you happen to walk the serpentine lanes of Bowbazar.
The Gershwin piece is long and with its movements, it can thrill you, make you fall in love and snap you out of a trance only to put you into another one. But what I love about it the most is how it acts as a time machine coupled with a teleporter. I could put it on my earplugs and close my eyes and I know I would see the Manhattan skyline and when someday I would live in another city and miss Calcutta a little bit, I know it would remind me of here too.