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A Thankgiving Gift For Us

It is November of 2016.

(Bold ‘2016’ for me, please.)

It is November of 2016.

(Underline it.)

It is November of 2016.

(Increase the font size.)


I think we all are quite aware of November of 2016; no need for me to further highlight ‘2016’.

However: [keywords: election, assignments, registration, exams, workload, election repercussions, leftover turkey for eternity]

*takes a long deep breath*


It is the end of semester and I am pretty overwhelmed, I will confess. And I am sure I am not the only one feeling that way.

For you, my overwhelmed người bạn,

(Overwhelmed what?)

Người bạn: Friend (in Vietnamese)


For you, my overwhelmed người bạn,

I have a Thanksgiving gift that I gave myself in advance: Tran Anh Hung’s The Scent of Green Papaya (Vietnamese: Mùi đu đủ xanh, French: L’Odeur de la papaye verte).

It is a movie built on minute details and beautiful colors; it is made to work like meditation, a 1hr 43min meditation. It will stay with you like the scent of green papaya stays with Mui. Mui’s a woman with Buddha-smile and a Buddhaesque way of looking at life, as and how it is. Beautiful. A total win-win situation… considering especially that you get to be in touch with (in Roger Ebert’s words) “beauty in the smallest details: A drop of water trembling on a leaf, a line of busy ants, a self-important frog in a puddle left by the rain, the sunlight through the green leaves outside the window, the scent of green papaya.”

Last weekend, I just had to find some inner peace, and often as it goes, peace will not come hang out with me if and when I am being bothered by overwhelmed-ness. I said, “you know what? I will just watch a movie, a simple movie, and try to find some sort of peace there.” And boy, was I pleased!

I will just say this: this Thanksgiving, offer yourself The Scent of Green Papaya, and be thankful like Mui.

And a happy Thanksgiving (already)!

And if I have not convinced you like Roger Ebert would, about watching this BEAUTIFUL movie, here’s what he said:

“(This) is a film so placid and filled with sweetness that watching it is like listening to soothing music. … This is a film to cherish.”

Thank you.

~ Hardik Yadav


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