a mambo-tango of my own..

It’s impossible to not have a melodramatic reaction to Diarios de motocicleta (The Motorcycle Diaries). It left me awake and thinking. Both states are dangerous to an otherwise idle existence.

I first stumbled on Che Guevara when I was in school, and found a copy of The Motorcycle Diaries in the second-hand book store on the pavement. It was like revealing romance to a lovesick puppy. Love for the outside world to fill the vacuum within.

It was a little later, that I *discovered* more about Guevara. The Cuban connection, the blind passion, the outrage and the final fall. Another Robin Hood biting the dust. I am a hardcore capitalist, and I have never understood why anyone could be so blinded by Communist ideal, and yet, I understand idealism and how consuming it can be. Idealism is a trait one picks up in early years, and holds on to. Because the only truth worth its salt is the one ridden with ambiguity.

The Motorcycle Diaries isn’t about epousing a political ism. It is the love that grows for one’s world. The sudden discovery of identity and one’s almost tangible sense of attachment to people. The overwhelming feeling of being so connected to others, even strangers, that makes us weep for their misfortunes.

Guevara and Granado, were obviously sensitive people, but a roadtrip though South America puts their sensitivity into perspective.

Che, before he became a hard-liner. Ernesto Guevara, before he became the Guerilla warlord. The movie starts on almost a comic note, the two of them being tossed around by that beautiful cranky moody bike. (A lovely Norton named La Poderosa, or the Mighty One). And then you see the innocence of a man who is now only an easy T-shirt logo to use.

The people they meet. Their faces morphed into one another, connected by the poverty and indifference of the world towards them. The deep need to be proud of a shared ancestory, and a heritage that was destroyed by the invaders whose language they speak now. Truth is, Che could have become anything after this roadtrip. A communist party member, a cynic, an alcoholic, or even indifferent. And perhaps that is what one would experience while watching the movie. What would you become at the end of a road trip? Older, wiser, angrier or sleepier?

The movie is not based on a story. It is an excerpt from the amazing journey undertaken. And where it ends, is where Che Guevara takes over.

This isn’t a tale of derring-do, nor is it merely some kind of cynical account; it isn’t meant to be at least. It’s a chunk of two lives running parallel for a while, with common aspirations and similar dreams.
– Che Guevara, The Motorcycle Diaries.

It brought back so many of my own roadtrips, that a mental album is haunting me ever since.

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One Response to a mambo-tango of my own..

  1. Talk about coincidences….
    The way I found your blog ,it´s a big one.I have no ideia why i´m leaving this comment,it´s just that ,I wish I could have my own mambo-tango,but …Life is life…I really don´t know what to say…I have no ideia who you are ,or anything ,and after reading some of your posts I feel ,well ,stupid and curious.
    Stupid because your post about India ,feminism,London ,I can relate to all that ,but you do something to change even if just a little this reality,your reality,and I don´t …I see a lot of horrible things every day,but I don´t write or do a crap about it…I think I´m afraid to speak up and be concidered stupid..so I use my space to talk about everything but what I really want to talk about…What I can say is:I´m going to keep reading this blog.I´m curious about India,about just how different things really are because of cultures and how simmilar they are when feelings and wiews are envolved ,when it comes down to being just human.
    I´m a brasilian.So you can think that the realities are so different ,but,I´m afraid they are not.
    Thanx for making me remember about mambo-tango,I really need that .