“Doomsday…Apocalypse…The End of the World…Earlier we used to see these only in foreign films. Apocalypse would happen only in their countries then, and a handsome male hero, just in the nick of time, would save everyone from impending doom. Though it had no relevance in our own lives, it was always great to witness it onscreen through the magic of movies. But in real life, Apocalypse is so boring, monotonous, like a slow-paced art-house film.”
This wry, meta-cinematic line of dialogue from Kalkokkho, or House of Time, the new feature film from Kolkata-based writer-director duo Sarmistha Maiti & Rajdeep Paul, aptly captures the mood many of us felt in the earliest days of last year’s nearly global Covid pandemic lockdown. I remember falling into a black hole of depression for two weeks or so, lying on my sofa staring at the ceiling, feeling psychologically and spiritually immobilized; tied down, even. Soon, however, I began to play the Glad Game, count my many blessings, untie myself and get off my self-absorbed butt. I reminded myself that when the going gets strange, the strange get going.