Dear readers and fellow bloggers:

Good morning. You are looking at a picture taken today of some of the countless posters that adorn the apartment that we are sharing with our son Gian Luca. When he moved in, my son plastered all the walls, except for the sleeping and hygiene quarters (verboten) This poster of “Les Quatre Cent Coups” takes pride of place because it not only is one of our favorite movies but the epic story of Antoine Doinel, its main character, inspired the script and the photography of his award-winning film “Lonely is the night.”

In his 1959 directorial debut, French film-maker Francois Truffaut won the Cannes Palme D’Or with his story of a misunderstood youngster from Paris that runs away from his family to discover the world. I saw the film with my father Mario in La Plata when I was studying Medicine; we both liked it very much but never mentioned it to Gian Luca. A few years ago, I found him watching this movie, lounging comfortably in a sofa.

-“Hey, I love this film,” I said to him. “Why are you watching it?’

-“Because the scenes in his school gives me an idea of how tough it must have been for you to go through the French educational system, Daddy, ” he shot back.

Welling up, I said: “yes, it was cruel like that. When the teacher showed up in the early morning and ordered us to take out pen and paper because there was a dictation, we all shivered like leaves in the middle of the wintertime.” We hugged each other intensely.

Two years ago my son chose Miles, one of his classmates at Miami Beach Senior High School, to star in his film; we knew that he was having a checkered situation at home. Once the filming had started, my son asked me if Miles could bunk with us for some time. I enthusiastically agreed and we gladly shared our apartment in Miami Beach. For the following weeks, we had one of the most extraordinary moments of our bonding. Giani, Miles and the rest of the crew filmed inside that apartment and went out on location, sometimes at incredibly odd hours to have the street set for themselves.

My humble task was, besides supporting my son financially and spiritually, to provide food and beverages for the whole crew, sometimes even happily cooking for them. We got little rest but we enjoyed together their discussion about script, scenes, locations. I believe I got magically hooked on the idea of participating in movie-making right there.

Miles is a gifted yet rebellious guy who just needed some space to develop his potential and we were willing to extend a helping hand to him in times of need. In the end he rightfully made all of us proud.

Antoine Doinel had also to get away from a stultifying situation to discover the world. In the last scene, Truffaut showed his feet finally touching the sea in a Normandy beach. It is a vivid metaphor for his long, convoluted journey into freedom and adulthood.

Gian Luca’s film opens with the sad image of a young black man sitting on a shop window’ s ledge and bowing his head, the image of lonely despair in the midst of the worldly indifference. Like Antoine before him, he will go through a spiritual redemption and in the end, he will come through as a man. The heading before the first scene says:

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god” Aristotle


5 thoughts on “Merci beaucoup, Antoine Doinel

    Kodus to Gian Luca (In Hindi Gian or Gyan means knowledge/know-how on whom Maa Sarswati’s – the Lordess of Knowledge showers graces and sagacities) and with his achievement your son has proved a point. It gives warmth to the heart of not only the doer but to the parents, relative and friends too. This is a joyous occasion for all those who read the commentary penned down by you. We are obviously proud of your son’s accomplishment – a rarest of rare occasion..
    The stories which generate inspiration are the need of the hour so as to spur our younger generation to show their mettle and excel in any field they put their hands on. Your mention of the film and having viewed the same with your father Mario in La Plata, and not mentioning the same to your son Gian Luca and still he viewed the movie, according to your assertion, is really mystical and I think, there is a God’s connect in this one. How come this happened after a lapse of so many years. Naturally, we humans cannot fathom there is some connectivity between what happened and what is happening and what will happen in future. The reply of your son after your query will still very crisp but most relevant about the ‘French educational system’. And the intense upsurge of emotions which were generated thereafter was really natural corollary to such events happening before your eyes.
    The description about the school at Miami Beach Sr. High School is really as relevant as day.
    All the parents, of the aspiring parents support their offspring you have done to the hilt should be a lesson for other parents too.
    It is worthwhile to mention that the achievement of Gian has with it all the graces of Maa Sarswati as the name goes and sure enough he would be an inspiration for others to follow.
    We would like to hear more from your about your son’s achievements in the near future too.

    Kindly convey my best wishes to your son.

    With warm hugs and regards


    1. Good morning and thank you very much for this truly illuminated commentary of yours. Your Brahminic wisdom has indeed shed light on the trail that my son Gian Luca (blessed by Maa Sarswati) has blazed. I had the strong suspicion that there was a mystical connection between my tough experience as a small schoolboy, the Truffaut character and the plight of Miles. Only you could put a connecting thread between these distant in time but similar experiences. My son and I are immensely grateful to you, our dear Hindu instructor.
      A big hug. Arrivederci!

      1. Good morning Dr. Sahib.

        It has been mentioned n Bhagwad Gita nothing happens without any tangible purpose. Furthermore, there is always a connect between one thing with other for a KARMA YOGI – those who mean business and show that God’s bounties could be obtained by individual action and Karma; rest everything is taken care by our LORD.

        Your son has made a most appropriate beginning and with God’s graces, and your son’s God oriented efforts, everything will fall into place.

        Tomorrow is the INTERNATIONAL WOMEN DAY (IWD). I have written a blog. Do appraise and give your commentary.



      2. Good morning and thank you for this great lesson, our dear, indefatigable Hindu teacher. We will read and comment that posting about Women’s Day appropriately. My son and I are grateful for your words that stimulate us to continue creating.
        A big hug. Arrivederci!

      3. Good Morning Dr. Sahib.

        I’ve written what hard work and persistence with parents’ blessings can bring out. It has been mentioned in Hindu scriptures that those offspring who are obedient, trustworthy besides practical in nature are graced by LORD SHANI JI MAHARAJ the son of Lord SUN (ADITYA) as Shani Dev Ji is the Lord assigned the task of giving JUSTICE for our Karmic deeds or misdeeds.



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