Monday, September 05, 2005

The journey which changed history

One week break and I was all the way busy watching movies. Since most of them were romantic ones, I was also in a romantic mood :-). Before Sunrise, Before Sunset (These are sequels), 100 Girls (Romantic Comedy) were some of those romantic flicks. The Mating habits of Earthbound human was too funny. I have watched one of my all time favorites, Amelie, once again. Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, Ong Bak – Thai Warrior etc. followed suite. Everything was going fine until I saw The Motorcycle Diaries.

Diarios de motocicleta (2004) talks about a journey embarked by Ernesto Guevara (23) and Alberto Granado (29), typical college students of the 1950s, on a motorcycle, looking for chicks, fun and adventure before they grow up and have a more serious life. They decided to travel across Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Peru covering more than 10,000 kilometers.

Initially the journey was adventurous. But Ernesto, who was in his final year of medicine and an acute asthma patient, as they explored the inlands, was touched by the hardships and exploitations faced by the normal people of Latin America. The poor farmers' lands were captured using power and were made to work like slaves in mines and factories. After completing his journey, he flew back to Buenos Aires with a mind that had decided something. He finished his graduation and then what he did is history.

After liberating Cuba along with Fidel Castro, Ernesto moved on to other Latin American countries for their liberation. He believed that only a revolution can bring out a change. People called him ‘Commander Che’, ‘Che Guevara’, or simply ‘Che’ (corresponds to mate/pal/man/dude in colloquial Argentinean dialect). Later in October 1967, he was killed by the CIA backed Bolivian army in La Higuera near Vallegrande, Bolivia. He was on his feat of liberating Bolivia and was engaged in Guerilla Warfare in the Bolivian forests when he was caught.

The thing I liked about Dr. Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna is the power of his vision. He dreamt about a united South America without borders, bound by a common mestizo (mixture of European and Amerindian, the people of Latin America fall under these origins) culture. Since he chose the revolutionary way, no wonder why the US felt an imminent threat growing in the form of a leftist super nation in their vicinity and assassinated him.

Meanwhile I was also thinking about the recent US attacks on Iraq as well as Afghanistan and the ‘forced-peace’ prevailed during cold war time. When USSR was there, there were less such attacks done by the US and whenever an attack happened the USSR was there to counter it. That is why I called it ‘forced-peace’. Had the USSR been there, these attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan wouldn’t have happened. Hence, history would have been different if a big leftist nation as dreamed by Che, was formed near the US under their nose. Might be a gut feeling, but still, I feel that if such a nation was there, the US wouldn’t have dared to attack other countries as part of its deliberate act of proclaiming supremacy and looting natural resources of other countries.

Thus, The Motorcycle Diaries, based on the diary notes of Che Guevara, talks about a journey started for fun but changed the course of history. It is a matter of fact that the rural India is still under exploitation of the weaker classes, particularly in states like Bihar, UP, Andhra Pradesh etc. (Please don’t get offended, but this is a truth). May be not to revolutionize things like Che did, but when will I start such a journey through the hamlets of India?


Geo said...

A golden yamaha enticer ready and thumping...

perfect timing... what more should i say?

bhu ha ha ha ha ha ha

Thulasi said...

'let the world change you...
you can change the world"
I've only read the book "motorcycle diaries" very keen too watch teh mnovie.the news coming out frm argentina,veninzual,bolivia are also encouraging..
don't forget to isit the movie website, there is a nice thing u can do 'share ur travekl story" so chek this out

manu said...

hear that motorcycle diaries is a good flick, but missed it when it was played in kochi last time.

and nice thought jithu. but remember what our pm said last month about using the iron hand on the naxal movement in AP.

to add, dont wory, remember the message with which the matrix 3 ends, every thing that has a beginning has an end. the american supermacy is not an exception. let us hope it happens soon.

Jithu said...

> geo
amazing coincidence it is!!

> thulasi
thnx yaar! yup i went to that site and submitted the write up as well :-)

> manu
yup man, its a nice movie.. hmm.. i remember the words of PM. infact recently read his interview given to McKinsey. he seems to have so much enthused abt the US way of business.. its good to a certain extent, but may be he shud think a bit abt the realities as well..

everything (supremacy) that has a begining, got an end.. lets hope so in the case of US...

Matter of Choice said...


I was just reading motorcycle diaries a few days back. But a friend of mine flicked the book when i was only half way thru. now he is in delhi and boy am i mad at him!!

anyways from what i have read...u have given such a good commentary on the book and tied it with current affairs.

But i still consider US as a power less evil than probably any other power in the history of mankind. it helped that they had a wonderful system of democracy and a vibrant economy. I know that great civilizations decline..but i for one will be sad when this civilization declines. the rot may already be setting in. but one can figure out the point of inflexion only in hindsight. to lots of commentators, vietnam and watergate were such points. history proved them wrong. so i wouldnt venture out into the unknown to hazard a guess!


>|' ; '| said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
>|' ; '| said...

make history baba...take a ride across india :)

hope and love said...

great thought..!!
but better dont take geo with u..
from his last post i really wonder if u will reach anywhere..

Geo said...


Jithu said...

> anish
hmm.. i also have to read that book now.. btw that end wala thing was only concerned with the supremacy of US! in all the other cases, they are one of the better countries..

> poison
at first i thought that Mad Ytradian Shaman was an American who put some abusive comments after reading my post ;-) then i saw that it was u :-) hmm.. have to start a journey sometime!!

> HnL
ha ha ha.. in such journeys he will be better at the pillion ;-))) thnx for reminding me this :-)

> geo
dey wt ever it is, now, in such journeys, u wont cross the border of the pillion, even if it is ur bike ;-))

Mirage said...

I've heard a lot abt The Motorcycle Diaries from TripleSix. In fact its one of her fav films. I guess its a worth a watch...

TripleSix said...

wow...u've seen the film...its one of my favorites...and u know wat,i just finished readin its book too by che....absolutely brilliant...
read it,u'll fall in love with it..
infact there are lots of stuff missin in the film wich has been covered by the book...
che guevara is my idol..wat a dude...
one thing that i admire bout him is his honesty. i rem wat his frnd said in the film bout his honesty, but cn't rem the exact lines...but yes,i'm sure u rem the incident where this doctor ask che's view on the book he had written, before leavin that place by sea....funny ha!!!
yeah...i even rem that line where he gives an (honest) comment on his frnd,alberto's, view "revoluiton without guns..." one of the funniest line in the movie..
such trip made him someone we can look upto...if only we had ppl like a days,ppl take short cuts and illegal manner to be famous...wat a pity...
u know,after i watched this film...there's been one and only wish of mine...i wish to go on a trip like this...adventurous and inspirational...
good u saw the film...bcos of this film,i've developed a taste for foreign films as a days,i spent my time,every friday evenin, on french films...
the french institution screen their films every friday,and their entry is for free as well..
its the french film fiesta goin on..and it will go on till end of sept...till now i have seen 4..
out of that,i can reccomend u two..wich are brilliant
"the officer's ward" (its about this soldier who's disfiguered..rem my blog "disfiguered life" has been inspired frm this film)
and another wud be, "how i killed my father"...its about relationship esp that of a son and a father..
"french men"(comedy) and "nickel and dime"(comedy and a bit dramatic) are the other two that i had watched...u'll enjoy these as well.
i think,this has been the longest comment in ur blog..anyhow take care and happy film!!

Jiby said...

its been my dream to do a road trip thru india...i drove coast-to-coast across the us. the american ppl are a model race for mankind...they are among the most decent, law-abiding and tolerant humans in todays world and thats why i think america continues to be a world their mad race to counter the USSR they ended up committing a lot of cruelty and blunders that will haunt them for a long time...their cia armed the afghans and the pakis and i suspect them to have been behind the murder of jfk too. unfortunately che wuz a great man whose life wuz nipped b4 it reached greater heights...great post!

. : A : . said...

I really need to watch the movie. Have been reading about it so much.

Jithu said...

> mirage
yup! its definitely worth a watch..

> 666
foa, it is one of the longest comments.. thnx for ur time and patience :-)

hmm.. i think i have to read the book now.. hv to read the missing parts. btw i will try to watch the movies mentioned by u.. btw for the indi-trip, ready for playing a pillion to me? :-))

> jiby
oh! thts cool man, the US coasta-ride.. everything except the supremacy seems fine for the US.. :-)

> a
yup! its a must watch man..

One More Reason said...

I understand the argument that during the cold war the two super powers balanced each other out. Hence there were no open aggressions(like we are seeing today)

Here is a different take. I think cold war was the time when the worst atrocities were committed (in secret). The proxy war of that era became the breeding ground for today's extremism and fundamentalism. Once upon a time guess who encouraged the establishment and growth of madrassas

As they say... what goes around comes around.

On a different note. During the cold war all countries who had the courage of not joining the NATO or the WARSAW were called The Third World. Ironically, the term Third World is used in a bad sense today.

~*. D E E P A .* ~ said...

" but when will I start such a journey through the hamlets of India? " INDEED !!!!

Arz000n said...

Oh yeah..
amelie is ma fav too
Didnt got the DVD anywhere here though :(

US attacks on Iraq....I still dont know wht was the reason for this...lot of theroies...behind it..

betta not get into it :)

Praveen said...

Nice post! I have to watch the movie myself.

Anonymous said...

Let me quote the legend himself
“At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.”
Red Salute

Jithu said...

> one more reason
yup! thts true, things were going in the background that time.. bt sort of a forced peace existed as well.. lets hope the the third world countries unite to bring peace in this world!

> deepa
definitely :-)

> arzoon
hmmm... am never saying tht wt Iraq did is correct. bt the fact remains that US cudnt find any WMD there...

> praveen
yup man! its worth a watch.. ideologies apart, it shows hw one can dedicate himself to the society. it definitely requires courage!!

> aswani
:-) lover of society! red salute!

ManJo said...


About :

"Hence, history would have been different if a big leftist nation as dreamed by Che, was formed near the US under their nose."

I think leftist is unnecessary any big country would suffice. Even india could stand as a check for US had it been economically strong and not dependant on US.

Jithu said...

> manjo
hearty welcome..
well.. canada is a big country, economically strong, indepenedent on US, wt use? :-) ideologically there can be an assurance that a leftist nation wont be silent if US plans to attack some nation :-).. just a comment though..

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