The Scene. Where they finally found the tunnel song because luckily Katie had good taste in music. That scene gives me chills every time I watch it. It took me hours to think of the perfect way to start this piece and then I realized, that there is no perfect way to write about a movie that is all about imperfections. Because that’s what The Perks Of Being A Wallflower taught me, to accept and love, the truest version of ourselves.
“I know there are people who say all these things don’t happen. And there are people who forget what it’s like to be 16 when they turn 17. I know these will all be stories some day and our pictures will become old photographs. We’ll all become somebody’s Mom and Dad. But right now, these moments are not stories, this is happening. I am here and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful.”
You know that feeling when you plan to go to a concert and don’t care about the overpriced tickets because you know once you’re there, you’ll close your eyes and feel like flying. Or when you wake up early in the morning, travel for god knows 2 hours to try out that famous food and you question whether it’s worth the effort, but you deep down know it feels like heaven. When you complete a book/film, and you’re just sitting there & sobbing out loud because it left you speechless. That’s what I felt while watching Charlie act out my dream. With his hands spread wide in the air, and the breeze hitting his face, in the middle of the night, I am so sure it felt mind-numbingly good.
Tunnels and I go a long way back. Every time we were off to any school trip in a bus full of enthusiastic kids (who’ve probably emptied 14 cans of red bulls collectively), and we went through a tunnel surrounded by complete darkness, we knew we HAD to scream out loud. That scream, that tunnel meant freedom to us. Amidst our exhausting piles of homework & exams along with our very busy schedules (even for a 14-year-old), that tunnel made us feel free. It felt that with the present company, everything will just be alright. Sure, it wasn’t dramatic or, as much as I hate to use this word, aesthetic but it was liberating, in our own tiny little ways.
That year was difficult and so emotionally draining for Charlie but at the same time, it made him feel so good. He lost some friends, made some new, introduced himself to good music, hopefully, learnt the living room routine and got gifted the most good-looking suit out there. As he said, he wasn’t a sad story anymore or just wasn’t, sad. Besides, if he would have been, he knew it would all become better eventually with Sam & Patrick by his side. He finally learnt to find hope in the darkest of times.
“I can see it. This one moment when you know you’re not a sad story, you are alive. And you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything makes you wonder. And you’re listening to that song on that drive with the people you love most in the world. And in this moment, I swear, we are infinite.”
Your tunnel song doesn’t have to be a song or anything near a tunnel. It could be the book you turn to when you want to escape from reality. Or the celebrity whose interviews make you giggle and learn at the same time. Or your head rested on your favourite person’s lap after a day full of fatigue. It could be the album you cry your eyes to, or the club where you’re wasted, or the sunrise you didn’t miss. It could be anything that makes you feel free and makes you forget about the worldly irregularities. As that’s what the tunnel song is, it’s the little things that make you happy about your existence. Its joy, freedom, independence curled in a feel-good blanket of warmth. It means home, at least to me.
So, the next time you feel like you’ve found your tunnel song, hug it as tightly as possible. Hold that moment and be present in it for as long as you can. Who knows when that moment will be there again, knocking at your door. Because we all wait for these moments to happen in the places, people & things around us but forget to look at the most important spot, present. And until we do, it’s too late because that moment has already passed on as just a mere memory.
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, along with telling me that it’s okay to sit and watch your friend’s dance because you’re a little socially awkward, or that it’s okay if you liked someone and they didn’t like you back, it’s okay if for once, you couldn’t find a reason for your actions, it’s okay if I fell into a situation because I was too afraid to hurt someone’s feelings, or that it’s okay to show people your real self even if you think they won’t like what they see, it told me the most important thing that it’s okay to be a human, it’s okay, to be a WALLFLOWER.
Even if I take months to write this, I couldn’t perhaps justify all the emotions this movie & this scene made me feel, but if I had to sum up in just one phrase, and I couldn’t possibly put it better – it made me feel infinite. Let’s look around for a while for our own little tunnel songs, but till then, we can be heroes, just for one day.