Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rang de, among other things.

Monday morning. I'm getting ready to leave for work. It's almost nine and the breakfast is getting ready. Dad leisurely reads the morning newspaper as he waits for the second round of tea. The atmosphere is bright and soft here, and a melody from yesteryears from the radio adds to this aura of comfort.

Dad is having the best of his time, reading leisurely, writing short stories, attending cultural programmes, sitting in old dusty libraries for hours, playing with grandchildren, watching television---his health is good except for one or two minor glitches, and he's free of all worries and responsibilities. This wasn't the case until a couple of years ago when we all were sick with a number of problems and Dad had to bear the burden of most of it. Today he looks a contented man.

Sometimes i wish i could carry that comfort and content with me as i go out into the world. I can make the most of my life and achieve all my goals and fulfill my wishes, but at the end of the day I'm tense, tired and drained of vitality. I'll be looking forward to hit the bed and lose myself in the comfort of sleep before waking up to fight my way through another day of struggle. Maybe I could fight my battle but with a sense of comfort and serenity that comes to a man who doesn't care much about the outcome of his fight and just enjoys every moment of the battle. I wish I could tap into that serenity and peace that's within me, irrespective of the outside circumstances.

I wish i could be in tune with that calm strength all the time.

Ravishankar's spiritual gathering ended on Sunday. People commented that it was all glorification of one person, and nothing worthwhile can be achieved by such extravaganza, blah, blah, blah..... but what was noticeable was that one person could pioneer and gather so many people on one platform for a positive purpose. When was the last time that all the people of this world united, irrespective of their religious and cultural differences under a common spiritual umbrella?

Whatever be the dilutions and shortcomings of Ravishankar's 'Art of living' movement, his effort and vision are commendable.

Watched 'Rang de basanthi' at last. This time it was with a bunch of friends, some of whom insisted that we watch this movie together. This is Indian mainstream cinema at its best---thoroughly enjoyable and well-worth your time and money. Despite a few minor glitches, this movie touched a chord within all of us with its message of 'A generation awakens'.

It tells the story of a british girl who comes to india to make a documentary on some well-known heroes of the freedom struggle. She finds a few 'free-wheeling' friends to act out the roles of Azad, sukhdev, bhagat singh etc, and these guys who're enjoying their youth in dance, booze, fun and frolick are gradually sucked into the roles they portray. The outstanding sacrifices and courage of the freedom fighters begins to rub off on these youngsters of the sms generation. The turning point arrives when one of their friends meets death because of the callousness of those in power, and when the same powerful people try to suppress the growing voices against them, the hidden fighter awakens in these youngsters. The trickle that started with just acting out a role of revolutionaries for a documentary becomes a raging river and soon the friends find mutual inspiration and a way to send out their message to those who matter in a hard-hitting way. The end--whether it's tragic or positive--is upto the viewer to decide.

The next evening, when we sat discussing our spiritual endeavours and the need to gear up ourselves to take up our Master's work, a friend remembered Rang de. He said,' The revolutionaries of the freedom movement had a common goal, a purpose, and that spurred them on together and brought out the best in them. How wonderful it would be if all of us had something similar to push us forward ?'

We discussed, argued, hemmed-hawed, disagreed and retired for the day.

It takes a moment to plant a seed. And years of nurturing to grow it into a mighty tree. Maybe the seed was within all along and it got spurred from its sleep on this occasion. Maybe the seed is within everyone. What does it take to nurture this seed and grow it into a mighty tree? What converts a small trickle into a life-nurturing river? What does it take to inspire one another in a common purpose, to keep aside all our differences, nurture one anothers strengths and reach out to something outstanding, something extraordinary?

Are we destined to live out our lives as it comes along? Or is this sms, blogging generation destined for greater things---beyond the imagination and dreaming capacity of cynics? How do we unite, gear up and surge ahead towards our purpose--whatever that might be!

You never know your possibilities. You never know what you are capable of achieving.


  1. Hi I really liked the intensity of ur post.Of late Alot of blogs have dedicated posts to Rang de..but u went beyond it! When i saw the film something stirred within me too...it really touches u in a powerful way. I think one of the steps we can take is to unite..by...being liberal in our thinking..yet understanding the diff cultures in our country.Connecting..

    About the Art of Living event...I'm confused!!!...cause my parents and other elders pass comments and say its bogus.. but there are others who say his methods are helping this generation...well..true..he has united many...

  2. Thanks for this post. It shows a lot of insight and thought.

  3. hey u finally did see RDB
    i was telling a friend of mine who absolutely disliked the movie and slept through the whole show ....that there are two endings after all u have to look carefully to find them ...
    but if u missed it then u missed the whole purpose of the movie .....

    but me bewildered.how could she not like the movie ..at least for one of the many reasons !!!!
    perspective i guess....

    good morning
    cya vishwa ....

  4. Ego....we all were reeling under the effect of the movie for sometime but soon we were back to our normal lives. Guess it's the same with all inspirations unless you convert that inspiration into action.
    Your idea is good. Infact we, the youth of this country, are already taking steps in being liberal, either consciously or othewise. But something more is needed, something powerful enough to stir us up. Maybe a leader of the intensity of Vivekananda, Bose, Gandhi..... Or finding that leadership and intensity within ourselves, Resolving to change atleast five shortcoming of ours every year, becoming more aware of the world around us, finding friends who have a common positive purpose and vision....what else?
    A friend said,'No point in blaming the world and hoping that it changes. YOU should change. Because you are the world!' I think he has a point.

  5. Ash...When we watched the movie together, there were some who were analysing and trivialising every aspect of the movie, and another guy just said, 'It's not that good, what's the message, afterall, blah, blah,'. I feel, you can either enjoy a movie, forget it and go home. Or you can take it as something similar to a life-experience or a good book and learn something out of it, get inspired, try to make changes within.....
    Can a movie change anyone, or has a movie changed anyone in the past? It can prod and wake up someone but from then onwards, he/she has to move further. Movies are the literature of today and they can definetly alter our attitudes and perceptions-- if we are open and allow that to happen.

    You back to your blog-hopping mood!!!

    Nick.....Thanks for the info about Campbell in the comment section of the previous post. Wish you could see this movie--not that it's a masterpiece but it certainly moves one. Cya.

  6. I have been wishing that I could see the movie.