I had booked the tickets for the movie Newton for 5 PM show yesterday. Then I remembered that I had to attend a session on the cinematic craft of maverick bangla director Ritwik Ghatak by a good friend so I gave away the tickets. At the end of the session my friend put up a slide on what Ritwik Babu used to tell his students – Think, think. You must practice to think. While it looks like an ordinary statement it’s quite revolutionary in an era where the next event at the same venue was Open Mic Stand Up comedy. Some of the faces of comedians of the Bangalore circuit were common and I could recognize them from another show where they were trying just too hard to get those likes on their You Tube videos. One idiot had even gone to the extent of describing the sex between his parents to justify why such a pathetic piece of crap came into this world. He couldn’t make me laugh and I vowed to avoid any more encounters with these internet jokers.

Tapan Dada’s session was a success as out of 43 interested just 8 turned up including myself. We discussed how interested has become a like for events even though I remembered the times when I had clicked the interested button to remind myself and then kept feeling guilty when I could not attend. A reason for low turnout could be the subject itself. Now you can always tom tom your intellectual superiority by telling the world about your interest in Muktibodh and Ghatak but to sit silently for 2 hours without your mobile phone is just so non utilitarian.

Anyways, the last words were still lingering in my head when I went to sleep and I must have thought a lot in my dreams as I woke up at an untimely hour. And may be it was a pre cursor as I had booked the next show of Newton for 10 AM today.

To sum up my thoughts on this Oscar nomination from India I will quote a dialogue from the movie.

क्या आप भी इन्हीं की तरह निराशावादी हैं ?

नहीं सर…हम तो आदिवासी हैं ।

मुझे लगता है यही एक डायलाग पूरी पिक्चर का दिल है उसका सार है। जहां एक ओर आशा से भरे विज्ञापन हैं नए फैशन के, मोबाइल फ़ोन के, कारों के और तमाम उन सुविधा साधनों के जिन्हें हम बिना सोचे समझे अपने जीवन का मकसद मान लेते हैं वहीं दूसरी ओर एक तरह का acceptance है nature के साथ मिल जुल कर रहने का। In the movie silence of the lambs Anthony Hopkins quotes Marcus Aurelius and says – We covet what we see. It’s a profound statement coming from the greatest stoic the world has ever known. If you don’t see that ad of a Television with a beautiful model to add to the charms of the machine it’s quite possible that you would never desire to have it. In fact half of our troubles are because of the advertising and marketing which give a false hope and enthusiasm of Life being beautiful once you buy more stuff. To live and to really be happy one does not need more stuff but a deeper understanding of the source of joy and happiness. The sages of ancient India who wrote the Upanishads were perhaps not only more content and happy they were actually more evolved as human beings. But then didn’t I go and watch the movie about a political system taking over laws of nature in a movie theatre located in the temple of modernity – the mall. The one place where corporate zombies take their wives and their families for a “walk” as if they were some kind of dogs that need to be relieved of their weekly pressure.

I had chosen to walk instead of driving down and on my way back I was thinking about the dichotomy of my own existence. Wasn’t I a product of the same ‘sales force’ culture that I so abhor when I feel one with the existence – जल, जंगल,ज़मीन।

As the harsh rays of the scorching sun sapped my energy I thought of the air conditioned comfort of my car and recalled another dialogue from Newton – कुछ बदलने से ही कुछ बदलेगा पर बदलाव भी एक दिन में नहीं आता।

समय लगता हैं जंगल को जंगल बनने मे…


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