Sunday, March 23, 2008

Anbe Sivam

Our lives are governed by facts and beliefs over a period of time that we have got used to these things; practices have been stamped with unquestionable beliefs. It is only a confined section of the society that tends to think on iconoclastic lines, and majority of us find it difficult to have our views matched with the minority section.

I run into a severe thought process; most of the times, they are about trivialities, and the rest, about the extremes. It is always a great feeling to know that you have complete control of life, and that you want to think and act independently. But, ironically, it gives us great comfort to think that there is a power vastly superior than us controlling the various stages of our lives. Who is He? is a big question, but it gives great comfort to know that there is a He governing our lives!

Last week, I happened to watch the movie Anbe Sivam once again (you can safely put the number of viewings to a double digit value). Some of my non-Tamil speaking friends hail this as one of the best Indian movies ever, simply because of the over-powering message that it conveys. This movie is like a book; every time you watch the movie, you walk away with a new message. The concept of humanity being the ultimate form of Godliness; a force that can influence you positively serves as the theme of this movie. The movie talks of everyone being a God in his own right. The message that the movie conveys is simple and profound. Anyone who is concerned about the well being of others is God. An atheist who does something good to others is better than an ardent devotee who always wishes to raise his stakes at the cost of another person's happiness. Most of the time, we are governed by the inner voice. A realization that we should not commit a mistake because we can get caught is different from the realization that it is morally wrong. The movie has influenced me so much simply because many times in life, we face a scenario of reality vs moral, and we walk away with a neat trade off between the two. This movie explains the distinction between the two without a moralistic approach. It is this simplicity that leaves a striking impact in you even after innumerable views.

In spite of the various religious dogmas governing our lives, we are in reality influenced by the pragmatic approach towards life. It is strange though, that even though we are faced with different practical aspects, we are hugely dependent on the religious structure that we have built up over many generations. We believe life is full of facts, but at the same time extend the beliefs to the complicated realms of uncertainities and expectations. Life is an illusion, and we love to live in it. It is this fascinating aspect of life that makes living worth everything. The realizations and counter realizations throw different challenges, and we walk on a tight rope trying to strike the right balance. The bottomline is simple. At the end of the day, we need somebody to watch over us without our knowledge. It is a source of comfort and hope. Imagine extending the analogy to your superior at work; all of us will be tearing our hair in agony!!!

Note: Images taken from Google image search for information purpose only.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Simply subconscious

It's an awry feeling to get up at around 8 in the morning after about twenty snoozes an hour; the war torn feeling just lingers on and you know exactly what you are going to do for the next twenty to thirty minutes to get ready for work, and at the back of your head, you actually don't have any idea as to what you're doing. Ironical, but every human being getting up to go to work will know what exactly I'm talking about. Every morning is like a deja vu and the repeatability of daily life leaves you asking a lot more questions instead of getting the answers as time goes on.

What is it about the subconscious aspect of life? Many times, I don't even realize that I am driving my car from home to office or vice-versa. I have spoken to a lot of people about this, and I get a response, that it is the case of taking certain things for granted. It is just about how you prioritize certain things in life. You know the route by-heart, that you end up following the car ahead of you. When the car in front of you stops, you just stop, and when it moves, you move. Many days, when I reach office, I realize I don't even know what I did the last ten minutes? It is not frightening, because you know at the back of your head, you have to follow the rules. The subconscious mind takes over, taking you through the twists and turns of the pathway, bringing you to a halt when required to, allowing you to accelerate when you have to, and finally at the destination, you don't even realize that you have driven. The best part about the whole thing is, I follow MSS verse by verse as she renders the Sanskrit slokas adding so much vitality to the morning routine.

After a point, I realized that this is not the case with just the morning routine. Many a time, when going along with a group, you have mapped the starting point and the destination in your mind. Even when one of the other two drive along, and reach home after about twenty minutes of gibberish (because that's how much junk we talk) drive, Sameer or Chetan would let out the usual statement, "Guys, do you even realize that we have driven for the last twenty minutes and reached home." Not one of us would have spoken about the route, nor even cared to find out whether we are heading in the right direction or not. But, we would still not have exhausted ourselves with the trash talk.

It is strange how we adapt ourselves through different situations. The mind knows when to question and when not. At every stage, we are stuck to a particular routine, that we just end up going through the motions. You know how exactly you should not deviate from the routine. Moreover, it just seems that you are not ready for the change. When life is going along without any problems, why induce a change? I do try to change my routine on the way back from work. I stop by at the library, browse through the collection of latest books and DVDs, pick up something for the evening and return home. Sometimes, I also go to the Barnes and Noble store, and the vibrant atmosphere in the bookstore just makes your evening. I just get amazed at the number of people reading a wide range of books. That's one of the things I got to observe about the people here. They just pick a book and read in the bus or train, even if it means only for a few minutes. But going to the bookstore is a scary proposition, because coming back empty handed is the toughest job in life. The last time I went to a Borders book store, I ended up buying The Godfather and The complete works of William Shakespeare. Even though the book reading rate has gone down considerably these days (believe it or not, I took almost a month and a half to finish the Godfather; it is an insult to such a wonderful book), it is still a pleasure to spend time at a bookstore and forget the daily vagaries of life. The prospect of handling a new book in a lovely bookstore fills you with an unexplainable bliss.

Now, this is called as going astray. But, when you introduce a topic of books in a blog post, the end result is inevitable. You are forced to divert from the topic! Fortunately, this shows I was not subconscious when I was writing the post. Now, beat that!