Vishwaroop to Atmaroop - A Journey to remember

Today, I watched Vishwaroop. I cannot think of any other movie which has touched me the way this movie has. It is its own class. It stands apart in today's Bollywood which doesn't seem to be tired of the same old gyrating Munnis and Sheilas and Fevicols!! It is a great piece of art, and, just like every piece of beautiful art, Vishwaroop has etched its footprints on the sands of eternity.

There is not a single scene in the movie which appears to be fictionalized or romanticized, somewhere on top of a glamorous mountain top. It showcases the plain cold-blooded (and cold-hearted) truth of today's world. Truth of that era in the history of the world, which is the most sophisticated, yet so savage; so developed, yet so under-developed and childish to say the least.

The movie has put a shining new mirror in front of the entire humanity (yes, the entire humanity, and NOT Hindus, or Muslims, or Christians, alone), in front of all of us - the great hypocrites; and we seem to be shaken by what we are seeing. We have forgotten that we are humans. What more sorrow can befall on humanity, that it has forgotten its humanness? We are dead as human beings.

The world is getting saturated with the noise of fanatic Hindus - whose only work is to speak audaciously that theirs is the most liberal of all the faiths in the world, and all the others are blood and conversion-thirsty; with Muslims - which very group has come to represent Jihad and global terrorism; and with Christianity - which has come to represent the 'West' - whatever it is supposed to mean.

Well, some such beliefs may be true. In fact, some are true. That does not mean that the tenets of the other faiths are false. In fact, what is 'true' and what is 'false' is in itself a hugely debatable question. We recently saw huge protests against the screening of the movie Vishwaroop, because it apparently hurt the sentiments of the Muslims. Does this in any way imply that Muslims, as a class of people, have a different neural system, with a different threshold level of tolerance? This seems silly, right?

So do such protests. And when I refer to such protests, I do not speak only about Muslims. Remember, they are humans, and I am speaking about HUMAN BEINGS in this blog. Certain sections of Hindus had similarly protested against the movies Water and Fire - both brilliant pieces of art.

What's going wrong with us? The spectrum of our mindsets ranges from being least bothered about what's happening around, to being the most liberal (irrespective of the morality or the legality involved), to being constructively liberal (within the self-imposed boundaries of moral values), to conservative, to cynics, to die-hard haters, to fanaticism, to the most dangerous fascism - in this same order. And logically, and unsurprisingly so, the artificial and imaginary boundaries of religions/faiths whittle down, as we pierce through these mental facades, only to face ourselves in each others' mirrors! And lo, we start criticizing our own images in these mirrors!

The movie, I believe, is the macrocosm of our minds. Or, our soul, to be precise. O, our misty mindless minds and squeaky senseless souls! People say that there are always two voices speaking in our mind - one good, and one bad - constantly fighting with each other. I say, people are wrong when they say this. Our mind doesn't have two, but innumerable number of voices in it. And, these voices are called 'thoughts'. We run across millions and trillions of thoughts in our minds each day. Some are creative, some are vulgar and cheap, some are dangerous, and some are 'anti-social', if you can call them so. The only difference between a 'good' person, and a 'bad' person is that, the good person executes more of good thoughts (though he keeps thinking bad ones, but never speaks about them/acts according to them), and the bad person executes mostly the bad (though good thoughts keep questioning his bad actions). Hence, no one is good or bad per se! It's just the external projections which lead us into these conclusions.

This shows that, all of us, are equally good and bad. It needs will, and constant practice to nourish only the good thoughts, and watch the bad. I say 'watch' and not 'stop', because, I believe, it's not humanly possible to put an end to the flurry of bad thoughts that flood our minds. We say the good thoughts are good, because we precisely know what the bad ones are, and hence, to continue recognizing good as good, bad thoughts cannot be done away with. Also, what's good and what's bad, is completely relative, hence the entire argument is self-defeating.

Conclusion? Well, Vishwaroop - the manifestation of the Universe, turned into an Atmaroop - the manifestation of our own souls, to me! The movie showcases something more than terrorism and Taliban. It shows something more than Islam, the FBI, the USA and the world. It shows us - humanity; and the Universe within this Universe of humanity! It shows us the Universe in our minds, the universe in our thoughts. It shakes us up from inside out, makes us think, makes us dwell on our collective existence, and, makes us love.

Yes, there are bad people. But yes, there are good people too. Mahatma Gandhi once said, "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty". How profound!

Let us thus not lose faith. If there's a Taliban, there's the entire world against it. That is, if there's the bad, there's an entire army of good against it. As an aside, wouldn't being intolerant of intolerance make us intolerant too? May good have abundant patience and tolerance, to accept the bad. Because, only then, can the good justify its definition and existence!



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