Friday, December 28, 2007

In Search of Peace

I hardly dream in sleep though it so happens very frequently during the day, whenever I feel like. I have a very close friend who keeps telling me that I’m missing a lot by not having that habit. In fact, one day he told me in secret that the best sex he have had was in one of his wildest dreams…and I thought, “Lucky he is, for being a happy man at least in his dream even though he had never been the same in real life.” But you know, yesterday for the first time I was kissed by someone in my dream whom I would like to dream again or at least pray that I shouldn't wake up again in my life.

It is not true if I say I’ve not dreamt anytime. I remember seeing a mountain, a river, a valley and a meadow…some time in past time. Mostly those dreams I still remember are quite green in its look and nature. Once I could see me standing alone on a lonely peak gazing the depth, and breathing the chill. Later I reviewed it as my lonely journey in search of peace. After a few months I captured the same experience with the help of a friend and a camera on a little known- high altitude location in God’s own Land, Kerala. Thus I realized a 27.27 min short film “In Search of Peace”, with out any proper script or a planned shooting/ editing schedule.

Balancing a successful profession and silent passion is not a hectic task as compared to the normal notions on the same. The distance between realizing a dream and ignoring it is nothing but ‘the second thought on taking the first step.’ Working in an IT firm was never been a bar in fulfilling my ideas. In fact the team INNOVATION catalyzed the thought on dreaming high and thinking differently. Very recently I realized that my team is the best for sharing thoughts and implementing new ideas. In one way we can be called the best day dreamers, who believe in converting them to the reality.

The protagonist of the film “In Search of Peace” was acted out neatly by buddy Indrajith. He is one good friend I’m confident to have to the end of my life, after that too. We discussed about the film on a normal working day during the lunch-coffee break. On the same weekend I rushed to my home land after googling a bit about the location.

The tourist spot “Ilaveezhapoonchira” (a high altitude spot in Idukki district, Kerala, India), was already known to me in many ways. It is quite nearer to my mom’s place even though I first trekked all the way up while doing my Post Graduation. We were asked to submit a photo album with pics on various topics. The entire class was on a trip to Kerala for the Trivandrum Film Fest. Journey form Chennai to Trivandrum and staying there over a week, must be the right occasion for the students to capture the photographs- thought our audio-visual faculty Mr. Amalraj. So many of us are allowed to carry our lab cameras for this task.

Now coming back to my first visit to Ilaveezahapoonchira (meaning – The pond where no leaf had ever fallen). After the Film Fest I decided to stay back home for a few days. With special permission I was allowed to carry one of the lab-cameras. And hence I decided to visit Ilaveezhapoonchira, thinking of capturing some good stills.

I was always been a lone person with lots of friends. There is no specific reason for that. May be for some reason, I was admired by my solitude and I admired my solitude. Here also I could see me traveling and trekking alone. Half the way it started raining heavily and I was doubtful whether I would be able to take any photograph. My bike could take me to the nearest possible height it can reach. There I left her relax and started walking with my helmet and raincoat on. It took an hour for me trek up the way to reach the top of the peak. The weather changed drastically that I couldn't see things even a few meters away coz the clouded mist. Somehow I managed to click a few pics. While climbing down I had two faces. First, of the winner who fought the battle with such a bad climate and successfully reached the top point. And second, of the loser who couldn’t photograph or see anything from the peak because of the sweet friend, the rain. This was my first trip to Ilaveezhapoonchira.

The second was after two years - after started working with Hexaware - after talking to Indrajith about my dream and the film - after taking that “First Step without a Second Thought.” I rushed home on that weekend to find out the possibility of doing the film there and to find whether I can get those little friends who can act with Indrajith in the film. After reaching home, I somehow managed to convince my Dad, took the bike & went straight to the location. And for my surprise everything was there as I dreamt - even those little friends. The next day itself I returned back to Chennai to talk to Indrajith about it.

Both of us can’t say how we managed to push those weekdays in the enthusiasm of the coming weekend. Finally the Friday came and we packed our sacks, camera and tripod...started our trip and thus the mission.

Everything that happened after reaching the location is the film “In Search of Peace”, certainly the best work I ever did and may be the best I can ever do in future. On the editing table I realized that not even a single shot was missed and I have done full justice to what I dreamt. May be this is the first time I painted the dream to reality. But this is the start for me to dream more often.

Now about the dream I had yesterday… It is that kiss by someone who can take me back to the sleep and then sleep and sleep and sleep, hoping not to wake up again. But the morning rays caught me red handed kissing her. Hence now I am back to the reality to architect reality.

Monday, April 02, 2007

On Karma…..On Duty…….On God

Just wanted to share a few thoughts I've on God n religion. I'm not a good writer and I hardly know how to write on a specific topic. In fact, I always mess with the start, body and the end of it. Sometimes starts with the conclusion itself. Just like my unedited film reel in which the first shot may be the climax.

I remained an atheist for nearly four years, since my seventh standard to the tenth coz by then I was completely thrown apart by the Hindu epics and stories I read. It was quite a shock to my dad and mom who are very much from Hindu orthodox families. In spite of their compulsion I haven’t visited any of the temples during that period. I never prayed for anything. I hardly felt the need.

Since my childhood I was been a dedicated reader of Hindu ‘puranas’ and epics. I was very much fascinated by the super heroes and read them the same way I read the ‘Tarzans’ and the ‘Phantoms’. At the stage of adolescence I loved reading about the beautiful angels or ‘Apsaras’ in those books. And hence by the time I started analyzing them intellectually, I found them so fake and funny, there by losing interest completely. Added to that, the massacres and riots in the name of religion made me feel that it is just one among those tools designed by humans, for butchery and brutality. I decided not to believe in God anymore and there I discovered the atheist in me.

Now back to my tenth standard…One day my mother called me and told me not to believe in Rama, Krishna or any other 'Gods'. That was the biggest shock treatment from her side. She then she added, “You don’t have to believe God in any of them. But just think about the reason for your existence in this world. Also think about the power that made u exist in this world. I just want you to realize that there is some power that makes us alive…that is around you….that is inside you...that you can find in anything and everything. We call it God.” That statement brought me back to the study of religion and God.

Instead of reading epics, I tried more on the history of the epics and its origin. It was nice to understand about the Vedic era, much before the Epic era. More over it was interesting to know that Vedas and their supporting books ‘Upanishads’, had never used the name of any God. They described God as ‘OM’ or ‘Brahma’. Both symbolized the same Power of nature, about which my mother told me. I heard from someone that ‘OM’ is the sound of the rotation of earth. I believe in that, since that statement is from the same saints of Hinduism who discovered the powers of nature- even the sun and the planets much before Galileo saw them clearly through his telescope. We had the power of Yoga and we knew that nothing is superhuman and everything is very much human. Yogic power can bring out the current or electricity in you and hence make you bring out that power called God in you.

Now what epic is was the biggest question in front of me. Only after seeing Stephen Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’, I came to know that there was some animal called dinosaur that ruled the earth much longer than the period the first man was evolved though evolution, to this moment you are reading this write-up. Now epics are dummy material like Spielberg’s dinosaurs, created by the new age Brahmins for common man to understand God. Moreover the then ‘King worship’ in India supported the human Gods to arise through those epics. The biggest mistake of Hinduism is its cast system. I don’t know how many people know that nobody can be a Brahmin by birth. The word Brahmin itself means The one who knows Brahma’- means one who knows that super power of nature called ‘Brahma’ or ‘OM’ or ‘the God’ in simple English. For our convenience we created casts and religions and made it hereditary. It is just like the son of an aged popular Bollywood star becoming the next superstar…

In fact, Hinduism is not a religion. It’s the society. It was Afghanis who did the nomenclature of that particular human civilization who lived on the shore the Sindhu River as ‘Hindus’. They wanted to called them ‘Sindhus’, but failed to do so coz they didn’t have the alphabet ‘Sa’, and hence that word came out as ‘Hindus’. In that way a Hindu is a born Hindu. He don't have to be made Hindu. And hence true to what Hinduisam says, a Hindu has the privilage of worshiping God in any form...feel God in anything and everything created by God.
Presents of a camel can be felt by the hoove marks on desert. Sameway the presents of that supreme soul can be felt in all creations, including you and me. In fact, we are not two. We are one. Both of us came from the same soul. That's what 'Advitha' concept of Shankracharya tells. God is the soul in us and body is the medium. And hence a true Hindu should accept Jesus as well as Budha.

If God is the ‘Power, that is the reason for u being ‘Real’…. 'Original', religion is just the social set-up man created for his security. Just like any other human invention, religion also needs to be updated with time. As the society changes, its need also change from time to time and hence this social setup also need to be restructured with time. Not only Hinduism, but that is exactly what any other religion should do. In short, man should understand man and he should live to his needs.

As Swami Vivekananda said “God is Karma’ (service)”. He took this statement from Veda. Karma’ is not charity; it is your simple duty. Now I prefer doing that. Do what you think you are made for. Today I do pray. I pray to the symbols like Hindus as well as I pray to the free space like Muslims. I pray to the cross and all the powers of the nature. My pray is my ‘Karma’, my duty- my music- my travel- my film. I’ve a feeling that I’m made for that and I’m not good for anything else.

Today morning a friend of mine messaged me Arun, God bless your heart’. And I wanted to reply
Yaar….I’m already blessed with so many things. So I’m not looking forward to any more blessings. I’m happy that I’m blessed with two eyes to see, a tongue to talk, legs to walk and a hand to write. But I understood the actual use of it very recently when someone saw the same thing I saw….when someone listened to what I was talking…..when someone walked with me……….and when you had the patience to read me fully.”