Jagriti Rumi

Duma Xan

Duma is a 2005 film directed by Carroll Ballard.
©Warner Bros. Pictures

Xan’s life changed forever. He didn’t change his path; he walked on the path that was meant for him.

Everything revealed slowly and transformed him and made him aware. Xan cared for Duma, loved Duma to an extent that he started understanding him completely.

Though he accepted it only at the last moment, he somewhere always knew that Duma deserves to live a free life.

The laughs, the games, the tears, the silent talks were soon going to be nothing but shared moments stored in an old box kept somewhere in the past.

All Xan knew was that he could open that box anytime and relive those memories – memories of his late father and his lovely friend, Duma.

Xan often thought about Duma and the time they said goodbye to each other. At first, he was skeptical, he thought Duma might be upset with him for leaving, but then, he realised that it was the right thing to do.

He closed his eyes and saw Duma’s eyes –big, beautiful, and alive. Xan was hit by a gust of wind which slowly tried to calm him down and stayed with him until he smiled.

He told himself, ‘Duma must be with his friends right now, going down to the riverside or maybe already there… relaxing under the shade.’  

Xan and Duma.
The film is based on a children’s book How it Was with Dooms
that tells the true story of a young boy’s friendship with an orphaned Cheetah.
©Warner Bros. Pictures

Duma is sitting on a tree branch, one of his friends is sitting nearby and the other one is strolling in the bushes, just like that.

The sun rays are not falling on Duma, but his eyes are shining nevertheless. He can see Xan.    

Watch the trailer now

While these questions circle uneasily in our minds, “Duma” creates scenes of wonderful adventure. The stalled motorcycle is turned into a wind-driven land yacht. A raft trip on a river involves rapids and crocodiles. The cheetah itself plays a role in their survival. And the movie takes on an additional depth because Xan is not a cute one-dimensional “family movie” child, and Ripkuna is freed from the usual cliches about noble and helpful wanderers. These are characters free to hold surprises in the real world.

Roger Ebert, the film critic.
Read his review of Duma here.

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I Forgot

I was coming back. In the bus people sitting attuned in silence, hypnotised to the bone, were no different from me until I looked outside the window with sleepy eyes swaying without a reason. I wasn’t asleep. Whatever was passing was in a rush and I was in a deep slow-motion, so nothing matched. A thought came to me and I started pondering over it. Gauged a bit about the thought and would have done more, written a few lines, but I forgot; whether I just forgot the thought or to pen down the thought or both, I don’t know.
It is really funny, the party lights seem to be dancing just because they are in a party. But in that sullen room where a solitary sullen bulb glows, no one dances. Rich place for getting scolded and for discussing the future. Who listens when the elders talk? Who listens when anyone talks? My mind keeps running a never ending tape that I have to adhere to. Yet another thought that I wanted to work on, but I didn’t because of two reasons – I couldn’t find a pen and then I simply forgot to. Hah!
Could it be that while you are walking all alone, nothing changes in you, you are naively, accidentally, mistakenly moving with tranquility and when you are a part of a loud ‘what’s up-oh that-like really?’ crowd everything changes in you, you are then surrounded by absolute confusion and fear? Changes that crawl and form a labyrinth inside, of which you stay completely unaware. It can happen. I completely forgot that it can.
What I remember though is that I should make a card for my uncle and auntie. There is no occasion but then cards aren’t meant only for some special, grand celebrations alone.
“Where are my colours?” Yes, I remember that and so one day I began. I half did it; learnt a good lesson though. Here it is in parts – 1) even if you are not a 10 year old, you can still spill water and make a fabulous mess and 2) (the best one) the comfort of your bed and using water colours is not at all a good combination.
Soon million tiny things around wage a war against you without even moving and you are certainly helpless. You’ll then not find the scissors, the only clean brush, the pencil or the eraser and as soon as you get up to take a stand, things fall and laugh at you.
My hands… they are muddy green and bluish… am I an alien? Using water colours means getting your hands dirty. Oh! This didn’t bother me when I was a kid. I very often made cards for all my friends, getting my hands dirty never was a problem. I guess I just forgot.

Earth Day Every Day!

Lie down on the dense brown ground and listen. Listen to what the earth has to say. Say goodbye to your metropolitan mind busy with random things. Things, those are so crude and cruel to you. You, who are mother earth’s child and a believer. A believer is one who believes in something. Something powerful is behind the golden connection, something pious and alive. Alive and quiet, grand and majestic, this planet of ours is calling. Calling you, me and all of us to walk with it and occasionally asking us to lie down. Lie down on the dense brown ground and listen. Listen to what the earth has to say.

Photo courtesy – Google

The Month of April

I haven’t given much thought about the month of April, I realised it only recently. April… very quiet and yet so lively a month.

Emerald hues all around, telling me a secret and listening to me at the same time, swaying with the wind and merging with the blue sky.

A little yellow dandelion standing all alone at the end of a cliff witnessed all the April drama.  

*

Butterfly flying in a rhythm…
Image from Pixabay.

Butterflies can fly so very high, up the giant trees with two-three light hiccups on the way, sitting on the top of the tree or sweetly enjoying the descent. And they always fly in a rhythm, they are always playing a tune.

Some also say that butterflies carry messages; imagine a fluorescent yellow, bluish-black with a tinge of orange message flying towards you… definitely worth feeling amazed.  

And what can I say about the birds? The group that chirps all the time, the pairs that keep singing lengthy songs, the sets flying one after the other and the sole bird sitting somewhere preoccupied with a thought.

*

Thinking… meditating.
Image from Pixabay.

While the sun in April looks exactly like we painted it in our drawing notebooks with an orange crayon, bright and glaring, the moon, on the other hand, looks different every night.

One night the moon is attended by starry twinkles, the next it is all alone talking directly to you, expecting a face to face chit chat.

Then one night, I stared at the circle the moon had drawn around itself… as if that night it didn’t want to be disturbed. Funny!

A few days later it was crescent-shaped, clearly asking me to come up with the help of a rope.  

*

Moody moon.
Image from Pixabay.

April usually meant “just the last exam left” and then “not going to touch the books for a month” to me.

I have lived an obedient student’s life and somehow foolishly forgot to engage myself in the magic of April. Until now!  


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Pierrot Le Fou

So after I watched Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou I went for an evening walk with a question in my mind.
 
Why did Marianne call him Pierrot? I left without an answer.
 
 
The Poster
 
It was getting dark as slowly the fog from the mountains was covering the valley from all the sides. The clouds made a thundering noise at some distance. It was surely going to rain and I still didn’t take any umbrella.
 
The two dogs with me were extremely excited, they rarely worry. Rain or not, they are always up for a walk.
 
I have a habit of calling them not by their names. Funny, they always wag their tails. I guess I call them so because of what their personalities reflect as a dog.
 
So happy!
 
So excited!
 
Anyways, Pierrot Le Fou…what a ride! From eccentricity to understanding it, from the society to clashing with it, from love to killing it, from life to getting killed. It was about Pierrot…a single individual and the incidents that occur one after the other in his life.
 
Criss-cross, criss-cross we climbed down the mountain. My mind was quietly dealing with the same question – why Pierrot?
 
Was it because of his personality, did Marianne know him more than he knew himself?
 
It seems so, in fact, he was aware about it but was reluctant to accept this fact and that’s why he reminded her each time she called him Pierrot that his name is Ferdinand not Pierrot.
 
Suddenly, as I was busy thinking and talking at the same time, it started drizzling. We decided to go back. The dogs were equally happy to return back as they were earlier.
 
I started running and so did the dogs, it was raining heavily now. Climbing a mountain is tough. I was short of air soon and I stopped to get some.
 
The dogs also stopped, we were getting wet. Breathe, breathe, I told myself and started walking briskly. And then when the cool fog was all around and my nose felt very icy, the question in my mind escaped.
 
Panting heavily, trying to catch up with the speed of the two dogs, I felt truly in the moment…I was in the present.
 
As if someone was behind me with a gun, I ran so fast. The dogs were running next to me. It was downhill now and we increased our speed. ‘Thundering typhoons, run, run, run!’
 
I am sure about one thing, Marianne didn’t lie when she called him Pierrot. She was being honest with him.
 
But I don’t blame Pierrot either. After all, he was busy reading and contemplating all the time. Someone’s philosophy ruled him.
 
Pierrot is reading.
 
This is what he was reading.
 
We reached home, wet. I was smiling. I sat on the chair and looked at the view. The young tree in front, with green leaves, was playing raindrops tune. I listened. Then I felt that I know the answer to the question finally but couldn’t put it in words.
 
Oh! I remember one word though – emotions.
 

I wish to SEE Tibet

Certain things are meant to be, but while we are living a moment, we rarely understand this beautiful phenomenon.

I am calling it a beautiful phenomenon because sooner or later we are able to gauge its magnanimity and purity. Everything simply falls into place.  

Early last year, I bought a book from a second hand street bookshop. The cover page captured my attention and reading a few lines here and there, I told myself that I am in for a treat. And happily, I wasn’t wrong.  

The last time I saw Tibet’ took me to the land of the gods, to an eternal pilgrimage, to witness the serene beauty of the pious land and gave me a humbling experience.

Yes, the book is magical. There were times when a mere description of the icy winds blowing in a small village, Thokchen, at a height of almost 15,700 feet, made me quiver and a few lines about the picturesque valley that the author gazed upon left me in a trance.

His visits to the ancient and grand monasteries – Drepung, Sera and Ganden, to the fabulous Jokhang temple in Lhasa, to the royal palaces – Potala and Norbulingka – of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama and especially his journey to the Kailashnath and Mansarovar offered me a spiritual spectacle, a chance to feel the presence of the Supreme One.

*

This fabulous travelogue by Bimal Dey along with presenting the reader with the wonderful scenic beauty of Tibet talks about its rich culture, about the mystical Lamas, about the simple, poor but happy people of Tibet.

What makes his journey to Tibet an immensely special tale is the fact that he traveled in the year 1956, when he was only 16, along with a group of lamas and theirs was the last group of pilgrims to do so until the dawn of the 21st century.  

The book cover. [Source – goodreads.com]

The glory of Tibet, the land that accepted Buddhism wholly and spread its enlightening knowledge everywhere in the world, is now a tale of the past. With the Revered Dalai Lama living a life of a refugee in India since 1959 and the maximum number of Tibetan lamas either living in India or abroad, the spirit of Tibet has weakened.

Tibet, under the rule of China, is not what it was. Can development now seen in Tibet be acknowledged when the soul of the land is quietly being crushed every day?

The number of monasteries destroyed in the past, the so called Cultural Revolution that took place in Tibet, the bloodshed of countless monks and nuns, the sudden disappearances of the religious leaders, the number of Tibetans who have given into self-immolation will shock you, it will dishearten you.  

I was aware about the plight of the Tibetans before I read this book. Reading about their on-going fight troubled me as I felt helpless. But slowly something brought a change, my efforts to understand Buddhism through whatever means possible, made me realize that Buddhahood is present in everyone, it cannot be conquered, it cannot be oppressed.

Rather, if one starts recognizing it, such a person can achieve complete freedom. And I concluded and told myself that Tibet is free.  

*

Prayer flags. [ Source – Pixabay]

‘The last time I saw Tibet’ was meant to be read by me because after finishing this book I again felt that Tibet is free. How lovely this feeling is, how empowering! Such is the positivity with which this book has been written.

All the facts will defy this statement at the moment, but Tibet, its culture and its religion is not about facts, it is about the spiritual connection with the Ultimate One, with the Lord Buddha, the enlightened one, whose blessings are always there with every free mind.

Caught in the political drama some may not be able to understand this, Tibet –the roof of the world, where gods reside- is, was and will remain free.

Time, no matter years or decades, will seal this thought with grandeur that the peaceful land of Tibet deserves.

*

Tibet… picturesque, peaceful and pious. [Source – Pixabay]

Also, read about the history of Tibet here.  


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My Words Are Happy

I enjoy my handwriting these days. A rough, crude yet in a smooth flow is what I can term this style of handwriting. Each alphabet and each word appear to be living to the fullest. The Is and the Es gleefully try to tell me a funny story but cannot stop beaming. And all the Ts look so tranquil as if they know everything. The Ws and Bs are acting fancy for some reason, they happen to be doing the twist. The Hs don’t seem to be any different, they look just as happy as they always did to me. In fact, every word gives an impression of being happy with itself.
I am not reflecting on the fact that whether my words are happy every time I write or not, because I am simply very glad that it did happen. Quantity doesn’t matter, quality does. It has also got something to do with the writer’s relationship with her words, her style of handwriting, her ideas, her life. Every little moment of connection is worth cherishing. And why not, when we all give so much attention to the little things that irk us, little things that make us smile should be acknowledged.
Pour down your thoughts and then read them, you will get an answer. Yes, that too without knowing the question.

Sitting calmly, eyes closed

The image that once rose
The lotus, the dandelion, the rose
Feels it very clearly
Like the wind brushing past dearly
An aura shook the land
With the touch of a hand
It was the enlightened one, Buddha
Seeing right through the Mandala
The universe looked just like a sphere
A sphere just like the world
A world just like the mind
A mind just like the soul
A soul just like the One
Slowly and at once he won
Changing into a lotus there
The Buddha permeated the air

The Mystical Mountains

Beyond the valley of the vanishing flowers and the green lake where nymphs are still said to be seen, lies the grand mountain range known everywhere as the Mystical Mountains. The journey for anyone to reach these mountains starts from within.

The traveller has to meditate for a long period of time, centering his attention on the Mystical Mountains. Then when it is destined, the traveller has a vision and what one sees becomes the first clue. Usually it is an animal that one sees; a dragon, a wolf, a snake or an eagle, it can be anything. The traveller then has to face the animal; if victorious, the animal becomes the traveller’s ally and shows the path ahead. Sometimes it takes a few days, a few months, a few years to cross the valley of the vanishing flowers and the green lake and sometimes one isn’t able to cross it at all. But the one who does reach the Mystical Mountains meets ecstasy.

Every individual is meant to be there and for each one the mountains hold a miracle, a mystery to be solved and a reward worth spending a lifetime for it. Those who return from the Mystical Mountains come back with a task in hand to finish it in a definite period of time. Such a person is like a Samurai, a Monk, a Yodha, untroubled by the material bonding and full of the life force. The magnanimity of such a few selected ones attracts the like-minded and gives them the idea about the spectacles that awaits them in the Mystical Mountains. Thus, a new mind, a new traveller set for a new journey to reach the Mystical Mountains, taking the first step to look within. 

Reflection

How brilliant it is that we can time travel? The art of storytelling can take us anywhere we want.
 
Recently, I met Scout and Jem in America; it was the unforgettable 1940s then. While I got to know their daily routine and the way they spent their summer holidays, I realised that it wasn’t much different from the way I and my brother spent ours.
 
Of course, the fact that I was brought up here in India, our games, and our ways were a bit different but the spirit was the same.
 
And who cares about the dry, old facts when feelings rule high?
 
‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is wonderfully written and is a complete circle. The events start and hold your attention throughout.
 
You reach the end and find that you, along with Scout, have drawn a circle, a perfect one.
 
Though you wish to read more and know more, after keeping the book down you are left to ponder upon a great number of things just like one feels after a revelation.
 
Time flies so fast and gives us an impression of change but what changes and what doesn’t remain uncertain.
 
To me, this novel gave a feeling that things might appear to but they haven’t actually changed.
 
In fact, things have just shifted from one level to the other.
 
But wait, all of this is more powerful than one can think. We still want to hear what Scout has to say.
 
Her story remains as engaging as it was for the people back then.
 
This is what a soulful story does, it continues and flies and sometimes even time travels.
First edition cover. [Source – Wikipedia Commons]

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