How to get distracted

You know how it goes, you are watching a video in youtube and suddenly you are watching other videos that came up in the related links. Since #backoffIndia is trending, I was browsing Nepali news channels and then I found this old Nepali song ‘Kun mandir ma’ sung by Mr Robin Sharma which is a poem by Nepal’s greatest poet Laxmi P. Devkota. Need I say that it has become my favourite song.

It is such a beautiful poem. I am sure it can be interpreted more intelligently and in much depth but I love whatever little I’ve understood and find it soothing to the soul. Religions are so confusing, remember the Hindi movie PK where a human like alien gets stranded on earth and is befuddled by different religious practices and beliefs and doesn’t know how to go about getting what he wants from God because one religion says one thing and another the exact opposite in their different ideas of pleasing God. When infact human beings pray to the same God and religion is just a cultivated habit, a method we adopt because it is familiar (by means of observations or teachings), and is an easy or comfortable option among the available options to us. An element of nurture! Many people including me have gone through confusion and religious ambiguity. It must be natural when you have so many questions and you believe in God too. But I think a person comes to a decision ultimately and is in peace with it. One’s frame of mind cannot be like a vibrating tuning fork forever, no?

Anyways, in this song we are being urged to look to ourselves rather then going to a temple, with emphasis on hard work, good deeds, humanity, etc. A little translation below

“Which temple will you go to, pilgrim?
Which temple should one go to?
What goods for the prayer?
How will you take them with you?

The beautiful Pillars of bones
The Walls of flesh
The golden Roof of brain
The Doors of sense organs
The liquid waves of vein rivers
The Temple itself untraversable”

See what the poet did there? He gave a little lesson in anatomy as well. Sweet! And Mr Robin Sharma has that wonderful voice. Check out the video!

L.P. Devkota, the nation of Nepal is indebted to him. If he were someone other than a Nepalese, he would have been a Noble laureate surely, I mean without the language constraint! The movie ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ kind of reminds me of him, in terms of luck not being in his favour and he being much ahead of his time. But it is said that he was the kindest man one could find. A story goes that he had nothing and no steady income, still he took off his coat and gave it to a beggar in the street. And many more. Simplicity, patrotism, kindness, humanity, progressivenss, he paved the way for all the Nepalese youths. I personally believe his essay ‘Is Nepal small?’ which was in our school curriculum accounts for the patrotism we Nepalese youths have and believe to be innate. And who can forget the snippet from ‘Muna Madan’ where a high caste person touches the feet of someone not of his stature? Not heard of at that time and until many decades afterwards. A Nepalese is proud of many things, I found one more reason today, we are of the country where these legends were born and they were great humans inspite of everything. And we have their works that graces our lives and gives us that soulful connection.

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About dramas and life imitating art

I have watched too many free stuffs on youtube, I mean many East Asian TV dramas; Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, etc, more than is good. I fear I may have unintentionally become somewhat of an expert on the subject, not that anyone has asked for my expert opinion ever. Ofcourse I’ve weaned myself off this hobby
a long time ago but the memories remain! It was good while it lasted and interesting and educative. I overdid it and there can be only one fate when you do a thing excessively. The threshhold of boredom was reached!

Looking back, I think I was first pulled into it by the visuals of beautiful people (unbelievably beautiful) and kept on watching when I found out how relatable the family system, culture, friendship and personal equations shown in the stories were, not to mention the opportunity to get an insight to foreign cultures it presented. I had this one misconception that people usually have of other people from foreign countries. I thought that East Asians were unemotional and cold. Probably because of the tourists of those regions to my country I noticed at a young age, who with their cameras and cotton hats (which frustrates me as much as the fringe haircut on Asian girls, the frequency!) used to remain aloof and indifferent and never interacted with the locals unlike say Europeans or Americans. I’m glad to say I was rid of my misconception after watching the many dramas. I may have even said “Oh! They are like us!”

Any ways, these are off topic trivia and personal opinions. But while I am at it, let me shoot out one more. One of my favourites, a veteran Hindi film and drama actor Naseeruddin Shah when asked what he thought was important about movies said that the things in reels served as archives and it was important they represent the time period and society and everything in it with honesty and truth for future reference and for generations to come or something to this effect. (I am bad at verbatim), Among the dramas I’ve watched, I thought Japanese and Taiwanese were more interesting than the Korean and Chinese dramas. Taiwanese dramas were fun and realistic (I am a sucker for anything realistic, no sci-fi or fantasy stuffs for me!), I found Korean dramas OTT and stretched, and Chinese Dramas strange and surprisingly unprogressive, and Japanese atleast cracked the code with the drama length! But I wonder if and how much these dramas are representing the real societies truthfully. I am curious about these things! No reason.

My favourite Korean drama is ‘What happened in Bali’. It is not without flaws but for whatever reason, it is unforgettable. The climax is awesome!  One day, I was on my way to a supermarket, you know walking and thinking about random stuffs. And suddenly the stuffs about this drama popped into my head out of nowhere. I was like “Wow! That was interesting!”. Talk about late reaction!

The Korean romantic dramas almost always have the same story, a rich boy and a poor girl or a rich girl and a poor boy. I feel like they are selling dreams to a certain class of people. When you are young, you are happy to live vicariously through these stories. But now as I get older, I refuse to be taken for a ride. In real life people rarely venture out of their circle or social strata. I think people are usually looking for someone as good as if not better than themselves. As good as oneself means one’s equal, is it not? I feel feeding Cinderella like fairy tales to people again and again and again does more harm than good and serve only to deflect them from reality. And don’t get me started on Chinese drama. I have a problem with the portrayal of females in the drama. A stinking rich guy comes along and the female has no problem being jerked around and treated as a doormat. Ugghh! Dramas like these make you realize what you do not want in your life.

It is very easy to wish for a miracle. More than you, if your loved ones are going through difficult times and if they are not able to catch a break and you are not in a position to help at present, would you take the easy way out? I mean get hitched to a person with means and money like in the dramas, to avail yourself of his help and suppose he is not bad to look at. I imagined this scenario (thank you over active imagination!) and my whole post was leading to this question. It wouldn’t be bad, right? But is it good? The situation will always have a lingering scent of Bargain, Mercinariness, Calculation, right? I was thinking about it today. It is just a hypothetical question. But it’s come to my psyche because I see so much of this theme in dramas and come to notice some of it in real life too. How will life shape up? I thought long and hard. I cannot say after consciously taking such a decision, a person cannot be happy. Most likely he/she would. Life is all about changes they say. But wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to take the high road disregarding the temptations, no matter the magnitude and stake and take chances on yourself and not extricate yourself. If I ever find myself in such a situation which I doubt I will (I have the most wonderful parents who do not let me do any kind of sacrifice) I wish… you know what I wish.