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Friday, December 11, 2015

In all this ‘tamasha’, never stop being yourself!

All Life is pure drama. If you love Shakespeare, you can even call it a ‘comedy of errors’. The only way to get through this drama, this lifetime, happily, is to be yourself!

Yesterday we watched Imtiaz Ali’s just-released Tamasha (Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone). It’s a simple story of a young man Ved who is caught between what his heart yearns for and what, he believes, the/(his) world wants him to be. Ved can be anybody – you, me, anyone. And the battle he faces within himself is the Kurukshetra we all wage, as Ali points out, between dil and duniya. Ved doesn’t realize anything is amiss in his robotic Life, in his running the rat race, until Tara red flags him and tells him to take a hard look at himself. The refreshingly original romance between Ved and Tara, that travels from Corsica to New Delhi to Tokyo, is but a beautiful backdrop. The real story is about us. It is about anyone who is merely ‘earning a living’, running a meaningless race – monotonously. Ali doesn’t say it explicitly but his work echoes Osho’s, the Master’s, philosophy: “Between birth and death, when you came with nothing and will go with nothing, all Life is just pure drama. Why do you want to not be yourself? Live your Life! Why do you want to live a lie for the sake of the world?” Ved soon realizes that he’s been living a lie and awakens to follow his bliss. In doing that, he comes alive, finding himself, finding purpose, happiness and love!

Ali’s Tamasha can be what Tara is to Ved. If you are searching for meaning, for happiness, in your Life, Tamasha can perhaps help you find your way.

Watching the movie I was reminded of what American mythologist and author Joseph Campbell (1904~1987) has said: “The privilege of this lifetime is being who you are.” To be sure, Campbell was the first person to articulate what zillions before him, and many, many zillions after him, have always felt or yearned for or believed in. He invited you to “follow your bliss”! Vaani and I have been running a very popular non-commercial Event Series called “The Bliss Catchers” each month at the Odyssey Bookstore in Adyar, Chennai. The Event Series focuses on people who have had the courage to give up “safe and predictable” careers to go do what they love doing. Through the past 11 months of anchoring this Event Series we have not just had the opportunity to learn from the lives and stories of our guests, we have also seen members of the audience blossom into Bliss Catchers! For instance, a senior business leader at a large IT corporation quit his job and has been pursuing a Master’s degree in a language he loves – Sanskrit. A young aspiring film-maker has not only found himself a job that allows him the luxury of time to watch a movie a day, he has actually made a short film – shooting it on his mobile phone! For Vaani and me bliss is just doing anything which is in the realm of inspiring people to be happy. So, I wrote my Book, Fall Like A Rose Petal (Westland, August 2014), we do non-commercial events to inspire happiness – in Life and at work, I write my Blog daily and I am working on my second Book, The Happiness Road. We live by a simple principle: it is only one Life we have; let us live it being who we are, being happy!

The topline and bottomline in Life is simply this: It is all a drama. A tamasha. So, don’t get carried away by what the world is saying and wanting you to be. Between dil and duniya, choose to be led by your dil, follow your bliss and be who you are!

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