Where are the holy women of India?

meera-bai--prem-deewani-mokshika

India is a land of mysticism and spirituality. From the time immemorial, people concerned themselves with the  search for truth. They  pursued their quest through various means. Some meditated, while others sang and walked. Few days ago I came across some intense portraits of holy men of India – sadhus in the northern plains of Ganga. This wasn’t the first time I saw those images. People in the west have been fascinated by them for as long as they existed. Perhaps not that long, because when British first discovered the Hindu religion, they were turned off by the torso flashing sadhus of India and therefore they did not find this religion very pleasant to their eyes and preferred Islam , which was how they thought the East should look like – pure and clean with the followers and preachers fully covered. But the question is that how is it that most sadhus that I came across – living or dead, on website or in real blood and flesh –  they are mostly male? I myself visited Gangotri once in the middle of melting glaciers and there was not a single woman there.  Like cold, hunger, warmth, anger, shouldn’t the quest for truth or a desire to be with God pervade the souls of men and women alike? Any Indian can desire to eat mango irrespective of the gender.  I began thinking why I found more men in this pursuit than women. 

Siddharth Gautam went to find the truth. Why didn’t his wife think of doing the same? I might not be completely correct, but all the twenty four Tirthankars of Jains are males. From Bhakti movement, apart from Meera Bai and Akka Mahadevi, there is no one else carrying the female flag. And so far, I was considering only the ones that focused on truth and God and nothing else and not the ones that speak on TV every day. Even if one discounts for the fact that there are less women anyway in the world, the holy women will still be disproportionately less than male sadhus. I wondered why.

First, the thought of pursuing spirituality must have visited many women. But they were more tied to responsibilities. The patriarchal and male dominated world we live in, which was even more so in the earlier times — would such system allow a woman to leave the parents, if she was not married, or leave her children and husband, and put ashes on her body and meditate under the Banyan tree? Siddharth Gautam left ( and of course returned later), but could his wife leave for the same reason? Is it the society that does not allow that independence for women or are women biologically wired to not not care and can think of being a wondering saint only after ensuring that their families are happy?

Second, Safety. Is a woman living alone in the forests of western ghats or some cave in Gangotri safe? One sexual violence and she would be in misery for many years to come.  This is very unfortunate though. The responsibility of creating and bearing life has pulled women down even in this noble pursuit. If anything, world should thank the female gender for choosing to allow her body for the purpose of continuum of life.   And not punish her for having this gift.

Finally, deserting a regular life or never having one  is not the only way seek salvation and pursue spirituality. It could very well be possible that many housewives  have been enlightened beings. But why they did not become popular or immortal in religious and historical texts? Because that visibility might require leading an ascetic life. Not to say that that is why sages have that lifestyle – for visibility.

Holy or unholy, women are an important part of the diversity that makes it worth living on this planet. Hopefully, with more re-engineering of society, women too will enjoy freedom to pursue their desires, in they way they want.

जोधा अकबर

Finally I finished watching Jodha Akbar in 3 days! watching 15-20 mins for the first two days before I would get to sleep, but on second day the music impressed me a lot and I could not wait to watch the entire movie.

What can I say now? Movie is a brave attempt on part of director. But again lack of knowledge and research was evident, as is the case for most of bollywood movies. There were tribals.. typically from North East dancing in the show put up for Akbar. What the hell were north eastern Indians doing there? I thought director thought to include them in the dance show to make it look grand!

But no doubts, the music was really imposing, particularly the background score. It was indeed AR Rehman music. And it had the grandeur needed for the royal story. It did remind me of mughal-e-azam. Of course one falls short of wards to describe this music. It’s really nice to see some film makers and musicians do not shy away from having classical music. Effective use of sitar. But the lyrics were not great in most of songs.. Manmohana could have more touching lyrics, it was really straight forward colloquial of current times.

Most of the movie had scenes in day light. Some scenes look good in night. The dance show could have been put up in lamps and candle lights rather than in bright sun… I mean there were so much of tents pitched up around in that dance show.. it looked as if we were watching the sets themselves. Compare that too ‘Mohe panghat pe’ from Mughal-e-azam.

I guess image of one grand thing of past can just not be erased by any number of newer versions in the recent times. Like original ramananad sagar’s ramayana is still fresh in our memories, and still looks much more real than all the clones made after that. Similarly, comparison of Jodha Akbar with K Asif’s master piece is inevitable.
In terms of communal harmony, they could have shown more. In the end Amitabh bacchan says this was the story of Jodha Akbar. I am sure there could have been lot more to that. The movie in fact showed very few instances of their love.. most part was about war and politics. In the old movie.. we also saw Akbar celebrating Janmashtmi, can giving rides to bal gopal krishna.

But anyways , this was indeed different.

रामायण

I was watching रामायण after very long. I guess last time I watched it was when I was in class 8 or something. Here mummy is alone at home, so to give her company, I watch it. I found that even today, when so many hindi films have been released since Ramanand Sagar’s रामायण , still this one carries so much emotional value. I feel moved to tears in many scenes. Unlike Mahabharat, रामायण is story of so much love and affection . One can notice the word ‘sneh’ umpteen number of times in one episode. One really feels like having cleaned his mind and heart of all vices. Every character in the story (ofcourse barring few – kakayi, manthura and those from Ravan’s camp), have so much love for each other. Every one’s fighting to give comfort to some one else. I feel that Ram’s age must have been the most peaceful and stable times on earth.

Timing of my realization of these things is pretty apt. I mean very recently Karunanidhi questioned the existence of Ram. He was giving some arguments that he claimed were rational. Even I am myself a computer science graduate. But still I feel influenced by these mythological stories. At least they are putting in us some fear for god, some fear from doing fallacies. If he wanted to make bridge, then he should have gone ahead, but not by inciting people by attacking faith of people. I remember once I was complaining to an Austrian Professor that in India, some rivers get polluted a lot because people put dead bodies and other things in the reiver for religious reasons. Then even that chap, who was complete foriegn to hinduism and mythology replied,”But people have faith in that. It’s the question of faith.” And Karunananidhi is from south India, the land, where we can find most religious people in India. Even that bridge is ultimately for welfare of people, then it is actually service of God, people would not have complained if that new bridge is making the lives easier. But it is crap to say things about Ram sethu or for that matter Ram’s existence per se, as this was all uncalled for. It’s like if we can build a hospital for destitute by breaking some temple, then it should be fine. But we should not break the temple because we don’t believe in the deity worshiped in that temple. May Ram give some sense to these morons.

Lakshya

Watchin lakshya makes my heart goin out again for Indian Airforce. The places they operate in are simply awesome. The film has just started, they are showing so beautiful and towering mountains. But for the first time this thought came into my mind that I can see those beautiful places even if I am not in Force. I can go to those places during vacations! Really I can go there with my family and friends anytime. So I should start loving and respecting a civilian’s life as well.

Movie is pretty nice. The valleys and mountains and b’ful rivers that were shwown were scintillating. Acting of Amitabh Bachhan , I found , was gerat after a long time. I really wanna have the discipline of Defence Forces in myself. I really liked the elegance and grace they carry with themselves. Their gait is also awe-inspiring. They are so much full of etiquettes.

The song ‘main aisa kyun hoon’ is done with so much iof innovations. The contrast of black and white went really well. Hrithik’s dance is as usual very good.

But the acting quite nice. So was not that of Preity Zinta. She moves her body a lot. Hrithik always looks like that autistic child he played in the other movie. Even non-serious roles can be done normally rather than behaving like a child.

The second half of the movie where hritik and zinta take their own paths of lives
was quite matured. They really acted sensibly. Best part was the less use of words and judicious use of backgroud music. They worked more through silence and through their body language and facial expressions , rather than just delivering dialogues
as in most of hindi movies. The visuals were beyond my expectations. It was like I was watching LOTR. So high mountains . I wonder if in reality they climb such mountains. And how would they be doing in dark. The movie did not have one hero. Like RDB, every character was the hero in itself. This was one of the fewest war movies I loved. It was not just a love story. Not just the transformation of a confused soul into a responsible guy, not just about courage and passion of Defence
personnels. It was a perfect blend of all. The transition from one of these forms to the other was very smooth. Really gud cinema.

Mixed doubles and School


The 2 good movies i watched today. Well good is a relative term. Even for one person, the same movie feels good in one frame and sucks in another. But both the films were good time pass, reason being they are not the regular hindi movies with the same old crap of cheap humor or skin show or some stupid tune of emotions and related crap. Mixed Doubles had very earthen feeling, ‘coz acting of all the characters was very natural. I could very well find similar dialogues in our daily lives during my stay in Delhi, particularly those of Naseer and his wife!! I hardly felt I was watching movie. It was enjoying seeing the arguments between the parents of Konkana sen. Though Konkana sen and his husband formed an urban couple, but I guess I have similar ones , I could relate to them. Their son was again very much like I would find in my uncles’ homes. All in all nice movie.

School. God it tried to take me back to school days, or to my future. The scholl was an Airforce School. Again here the acting was pretty good. Don’t remember the name of the principal, but it seems he does very nice work, and has really refined himself as an actor over the time.

I guess now I can generalize that low budget movies are the ones that are liked. Atleast for me, this generalization does hold true.

Natalie Raps

A day in the life of Natalie Portman.

This rap just rocks : Natalie your are a crazy chic
Shut the f*** up and suck my d***!!

Natalie we all love you,
Shut the f***up
I will f***u too!!

Natalie what you want natalie
to drink and fight
wht u need natalie
to f***all nite

The lost temples of India

Another excellent documentary I found is :

After watching this, I realized that India had and India has more resources than many developed countries. All we need is honest people to utilize the resource.

The statements worth noting are :

“India had golden age, when Europe was languishing in dark age.”.

“Excavations for temples were stopped when the British architect found erotic statues on the walls of few temples he found. Hindu religion was then assumed to be immoral and corrupt and Christianity was pure.”

“Mughal rulers devasted the Hindu temples and structures to erect their monuments and erase signs of Hindu culture”

“The Mughal Arhictecture presented the image what Britishers or the western people had thought of the eastern or Indian world – pure , moral, with no more erotica or sadhus half naked”