Friday, 11 September 2015

Ek Villain

It’s the title of a Hindi movie. I quite liked the plot, the performances and the presentation of this rather off-beat story. I don’t care if it was lifted or inspired by another movie.

I don’t know if the psychological disorder shown in the movie exists to that extent or leads to such actions, but the existence and dominance of negative emotions cannot be denied. I found myself empathysing with a brutal murderer. This guy is representative of contemporary criminals like the perverse rapists or fraudsters, who commit heinous crimes in complete consciousness. It may be an exaggerated narration, but I will not be really surprised to know that such persons exist.

If one cares to give it thought, it is quite miraculous how we’re able to live with so much negativity around and about us. In the last decade or so, we’re able to communicate much better. But what is it that is getting communicated? All that newspapers and news channels talk about and highlight are a variety of crimes and violence, wars and counter wars, incompetence and futility of governments and oppositions, natural calamities & accidents, corporate scandals and the ‘legally permitted crimes’ committed on the pretext of growth and profitability. The social media is no different. Our experiences in dealing with shopkeepers, employers, teachers of schools, police, office bearers of housing society and just about everybody is laced with negativity. Everything is enraging and as spectators, we are helpless. The pent up anger just keeps coming out from a container with a bottomless pit.

Then a spiritual guru appears on the scene and talks of positivity, compassion, meditation. We read some quotable quotes on social media. We ignore the negativity for some time. We hit ground again sooner than later. Then we get sick of all this and decide to take a vacation. But let us not run away from the fact that if acts of mindless violence are on the rise, it is representative of the rise of violence in the minds of people.

If we make a list of people we’re angry with, it will perhaps encompass the entire humanity. Sounds unlikely? Let’s try. We’re angry with the politicians because they are corrupt and self-centered. We’re angry with the government because they’re incompetent and ineffective. We’re angry with the bureaucrats because they are bureaucratic. We’re angry with the businessmen because they’re blinded by profit motive. We’re angry with service providers because they don’t do their job honestly. We’re angry with the environmentalists and activists because they stall the growth efforts. We’re angry with terrorists because they kill innocent people. We’re angry with the judiciary because they take too much time to judge and even then pass wrong judgements. We’re angry with the children because they just don’t behave the way they should. We’re angry with parents because they just don’t understand. We’re angry with God because...

The world of alternate thinkers is quite interesting. The alternate thinkers and sustainability proponents are very angry with the mainstream.  The environmentalists, the human rights activists, the food & nutrition experts, the natural farmers and organic farmers, the educators and education enthusiasts, the gurus of peace and love, the animal rights activists, the proponents of an alternate economic models and a host of other such groups are angry with people outside their group. Even within the group there is substantial difference of opinion and conflict.

There is absolutely no dearth of knowledge and arguments on either sides of the table. There is billion times more information than what one can read even in the table of contents.
But, there is violence beneath much of this.

Can we be non-violent in the mind, in our thoughts? A teacher in Haider, another Bollywood movie I liked says, “Jab tak hum is inteqam se azaad nahi hote, tab tak koi aazadi hame azaad nahi kar sakti.”

I’m sick of thinking about all of this. I’m sure you’re sick reading about it as well. Let us go and play a game. Even if it means playing with the same people you’re angry with. Which game? Any one. Carrom, chess, rummy, badminton, cricket, snakes & ladders, kabaddi....Just about any game. Play it with someone or play it alone. Just get lost in it.

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