I have wondered why all the spiritual wealth seemingly comes from really esoteric sources. Read books that you do not understand, say mantras that you mispronounce worse than a Punjabi speaking Bangla, read autobiographies of gentlemen (and ladies) with those half-focused eyes that makes you wonder if they needed glasses (or a caffeine shot).

So for the upliftment of humankind, I took it upon myself to sift through more commonly available materials that have life lessons as well. Like movies. While many may not know who wrote “Ramayana”, we all know Ramanand Sagar made an over the top serial on it.

Therefore, with a dedicated mindset and commitment to my fellow sentinent beings I started binging on Netflix and Amazon Prime. My dedication was not missed by Neerja who soon asked –

“Why are you watching so many movies?”

“To save the mankind”

She touched my forehead. Inserted a thermometer in my mouth, pulled it out and said –

“98.4, normal. Come to bed when mankind is saved. Tomorrow is a working day”

Poor girl. How would she know the burden on some selected individuals who have been chosen to uplift the humankind? She does not understand how it feels when all your chakras are penetrated. Neither do I.

So I settled down with some basic necessities like popcorn and Coke, just enough to sustain me through this challenging period of self-discovery and fluctuating broadband. The “aha” moment came around 11pm. In this 15th time of watching, I realized that “Sholay” was indeed a masterpiece of spiritual lessons. Here is how:

Purity: Jai epitomized it. He was dressed in a white jacket and pants throughout the movie and even though he lived in a dust bowl, these clothes remained spotless. We didn’t see his laundry bill going up.

Simple Mindedness: Even though the coin tossed by Jai always ended with heads up, Veeru never stopped and bothered to check the coin. Had he studied normal distribution he would have sat up and said – “whoa! that makes no sense..

Speaking Your Mind: When I saw the movie first as a kid, Basantiji gave me a headache. She would not shut up. But now I realized that she was expressing herself freely – a prerequisite of spiritual progress.

Focus: While her master Basantiji was a motormouth, the mare Dhanno kept her focus on the task at hand. She had to carry passengers from point A to point B and that’s what she did. She didn’t complain to the Horse & Mare Union or went on a strike complaining against management. .

Contentment: Shri Gabbar Singh had no issues that the prize on his head was lower than the price of an iPhone 11. Even if adjusted for inflation, a Tata Safari costs more today.

Achieving Impossible: Thakur Sahab could wrap his shawl around himself so snugly with no hands while with two perfectly working arms my shawl wrap looks like I just walked out of a hurricane.

I will soon watch “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron” – another goldmine of lessons.

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Post Script: For the 7am Asia call tomorrow morning, I plan to invoke Thakur Sahab and Dhanno in my spirit.   

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Manas Misra

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