Thursday, August 10, 2023

Karan Johar Ki Prem Kahani

Saw Karan Johar's movie Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani.

A wonderful light  movie with cutting humour. A buffed up Ranveer with a six pack and Alia who is her own cute self are of course good. 

Dharmendra, Shabana Azmi and Jaya Bhaduri play their age. The love story between Dharmendra and Shabana is a nice side plot. 

The story is of course boy meets girl, families oppose, etc. etc. like every third Hindi movie. 

But the script is still the best part  of the movie, at least  before the interval. Full of  cutting takes on tradition, modernity, feminism, toxic masculinity, gender roles... with a typical Karan Johar irreverence. 

After the interval it turns into some typical Bollywood melodrama but thankfully never too heavy. 

What a relief to watch a nice non intellectual fluffy Bollywood movie, especially within a week of watching Oppenheimer which is a total intellectually pretentious dimaag ka dahi. 

Highly recommended for those who go to the movies just to have a good time.

Disclaimer: Karan Johar behind the camera is ok, but I can't stand him in front of it. Watching him in Koffee with Karan  almost makes me puke

Thursday, August 3, 2023

The Power of Now - Part 1

Just picked up Eckhart Tolle's acclaimed book 'The Power of Now' to read.

Am about one-third of the day through the book - it seems very similar to yoga philosophy. Nothing really new, but like all universal truths, these are thoughts that can bear any amount of repetition, and any amount of retelling. 

Am paraphrasing ( this is not a book summary in the strict sense, it is more a condensation of the thoughts expressed in the book ) the thoughts in the book, as I am reading - a stream of thought kind of book review in a sense.

Here is Part 1: 


The mind is in constant chatter.

Chatter creates turmoil.

There is a higher You which can detach itself from this you which is the sum of your thoughts,

This higher you , can it watch the other you,

And tell it to stop chattering

Watch your thoughts,

Watch your feelings,

Watch your emotions,.

From whence this fear, this deep seated dread?

From whence this need to be right? 

Whence the anger? 

Whence this anxiety and dread? 

All this is Pain. Why are you living in constant pain?

All desire arises from the ego which has a deep seated lack, a feeling of being incomplete. To make the ego whole, you chase desires. Desires of money, fame, possessions, relationships. The ego needs constant external validation. The ego's needs are endless. It feels vulnerable and threatened and so lives in a constant state of fear and want.

The root of unconsciousness is identification with the mind.

Cease that identification. Become conscious.  Realise that you are not the mind. 

The mind entangles you due to thoughts that arise from fear, and thoughts are of the past or the future. 

Do not be trapped in time, the past is memory and the future is anticipation. 

Get out of that trap. Be in the present moment, acknowledge it, allow it to be. 

Be in the Now. Just Be. Now is the most precious thing there is, don't squander it by being elsewhere in time. 

Now is the intensely alive state that is free of time, free of memory, free of anticipation, free of pain, free of thought. 

At this moment, nothing is lacking. 

Use "clock time", learn from your past and plan for your future, but don't dwell on the past or hanker for something - avoid "thought time". 

The future is always the same as the past. You are your ingrained thoughts, patterns, and beliefs. To get out of that mould, to break that pattern, you need to break the shackles imposed by the mind. Your accumulated negativity stops you from breaking those shackles. 

All problems are illusions of the mind, they are only "situations" that you are dwelling on. 

Be in the present, and discover a space of joy , ease and lightness.

( To be continued)
Dinesh Gopalan,
3 August, 2023