Saturday, July 22, 2006

Where is the asylum?

What's worse than a dvd getting stuck the moment you run it? A dvd that gets stucks when there's just fifteen mins to go in the movie,and the movie that happens to be The Pianist!
I guess it was the same foreordination that didn't introduce me into the world as a Jew in Nazi Germany that made the dvd work properly today.The movie had arguably,the most haunting visuals I've ever seen till date.Anyway I guess its a bit too late to review this flick,and I'm bad at it,so full stop.

Cut to GRE class this evening,and I was as usual,resolute to pay maximum attention;and as usual discussion about some word veered off topic..a la orkut it was roughly thus:
machiavellian -> history -> the pianist -> nazi and vietcong -> beslan -> survival of the fittest -> happiness
I had been to this home for the mentally challenged quite some time ago in one of our Rotaract club outings.It had about 40 inmates,and we were to interact with them for a few hours.I had never been to such a place before and was a bit skeptic(scared says my alter ego).But the moment we entered the room where the inmates lived,my mood changed.There was nothing abnormal about the people I saw there...atleast I didn't find elongated heads,or saliva-dripping mouths out of the ordinary.There were people of all ages,ranging from 3yr olds playing with blocks,to a 55 yr old man who was a specialist in identifying raagas of any song u sang to him!
The feeling of joy in a child's face when you give him a chocolate is something...the glee in the face of these people we called callously label retarded,when we gave them sweets,is beyond words.
One particular guy took a liking for me,as my name was Vijay and happened to be his thalaivar's name,and wanted me to dance with was the first time in my life someone had asked me to dance and i'd obliged...then it was time to go..we left.

Reminiscing the visit during our talk about happiness set me thinking: all our lives we go in pursut of happiness.We set goals and subject ourselves to many an ordeal,consoling ourselves that the fruition of the goal will make us happy.Whether or not we achieve our goals is another issue..sometimes we get what we want, yet there is a sense of unfullfilment;and sometimes we are happy for no reason.What about those people we consider mentally challenged? Do they crave to become doctors or singers or actors too? How is it that I saw a smile on every one of their faces?How is it that they are ecstatic when asked to dance,or given a chocolate? They live in a world of their own...We sympathise with them for being what they are..but I wonder..could it be the other way round? Maybe thiers is a world where there are no agonising ordeals,no commitments,no sacrifices to be made...a world that knows no sorrow,a world where one does not pine for a love that never was,or grieve over stolen money or fight for oil...a world where simple acts of love can leave one in blissful enjoyment..Maybe in their world,we are the mentally "retarded" ones...retarded because we are incapable of saying a "thank you",because we judge a person by his color,because we are incapable of thinking beyond money,carnal pleasures and more money...because we fail to appreciate those little things in life that bring a smile to their faces..because we have more questions than answers....