Monday, March 1, 2010

My Name is Khan..

I have been procrastinating on this for quite a bit.. Had thought of writing this a while back, when I watched the movie. But never got down to it.. It came back to me when watching the movie again on TV today..

When the movie began, my first comment was " Daud Ibrahim ne paise de kar banwayi hai"...
Second " Bekar hai ".. just as how I say for 99% of the things in the world..

But as the movie unfolded, it was funny at first, then interesting, then intriguing... and then by the end of the movie, I could finally say I had liked it ( not something I'd say for many of the movies made in Bollywood.)

What was it that I liked about the movie..?
Actors...? Music...? Cinematography.. ? Plot... ?

I'd say all them were just OKAY.. But I wdn't be a fan of any of these..

What really touched me , was the central idea of the film.. the message that they have tried to convey.. the underlying commonality of mankind that has been stressed.. across nations and religions.

The movie portrayed an idea I have come to believe in after having lived in a place ( Manipal ) , which is more cosmopolitan than any other place I could imagine in the nation. A place where I have come across people from different religions, nations and states, who bring along with them hues of different cultures, practices and beliefs.. But in that vast ocean of varieties, they live together, share each other's joys and sorrows, help each other and have loads of fun together... I believe part of the fun is being different and still being together..

I have lived in a place where I have interacted with people from across 44 nationalities. I have lived in North India and in South India. I have traveled to North east and to the west coast.
I have been to Europe and I have been to America.

I have had friends who have had Idli on their breakfast table for as long as they have lived, others have had French toasts. Does it really matter?
Some wear sarees and dance Kuchchipudi; others dress in halters and rock and roll. But they all dance to celebrate.
I remember when we started college, I was as anxious about being away from my parents out of my home as my friends from Dubai or Malaysia were. We cried together when we were home sick, we cheered together to cheer each other up.
That was the first time I went to a Hindu temple ( I was never a fan of Hinduism before). And thereafter, I went time and again... Every time I was stuck up with something, when I had exams or simply to play with the kids in the park outside the temple :P

When I went abroad the first time, the first people I met were Portuguese.. During the little time I spent with them, I felt they were so simple, just like the guys in my paternal village; even though they drove BMWs and worked on notebooks.. The family I stayed with, was worried if their daughter didn't get back home by 10 at night, just as my parents are when I don't ( only the time line differs :P ) .

When I considered studying and living in US, I was "guided" , "warned", "cautioned" by many , " You'll always be regarded as a Second Citizen", " You'll be thrown out first the moment there are any issues", " You'll be discriminated against". I'm not going to say if they were right or wrong. May be, its too early to say. May be, there is some amount of truth in these.

But during my short period of stay ( 6 months), I did not, for one moment, feel the people there were any different from the ones I had always lived with. I spent time in the hospital, I saw patients die, I saw lives being saved. I saw their families care of them and also many others abandon them; just as I have back home. The diseases causing it might differ, but they all eventually die, and white skinned Americans grieve for their loved ones just as much as Black skinned Africans do... Where is the divide?
I went for classes with Americans and took exams with them; trust me, they hate them just as much as anyone else does.
I stayed with Koreans and I lived with Gujjus.

Yes, there are a lot of differences..

But I realized that deep inside, we are all the same.. We all have similar feelings, emotions, reactions and attitudes, weaknesses and strengths.. and this commonality traverses the boundaries of religions and borders of nations and continents.. this is what makes us "One World" where we all just fellow human beings.. striving to make this World a better place.. for us and for others.. It is only when this realization dawns, that we open the windows of our minds and doors of our heart to all and one. We stop asking for surnames before we shake hands. We stop telling our children to look out for their friends' skin color. We start letting love enter our heart.. enter it and fill it.. fill it so there is no place for anything else.. no place for prejudice, no place for hatred ... but only for love.. and a mutual respect, for each other..

This respect for each others' beliefs and tolerance toward each others' practices is what make us human beings.

1 comment:

  1. very true, "We take the culture and contort
    Perhaps only to distort what we are hiding"
    (Furtado Nelly - powerless)