Wednesday, May 31, 2017

WAS SHE A 'SLOW LEARNER'?







There was this young ninth-standard girl, who attended a few P.D. sessions a year ago. She was going through a very low phase at that time… She hated being treated as a ‘slow learner’ in school… She thought she was ‘normal’, but her teachers and authorities felt she was ‘not normal’. It was her parents, particularly the mother, who – like Edison’s mother did – refused to accept the ‘validation certificate’ of the teachers and school authorities… “We know our child better than anyone else does,” asserted the parents, “we shall see that our child grows up confident and compassionate.”

Two days ago, I received a phone call from the young girl. “Sir, just wanted to share with you my joy… I got 91% in ICSE tenth.”

I was happy for the girl. I had not taught her any of her subjects… All that I had done was to help her through our few P.D. sessions. “Sir, I can never forget those sessions in my life,” the young lady said, “You came at the right time in my life… You put my confidence back in me!”

To me, moments such as this are very reassuring, to say the least. We all need someone to tell us, most sincerely, “You did a difference in my life… Thank you.” When I make this confession, I am not being insecure or egoistic… I am being simply normal… I need someone like this young girl to tell me, “Sir, you matter… You are good” just as that young girl needed someone like me to tell her, “Beta, you matter… You are good.”

Yesterday, the young lady, dressed like a pretty princess, came to see me along with her parents. They were in my office for over an hour! “Sir, I think, if we get ourselves ‘tested’ for our ‘normalcy’, you and I will be ‘certified’ as abnormal (Special) in something or the other,” the mother of the young girl joked, “the ‘labels’ are really damaging.”


Well, the purpose of this Post is this: We do not express our gratitude enough. This girl and their parents told me yesterday, that they had been to at least a dozen people who they thought had helped the young one blossom into a confident soul. Many young ones – and even their parents – do not consider this as an important value and ingredient of personal growth…

In life, we cannot do it on our own, no matter who we are… People help us along our way… People touch us, inspire us and help us become whatever and wherever we are, now. We need to go and tell them, “You made a difference in my life… Thank you.”

From the other side, the lesser we keep this expectation, the better for our peace of mind. ‘Neki kar  daria mein daal’!

I agree… But, I am ‘normal’, you see!


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Shraddha Sachdev


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

GO, DO IT YOUR WAY...








This is the season of results… tenth standard and twelfth standard, particularly, where the excitement – the joy and despair – is maximum. Yesterday, tenth (ICSE) and twelfth standard (ISC) results were out; and, today twelfth standard (HSC) results are out…

In the P.D.  session, this morning, I asked some boys and girls to come up on stage and share their joys and despair after the results… not just theirs’, but their parents’ and grandparents’, their siblings’ and friends’ too…

The ‘Board results’ are something… big thing! When I was a young boy like these students, I had gone through the same experience… the joy and the despair. My parents, even though they weren’t educated, had gone through the same experience, too…

“At your age, I was nowhere near you,” I tell my students, “You are far, far, far better. Hence, I have no business to judge you, leave alone ‘condemn’ you.”

When I look back at my own tenth, twelfth and graduation marks, I am now able to give a very confident and peaceful smile…

“Did my marks do it?”

Because my marks did not do it – did not bring me wherever I am today… because I did it only through the ‘clarity of purpose’… what I wanted to do in life… yes, that one thing is singularly responsible for the rest of the drive in my life…

“Marks alone will not take you anywhere,” I drill into my young-ones’ heads, “At best, they can  give you an entry… an admission.”

After that?

After that, it is always what you can do best – ‘your show reel’ as some call it… What you got with you to show the world… your best work… your most passionate and brilliant labour of love… from flying airplanes to washing cars, from running companies to writing movie scripts… whatever that is, if you are able to do it ‘your way’ – the best way... you will not find this world to be too competitive… you will never ever say ‘there is only so much’ … ‘there is no scope’… The truth is, that whatever you desire to do, millions have already done it, are doing it and will be doing it… Still, the world waits for you to do it ‘your way’… your special way…

Shiv Khera’s famous line befits here: “Successful people do not do different things… They do things differently!”

A steadfast belief in this one truth about life is more than enough to instill in us the optimism and zest for life. There is so much out there for all of us… So much undone, unconquered, undiscovered… That’s why God creates all of us – millions and millions of us – differently packed in our souls our unique gifts and strengths… and, with this single instruction: “Go and do it your way’!

This morning, in our P.D. session, I played for our young ones the famous Frank Sinatra song (Written by his friend Paul Anka) – ‘I did it my way. This is one song almost every great singer has sung, including Elvis Presley… yes, in ‘his way’. But, my favourite versions were one by Engelbert Humperdinck  and another by  charismatic Sal Valentinetti in ‘America’s Got Talent’… Here are they…











True, all that matters, there in this world, is if we have followed God’s instruction: “Go and do it your way”!

GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Shraddha Sachdev

Videos: YouTube

Saturday, May 27, 2017

SACHIN IS BELIEVABLE





Last evening, my wife and I watched the movie, “SACHIN – A Billion Dreams’. The theatre was packed… young parents with their kids, elderly couples… young boys and girls and all of us. Sachin, it was clear, had won everyone’s hearts… He had inspired all of us… Yes, a billion people, to say the least, to dream!

I had been a huge fan of Sachin ever since I watched his first game… and, like everyone else, had kept myself updated on him… No matter how ‘colossal’ the brand Sachin had become, no matter how ‘larger-than-life’ he had become… how massive a Legend… I just cannot shed off the image of that boy-next-door… The boy just the way you and I had been, once… that boy who was shy yet mischievous… the boy who ate, played, prayed and lived just like you and me…

And, to me, that connect simply doesn’t happen with any other sports person, leave alone of the proportion Sachin had risen to…

His family looks like mine… his parents, brothers and sisters, his wife and children…

What is this supposed to be?

Ajit, his elder brother who spotted Sachin’s genius early and literally lived all his life that ‘dream’… What is that supposed to be?

Achrekar sir, his first coach who moulded Sachin with so much dedication and faith… what is that supposed to be?

His father and mother, who just believed in their son and prayed for his success… what is that supposed to be?

Anjali, his wife, who despite being a qualified doctor (M.D.), chose to remain in her famous husbands’ shadows, yes, what is that supposed to be?

All those parents, who had brought their little children to the theatre, last evening, gave me the same feeling: They believed in their children… They aspired their children to shine in life… They were ready to sacrifice for their children… They prayed for their children…

We are all ordinary people… we all come from the chawls and  the gullies of Mumbai… We all love the Vada Pav and the cutting chai… We all… The Tendulkars and the Amabani’s… you and me. All.

The Ferrari’s and the Antilia’s don’t really matter… The Sachin in us - the dreamer -  does!

GERALD D’CUNHA


Pic.: Internet

Monday, May 22, 2017

LISTEN TO YOUR HEART... LOOK UP TO YOUR STARS






















Is that what they call a vocation -
what you do with joy as if you had fire in your heart, the devil in your body?”

― Josephine Baker

When I look at my own life ( I will be 59 this year) and when I look at the lives of thousands of young-ones who I was privileged to come in contact with (through teaching, training, guiding, mentoring etc), I strongly feel, that one of the greatest blessings in life is - the clarity on one’s vocation… That is, what one wants to do in life… His career choice… His calling in life.

To me, what is perplexing and heart-breaking is this: In a city like Mumbai, where kids are born in decently educated and affluent families, where kids are sent to the so-called ‘best schools’… where kids are exposed to dozens of extra-curricular skills and famed academies, and, above all, where personal and career counseling - and also the options to choose from are like an endless galaxy -  yes, in an atmosphere like this one, to see young-kids being clueless about what they want to ‘do’… is heart-breaking!

“It is okay if you are confused at this point of time,” I console our young-ones, “But, sit alone for long, long hours and look within you… at your deepest aspirations, your talents, skills, strengths and weaknesses… Find what is that makes you the happiest, what is that you would do without being told or forced… what is that you would do without caring for time, money and even recognition… what is that you think you can do better than most around you… what is that you are ready to do remaining ‘hungry and foolish’, against all odds… Learn to get in touch with that… learn to articulate about it before your parents, learn to negotiate with them… For, they trust you when they see you ‘clear, disciplined and ready’… Parents love you, care for you and, hence, will support you all the way, provided you make yourself trustworthy… Show them you are trustworthy, show them you are ‘clear, disciplined and ready to give what it takes…”

I myself am a ‘late-bloomer’ in life. But, what I chose was what I wanted to do with all my heart and soul… I discovered my talent of teaching, training and writing on my own… I trusted in my choice… I had the discipline to go about it… I was ready to give what it took… and, above all, I was prepared to remain ‘hungry and foolish’ all the way!

“Look within you and listen to your heart,” I repeatedly tell our young-ones, “and look up to your icons in life… they are your Pole Stars… They inspire you, ‘call’ you!”

As part of our P.D. programme, THE DAWN CLUB has been holding a Workshop on ‘Decision Making’ for nearly three decades now. Shri Uday Acharya, the facilitator, has been conducting this Workshop, during which, he has unfailingly told the story of ‘Tantalus’. I had blogged about it, last summer, the day after the Workshop. Here it is…


TANTALUS' PUNISHMENT
In Greek mythology, there was a king by the name Tantalus. For one of his gruesome acts of cruelty, the Gods cursed him with a strange punishment. For rest of his life, he was to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches! 

When hungry, Tantalus tried to reach for the tempting fruits, just over his head… But, alas! The branches turned away from the hungry king’s reach! On the other side, when thirst made him reach for the water, right under his hands, oh Fate! The water receded and the king suffered with unquenched thirst!

This was the Fate of Tantalus, once a mighty king! Imagine this: he seemed to be blessed with everything that could satisfy his hunger or quench his thirst. Delicious fruits hung right over his head… and, crystal-clear water lay right below his hands! Yet, he was eternally deprived from getting hold of them… yes, when he needed them the most!

Last evening, our young-ones were told this story by Sheri Day Chary, who was conducting the session on ‘Decision Making’. It was very interesting!

In Life, we have options to choose from. We have options as to what to eat when we are hungry… And, we have options as to what to drink when we are thirsty. We have options to waste our time and fail in the exams, or study hard and excel… We have options to make loads of money by foul means and bring disrepute in our lives, or earn enough with dignity and respect and feel proud and happy… We have options to eat sensibly and keep good health or abuse it by our sheer indulgence…

Yes, there are always options before us… We just need that simple wisdom to choose… A heart that feels right and a mind that thinks right… That’s all…

Decision-making becomes easy, 

when we weigh various options 

laid out before us…

When hungry, our hands can easily pluck those ‘tantalizing’ delicious-fruits over our heads… and, when thirsty, our hands can easily reach for water which is there below at arm’s length… No Gods have been angry with us and cursed us with the fate of Tantalus… Yes, yes, our Gods have, always, been merciful… very, very benevolent!

And, still?

Last evening, perhaps, our young-ones did not ask this question: "And, still?"

But, I did…

And, still, why is this hunger, despite such lovely fruits? And, why is this thirst, despite standing knee-deep in water?

Why is this Tantalus’ Punishment?

Exactly after one year, last evening, in the Workshop on ‘Decision making’, Shri Uday Acharya recounted the story of Tantalus, once more, depicting the painful plight of the Greek king…

“How many more summers do our young-ones have to wait?” I wonder, thinking about it.


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Avinash Mantri


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WE NEED HELP TO OVERCOME OUR FEARS






One reason why we need to team up to achieve our goals is, that, as much as we pool our individual strengths together, we also complement our individual weaknesses with each others’ strengths. If I am extremely creative, someone in our team is extremely organized, cautions or communicative… If I am bad in handling money, someone in our team may be brilliant at that. As a team, we can certainly achieve a thousand-fold more than what we can achieve as individuals…

“Why can’t we ourselves overcome all our weaknesses and then go for the kill all alone?

Well, that’s not practical. Moreover, we can go only so much on our own. To go far, to do it big, we need to do it together as a team… creating a ‘Master-mind alliance’ as Napoleon Hill puts it.

As individuals, most of us suffer from the fear of failure: What if I fail? What if I don’t succeed? What if I lose whatever I possess now? What will others think? So, for individuals, this remains a huge block… unless the individual doesn’t cross this barrier – the security of the comfort zone which has paralizes him… yes, unless this fear dissolves and the plunge is taken, success will remain elusive…

“Success,” they say “always lies on the other side of fear.” No two opinions about it!

So, when we team up, invariably, this problem is taken care of. If I am scared to leave my safety net, others may help with their strength… If others are scared of talking to people or motivate them, I can step in with my strength… Somebody can handle money, and somebody can handle tax or government regulations and so on…

Even if our ventures are sole-proprietor kind, we always find people around us to help us achieve our personal goals… They are our well-wishers, whose trust we have won through our good deeds in the past… Yes, these well-wishers, these cheerleaders of ours will always be there for us… They don’t expect monetary return from us… They just expect reciprocation of their affection… and, importantly, they genuinely want to see us successful…

Therefore, we need help to overcome our fears. And, to find help… we just need to seek it, very, very sincerely.


GERLAD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Chetna Shetty

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

FROM PREYAS TO SREYAS: THE KEY TO EFFECTIVENESS








The 16-year-old Manpreet had begun to miss her P.D. sessions suddenly. She had started off very well and I was very happy about the progress. Then came this hiccup… she stopped coming without informing me… When I contacted, she gave me some reasons for her absence and assured me that she wished to continue. But, the next session, she remained absent again… Last night, I sent a message to her: “Manpreet, request you not to drop out. You have been doing well… Please attend at 8 tomorrow morning. G.nt.”

Manpreet replied instantly: “Yes sir. Thanks for your concern. I will surely attend tomorrow morning.”

She did!

When I ushered Manpreet on stage, this morning, I asked her to speak on the topic: ‘Why I did not attend P.D. classes for more than a week’.

None of the reasons Manpreet gave us this morning, I was ready to accept. From my experience of nearly three decades, I knew that those who made a clear commitment and stuck to it… yes, they would do it till the end. “It is totally a self-development course… No exams, no marks, no pass or fail… You do it because you think it is important and valuable to you… not because your parents want you to do it… not because your friends are doing it… Till you don’t make it your own decision, it will not have depth and beauty about it. Your self-confidence hinges on it… Make a commitment to yourself and honor it. As simple as that.”

I asked Manpreet to tell us how she felt after my sermon…

“I see the point, sir is trying to make,” Manpreet said, “Excuses don’t help.”

Mr. Patkar, an Air Force pilot, was in the audience with his two teenage daughters. He was impressed about what he had just heard. He told me after the session, that, in Vedas, such a mental conflict is known as the conflict of Sreyas and Preyas… Our mind knows what is important and beneficial for us in the long run… That is ‘Sreyas’. But, in the immediate run, mind craves for something pleasurable and we are pulled towards that… That is ‘Preyas’…. The trick is to move from Preyas to Sreyas… For Manpreet and others, the summer vacation is on… So, like most of their peers do, mind craves to go for instant gratification, by going to bed late… get up late the next day… go with friends wherever and whenever… and, in the process, let the commitments such as P.D. classes fall apart… The same fate for other commitments – Gym, Dance class, Drawing class, Music class etc…

“Choose the Better over the Good and the Best over the Better,” Stephen Covey said. He also said, that to be highly effective in life, we should focus on those things which are important to us but not urgent. He famously called them ‘The Quadrant-2’!

Long before Dr. Stephen R. Covey, the Katha Upanishad from the Vedas had called it – ‘Sreyas’!


GERALD D’CUNHA


Pic.: Khushboo Gulrajani

Monday, May 15, 2017

MONEY IS A SHY BRIDE... YOU HAVE TO WOO HER








“Money can buy you a fine dog,
but only love can make him wag his tail.”

- Kinky Friedman
Over the past twenty-eight years or so, ever since I started writing and publishing on behalf of THE DAWN CLUB, besides the inspirational magazine ‘The Bloom’ and the poetry magazine, ‘The Pearls’ (no more being published presently), I have written, edited and published more than 30 inspirational books on behalf of our club. And, on all these books, I have bravely written ‘This book is not for sale’.

“Bravely’? or ‘foolishly’?

Well, whichever way you wish to see, you can see. One man’s food is another man’s poison… Someone else in my place would have made – what they colorfully describe – ‘Pots of money’… ‘Loads of money’…

As a young struggler in Mumbai, this city of dreams, in the early eighties, I had found on the roadside a copy of Napoleon Hill’s classic, ‘Think and Grow Rich’. The author had said clearly this: Money is a shy bride… You have to woo her.

Maybe, I am bad in wooing money… this shy bride!

A couple of days ago, I received a phone call. It was a lady who sounded a lot shy and hesitant to tell what she wanted to tell. “Sir, I am Anuradha,” she managed to say.

“Anuradha Kirpane?” I asked (someone I was familiar with).

“No sir, Anuradha Patkar, Umesh Kadam’s sister,” the lady clarified very softly.

Umesh Kadam, who lives in London, has been a good friend of mine and was actively involved with THE DAWN CLUB during its initial years. Anuradha, told me that she lived in Bangalore with her husband (an Air Force pilot) and two teenage daughters. She said, as they had come on a short vacation to Mumbai, she wanted if her daughters could attend a couple of our P.D. sessions. I was in the midst of something when this conversation was happening. So, I assured her that I would be reverting to her to take it further…

But, for two days, I simply forgot about it… and, somehow, I could not trace Anuradha’s number when I wanted to revert… Yesterday was Sunday. I saw this message from Anuradha on WhatsApp:

Good morning Sir.  I am Anuradha Patkar, Umesh’s sister. I am sorry, I didn't call back as I was not aware of your schedule and didn't want to disturb you. 
                     
I came to Panvel and happened to see " Flowing With The Wheel" on the table. I could only see the title but instantly I knew it was a book by my favorite author Gerry Sir and I had to read it. So I picked the book and it was just flowing... and yes, I have found your experiences and learnings as my own. In the same flow, I picked up the mobile and called. It was a pleasant surprise to hear your voice. I not just treasure your publications (The Desert Experience, The Zest…) but read them many times, lend them to friends…You may not be a best-selling author (Obviously, you can't be as you don't sell your books); but, there is definitely an instant connect which is rare and that's very important for me. Pardon me for writing such a long message; but, I am sure I wouldn't have been able to communicate all this verbally. It is with deep gratitude that I thank you Sir for what you have been doing all these years.

I replied immediately:

Hi Anuradha, first of all apologies for that day. I somehow didn't save your number and hence sent a message to Umesh to send your number. But, he seems to be off FB. So, read your message and felt elated, blessed and humbled. It is people like you who keep me going. Want to give more books. Can you drop in with kids for a Workshop today at 4? It would be great . Love.

Last night, I showed Anuradha’s message to my wife. Twenty-six years ago, when I had wooed my wife – the real bride – I was conscious of my relationship with the other bride called ‘Money’. So, was my decision to write on all my books ‘This book is not for sale’… yes, was it a ‘brave decision’ or was it a ‘foolish’ decision’?

Yes, I have been wondering ever since Anuradha sent me that message.


GERALD D’CUNHA
Pic.: Avinash Manti





Sunday, May 14, 2017

WHEN YOUR KIDS SEND YOU ON A SHORT HOLIDAY







I have been teaching the 17-year-old Jason for last six months or so. He is presently doing his class 12 (CBSE). He has twin sisters who are in school. Jason’s mom, Judith, had done the talking for his admission at my place. I haven’t met her, yet… But, every time I have spoken to her, she came about to me as a very warm and simple soul. She cared for her children immensely. In fact, when she first called me, one of the twins was undergoing a prolonged treatment in one of the hospitals in Mumbai and she was literally living day and night in the hospital. Later, when Jason had to be enrolled with me, his dad, Rajiv, accompanied him. “Jason’s elder brother?” I remember asking Rajiv.

“I am his dad!” the confident smile had made me say, “Can’t believe that!”

I learnt during the course of our discussion, that Rajiv, a top executive in an Insurance Major, had started a rigorous fitness programme. He looked young, dashing and energetic. I also learnt that, he was a popular Christian pastor and authored two books on spirituality… After he got connected with me on FB, I got to read his daily dose of inspirational messages. He had aptly christened them as: ‘THE WRITING ON THE WALL’. Then came Rajiv’s week-end videos. For past couple of months, Rajiv has been talking to his viewers live on FB… A short video every Saturday morning, without fail… and, topics relate to life - fear, success, stress, self-confidence, relationship, facing the giants and such topics that concern us… He has been impressive, admirable and inspiring.


Well, I am writing about Rajiv and Judith not because Rajiv has achieved laurels. Yes, he deserves applause for whatever he has done to impact lives at such young age. But, I am not writing this post to do that. Let me tell you why, then…

A few days ago, early in the morning, Rajiv posted the status on FB from the Mumbai airport: “OK, so the kids have sent us away for a short holiday to Bangkok and beyond.”

That morning, Jason had his P.D. session and was not able to attend it. The next day, I asked Jason, “So, how do you and sisters manage? Who prepares your food?”

“Sir, there is maid at home,” Jason told me, “We are able to manage… We are glad, dad and mom are able to take a break from their hectic life.”

Today is ‘Mother’s Day’. I felt strongly inside my heart that I must talk about these three kids of Rajiv and Judith…

Yes, as Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are pure in heart, because it is they who will see God!”


GERALD D’CUNHA
Pic.: Rajiv Chelladurai

Saturday, May 13, 2017

THE SEED CALLED DEPENDABILITY


















“In adults, dependability is the fruit of maturity;
 in a child,  it is the seed.”

- Richard M. Eyre

The first person to ring our doorbell every morning is the dhoodwala. Sharp at 6:30. At 7:30 sharp, it is the house-keeping lady. At 7:45, the paperwala tucks the newspaper at the door… At nine sharp, the istriwala rings the bell… The maid stands on the door sharp at 9:30… At night, at 8:30, the pavwala (andawala) rings our bell…

These guys haven’t been to school like you and I have… They haven’t heard of Time-management or Personal Leadership theories from Stephen Covey or Brian Tracy… These guys  just do their job to earn their daily bread… and, they know, that  if they don’t do it well – that is, if they do not show dependability – they will lose it all… Yes, they will starve!

So, if the maid tries to act funny on this, take it… she has lost it… So will the rest. There is simply no exception to this most fundamental principle of success in life…

Obviously, by ‘Success’, I did not mean how to be millionaire or whatever that is…

I tell our kids and young-ones during our P.D. sessions, and I tell all my students… and, I do it tirelessly: “Make yourself dependable… Keep your words… Don’t take commitments casually. It’s all about winning trust, feeling good inside and enhancing your self-confidence and personal leadership power.”

Most of them understand, but some don’t… Just the way many house maids do, and some don’t!

“These are things learnt early in life just by loving life, just by loving yourself,” I keep reminding our little-ones and young-ones, “You do not have to do an MBA to learn this.”

Late at night, the day before yesterday, I saw a message in my FB inbox. “Sir, you may not remember me… my name is Rajgopal… I was your student in the year 1988… and, it is really a great feeling to be re-connected with you, sir. You have been a great influence in my life… Can I call you when you are free?”

We fixed for 9:30 am yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised the see the reminder clock ticking on FB inbox… at 9:30 dot, Rajgopal called!

After three decades, my young students have become ‘somebody’ in life. But, the fundamentals have not changed! We spoke for over 30 minutes, last morning… and, Rajgopal did tell me that… that is, how respecting the fundamentals had helped him reach where he had.

There is nothing called a ‘small commitment’… There are no people called ‘small people’… There is no life called ‘small life’…

Last evening, I called my friend Austin. He was in an autorickshaw and the first rain in Mumbai had surprised all of us… Well, the Rain-God was merciful even though unpredictable… Rain is better than no rain, we all know that. So, let me not invite God’s wrath saying anything wrong about Him…

Well, the point I want to make is this: Austin couldn’t talk to me in the rain-thunder commotion and promised me that he would call me once reaching home. This morning, I saw a message from Austin, “Gerry, I am really sorry for not calling yesterday. In the rain commotion, I simply forgot about it. If it is fine with you, can you call me between 8:30 and 9.00 this morning? Or, let me know if I should call at your convenient time.”

“Hey Austin, don’t feel bad about it. I shall call you at 8:40.”

And, I did!

A big deal?

Yes sir, really big!!!!


GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Harris Seeds/Internet


Friday, May 12, 2017

THE LIFE AND THE LARGER-THAN-LIFE






My wife did not want to watch ‘Bahubali-2’. “I have watched ‘Bahubali-1’, that’s enough,” she was very clear, “Except the grandeur and VFX effects, there will be nothing in it… I don’t want to watch it.”

But, I wanted to. The reason: I did not want to miss out on something created in our country as ‘too big’, ‘too ambitious’… just like the Taj Mahal, or, for that matter, our own (Mumbai’s) Sea-link, the Metro or the Monorail… the Express way or the Freeway… the IMX Dome… the Imagica… yes, all those had been larger-than-life creations… the ‘big things’.  So, like everyone else, I, too, wanted to be a part of the spectacle called ‘Bahubali-2’ only for that reason. To me, ‘Bahubali-2’ was our own ‘The Ten Commandments’, ‘Ben-Hur’, ‘Troy’ and ‘Gladiator’.

So, last week, I called up my wife and said, “I will be watching the 1.30 show of ‘Bahubali-2’… You don’t want to watch, right?”

“Yes, I don’t want to,” she was emphatic, “But, I don’t want you to watch it alone, either.”

“So, shall I book your ticket?” I asked, “Just an hour left.”

“I am coming!!!”

Inside the theatre, as Bahubali kept bashing and kept getting bashed, as the screen went on flames and as the palaces crumbled like pack of cards… as the mayhem started giving me terrible headache, my wife kept looking at me to tease, “So, you wanted to watch it, na?... Now suffer!”

They say, in Life, our pain is, always, inevitable… but our suffering is, always, optional. Whose choice was it to watch? Mine. So, to suffer or not to suffer, too, was my choice… Too much of destruction on screen was giving me a terrible headache… But, I chose to watch it, right?

Right.

“What did you like about ‘Bahubali-2’ movie? I have asked this question, in our on-going P.D. sessions, to both little-ones and young-ones, who had watched it invariably along with their families and friends… yes, in big numbers that is. Each one had liked it for one reason or the other… I hadn’t heard anyone telling me ‘I got a 1000-crore headache’. So, it really looked as if I was an odd-ball when it came to this biggest, highest, newest block-buster called ‘Bahubali-2’.

It’s okay… It’s perfectly okay to be an odd-ball…

But, interestingly, there was one scene – the most unlikely it may seem – which had moved me a lot. Bahubali and his fully-pregnant wife have been thrown out of the palace… They have come to live among the ordinary poor-folks… People shower love, respect and honor on the heroic couple… To them, Bahubali and his wife are their king and queen, the rulers of their hearts… Yes, despite owning nothing…  Their life looks like a life in paradise…And, there, inside the palace, the king, the queen and the entire royal clan are seen living in suffering… It’s like a life in hell. “Even though Bahubali lives outside the palace, he appears to be the happiest and the richest,” the King and his clan are unable to accept this truth…

Bahubali was God’s special child. He had earned the divine grace… He had earned people’s love, respect and honor… He was a blessed one, the hero… the legend…

For that, I stand up and say, “Long live the Legend!”


GERALD D’CUNHA
Pic.: Internet