Oct 25, 2014

Ship of Theseus

Every time I donate blood, I get a question in my mind. If science and technology get successful in making blood, will it mean one less reason to be dependent on fellow human beings? When I donate blood, it's not only the blood receiver who benefits but I do too. I get few more "Karma points" and that certainly makes donating blood a selfish thing to do. That reminds me of a point I used to relentlessly make a few years back - "Priority and incentives are the most important things to live for, and being selfish is good. Be selfish." The reason to get these thoughts again was watching the movie - "Ship of Theseus". If you haven't please watch. Watch it with a open, curious mind. And if you are at home, you may very well take notes. Especially take note of the colours used in the scenes and how they change as the movie progresses. Interesting plot, interwoven with crisp dialogues and humour gives satisfaction of time well spent. The same feel you get when you are sore after sweating and getting things done at work. It will definitely take you into a zone.

The story is around three characters doing what they are supposed to do. I.e. work. These three characters are a talented blind photographer, monk and busy stock broker. Although they don't know it, all of them are searching for meaning of life while they are at work. John Lenon was so right in saying that "Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans".

The photographer started developing interest in taking photos after she lost her vision. She is shown taking photos on the streets of Mumbai and then editing them with the help of her friend. Her talent in making pictures is recognized and yet she is shown getting restless day by day over the images she clicks. She uses black and white format in her images because that format helps her to express more. After she gets back her vision she gets more unsatisfied. Her quest for beauty is unsatiated. Her answers to the questions interviewer asks are note taking. Made me remind good qualities of a designer - from Paul Graham's essay - "At the end of the day, a good designer sees flaws in his work. For others who see it, it may look great but he knows he has to start improving tomorrow morning. And that makes the design better. It's important to have a mind that questions why and then asks why not. And it has to be done in a systematic way, the adult way and not child way. Because children ask questions but they ask questions about everything." We need to nurture - "निजशैशव ".

The monk is fighting a court case against pharma companies to improve the way they conduct research on animals. He walks everywhere and gets his meals by begging. For him rituals are daily reminders of the purpose of life and ways to be humble. He is shown to advocate a rational thought on discourse and loaths sensation. Before he can start singing bhajan, a monk doing "fund raising for the charity" tries to coax devotees to do what they promised i.e. donate money. To which the devotee replies that she will donate, after her son gets married. A transaction with God? Well. The monk has to solve a paradox when he is diagnosed with lever cirrhosis. He refused to take medicines because they are made by the same companies he is fighting against. His protégée asks him why is he being violent by this self suffering and leaving his dear ones in agony. The monk tries to reason and gets pale day by day. He starts प्रायोपवेशनम् He refuses to eat anything and decides to die. Renounce life. Fortunately the monk decides to live and agrees for lever transplant. When kidded on if he got cirrhosis due to excessive drinking, the monk says - "it's more to do with intoxication then drinking". Loved the sentence.

The stockbroker is shown working from the hospital he is admitted after kidney transplant. His grandmother is a social worker who demands sense of "taste" from him. She says there is more than money in life. He says that making money is all he knows and is good at it. His life changes when he comes to know that the kidney transplant he got might be case of a stolen kidney. He comes to know that his kidney was not stolen but there is a racket which does exist. That makes him feel guilty and he helps the person whose kidney was stolen. He even traces the wealthy person who "bought" the kidney. That needs him to travel to Sweden. Finally he is able to get the wealthy person apologize and take responsibility. He decides to fight court case for the guy whose kidney was stolen. Sadly the person who lost his kidney says that he is better off with one kidney and lots of money. That frustrates the stock broker. Frustrates someone who says - "all he knows is make money". The conversation between the wealthy Swedish person and him brings topics of "What money can buy?" to table. Can one possibly purchase "kidney"? Should we as society allow to do that?

I think that the movie has a happy ending. It concludes that life doesn't have an end. Because we all are due to some divine intervention, we should keep doing what we can. That's our "Karma". Beautiful.


1 comment:

Varun Nayak said...

Very nice review. Looks like I need to watch the movie.