rang de basanti

‘I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway & you see it through, no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.’

To Kill A Mockingbird

This post is about Rang De Basanti or RDB as we guys call it. Its the new movie by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra featuring Aamir Khan. I’d seen RDB the last week, but was waiting for things to settle down. And for record’s sake, I’m not attempting a review here. That’s a task better left to celebrated newspaper columinists.
All I’m trying is to get this movie out of my system. It has affected me, afflicted me and I’ve a promise to keep too.

RDB is the story of a group of young man & women who unintentionally, unknowingly find their true ‘calling in life’. There’s Sue, theLondon based docu-film maker who reads it in her grandfather’s diary. Pandey, a rightwinger, who digs it up from the grave of his party ideals. An air force pilot, who fashions it from his love for speed & leather jackets. And then there are these spoiled brats, D.J., Karan, Sukhi, Aslam, Sonia- who discover it in the death of their friend.
What they do when they find this ‘calling’ of theirs is better seen in the movie hall. And not on pirated cd’s.
In between, there is love, beauty, hope, despair, exuberence, effervescence, communal tension, patriotism, history, future, dance, music, adoring abuses and that elusive world of true friendship which seems to exist only in movies these days.

But wait, there’s more. That’s what I would like to tell everybody who wondered how I could get so emotional with a movie. Pinaki da included. Let me explain.
Everyday of your life, you are living, breathing new experiences. Its something you might or might not have lived before. But it’s only upto you to decide whether you’ll take something from it or not. Every book, every movie, every conversation, every journey, might or might not hold something of significance. It’s only we who decide that. And one little moment, a thought dawns upon you which changes all that you’ve believed in so far.

This movie gave me all. It made me laugh. It made me cry. It warmed my heart. It reddenned my eyes. And that’s why I go & see the movies. Something which involves me, envelops me completely. But this one did more. It hurt me in the gut. It made me numb. And it made me think.

So what I took from RDB? What is RDB all about? Perhaps its about courage.

When you know all the odds are stacked against you, when you realise you might not win this one, but you still march ahead, firm in your belief, convinced to the core of your soul and you do what you feel is just and right….that’s what courage is for me.

Rang De Basanti is all about courage.
Its about laughing loud in the face of death, its about leaving your comfort zone and thinking what could be done, its about discovering one simple truth- winning doesn’t matter anymore, doing does.’

[As a footnote, this is precisely what my dear Krishna told Parth at Kurukshetra. Do as per your dharma, don’t worry about the result and you will find me through your actions. Just wondering, what he has in store for me.]

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