How a Breakup Reinvented the Ramayana

Sita Agni

Myths are archetypes. They seem to hold in them the universal story that encompasses the essence of all that we are.

The test of a living myth is if it provides vivifying waters to the parched mode of individual existence. If it does not connect at the level of the individual psyche and alter the balance within, then it reduces to being a mere story.

Perhaps Joseph Campbell, in the Power of Myth, puts it best when he says-

“The latest incarnation of Oedipus, the continued romance of Beauty and the Beast, stands this afternoon on the corner of Forty-second Street and Fifth Avenue, waiting for the traffic light to change.”

Roger Ebert on his blog, speaks about a new rendering of the Ramayana.[Note the entry appeared on my Google Reader, for some reason the link on the header seems to be broken and does not land at the blog itself. Pick it from my shared posts here.]

The common place is often only a perception away from being a profound story of mankind.

A break-up, common in these harrowing times, of Nina Paley, leads her to plunge into the Ramayana. Sri Rama’s treatment of Sita, causing her to commit sati and be re-born, finds a modern echo within Nina. Instead of drowning in the fires of despondency, Nina forges the Ramayana brand new.

A break-up instead of becoming a statistic and a lasting wound, ends up being a catalyst of life-affirming creativity through myth.

I have seen a few stills from another review here and they seem to be amazing.

Not sure what options exist in India to catch this one. Please drop a comment if you have a means to see this movie in Bangalore.

A Thought – On Life

Life is a framework of possibilities, with a bias towards making the impossible possible.

Life as instinct is unconcerned with/unaware of possibilities. It knows no doubt, no pause in the will to strike.

Like a little computer program to add 10 numbers, it does the addition flawlessly a million times over but cannot deviate from the aim to add 10 numbers. There is a mind for sure but it is an algorithm with a single purpose.

In man life as instinct morphs into life as mind. All the complexity, the variety, richness and ambiguity of mental man is only a glimpse into the mind of the Creator.

del.icio.us Tags: ,

Journey Back To The Home Within

Am sure you know the feeling.

To emerge from the hurricane of unfavorable winds and chance upon calmer times.

To view oneself anew, as if rude winds have ripped apart the scaffolding of ones character.

It is a disconcerting experience. To be confronted with the core of one’s self. What does one do with it? Use memory to re-build the traits? Let habit and instinct rule, as they usually do. What values should inform the new behavior the world draws out from you?

To begin anew upon a newly decimated being is the rare gift of a Grace that sees beyond the wincing of the time-born self. The irony of it, the Iron Hand of Mercy!

Amidst the contours of the self, all is known yet tinged with the trepidation of a first encounter.

All said, it is good to be back to the home within.

del.icio.us Tags: ,

Is this the far-seeing eye of Shiva?!

Shiva, it is said, has a third eye, one which could penetrate the soul of existence and perceive its singular essence. This was the all-perceiving eye of the Chief Ascetic. One which could see all triple projections of time, the ‘trikala dhrishti’ – the eternal now, the receeding past and the impending future. To gain some measure of insight into the workings of Time would make a mortal even as one of the Gods.

But technology, that great democratizing power, knows no Yoga, nor penance, nor asceticism. It lays no claim on eternity, unlike religion, but is forever the skeptic. Abandoning one half-truth in preference to a fresher half-truth. But it atleast upgrades itself unlike religion!

Science in its most candid moments touches a little of our eternity. When that happens, the method of reaching out ceases to be relevant. It is the touch that counts.

The WorldWideTelescope is one such expression of who we all are. It is a brief glimpse of the eternity to which we shall return, at least as dust. There is something about the TED presentation here. Could be the invention, could be the AWESOMENESS of it, could be the uncorrupted intent of the iventor or the speaker..could be some other alchemy that escapes our understanding.

But I loved it, every second of what I saw.

The interviews on the site seek to guess its utility once released. But I think this is a big mistake. Things of such beauty should not need to justify their existence.

I can perfectly understand Scoble’s reaction on seeing this.

I dont remember seeing a software application that made me confront and remember what I am as a human being.

No untruth was proved false. No hidden connection was revealed. No forgotten secret laid bare. This was an epiphany, of who we all are, masquerading as science and software.