At 22, was an accountant in London long before I dreamt of bieng a film-maker ..
I was successful. But uncomfortable.
I remember strongly feeling the chasm between what I did and who I was. The young man at play (those were the swinging 70’s don’t forget), and the one at work were two completely different people. With almost a schizophrenic relationship with each other.
So I left accounting in search for a way to overcome that duality.
On the way I have been a model, an actor, a chat show host both in India and the UK, a commercials film maker both in India and Europe, and a film director, also in India and internationally. I also ran an entertainment TV channel, and was for a while a scuba diving instructor.
To find a way define every moment of my waking life as one complete whole, rather than one that is structured into different compartments. One complete emotional all encompassing feeling that embodied everything I did,felt and thought. I just wanted to express myself completely in everything that I did.
The journey turned out much much longer than I thought. It continues to this day. Because the duality existed not merely between work and play, but within work and play.
But on the way, I started to understand some things.
That the words ‘truth’, ‘love’ and ‘compassion’ took on different meanings from those boring idealistic interpretations that were rammed down our throats when we were kids.
There was power,I later discovered, in these concepts. The power to hold everything together. Like falling in love, I discovered.
All structures fall apart in the throes of the first passions of love. All duality dissapeared. Everything emcompassed by that one emotion. Bieng in the throes of love, even life and death encompassed by that one emotion.
Whenever I fell deeply in love, I lived the moment completely. That’s what I realized it was all about. I felt a surge of courage I had not felt before. With that courage came such incredible fullfilment of that moment, thatI did not fear the next. Death too, at that time became acceptable. My ‘cup of love’ as they say, would be full.
But how does on stay in love all the time ? How does one continue this passion all the time ? If the love was derived from one singular person you could wreak havoc on their lives. I have done that before. And my own too. For I had not (atleast not at that time) learnt to ‘let go’ in love. I had not learnt that the attempt for permanence would utimately kill passion. That love was so much greater when lived in a womb of freedom. That there could no ‘ownership’ in love.
Thats where I began to understand the concepts of Meera’s obsession for Krishna. There was no desire on Meera’s part to have a singular relationship with Krishna. Or the Poetry of Rumi and his obsession for his friend. I discovered the difference between Obsession and Ownership. By directing all your passions to an imagined universal force, you could go on deriving from it. Forever. As long as you realized that the obsession for other person was only your conduit to the universe. To yourself.
And then u could continue to exist in that state of creative passion. I began to understand the concept of Prasadam. Where everything you create, you are merely the conduit. Everything you own, is merely an offering that is never complete. At a function in New York where I was awarded the critics award for Best Director, I said from the bottom of my heart :
” I did not direct the film. I am learning not to direct my films. I am learnng that I am merely the gardener. The garden grows. The sun shines. The rains come. The seeds sprout. the flowers bloom. And I watch. Having been the conduit through which the seeds were planted, I merely encompass the garden with love. In return the garden encompasses me with love. And together, we watch in wonder at the creation of the Universe’s bounty”
I am learning the power of not imposing. I am learning the power throwing everything to the moment. I understand that is what the concept of Prasadam means.
and gradually, in this path, I try and let the duality, my individuality melt away. Will I suceed ?
Well, isn’t that question once again reaffirming my individuality though ? Who is that ‘I’ that wants to suceed.