I don't remember when, but may be it was around in 2009 in Bangalore, when I used to stay alone and all by myself, when I saw the movie, "Evans Almighty". It's been years - and I haven't been able to get over it. I hope I don't get over it ever.
It's prequel, "Bruce Almighty" is as dear to me. Some of the scenes that feature Morgan Freeman radiating his gyan as God shower pearls of wisdom. My Gita believing friends might trounce me for blasphemy, but sometimes when I am lost and have this need to be found, I keep the Gita aside and refer to these scenes and get back on track. Of course, it has more to do with my limited (but hopefully evolving) understanding of the Gita, but it's a fact of the moment.
Of all the scenes, this one is my most favorite one.
The context: Evan, a Congressman, has been summoned by God to build an ark (do some kindness in the world), which his wife, Joan, finds difficult to live with. The wife is more concerned with the welfare of her own family, and considers this new mission of social welfare to bring a disruptive effect on their personal goals and life. So, she gathers her three kids and leaves her husband.
This scene takes place at an inn/restaurant while she and her three kids are driving out of the city.
God: Excuse me. Are you all right?
Joan: Yeah. No. It's a long story.
God: Well, I like stories. I'm considered a bit of a storyteller myself.
Joan: My husband ... Have you heard of "New York's Noah"?
God: The guy who's building the ark.
Joan: That's him.
God: I love that story, Noah and the Ark. You know, a lot of people miss the point of that story. They think it's about God's wrath and anger. They love it when God gets angry.
Joan: What is the story about, then? The ark?
God: Well, I think it's a love story about believing in each other. You know, the animals showed up in pairs. They stood by each other, side by side, just like Noah and his family. Everybody entered the ark side by side.
Joan: But my husband says God told him to do it. What do you do with that?
God: Sounds like an opportunity. Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them ... the opportunity to be patient?
If they pray for courage, does God give them courage, or does he give them opportunities to be courageous?
If someone prayed for their family to be closer, you think God zaps them with warm, fuzzy feelings? Or does he give them opportunities to love each other?
Well, I gotta run. Lot of people to serve. Enjoy.
I was hit hard by this scene, because 2008-2009 is also the time when I was going through my own depression (the clinical kind!). Well, everyone goes through their depression, so I don't make a huge deal about publicly accepting that I had my times as well.
Indeed, the more awareness I create about myself, the more I realise that I go through a day or two of depression every two to four weeks even today. For those two days, I am that kind of a person who self-pities, is dull, low on energies ... just the kind of person you would want to run as far away from as possible.
For the other 12 days, though, I am King Elvis in my mind.
It's in those depressing moments when I remind myself of this scene. That doesn't mean that I am snapped out of my low-key-phase. An emotional state comes and goes on its own accord and all one can do it is let it be without getting affected.
Actually, one can do a lot of things - but everything that one tries is an example of sweeping that depressing phase under the carpet. In some time, it will fail to be contained and come out even stronger. Witnessing, and witnessing alone is the key.
But when I see this scene, at least I am reminded of the limitless opportunities that everyone of us is gifted with - every effing moment. Especially the opportunity to be unconditionally loving.
That, as I always say, is immense! Immense enough to ensure that I live the next 3-4 weeks of my life to the lees!