Spritual message in the movie “Life of Pi”

Life of Pi

Last Sunday I watched the movie Life of Pi“. It is an English movie with almost Indian crew. Or perhaps the leading actors are Indian? Whatever. It is claimed to be based on an adventurous novel. The movie has beautifully depicted the adventure. Photography and Direction both need to be appreciated for an excellent job. While actors were at their best performance. The movie starts with the words like ‘God’ and ‘spirituality’. Unfortunately, the message about it is lost in the noise of beauty of presentation of a rather impossible adventure.  So what is the spiritual message in the movie? Continue reading

Nirmaljit Singh Narula alias Nirmal Baba

Religious Business.


Religion is the most flourishing business. Even after Osho depicted this fact with his 99 Rolls Royce cars, people remain blind. Lack of education compounded with miseries of life; like illness and occupation does not help the problem.
It seems unbelievable that problems can be solved on its own. It is more unbelievable that nobody can solve our problems. Our every action takes us deeper into misery but we don’t see it that way. We desperately look around and find one con man after another posing as a religious Guru.


Yet another Religious Guru.


Another Guru type person in the news is Nirmaljit Singh Narula alias Nirmal Baba. His deeds are written all over the internet. His Wikipedia page has links to most of his deeds and there is no need to repeat the same here.


Guru or TV-Star


There is, however, a new development. Nirmaljit Singh Narula alias Nirmal Baba has filed a suit against Star News Channel seeking damages of Rs. 50 Crore i.e. about 9 Million USD$. He also claimed a temporary restraint order against STAR NEWS CHANNEL from telecasting news which is malicious. It made a special point that he is being called as thug and cheat etc. by Star News.
In this suit it is claimed (as mentioned in para 5 of the order dated 10.5.2012) as under:


Plaintiff’s teachings and preaching emphasise the values of true, selfless prayer and devotion to one’s duties and guides his followers/devotees to abstain from rather shun the path of ‘mantra’, ‘tantra’ or ‘yantra’ or in other words ‘black magic’ or ‘tantric practices.’


As regard the hurt, it states:


“…..discourses are telecast/advertised through various TV channels (numbering over 35) in the name of “Third Eye of Nirmal Baba”. Such programs are watched daily by about 10 million devotees/follower of the plaintiff and enjoy high TRP rating. During the week 1.4.2012 to 7.4.2012, the program “Third Eye of Nirmal Baba” was most viewed program with rating of 9 out of the top eleven (most viewed) programs in Hindi speaking market.”


So what was the profession of Mr. Narula? A TV artist?


No. In other para he claimed to be teacher or preacher of certain values. Glory of Popularity must also be part of selfless living. If this happened to be a case of a TV anchor, would the pleading be any different? May be not. It boasts like a great TV artist.
Returning back to the suit. Star News Channel pleaded the defence that its news telecast was responsible journalism and it was based on facts which were duly verified before telecast. They claimed that before telecast Nirmaljit was also given opportunity to comment but he did not respond.
Delhi High Court, on the basis of above pleading did not issue any restraint order except that Star News Channel should not telecast anything on the basis of unverified facts. It is free to interview people. It does not say anything about contents of interview and rightly so because that would affect right of free speech of those people. So Star News is free to call him as thug, fraud and cheat if they have facts to support it during trial.
Now Baba type people are supposed to know everything especially the future. After all Third Eye is not the physical Third Eye. Did babaji make an announcement in advance that the court is not going to give interim relief of injunction?
There is one more question about legal hypocrisy. Can any person can claim to have THIRD EYE and telecast a program without having third eye or proof of having third eye?


© Sandeep Bhalla


Time passes me!

First Indian TV Serial 'Hum Log' (from Wikipedia)

Life is so dull, when we are caught in our routine. Same thing to do everyday for the existence/survival. Weather it is necessary or not, is a different matter. So when there is nothing pressing, seeking our attention, what we do? Watch television. And when we are not trying to understand new in news, all over world we watch Soap Operas. Wiki defines it is as “an ongoing, episodic work of dramatic fiction presented in serial format on radio or as television programming” The reason it has a prefix because soap manufacturers were its sponsors.

I assure you, India as a part of Globe also has soap/shampoo sponsored TV Serials(a.k.a Soap Operas). In the beginning, it attracted people of great talent, from literature and theater. But as the number of channels grew, the need for more and more Serials brought every artist of dubious talent into its fold. Now the formula for success was to be invented, especially in the face of such stiff competition. It is difficult to say whether it was invented by the competitive news channels first or their entertaining counterparts but it did happen and following  Formula of success was put in motion:

  1. Sensationalize the matter by talking about it again and again through different characters even if the substance of talk(dialogue) remains the same
  2. Take old news(Serial/Movie) and reinvent it with new input of technology or life style or event.
  3. Repeat and repeat everything till its TRP starts falling
  4. Forget the minority population, they will invent their entertainment. Concentrate of the people who are decision makers about important things like “Soap, shampoo, grocery, health-food” etc. After all it is the consumer who has to win in the capitalism.
  5. The subject which attract us the most is which is always on our mind. Right? So while news channels are concentrating on domestic violence, child abuse, matrimonial discords the Entertainment Channels are concentrating on the unique Indian Tradition of Joint Family by presenting its most horrific and distorted picture.

And who is the queen bee of this Indian middle class pass-time soap opera (TV Serial)? Her name is Ekta Kapoor. She runs the company Balaji Telefilms which is one way or the other is involved in all these Saas Bahu (Mother-in-law and Daughter-in-law) disputes. Her talent as a commercial producer may be commendable but her contribution in weakening an institution, to such an extent, is unparalleled. She has, of late, produced some mediocre comic movies but that is all. By the way I have not come across any production which could show that she is capable of provoking people to actually think in a direction which may help them emancipate. All that has been done is how to doubt each other, how to find motive in every action and how to mistrust each other. But now the commercial success being no aim, she must do something for herself as part of society, to show her creative talent in a non destructive way, beyond this Vocal Violence. Mere comedy and love story will not do. Most people survive failure. Success is the most difficult thing to survive from.

But that is not the reason why all this has been written. I have a question. Why people, in these serials, do not sit down? Episode after episode they keep standing and talking. Why?

© Sandeep Bhalla