Watched two foreign language movies this week and loved them both. The first one, About Love (2005) is a part Chinese, part Japanese movie with three stories about how love can transgress the laguage barriers. Believe me, love is the most beautiful emotion in every language. The second movie, The Bicycle Thief is a 1948 Italian classic which traces the life of a poor man in post-war Rome whose bicycle is stolen. Desperate to get it back and resume his work, he also steals a bicycle throwing a moral question in the face of the viewers, ‘Are we any better?’ We oft raise our fingers on corrupt politicians, opportunists at workplace, hypocrites among friends, but given an opportunity or in a difficult situation, aren’t we all more than eager to compromise with our morals, ideals, ethics and principles. I have always hated hypocrisy in every form which has sometimes led to ideological rifts with even closest of my friends. Recently, I was very upset at not winning an award which (arrogant as it may sound) I believe that I quite deserved. Instead the award was given to people active in politics or those who know how to shed tears. I may lie every now and then for fun but when it comes to morality, I am rarely found wanting and expect the same from my friends. So, I was all angry and disappointed with a lot of my friends for being thin skinned hypocrites ready to sell their souls for a petty award. But this morning I applied for a driving license (though I already have one made in Haryana when I was just 16. All, I did was send two photographs and my uncle did the rest) and all my myths of being a “true soul” in a hypocritic world were broken.
Obviously, I was accompanied by a pimp.The written test was filled by the officer in charge in front of me (he kept my pen after filling it) and I didn’t as much as touch a motorcycle or car in the name of a driving test. Oh no, wait, I did. I did get the incharge a bottle of water from his car. And if none of you go and complain about it, I’ll have my Delhi license in the next 10 days. God bless India! This is just one instance which I remember cuz it happened this morning. There must have been others, in my life, in your life. Recently, there has been a furore over the alleged racist treatment of Indians by Air-France. But as Anoushka Shankar argues in her column in HT-City this morning, aren’t we ourselves the biggest racists? Be it matrimonial ads, bollywood actress or even the people we want to be associated with, fair-skin is an important criterion. So, basically we all are hypocrites. I am not justified in blaming my friends. I am not saying what they did was right but I amn’t free of blemish myself. Different people value different things differently. You shout when a lady driver takes a second too long to start her car on a green light but its perfectly alright if you drive at 30kph in the first lane on a highway talking to your girl on phone. After all, everything is fair in love and war. You swear at people’s cellphone ringing in cinema halls but there is no problem with your koochi-cooing there. Our definition of morality change with our self-interests. I know I digressed a little from the theme of morality as depicted in the movie but there are a few lessons I have learnt the hard way- no point fretting over selfish opportunist people, you ain’t any better. As Kabira said, “Bura jo dekhan main chala”. Oh, I’ve used it earlier. Anyway, you get the point.
Morality has no existence in a world of hypocrisy and lies. Let the values die they won’t take you anywhere……Life goes on!