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Integrity December 11, 2005

Posted by Nilesh in Uncategorized.

Integrity. Honesty. Ideals.

Are these only words or are there people who actually believe in them?

I saw two movies over the weekend. Apaharan and Dombivli Fast(Marathi). Both have moved me profoundly.

Apaharan, as the name suggests, deals with the kidnapping industry that is not only prevelant but thriving in the states of Bihar, UP and MP,to name a few. The protagonist(Ajay Devgan), whose father is a sworn idealist and an extremely honest person, faces frustration and failure due to the corrupt-to-the-core system and the lofty and,in today's times, sadly impractical, ideals of his father. He decides to chart his own future and ironically joins the system,becoming one of the front-runners in the rot. However, at the end, he again turns honest and does his penance(though the change of hearts is not very convincing). I was astonished by how professional and a source of livelihood the kidnapping industry has become. (They refer to the person kidnapped as the 'maal'(consignement) and they take its 'delivery'). Also, the industry is depicted to be run by the top people in the government, dashing any hope of its decline.

Dombivli Fast, amazed and shook me. It is an extremely well-made movie, where again it is shown how futile it is, in today's world, to be honest, possess integrity and live one's life according to one's ideals. Madhav Apte, the protagonist, is a typical middle class citizen living in Dombivli(one of the suburbs of Mumbai). He leads a routine life, gets up at 5:30 in the morning, gets ready, travels to CST(Mumbai) for work, comes back late, and sleeps off,only to get up again the next morning. However, he is a very honest person, opposing all kinds of corruption, right from the water tanker person who refuses to release water till his palms are greased to an old customer of the bank he works for, who attempts, and succeeds, to obtain a loan with incomplete and false documentation. His frustration at the widespread corruption around him builds up to a tempo till, one day, he erupts. He goes on a rampage striking at those people who blatantly disregard the rules. However, without revealing further, will say that the movie ends on a sad note reiterating that inspite of the so-called society and democracy we have in place, it still is a jungle out there, where everyone cares only for oneself,society,country,laws,integrity,honesty,right or wrong-everything be damned. The film evokes many emotions. Despair, when Madhav, in a soliloquy, asks the questions faced by him and requests god to take him away from this planet, because he,with his ideals and affinity towards righteousness, is not fit to live on it. Anger, when he faces corruption in every walk of life, even encountering policemen who let a egg stall operate bang on the road, near a hospital, all for a 10-rupee plate of 'Bhurji'(Smashed eggs). Sadness, when in the end, sitting on the fourth seat(the seat is only for 3 persons) in a suburban train, he says to the police officer "Officer, akkha ayushya gela chouthya seat var basoon, jara khidkit basto"("My entire life has gone sitting on the fourth seat, let me sit near the window once").

Inspite of all these emotions I felt, sadly and ironically, I was drawing solace during the movies, telling myself that its only a movie. Though what its showing is true and shocking, I will never have to face that. I've a good job in the IT industry and I might go abroad to settle down there. So, thankfully, THAT is not MY problem. Somebody else will take care of it. Doesnt the problem lie in this thinking? Though I agree its very difficult and next to impossible, requiring entire dedicated lives, with a good probability of failure, to go reform people, I still believe the least one can do is be honest himself. But, as the movie shows, even that is very difficult.

I know I may sound naive(that is what it has come to) by lamenting the absence of integrity in the world, but cannot avoid it.

Hmm, time to ponder some more!!



1. Deepa - December 16, 2005

hmm- havent got the time to watch the movies, but have read about them in papers.
But true i agree the the values like honesty, integrity are slowly disappearing. Even the people who try to follow them are brutally murdered. Take the Case of Manjunath, an IIM graduate who tried to follow the righteous path – see wht destiny he had. But sadly noone has raised the voice against it. I cant blame anyone-coz even i myself didnt do anything. I read the news in the papers- felt bad about him- thts it and i forgot him. We need one more revolution – a kind of the one that we had earlier. The youth of 2day has taken everything for granted, so there is no ideals or principles to follow.But who will spearhead the revolution- i cant find anyone who is worthy enough to take the baton.why blame others, i myself is not ready to take the responsibility.

2. Ron - December 26, 2005

Nice reviews.And so true…ideals like honestly integrity etc are indeed considered passe and ridiculous in todays world. I myself have said of people “oh he/she is too idealistic to survive in todays world”…sad but true..such is life.

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