The basketball is tipping around the edges (slow motion!), and you desperately want it to go in. It’s a Bollywood film you think, of course the ball will go through the net. But the wait is tantalizing.
They say cinema and literature hold a mirror to society. The movie Chhichhore holds one such mirror for us. The endless banter with friends, being carefree and riding along life with determination and innocence reserved for the youth. Who doesn’t like to indulge in nostalgia?
Yet the mirror also shows us a side of society where the pressure of failure is too high to bear, and there is a need to come out of the rat race – even if it’s temporarily. It doesn’t matter if we’re doctors, students, engineers – we’re all racing towards the same inner peace and happiness. And so the movie resonates with each one of us. Even if we’re not currently sitting in a classroom or appearing for an exam. Because we’re in a world that constantly requires us to prove our worth – at 18, 25, 40, 50 ….it won’t stop. If a single success could define us a few decades ago, now we need to succeed in everything we do. And prove that we’re successful. Show it to the world. The pressure to show the perfect balance in life is so high that it’s easy to break down – even if the world can’t see it. That Instagram-worthy moment has to be recorded and shared. (By the way, how many likes did you get?)
We meet parts of ourselves in the bunch of aspiring Chhichhore engineers for whom inner peace is about the engineering that happens outside classrooms. Their journeys and the people they become spark off some of life’s important messages which need to be repeated oftener and louder.
- Life is larger than success and failure: If we internalize this, then nothing can shake us. As easy as it is to get swayed by success, rising from the depths of failure is equally daunting. Channeling your inner strength, having a supportive group of people, and keeping the confidence alive – these are critical. Resist the pressure that failure brings in you.
- Say bye to blame: Self-guilt and regret can eat you from the inside. Stop blaming yourself and others. This is also considered to be the first step in spiritual life. Gurudev says: “If you blame yourself, how can you go deep within yourself? And if you blame yourself, you’re getting ready to blame the other. And vice-versa.” Blame clouds you and stops you from moving those steps forward.
- Release the pressure: Comparisons are inevitable, a change in perspective is the choice. Well-meaning suggestions from loved ones, people’s expectations, and our own can add to a sense of growing pressure within. Anxiety, paranoia, low self-esteem, depression could be just a few of the outcomes. Let go of the pressure. Take that advice, understand your path and move on. Forgive the mistakes – nothing is the end of the world. And keep striving to find the excellence in you.
- Wear your labels: When the losers from House 4 (the quaint hostel of the Chhichhore engineers) want to claim a spot in the sun, their determination is identifiable. All of us have experienced those exasperating times when the other’s gaze is not matching our own. When the need for respect and acknowledgment is overpowering. The world could give you labels. Shun them. Decide who you are and if required, periodically review the labels you give yourself. And eventually drop those too.
- Crown the kingmaker: Your mind is the king or queen maker. If you decide something can change in you life, you’re right. And if you think it’s doubtful, you’re right. Whatever you think possible, can happen. Of course, it doesn’t mean we resort to the House 4 tricks played in the championship. (If you haven’t watch the movie, you will know!) But they decided to aim high. And that all started with a change in thought.
If nothing works, then ‘Fikar Not’ as the film’s song plays: “Chinta karke kya paayega, Marne se pehle mar jaayega, Jo bhi hoga hone de, hone de, hone de…” (What will you get by worrying? You will die before your death, Whatever will happen, let it happen…)
Things worked out all right for the Chhichhore engineers. They will do for you too. Your future self will find inner peace like the engineers, although we might like to skip the receding hairlines!
This article was first published on The Art of Living website