Monday, June 5, 2023

The all-giving mindset.


   "Give;but give until it hurts"says Mother Teresa.'Give' is one of the most beautiful words in English.Giving justifies living,for positive and ennobling goals.'To give in' is to surrender.'To give up'is to get rid of the over load,the undesirable and'to give away' is to keep on offering;to shun the itch of the self,to own everything for oneself.But this 'give away attitude' will hurt the giver one day or the other, when they have nothing to give.

  King Mahabali who was always on a giving spree,once got into a predicament,when he mindlessly agreed  to give away three steps of land to Vamana.It so happened that the puny Vamana grew into an enormous size and exhausted the entire universe by his two steps.Then,king Mahabali had nothing other than his own head to offer for the third step,to fulfill his promise.Giving away thus hurt Mahabali,but it was a heavenly hurt.

  We are living in a materialistic world and so, everything matters for us,except giving. Contrarily,there is an endless quest for getting,be it material things or emotional offers, such as love,concern,compassion and sympathy.Like Oliver asking for more,greed expands and on account of this greed,getting remains an ever unfilled granary.People hurt if they don't get.They hurt more,after getting,by way of brutal ingratitude.

  These hurts leave irreparable scars.Hence Mother Teresas are becoming dearer and dearer.To redeem these black spots,creative minds come out with soothing themes and ideals,as stories fit for exalting narrarions.Such stories have occupied the minds of film makers.Tamil film directors in particular,have comfortably excelled in this regard,because the Tamil soil itself is embedded in the gusto of giving and grandeur of healing touch.

  There are quite a lot of people who firmly believe in social amelioration,through bounteous giving.This includes both men and women.As maternity mellows down women, mothers who have given their blood to create their progeny,never mind giving away many things for the sake of social upliftment.

 There are women who sacrifice their enitire life by giving away everything for their siblings. Tamil films like Kulavilakku,directed by K.S.Gopala krishnan and Aval Oru Thodar Kadhai made by K.Balachandar,depicted the sublimity of women protagonists,by almost wrecking their personal life for their siblings. B.Sarojadevi in the former and Sujatha in the latter,outlived human imagination by these roles.As a matter of fact,in both the films the beneficiaries became blood suckers.Men protagonists too did the same in films like Pazhani { Sivaji Ganesan doing the main role)Padikkaadhavan & Dharmadhurai {both starring Rajinikanth}.

    But there are two outstanding Tamil films celebrating selflessness and charity.Those who always think about others' welfare forget to think about their own needs and wants.Though such men are the rarest to come upon,these two films project the holy grandeur of a selfless,all giving nature,that ultimately leaves the givers with  frustration over their empty coffers or with a void state of mind seeking fulfilment in spiritual ecstasy.The two films that would draw the attention of givers,are C.V.Sridhar's 'Sumaithangi ' {1962} and A.C Thirulokchandar's 'Avan thaan Manithan'{1975}.

  'Sumaithangi's main theme was about the glory of giving.One of the many beautiful songs in the movie says,man can become God,by offering profusely all that he owns,like the banana tree which gives away all that it has,for the use of mankind and animals.The film depicted the softest hero Gemini Ganesan,as an unruffled and ungrudging bearer of the family and romantic burdens at one go.

  The hero's fall from a happy-go-lucky youth, to a deeply vulnerable emotionally targetted guy in all respects,made Sumathangi a soul searching film.He had to endure the insulting words of his irresponsible father and exploiting siblings who scooped his softer side,for their own pecuniary profits.Love was his only solace and even that had to be given up,on account of family pressures.He had to sacrifice his higher position in emplyment,to satisfy his ever grumbling elder brother.

  The climax of the story line showed him at the height of despair goading him to embrace Christianity and move on to priesthood,which symbolized to him a genuine sense of the abdication of the self and its desires.The hero gave away everything to his family and stood emotionally hurt and let down,though his father and siblings realized his plight,at the last irreversible moment.

  Gemini Ganesan impressed the entire audience with his all giving nature and attained sublimity in character,through self-realization and submission to the realities of life.He derived solace from himself and his self-taught lessons were,1} Grief does not go by grieving 2}Understanding of the miseries of many below us, would undo our grief and 3} Only a stern mind will attain eternal peace.Above all,giving away our living moments to God,is the right step to look for peace,while living. 

  Avanthaan Manithan was an epoch making film in the career of Sivaji Ganesan.It also came out as the 175th film of that immortal hero.Here the protagonist was the incarnation of charity and the joy of giving was in his flesh and blood.He had his own well established notions in running his small business.Whereas,his close friend who was well trained abroad in business administration wanted to expand his business to meet the changing scenario.His friend's business prospects grew by leapds and bounds.On the other hand,the hero's business took a huge beating and his finances were in shambles purely due to his passion for charity.His rich friend was ready to help him.But he declined the offer because for him,it was giving that enriched his soul.

  The end of the film put him in a plight of not being able to give anything,because he had exhausted all his material resources.He had given his business prospects,his house and finally also had to  give the dove he had,to a girl who asked for it.The film did fairly well in theatres and became a commercial success. But,for those who watched the film it was an emotionally churning experience.enacting a change of mood towards an ennobling height,at least for a short while.Two of the songs would bring out a gist of the film's story line.One song says "Man might think that life is stable.But God would pity man because life is nothing but a fable".

  The other song is in the form of an appeal to Lord Krishna.It says that one who does not swing in the cradle of desire,need not dance to the tune of others.In this second song,the hero would ask Lord Krishna,only one thing;and that is,a mind to keep on gving,unmindful of the pain,giving gives.How true Mother Teresa was, when she said "Give until it hurts".All-giving aspirants are rare.However,at least in movies, we see such characters and feel elated for some time.It is in this respect the two protagonists of Sumaithangi and Avanthaan Manithan find their inspiring positions,in the archives of Tamil cinema.An all-giving mindset celebrates its moments with God.




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