Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

The following is a re-post from another blog of mine.

Just yesterday night I watched the Oscar winner, Slumdog Millionaire. I must admit, it was a quite a movie. Salim and Jamal grow up in the slums of Mumbai, India. They become orphaned when their mother gets killed in a religious riot when are they are still 7 or 8. And they fall into the hands of pimps and street mafia. While still in their hands, they become friends with Latika, another orphaned girl of their age. One night Salim and Jamal escape from the clutches of the gang leader, but somehow they are not able to take Latika with them. They fend for themselves by cheating and stealing. When in his teens, Jamal learns English while he serves beverages in a call center. Salim joins with a pimp. They seperate ways. In turn of events, Salim meets Latika, but forces her into prostitution. Jamal stills thinks of her, and looks of ways to find her whereabouts. While he was serving beverages in the call center, he comes to know of the TV show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire. He is not interested in the money really, but thinks if he participates in the show, Latika would somehow see the show, and that would lead them in coming together. So, somehow he makes it to the show, and answers all the questions right. Though not formally educated, the information he picked up on the street and in the call center comes to his aid. And just like he planned, Latika does watch the show. But Jamal does not realize that Latika has seen the show and is aware of Jamal's existence. Though now he is a millionaire, he is disheartened that he did not find Latika. He is sitting in a railway station, disillusioned. Somehow Latika too comes there looking for him. And there they find each other. Their eyes meet, and they run into the embrace of each other. Just as Jamal and Latika fall into each other's hands, the screen says, IT IS WRITTEN. End of story.

Two observations. One: Hinduism believes in fate. What is "written" in our foreheads will happen, though circumstances are all against us. Who "writes" it, they cannot answer. How what is "written" transpires really, they cannot answer. But they staunchly believe in fate ... que sera, sera. What they don't realize is the impossibilty of an impersonal force's 'abilty' to guide personal beings. Impersonal force don't have no affections, and so their 'ability' to care for personal beings is practically zero. Since impersonal force has no 'ability' to interact with personal beings, they cannot affect our will for good, thus bringing changes in our lives. Only a personal being can know and care for other personal beings, and that personal being has to be all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good, has to have the ability to be everywhere at the same time. And no one qualifies for that other than the triune God of the Bible. And, though he determines our lives, since he is absolutely personal, he can 'use' our will to bring about changes in our lives. He does not just "write" things!

Two: Though Jamal was a millionaire at the end of the TV show, that somehow did not bring him happiness and meaning. But when he saw Latika, his face beamed with joy. Point? Money does not bring meaning to our lives; relationships do. Our relationship with God is very pivotal here, as we were made for him, and our hearts are not quiet until it rests in Him. There is no substitute for the Savior. However, we are not just spiritual beings floating in the air. As physical and emotional beings, we need other people too. Relationships bring meaning to our lives.

While Jamal chose to value human relationships inspite of the odds in his life, he missed out on the One who gave himself for us, so that we can be rightly related with our Maker, thus enjoying eternal happiness.

Only Jesus can give "Jamals" true security!

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