Nemo and the Ocean

Last month I read 5 books – a record for me. And none was begged borrowed or stolen. I got them from my favorite bookstore ‘Crossword’, recently open in Shopper’s Stop, Juhu. 2 books were old ones by Irvin Wallace, ‘The Seventh Secret’ and ‘The Miracle’, ‘Five Point Some One’ by Chetan Bhagat, about a student’s account of his years in Delhi IIT, ‘Soul Curry for You’ by Amitabh Bachchan, and a book on corporate cartoons. Now I am onto something called ‘Vihap – The Secret of Ecstatic Living’. It is written by one of Film Institute guys called Bhaskar Perinchery. He was a direction student in Jaya Bhaduri’s batch. So we studied together for one year (1969-70).
After he left FTII in 1970, we heard that he went to Haridwar or some such places in search of himself. At that time we defined it as ‘he has lost it, got into smoke and stuff, could not manage his life etc’. Today, I guess it was too early to declare all that without having first hand knowledge. Recently, I was given more authentic version of what had happened. I was told that initially Bhaskar had joined Osho in Pune and he did so well there that he was sent to run another Osho Ashram in Germany. Later he started on his own and established himself as a Guru. The back cover of his book says,”Bhaskar Perinchery is initiator of the Universal and Multiversal Academy (UMA) in Freiburg, Germany… he is also leading seminars for the inner growth and human unfoldment all through Europe.”

Now we come to the point. I started reading his book and straight away hit a passage in the form of a short story. Bottom line of the story is that in the matrix of nature, we all are equal players. Human beings play as pivotal a role as the tree and a tiger or river and a squirrel. The story drives home this point so very simply, clearly and definitely, that amazed me. It seems Bhaskar had come to Mumbai sometime back, met few of his batch mates and gifted this book to them. Vishnu Mathur, who was Bhaskar’s classmate, has lent it to me. We both are presently working part time in FTII. This book may not be available in India, which why I wanted to share it with you all. The story is about a fish just like ‘Nemo’, an inquisitive school going fish with doting parents.

The mother is a homemaker who does not have all the answers for her son’s inquiries and the father, who stumbles but manages to find Nemo simple answers. I think more people should read it through ‘you all’, because of its simplicity of tackling a topic that can help save the earth. Well… you may feel it is hell of a claim. But… read on –

Nemo: mommy what is ocean?
Mommy (rotating her eyes around): this all ocean. We are living in it. Can’t you see it?
Nemo: yeah but… this is all water.
Mommy: yes this water is called ocean.
Nemo: but why it is so important, if it is everywhere? It is here, there, everywhere. What’s the big deal?
Mommy: why if there is a lot of something it does not become unimportant.
Nemo: OK but why is it such a serious business. Everyone goes on ‘ocean ocean…’
Mommy: I don’t know what you are asking. I gave you the answer; but I guess you are not ready to take it. Go to your father and ask if he has a better language to make you understand.
Nemo feeling a little sad that he made mommy upset, hugs her. Then sheepishly asks,
Nemo: where is daddy?
Mommy: where else? Down there, tending the coral.
He runs to find him. Shouts…
Nemo: Daddy! In the colorful smoke of coral powder father peeps out.
Father: what happened Nemo?
Nemo: (shouting from a distance) what is the ocean daddy and what does it do?
Father: This! (raises his fins up) all around us. It is ocean and we live in it.
Nemo: I know, but….
Father kept his coral buffing wheel on top of the helping turtle.
Father: come, swim with me Nemo.

He looked into the direction of light and both swam off. After swimming for sometime father squinted his eyes and noticed something. Then jumped up in the air. He saw the land. He took Nemo closer to the edge of water and gently pushed him out on the sand. Soon Nemo started fluttering and getting breathless. Father kept looking at him and around him to make sure there was no danger. Now Nemo was screaming and father noticed that he could not breathe any longer. With a swish of his fin he brought Nemo back into the water.

Nemo: Huh. What was that for?
Father: do you now know what the ocean is and what it does for us?
With a question in his eyes breathless Nemo looks at father.
Father: It makes us live. Ocean is not an outside thing Nemo. It is in us and we are in it. Ocean and we are not separate things. We all jointly make the ocean. The turtle, the shark, the coral, the water together is ocean.

When we get out of Nemo’s life and enter into our own, what we see is nature that is made up of trees, mountains, rivers, lakes, air etc. We have been making a blunder by bracketing ourselves separately from all that we live in or live with. We are all in it together to flourish or there will be nothing. You know how the bracket looks with no value in it – (), a big zero. Take care.

7 April, 2007

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