Samsara


What is more important? To fulfill a thousand desires or to conquer just one? This is a question that this film asks throughout. Tashi is a Monk in a monastery of Ladhak. A monk is supposed to isolate himself from the earthly pleasures like sex. All the monks are trying hard to achieve this isolation.

However natural desires are not so easy to suppress. There are ways in which these evil desires keep on returning to the minds of young monks.  The director has shown this in a very raw fashion. Including the wet dreams the Monks get in sleep. Our protagonist Tashi knows that he is not Gautam Buddha. He may not have achieved the level a monk is supposed to acquire. He may be failing to practice celibacy but he has a honesty in his heart to question the religious values he is practicing.

What grabs your attention is the panoramic landscape of Ladhak. More than the story its that this lesser known part of the world that gives a mysterious feel to the whole movie.

Tashi unable to control his sexual desire finally decides to leave the monastery. He marries Pema a beautiful girl. And then he starts his new interpretation of life. A monk set to conquer the desires now turns to fulfilling all those.  He goes through all the family life, sex,kids, adultery and everything.

At this point the director shows the story in the point of view of his wife Pema. She is the tradition keeper who doesn’t allow her son to play with the modern toys his father brought from leh.  But she is intelligent enough to marry the Lama later.

I liked one particular scene in the story when a young boy is brought into monastery to become a monk. He cries, struggles but his father finaly leaves him in the monastery and goes. Feeling betrayed, the kid finally gets adapted to the surroundings. While shaving his head an old monk narrates him the the life story of Buddha.

“And the Price Siddhartha left his house to find the truth. He left his palace, his beautiful wife and his son Rahul.” -say the old Monk.

“Did he leave his son also?”- Asks the young monk.

It struck a chord with me because somewhere we are forced to think what Rahul must have felt when he must have been told that his father had left him on fine night.

The film is beautifully shot and directed and certainly has its heart in the right place.One different thing about this movie is that its more like a philosophical novel which can be interpreted indifferent ways.

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