Sunday, July 20, 2014

Personal Reflections Following the Viewing of the film Siddharth - "Do The Best You Can"

by pkp 
(I would very much appreciate your comments) 

Just returned from seeing Siddharth (an Indian/Canada 2013 Fillm - in Hindi with English subtitles, a film by RICHIE MEHTA. Siddharth won Best Film (and Best Director for Richie Mehta) at the South Asian International Film Festival and is an Official Selection of Human Rights Watch.. It was reviewed as follows: " the spellbinding and gorgeously wrought tale of one father's journey across India in search of his son. Mehendra is a chain-wallah, eking out a living fixing zippers on the bustling streets of New Delhi. To ease his financial woes, he sends twelve-year-old Siddharth to work in a distant factory. When the boy doesn't come home for the Diwali holiday, Mehendra and his wife Suman slowly begin to suspect that he was kidnapped by child traffickers....." I'll stop here with the movie review. The film is certainly worth seeing but I do not want to compromise anyone's "enjoyment" of this powerful piece.

I did leave with my mind swirling - the depiction of poverty and the ultimate potentiality of heroism of the human spirit is pounding throughout me. I am no "saint" but I was raised perhaps differently in my earliest years because my father believed as he was told that his days were numbered - as a result I do believe that pre-memory he attempted to imbue me with a heightened sense of appreciation of ... well just about everything.. along with the clear sense that life and the ability to appreciate was in itself a finite gift. But, I digress - this film articulated the deepest echoes of what I believe to be the essential credo of each individual's moral mantra - "do the best you can" and live your life with both personal dignity and kindness toward others no matter how much or how little you may have. I am often confused and sickened by the way in which so many seem to disregard these simple credos and either ignore other human suffering as "too unpleasant" or perhaps, as I have been guilty of myself become too overwhelmed with the magnitude of suffering to believe that I can be of any help and so I am of no help. "Do the best you can," and if you know that you are not doing the "best you can" do a little bit more. Beyond this, there is absolutely no sane rationale for becoming embroiled in self-centered pettiness. Ever. We, are all so fortunate, and that means ALL with a capital "A" wherever we live and wherever the Universal lot has us cast - We may have absolutely no choice about our economic station or health or physical beauty or deformity but we do always have the choice to "do the best we can" and to not forget, ever, that we do not live in a bubble alone on this spinning blue marble.

I want to make it clear that it is not only in this country that we too often fall into our own self-involvement and entitlement and materialism .... although I will say that there is absolutely no rationale for any individual in this country (of such magnificent comparative riches) to go hungry or homeless - Ever. Art, is a wonderful human ability, many of us here on these pages, enjoy talent of various kinds - Today, I was in the presence of true greatness awakening a bright spiritual light - that illuminates and motivates my own need to "do the best I can" - as a mother I can only hope that when children were young I tried to instill this sense within them - but as a mother of adults, the wheel turns again and it is not enough "to do the best I can" by mothering or checking on my efforts - but by resuming a more active place as part of the human family.

And so, on this evening in NY, USA as the sun has slipped behind the trees and I sit in the comfort of my home with the luxury of such ponderings - I share my sense of gratitude for the vision of the film-maker of this marvelous offering and my gratitude for all I have, and the moral obligation we all share for this precious gift of life to "do the best we can" with the time we have. I know that so many of you here, reading in different parts of the marble, with the light and dark, playing differently, literally and figuratively ... I know that so many of you here .... understand and for that I am forever grateful.

Enjoy the closing of Sunday ... the Monday that has already arrived... Enjoy all that you have wherever you are and thank you for being there for me to share these thoughts. 


  1. Wonderful, Pearl! Such positive, simple advice that any/everyone can follow -- regardless of gifts and/or limitations. No guilt, no blame, just "do the best you can". If only we could all adhere to this philosophy.
    Trying.... <3

  2. "Do the best you can" and live your life with both personal dignity and kindness toward others no matter how much or how little you may have." You summarize so beautifully what I, too, try to endorse as the essential credo of my own moral mantra. Upon your recommendation, I will go see the movie, then write some more.