Tag Archives: judgement

Chrysalis

It was a Friday night, I was pretty confused about how to spend the time after dinner. Whether to study or to watch a movie. I chose to do the latter, and this time I  watched a French movie- Monsieur Lazhar. This is the first movie, I saw without seeing any reviews or having any expectations from IMDb. To my surprise, the movie turned out to be a brilliant and beautiful. The movie went beyond just being a film, it touches upon the concept of exposure of adult world and its issues to the naïve child’s world.

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The premise of the movie is a school teacher commits suicide in a classroom, and subsequent spread of the shocking news among children, and the effect of the news on the perception of a children. Moreover, a new teacher who has fled his native country Algeria fills up the empty spot created in school. The new teacher Bashir Lazhar concerts different ways to defuse the tension created by the horrendous events, is how the film plays out itself. The pacing of the film is quite good, no scene is extended unnecessarily to showcase the tension, but the director chooses indirect ways to show the tension in school. Moreover as the movie ended, it left a lasting impact on me, and it made me tear-eyed. Bashir Tazhar is a beautiful yet tragic character facing his own demons and a troubling past. His wife and daughter are supposedly killed in an accident/murder when their apartment burns down, and so as to ensure safe passage, Lazhar flees Algeria for France. The overall theme of the film is interesting, and deals with how a child perceives the problems of the adult world, and also of whether it is healthy to expose the child to a different adult world.

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This film indeed has beautiful quotes!

Suicide and Death are in turn a complex issues, and it is extremely difficult concepts for a child to understand. Children are usually raised in a peaceful and friendly environments, where violence is completely absent, good always wins over evil, there are closures to each tale they listen to and there is an absolute scale of right and wrong. This is rarely the case, adult world is filled with violence, no absolute scale of right and wrong, but rather a grayish notion of what things are right and wrong, and most importantly with NO PROPER CLOSURES and meaning to events that happen in real time. Lazhar tries to discuss the suicide openly with children, so that answers could be given to child’s innocent questions about the complexity of the problem, but he is heckled and brushed off by the school administration. He too faces racial discrimination as he is from a different place. A scene where a little girl Alice reads out an essay, which she has written about her deceased teacher is chilling and it rather highlights an important point. Children have the ability to correctly judge the adult world, but the question of whether they could handle pressure of the complex adult world is also important. That’s exactly what the film deals with. Moreover, answering difficult questions asked by children about the intricacy of the adult world is also necessary, and well there are no easy answers, yet there are right and wrong answers. The feelings of grief and guilt are also foreign for the naïve children, and these concepts are dealt with in specific scenes. The poetic metaphor of the last scene is heart wrenching and beautiful. Monsieur Lazhar narrates a fable he has written. A Chrysalis is hanging from a trees’ branch, and the tree takes necessary precautions so that no harm would come to it. But a fire ravages the forest and burns the tree, the tree survives the fire, but it couldn’t save the chrysalis from death. The tree questions its own actions and feels guilty of overprotecting and pampering the chrysalis, and thinks that it would have being better if he had freed it and let the butterfly explore her way through all the dangers the jungle posed.

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It completely depends upon us how we want a child growing up!

It is completely up to us, whether we want to continuously protect the young and naïve chrysalis to a point of handicap, or to let it go, and make it competent enough by answering the difficult questions it poses.

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All that matters is humanity

It was a fine day, the music player of my phone was playing all my favorite songs, as the player played a hit after a hit it came to a song by the band metallica- wherever i may roam. It reminded me of a particular incidence in a place away from home. 1 year ago during my summer vacation I had being to a place about 500 or 600 km from  home to a place where I had my internship. During that period I had a first hand experience with dealing with roommates. My first roommate was also a summer intern, but his stint ended a week earlier than mine. When my old roommate left, a new one came well he was not a summer intern, but it had come for a small course of 2 weeks here. This roommate was quite intriguing, he didn’t understand English he only spoke a language I was completely unfamiliar with, well he did understand English but only to a limited extent. The conversation we had were only in few broken English words and hand actions to tell necessary things. When you don’t understand the language the other person speaks, you become elusive and alert you try to judge that person and view him or her in a particular way. That’s what happened to me. When the time came for me to leave the place, it so happened that my roommate would also leave a day after I would leave. As it was my first ever stay away from home, my parents were coming to the place where I was, to pick me up and in that particular area there weren’t any good hotels to stay. I was trying tirelessly to make a place to stay for my parents in the same place where I was staying, as the room I which I was staying had 3 beds, and only 2 beds were occupied at that particular time.

Peace

This is one lesson I learned by my stay away from home!

One day when I was talking  to my parents on my phone, and I was pretty disappointed that they had to stay someplace far away from my place, my roommate somehow got a hint of my conversation and concern of my parents on the phone. After my call ended in a bit of disappointment, he asked me what was the problem?, in my broken English and hand symbols I told him that my parent were coming and they had no place to stay. After seeing the empty bed lying in front of me and my empty and disappointed face, In the same manner of sign language and broken English, he told me that he would move to another room in the same place, so that my parents could stay in this same room. Hearing this, I told him that it was fine and that told him to not worry about it. I told him that doing this it would be inconvenient for him. But he insisted, he told me they are your parents and they needed a place to stay, they can stay here I will find another place to stay. Hearing this I felt a bit obliged and I told him not to do this. Somehow afterwards everything went well my parents got a place to stay the night, since the next morning we were leaving for home, my roommate stayed in the same room, I moved for the night to the place where my parents were staying. But this incidence taught me one thing, just because you don’t understand the language the other person is speaking in and even if you communicate in a somewhat weird manner we should not have a prejudice against that person. We have to understand that we are all humans and regardless of what the other person speaks in we all understand our human ways. Everybody knows that when we are with our parent all that we want is convenience for them. That room mate of mine was ready to move out of the room so that my parents could stay there, even if  that meant bringing inconvenience to him despite the fact that I knew him for only one week. I feel bad that I judged him too early but it taught me and told me the meaning of the saying.
It is important to be a human, than to be just a human being. 🙂