What is the language of Love? Does it even need a language?
Where does Love live? Does it need a geographic address? Is it limited by national borders or religious beliefs and practices?
These are some of the questions I found myself asking as I watched Bajrangi Bhaijaan with my son over the past weekend. (When temperatures are subzero, what better way to spend an afternoon or evening – warm, dry, and safe inside with a nice cup of chai and a Bollywood movie to keep you company?) ?
Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Brother Bajrangi) is certainly a movie that leaves you feeling warm inside. The core plot revolves around Pavan (portrayed by Salman Khan) and his commitment to help reunite a mute young girl with her parents in Pakistan. The film is made in the typical Bollywood masala style- with the usual song, dance, action and fighting sequences. However, at its heart, it is an inspirational story about the power of Love to access inner resources we may not tap into otherwise, and join with those whom we would consider ‘different,’ based on caste, language and religion.
Pawan, a Hindu orthodox man, is an ardent devotee of the Hindu monkey-god, Lord Hanuman. Because of his steadfast devotion to Hanuman, Pawan is referred by his friends as Bajrangi- which is another name for Lord Hanuman – meaning ‘one with a strong physical frame.’ Munni, portrayed by Harshali Malhotra, is a six-year-old girl who is separated from her parents in Pakistan. Because she is mute, Munni cannot communicate where she is from, who her parents are, how she got separated or even her real name. Yet, when she meets Pavan, there is an instant connection and eventually he makes a promise to reunite her with her parents. This feat is no small undertaking. The relationship between Pakistan and India is volatile – to say the least – with rising political tensions amidst daily cross-border firing and shooting. Despite multiple attempts, Pawan is unable to obtain a proper passport and visa. Yet he is undeterred – planning to cross the Indian-Pakistan border illegally.
Pawan is helping Munni- but she is also helping him. Pawan’s father recently passed away- judging Pawan to be a ‘zero’- unsuccessful in school, unable to master the art of wrestling – which is part of his father’s legacy, or make anything much of himself. Yet, Pawan’s undying commitment – to Munni being reunited with her parents in Pakistan – awakens a power and strength inside him which previously was dormant and sleeping. He also comes to a profound realization that his deep devotion for Lord Hanuman is akin to what Munni and other Muslims feel for Allah.
One of the highlights of the movie for me is a beautiful, heart-opening Sufi song where we see Pawan cradling a sleeping Munni in his lap, fervently praying for a way to reunite her with her family.
To watch a trailer, click here.
May this movie inspire you to connect more deeply with your inner resources and with others who may seem ‘separate’ and ‘different’ yet are in Truth our brothers and sisters!
Source for photo: http://www.hotstar.com/movies/bajrangi-bhaijaan/1000071777
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