Sunday, January 13, 2013

Surviving Richard Parker - Lessons from Life of Pi

Life of Pi  (The book as well as the movie) probably rates in my view as one of the classic pieces of creation. Like most classics it is very profound, inspriring and is like a kaldeiscope.

Everytime you read and re- read the book or watch the movie it leaves you with a different and a deeper perspective and a connect to our own souls and the lives we lead.
Even when  you dismiss it as a bizarre piece of fiction, it leaves a profound impact if you choose to ponder over the subtle messages that it conveys.

This time around when I watched the movie, it is the relationship with Richard Parker that left me awestruck.

There is a Richard Parker in probably all our lives. A character that we fear, loathe, want to avenge and may be even kill if we had that one licence to kill.
In the dense urban jungles that we live  the danger of Richard Parker is more to our soul and less to the physical body.

We all devise our own methods to live and survive with our very own Richard Parkers in the human jungle. Many perish in this struggle because more often than not, it is an unequal fight. However it is sometimes true that we just give in, in the belief that our destiny is best left to fate.
This inspiring story teaches us that the human spirit when blessed with that magnificent power that comes from within or above (it does'nt matter from where) can survive, thrive, coexist and even fall in love with Richard Parker.
Marking our very own boundaries is the very essence of survival. Unlike animals , we human beings do not urinate and mark our boundaries. Neither do we show teeth to indicate our physical prowess.

As we evolved and moved away from animal kingdom to our own civilized worlds we seem to have devised other subtle ways in which we size each other up.
Our position in the jungle and our boundaries are not always based on brute physical strength.
Money, looks, designation, power, love, a flashier car, a better figure, exotic jewellery, better performance rating ... oh the list can be endless.   
In the human jungle Richard Parker takes many forms.
He/  she / It could be your Overpowering Boss, Cheeky Co worker, husband, wife, next door neighbour, father, mother, mother in law , credit card recovery agent or that nosy loud mouth aunty, who constantly attempt to cross your boundaries and diminish your significance in the scheme of things.  

No matter what form he she or it takes, when the fear of Richard Parker wears you down one should   always remember what Pi said.
 'Richard Parker cannot be tamed. But he can be trained.'
When you cannot fight him, the clever thing to do is to keep your Richard Parker fed. It can give you some breathing space and help your survival struggle.

You never know when a time will come when you will sorely miss your Richard Parker.

For every struggle in life has a purpose. Whether or not the purpose is known to us is immaterial.

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