Circus in Cinema
The mention of Circus for many of my generation (yeah, that generation who are still ‘young at heart!’) evokes nostalgia – the days where the circus troupe arrives at our small towns in huge caravans and colorful people – stories on when they will start the circus – interesting days of observing them bringing up their circus tents – listening in to rumours about how many wild animals they have inside their caravans………wow! as I now strong believe that JOURNEY IS DESTINATION, it indeed was the EXPECTATION ABOUT THE CIRCUS ITSELF WAS THE EXPERIENCE!!
Nevertheless, my children had seen circus only in the TV shows and movies and I am hoping one day I could make them witness what I did when i was a kid – coming to the movies, the latest one was Ezham Arivu (2011). While the movie itself had the hero working for a circus company, what made it special for me was the history – the story of Buddhist monk Bodhidharma – who lived in 5th/6th century. While I still have lot to learn about Buddhist theories, whatever little i know makes me think it is something worthwhile to learn more about – Bodhidharma’s story evokes lot of awe about human determination and the understanding of the world from a different perspective – see this snippet of a conversation (courtesy Wikipedia) as a sample.
Emperor Wu: “How much karmic merit have I earned for ordaining Buddhist monks, building monasteries, having sutras copied, and commissioning Buddha images?”
Bodhidharma: “None. Good deeds done with worldly intent bring good karma, but no merit.”
Emperor Wu: “So what is the highest meaning of noble truth?”
Bodhidharma: “There is no noble truth, there is only void.”
Emperor Wu: “Then, who is standing before me?”
Bodhidharma: “I know not, Your Majesty.”