Ram Gopal Varma is a great Bollywood storyteller. I am a great fan of him. But my admiration towards him has least to do with his screenplay. I hardly watched his films.
I admire him because he is a brutally honest and has a great attitude. He looks at world in a totally different way that is inconvenient for most people who wish and live in fantasy. Not surprisingly, he is hated by many for sounding arrogant by speaking his heart publicly in media, twitter and earlier, on his unfortunately died blog, RGVZoomin.com.
He wrote a few awesome posts and used to write a great column called “Reactions to reactions” in which he used to respond to absurd criticism with amusing one liners (or two in few cases). I couldn’t explain more how much enlightened I became by reading his blog.
However his blog has died for some reason taking offline, some invaluable insights along with it. But thankfully I saved his post on Rework which I try to read every now and then to keep myself motivated and keep my commonsense intact. Until now I saved this post offline but today I felt like reproducing so that it will benefit anyone who gets to read it. Hopefully he will be okay and feels good if ever this post is privileged enough to come to his attention.
Thankfully he still tweets as @rgvzoomin on Twitter.
Here is his essay on Rework.
Many commented on whether I would speak or behave like this if I was not successful. The word success itself is highly relative. People constantly live in either a fear of losing or in a hope of gaining. There’s no such thing as an absolute state of success. I have always been successful and that’s nothing to do with my film career. Success is something I define as to be able to get up in the morning and do what you want to do till you sleep. That does not mean that you should want to fly or rule empires. It could be anything which your capability permits and your intelligence submits.Yes, you have your family, relationships, obligations etc. But if you want to take care of them and stand by them, you are doing what you want to do. In reality most people act and do things out of compulsion by others or within themselves rather than really wanting to do so.
I never claimed that I became successful because of this attitude of mine. All I had said was that I had the courage to bear the consequences of the decisions I took. Many of my decisions went wrong, in fact most of them. But what cannot be taken away from me is the pleasure moments I experienced in that process. By the time the result of a certain decision came about I was already into the pleasure of moments of other decisions and this has been the circle all my life.
If you are on a dry beach and you want to reach a beautiful looking island in the distance, you can make a decision to swim across or go in a boat on maybe take a plane or just fantasize that you are there on that island or psyche yourself that you are better off on the dry beach itself. But what most people will do is to constantly worry about whether there might be sharks in the sea or the boat might sink or the plane ticket is too expensive or what if there is a sudden storm, and thereby remain bitter, frustrated and fearful all their lives.
I weigh the consequences and think of the logistics and plunge in even if I don’t know swimming. I will either learn to swim or sink in the process but what I will not do at any cost is to stay put. After 2 big flops Antham and Govinda Govinda I packed my bags to Mumbai and made Rangeela. But Rangeela could have turned into a flop too. When I made so many flops how would I really know how to make a hit? Flops and hits happen by themselves whereas the only thing I can really make happen is to make a decision to make a film. For instance after all the effort and courage if I manage to reach that beautiful island, as soon as I step on it I could be killed by a lion there whose existence I don’t even know about. Not once am I saying that I know everything about what will happen. I just want to do things that I want to happen.
Once while we were travelling in a car, a guy very concernedly gave me a theory that 50 years from now we are going to have water wars in the world where everyone will die. I told him that at the next turn on the road we might be hit by a truck and die, and frankly I am not concerned about what happens to the world one second after I die. But if you truly worry about the water wars instead of sitting here and worrying why don’t you go and do some scientific research to solve the water problem. If you don’t know science then at least work as a tea boy to the scientist and contribute. But I know you would not do that as then you won’t have time to do your umpteen other activities like going to the discotheque, cinema and indulge in bitching sessions. And on the other hand if you truly constantly worry about the world being finished in 50 years, what if a smart scientist comes up with a solution in the 49th year and then you would be the biggest fool for wasting 49 years of your life worrying off.
Most people can’t differentiate between worrying and thinking, Worrying is negative energy and makes your mind run in circles breeding depression and frustration whereas thinking makes you reach a decision and the decision you reach will result in work and if the work does not result in what you wanted from it, all you have to do is Re-work.