Saturday, March 26, 2005

Zarathushtra, the final war and sacrifice

I asked my manager to repeat what he just said. It came too fast to comprehend the exact sense of his statement. He repeated:

"If war breaks out Pakistan will nuke you (india) even before you think about it".
We were silent for sometime. I listened to the rattling of wheels and ruminated. Could it be the edginess of this navy vet or the war-sense of an american? We did not discuss the indian response.

We were on one of our long overnight drives to client site through the grayed undulating interstate roads in Pennsylvania. The news of one of the biggest indian and pakistani army deployment has been the talking point.

And we drove into the loneliness of evening fog...

I pondered over the imminence of devastation and the visage of scarred earth. I thought about the egalitarian - death. I thought about the good and evil, perfect and the imperfect, beautiful and the ugly. I thought about the folks who are living their lives and waiting forsomething else...
I remembered Alexander from Tarkovsky's Sacrifice and his solitary trails. His prayer to god to make everything as before in return of the sacrifice of his family, possessions and silence, when the nuclear disaster was announced. I tried to visualize the stunning visions and landscapes that Sven Nykvist showed ever so magnanimously. It was called a flawed masterpiece of a dying man(Tarkovsky was diagnosed with terminal cancer then).

Not the wisdom of death but the earnestness to find conscious life saved from death will define and atone for human. And thus spake Zarathushtra:I come again with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, withthis serpent- not to a new life, or a better life, or a similar life:-I come again eternally to this identical and selfsame life, inits greatest and its smallest, to teach again the eternal return ofall things

Tarkovsky engaged Nietzschean doctrine of eternal return to delineate the need of waking upto life as it is. The last scene where Alexander sets fire on his house as sacrifice had to be retaken because Sven's camera was jammed. On watching the conflageration, as I read somewhere - "One wonders if, on that second occasion, Tarkovsky was inwardly gnashing his teeth or mentally smiling at the cosmic irony and repeating, together with Zarathustra: "Was that life. Well then, once again!".

*Andrei Tarkovsky: Late Russian cinema director
**Sven Nykvist : Legendary Cinematographer. Known for hisassociation with Ingmar Bergman. Worked with Tarkovsky for the movie referred to in the blog, The Sacrifice.
***Zarathushtra: Generally known as the prophet and founder of Zorastrianism. But the blog refers to the Nietzsche's philosophy from his book Thus spake Zarathustra.

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