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Sunday, October 30, 2011

7am Arivu (Seventh Sense) - Tamil Movie

Friday night.. a last minute impulsive decision to go watch the new movie staring Surya in the theaters with MIL and Cousin..

Off we went with some lowered expectations as the movie got mixed reviews.

Came out thinking "damn, what a different movie! This is definitely a new for Tamil cinema these days. Has been quite some time since we came out of a Tamil Movie thinking.. "

Consider my General Knowledge to be above average, what with being on Quiz teams from a young age but one thing I did not know was that Da-mo, the patriarch who is credited with bringing Zen Buddhism to China and also reshaped Shaolin Kung Fu to China was actually a South Indian Pallava prince! Somehow that part was never taught to us in our history books. Neither was the fact that today's Kung Fu had its origins in Kalaripayattu (which was the original martial art form that this Da-mo or Dharuma (or Bodhidharma as he was referred to) learned in India. Did know what Kalaripayattu was! That needed no introduction.

It was an interesting movie, simply for bringing to light, the lack of interest in self promotion in India and Indians alike.

If you are interested in knowing more watch this video series. This guy did an awesome job of explaining BodhiDharma. Do not know if he ever completed the book. If any of you know kindly drop a note. Should be worth a read!

Every twelve years or so my life encounters something that is beyond my grasp. Something that I have found a new respect for that teaches me that "just because we do not comprehend something, we should not dismiss it. There is a lot we do not know and cannot explain with our limited mental and physical capacity".

The first one was Siddha medicine. When allopathy left me for dead at 12, a 97 year old chain smoking bearded Yogi (who was always in Padmadsana when he treated me) cured me by looking at me, feeling my pulse, looking at my eyes, mouth and feeling my skin and then declaring "this kids blood is not pure. we have to purify it" and went on to give me some heavy metal cocktails that purged my system and brought me even closer to death but revived me. At that time my parents and relatives thought it was nothing but magical. Everything he did has an explanation in modern medicine. Arsenic in small doses can be a cure! Bismuth is used in pepto-bismol ! All said and done he did with baspams, legiyams and thailams (powders, gels and massage oils) what the antibiotics of the early eighties could not do.

My post on that aspect is here. The movie literally echoes my sentiments in the conclusion. (It was funny with the reference to turmeric!. should have started writing movie scripts last year!)

Another 13 years later, there was an encounter with Nadi astrology. Indian astrology is dismissed as gobbledygook by westerner scientists. Don't need to say more. If I can tell you that by analyzing a hair root, I can tell the persons ethnicity, eye color, diseases they are prone to etc. etc. 50 years ago it was laughable. Today we call it genomes, bio-markers, etc. and to the educated few it is not laughable. If it is possible to believe that so much information can be gleaned from a hair follicle, why not a thumb print?

Old posts on this topic Here and here..

Thirteen more years later when physiotherapy said "this is as far as we go!" Yoga has come to the rescue. Initially hesitant that sitting in a hot room at 105 F and 40% humidity would do anyone any good, have seen what can happen if only you believe! Again, it is magical. Folks who are seeing me after a two or more year gap say "you have become younger".

It is a crying shame that there are more Yoga studios in the San Francisco bay area than in Chennai. If only they had taught yoga in the schools in India instead of teaching us "march past" to the beat of a drum maybe my bow legs would be straight by now!

My legs are bowed like my fathers. Maybe it is genetic, maybe it is a vitamin deficiency of sorts but when I bring my thighs together and me feet together, my knees separate. Asked one of my yoga teachers, "how long do you think before this corrects with yoga?" and she said "usually it takes only 7 years".

Will let you all know how it goes in "only 7 years"!

What else is there to encounter another 12 years from now?!

Do watch this movie for the documentary aspect..


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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 10:52 PM, Blogger Narayanan Venkitu wrote...

Watched it today at SERRA. Walked out after the Interval. Didn't like it...!!

It's a shame that 'Bodhidharman' is an unheard of name in India...TNadu...but we read about every other Monarch in History.

I didn't know about this until a gentleman from Taiwan..mentioned 'DAMO' one day a few years back. I was fascinated ! I was also ashamed that I didn't know about Bodhdharman..whose hometown is just 20 Kms. from my hometown !!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:21 PM, Blogger Kavi wrote...

this 12 year cycle can be shortened though..

whatsay !?! ;)

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:19 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

NV Sir, you caught the best part of the movie! so nothing lost.


Kavi, nice idea.


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 11:33 PM, Anonymous Sathish wrote...

Sundar as you mentioned, there are lot more things which we had and make us feel proud and fascinating but it was cruely lost to the people who ruled us. But this is the time which we need to bring those knowledge back and teach our kids about the history of proud ancestors. Its time to kick start the practice of Mighty "Meditation" for mind and "Yoga" for health. It is better late than never to bring our old values which they followed tens of centuries ago and re-live those lives. Lets do it as a whole and change our lives in many dimensions. Just for your info, have a look at this video if you haven't, initial 15 mins of this video will surely give you a proud experience of being an Indian - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcQd3GjFNLQ share among your friends and lets spread the world we are neither inferior than others.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 2:24 AM, Blogger ashok wrote...

thanks for the review..will surely watch :)

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...


The first part of 7am Arivu was adapted from this Chinese movie Da Mo Su Zhi -Master of Zen

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 10:40 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...


thanks a bunch.

watched the movie entirely. very well made.

wish the entire Tamil movie was a remake of this one. would have been a better movie.



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