I'Ezham arivu' (7th sense) is a tamil movie which released this diwali. This movie is a pot- pourri of historical reality, fantasy, thrills, romance, comedy, good music, sci-fi, special fx all put together. This movie had an extensive and expensive promotion and so easily such movies leave public with great expectations.
A.R. Murugadoss (ghajini fame) has directed Surya sivakumar, Shruti haasan( kamal hassan’s daughter) and Vietnamese American actor Johnny tri nguyen and the movie, despite mixed reviews did impress me a lot.
The movie begins with the 6th century tamil prince of pallava lineage, who is a master in the art of ' nokku varmam' ( like hypnotism, it is a peculiar martial art through which a particular part in the opponent’s body could be attacked by mere sight itself.),master in the use of herbal medicine and martial art (kalari). He travels to china to cure the people suffering there from a dreadful disease. The Chinese don’t accept the intruder initially until he has cured one of their fellow men. He cures the contagious disease and saves the people from an epidemic. Finally people accept him as their master when he also fights their territorial enemies single handedly with the help of kalari and nokku varmam. They compile all his wisdom into a book. After fulfilling his mission of curing and saving the Chinese, He decides to leave china but they poison him to death with the belief that when he is buried in their village they will remain disease free.
Cut to the present 2011 chennai, where doctoral student in genetics, Shruti does research on the genes of the pallava heirs and finds the pallava king's genetical traits dormant in the hero Surya.
Meanwhile China over the centuries has utilized the prince’s healing powers of medicine, martial arts ( according to historians Kung Fu is Kalari , originated in India) and hypnotism and trained many youngsters. One of them Dong lee( Johnny Tri Nguyen) who is a hypnotic expert and martial art expert travels to India to wage a bio-war by injecting the deadly 6th century disease into the general public.( So that china can release the antidote and make money)
How the heroine activates the dormant genes in the hero and together how they thwart the plans of Dong Lee and the Chinese government is what the movie is all about.
The movie’ s screenplay is woven around a historical fact with lots of thrilling fights and car crashes( hypnotism has been overtly used).
But all the above was not the reason I was hooked to the movie.
The movie had me awestruck because Bodhidharman is a fact and his healing powers, hypnotic powers and martial art powers are practiced by Chinese. On death this prince is worshipped even today in china as Tao and as Zen’ in Japan. His martial art is renamed as ‘Kung Fu’ and his philosophy as Zen philosophy. This Pallava prince is revered all around china, Vietnam, japan and is considered as the 28th partriarch of Lord Buddha. The public of all these Asian countries are aware of him, while we in India, atleast me are not aware of him.
In his closing shots, the hero Surya says " We indians are rich in knowledge and wisdom, some of us dismiss traditions and customs as regressive or irrelevant and attribute it to religion, while all our customs, rituals and practices are science based. For eg, the use of turmeric in rituals and cooking is mostly because it is an antiseptic or the use of tulsi, cowdung and so on..... Unfortunately what has been advised by our elders is copied by the westerners and today they have patented turmeric. Teach your children the rich history of India and reason the rituals and religious beliefs scientifically. Like export quality products Intelligent Indians export themselves and work on foreign shores and contribute their knowledge and intelligence there". and he said much more which i am unable to recollect.
That dialogue touched me and yes those words are truly said.....
Time to unearth more such facts about india. We seem to be the pioneers in many fields , many of them are buried under the earth. Bodhi dharman was one such revelation. Check him here.
P.S: I had written about the Indian exercise of thorpukarnam which has been renamed as Brain yoga and is now practised in Yale university of medicine. If interested read about it here.