"Was the movie inspiring?" Many of my colleagues asked me after we had watched "Baagh Milkha Baagh" together along with rest of the office. HR considered this outing as a team building activity and a way to motivate the employees. It indeed was a good team building initiative. But I was not able to answer the question immediately, like I never am. To me, an opinion must be a result of well contemplated process. So I only said what I could say without a second thought - "I loved the making." I liked how the story switched between past and present; I liked how the camera captured some minor details like the dust raised by an athlete's foot as he ran; symbolism behind rain drops filling up a bucket of sweat relating to hard work. However, I was also clear that I hated the way movie promoted hatred. It glorified the misery of partition and amplified the enmity between two countries in a time where each of them have to learn to move on by putting away the differences. I disliked the fact that the story tried to justify every mistake of Milkha's life without accepting the fact that people need not be plain black or white. But having said all this, I was still aware of the fact that I had not yet answered the question.
After giving it some thought, I realised how sportsmen never inspire me. For instance in the movie, Milkha first ran for his life, then he ran for a glass of milk, then for a team India coat, then to defeat his evil opponents and then to prove himself worthy and then to break a record. And if I relate this to other sportsmen, they all strive towards one common goal - Victory. For them, if you do not win, you lose. To me, sports is not the best example of passion other than that for victory. That said, it does not mean that I disrespect them but all I want to say is that these stories do not inspire me. Sports always promotes competition, determination, dedication and glorifies a message that winning is the only ultimate goal. If a sportsman denies this, he is not only being unfaithful to himself but also to his team and his country.
However, it also made me think of a few sports movies that I have liked and even found inspiring. For example, "Chak de India". Yet, it is not the game or the team's victory that inspires me in the movie but it is how a coach or a leader can unite a team with conflicts and make them strive towards a common goal. I enjoyed "Invictus", but it is not how they play rugby that motivates me but it is a president's vision to unite his country through sports. I loved "The blind side" not because of the sportsman but for the boldness of a mother who adopts a kid from a suburb and provides him a better life.
On the other hand, there are several artists and creative people who inspire me. A true artist does not create his work to prove anything. It is simply a work of creativity; to express his state of mind or his thoughts. When I say artists, I mean that in a much broader sense, such as a musician, painter, film maker, poet or a writer provided they are not focusing on encashing a market like a successful entrepreneur who has masterfully learnt his way to sell his idea and who can be an inspiration only to those who think success is all about earning more money. Artists, their thoughts and their purpose in life is much more than just winning and making money. A teacher or an individual devoting his life towards service of the society is inspiring for me as he lives for a greater mission.
So that is my answer to the question and I think I am pretty clear about it.