Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Birth of Ali and Paploo

Writer and filmmaker Devashish Makhija talks about the inspiration behind his two books with Tulika, When Ali Became Bajrangbali and Why Paploo Was Perplexed, which were launced at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2012 earlier this month.

Why should things be the way we are told they should be?

This question has always bothered me.

So if a tree is to be cut down in the name of ‘development’ I’d like to ask why do we need this ‘development’? Can there not be a road that can weave around these trees? After all our mountain highways weave around mountains too. Just because we can’t cut down a mountain! Then why not the same treatment to trees?

And if there is a monkey that we humans call ‘god’ why can’t he solve problems for monkeys too?

Development. God. The Right thing to do. And the Wrong. Light is good. Dark is evil. Obedience is rewarded. Disobedience punished.

Who decided these things for us? And why should we all accept them without questioning them?

This never ending stream of questions breathed life into ALI the monkey, and PAPLOO the perplexed boy. They both asked questions where others were scared to. and they both found their own answers by DOING. Their answers may not hold true for others. but it defines who they are as INDIVIDUALS.

And that’s why questions are so important I feel. Because they always lead to answers. Personal answers. Which makes us unique. And self-made. Because we didn’t accept what others wanted us to. we created our own roads to walk on.

At the animated reading of the two books at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai on February 5th 2012, I was afraid the little ones may not agree with me. But not only did they cheer when Ali and Paploo asked those scary questions, they also crawled up to us even while we were reading and poked their little heads into our books to see who these two were! 

That morning at Kala Ghoda I think several Alis and Paploos took birth.

I hope thousands more do when these books enter their lives. I really believe that those who don’t ASK might never FIND OUT!

All Ali and Paploo are doing is trying to solve the mysteries of their lives on their own. Hopefully we all will too. 

Devashish Makhija

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