My husband and I watched the Life of Pi (2012) last night and spent some time this morning to talk about the movie. He read the film reviews somewhere and concluded that it was a movie about faith. I, with my simple mind and naiveté, told my husband, “If I found myself in Pi’s situation having to fight for life on a lifeboat with a tiger, I would choose to die.” And I know I would curse my parents before I succumb to what I view as endless sufferings and jump the ship to die. My husband said, “I know”. That was quick and easy solution. Having been sailing the sea several times, scuba diving, and was almost drowned in a swimming pool once when I was a teenager, I can understand the things that Pi did to survive the feat to which I might decide not to pursue. But the part where Pi had to tame the tiger (many people think it’s an allegory to the concepts of taming one’s self and self discovery), the miraculous experience of solo sailing, his new skill of fishing and others, the many discoveries along the way including that Richard Parker the tiger had kept him alive, will only happen if he chose to stay alive. And the reward? Self discovery. New perspectives. Life accomplishments. Wisdom. Etc.
Then I read this awesome review about the movie here.
I realise my fatalistic answer to the situation presented by the movie is because I don’t have beliefs (faith) in anything. Particularly the belief in the existence of The Force that I mentioned in the earlier post. I don’t have anything to be hopeful for when I’m alive. I forget that everything changes: circumstances, people, weather etc. In hard times, I would often surmise that I was just a mere human being; all the human power that I have was simply not enough to get me through. Two options follow: back off or move on. I choose to retreat, almost all the time. Getting stuck in the moment of uncertainty. That sucks. This is how I actually live my life. I would easily say that death is much better than to be alive — it solves all problems, my problems. Other’s problems are other’s, not mine. Like my dad used to say when I failed to fulfill his hope, “Mati aja lu!” (Go ahead and die!). Hey, that’s a thing of the past why should I carry the bad, destructive childhood memories in my baggage?!
US President Barrack Obama wrote to the author of the book on which the movie is based, Yann Martel, that the story is “an elegant proof of God”. My take on this is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be God. It can be other things. Faith is a house with many rooms, Pi said. Have faith in life, in the Force, in something greater than myself. I’m sure I’ll be happier and more determined to move ahead in life.
“Doubt is useful, it keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it is tested.” Pi, The Life of Pi.