God and Rituals: Meaningless Quest of Mankind


PK is indeed a bold and a brave come back by the Rajkumar Hirani – Aamir Khan – Vidhu Vinod Chopra combo that gave us the 2009 hit ‘3 Idiots’. By then, ‘3 Idiots’ was a satire on our education system. Now, the target of the film makers is a sensitive topic which if not properly dealt with, would have rendered a bad image to them. But, a neat screen play and subtle performance by the artists supporting it, has helped the movie to convey the audience what it had actually intended to.

All the human beings in this world have the right to analyse the logical nature of the surroundings as they grow up. But most of them are not allowed to do so by their parents. In other words, they are being injected with the ‘Wrong Number’. As they grow up, they create ignorance towards knowing what a ‘Right Number’ intends to say. If they just lend their ears to know what actually a ‘Right Number’ says, then ‘Wrong Number’ slowly would get evacuated.

In this movie, the right of logical analysis is well depicted via the character of ‘PK’ cast by Aamir Khan. If he is a human being who is going to question the traditions then he will be categorized as an argumentative character and be ignored by many. But if the same questioning is done by an alien, then people would look into what the character actually tries to say and portray. Here lies the success of ‘PK’!

First half of the movie moves on issues like, ‘Who is god?’, ‘Where is he?’, ‘What should one do to make the god pay attention to his or her needs?’, ‘Why isn’t the god responding to the prayers?’ etc., Before all these questions get answered, the lead character gets into a situation where his need is met. To meet that need, he was praying all along and he jumps to a conclusion that the god has heeded to his requests which is just coincidental or accidental from the perception of the audience. With him coming to a conclusion that there is a god, he gets a doubt on the ‘God Men’ who seem to get in ‘touch’ with god. From then onwards, he starts questioning the actual work of these ‘God Men’. Ultimately, he rips off the masks of these guys. All these heavy weight ideas are being smoothened by a breezy love track which actually goes for a while in the beginning.

There are many scenes in the movie that make our mind lighter which at the same time make us think too. A scene where Aamir Khan locks his slippers at a temple’s gate, directly illustrates us the insecurity of our belongings, even at the entrance of a temple. There is yet another scene where Aamir Khan confronts the cash rich god man at his place itself thereby stripping the masks of all the fraudulent priesthood prevailing in our country. In another scene, real life misconceptions are well illustrated. Aamir Khan sits along with the beggars outside the temple and prays to the god by raising one hand wanting food and by holding a small statue of a god in another hand. A lady who was about to give some food to the beggars sitting alongside Aamir Khan, gives food to him. Aamir Khan misconceives this by thinking that the god itself has given him the food. Again he prays to the god asking for his lost remote with the help of which he can return to his planet. But now, his wishes are not being met.

Also, the director has criticized the contrary customs of various religions. Initially, the protagonist questions the attire of Hindu widows. With the answer he gets for the same, he goes on to enquire the similarity of the attire to the wedding outfit of a Christian bride just before her marriage. There he gets yet another answer that black is the dress colour for the widows in Christianity. He doesn’t stop there. He shoots his questions at the colour of the dress being worn by the Muslim ladies, ‘Burka’.

Donations being offered to the temple via Hundi are to be done out of one’s own interest. But when Anushkha Sharma tries to say that by mistake her purse was dropped into the Hundi, the priest in the temple verifies her details in the purse, gives a part of the money to her and drops the rest of the lot into the Hundi. When questioned further, it is said that the money that had been provided to the lord won’t be returned. Cheating is done in the sacred (?) place. Even Banks or the other Financial Institutions don’t do this to their customers. But the atrocious behaviour of these so-called “God’s Agents” is too annoying.

One not only could sense that the response of god to people’s prayers is questioned but the very existence of the god is questioned. Few scenes in this movie have left some questions to the audience. One such question is that when a person who believes in god says that the god hasn’t responded to his/her prayers, he is being considered as an abnormal person by the other people who believe in god. So, what is the point that the general public who has the belief in god are trying to say? The influential God Man in this movie asks a person to travel to a temple which is far away from his actual place of living to cure his ailing wife. Soon after the person’s response, Aamir Khan confronts him saying that why doesn’t the god listen to the people’s worries just from where they are. Why is it that the people need to travel a long distance and then convey their worries to the god?

So, this movie is as an eye opener to the people of all religions. People, so long have ignored alternative viewpoints of several individuals. But they show interest when the same ideas are conveyed via a powerful medium like Cinema in an entertaining way. This is just a beginning. We are expecting many such powerful works from the influential movie moghuls of Indian film industry.

Courtesy: Modern Rationalist