Monday, March 30, 2009


Last Thursday, poetry films were screened at the International Centre, Goa. In the discussion that followed a couple of youngsters candidly expressed their inability to understand all the films. So often, so many of us believe that we do not possess the ability to “understand” works of creativity like poetry, paintings, films, plays, etc. And hence we find a ‘disconnect’ with creative arts, music, dance, politics, technology… the list can go on and on!

But do we ‘understand’ everything we indulge in? Let’s take the case of our major national craze – cricket! Most of us would not ‘understand’ the difference between a googly and a chinaman or between swing and reverse swing. The spectators of cricket or so many other sports enjoy the game for various other reasons like the excitement of competitiveness, the face-off between brute strength and skilful grace, etc.

Before we ‘understand’, we have to ‘experience’. Edison once stated that the thought of understanding comes from the two simple words under and stand. Hence it is necessary to undergo new experiences with an open mind and ‘stand’ within that experience for a sufficient period so as understanding to occur. The more we ‘stand under’ a happening, we will be better at comprehending the facets of that experience.

We were all born to ‘understand’ but we are conditioned to believe that ‘understanding’ is a talent that is belongs to a select few. As babies we could appreciate colour, shapes, sound and movements because we would approach everything with an open mind and an inquisitive approach. After all, for each of the things we understand over the years… the lesson is simple: we learnt to crawl, before we could walk and run.

‘Understanding’ is not a consequence of inborn aptitude…
We need to BE BETTER at keeping an open attitude!

- Pravin K. Sabnis

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