July 2002... the last time I learnt something new, when my now-ex, very matter of factly told me “there are 15 shades of grey between the black and white polarities of human personality” (Till now I have succeeded figuring out only 7). Absolute "black & white", "right & wrong", "good & evil" don’t exist. These are clever myths my mother invented to punish me with while I was growing up. It was easy you see. Who has the patience to appease an 8-year-old’s constant “whys” and “hows”?
Eons later, once again I subject myself to the same idiosyncrasies watching a period movie called Asoka. And once again, I witness the same impatience. The director, without my consent, force-fed me what I have already learnt (and later rejected) in my high school of unoriginal thoughts. The Absolute saintly Asoka, and his Absolute devilish counterpart, the Bad Asoka. No wait, since he is the hero we all are supposed to empathize with, he is “the weird, psycho guy, driven by love and betrayal”.
Trouble is, I was eager to feast on an intriguing, hardcore historical documentation on the most remarkable, eccentric, and most powerful emperor of India, Asoka, with all his predatory foreign policies, and puritanical streaks. But, instead, I got stuck with the journey of dharm-asoka to psycho-asoka and back and forth… all for his love for this woman (And, she is not even real!). Well, who again has the time and patience to study the grey shades of human nature and understand what drives them on? It’s the absolut vodka, which when prepared, has nothing absolute about it. Pick a flavor, stir and strain into a chilled champagne glass, top up with apple peel garnish, and serve in style… … whatever looks and feels good, by ongoing trend. And thus, all through out the movie, our hero skips and jumps from absolute psychodom to absolute sainthood … flirting with our moral faculties... and something inside me dies a natural death.