Avatar

Main Entry: av·a·tar

Pronunciation: \ˈa-və-ˌtär\

Function: noun

Etymology: Sanskrit avatāraḥ descent, from avatarati he descends, from ava- away + tarati he crosses over

1 : the incarnation of a Hindu deity (as Vishnu)

2 a : an incarnation in human form b : an embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person

3 : a variant phase or version of a continuing basic entity

4 : an electronic image that represents and is manipulated by a computer user (as in a computer game)


Adulations do not bother great movies. But some do deserve one, especially when they are made with a difference.

Titanic was history. Avatar – the future.

Science fictions have always taken the mankind on a roll, but I have never been touched by any Sci-Fi movie, where humans die in masses, as much as Avatar, where, every death of a Na’vi made me sad – some connections, which I could relate, that made me sad.

This article is not about a critical analysis of the show. I leave that to the Academy guys who know that job better. I am writing this just to have a look at what James Cameron showed the world.

No one knows the future. But everyone is aware of the present. Avatar is not the future. I was wrong when I wrote that in the second paragraph above. Avatar is the present – a very creative portrait of the existing system on planet earth, put on a 3D screen.

Nature? Global Warming? Save planet earth? No, it’s not of that kind.

Time for some flashback. Let us not think of 2154, but rather move a few years back from the present to 2003 – United States of America versus Iraq. No, it was not Unobtanium on Pandora that time – it was oil in the middle-east that caused them to ravage the nation. And Iraq was not the first one to face the wrath. Iraq was just one such victim, which got a mass publication because of being another Islamist country under US onslaught after Afghanistan and Iran. Afghanistan, where the “Sky People” came in, not in search of any rare mineral, but for Heroin. Afghanistan now produces ninety percent of world’s Heroin, after the US conquest.

We have seen men fighting aliens to save the planet and mankind. We have seen that in Independence Day. But, we never thought how it feels, when man himself becomes an alien, vowing to destroy a planet, a culture, a civilization, a country, or probably a life, just in the pursuit of that one bloody truth that controls human life on earth – Dollars!

RDA Corporation, headed by Parker Selfridge, leads the mission to conquer Pandora in Avatar. He was not the President, but a corporate. That’s where Cameron shows the reality, a second time – straight on the face. An Army is supposed to fight for a nation, for its people. In US, the Army fights for Corporations. There is no single instance in history, post Soviet disintegration, where an US led war, or espionage has not profited an American Corporation. Whether it was Panama, Iran, Iraq, or Afghanistan, each time there were some profit making organizations, somewhere behind the scenes, which profited from the spoils of the war, won at the cost of hundreds of thousands of innocent lives, standing bravely in protest to the intrusion. As an example, the Coalition Provisional Authority formed by the Unites States in Iraq after the war, formed the Trade Bank of Iraq to serve as an international trade finance organization to issue new letters of credit. J.P. Morgan Chase formed a consortium of international banks providing assistance and market knowledge, and thereby earning billions and billions of Dollars in the process. Tony Blair, after he was sacked by his nation following the Iraq fiasco, bagged a one million dollar job in JP Morgan Chase! Found any connection?

Its not just about Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States has often targeted smaller and weaker nations to maximize its corporate profits. An example – During the 90s, the US operated economic weapon called the World Bank, loaned heavily to the poor nations. One such country is Bolivia. Unable to repay the heavy loan, Bolivia thought it would be prudent to sign a contract with an US corporation, Bechtel, and hand over the entire water supply system to them, as was being suggested by the US. After the contract, Bechtel tripled the water rates in the Bolivian cities. It was even made illegal to harvest rainwater and make use of underground water. A huge riot broke out – People of Bolivia versus Bechtel. Finally the contract was forced to terminate. This is a strategy, which the World Bank has developed and mastered to perfection, to economically colonize the world around. But unfortunately, no one thinks of that. People take it very prestigiously, when the World Bank funds them – like when one often says very proudly, “The TEQIP at my institute is sponsored by the World Bank”. Congrats!

Na’vi s survived on the connections, the bonds, which they established with the nature and the lives, which thrived with them, unlike the human beings here on earth, busy to emphasize their own existence by elimination. The trees, the grasses, the animals, the spirits, and every minute presence of life on Pandora was acknowledged and respected, and they all spoke to each other’s souls in their own way. That was the very reason why, when the planet Pandora was threatened, the monsters, which were considered dangerous by the Na’vi s, came to their help, to deal a devastating blow to the advancing human forces and machines, which had dared to invade their happiness. It was the connections between the souls, not the advancing communication technology, the wireless and the internet, that saved their civilization.

Terror can never be countered with terror. That was a mistake which Colonel Miles Quaritch made in Avatar and the United States had been making forever since the beginning of the US versus Islam clash. Terror always breeds terror, and that is because there is certainly a time when all tolerance levels are crossed and the progressively degrading situations give birth to a revolt. And when the revolution reaches a state where life seems to fall insignificant when compared to the greater cause of survival of the masses and a more promising future for the generations to come, no economic, military or nuclear superpower can dare to prevent that outrage. Reason? The conquerors fight in greed, for money, for resources, while the colonized fight for their lives – their clan, their family, their children, and their women. They fight for their relationships, their connections.

Time to speak a truth. I fell in love with Neytiri for two hours and forty-six minutes. Cheers to that powerful female creature!

A standing ovation to James Cameron for the amount of thought and effort he has put into making such an exquisite movie. Avatar is different because when on screen, we cry for defeat – we want to see ourselves defeated, maybe for the first time. It is a slap on the face of the people, proud enough to feel that they can conquer the universe just on the might of a few filthy pieces of currency, printed out of a machine, operated by a power crazy government. But they will have to realize it, that their money is not greater than faith – the faith in life.

I don’t know if the prevalent economic and the political system in the world is ever going to improve. I don’t know if the brutalities carried out all around the world, in the name of patriotism, nationalism, terrorism, and communalism are ever going to end. I don’t know if the middle-east is ever going to rest in peace. I don’t know whether the present form of Islam, as portrayed by the United States to mislead the world, is ever going to calm down. I don’t know if the poorer world is ever going to stand united against the violation of their very own existence. But, I know one thing for sure – Its not far when the revolution begins. Maybe, it will take a few of the coming generations to make a modest beginning, but it will be here one day. That is for sure. And, who knows, we may even have that one savior, who will make us stand united to face the brutality that the revolution is going to bring along with itself!

It’s going to be a long wait indeed.

A wait for the Avatar!

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