Wisdom Nuggets From Call With Svati Bhatkal

Posted by Zeal Shah on May 9, 2020

[Below are the wisdom nuggets from Thursday's call with Svati Bhaktal compiled by Arti and myself with help from many invisible hands. Hindi nuggets will follow soon! So grateful for the all the love warriors behind the scenes.]

“Jodi tor dak sune keu na ashe, tobe ekla cholo, ekla chalo, aekla chalo re, aikla cholo re.” - Rabindranath Tagore
“Even if no one answers your call, keep going on. Even if you’re alone, keep going on.”

“I hope I hold the courage and conviction to keep going on in the path of my calling” - Svati Chakravarty

Experiences that changed her life.

  • At a very young age, my father was falsely accused of wrongdoing. I had started visiting the court which opened up a reality that was very different from what I used to dream of. It was a very difficult time for our family and I came face to face with the ground realities which helped me become more sensitive and driven towards working for the betterment of society.
  • As a child my mom always used to say - Study as much as you like, do everything that you want to, move forward and become successful, boys and girls both are equally capable.
  • Experience of having Lancy Fernandez as a mentor during her college life opened Svaty’s eyes. She felt a different way of living was possible, which is not career-centred, but more human-centred.
  • Violence and animosity is a vicious cycle - “An eye for an eye” will trap us into a circle of violence. I didn’t know what could be the solution or an answer to violence and so I held this question for a long time. However, once I read an article in the Newspaper wherein a person forgave her parent’s murderer and that’s when it clicked - Forgiveness is the answer to stop the vicious cycle of violence. Spreading the message of the power of forgiveness became a crucial purpose in my life.
How Rubaru Roshni elevated and transformed her?
  • Satyamev Jayate wasn’t just a show but an experience. As the chief researcher, she experienced and witnessed the hideousness of life and the ground realities of suffering had left her with a sense of emptiness and unsettling questions about this dark side of life.
  • As I had to interview the culprits and get their side of the story I felt a physical force moving within me. It changed the way of how I looked at people if I could see them beyond their given labels. To be able to see the truth, I had to clean my inner dirt of judgement, assumptions, and prejudices about people I was meeting with. Only when I stopped being a judge, I was able to tap into their vulnerabilities, pain and the truth that I wanted to bring to greater light.
  • My mother suffered from cancer when I was making this movie, my running interactions with the characters of the film, led me to think of how I wanted to BE during the last few days with her. The film supported me to see this as an opportunity to make the best of the time I had left with her.
  • As a child, I was sexually abused and as I grew up I understood and processed what had happened with me. To free myself from that pain and suffering I wrote a letter to my abuser and said to him “I am freeing myself. I use this experience as a ladder which has given me a much better view from up here. I don’t seek your apology or ownership, but I simply forgive you and let you and myself free from this.”

The message for the world
  • Nobody is born secular, communist, or any such labels. However, the education system and the fascist tendency is such that it can subtly brainwash you as you grow up.
  • The suffering one experiences can be very deep and painful. The pain needs to be acknowledged, accepted and processed. This poison of hate and anger needs to be converted into nectar, it becomes something that makes you grow. You don’t have to forgive and forget but rather forgive and process the hurt.
  • There is a very deep connection between love and forgiveness. Once you know how to love yourself, a natural realisation surfaces the wounds and pain in the heart. Manier times forgiveness for oneself or for the person who hurts you plays a key role in rising above the pain and to free one from the hurt within.
  • She said “Life is finite, we die in a moment, do we want to be busy with our anger or spread love... There is always a choice to not forgive, in this process don't hurt yourself, just find peace for yourself”
  • Every time you feel victimised, there is a natural tendency to take revenge. However, one should ask “Does taking revenge bring about a positive change to the situation for yourself or the society?” If not, we need to create spaces that allow the emergence of open dialogues without rigidity and prenotion judgements.
  • “The wound is where the light enters” - Rumi; Journey of pain is lived by both victims and culprits. When the pain of loss as well the pain of guilt is collectively realised, there is room for light to emerge.
  • “main ek kahani ka keeda hoon” :-) I believe if we listen to each other's stories and we collect those stories, we can solve all the problems of the world. Someone else would have faced the problem you are facing now.
Choices at crossroads
  • As her inclinations for social issues grew, her parents weren't very happy with this, but the rebel in her knew what she wanted and she eventually got into journalism and law. She chose to keep moving forward towards her calling.
  • When I am in pain I cry, I call my friends and I surrender to that feeling for some time... it is not like that I am always strong or that I never give in to low feelings. I get inspiration from my friends and the kind of righteous work happening in this world. This gives me strength and then I pick myself up that I need to give life another try.
  • The mindset during the making of the movie was to operate from the space of love. We had to bring change in ourselves, others and society. “Hume Pyaar se logon ko samjhana hai and khud ko badalna hai”
Ripple stories of Rubaru Roshni

“My father is 80 and I haven’t been talking with him for years. After watching Rubaru Roshni, I went to meet my father on his birthday with a cake and decided to celebrate the day with him. Our relationship bloomed from that day until the very last day of his life.”

A father sent a letter that the movie helped him forgive the doctor in whose OT his daughter died.

“My brother was killed in an accident by a drunk driver. I didn’t even know I was holding that anger for so many years. After watching your movie a dam burst in my heart and I decided to let go of it”

“Our life is our story for the world”

Posted by Zeal Shah on May 9, 2020 | permalink

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Previous Comments
  • Neela Gupta wrote ...

    Listening to Svatiji was so moving. Thank you for arranging this call which has capacity to work like life giving water to thirsty traveller. Feeling grateful.

  • Rohit Rajgarhia wrote ...

    beautifully recreated arti, zeal and others. hi5... 

  • Meera Moradia wrote ...

    Thank you for heart-warming circle. The way Svatiji expressed that "Our life is our story for the world " is really uplifting my heart!! Feeling grateful to be a part of the circle.