Ok, so obviously this is not a faithful narrative of the Ramayana. From my own limited studies, the story is missing Lakshmana (brother to Rama by one of the King’s wives) who, along with Sita, declares that “Ayodhya is wherever Rama is”. This story is also missing the portion of the Ramayana that explains exactly why Soorpanaka is so ticked off at Rama and sicks her brother Ravana on him. Which would help, because other wise…why would Ravana risk pissing off the much heralded Rama just to snatch up some pretty young thing that is Rama’s wife? Granted, she is a much more alluring figure than her model Betty Boop…but still.
Either way, this cartoon movie has stolen my heart. I’m still so new in my studies that anything that I run across that helps explain the Hindu Ramayana and Bhagavad-Gita, is a blessing. Especially anything so absolutely entertaining and captivating.
Sita Sings the Blues is a wonderful sensuous combination of music, art and story. It uses so many different genres of animated art and binds them together in such a way as to fit the story line each represents. The music is a flowing mixture between traditional Hindi music and America’s 1930-40 era when Big Band was king and singin’ the blues came into vogue. There is even a hilarious Intermission that I’m so glad I didn’t fast forward through.
As I watched Sita Sings the Blues, I also came to understand a different level of the Ramayana that perhaps I had not seen before. The Ramayana is written in a flowery, flowing, poetic text so that your focus is so much on the words that it can be easy to miss some of the finer points of the story itself. Forest for the trees kind of thing.
After watching Sita, I realized that it wasn’t just a story of Rama and why he was such a good son, brother, father and ruler. I realized that he was human by not being the best Husband he could be. I realized that women have been singing the same blues not just in my age generation, or my mothers, or grandmothers; they’ve been singing it for thousands of years. Sita is about a woman who loves her husband unconditionally. Sita is the story of a woman who would give up her physical comfort because comfort to her is just being with her husband. Sita is all of these things but still it is more. It’s about how you must love, but not loose yourself. It’s about how you must respect the opinions of others but must not bend your will to please everyone…as this is impossible. It’s about leading by example. It’s about living a good and righteous life without thought to reward. It’s about love.
Watch Sita sings the blues. Sit down and listen to her story. Enjoy life with her and feel her happiness and her pain. All of the sudden, she doesn’t seem so far removed from who we are in today’s world. This is perhaps the point. Religion and myth are passed down from one generation to another; they are passed to help us all understand what the true importance in life is…while learning it through a “person”.
So what’s that “true importance in life”? Well, I think Curly from City Slickers said it best…
Curly: You know what the secret of life is?
Mitch: No, what?
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean shit.
Mitch: That’s great, but what’s the one thing?
Curly: That’s what you’ve got to figure out.
PS: Yes, I know that I just mixed two totally different genres and contexts….but it was silly and fun and that is the point sometimes too!