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The Wind of Karma: Story with a familiar theme

It was not gale blustering through the roof, threatening to level every damned thing on its way to the ground. Karma Lhatrul Dorji Rinpoche’s The Wind of Karma entered the Lugar Theatre in Thimphu rather quietly with a certain dignity, as if in deference, nay, fear of Samsaric retribution. For the law of karma is eternal. Nemesis lurks; you reap what you sow.  As Nina Hagen put it, the world changes in constant flux and so there is always karma to be taken care of.

It is not hard to imagine the idea in the head of the filmmaker whose life and training focused entirely on understanding the ways of the humanity. Some find great success without much effort. For others, well-being (physical and mental) is eternally illusive. From a Buddhist perspective, everything is governed by Karma.

“I must say that it’s all due to karma and I want to share about how karma works in the life of sentient beings through this movie,” said Karma Lhatrul Dorji Rinpoche. The film has, by and large, succeeded in portraying or bringing out this theme. We see that the Karma is an endless process and when the wind of Karma blows, depending upon our deeds, no one can stop it. Success, failure, pain and misery have Karmic connections.

The movie is in two different parts. In the first part, Karma Choechong is born as a rich man while Tshering Zangmo’s life is marked by endless domestic violence. Their love, however, is short-lived. In second part, Tshering Zangmo is born to a wealthy family and Karma Choechong into servitude. Due to Karmic connections, they again fall in love again, but their love story does not last.

The theme may not be unfamiliar, but the film stands out in many respects. Justly perhaps, the film won four awards at the 18th Bhutan National Film Awards this year.

Thinley Namgay

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