I hadn't slept much on Tuesday night - so when Webby told me that Rinpoche had invited us to a movie last night, I wasn't as thrilled as usual. I know it's so evil of me. It wasn't that I didn't want to go. I was just so tired and I was hoping to have an early-ish night after the KHEC meeting but... who wouldn't want to go to a movie with the Buddha?!
Webby told me that we were meeting at 1Utama GSC at 10.20pm, but during the KHEC meeting, she kept telling me to hurry the meeting along. I only discovered later that she had looked wrongly at the time and thought it was already 10.30 when it was only 9.30! Since I am queen of being anal over time, I asked her whether she thought it strange that I wasn't in the least bit stressed if we were so late!
Anyway, we toddled to 1Utama with time to spare. I hadn't had dinner because I was so tired before the KHEC meeting so I quickly scoffed a meat pie before the others arrived. Jenny had bought all the hot dogs and popcorn and drinks for everyone. What movie were we going to see? I knew it was a horror flick - Rinpoche's favourite - but which.
It turned out that the movie was a Korean production called "To Sir With Love". The story starts with some policemen discovering multiple murders at a house. There were two survivors who were sent to hospital - a young girl and an older lady. The young girl is not seriously hurt and recounts the story to the policeman. She said that the older lady was a retired teacher, Mrs. Parks, whose students had a reunion at her house to celebrate 'teacher's day'. Apparently Mrs. Parks had a child who was born deformed and she kept him in the basement, and the children were not allowed to play with him. Mr. Parks committed suicide in the basement of their house because he couldn't cope with having a deformed child.
It turned out that the students who were visiting the teacher all had deep issues and were all angry with her for the way she treated them when they were children. Mrs. Parks is wheelchair-bound and subjected to death threats by each of the dysfunctional students in turn. As it is a horror flick, the students expectedly start to die gruesome deaths one by one.
To cut the long story short (and here is the spoiler), later it is found that the young lady telling the story is rather psychotic and she had made up the story about all her classmates. She had poisoned them all and all the dysfunctional behaviour attributed to them was actually about her. Mrs. Parks does not remember the incidents and is generally bewildered by the accusations. The movie does not reveal whether the deformed child was real or a figment of the story teller's imagination. And if he was real, what happened to him is not addressed - either deliberately or accidentally.
As usual, one can find a Dharmic angle on almost any story and for me, I thought that this movie was about our attachments to wrongs against us. We create our own sufferings by reliving all the real/perceived wrongs done against us, while the perpetuators of the suffering generally go on with their lives in happy oblivion.
The movie also lightly looks at a few issues: Firstly, how we perceive being teased - the damage to young and fragile egos by the cruelty of children and adults. Secondly, that poverty is demeaning and children from poor families will feel a lack of self worth commensurate with their financial status. Thirdly, that the pressure to conform to societal demands for physical beauty and slimness is also overwhelming for children. The reactions of the children to the deformed boy is terrible and yet so common.
Anyway, the movie was more of a thriller than a horror, and I was glad I went. After the movie, Rinpoche of course invited us all to have a chat and all 21 of us then adjourned to KP.
After Midnight at Kechara Paradise
Rinpoche played what's the new news - where we all had to come up with a new piece of news (surprise surprise) and if it wasn't a good story, we had to come up with 2 more! When it came to my turn, I thought I'd tell him about my Angel documentary with an Australian lady, Tania, and said that we could perhaps portray him as an expert from the Tibetan Buddhist side. "Portray?" He said, "Portray?!"
I don't know how it came about but I suddenly brought it up that Tania said she was having a spirit in her house which was disturbing her daughter. So Rinpoche asked me what I did, so I truthfully said that I had referred her to Master Yap Cheng Hai, but I didn't know if she had called her. I said that I would have asked Rinpoche but Rinpoche was not taking audiences at the time. Rinpoche explained that he needed divination secretaries and a correspondence secretary and that candidates excluded myself, Jamie and Andee (I didn't ask why), and until he found these valuable support staff, he could not carry out his work properly.
Then he suddenly asked for his divination box and popped an Olivia Newton-John CD on. It was really surreal - Rinpoche doing divinations while Olivia belted out 'You have to believe we are magic... Nothin' can stand in our way... You have to believe we are magic... Don't let your aim ever stray... And if all your hopes survive... Your destiny will arrive.... I'll bring all your dreams alive... For you.'
He explained that music can be an offering to the Dharma Protector. 'I honestly love you', another Olivia classic, can also be like a praise to the Protector, Rinpoche said. Enlightened beings perceive things differently.
I believe him.
We finally finished around 5.30am - just in time for us to get home to see Sean off to school then go to bed. But unfortunately, my day was not yet done. Sean hadn't done his homework properly so I made him re-do it, which meant he missed his bus and I had to take him to school. I only got to bed around 8am though I know a few others like Jenny would have had less sleep than I.
Oh what a night.
By the way, here are the lyrics to 'Magic' - I didn't realise that it could really be a song from our Guru to us Dharma chickens until I read it through:
Come take my hand
You should know me
I've always been in your mind
You know that I'll be kind
I'll be guiding you
Building your dream
Has to start now
There's no other road to take
You won't make a mistake
I'll be guiding you
You have to believe we are magic
Nothin' can stand in our way
You have to believe we are magic
Don't let your aim ever stray
And if all your hopes survive
Your destiny will arrive
I'll bring all your dreams alive
From where I stand
You are home free
The planets align so rare
There's promise in the air
And I'm guiding you
Through every turn I'll be near you
I'll come anytime you call
I'll catch you when you fall
I'll be guiding you..
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