Benoy Behl, noted filmmaker and photographer, was in Hyderabad for an exhibition at Salar Jung museum. In a candid chat, he spoke about art, life and the influence of Indian mythology abroad.
“We have forgotten the ‘science of life’ and must learn about the way of living, from a country like Japan,” he said, “Ganesha is a popular deity in many parts of Asia. When there was a financial crisis in the Islamic Republic of Indonesia, they printed Ganesha symbol on their currency notes to come out of their turbulent economic situation. Garuda is the name of the official airline of the Islamic Republic of Indonesia. The name Garuda was given by then President Sukarno — who quoted a poem of Dutch poet Noto Soeroto to explain the meaning: ‘I am Garuda, Vishnoe’s bird which spread its wings high above your archipelago’.
“It is all about the way that the ‘deities’ are within each one of us. We all are endowed with a sense of goodness. This is the ‘science of life’ that we need to take forward. People in Japan hardly talk about an issue to any person, unless they are sure that the person has some or equal knowledge on that particular subject. There is so much respect for elders in Japan and a keen interest to listen to the views of everyone.
“The aesthetic experience of art is getting lost in our country. It is very important for the citizens of India to inculcate this ‘taste’ and make their life richer,” he said.
Talking about his upcoming projects, he said, “I have made a documentary on yoga which brings out the connection between mind, body and soul. I am also working on a film titled The Ramayana.”