Dec 3, 2012

Life of Pi and Kurma Avatar



"Amazing! Brilliant! Extraordinary! Wonderful!". I could add more adjectives to praise the recently launched movie "Life of Pi". But I'm going to write about something different than the movie itself, something which the movie reminded me of while watching it. The story of Kurma Avatar.

There are two versions of the story of Pi as narrated by Pi himself to a local novelist; rational and irrational. In the irrational version, Pi tells that he shared a lifeboat along with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a royal bengal tiger after the ship in which he travelled with his family sunk when encountered with a thunderstorm. Much of the film is based on this version with eye-pleasing visuals. Towards the end, Pi tells the novelist that he told another version of the same story to the insurance agents since they felt the story was irrational and unbelievable.

In the rational version, Pi tells the insurance agents that he shared the lifeboat with a sailor (a Buddhist who met Pi at the canteen - zebra), his mother (who had lost her first son, Pi's older brother - orangutan) and the cook (an arrogant person who mocked at Pi's parents while serving vegetarian food on board - hyena). Pi portrayed himself as the Tiger in the irrational version.

Wondering what is the connection between "Life of Pi" and the story of "Kurma avatar"?

Both stories have two versions; rational and irrational. I had written the rational version of the story of Kurma avatar in my blog. But it is the irrational version which is more popular, and is considered to be with God.