Knowing these guys, its a little difficult to picture them talking about being civilized. You should see them go at each other to understand what thats about. But well, they were talking about civilization. And the question a very simple one … what is civilization? What does being civilized mean?
Is civilization about technology? Is it about societies reaching the zenith of technological achievement? And what is technological achievement? Would we have been able to have airplanes if the early man had not invented the wheel? Or, would we have so many different things to eat if early man had not experimented? Would we have been able to build our civilization had it not been for these experiments and experiences gathered by early man? For Sir Isaac Newton did say:
If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
Here, they moved to discussing movies. Or rather, one movie … Aguntuk, by Satyajit Ray. Hardy is of the opinion that this is probably Ray’s best movie. And having seen it, i wouldnt differ. If not the best, among one of them. And one of the best movies made by someone who is a legend in movie-making, the movie must be worth a watch. A brilliantly told story, with a powerful performance by Utpal Dutt, one of the greatest actors of his times. But why were they talking about this movie? It was easy to guess. The discussion was about a particular scene discussing whether one should believe in religion, or indeed, in God. The scene also goes on to discuss what being civilized means, and who could be called civilized.
Theres actually the scene on youtube, with English sub-titles, so folks who dont understand Bangla (the language of Bengal: West Bengal in India, and of Bangladesh) can follow the discussion. But dont take my word for it. Do watch and see for yourself.
And do share what you think of the entire discussion.