Timeout - The happy community
by Shivi Verma
Is happiness only a state of mind, or can it be brought about by ideal circumstances? Apparently it can be both, if one is to judge by the film under discussion.
Finding happiness, produced by the late Swami Kriyananda, documents the perfect life at the World Brotherhood colonies established by him. A true account, it is fictional only in the narration which is based on a journalist visiting one of the colonies.
Juliet is a journalist sent by her editor to cover the World Brotherhood colony situated in Nevada, where people appeared to create bounty, beauty, love and harmony on the basis of spiritual principles. Juliet, like a true journalist, is sceptical. But since she is on an assignment, she takes the next flight to Nevada. There she is received by David, a disciple of Swami Kriyananda.
Davidís disarming simplicity, warmth and genuine eagerness to help, laid the foundation for Julietís transformation. The beauty of the ashram spread over thousand acres and beautifully captured by the camera, is breathtaking. There are cottages, hills, lakes, and forests in their unspoilt splendour. Juliet first meets Swami Kriyananda. She is impressed by his humility, greatness of vision, dedication to his guru and commitment to his cause. She tours the entire village and finds it complete in all respects, but sans the drama of ordinary life. Respect for people and life was the hallmark of every action. All institutions from homes, schools, to the art and yoga centre perform optimally, because their premise is to serve and not to make profit.
Some characters present in the movie were also present at the screening. Asha, Shivani, and Narayani were actual residents of this paradise on earth, which they painstakingly created simply by the sheer force of conviction in their Masterís word. In the initial stages of development they also faced many hurdles, such as when the place caught fire. But faith in the ideal of colonies based on mutual respect and love, kept them going. Juliet finally returns home, with a message which is powerful enough to make people rethink the values they are running their lives on.
The cinematography is excellent. The quality of the production filmmaking is as good as Hollywood's. Unfortunately, it ends up more as a documentary than a docudrama.
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