Here I was watching this film that had turned out to be surprisingly entertaining regardless of my low expectations and suddenly the girl beside me says, "Haw! How can he do that?"
The film was Desi Boyz and Akshay Kumar had just decided to be a gigolo in order to avoid losing his "son" (his deceased sister's son in fact), in the film. It was this decision that had made the girl in the next seat exclaim incredulously. I turned to her and wanted to correct her but refrained. Not because I didn't know the girl, I did, she was my friend. You don't think I would just correct any strange girl, do you? Well, actually I would. No, the reason I stopped was because it would take too long to explain and much as I like to lecture, I didn't want to miss the film.
So, my lucky readers, you get the lecture instead.
Here's the situation. Akshay loses his job, so he cannot take care of his son properly and misses a couple of payments on the school fees. He gets a warning that if he cannot come up with the money for the fees the child will be put up for adoption and put in foster care. This he cannot allow at any cost and tries very hard to get a job. The economy is very bad and he can't get a job despite all his efforts. And during this Sanjay Dutt, owner of a male escort service comes across Akshay and John Abraham and offers them employment. John only has a fiancee to take care of so he passes on the offer but Akshay is willing to go to any lengths to avoid losing his son and takes the job.
At this point my friend exclaimed, "How can he do that?"
This is the trouble with our thinking. Notice that I used a certain expression in that long paragraph. At any cost. It's very often that we want something badly and want to have it "at any cost". It's not very often that we really mean it. I am quoting from an old Hindi film dialogue, "When people say at any cost what they really mean is that they would like to have it at their own convenience at what they think they should pay for it."
In my own words, and I have repeated this many, many times, "When people say they want something, they just mean that they want to achieve that result, it doesn't mean they are willing to put in the hard work needed for those results."
When we want something we are vehement about it, "Oh yes, I want to save the child, at any cost!" But when it comes to paying the price for it, we are not so emphatic, "Um..you see...I can't really do that...it's against my...I can't do it."
When you want your friend to be there, it's, "Tere liye jaan haazir hai, yaar." (My life is yours.) But if the time comes when the friend does need you, "Yaar, tu to jaanta hai, main baal bachchon wala aadmi hoon." (Well, you see, I am a family man.)
Way of the world. But not just for others, for yourself too. So, if you ask me whether I think Akshay's character was right in taking up that dirty job in order to save the kid, my answer would be an emphatic YES. And I say this knowing the true nature of what a gigolo does, not the choreographed dancing and singing that is shown in the film.
His decision does turn out to be bad in the long run and even though he saves the kid for the time being, later he's hauled into court because of his job. Be that as it may, I still think he made the right decision. It was his decision at that moment and we always need to take a decision at the moment, not much later when all the essential facts become known. The human race survives by taking unreasonable and unexpected risks!
So when you want something, make up your mind, do it wholeheartedly or don't bitch about it. Put up or shut up as the expression goes.