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You can gift just a smile

entertainment Updated: Nov 15, 2009 00:23 IST
Mini Pant Zachariah

What does truth mean to you?
Truth is what is in the present, nothing after or before. It is only by being in the present that I can face the mysteries of life. Being in the present brings me in touch with my inner strengths and fallacies.

Who do you turn to when faced with perplexing questions?
Myself. That is the only self that can come to your rescue; going to any other source has never helped. When I turn inward, I become aware of myself — not others’ perception of me — and take an unbiased look at myself with complete honesty and no arrogance.

What one sees may not always flatter…
It may not be flattering but you feel happy that you have found it. Because once you have done so, there is scope for improvement.

How do you differentiate between religion and spirituality?
Religion is about the ritual, what has been told to us — the norms, the rules and regulations of prayer, etc. Spirituality is being one with the Supreme Being — finding the Super Being within yourself without going to any shrine.

And yet you visit shrines.
Yes, I go to the well-known temple, dargah, church or gurudwara in any city I’m shooting in, because I then feel I’ve taken the blessings of the god that the local people have faith in.

What’s your concept of God?
I see God in every great act of creation and destruction, in birth and in death, in every major change in my life. And He makes his presence felt inside me. Unless you find God inside and make the connection, rituals like prayer make no sense.

Who or what have been the spiritual influences in your life?
My teacher, Barry John. Whatever he has done or said has left a deep impact on me. His words and deeds have always motivated me to go beyond jealousies and insecurities and helped me improve myself. He is truly my guru.

How do you practice spirituality?
My day starts with a prayer followed by mediation. I find complete solace in this.

What does the act of giving mean to you?
It has nothing to do with money. You can gift just a smile. Even a meal served with great care and affection that makes a guest feel great can be a valuable gift. Also, one should give but not talk about it.