– Duke Jeyaraj
The movie, The Dirty Picture, starring Vidya Balan, created a tremendous buzz in India and across the World. This movie grossed Rs.50 Crores within one week of it’s release. “It had the biggest opening ever for a woman-oriented film in the history of Indian Cinema,” reported The Times of India (December 9, 2011). Can we glean out lessons for purity from a movie named, The Dirty Picture? Yes we can! Here’s how:
This movie is obviously based on the life of Silk Smitha, though there is an explicit denial of this by the movie makers. Can it be a mere coincidence that the movie released on the same day the real Silk Smitha was born – December 2nd ? As one website put it, “(This movie) is an unofficial biopic around the life and upheavals of Southern sex symbol Silk Smitha.” What was the end of Silk Smitha’s life like? She committed suicide by hanging from a ceiling fan in the bedroom of her home in Saligramam, Chennai on September 23, 1996, when she was just 36 years of age, leaving a suicide note that talked about several failures and financial difficulties. The years of having men lust over her body through her erotic performances on screen, the years of having affairs with several men, the years of alcohol consumption, the years of making a quick buck from the movie world by compromising her moral values, did not satisfy the inner longings of her soul. Vidya Balan, talking about the character ‘Silk’ she played in the movie, The Dirty Picture says, “She has no restraint. Some may feel that she is shameless. I think she is a girl who wants to enjoy the pleasure of life at every opportunity. Whatever she feels, she says it and whatever she wants to do, she does it…” This sort of ‘bold’ behavior left her in the ‘cold’ – feeling empty, dejected and depressed. It left her reeling in loneliness that she decided to end it all.
‘Silk Smithas’ in the Bible!
In the Bible, we get to meet a ‘male Silk Smitha.’ Bemused? Don’t be. I want to refer to Ahitophel, the counselor to kings of Israel as the ‘male Silk Smitha’. While Silk Smitha was the most famous item number dancer of the South India Film Industry in the 1980s, Ahitophel was the most trusted advisor to kings of Israel in those times. Both folk reached the pinnacle of their professions in their times. Having reached the pinnacle of their careers, both suddenly faced failures. While Silk Smitha faced competition from other item-number dances, Ahitophel’s advice was ignored. Ahitophel’s sad end came after he committed suicide, just like Silk’s – the Bible reveals (2 Sam 17:23). Unable to face failures in their professional lives, both of them tragically ended their lives. What Silk Smitha and Ahitophel did not perhaps realize when they committed suicide was that they couldn’t really kill themselves. The real persons inside this duo – their souls – continued to live long after their body became lifeless following their shocking suicides. Yes, each one of us has a soul inside of us which will go on to live forever and ever. This is what the Bible teaches. God has placed, eternity in our hearts – this is the teaching of the Bible (Eccl 3:11).
In the Bible, we meet yet another Silk Smitha – we can see the woman from Samaria that Jesus met at a well that way. The woman from Samaria perhaps thought to herself that if she drank the water called ‘love of a man’ she would find true satisfaction in her life. She was married to five different men, one after the other. Marriage number 1, perhaps failed and she sought solace in Marriage number 2. Then Marriage number 2, too failed. This went on till Marriage number 5. After each such sour relationship, she became frustrated and sincerely believed ‘another husband who was different’ would make her life ultimately happy. But she could not find that elusive happiness. She could not find in sin, what she entered sin to find. Sin did not satisfy her soul’s inner longings! When she met Jesus at the well, she was in her relationship number 6 – a relationship that involved living-in with a man, a relationship that involved, most certainly, sex outside the boundaries of marriage. What Jesus told her was in-effect this: “If you drink the water of sex, you will thirst again. If you drink the water I give you (in other words, if you have a living, daily relationship with me) then you will never thirst again!”
I believe, we meet another Silk Smitha in the Bible in the person who authored the book of Ecclesiastes who was King Solomon, perhaps. “I tried cheering myself with wine,” he writes (Eccl 2:3). In the movie, The Dirty Picture, Silk played by Vidya Balan, drowns herself drinking alcoholic drinks when the going in her personal and professional life become tough and rough. But wine, could not ultimately bring meaning into his life, the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes ultimately discovered to his utter dismay (Eccl 2:11). “Life under the sun was meaningless unless one has a relationship with the one above the Sun – even God!” – that was the message he tried to convey in this key Bible book (Eccl 2:25). Silk, too, discovered that wine-addiction, ultimately left her only to whine, one fine day. The beer habit, instead of cheering her, irreversibly wove the option of suicide into her thoughts, and drove her deep into bottomless well of depression.
The Savior for all Silk Smithas!
Yes, you could chase all the pleasures in the world in a desperate effort to discover happiness and peace, like Silk did. But the pleasures of the World will not offer true happiness and peace – you will soon discover that. Only a daily, deep, relationship with Jesus – the one who died on the Cross for each one of us – will give us true happiness, peace, meaning and purpose. The punishment that brings us true peace was upon Jesus while he hung on the Cross, the Bible declares (in Isaiah 53). Silk Smitha ended her life deeply disappointed with all what soft porn movies, sex in front of the camera, illicit relationships, lots of money, overdose of alcohol, etc, could have ever offered her. If you chase the very things she chased – sex, silver, soul-mates, Scotch, stardom, etc – or those of that kind, you too will be disappointed. Come to Christ, the one who explicitly said that he came to give you life – life to the full (John 10:10)! And you will not be disappointed! And you will find true peace and lasting joy. A loving relationship with Jesus, the only God who revealed himself in the flesh during the first Christmas, would be “enough” to satisfy the inner longings of the human soul, the Bible reveals (John 14:5,6). What’s more, when you come to Jesus in true repentance, your sins – even if they uncountable and even if they are unprintable – will be purged clean through the blood he shed for us on the Cross. This is a promise of God in the Bible who never tells a lie (cf. Isa 1:18).
If we pursue a living relationship with Jesus in our lives, our soul will be joyous on this side of eternity while we are still on this earth. Not only that – we will join Jesus after death to live with him forever after our soul will be reunited with our resurrected bodies. On the other hand, If we rejected Jesus, our souls, along with its resurrected bodies, will go to a place of torment that Jesus often talked about called Hell (See Daniel 12:2).. This is the teaching of the Bible. So, what would you decide to do? What choice would you make? Would you reject Christ, live a life of living hell and go to literal hell? Or, would you live in Christ, experience the peace and joy he alone can give, and go to heaven to enjoy him, forever? I hope your choice will be wise.