Sipping morning cup of tea in Kathmandu, Betty got phone call from Ronnie, her husband, from far off New York asking for her wellbeing. She was camping in Kathmandu for shooting a movie on impact of narcotics addiction on the families. It wasn’t that the United States didn’t give her ample scope for treatment of her themes. The beautiful landscape with cleanest environment having high-tech facilities to create any type of situation was undoubtedly the best in United States but Betty, a British-American who had family history of ruling different British colonies in Asia, had developed her love for Asia. The high-tech perfection which United States in the West boasts now, is the result of endless hours of hard labour of dedicated persons with scientific temperament. Those are the persons whose experiments, innovations, improvisations brought the facilities at such a level which is known as the facilities available at ‘press of a button’. But then there are Asian countries like India, China, Thailand, Japan etc. which boast of high spiritual awareness, meditation, worshipping etc. and drugs trafficking also. Is devotion to a cause a common culture factor?
Ronnie was a devoted Catholic, never missing Church prayers on any Sunday. Betty herself, a rebel Protestant, never found any thing wrong even if she was not a regular church goer. They had been married for for more than twenty years and had been blessed with two grown up adorable children. Their married life was as fresh as that of any newly married couple. The involvement, respect and support for each other in their respective works had kept them very active and updated. So New York and Kathmandu were close and within reach places as for as communication was concerned. Every facility for Betty to shoot in USA was available but her love for Asia didn’t stop her and there she was in Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. While filming for drug abuse, she often heard about refrence to somras, an intoxicating drink consumed by gods in Hindu mythology and very often perpetrators would justify their addiction to drugs by comparing with somras, a favourite drink of gods particularly Lord Shiva. Her interest to know more about somras and Hindu religion/mythology was aroused.
It’s scientifically proven that all matter is composed of atoms, and atoms are indivisible and indestructible. Anything can be destroyed or created but not the matter though the changes may be there. Here Lord Shiva was the matter which became subject matter. The be-all and end-all of all existence, Lord Shiva along with Brahma and Vishnu, makes the Trinity, which takes care of the process of birth, sustenance, and death. Lord Shiva is the Eternal Matter-Indestructible, Hindu God of Creation and Destruction. He destroys the impurities in human mind and soul. Somras is often referred as His Favourite Divine Drink. If science dealt with the everlasting theme of Lord of Eternity, it dealt with His Favourite Divine Drink also giving it diverse hues. Distilled and brewed under different brands in the best distilleries and breweries of the world enjoying sometimes, somewhere patronage of underworld mafia winning wars over patent names, drawing customers from every nook and corner of the world. Then there is another form of addiction in the shape of tablets, starting from Bhang ki goliyan, tablets to improvised formulas supposed to be taken by devotees for getting intoxicated.
Betty often wondered whether it is other way round i.e. the Blessings of Shiva act as intoxication for the devotees! Is it voluntary act or imposed condition? Certain translators did a blunder by saying Somras as an alcoholic drink,and over the period, the people started treating Somras as some alcoholic drink forgetting that while alcohol or narcotics is taking to dumb the mind whereas Somras is a totally non-alcoholic, bearing no resemblance with pravelent alcoholic drinks and drugs. It’s in fact elixir of life sharpening the minds and gears them into noble actions. Shiva, the third member of the Trimurti alongwith Brahma, the Creator and Vishnu, the Preserver; also called Pashupatinath, another name for Shiva, the God of animals’ life is actually tlhe Destroyer of animal instincts or the Controller of natural or inmate impulses, inclinations, tendencies. A bull called Demi-God Nandi is always shown in obiesance to Lord Shiva in every Shiva temple. Ganga the most revered river, considered to be a blessing, flow from the hair of Shiva. So invariably a replica of water flowing from Shiva idols is also made wherever Shiva temples are constructed or as good luck charm decorative waterbody pieces in individual houses.
A shooting unit comprising only Hindus were contracted to shoot insides of the temple as non-Hindus were perhaps not permitted to go inside the premises but more than that Betty was keen to maintain the sacredness of the temple. There was no dearth of local talent who could be directed suitably to serve the purpose.
More and more Betty studied the subject of her movie, more and more she became involved with Hindu mythology. Deeply involved and totally focused in her subject matter, she had no time to even think of anything else other than Shiva the Originator and the Culminator, as deep a topic for endless research on any aspect of life as the life itself, the world itself, the universe itself. Amba, Vaishno, Durga etc. numerous names for virgin goddess till her married status as Uma, Parvati, Gouri etc. another endless list of names for consort of Lord Shiva, a symbol of passive, transcendent, eternal masculinity and somras the divine potion, an elixir of life, Uff…it turned out to be an endless theme for Betty to concise in just one movie. The world is one, there is one globe, east meets west, north pole, south pole converging at one point, the earth is round… what is that meeting point? Where is that oneness? Lord Shiva, only and the only Lord Shiva! For her, that became the starting point to produce a series of such movies. Technical excellence needed for editing, dubbing and final printing was always either done or provided by Ronnie. Indeed an ideal couple who had many movies to their credit bringing name, fame and of course money also. She finished talking to Ronnie over phone and started winding up in Kathmandu to leave for back to New York.