Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Gangster Movies

I hope you won’t mind if I have a little fun?! There’s much snow here, I need to lighten somehow…

I’ve always liked gangster movies, I think everyone secretly does. I think because gangsters live outside law, outside society and they make their own rules. Yogis do this too. We try to live in the world but not be of it, not to engage in all of the structures. As my teacher once said to me, “Yogis don’t win lotteries”. How true! Neither do gangsters. We need to make it ‘happen’ for ourselves. We all dream of living off the grid somehow, being a bit apart from life, a little untraceable, no footprints left behind, and crossing borders without being noticed.

Bombay gangster movies are the best. Just like any other gangster movie, except they wear chappals (read ‘flip flops’) and smoke beedis. They still live with their mothers. Make no mistake, however they are every bit as deadly as their Hollywood counterparts. My favourite is “Company” by Ram Gopal Varma and second place is “Satya” by the same director. Company is more slick.

Poster for Ram Gopal Varma's fabulous "Company"
Poster for Ram Gopal Varma's fabulous "Company"


Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned from the movies:

  1. It stinks, but its business.
  2. My parents taught me not to play games with people, but I’ve learned that one must. Even in spiritual life there are politics. Keep your eye on the goal and learn to play the game, girl. Ignore the stench as you breathe deeply.

  3. Be like an AK-47.  Be invaluable, seriously invaluable. Fearless is more useful than talented (though both will be a good combination). Be sharp, always. In Vedantic teachings you may be told that having a good self-image and finding the ‘self’ acceptable is important to understanding your place in the world. No matter where you are, know where you are. No judgment.
  4. Don’t be too attached to success or to achievement, it most likely will end in a hail of gunfire.Gunfire you could read as “cancer” or “public criticism” or whatever you like. And, whatever it is, you can’t take it with you.
  5. Be patient. Wait for the right moment to strike. Everything is only just timing, perfect timing.
  6. Trust no-one. I know; it’s sad.
  7. Fear is more potent than death. Never has a truer line been uttered. To a yogi death is release from bondage and attachment, and fear, actually a sin.
Satya film poster
Satya film poster

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