Unboxed Writers App for Phone and Tablet

Here are more ways to stay at forefront of Unboxed Writers and stay informed and inspired! Download our app for Android Phones and Tablets. Click on the image to Download Now!


Like Us on Facebook

Follow Us on Twitter



Cattitude: Cause We Support


The Cattitude Trust is a Public Charitable Trust started to reach out to cats in distress, particularly in Chennai (India).

To know more about Cattitude, 'Like' them on Facebook.


Creative Commons License
All content displayed here by Unboxed Writers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://unboxedwriters.com.

Excerpt, Don't Copy: You may not publish an entire post. You may republish an excerpt of not increasing 250 words.

Give Credit: You may not use any material from our site without giving due credit to the individual author and Unboxed Writers. You must hyperlink directly to the post.

Author: Author of the post retains all copyright, and reserves all rights not explicitly granted here.

The Stuff Of Life


A couple of years ago, film maker Tom Shadyac, known for blockbuster comedies like Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty, Patch Adams and The Nutty Professor walked into his luxurious new 17000 sq ft Beverly Hills home which had more bedrooms, bathrooms and uninhabited spaces than he would ever enjoy and he had an epiphany. That this success was just an idea devised by someone else. This was the extraneous fluff. Not the stuff of life and that he was no happier now than when he first began to make 1000 dollars a week as a joke writer for Bob Hope.

A bike accident further peeled away the illusions that material success brings. The illusion of power that comes from owning three homes, commuting by private jets and having the admiration and envy of millions of people. Success he realised is an inside job. As is happiness. And everything begins and ends within. The result was life changing.He moved into a mobile house, started giving away his money to those who needed it more than him and made a documentary called I Am, and asked questions relevant to each one of us.

Who am I? 
What is wrong with the world that the more acquisitive, competitive, successful and ambitious we get, the emptier, lonelier and more disconnected we feel within?

And  if something is going wrong with us, with the world that we live in, what can we do about it?

He learnt a few things during the making of the film.

First that the myth about human beings wired to survive at the cost of each other, is misplaced. That actually the human race is wired to connect, to cooperate.

That we are designed to live in democracies of ideas, not kingdoms.

That if we don’t follow what our heart desires at the deepest level, we will be destroyed.

That everything in Nature is organised around the principle of not taking more than what is needed. And yet only the human race plunders and takes more and more and then wonders why it is still unfulfilled.

How can we fix that? For the planet to heal, we must consume less, take from nature and from relationships only what we need. Define success in terms of what we want than being seduced by shiny collectibles that are sold temptingly over the counter.

For the film, Shadyac spoke with diverse thinkers, scientists,  environmentalists and modern day philosophers and writers ranging from Desmond Tutu to Noam Chomsky and questioned the idea of manufactured success that rarely if ever honours people for the work they do, for their contribution to the world but puts a few on pedestals, creates a cult of fame around them and blindly wants to worship them because they somehow inhabit a larger-than-life idea.

In India we know something about that. Success has its perks and its clout and its layers of imperviousness but as Tom Shadyac’s film asked, does it define the value of a human being? And are we not part of the cycle that feeds the personality cults? Don’t we build temples for actors? Give away crores to cricketers in a country where farmers die of debts and hopelessness?

Don’t we allow criminals to occupy ministerial berths and actors to get away what in a manner of speaking is murder or attempted murder?

Like Tom Shadyac once said , “You guys have all the power. You  have to stop elevating us. I don’t want to be your hero. I want to be your brother. I want to be your equal. And if you start seeing things as they are, it will change.”

It is however hard for us in India to see things as they are when it comes to cricket, to cinema, to religion. We are willing to abandon our sense of self, our understanding of right and wrong when the things that define us are threatened. We have come to believe that success needs no censor. We no longer admire collaborators. We worship aggressive competitors who win because at some level, we feel disempowered and want to be like them. Powerful men can be lawless and never have to be answerable to the law. What a fantasy to aspire to!

It is only the weak who have to compromise. Who must be shown their place in the celebrity food chain.  Tom Shadyac’s I Am is an optimistic study of humanity. Hopefully, his faith in an intelligent, conscientious, connected heroism will become central to our reality one day. Where reality will not be an orchestrated show. And success will be an individual quest for personal truth rather than the ability to arouse mass hysteria.
images (4) with The New Indian Express  

Reema Moudgil works for The New Indian Express, Bangalore, is the author of Perfect Eight, the editor of  Chicken Soup for the Soul-Indian Women, an artist, a former RJ and a mother. She dreams of a cottage of her own that opens to a garden and  where she can write more books, paint, listen to music and  just be silent with her cats.



Similar posts
  • Me too. Me too. Me too. Me too. No matter how many times I say it, it won’t be anywhere near enough. Strangers on the street, boyfriends, acquaintances at parties, “friendly” uncles, neighbours- the reality that our bodies belong to everyone but ourselves is one that women realize rather early into their lives. The first time I [...]
  • Why We Don’t Need A Goddess Queen Today “Everything is fair in love and war,” says Rajkumar Rao’s vindictive hero in the viral trailer for Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aaana. This could have been the tagline of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati. The difference is that in the first film, the hero is avenging himself by punishing the woman who broke his heart. He wants [...]
  • Till We Meet Again… “Dear Calvin we miss u…” I woke up to those words today. Father’s status message on Whatsapp. Five words. They shook my heart and triggered a tsunami. A tsunami of memories. We place Calvin on the cold table. He pants, still gathers some strength to look around. He knows that place and we know he [...]
  • Tom Alter: A Love Without Filters It was the afternoon of September 16, 2015 and I was in the lounge of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, sitting next to a childhood memory. We had just finished a long chat and I was feeling what I always feel when am in the presence of pure authenticity,  unpretentious goodness and for the lack [...]
  • Hope Is The Thing With feathers.. I fear that I might sound ridiculous; I am still throwing caution to the wind and have chosen to relate a profound moment I shared with the Universe. All my life, I was agnostic. Cynical. Bitter. I didn’t believe in looking for signs. I must admit that the cynicism stemmed from my inability to read [...]

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Authors

Be the first to read the latest on Unboxed Writers!

Subscribe for FREE and get the latest in your Inbox! You can unsubscribe at any time.
Email *


Editor & Founder:
Reema Moudgil
Design Director & Founder:
Vani Bahl
Media Consultant:
Poonam Goel

Mission Statement

Who are we? We are writers. And here, in this space, we put pride and passion back into writing. We give ourselves and each other creative freedom and respect.

* We create an environment where content generation does not entail degeneration of inspiration and spirit.
* We create content that we believe in and identify with.
* We recognise that to create is always of more value than to berate.
*We critique without malice and arrogance.

This site is about us writers, what we stand for but more importantly, about creating something valuable, inclusive, thought-provoking. In this space, we do not just stand for ourselves but for all those who listen to a compelling inner voice that tells them, "Create!"

Unboxed Writers Share

Join the other awesome people who get the new posts right away by email!
Be the first to read the latest on Unboxed Writers.
Enter your email and stay on top of things!