For those who wondered what inspired Albert Einstein or how Rumi’s beautiful renditions helped millions through love and life, a special group in the city is providing an avenue for discussion. From exploring Rabindranath Tagore’s philosophy to the relevance of the works of Aristotle, Socrates and Plato in current scenarios, the New Acropolis India — a school of philosophy — imparts intriguing and exciting stories of inspiring figures’ journeys through cafes and interactive evenings.
Every Saturday, a large group, across all age groups and diverse backgrounds, gathers at the school premises after 7 pm for a discussion on interesting historical figures and events. Rahil Mehta, one of the coordinators of the event and a teacher at the school, said, “We have learnt some history in school and most of us, hate it and find it boring. However, these evenings are refreshing and interactive. We get into their lives and philosophies and talk about its relevance in this day and age. There is a treasure trove of mystery hidden in the past.”
“The idea is to extract and explore them and discuss them at length and connect it to our present day. A lot of the philosophy of yesteryear is of relevance today,” he added. The discussions are conducted for two hours late in the evening at the school’s Colaba and Khar centres and each evening delves info different people and events. “Apart from the philosophers and great warriors, we also discuss the Mahabharata, Kalyug, etc. While we have regular philosophy classes, the idea behind these evenings is to impart wisdom and knowledge, because a lot of what we are has got to do with the events and ideas of the past. So it’s important to draw comparisons and widen our horizons,” said Rahil.
These evenings are mostly attended by people above the age of 25, who have a philosophical bent of mind and share an interest in history. The discussions are interspersed with multimedia presentations, installations, skits and interactive workshops.
“On the day we were discussing Rumi, we had some lovely recitals of his poetry and dissected the meaning and its importance and application in the present day. The day we had Buddha as the topic, we traversed his journey beautifully and got a better understanding of leading a happy and peaceful life. It gets interesting, as people speak up, provide some trivia and even question their methods and actions. The idea is to create a lively atmosphere around the person or event we were discussing,” he added.
Information about the evenings are publicised via social networking sites and word of mouth. Anybody with an inquisitive mind is free to attend. Rahil further said that history, philosophy and spirituality have a deep connection and such interactive discussions help one introspect and teaches the art of living.