I remember clearly long back when I first looked at the book of Rajneesh Osho titled as the -“Sambhog Se Samadhi” – From Sex to Superconsciousness at a bookstore, my father immediately stoped me from buying it and said that it’s not for kids to read and somewhat it increases my curiosity about Osho a multiple times. Later when I actually read about his teachings, this was the first thing which I completely co-relate. “The more you try to repress something, the more you get curious about it. The expression is life and repression is suicide!”
Since then once in a while, I keep reading about Osho’s thoughts on various things. Though never feel an urge to follow it. (PS- I never ever feel an urge to follow any ideology) but the subtle curiosity about this man remains inside me and maybe that’s the reason when I get to know that Netflix is coming with a Documentary series on Rajneesh, His Time in States (Which is less known to Indians) and his relationship with Maa Anand Sheela, the subtleness of the curiosity vapours up and the eagerness replaces it very soon. I binged it as soon as possible, my jaw drops countless times and now I am writing this. These are my first thoughts and I am expressing it as they are coming to me, so bear with me if they are incoherent.
How international media reports this series –
Rajneesh came to fame in the late ’60s and ’70s as he attracted followers from all over the world to his ashram in Pune, India, which was known for intensely liberating group therapy and meditation sessions, as well as a free attitude toward sex. (He was nicknamed the “sex guru.”) In 1981, when the documentary begins, Rajneesh is relocating to rural Oregon to build a massive community on 80,000 acres of ranchland.
While it all began with peace and love, it ended with attempted murder, the exploitation of thousands of homeless people, and cult leaders who ordered the poisoning of an entire town by spraying salad bars with salmonella.
So here are my reasons on why you should binge it right away.
THE LESSER-KNOWN PARTS – There are certain other documentaries on Rajneesh/Osho before this one but being a millennial Indian I was mostly read his thoughts and teachings but majorly unaware about his whole time in Oregon, USA. What I knew before watching this that Rajneesh had a quite an eventful stay in the United States where even the more progressive country on the planet finds his teachings and commune a threat to the social structure and later he got deported to India. Also about Maa Anand Sheela who was the secretary to Rajneesh and some way responsible for the rise and fall of Rajneesh. But “Wild Wild Country” goes way deeper than the usual information. After almost 35 Years to the whole set of events the makers able to trace down the key people and bring to us the various aspects of the events. The events which were so surreal and bizarre that if I start telling you now you will either disbelieve me or you will hate me to give spoilers just like in the case of “Game of Thrones”. But with giving much of the spoilers, Just a small info can raise the curiosity bar about this documentary. The city of Rajneeshuram which the follower of Osho built in the area of 64000 acres which has its own police and own airlines named as “Air Rajneesh”. Rest is you to explore through this documentary.
ROSHOMON TREATMENT – After the 1950 cult classic of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, there was a term arises named as ” Rashomon Effect” where when the same event is given contradictory interpretations by different individuals involved. The makers of “Wild Wild Country” maintained Rashomon Effect while telling the whole story. The various contradictory perspectives of people will make you indulge in the whole story so much that you want to know more and more. Maybe because we as a human being are very judgemental creatures and hence we need to categorize everything and every person into our own sets of “Rights” and “Wrongs” but this documentary will not let you do that till the very end. When you start to believe that it was the fault of power-hungry woman – Maa Sheila, something will make you think that she was indeed the one who was actually was holding the fort against all sorts of problems. When you start to believe that the whole commune is actually doing something great, the truths that get revealed will make us question on each and everything. The makers don’t even show any mercy on the Federal “So-Called” Democratic US government. They, directly and indirectly, points out that how insecure they were from the rise of Rajneesh. Especially the post-climax 15 minutes of the last 6th Part of the documentary where all the key people concludes the whole story in their own way. This reminds me of how beautiful a documentary can be if it doesn’t try to take sides.
THE BETTER THRILLER THAN FICTIONS – We always heard this- “Truth is always stranger than fiction.” but the real-life story of the Rising of A Guru, Rise of a new religion, A disciple’s obsession, the crazy things happen as a result of insecurity, the differences and the fall of all of it is no less than a thriller having unbelievable twists and turns. Over here I need to mention the score given by Brocker Way and the editing done by Neil Meiklejohn simply heightens the thrill and drama factor to another height. No doubt some may find it a bit long but believe me the six hours that you gonna spend watching this is gonna be so satisfying at so many levels that the length will stop being an issue. Though they focus majorly on the US episode of the Rajneesh and Maa Sheela’s life you will still feel that this story had so much more to explore and as a viewer, I want to know more. Like I felt that I missed Rajneesh’s version of the whole thing. Rajneesh was so unapproachable that we barely get to know what was going on in his mind. I wish he would have given more interviews and somehow we could have depicted his thought process about the events like Maa Sheela’s version.
THE DEPICTION OF US – Somewhere “Wild Wild Country” connects to each one of us. With so many different perspectives you may find yourself on the screen at least in one of them. Either you could be Maa Anand Sheela was in love with her Guru and the power she got with him but eventually, not only her love became an obsession. Or you can find yourself to be a normal citizen of Antelope who just wants to live the life inside the set parameters without questioning it much. You can identify yourself with the Australian Woman follower of Rajneesh who came for the search of this peace and ultimate happiness but then eventually lost her path and but the end of the day find happiness in the world she was always running from. Or you can be that ultimate follower who just never loses the faith in his Guru or believe till the very end like the Lawyer of Rajneesh. Many such characters somewhere reflect our desires and conflicts in this docu-series and you unknowingly become a part of it. Though somewhere they could have indulged a bit more on Rajneesh’s teachings I guess that was a conscious decision so that they could have maintained the neutral viewpoint.
So here we are recommending you to watch binge this and let us what do you think of it. To make you more curious here is the trailer for it.