Books Magazine

Dhammapada in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

By Ajfitz @theajwriter

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a wonderful British comedy based originally on a 2004 book entitled ‘These Foolish Things’ by Deborah Moggach. The film has a fantastic cast of English stars as a group of pensioners that decide to retire in India in a retirement home designed for British expats. As Deborah writes, ‘Why should they be mouldering away in rainy, dirty old Britain when they could be sitting under a palm tree, tanning their wrinkles and getting their false teeth stuck into a nice juicy mango?’ The best character transition comes from the owner of the hotel, Sonny Kapoor (more from the film than the book) who believes in the hotel that his father built so much that in the end his positive thoughts make a success of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. 

“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow; our life is the creation of the mind.”

Deborah Moggach, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The author took this quote from Dhammapada, loosely translated as ‘the path of Buddha’. Dhammapada is a collection of sayings from Buddha, within Theravada Buddhism. This form of Buddhism intrigues me at the moment as it’s the main form of Buddhism practiced in Laos.

Take control of your life by admitting your faults. By understanding that who we are, and where we have come in life, is the direct consequence of our thoughts. Our thoughts have a huge impact on our lives because it is through our thoughts that we constantly re-affirm our sense of ‘self’ and our perception of the world. Break away from your past, while acknowledging the importance the past had on your present, by positive thoughts of your future. These thoughts will one day become your present.


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