After a busy Memorial Day weekend my best friend and I played hooky yesterday from the retreat center. We went to watch the lovely movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I had wanted to watch it since I saw it advertised months ago. To our surprise, it was a little gem. What a great feel-good movie!
The movie is about several retirees from Britain who are lured to India via false advertisement to what they think is a beautiful retiree community in the Marigold Hotel where they can live out their retirements in comfort. When they arrive they come face to face with the realization that the place is a dump. The experiences that then take place are beautiful. Set in the exotic background of India, it is no wonder that they experience spiritual beginnings…and endings. (Don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone). The cast is incredible. The storyline is poignantly delightful. There is wit, compassion and messages that make this movie memorable.
Watching this movie reminded me of when we arrived to our motel for the first time two years ago. We saw past the oldness and visualized a new beginning. Yes, there was a lot of work that needed to be updated. But it was just “cosmetic surgery” and we have been remodeling with much love and imagination. Yes, we didn’t know anything about the hospitality business, other than being guests in hotels. But how hard could it be since I had been in the business world for over 20 years. Yes, we did not know a single person in this state. But, as long as we believed in ourselves we could accomplish anything together. Yes, we were criticized by many. But, we believed that there was a call from here that needed answering, and we followed our hearts. We were on a journey and determined to start fresh in our new lives with little money. The lessons that appeared in that first year of being here were sometimes painful. I questioned my decision many times. Psychologically, spiritually and physically I don’t think I was really ready for the bumpy ride. I guess what saved us was the willingness to accept failure and that there was no other plan. This was it! We would survive the storms and hold onto our faith. Two years later, I am glad we did!
This little British film reaches a place of humanness. It teaches, through the drama, about leaps of faith (no matter the age). It brings to light that old saying: “the grass is always greener on the other side.” I know that the only reason it is so fertile and green is because it is over a septic field. Make the most of it, just don’t lay down on it! Enjoy the journey and learn from the experiences. Everything in life happens for a reason. Let go and let divinity guide you through it all. As Sonny, the hotel manager, says in the movie: “Everything will be all right in the end… if it’s not all right then it’s not the end.”
Another favorite quote from the movie:
“Evelyn: Nothing here has worked out quite as I expected.
Muriel: Most things don’t. But sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.”
Indeed, most of the times what happens is that you arrive to a place of beauty and peace. Your life will never be the same!