“Khoon mein tere mitti, mitti mein tera khoon.”
The title character of the Salman Khan film Sultan draws a parallel between a mud wrestler and a farmer on the grounds that both are deep rooted in the soil of their motherland. While one tills the earth, the other toils away in it. The film depicts the trajectory of a wrestler, or for the sake of generalisation, the typical graph of human journey and triumph, through the metaphor of mitti (soil) or earth:
Round 1: Lift
Fresh off into the fight, the “son of the soil” has an inherent advantage over his opponent from foreign land as he is well-versed with his environment and the desi pentre (traditional moves). The homeground advantage in every bout lifts him to a pedestal where he begins to bask in all his glory.
Round 2: Thud
When the reality check hits him, the wrestler falls back hard to where he had started. Blinded by arrogance, he starts losing out to fresh blood who knock him down over and over again. Introspection leads him to a lesson for life – to keep his feet firmly on the ground, not only through might but also through humility.
Round 3: Bounce Back
Apart from mud wrestling and humility, the earth also teaches him to persevere. Taking a cue from the soil, which is a symbol of regeneration, the wrestler imbibes endurance and gets back up after everyone writes him off. It is only after he conquers the fight within that he conquers the fight without.
The movie reaffirms the notion that only when one keeps his head held high, yet one’s feet firmly on the ground, is one able to walk through the sands of time.
“Upar allah, neeche dharti, beech me tera junoon. Re Sultan!”