Now this post is not a very New Year spirit kind of post, so if you are not in the mood to read something deep, just scroll down or hit the ‘Back’ button before you get sucked into this thought and can’t come out of it…On the flip side, I will soon have a series of 3 posts on Hogmanay and my first ever experience of it in Edinburgh. I hope you return to this space to read about it.
Welcome. I hope the New Year went well for you. Why don’t you come sit with me for a chat. I am not in a very happy-go-lucky mood right now (that’s why the disclaimer)! I am in a contemplative mood and maybe we can talk about it…I would really like to know what you think about these things. But before that let me make you some tea. I’m afraid I don’t have any coffee stocked up today (but if you are a coffee person, just drop in a line in the comments below and I’ll remember to have some coffee the next time we meet- for today though, please just bear with me)…just tea…black or green? Cardamom maybe? With or without milk? Some sugar? Here…help yourself to some ginger cookies as well.
Right…now that we both have some tea, we are ready for a chat, aren’t we?
I watched two amazing Indian movies in the past couple of weeks…And I couldn’t stop thinking about how wonderful the scripts were! Don’t know if you like these kinds of scripts or cinema…but if we don’t talk about it I will never be able to find out what you like.
Movie 1 – Waiting
Tara meets Shiv in the waiting room of a hospital. Shiv’s wife has been in a coma for the past 8 months. Tara’s husband just met with an accident and slipped into a coma. Shiv gives Tara a reason to smile, to talk about her situation and deal with it. He teaches her about being purposeful and gives her the spirit to ‘live’ while she waits…Tara thinks that in a country of 1 billion people Shiv is the only person who gets her. The doctor speaks to Shiv and tells him his wife will never recover and that he will have to take her off the ventilator. The doctor meets Tara and tells her he has to operate on her husband to get rid of a clot in the brain and get rid of some surrounding tissue (that might compromise some motor functions) so the rest of the brain can heal itself.
What should Shiv and Tara do? Shiv doesn’t want to let go of his wife. He wants her to live. Of course he does. But the doctor asks him what his wife would want…
Tara is afraid that the operation might compromise the quality of life for her husband and that he won’t be able to run and play tennis (which he loves) and that he will be a vegetable. But the doctor asks her what her husband would want…
How does anyone take that decision? How would Shiv know whether his wife would prefer to just be on the ventilator for the rest of her life (well whatever was left of it) or if she would rather die a dignified death because there was no hope anyway? How can Shiv take a call for her? What about Tara? Should Tara give her husband that chance? The operation might bring back his consciousness but it might make him a vegetable. How can she take that decision for him? How can she decide what he would rather want for himself?
None of us ever talks about this with our partners. It is the toughest thing to think about or talk about…but would you rather know what your partner would want for himself/herself in that situation?
But I hope and pray that you or your partner never has to face anything like this. But I couldn’t get this thought out of my head. That question stood out for me through the entire film – What would your partner want???
Movie 2 – Parched
Lajjo is from the most rural parts of India, in an abusive relationship with her husband but in a place where the concept of divorce doesn’t exist. She is childless and everyone in the society, including herself, blames her for it. Her prostitute friend, Bijli, happens to tell her once in a casual conversation, that her husband could also be the reason – he could be impotent. Lajjo is taken aback because she never even thought that a man could be impotent. In her head, fertility was only associated with a woman.
She knew she wouldn’t be able to convince her husband to go for a test to check his fertility. The patriarchal, male chauvinistic society would never back her. So she decides to take the bold step and does what nobody in that society would expect her to do!
She has sex with another man to see if she could get pregnant. And she does!!!
When she breaks the news to her husband, he instantly knows it was not his child she bore in her womb. He beats her, abuses her, calls her a slut…but he never accepts for once that he knew all along that it was his impotence that was the issue…
Do you think Lajjo did the right thing? And what about her husband? Do you have an opinion of him at all?
I am really enjoying the different bold scripts that are seeing the light of the day. Indian cinema is evolving so beautifully. Strong characters, strong ideas and strong subjects are being filmed and are being presented to an audience that is willing to experiment as well…these stories definitely make me think…they provoke my thoughts…do they provoke yours? Would you watch a film that talks about a curious rural Indian woman exploring if she is fertile or about two strangers who have tough decisions to make in the waiting room of a hospital?
Oh, I have been talking constantly…I should drink my tea before it gets cold and I should let you so come talking now…