If We Were Strolling Together, Uncategorized

If we were Strolling Together (8)

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.

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Right…now that we both have some tea, we are ready for a chat, aren’t we?

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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?

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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…

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20 thoughts on “If we were Strolling Together (8)”

  1. Hi Swati,

    I am happy you got back to writing. This is a lovely piece. Loved every line. I will respond on the blog page leisurely. I have a great story to share related to Lajjo.

    I have case coming up in Mumbai High Court on 4th Jan & have to get our rejoinder ready to counter Bank’s point of view.

    Happy New Year.

    K Raja

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for always encouraging me.. I felt very strongly about these two movies and thought I’d put it out there for people to comment on it too. They are very independent, unusual scripts and I’m amazed at how gutsy the writing is for the movies.
      Can’t wait to know your opinion on this kind of cinema and about Lajjo. Cheers and have a wonderful day. Also have a happy 2017!

      Like

  2. Two very strong Indian movies that deal with very real and important issues in modern society today. I particularly was drawn to the Lajjo storyline. While turning your back on your spouse isn’t desirable, what she did was be bold and tried to push boundaries. It didn’t sound like anyone was one her side. Then again, in some societies no one is really ever on a woman’s side – and this has to change. A very bold direction in Indian film, and maybe there will be more of it in the future πŸ™‚

    Wishing you a wonderful year ahead, Aishwarya. I don’t drink coffee or tea. I’ll just have water, thank you πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Hi Mabel, how have you been?? It’s so so good to see you here again. I hope you had a good 2016 and that you have an even better 2017.
      Indian movies these days are venturing into areas and concepts that we would have avoided seeing on screen earlier. That these movies are being watched by a wider audience itself suggests a small change in the way things are being perceived. I am very glad that the change is happening, albeit rather slowly. What are the major issues in your society? Is it a patriarchal society as well?

      Like

      1. It was a challenging 2016 for me and I am very eager to get 2017 going! In Chinese culture, patriarchal issues dominate and it can be hard for woman to speak up. If they do, they are often seen as aggressive and in a sense pretty similar to Indian culture. Hopefully things will change, and we can all start by speaking up for ourselves, you and me πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Patriarchy is a rather complex subject to deal with, isn’t it? Hope it evolved as all the same in different cultures around the world is beyond my understanding. But women have to speak up for themselves and believe that they are as capable. As Sudersan rightly pointed out in his comment, women sometimes take the privilege of being the fairer sex and often fail to acknowledge their strength and that only fuels the patriarchal school of thought.
        As for 2016, it has been a challenging year for all of mankind I suppose on many levels. Let’s hope for a better year ahead πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. hey,
    nice post.. next time, try have some chocolate or honey/oatmeal cookies πŸ˜› – the one that you would find in Coffee Day counters here..! πŸ˜‰

    While I havent had the chance to see either movies, it is an interesting perspective you have put forth, especially in case of the first movie. The second movie, sure the society is patriarchal – well maybe not a complete 100%, but quite a large percentage. I however feel that this also has to do with the mindset of women too. I feel, the society we live in is caught up somewhere in-between the honest realities of gender equalities (the very word is sexist, methinks – the genders being equal should be a given, rather than have a word for it!!!) and the ‘comforts’ of gender stereotypes And, when i say comforts of the stereotypes, I point fingers at both sexes.

    Like

    1. Hi Sudersan, it’s wonderful to hear from you. Thank you as always for stopping by my page. I shall head over to see what you are upto very soon.
      As for your thoughts on gender equality etc, I agree that the day we get rid of having to say words like sexist, feminist, etc,.. The day we stop having to draw attention to these issues is the day they will really be done with! And patriarchy unfortunately it’s hard wired into the brains of such a huge proportion of people in our society (especially rural India) that it is clearly no longer just another issue, it needs to be plucked out of its roots if we hope to see a difference.
      The next time oatmeal cookies will definitely be served πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. But, my point is patriarchy is wired into both men and women. I have more than once heard girls say they cant travel alone because they are girls. I understand there are issues. But unless someone decides to break the shakles, nothing would change. I dare say, as long as the women find comfort in being the fairer sex, the men are going to remain chauvinistic. No offense to either sex, but this i feel is the issue.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That was very well articulated Sudersan. I think I do agree with you. I have always felt that some women pretend to be or present themselves as rather delicate souls and I believe it’s not really the case. Women are strong independent individuals too. Yes there are some issues but they are hardly weaknesses. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Could not have said better. Unfortunately, whether its “hip” to call it such or a simple fear many women i have come across tend to project themselves as “delicate”. In a majprity of cases the only place where women actually claim to strong is whatsapp status n instagram posts, which is sad. But i have come across some women/girls who make you go whoa… But then, to each her own..
        Btw, still awaiting the oatmeal cookie πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

      4. WhatsApp status and Instagram posts are part of a whole new world that I fail to understand! We should leave that discussion for another day. As for the oatmeal cookies, wait till we go on a stroll again and I shall have them ready πŸ™‚

        Like

  4. Hey there!

    I liked your views on both movies. I myself have almost stopped watching Bollywood movies, but I think there are still some good producers and directors are coming up with meaningful stories. This post has restored my faith in Indian quality movies. (thanks!) I haven’t watched any of these movies, so I’ll surely watch at least ‘Waiting’, as I had also seen some touching moments in its trailer.

    One more thing, I’d read recently that, ‘it is good that we’ve (as Indian young generation) started discussing this things about our movies rather than discussing item songs, how stupid and cliched the plots are’ on a renowned writers post. And I completely agree with him, as I myself had discussions like this about some foreign movies with friends but almost never for Indian movies.

    Thanks again! πŸ™‚

    Keep Writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ronil, welcome to my blog. It’s wonderful to meet you in this space and I am glad that through my post, you have a new found faith in Indian cinema. Right now I feel Indian cinema is evolving with its audience so it’s a rather exciting phase for me. I am no movie critic but as an audience, I am enjoying this phase of exploratory scripts and bold dialogues. Do watch ‘Waiting’ and let me know how you found it. Cheers πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes Indian cinema is involving in new phase right now, I wish it lead to a brighter future (because I don’t see these types of movies getting anything more than good critics reviews, with no or just survivable revenues, it is hard to survive! But let’s be hopeful about it!!)

        Surely, I’ll let you know about the movie! πŸ‘

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      2. I think I disagree a bit because while a decade ago, these movies would not have seen the light of the day, now they are making it to the movie halls and people are talking positively about them and they are breaking even (if not making a profit) financially. It’s definitely a positive sign that we are seeing more and more of these movies now because if there was no audience for it, they wouldn’t be making them. Also, the distinction between ‘art movies’ and ‘commercial movies’ is a blur these days and I see it as a big positive too. I think there is some future here.. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yes, I would agree slightly with you on point that they have started being noticed on national and international platforms, yet they are not grossing or getting popular enough what they deserve.
        And yes the distinction between art movies and commercial movies is getting blur! I think it is a good sign for this type of cinema.
        Let’s be optimistic and see both sides of coin! πŸ™‚

        Have a good day! (Y)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi J! Thanks for stopping by. It does feel better to be writing more. And it’s wonderful to hear from you again. πŸ™‚
      Indian movies are interesting at the moment ,yes. Which recent movies did you enjoy watching?

      Like

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