Last Sunday morning, as I sat on my sofa, holding a mug of hot milk, lazily looking out of the window, watching the raindrops falling, my thoughts went back to the movie I’d seen the previous night – Drishyam.
Drishyam means “to visualize“.
Just in case you’re thinking this will be yet another blog on the Creative Visualization process, let me tell you (in what now sounds like a desperate attempt to prevent you from clicking that X button on your browser), this is not going to be that. Well, not that I have any thing against the subject, just that I feel that a lot has been written about it already and, besides, I am no expert on the subject.
Neither am I going to act like a spoiler for those who haven’t seen the movie yet. So, don’t you worry about that!
So, as I sat there, dreaming with my eyes wide open, Mom entered the room, derailing my train of random thoughts.
“Good Morning!”, Mom said as she settled on the sofa beside me.
“Morning Mom!”, I replied.
She fetched The Hindustan Times from the center table, flipped a few pages before settling for a few minutes on a news article. I noticed that Mom’s mood was turning sombre as she finished reading.
Then she said, “You know what, Mohit!”
“What Mom… Is everything Okay?”, I asked with genuine concern.
“I want to tell you something.”, she replied with a dreamy, faraway look in her eyes.
Then, she took me back in time… 65 years back and shared the story of her Grandpa. A story I’d not an inkling of, until today!
Mom’s Grandpa had three sons. His youngest son died of Typhoid at a very early age. No parent can bear such a loss and neither could Grandpa.
Grandpa started living the life of a saint – bore long hair, wore saffron clothes and hardly spoke to anyone. The only time he spoke was when he talked to himself.
Everyone thought that the old man had gone crazy!
And then, one wintry morning, the crazy old man did the unthinkable! He went into the bathroom, locked himself in and what came out from the space between the wooden door and the bathroom wall, were thick dark fumes.
Family members tried their best to save Grandpa, but the crazy old man had executed his plan to a tee. Howsoever crazy he might have been, he was smarter than the rest of the family members.
As the grief stricken family performed Grandpa’s last rites, they also made a pact to not share this secret with anyone. The version that was shared was that Grandpa’s death was an accident!
WRONG OR WRONGED?
I was still aghast with questions open in my mind- Why did the family decide to keep this under covers? Was it some guilt? And why was Mom sharing it with me now?
Mom’s eyes answered these questions – A poor family, already in grief, couldn’t have had the strength to face up to an unsparing society and our ruthless systems.
– A society which is more interested in what’s going wrong in your house rather than their own!
– a police which has an agenda of it’s own. (After all, such are the times to make a fast buck!)
– A judiciary which is so painfully slow. (One of my uncles put this point across well, “Tortoise is put to shame for nothing, what is actually really really slow, is our judicial system!“).
All that would only mean additional pain and humiliation for a family which was already struggling to make it’s ends meet.
I looked at Mom. She looked older than before. I hadn’t noticed when those wrinkles had started showing on her lovely face.
I heard the rain pelting away at the living room window. As I looked out again, my thoughts once again went back to the movie, Drishyam – How a man hides a serious incident to protect his family of humiliation and shame.
The family was not guilty but it was forced to hide. They were not wrong, just wronged. That is what our society, our police, our media forces us to do.
Our society and systems are calling for a change – a change which is perhaps happening but not as fast as it should. And until things change, don’t be surprised if your Dad or Mom or Aunt are secretly burdened under the weight of an untold story.
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