Thursday, February 27, 2014

An Ode to Veera

I am veera. I am the little child in the woods who lost her way in a garden full of daffodils. Just that I had to close my eyes and be oblivious to what was happening with my body. I am veera,  and I am 7 years old, I am told. And he was a man five times my age. He thrust himself on  me and  trapped me forever in a cage. I am veera,  I wanted to shout. I wanted to shout that one time. But I swallowed my words. I am veera, and I learnt then to swallow not just words but to live in two worlds. I am veera, on my body is a liquid, white and sticky.  What happened I didn't want to know. I didn't want to know what happened to me. I am veera, yes, I lived in two worlds. One when I was pushed and shoved, the other when the image in my mind was a garden full of daffodils. A garden where I played with butterflies, heard crow's cries, danced with the cuckoo and played with the doves. I am veera, there is quiet within me and there is din outside. There is din within me when there is quiet outside.  I am veera,  I am that girl who didn't know what was happening with her. Within her was a voice that spoke to her. The voice that uncaged her, and set her free. The voice that she longed for. I am veera, I am now old. The two voices are meeting. The real outside and the real inside. The voice inside is disappearing. I am getting more aware of what is happening. I am veera.  I am dying.  I am crying. I am thinking “ why am I bleeding and not pleading”. Not pleading to stop.  I am veera. Now there are four. Four men are here. And  I am lying in a pool of semen. I, but have learnt to not raise a voice. I am veera, I try to hint. But mummy didn't get it. She didn’t know. I am cold

I am veera. I am a scream. I am a dream. I am that voice that you hear. I am without fear. I am veera. Everything is hunky dory. I hide the gory in my visible glory. I am veera.   I want to go to the highway, spread my hands and dance away.  I am veera. I am older now. Much older. Now,  I fear no wilderness. I don’t mind flowing in desolate streams. I fear no violence, for all I have seen.  I am veera. I am not scared of your screams. I will listen to your voice. As I speak to my own. I am veera. I am someone who believes that every stone has a history. I think there was life in it too. I am veera. My middle name is empathy. I feel what you feel. I can hear the turmoil within you that even you cannot see.  I am veera. I am a stone. A stone unturned. I am a page. A blank one at that.  I am veera. I believe pain is a binder. I bind to it. I am veera. Deny me the riches. Leave me with the ones with glitches. Don’t bind me with your showy love. Leave me alone with my voices now. I am veera. I am living in a dream. I am a flowing stream. I am veera. I will flow out one day. I will flow out one day.

You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.” Said  Friedrich Nietzsche. And Imtiaz Ali depicted it to perfection in his film – Highway. Alia Bhatt has acted so well that you don’t see her in the film – you only see Veera. As a survivor of child sexual abuse myself,  I could connect with the character that Alia brings alive. I felt a part of me had gotten out and was on screen. That perfect she was. Child-like but a woman who was world-wise much before she wanted to be. Someone who is not insane, though her definition of  joys are unbelievably ordinary and plain. And Randeep Hooda’s character need not even have a name to relate to him. He is that good. You carry him along,  the characters linger on you even hours after you have left the theater.  Rehman has underplayed his music. Which music director of his caliber would do that to suit the mood of the film? And cinematography – WOW. There are many frames in the film that you would want to capture as a wallpaper. 

The film – HIGHWAY is not real, it is either a fantasy. Yet, it is both. A reality and an unbelievable story. Ask me, if I would react the way she did, with patience, and tact and knack. My answer would be in the affirmative. Highway is a film  about the voice of the child trapped within a survivor of child sexual abuse, and the woman in real life. It is about the duality in the mind of a survivor  that she/he dodges away and refuses to acknowledge. It is that uncomfortable truth of conflict between the reality and the dream. Highway builds the bridge for me.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highway_(2014_Hindi_film)

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