यह रातें, यह मौसम
नदी का किनारा, यह चंचल हवा !
We all know how love, hatred, sorrow, happiness, gratification and such other innumerable glittering emotions constitute Life. Also, that these are like electrons and protons moving vigorously within its mass and thereby unnerving life’s atomic configuration. I am always intrigued by the ever-evolving natural instincts of the beings. We have an inbuilt super-dynamic RAM, which aids us to make swift shifts of emotions that somehow contributes in developing, evolving and mending our AI system.
Rituparno did a sensational job by expressing such simple concept through his story and as depicted in the movie “Memories in March”. The movie flows like a cold soothing stream down the robust hills and finally meeting its fate of serene circle of ocean. No doubt Sanjoy had a rhythmic vision while directing this movie, he indeed did a fab situational portrayal of the tale.
“A mother waiting for a flight to meet her deceased son”, yet carrying a valiant expression & voice, played by Deepti Naval. Siddhartha had been living away for his first job in Kolkata and always used to call Aarti, her mother who resides in Delhi, to come and live with him. Finally, his call is met and Aarti is flying to live with him although she won’t find his physical presence now.
We’re often late. Sometimes reaching someplace or meeting someone is not prioritised over our monotonous routine. I wonder why nurturing our inner-self takes a back-seat and we keep ourselves driven by decorating our outer shells.
Aarti kept memorising e-mails written by her son, where he described everything minutely “the office space, his company allotted 2bhk flat, people, roads, windows and the doors.” Sid was very close to his mother and was fond of sharing even pintsize moments with her. She missed visiting him at those moments.
While coming back from crematorium, she enquired patiently about the accident from Sid’s boss ‘Arnob’ who was accompanying her in his Car. He described all possible events about the tragedy concluding with the one, that the body was kept in ice until Aarti arrived. A mother feels her womb forever; she still could feel the cold just by the thought her son being kept in ice. Arnob innocently asked if he should raise the temperature of AC when Aarti closed her arms tightly around herself with a shawl- an immediate sensory motion while she was listening. Later as she is dropped at her son’s flat, she is found carrying the same dilemma as she opened the freezer and spoke “Babu boht thand thi kya vahan?”.
The epic screenplay of Rituparno turns to its best in the scene where after the big courageous day of Aarti, she is finally seen to be broken; while sitting on a bed with the pot of ashes in her laps like a young mommy carrying her new born in the arms, trying to get it to sleep with a lullaby.
Each morning gives a different twist and turn to our streaming mind-set.
Next morning, Aarti is seen to have moved towards first step of the acceptance of her misfortune. She is texting her relatives, informing them about the incident. She has developed an instinct to get introduced to her son’s life. No doubt she cannot talk to him but for a day or two, she is almost living some part of his life. She is meeting the same people he used to meet daily- the milk-man, the chowkidaar bhaiya, his office-mates, the fishes in the aquarium and the last egg in the fridge which has written over it “Caution: I am the last one.” Well, the last egg has a relatively more importance than other. Isn’t it.
She is now visited by Shahana, a lovely decent girl ‘played by the bengal beauty Raima Sen’, who has shown huge respect & affection towards Aarti since she has arrived. In this deepest time of sorrow, a mother is still capacitated with the thought, that may be her son has finally met someone to settle down. We, the people has a lust towards contentment, we seek to fetch the same at least in our dreams with all possible opportunities.
Shahana helps Aarti to have a flavour of Sid’s life, she takes her to the office. Aarti finds everything as were mentioned in mails from his son- the stairs, the hallways, chambers, cubicles. And then the one where Sid used to sit, it had a soft board displaying his thoughts, artwork, daily schedule and a picture of Aarti- the one from his childhood. But ironically, his chair & desk is now occupied by a replacement. Shahana’s annoyance towards the replacement looks genuine; since till yesterday, the place belonged to the one who is no more. But that is how a system is programmed: the faster a loss is recovered, the lessor is the soreness of a damage.
Aarti also pays a visit with her to the place, where accident actually happened “the broken fence”. The fence to which his car crashed causing him to lose his life. Shahana recollects the yesterday, quoting how happy he was in his new blue blazer and enjoyed throughout the late night party. Aarti cries upon the incident asking why was’nt he stopped from driving in that sozzled condition? Where was the office decorum? and more questions alike. We tend to seek as many reasons as there could be, that may/could have avoided the misery. Accidently, they find Arnob passing by the scene and stopping thereby to know the mother’s well-being. Like any responsible employer he assured that everything is fine and all near relatives are informed. And he offered help getting to know that Aarti is unable to connect Sid’s father. Until this day Aarti has always considered her day of divorce as the black day, not anymore though. Thus, she lost a constant touch with her husband from then.
As she is back to her Son’s flat; Arnob guides her on phone towards Sid’s study table “the room of Sid’s home which she was unaware of existence till day”. A little disappointed from just able to connect to her ex-husband’s answering machine, she moves towards the next morning.
This morning actually paves her path to the room of her child which she never had an access in his entire life span. She is met with the fact that her son was in love. Shahana had no other choice but to tell her, when Aarti fought melodramatically at office to procure her son’s belongings without any delay from Arnob. Her heart descended and sat on the office stairs when She was told that someone may have equal right of possession of belongings as she does; that it’s not just her who is suffering from grief, that her son and Arnob were lovers.
It’s so profound to realise that the reality is actually stranger than fiction.
She doubted, hated and insulted Arnob, when he came to her to return what he had of his beloved. She even accused him of seducing her child, to which he finally broke and tried to counter her by showing her the other side of affection. When he failed to settle the furious mother, he left with a question to her “What is more important to you – an act of seduction or the relationship per se??”
Its conveniently fine to understand that no matter what, we can never believe somethings that are beyond our imagination, until & unless we listen the same from our own self.
Aarti tried talking to know from Shahana, who confessed that she was head over heels for her son but while she expressed her love, Siddhartha gently overruled her with a reason of him being in love with Arnob. Although induced, yet still not convinced to accept something she has never known. She only found a settlement with the truth post reading a saved, unsent draft to the mother in her Son’s phone. She was habitual of listening everything from her lad’s life, however this unsent draft for the mother had given her a message that may be there were somethings which he was still giving a thought for “If she is capable of digesting or accepting it”.
The next day she met Arnob with an open heart, however still struggling with in for this unexpected fact. She tried getting to know this person- how her son recognized some similarities in Arnob with her mother, how this guy is as passionate about life as Aarti herself used to be. She even agrees to share the clothes, the books, the belongings of Siddhartha with him. But not the gifts as Arnob corrected her “gifts are not to be returned”. She suddenly finds that by now she had been unknowingly wearing Arnob’s robe daily while she lived in her son’s flat.
People switch places, relations switch feelings and any particular dress can have alternative bodies to get into a perfect fitting.
Arnob (brilliantly and lyrically enacted by Rituparno Ghosh) is a highly creative person who seems to have a great understanding of female psych. He believes in getting to know life directly in its original raw form. When he was asked about why he prefer eating through hands and not by spoon he referred Nehru saying “eating with fork & spoon is like making love through interpretor.” He personally hated the steel between food & mouth. He wanted things to be in their actual form criticizing keeping the fishes’ captive in a tank, however he was adaptive enough to soon realise that may be fishes have accepted the box as their world like we human do.
We sometimes have few pre-conceived notions about life which is only corrected by an actual experience.
Aarti spent the last day in the city with the person closest to her son. She was snapped and corrected by Arnob at instances where she spoke that she could have her child visited to a psychiatrist at a right age or while she constantly enquired about the sexual interest of her Son. Arnob silently asked her that “what is more grievous for you, his death or the fact that he was Gay”. She couldn’t satisfactorily answer the same, saying – A mother in this situation may go through different emotions. Arnob pronounced that atleast you have two different emotions to switch to while he has a single mountain of a grief for a lost love.
If we give some time to ‘The time’, we tend to know different people and know our different self.
While closing the facebook account of Siddhartha, Arnob wrote on his timeline “If I have to go away, can I leave a bit of me with you??” On her last night Aarti took Arnob out for his b’day celebration and on the way back they found that the broken fence is now repaired. She stepped down in the rain and touched the new fence.
Life do have its own way of fixing and refurbishing things.
As she stepped back in her son’s flat, she found that the pot of ashes has broken due to strong breeze and the remains are set free to flow in the rain.
She left Kolkata the next morning, leaving some gifts for the closed ones – A Sid’s shirt for Shahana and her own sunglasses for Arnob.
May be a small gift puts a comma to a sentence and completes a semi-circle of glittering emotions.
कैसी अजीब दावत है यह, दावत शायद ख़त्म हुई फिर,
सब लोग जा रहे हैं घर, कैसी अजीब दावत है यह…!