Movies, Emotions and Memories…

Being a sensitive person, I can cry very easily at emotionally wrought situations. While I have often heard people say that crying is a weakness, however I think otherwise; being yourself and being able to express your emotions good or bad, and not pretend is more important than thinking what others might think of you.

I have observed my crying pattern and realised that I cry the most while watching movies (I know this may sound very silly yet not entirely uncommon either). I love the offbeat Hindi Cinema more, which is not the usual Romantic flicks majority of which might lack actual story or content.

Which brings me to a very important observation about myself—that I forget the world when I am watching movies, it’s like I wish that those 2.5-3 hours would never end.

What encouraged me to write this blog was a 5 minutes crying session after watching the movie, “Viceroy’s House” directed by Gurinder Chadha. This movie basically shows the events surrounding the partition of Hindustan into India and Pakistan and showed the motive of the Great Britain behind it.

I could connect with this movie more so while watching it, as stories told to me by my Paternal Grandmother (whom I recently lost and my crying somewhere included the pain of losing her) and by my maternal Grandmother were rewinding in my mind side by side and could be seen onscreen through the movie.

The pain of leaving one’s well built and furnished home, agricultural land, money, gold and other belongings and then travelling for hours in extreme temperatures and conditions, with not enough food and water and then staying at a makeshift refugee camp waiting to get a space allotted by the Government. So that finally one can ‘rebuild’ life (which will for obvious reasons not be the same as before) and start from scratch—proves to be an enormous task and emotionally draining.

The movie shows that many people were killed, women were raped, children died, many families separated and clans destroyed—I think it was a very good attempt to show one of the largest human displacement in history—where millions of Muslims went to a new country called Pakistan and many Hindus came to India from a land called Pakistan today.

My maternal grandmother who was 13 when the partition took place in 1947, also mentioned to me that women, young or old, were hung upside down in the process of crossing the border to make sure that they were not carrying anything inside their bras. If perchance there was any money or Gold, it was taken away; and not to mention the belittling way they were frisked and groped during the ‘checking’. Even the thought of such hideous acts against humanity in the name of religion and region makes me wonder at the pain of my grandparents and millions of other peoples’, and all that they have gone through. This makes me count my blessings and privileges each day and try to be grateful for all that we have today.

Gurinder Chadha, the director of the movie, dedicated the movie to her Grandmother who had personally witnessed partition, and I dedicate this blog to my Grandmothers who shared some of the many instances with me when I was growing up. Though I could not relate to those instances then at that young age, but over a period of time whenever something partition related or religion based happened, it made me recollect those memories filled with haunting details. Those acts against the very strain of humanity, while watching the movie that depicted those conversations into graphic actions, not only made me tear up but also reminded me of my Grandmother and those memories with her that will always remain as memories.

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