Hope is silent too…
Exactly this time last year, I watched this movie for the first time. The very first question I asked myself was why hadn’t I watched it when it released. Then I answered myself too, I wouldn’t have been able to handle it.
This movie had a run-time of 2 hr 36 min on Hotstar, where I watched it. It seemed much shorter though, to me; the movie was indeed very good. Surprisingly, it should’ve seemed longer because it was extremely slow, silent, and heavy with emotion; I think I had to pause it every now and then to just cry my tears out. Don’t worry, the movie is not THAT sad, it’s just that the time for me was very apt. As a person who can remember having anxiety from the age of probably two, getting tensed, tight muscles, vomiting, hiding under the blanket, but not being able to cry… years of accumulated anxiety, uncertainty, hurt, and perhaps pain just flowed. It was a much needed and relieving release. I love the fact that this movie made me cry so much. At the time I didn’t even realise what it was that I related to, in the movie, so much. The movie was really brilliant and although I cried throughout, I felt so much lighter and happier when it ended. Yes, it has a beautiful happy ending! 😊
Neither Star, nor Sanjay Leela Bhansali has paid me to say this (I wish) but I’d say it nonetheless, everyone should watch this movie! First, I’ll tell you why I love this movie, then, I’ll tell you how, only today early morning, I understood why.
I watched this movie from Manisha Koirala’s perspective, and the song that I was listening to today, that reminded me of this movie is not the famous ‘Aaj Mai Upar, Aasman Neeche’, but another one, ‘Mausam Ke Sargam Ko Sunn’.
The thing is you will feel upar neeche only in your jawaani, in your bachpan you really need an anchor who sings you ‘Mausam Ke Sargam Ko’. The movie is full of HOPE. So much hope, where such little, it seems, can fit. The parents of the protagonist, Manisha Koirala, are deaf and mute; Manisha Koirala, however, loves to sing! Thankfully, she has her granny, Helen, to keep the dream alive… in fact, to give her a dream to hold onto; even as her parents constantly ignore her, battling with grief from the loss of their other child, Manisha’s deceased younger brother. We all need such an anchor, especially in childhood. It’s really amazing when it’s a jovial Granny who plays the Piano for you and teaches you to sing because she recognises you have an amazing voice, and can see that twinkle in your eyes when you sing, probably, the only time that your smile reaches your eyes. Sadly, Piano has to be sold, and Granny dies leaving Koirala uprooted. Thankfully, a nice uncle lets her play the piano in his shop and the dream that Granny gave keeps Manisha going. Listen to the song, and you’ll know that Granny seriously charted out her entire life, a better one too, for Koirala. The best thing about the movie is, even with the twists and turns, the dream comes true… Like any other parents, Koirala’s parents rigorously try to keep her from doing the things that make her happy, in the fear that harm will befall her. One such thing being getting close to Salman, who knocks her up and leaves. But guess what? He leaves with a promise to come back, and come back he does! He comes back, helps her become a singer, and marries her! Sab kuch insaan khud se nahi kar sakta, and it’s okay sometimes to wish for a ‘Knight in Shining Armour’ to come and rescue you. It fills my heart to see that he does.
The movie made such an impression on me that even after one year when someone says that their parents punished them by making them leave the house and stand/be outside for some time, the image that comes to my mind is Koirala being given the same punishment and how pathetic she felt (I guess she acted really well for the part).
Why the movie makes so much sense to me now, after a year?
Let’s start with the discussion I was recently a part of in my ongoing internship; in which I realised that so many children are abandoned daily, not in the severe sense of being left on the road, but in small ways like being left at their grandparents’ place as the parents struggle to earn a living or stay sane. Every child, then, needs an anchor their parent is not being able to be for them. My sister and I grew up like this too. We were very attached to our Masy, she was our anchor, she told us bedtime stories almost every night and patted us as we fell asleep. I remember always keeping my tiny leg on top of her, I don’t know if I was so weak that my leg constantly ached or I kept it just so that I know she won’t leave at night. She was the parent to us, the one who became the anchor, and gave us hope, while our parents were busy trying to earn enough to keep the family afloat. The stories that our Masy told us, the love and care she gave, it was so necessary at the time because the only other option was a local creche and that place was a hell-hole, to be honest. I think this is the reason I love Granny Helen from this movie, and this song that portrays the conception of Manisha’s hopeful journey.
I also realised that I dated someone so similar to Manisha, in so many ways, that I felt so deeply for Manisha, and for the first time in so many years I did not mind that a strong woman depended on someone else to pull her out of her miserable yet bearable life. I personally felt she deserved it.
I so wish many more Grannies and parents tell such happy stories that do come true, rather than filling their children with fear and negativity. I so wish that someday, I can too.
PS. Kavita Krishnamurthy singing the verse “gaaye jaaa…”, seems like a voice telling you to keep going….
PPS. Hope is silent… yet is conveyed by a song.