I met Veera a few days ago. I took out time from my wife-mother-employee role and went to meet her one evening at 9.30pm. I had no clue what she was like or where she was going. I had no clue she would take me on a journey with her. I had no clue I’d meet the Veera in me.
Coming from Imtiaz Ali, the hype was all around the journey. Quite literally. But this wasn’t an all-India tour. Just like that. This was more. While Veera and Mahabir travelled across the country, they travelled through time as well. Into their past. They travelled within themselves. They met their selves at some point. I think Mahabir had already been there. In his past and he dwells there. But when Veera met herself, she was nine. And then she couldn’t return.
Stockholm syndrome, they say is the centre idea of the movie. The streak that defines Veera’s character. So not! In our country, it’s so not. The centre idea should be the root of the syndrome. How did Veera find happiness in captivity? Why did Veera run back into hostage when she was given the freedom to choose? Why did Veera trust a stranger? Why did she save herself from being sent home?
A child is to find happiness and comfort within his or her home. A child is safe within the four walls they call home. In today’s world, we forget that is so untrue. In today’s world, we tend to have no time or inclination to listen to subtle messages. This story deals with a subject that needs discussion and confrontation and sensitisation. Child Sexual Abuse.
Veera preferred strangers to living in a society where her abusers still roamed about happily. Veera preferred vast dry lands filled to her luxurious home. Veera preferred the show-peaked mountains and a make-do house there with Mahabir, to her wealthy New-York based married life that is awaiting her. She had no intentions to marry Mahabir. She simply loved him. She simply loved the moments, mountains and movements. Yes, her ability to move in freedom.
Mahabir, her kidnapper has his own story to deal with. And such truth he’s done it with. Being the snappy, smile-less man. His one smile towards the end of the movie brought tears to my eyes. On the other hand Veera always found happiness in all. When she says in the end…I am a stupid and will remain so, but I do not want to be like one of you – to her people, my respect for her was immense.
This movie was a visual treat and a very soul-fulfilling one for me. When I walked out of the theatre, I knew I’d met the Veera in me too. With more courage and will to live on my own terms coz the world won’t understand any way!