Wednesday, 31 December 2008


I watched a Malayalam movie about 4 or 5 months back which made me re-think my stand on infidelity. The movie was ‘Ore kadal’ by Shyamaprasad. It is based on a Bengali book which goes by the name of ‘Herrak Deepthy’ by Sunil Gangopadhyay.
I have liked all of Shyamaprasad’s movies till date and as far as Sunil Gangopahyay’s books are concerned – I have been dying to lay my hands on any of them. Many of his books have been made into movies by Satyajit Ray – I think that is self explanatory.

The story revolves around a stark contrast of four characters.

The hero ‘Nathan’ is a well educated economics professor who loathes attachment – among all the characters in the story this is the one I could relate to the most. The reason he loathes attachment of any sort is only due to fear of loss. And an illiterate, poor and innocent wife of another man guides him out of his cocoon with the power of love. I have not been able to comprehend his change in character towards the end which portrays him as a man madly in love. I do not believe people can change so.

The heroine ‘Deepthy’ is an illiterate lady belonging to the lower middle class society. Her life is about as normal as any other lady in her strata of the society – until she falls prey to temptation. She is a woman who is too unsure of herself to argue with anyone’s wants or needs. She submits to dominance. She falls in love with the pleasure she derives from a man other than her husband. Her feeble mind haunts her when she becomes the mother of his child and this eventually drives her crazy.
After a couple of years she is ‘treated’ and ‘cured’.
But by then Nathan realises he cannot live without the love that can make a woman go literally crazy. The movie ends with Deepthy deciding to stay with Nathan – when her purpose of visiting him was to murder him – again depicting how indecisive her nature can be.

Other than these two characters, there are two other very strong characters – Deepthy’s husband and Nathan’s ‘friend’ Bella.
Deepthy’s husband is a man who wants nothing more than to live a normal life. He loves his wife but does not express it exquisitely. He loves his family. He is a good father. Here we have a man who represents a majority in the Indian society. One who does not want to accept anything out of the ordinary and will go to any lengths to bring his life back to its ‘ordinary’ state.
Bella is Nathan’s friend. She does not believe in attachment but she does believe in love. She was raped by her uncle and cousin when she was too young to even know what rape actually means. Her son died of starvation when she was an adolescent. She has been through a lot of pain in her life and she wants to live only for the moment. She does not look forward to the future nor does she care for the past. She loves being alone but unlike Nathan she does not run away from love.

Infidelity to me was always something that was associated with the ‘cunning’ or ‘smart’ ones. I always thought cheating on one’s partner required one to be shrewd. But this movie changed my outlook. I have now come to the conclusion that infidelity can be committed by those who don’t really know what they want, those who are unsure of themselves, those who submit themselves to others’ wants.
I am not of the opinion that they are less to blame.
I am not of the opinion that what they are committing is less of a sin than those who do it knowingly.
I am not of the opinion that ‘love’ of this sort should be forgiven.
But the movie was enlightening.

I did not know that helplessness can be the cause of infidelity.

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