Everyone was asking question but she was quite.
The hall was almost full and many celebrities were present, including Anurag Kashyap who presented the film.
Occasion was a premier of “The world before her”, a film directed by Nisha Pahua, a Canadian film maker.
She could come here because she was the member of WIFT (woman in film and television), she was the privileged one to watch such a film with such an audience.
The film is about two camps, one is claiming to boost the woman’s freedom through objectification of body and the other one is objectifying religious emotions. One is Miss India Contest and other is Durga Vahini Camp by VHP. We all know what a miss india contest is? but very few of us know about durga vahini camps.
The film reminded her of many things related to her own life but she could not just utter a single word when everyone else was asking most relevant or irrelevant questions.
One of the protagonist P in the film is a group leader of durga vahini camp. She looked at P on-screen and thought that she could have been P herself. Not now, as she has gone to good college and education has already cleared up her mind from any sort of religious bias.
But may be at some point of time in her life. When she was still a kid, she was just like P, unaware and innocent. We always think innocency as a positive quality.
As a kid she sang all the glories songs of victory over Pakistan, she hated Pakistan, not even knowing why she did that? Of-course someone was playing a key role here. She wanted to attend these early morning exercise, wearing khaki nicker and white shirt with a lathi. But she was a girl so she could not do that.
Now she looks back and think thank god I am a girl.
She used to live in a place, which has international boundaries like china, Tibet and Nepal. It had thousands of migrant coming from Tibet, thousands of Nepali coming for regular jobs, and china! china never even looses one single chance to scare army Soldiers on the border. Not just her area, but the whole country knew of it, though the first hand experience is always different.
The songs were not anti-Buddhist or anti Hindu(as Nepal is the only Hindu nation in world) but anti-Muslim. As a kid she never questioned why?
She gathered her thoughts and listen to the arguments people were having over P. Everybody pretended to understand P’s situation. But she was not sure whether they did? In the beginning everyone thinks that she is a nasty Hindu girl, who is full of hate for Muslims but as the film progresses we get to know her personal life. So most of the audience nodded their head in unison to understand P. She sat still.
She did not say anything. She was not shocked but this reminded her that, as a young girl her whole body used to tremble while passing by the Muslim mohalla. She literaly used to chant hanuman chalisa. Every day.
In the film when some young girls shout “Doodh mangoge to kheer denge, kashmir mangoge to cheer denge”, she noticed the expressions of some ladies around her. Exasperated. She was not affected. She remembered one song some students of her school had performed on 26th january, “Utho dhara ke amar saputo, punh naya nirman karo, anyayi pakistaniyo ko apne desh se door karo” literally meaning “raise O children of mother earth, get up and re invent your country, throw away the pakistanis, they are unjust”. She could not imagine, how a Pakistani would look like.
The film was showing her childhood dream as well. She wanted to go into one of these camps. And right now sitting in her damp chair in PVR, she was just lost, does not know how to react.
People laughed, some of them were in real shock ,as if they came across reality for the first time. She thought the lady next to her, might get a heart-attack, the lady has not gone out of Mumbai.
She went home and tried to talk about this with a friend. She took P side saying that P went through a tough time and is unaware of right and wrong, so she is a victim of society.
Her Mumbai bred friend refused to accept this. Her friend said everyone has condition and everyone goes through some kind of social pressure but that does not mean one becomes a terrorist. She thought, most of the terrorists comes from small villages and town. Mumbai kind of city can not understand it.
She just sat there thinking, she herself wanted to write about such things and raise questions and even educate girls to know what is happening to them. But is it impossible? The answer is she just does not want to go back to those fanatics who even disregard her womanhood. She did not go through the durga vahini training but still she is scared. Not from Muslims of-course, but these creepy fanatics. Who even might take away the basic right from her, to be alive.
So she sat there, sweating in the hall, not uttering a single word, not even clapping for the director.
Of course she loved the film.