Friday, 11 December 2009
Last night I nearly wept while watching TV. The thing that made me weak was the fact that the 'story' I was watching was as real as death. No melodrama, no re-enactment and no actors. The story was simple.
It was a program on NGC, an old classic actually, called as RoadRaj. It is a documentary on road traffic of Bombay (as disclaimer said: a program made when Mumbai was still called Bombay). It ran parallel stories of different people and their families. It was about a fire-fighter who aims to become the best fire-fighter in Bombay, about a young girl who just started to learn how to drive a car and wished to own one one-day, about the Bombay traffic police training, about a greedy and emotionless taxi driver and his taxi cleaner and about a young boy who ran away from his village to step his foot in the land of dreams survived only because of a generous man.
As the episode came to end, it showed how the man made the runaway boy ready to go back to his village and meet his father and ask for his forgiveness. Not only did he persuade him to go but also was ready to accompany him to his village to persuade his father to forgive him. And so they board the train. Upon reaching the village and traveling in an auto to his house, the boy expresses his anxiety, nervousness and his fear. The first person he meets is his grandmother.
His grandmother, sitting on the ground outside their house sees him from a distance and a gush of emotions ooze out. She is an old lady, who has lost her strength she once had, her skin held loosely on her face showed a feeling I was not able to interpret. I know, old people, especially from villages and especially women let all their emotions out at once when they meet a close one after long time. I could see my grandmother in her. This itself was so touching when I heard the narrator say, "His grandmother has a bad news for him. His father and mother had died."
And then the program ended with the boy being handed over her 3 year old sister. The expression on the boys face made me shiver. I knew he was not an actor and this was not a performance. This was real.