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The Japanese Wife - an epitome of human love that transcends all physical barriers.
I have always harboured profound regard for Aparna Sen, rated as one of our country’s finest film directors. A feisty feminist that she is, her movies cover the entire gamut of feminine psyche and emotions. In my opinion (a hardcore movie buff that I am) one of her masterpieces happens to be The Japanese Wife (2010). The theme, a little out of the ordinary, is intensely humane and appealing.
As the story unfolds we find the protagonist Snehomoy Chatterjee (played by actor Rahul Bose) a maths teacher in a village school located in the remote Sunderbans area. He lives with an elderly widowed aunt. We gather that he is in pen friendship with a Japanese lady named Miyage (essayed by Japanese actress Chigusa Takaku). As their ties deepen further and turn emotional, the duo exchange wedding vows through letters, much to the bewilderment of his aunt.
Seventeen years pass by. The duo is unable to meet, yet their marital bond only deepens further. As if to test their steadfastness and loyalty, fate sends into Snehomoy’s life a youthful widow, Sandhya (Raima Sen), a distant relative of the aunt. Since she is virtually destitute and saddled with an eight-year-old son, the compassionate aunt takes them in. Snehmoy and the little boy Poltu bond very well. He assumes the role of a tutor- cum- father for Poltu. With the passing of days, there develops an undercurrent of understanding between him and Sandhya. Nevertheless, Snehomoy remains loyal to his unseen Japanese wife.
Unfortunately, Miyage is diagnosed with cancer. Hearing this, a distraught Snehomoy takes leave from work to frantically search for a cure. He even dashes off to distant Kolkata to consult an oncologist. Soon he realizes the futility of it all: without Miyage’s physical presence the doctor can do little. On his way home, Snehomoy gets caught in a storm and heavy downpour. He develops severe pneumonia.
Due to the inclement weather, his friends and neighbours fail to fetch the life-saving drugs from the nearest health centre, situated on an island nearby. Snehomoy dies a tragic death. In a dramatic turn of events, the viewers witness how Miyagi travels alone from her native land to reach the home of her dear departed. She appears clad in a white sari with her head tonsured (stringent traditional measures for widows).
The film ends with Sandhya welcoming the stranger. On a personal note, I’m want to term this as an epitome of human love that transcends all physical barriers.
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Am a trained and experienced features writer with 25 plus years of experience .My favourite subjects are women's issues, food travel, art,culture ,literature et all.Am a true feminist at heart. An iconoclast read more...
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There are many mountains I need to climb just to be, just to live my life, just to have my say... because they are mountains you've built to oppress women.
Trigger Warning: This deals with various kinds of violence against women including rape, and may be triggering for survivors.
I haven’t climbed a literal mountain yet
Was busy with the metaphorical ones – born a woman
Fighting for the air that should have come free
And I am one of the privileged ones, I realize that
Yet, if I get passionate, just like you do
I will pay for it – with burden, shame, – and possibly a life to carry
So, my mountains are the laws you overturn
My mountains are the empty shelves where there should have been pills
When people picked my dadi to place her on the floor, the sheet on why she lay tore. The caretaker came to me and said, ‘Just because you touched her, one of the men carrying her lost his balance.’
The death of my grandmother shattered me. We shared a special bond – she made me feel like I was the best in the world, perfect in every respect.
Apart from losing a person who I loved, her death was also a rude awakening for me about the discrimination women face when it comes to performing the last rites of their loved ones.
On January 23 this year, I lost my 95 year old grandmother (dadi) Nirmala Devi to cardiac arrest. She was that one person who unabashedly praised me. The evening before her death she praised the tea I had made and said that I make better tea than my brother (my brother and I are always competing about who makes the best chai).
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