Most of us are always reluctant to discuss or introspect about the main purpose of our life. Rather we have an excuse to be very busy in day to day life to think what is it that, ultimately, we need to achieve; why our ideas of pleasure and bliss vary from person to person; and what our contentment ought to be – such enumerable quests pounce on us and all the time we try to hide in our private psychic cocoon like geese puts neck in sand and think that it is saved from all danger and worries. Currently, it is in the ‘fashion’ or so called sign of sensitive persons to indulge into the discussions about mundane-pragmatic-metro life and discussing how we are distant from the nature. But the issue remains limited to discussion only. In fact, we lack clarity, whether we will be happy at remote & naturally beautiful place which is far from metro life or we are happy to be in crowded metro life.
We disowned the fact that we are a part of nature (Anyway, now a days, ‘nature starts after 4-5 km from the city’). Going close to nature requires weekend planning and after a drive of an hour or two we do reach close to ‘refurbished nature’. This refurbished nature provides a space to interact and mingle with our real pear and dear. And after going close to nature we make more chaos to purposely ignore the minuscule worlds of nature, avoiding the acceptance about the eternity of nature. However, city is always after you…haunted on mind…one cannot, just, run from it. (an unenthusiastic opening lines of ‘Pathhar’)
Above discussion reveals how we, always, dodge contemplating about our real self. In fact, we get scared of being alone – mentally as well as physically. We lost enjoying the solitude. However, we have denial about our lonely entity in the crowd as metropolitan crowd is of brutal indifference. Certainly, coping with loneliness varies according to one’s identity and persona. Methods and nature of dealing with the ‘outsider’ of our physical and mental spread, decide the impact of loneliness for an individual. Protagonist of the film is always a lonely person and was scared of mountains too. His quests about life were expressed through his absent from classes and observing sun through banyan shoots. In course of time this confused one gets engrossed in chaotic metro-life. Now, even though he is relaxing and trying to enjoy his solitude but the metro-chaos with enumerable sounds haunt him 24X7. Some go to rural areas to do social service but after some time engrosses with boredom. Then, they face guilt of leaving it and going back to metro-life which is full of baits.
Here, remaining natural – normal human being has become next to impossible. The moment one establishes dialogue or interaction with the outsider, the game of right & wrong and social power politics start. In today’s globalised-neoliberal world our sensitivities are so ultra individualistic that our identity gets fractured according to space and situation. And, decisions as well as out reactions are doctored-manipulated by mainstream media. We nurture ‘false consciousness’ and react with artificial spontaneity. Some of the modern thinkers say that ulta –capitalism phenomenally changed our perspective about oneself and our worldview. Media has been playing pivotal role in ‘disciplining’ our thinking – what one should like or dislike, by which one should get entertained and be happy; what ought to be called as success and knowledge. Indeed, we have changed our consumption pattern altogether. We give utmost importance to the brand for what to wear and what to eat etc. They say capitalism changed our knowledge practice and language. Now a days we don’t utter words like exploitation and capital economy. Instead, we are trained to call these terms as empowerment and market economy. The words which embedded with rebel, have been wiped out.
Due to this ultra individualism we developed brutal indifference towards the next person in metro crowd. We can easily ignore the injured or deaths in accidents and could effortlessly witness some social evils while passing by. Relegating ourselves in safe – pleasant mental iron cage. That’s why; despite of intimate and so called emotional relations one remains lonely.
A short film - ‘Pathhar’ (Plateau) deals with some of the predicaments of contemporary human psychology. Here Plateau is a metaphor of our lonely psychic plain – a contested mental space – as well as emerging consisting gap. We tend to go more close to the reality in the ambience of dark cloudy – rainy late afternoon in drenched Jawhar-Mokhada Sahyadri Mountains covered with lush green grass. It envisages minuscule human existence as a spot in the mist of vast spread of nature – appreciable use of drone camera. Close-ups (whether unlike feet or small stream), capturing minuscule worlds within the world & Rumi’s craving to be a grass – suggest predicaments of LIFE. Effective use of circular camera trolley movement depicts, the interplay of past-memory, conscious and sub-conscious levels of the protagonist. White horse might be a symbol of eternal- pious energy as well as one’s strive for utopian eternal existence (beyond right & wrong, desires, achievements or successful and liked-loved by one or none) as horse owner utters – life is empty like an earthen pot and we fill meaning in it. What we fill in it, decides who we are!
The protagonist – a news reader of this era, who performs his job mechanically and emotionless as equally mechanically we watch news of droughts, rape and murder while having meals; now, he appears to be tired with the hypocrisy, pompousness, vanity and double standard of that media. He knows that the news channel has become only device to bombard a view point which viewers have no way out but to subscribe it. As the protagonist feels, it is directionless walking for all of us. Ultimately, running after false ideals and dying every day because we neither bear with the city chaos nor could able to deal with the expand of the nature.
Dr. Kishor Gaikwad