just finished watching Aparajito by Satyajit Ray. It is the 2nd part of a trilogy by him, from a novel by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay. Felt very moved while watching. It is a simple story of a small family of a husband, wife and a son.
The story is told in a non judgemental way from the point of view of the little boy under the age of ten. He grows up amidst fondness and love of his parents who are surrounded by deprivation, illness, uncertainty, death and hardship. Surprisingly the boy's curiosity and innocence remain refreshingly intact. As he grows up and moves away from home, his apparent lack of any close emotional ties with his surviving and slowly ailing mother or with anyone does feel like a very natural flow emanating from a character like that.
while i was watching the movie, i was also thinking that although the storyline is based almost eighty or ninety years ago, it still seems very contemporary. The theme of moving away from home is very alive today, in fact even more so today.
the movie has a background of deprivation and poverty and yet the boy finds his wherewithal to go out to a bigger city and study. In today's time, most city dwelling middle class parents would want their children to go out and study so that they do well in life and they do provide for all such necessity. However, the tie that gets loosened between the child and home as it has been shown in the movie, has not probably changed.
Moving away from mother's close watchful eyes to a larger world full of freedom, opportunity and new wonders. Home seems like a distant past where nothing moves and time stands still. Very aptly, the hero of this film says, "I don't feel like going back to my village, i only feel sleepy there". I thought that comment was a signifier of what home perhaps mean today to most. It is probably a place that provides continuity and safety but does not provide any stimulation. May be that is the nature of home.
I wonder, however, is the essentially in the nature of home or is this what we have made it out to be? Has home become only a refuge of those who stay back, waiting only for those who may or may not return?