A Parshya I Knew and the Archi I Might Have Been

Love and Sex

A Parshya I Knew and the Archi I Might Have Been

Illustration: Saachi Mehta/ Arré

I’

ve watched Sairat thrice in the theatre since it released in mid-February. Each time, my mother was my loyal companion to see Nagraj Manjule’s Marathi blockbuster. On the first two occasions, our journey back home was in stoic silence, but the third time was different. I could sense she wanted to say something and was holding back. I assumed it was the grief of having lost Parshya and Archi, the film’s adolescent protagonists, for the third time in a row, so I asked, “Kay ga, kay zhala?” My mother turned to me, holding back tears in her eyes. “Tizha naav Archi nahi, tuzha naav asaayla hava hota na,” she said—I was her Archi.

I am an awkward person at the best of times, but faced with sadness and grief, even shared grief, I have no idea what to do. Do I cry along? Should I offer a hug? Will an inadequate “It’s okay” cut it? It’s even worse when the person I have to console, happens to be my mum. I did what I know best. I laughed and shrugged off her tears in jest by saying, “Mummy, hasu?” And we both moved on with our day, forgetting this momentary lapse into emotion.

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