So there was this short movie called memories of a machine released online.Directed by Shailaja Padindala and starring Kani Kustriti. As I expected it has been making waves for all the wrong reasons. The video is embedded below. Also be warned that this definitely not safe for work. So continue reading only after watching the video.
If you are done.Let’s begin
So a section of people has been saying it glorifies paedophilia, a friend recently wrote a Facebook post that a female friend of his called up and told him that a paedophile abuser of hers in the family has been posting that everyone needs to see this video, as if to validate his choices.
What people need to understand is that what this video is a “Stick “.A stick can be used to hit someone, it can also be used as a crutch to walk when injured. Just because some people use the stick as a weapon doesn’t invalidate the purpose of the stick as a crutch. (If you are still do not understand why the stick reference is used, you do not understand metaphors and you might be dumb)
So the video describes the first sexual experience of the protagonist. She describes her first sexual experience as a child of 8 years being sexually involved/abused by an older man at her school. She says that without any remorse and without any of the usual victim mentality. She then speaks candidly about masturbation.
Now for me personally this has been one of the most original things I have seen in the recent years. I have always been fascinated by the career of Kani Kusrithi. Her roles and career has been bold, I do not mean bold in the whole Sherlyn Chopra or Poonam Pandey T&A way. I mean she has always taken the road less travelled. She Has taken roles many would be unwilling to take. Showing your skin is easy, tearing open a character and showing the soul beneath is tough.
So regarding the short movie, what people fail to understand is the fact is that this is not about black and white, this is about shades of grey. Again this is not about justifying paedophilia. This is about understanding how complex human sexuality is.
Also another question is would people be this outraged if it was a guy talking about his boyhood sexual experiences with an older woman and talking so candidly about masturbation.
Also there is the great Indian Hypocrisy. Whatever she said in the cideo are reminiscent of various conversations I had with my friends when I was young. I know about boys who have had sexual experiences before puberty with older women. I am even aware of a boy who had a sexual experience with his own aunt when he was ten. I have heard lots of conversations between male teenagers talking about their homosexual relations with older men. And they were so mater of fact about it. As if it was a way of life. All these things happen. I heard these conversations about twenty years when I was a kid. I am sure these conversations are continuing amongst boys even now. I am 100% sure that the people who object about this are very much aware of it.
Also there is the whole Indian culture people talk about. There is no Indian culture related to morality. It is just a tool used by many people rationalise what they do and pure denial on their part to accept their true nature. Again this should not taken as a sentence meant to establish that we should do whatever we want without any responsibility to others. But what I would like to emphasize is that we should stop wearing masks. We should stop fantasizing about men in the nights and being an anti gay rights crusader during the day.
In the end it comes down to this, the protagonist is a girl who refused to be the victim, maybe she is delusional may be she is not. But the outrage is definitely about the fact that she is a girl who spoke so candidly and it hit a nerve because many of the people who are outraged can relate to it in one way or another and they are ashamed of it.
Also there have always been willing to push the envelope in all eras. Artwise I believe this is a necessity, in order for us to progress culturally and artistically. Also the director was just doing what she was meant to do. Creating a small revolution in what is permissible to talk in polite society. The fact that you are talking about it and is outraged by it means that they have accomplished their mission.
I am still very much curious about the name “Memories of a Machine”. Again this is complete conjecture on my part, but I like to believe that they are talking about the mind which has been programmed to think a certain way. This is her breaking her programming.
So what I would say is Shailaja Padindala has done something original and bold. Again would like to emphasize that it is bold as in original and path breaking, not just T&A. I am not very much aware of her previous work. So can’t comment on it. But I hope we see more from her.
So Shailaja and Kani and all the other people involved with this short video. I am really looking for ward to what you guys are doing next.
Also Bravo, would give you guys a standing ovation in person if I could.
Viva la revolucion!
Viva el Arte!