Panchagni: ( Scenes 8-9)



Scene 8:

Jail exit- the gate.

The height is very low, one has to bend down to enter it.

Indira exits, wearing a very old sari and a faded blouse.

She starts her journey.

The Titles of the movie begin.

Indira walking.

Indira sitting in a bus.

Indira deep in thought as the scenery flashes past her, when the bus moves.

The Family House ( Tharavadu)- Exterior.


A village desperate to turn into a town.

Indira outside an almost decrepit family house.

The entrance to the house, the covering over the steps at the threshold( Padippura), is in shambles.

She steps inside the compound. The house is wrapped in the dim darkness of the twilight time.

As she moves into the verandah, a girl, 14-15, comes out with a lighted lamp.

She is startled to see Indira, standing silent as a shadow in the darkness.

From Indira’s face, it is clear that she is not familiar with the young girl either.

Then, Sekharettan(60yrs) comes out from the house.

A torn shirt of khadi, a dhoti of khadi.

He recognises her and then wonderingly:

Oh My God! I never really believed that you could come…Even when I reassured your mother that you would be coming….I did not have any confidence!

As Indira enters the house, accompanied by Sekharettan, the  young girl looks on in bewilderment.

Scene 9:

The family home.

Mother’s room.

There is a dim light from a bulb.

Mother is asleep on her bed.

Although enervated by disease, there are traces of dignified elegance on her face.

Indira enters and then stands by the cot, towards her mother’s feet.

Sekharettan: When the pain gets insufferable, there is a pill…Then she dozes for a while. I will wake her.

As he moves forward, Indira raises her hand, negating it. He stops.

Indira gazes at her sleeping mother. Slowly, her gaze travels over the room. On the wall, dusty pictures: Gandhi, Nehru, Tagore,Rajendra Prasad.

In one picture, her Amma, wearing a Gandhi cap of the volunteers.

From the background comes the rhythmic sound of marching:

Bharat Mata Ki Jai!

A group photograph of volunteers.

Marching. At the end of marching,  long police whistle.


Indira’s eyes on another picture. On a stage from which the Tricolour Flag flies, a few leaders are seated.

Her Amma is giving a speech. She wears a big badge.

‘My mother…my beloved mother land,  hellishly suffering in slavery, despite giving birth to crores of brave children!..Bharat Mata Ki Jai!’

Thundering applause.

Another photograph.

Amma standing with a baby on her hip. She is in the middle of a reception function. Many garlands around her neck. Loud applause.

Indira’s eyes move back to her mother’s face. Amma opens her eyes slowly.

Her gaze falls on Indira, standing slightly away, near her feet. Expressions change from astonishment…to happiness…then her eyes fill as many emotions battle within.

Sekharan( moves near): The petitions were fruitful! Indira has come. Are you crying now? That is not done!

Amma smiles through her tears.

( Scene continues…)





The Bell Tolls in the New..

We freeze in certain circumstances, and warm up in certain others, if you have observed human behaviour.

Some people freeze the life out of us, pushing us into tundras resounding with nothing but the palpitations of fear- cutting short our seasons of growth and cooling our passions fast with low,mean temperatures. Some others, breathe life back into frozen souls, warm as Mediterranean  sea waters,engendering growth, passion, and blood flow back into our frozen systems. Some others, play another game, acting hot and cold, perhaps like the tropics, the rainfall of emotions being heavy and frequent, the temperature hot and  precipitation creating submerged environs.

It is time that someone undertook a study of how the different environmental climes resonate to human emotions and explore whether the nature affects our psyches, or our psyches mimic nature. But for sure, healthy nurture solicits a suitable nature, pun intentional, especially one  that is specifically good for the recipient.

Mustard oil stays in liquid state in winter. Coconut oil, born and brought up in warmer climes, freezes over in unfamiliar territory. Ah, I learn another lesson. Nature has a reason for allowing certain things to flourish in certain climes.  So be mustard, not a nut, in colder environs. Or if you still want to stand up and fight, warm it with enough heat and watch it  flowing normal again.

Resolution for new year: A promise to follow the nature’s directions.

  1. To seek warmth from those who nourishes one, embrace one’s achievements, cry along  in pain, and who, never delight in one’s agony. To avoid those, who freeze up the growing sinews with poison, hatred, malice, envy, opportunism, disrespect and lack of good will.

2. To never try and be something that one is not. To dare to be as authentic as one was born to be. To walk with head up, spine erect, and say, ‘ It is my birth right to be my own light.’

3. To be engendering to others, at home, work and society. To know that it is a privilege to serve, as it is to receive.

4. To know that Life is much , much more than about one’s own little self. To have humility and gratitude.

5. To worship no one, no philosophy or dictum, no material or possession with unquestioning, blind adoration.

6. To live with alertness: seeing both  the obvious and  the unseen , listening to words both unsaid and heard, touching with reverence and affection, speaking with clarity and conviction, smelling out both the wise and the rotten and remain as much as possible, unperturbed by the vagaries of the climates of the human psyche.Both one’s own and that of others.

Weorthscipe: old English, for worship.

May the new year usher in honour,dignity and worth to all.