Peranbu (compassion as is the translation given for the title) a tamil movie, initially caught my attention thanks to the law of attraction to my profession of special education. But as the movie went from scene to scene, it gripped me given the intensity of the situations portrayed..

The two main characters are that of a father and a daughter..

The daughter is a girl with special needs who is referred to as a ‘spastic’ in the movie; with the functioning of all 4 limbs affected in their own way.

The father who was working outside of India and rarely came to India to meet his daughter, was suddenly left to bring her up because his wife decided to leave both of them, unable to cope with raising her single handedly and with minimal support system.. and when he is left in that situation, she is 14 years old..

The story is around how he learns to connect to his daughter, the challenges both of them go thru in the process of her growing up, her own needs – physical, mental and biological etc.. As she grows up, he also does as a father..

There are some scenes in the movie that would perhaps astound a viewer, some when one would say “Oh Gosh!!” and some which would make one think “Life goes on the way it will, challenges or not”.. I am consciously not referring in this blog post, to a few scenes that seemed cinematically exaggerated.

There are many scenes that stand out for me that I will always remember – scenes where the different characters essay a myriad emotions and with their own nuances..

What captured my complete attention was the way the father thinks and works constantly on what needs to be done next, irrespective of the situation or the challenge.. ‘OK this is a challenge, what can be done to handle this?’. Some of the decisions taken are bold that it left me in deep thought. At no point in time was there lamenting or complaining from him.. There were expressions of anger, helplessness and frustration but that could be understood as emotions that are a part of growing up – be it for the father or the daughter..

The entire movie was divided into a few chapters. The underlying theme of all the chapters is nature and each chapter also starts off by mentioning an elements of nature such as fearsome, freedom, beautiful etc., Each chapter so well interwoven to the chapter before and that after. As the movie is shot initially in a locale set among nature, I assumed that the chapters will be on how nature is defined in each of these elements.. As the story unfolded, my curiosity also grew to understand how nature and the elements are connected to the storyline.. It is easy to miss the connection as one is left wondering what is going to happen next.. But then again, it is not easy to miss the connection, as every some minutes another chapter unfolds..

Slowly, the revelation that the nature that the director is referring to is not nature as in ‘nature’ but refers to – the nature of human beings, the father’s and the daughter’s own nature as they move from one situation to another. That set me thinking – As individuals we are able to accept the way mountains, rivers etc., We may fear them, we maybe overwhelmed by them, we may love them but we also accept them the way they are.. We don’t expect them to change but we change ourselves to the way we need to be, when we are around them.. Being aware of the feelings that they evoke in us, we learn to live with them.. we make no complaints about them.. we learn to empower ourselves to face their vagaries..

This parallel between ‘Nature’ and human beings was so beautifully drawn and questions arose in the mind, as always.

  • Why can’t we think of people’s nature as ‘nature’ when we interact with them?
  • It is a reality that Human beings have their free will to think and decide but their nature is their background; and like how ‘Nature’ has to accepted for what it is, people’s nature also needs to be, isn’t it?
  • If we can admire and accept the various elements of ‘Nature’ at different points in time even though we maybe affected by it, why can we not admire and accept the nature of human beings, in whatever element they may be?
  • When we can empower ourselves to face the vagaries of ‘Nature’ so that even when we are threatened we know what we need to do, why can’t we do the same when it comes to the nature of people – learn to empower ourselves so that the feeling of being threatened is minimal?
  • What is it that is needed for us as human beings to just focus on what needs to be done next?
  • How can it be made possible to take life as objectively as possible?

For the next few days, if not months, these questions I am sure will occupy a portion of my mind.. How it will change my thinking and thereon my living, remains to be seen.. I am waiting to see the change happen though 🙂