Not Just a Love Story
Posted by Agnivo Niyogi
“I am a fortunate homosexual” were the words of Rickey Martin when he chose to come out to the world about his sexual preference. His words echo mine. I have been a fortunate homosexual, for i have never faced the scorn, the bullying and the ridicule that many of my community go through everyday in their lives. However, in this big bad world, living as a homosexual, asserting the right to choose my love, albeit from the same sex, and making the choice of entering into matrimony with my love with full social respect, is but a unreachable dream.
Can love be classified? I am reminded of a dialogue from ishqiya “tumhara love love, mera love sex?” How poignant. Who gives society, or for that matter, the self appointed custodians of the moral fabric of society, the right to say i cannot love my partner simply because he belongs to the same gender as me? How can someone brand my feelings for the person i want to spend my life with as “sexual perversion borrowed from the west”?
The love story of a man and woman is celebrated as ethereal, classic, divine. While a thousand such stories go unnoticed because they feature two men or two women. A successful director does not get his due respect only because he is effeminate and asserts his feminineness. Why, when you make a film on a gay actor, should his sexuality be of prime importance? If someone were to make a film on Amitabh Bachchan, would his sexual preference still be relevant?
Worse even than being a homosexual, is to be a woman trapped in a man’s body and vice versa. Thank heavens, they spared me of that trauma, but i can empathise with them who feel that way. For they bear the lion’s share of the ridicule of the society for us queer. However with courage and resolve, they fight on. For their right o live, for their right to love.
Just another love story is an achievement. A mainstream director wrote such a beautiful story on a forgotten actor of the yesteryears, who had no inhibitions in making his love for the same sex public. Rituparno Ghosh’s screenplay speaks for itself. The treatment even better than Abohoman, this film sees Rituda in a new avatar. Seeing him act one can just discover why his actors always delivered their best performances in the films he directed. The chemistry between Indraneil and Rituda is as effortless and natural as in SRK-Kajol or Prasenjit-Rituparna (Utsab).
While coming out of the theatre, overheard many a people saying the scenes of physical proximity between the lead actors was a bit uncomfortable to digest, however the film was touching. Wish this hypocrisy of conservativeness is erased from our society soon, so that people have the right to dignity of life. Arekti Premer Galpo certainly does open the doors to that freedom to which my nation can awake. And my heartfelt thanks to Kaushik Ganguly for taking me on a nostalgic journey for two hours. For my love story has also been just another love story.
[P.S. I hope and pray Chapal Bhaduri gets the due dignity after this film, that was denied to him all his life]