A doctor from Pune, the director of My Brother Nikhil, A Man, A Woman, Another Woman, Star One film maker. In our face.
3 hours of intensity that I haven't experienced before. The doctor told us of the times when patients files were kept in the sun to kill the germs, how he faces his religion's stance on condoms, the ignorance of doctors. The director told of us how his film evolved and how audiences walked out 15 minutes into the movie saying "he's gay".
The Man. A king amongst us. Has been living with the virus for over six years. His waiting for the results (it takes four days to know). His writing down on two sides of a notebook-what he will do if has and if he hasn't. How the "hasn't " page filled up in no time. How he couldn't find a thing to write on the other page.
The Woman. A social worker who lives for the people. How she came to know the Man. How she married him. A marriage attended by both sets of parents. How she still procrastinates over her six-monthly test (a promise she made to the Man).
Another Woman. The joy of her newborn destroyed by her learning that her husband has tested positive. Discovering that she is now a carrier. And thankfully, her child isn't. Her husband discovering she has it and dying in a matter of weeks.Going out and getting a job and bringing up her kid. Maintaining a diary of events to give to her son when he passes his Class X so he knows the truth about his father.
The Filmmaker from Chandigarh. Young , restless, callous, cynical, ambitious. 10 episodes on AIDS for the BBC later, a heartless bitch. Telling her anchor the questions to get the best responses. Then her house mate, childhood friend tests positive. The fruits of promiscuity. The rejection of friends. The reality of ignorance and the fears.
I was numb at the end of it. Words were silent. A whisper..what can we do. The answer..just tell 10 people. Make them face.
I did. Your turn.