Love is not blind. Not standing up for it makes you blind.
Dev Bhoomi, like all stories, is a personal story- A love story. A very simple story of a simple man and woman like you and I, simply told but the impact is subtly profound. It is a tale of love, yes. It is a tale of failing in love, yes. But it is also a tale that teaches you how to look at love. And eventually, how to look at life.
Rahul Negi, having spent 40 years in the West visits his town. In the foothills of Kedarnath. He wants to see his roots before losing his eyesight soon. As the titular character, Rahul Negi makes his journey back home, the movie makes our journey back home too. Sometimes to ourselves, and most times to what we are running away from- ourselves. Experiencing a lack of warmth for him and a chilling silence towards him, from the villagers, the suspense adds to the story. A slow-paced movie goes on to become rather gripping.
A story nestled in the ranges of Kedarnath, every shot is beautiful. The kind you would want to capture and share on Instagram with your friends. It is tourism at its best in the backdrop and as you watch it, you want to open up your recliner and cover yourself with a sheet. As much as It is cozy, it is also gripping in its narration. Its rhythm and pace through the landscape make you experience your holidays in mountains. Relaxing yet thrilling. The beauty of the mountain range helps. Perhaps that is why watching this movie is any time more de-stressing than hours of pranayama. As Rahul says, Kedarnath- Jaha prithvi aur swarg donon miltey hain.
As the story unfolds, Rahul’s pain is getting intense through the indifference, silence, and rejection of his loved ones and villagers. If you look through the lens of the director, you would want to ask how to show the pain of a man who has lost everything and remaining part of life is also worthless. This is where this role is so effortlessly played by Victor Banerjee. How very intimately he embraces and accepts it all. How can the indifference of his loved one impact him when he knows he never had one- a loved one. His search through the village is only for that one- to find himself where he lost himself. In love with Maya. He is searching for her and does not know if he is entitled to even ask anyone about her.
The story is about Rahul. Equally about Maya too. Maybe more of her story through the pain of Rahul. Rahul who ran away from love, and Maya, who submerged in it. The pain which Rahul avoided, Maya took over. Her own as well as of Rahul. When you can not contain it, it overflows. You lose your senses. You become both love and pain. And this is huge for a lone woman to hold for 40 years outcasted by society, deserted by love. She was so intensely merged in her pain that when Rahul comes to see her, she can not see him. How could she? When you are filled with love, the need for the lover disappears. She explodes. This is where Rahul and Maya are different from you and me. This is how saints love. They both remained true to love. One who could not stand by love yet remained by love and another just kept merging in love without waiting for her lover. Their union isn’t on the physical plane. It is devoid of touch or talk. Their unison is because they are. A union, a togetherness far different from what we know. This one-minute shot remains with you long after watching the movie and then you have questions- many questions but before that emerges the profoundness of this narration.
Love is not blind. When you fail to be love, you become blind. For Love Blinds, when you don’t see how it Binds.
Love without vision makes us blind. We are told to love but not taught to hold the vision. That even though we are blessed by sight, we lose sight- of our vision at its core. At what age do we start holding a vision for ourselves? Are we taught, somewhere along the way maybe, that perhaps holding a vision feels like this and we just ignore it? No, in fact, it is something quite the other. We love to love but do we hold a vision for our love?
I have often asked myself, why is it that love only and often gets associated to only two extremes- to utter bliss or utter destruction? For love destroys, is quoted by so many like a prophecy. From poets who write of it, to painters who paint of it. Perhaps, it is because when we fall in love, we finally start seeing ourselves. But what do we do of what we see? What do we do of the destruction that resides within us, and what do we make of the confrontation that we are faced with it? Then I read the statement from the book Meditation the Cure- Love either gives bliss or pain. If it gives you anything else, then it is not love.
But true love, no matter the form or kind, is much more than just a thing. It is more than just destruction, or salvation. Much more than just vision, or victory. It is its own rite of passage. It is the place, where you receive your piece of heaven on earth. It is the prize of solitude, and when you receive solitude, you find it bundled within. As Rahul finally reaches the peak, he is liberated from what had locked him in. His love liberates him, from having to witness what he wishes not to. He doesn’t have to. And his love, engulfs him, on the greatest journey of all time- the one that he made to himself, for himself. For his love, which let him be, just as he wished to be. His one line will send a chill down your spine and make you wonder what are you doing with your life- Mere pass kuch paise hai, mere kisi kaam kei nahi. Tum le lo.
NOTE: Dear community- This is NV HUNTING for you when you watch it. We are on the path to converting entire science into films. Storytelling imprints in us. This is a humble attempt to reflect on NV Life to make it more relatable to you. You would have seen films that created an impact on you and you want to understand NV LIFE’s perspective on them. Send us those names and we will screen them and write our view. But more importantly, tell us in the comments, about your experience with love and this film? Let us talk. Of course, we will be delighted if you share this link with your friends. Let us talk more. After all, love heals. More we love, love, more love loves us. This film is available on Amazon Prime and also on Youtube.