“Mujhse na poochh, main kyun udaas hoon
Dard hi dard hoon, main na aawaaz hoon
Mere lafzon ki khamoshi mein mujhe suno,
Mehsoos karke dekho, mai ek ehsaas hoon
Apne haathon se chhookar, phhir sur sajaao
Dheele pade ho taar jiske, woh saaz hoon”
(Ask me not, why am I sad
I’m just pain and without a voice
Listen to me in the silence of my words
Feel me for I am but an emotion
Touch me and fix my notes
I am that instrument which is not tuned)
These lines come very close to summing up the extremities of feelings that depression triggers within oneself, and so does the movie “Girhein”. Girhein weaves an encompassing narration of what the nerve of depression feels like, how does one cope up with it, and also how it affects our close family and friends.
As ‘Girhein’ effectively conveys, depression doesn’t have a language. It is a constant contradiction between the ‘need to be heard, but the inability to talk’. It is the feeling of not feeling anything at all, feeling numb, or feeling something extremely. It is the inability to look beyond the present moment, losing hope and having no will, being stationed at a place knowing you have to move, conscious, yet unable to gather the will to move.
While all this is clearly enunciated in the movie through various conversations, Girhein also delves into the ideas of ‘judgment’, ‘space’, ‘patience’ and ‘comfort’. Being depressed is frustrating and suffocating. It is a constant state of “I don’t want to feel what I’m feeling”, “I feel so numb, what is this feeling?”, “I don’t know where to start telling you what happened”; a constant state of confusion. It can cause some people to lose their sex drive while it leads to some people masturbating a lot when depressed just to be able to ‘feel’ more.
Girhein also focuses on the correlation between art and depression. It sheds light on how since a lot of art emanates from intense emotional pain, it mirrors pain better. And, hence, art gives people an outlet to deal with pain, and process it better. All forms of art-drama, music, poetry- universalise your pain, yet give you a sense of belonging, making you feel understood. Art gives you space to be. Sage, acutely, focuses on the same.
The fight is to last a lifetime. The battles are to be fought with diligence. You have to learn to be kind to yourself, you have to love and trust yourself the most. You have to make the least harmful choices, and, most importantly, you have to have hope.
‘Girhein’ is a compellingly honest telling of this journey; of all the haults you’ll have to take; of all the essentials (of hope, perseverance and patience) you will have to pack. It mirrors a lot of realities of depression and tries to break the stereotypical mould, too. It throws light on the fear of judgment people battling depression face, and how they abstain from talking a lot about it because even retelling it is like reliving the feelings, all over again. It emphasises on the importance of striking a good balance between taking initiatives that will have short term effects (poetry, taking up a hobby) and long term effects of the like of medication; this balance is needed to heal better. In times where one out of ten people are depressed in this country, Girhein does the timely job of educating about depression very well.
Catch Sakshi Gulati and Samvartha Sahil’s film “Girhein” from 11:00 am onwards on September 21 at the India International Centre. To see the full Open Frames Festival programme, click here.