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An open letter to Veera in the film Highway


Dear Veera,


I wonder what you might have gone through in your years of numbing childhood, succumbing within the four walls of fabricated luxury and gendered stereotypes; the aristocratic dogma that had been inculcated in you since your birth, the softness, etiquette and feminity which you were taught to flaunt. Years and years of concomitant stooping to this opulence had made you blind to the pawn that you were being played to bequeath legacies of “upper class” societies by anchoring yourself obliviously in the light of the broken chandeliers of sacrosanct stereotypes and mute sexual assault.

But destiny is a strange business, you know. Things change, life flows, and you grapple with the imprints indelibly engraved on your life. Caught amidst a group of kidnappers, far away from the luxury of your class and status, you grew, you shred away bits of yourself, too maligned to hold on to. You rediscovered your being, fell in love, confessed regrets, found your place nestled amidst the simple ordinariness of life. I truly feel how magical and untainted it might have felt when the whiff of wind blew casting away your inhibitions, smudge away your prescribed “societal codes of gender”, and let your soul dance to the rhythm of the breeze. It must have taken great courage and must have pushed you to your limits to confess the blatant sexual abduction that you had to yield to since your infancy when you were too young even to make sense of it.




​It makes me shiver thunderously as I close my eyes to witness your pain, your mother’s apathy to your discomfort when you confessed to her. To think of the sleepless, inexplicable nights that you might have spent to wallow in the pity of your self-existence. I wish you had met Mahabir earlier, fled into the sublime hills with the clean slate of a soul unaware of the cruelties of the world. But, the past is but a dead slate to forget amidst the plethora of life.

​You have come a long way battling stereotypes and fear to be who you are today. The claustrophobic arena of your mansion is no longer your destiny. You have moved on, re-envisioned and re-constructed your tumultuous life, slowing gathering the remnants of the “genuine you”. But the journey is far from over! May your vocal stand against injustice and mute sexual harassment be an epitome for young girls to break the shackles of patriarchy and foment their lives in a new facade.




​I hope you cross paths again with Mahabir in your afterlife and fulfil the unrequited love that blossomed, pure and emollient as you trudge on with the courage to challenge preconceived labyrinths ravaging your way.

Lots of love,

Shreya

June 2021.


*Picture Credit: Highway Movie (2014)

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