Deluded by Dreams..

I was watching a Tamil movie 'Kancheevaram' the other day. It is the story of a silk fabric weaver who got obsessed with his dreams. A good movie with some excellent frames and colors, written and directed by Priyadarshan. The story takes place in the village of Kancheevaram, a place still renowned for excellent silk saris. The weavers there were too poor to buy their own silk yarn, but created fabulous designs on the saris they made. The landlord used to supply them yarn and pay them peanuts for their work while he made a lot of money selling their works. The irony was that the people who created these exquisite designs never got rich enough to buy a silk fabric.

The most gifted weaver of the village had a dream... to present his daughter a silk sari for her marriage. Everyone in the village ridiculed him for his audacious goal, but the guy had a plan. Dreams are sometimes so powerful that you do all that you can to make them reality. He started saving money even before his daughter was born. He worked hard and saved every penny he could, but ended up losing almost all of it to take care of his responsibilities. Knowing that it will be detrimental to his dreams, he gave all the money to his brother-in-law. He did not wanted to see his sister stranded on the streets. Getting torn between your dreams and responsibilities isn't exactly a pleasant situation.

Dreams can take you across oceans, they are like all consuming fire.. making you do almost anything. It is one of those situations where the creator becomes prisoner to his creation. When the realization dawned on him that he would never be able to save enough to buy a silk sari, he started stealing yarn from his workplace. He started weaving a sari for his daughter in the secrecy of a warehouse behind his house. Though he was well aware of what he was doing, for him that was the only thing to do. His dream wasn't about greed or power, he just wanted something to live for, something to keep reminding him that all his hard work had a purpose. He lived for his daughter and for his dream. Judging right and wrong were not his immediate priorities.

Just like they are a great source of inspiration, dreams also take everything from you, even your life itself. Eventually the weaver was caught and sent to prison. As a symbol of his unfulfilled dream the half-woven sari remained in the warehouse. His daughter was devastated and suffered full body paralysis when she tried to commit suicide. That was the last nail on the coffin for the poor guy. Unable to take it anymore, he lost his mind and killed his daughter. As if to fulfill his dream to see his daughter in a silk sari, he ran to the warehouse and fetched the half-woven fabric. It did not have enough length to even cover his daughter's dead body. The movie ends with a shot where the mentally deranged father frantically pulls the fabric both ways to cover the body completely.

I am not sure what message the director wanted to convey through the movie. But there are quite a few moments which connect to you, talking to you in some strange language which you cannot comprehend, but understand in some mysterious way. Perhaps he just wanted to show life as it is.. plain reality without the usual dash of fantasy. There is a scene when the weaver asks his paralyzed daughter whether he deserves such severe punishment for following a dream... a question I found impossible to answer. Dreams are more dangerous once they are squashed to death. The ghosts can haunt you for ever... insanity might at times seem the only escape.

There is this saying - 'Careful what you wish for.. you might actually get it and regret it for the rest of your life'. But what if the dreams themselves are shattered and you are punished for even trying to follow them?

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