January 21, 2014

The Beasts Within Us

Dear M,

Remember the bad guys in the old Hindi movies? It was so easy to hate them, despise them. It was so easy to look at ourselves and shake our heads - no, I am not the villain. I am more like the hero. My intentions are good.

But today the bad guys in movies and books have begun to appear more real. They do not do bad just for doing bad. They do not walk out and molest a woman for the heck of it. If they do it, there is some reason behind it. (At least that's how I like to believe: that mistakes are forced on people. I would not want to dwell too much on the completely criminal mind, at least for now.)

He fell in love with her. She reciprocated. He dreamed about possessing her, owning her. Then one day he realised that she was no longer interested. There was someone else, an older man who seemed to catch her fancy for no valid reason as far as he could see. He asked her, begged her, pleaded to her. She did not even bother to reply. Then he heard that she was pledged to the other man. He did not stop to think. He stormed into her house, locked her mother up, and he barged into her room. She turned in alarm. He closed the door. She could see murder in his eyes. He destroyed her, brutally, vengefully, with a fury that he had never known he could possess. Then he walked out of the house and never returned. 
(Rough summary, from a novel)

When ordinary people with ordinary dreams - people like us - are provoked, they react in unknown, unpredictable ways. That is what, as writers, we could strive to bring out. The demon in us. The angel in us. The unknown. The beast that could transform from the demon of darkness to an angel of kindness. The truth about us - that we seek to conceal from the world - could be horrifying. Bring it out, on paper.


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