My Thoughts on Freedom on ‘A Wednesday’

At first go, it seemed like – Man, I should have watched it when Saagar’s (a good friend of mine from college) mom recommended this movie to me way back in 2008. Since that day, I never really bothered to watch or overthink the film.

I was on my way to higher studies, and this movie never crossed my mind until a few days ago when I saw a status on my wife’s Facebook wall. The status read this way – “I was watching A Wednesday some days back and loved it for the sheer cheek of Naseeruddin Shah as a common stupid man! I think now we need more and more of them!!”

I didn’t look at the reviews, and neither I knew what the plot was.  All I knew; it had Nassiruddin Shah, and his role was really good, as told by Saagar’s mom. After reading the status last week, I got interested, and I decided to watch this movie. A sheer coincidence, I chose a Wednesday to watch this movie.

The screenplay was quite impressive, and I liked the flow with which the movie moves ahead and concludes. There were no songs, a plus in such a film, and there wasn’t any violence in the story. It was artistic, and movies are all about communicating one’s stories, and this did.

To add my personal view, somehow I always feel while watching the movie, the stupid common man played by Mr. Shah isn’t a terrorist, nor does he have grand plans to upset the everyday public life. It was his way of dealing with justice. “We are resilient by force and not by choice,” and frankly, this line quite sums up the voice of a common man.

We live in a country where a common man is suppressed to make his choice, by and large, forced to make a living. Our patriotism isn’t just talking about injustice; it is about making a difference and showing the way.

I read a quote yesterday – “An activist is not a person who complains about the surroundings being dirty; an activist goes about cleaning them.” This very act of his seems foolish to most of us when he could have led a less stressful life by not getting into it at all. This quote summed up why the protagonist, the unknown caller, calls himself a ‘stupid common man.’

Since my college days, I have been asking myself this question– “What it takes to lead a better life?”  Over a while, I have come to understand that the answer lies within us. Only I can define the better life I want to have, and for that, I need to get to know my inner self and where it wants to be. This, I believe, is an on-going process and will only get better with time.

If I am not happy with my surroundings, all I can do is, change myself and hope for a better tomorrow.

We fought for our freedom, and finally, a date was chosen, 15th August, to celebrate our freedom. But deep down, we all agree with ourselves we are far away from freedom. And what is the meaning of having freedom? It is to live by choice and not by force.

To be free isn’t just having a corrupt-free government; it goes beyond it. Although it isn’t easy for me to accept this wholeheartedly at times, the truth is, each individual gives his/her best action based on his/her set of beliefs at any instant of time.

In an ideal world, everyone can do anything, and yet no single individual will suffer. This is the definition of freedom according to the perfect life. In practical terms, what (privilege) seems like a panacea maybe a potion that would stop our evolution as a human.

I am attached to many people, things, etc., unless I get rid of each one, I may never be able to attain freedom. Or is it a restriction I am putting on myself?

Well, it is all about my choice. I have to accept that I have a place in this world, and I have a role to play.

And at the same time, acknowledge the fact there will be others with their own set of ideologies living around me. There will be a clash in some way or the other from time to time.

That’s the very essence of work in progress.  On the other hand, there will be some beautiful moments. It is essential to strike a balance according to one’s idiosyncrasies. Understanding oneself seems the most effective solution, in my view. It is by far the best homework to understand others.

For freedom, all I can say from my experience is that; there will be brief moments in life where our mind will think, our heart will feel things without any notion of fear. Such a condition to me is freedom, especially in the world we live in. How long it lasts? I do not know, but I can safely accept that I look forward to such moments more and more.

‘A Wednesday’ is a 2008 thriller movie made in Hindi. Directed by Neeraj Pandey, this movie was well received by the audience due to its brilliant story and a well-twisted ending. Apart from Nassiruddin Shah, the cast includes Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Deepal Shaw, and Aamir Bashir.