‘Love and violence are akin, can co-habit’

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 08 Desember 2013 | 22.23

Aman proposes to his girlfriend at gunpoint. A father beheads his daughter to preserve 'honour'. A boy videotapes women he has sex with, including his father's mistresses. These scenes—that each boast the disturbing union of love and violence—have emerged from the minds of three different men. When these minds meet, you don't expect to hear words like 'Veera Bhogya Vasundhara' or 'cats'. Or even 'National Geographic'. But that's what happened at the Carnival when filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee, Britishborn writer Aatish Taseer and Pakistani writer Mohammed Hanif tried to arrive at whether love and violence could co-habit.

"There is power in romantic love and that power can be misused," said Taseer, whose book Noon explores a young protagonist caught between the worlds of India and Pakistan. "Every relationship has the potential for violence," he added. Banerjee felt both love and violence were like 'emotion and sensory emotion' - akin.

Writer Mohammed Hanif, who could not make it in person due to visa issues, joined the discussion on Skype. When moderator Pragya Tiwari probed him on why his protagonist in the book Our Lady of Alice Bhatti did not see her man's violence coming, Hanif confessed a writer does not always know the motives of his characters.

Hanif confessed to have seen Banerjee's film Oye Lucky Lucky Oye at least 20 times and observed the film about a thief was "militantly non-violent". "I wanted to show the protagonist, a thief, as a victim of violence," explained Banerjee.

He then gave what he called a "National Geographic answer" when asked about the role of "mental and psychological violence" in relationships. "The mating rituals of lions involve growling and biting," he said, adding the very act of "depositing a seed by invading a foreign body" suggests violence. Hanif felt observing cats and dogs could provide answers to things like possessiveness in love.

Later, the discussion veered from love to sex. Taseer said the word "virility" can be traced to 'Veer'. "This means the Sanskrit phrase 'Veer Bhogya Vasundhara' means 'the virile man can inherit the material world'," said Banerjee.

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