I had been waiting to see WAITING, a film dwelling into the minds of relatives of patients surviving on life support. When I finally did see this much awaited art form, I could endorse my belief that it’s either loneliness or not enough courage to take the situation in one’s own hand that prolongs the moving on of the one motionless in bed. If I ever were to be in a situation like the hero or the heroine, and yes frankly speaking I have been; I don’t see any sense in prolonging an artificial existence. I don’t think that any person would be okay with a kind of vegetable existence if given a choice of a quite and easy exit. After all, it’s not just life but it’s dignity that matters. It is however not all as easy as it sounds, but an extremely difficult decision making to let go of someone you love beyond words.
As I watched this beautiful film, there were two whispers I heard in my mind’s ears, alongside the main theme. One spoke as a reminder to me of a thought which my mind had often cogitated upon; that of the loyalty and practicality of digital friends. The young heroine in the film is traumatized with the dead like position of her husband only of six weeks. She is all alone with him at the hospital because like many young people of today, her marriage has severed all relations with families from both sides. Perhaps the young today feel that if the old do not accept their wishes they might as well step aside in total. I’m not here taking sides and stating preferences; I too was young once. The fault may also rest on the grey heads of the society who feel that their wisdom is ultimate and leave no space for any newness to interfere in their lives.
An irony the young heroin faces too clearly, is realizing that though she is very active on Face Book and Twitter, and has thousands of friends and followers, there is not one in the hospital standing beside her, holding her hand to comfort her fears.
It is only an old man, a regular in the hospital, who for years has been waiting for the recovery of his wife pulling on with the help of life support, who is able to see the pain of the lonely lady and truly becomes a friend and guide in this time of the young woman’s need of a confidant. A whisper here spoke to me of the importance of learning from one another and the need of a support system of flesh and blood human beings and not just the ones who click a like even to sad announcements. The tears of the oppressed can never really be wiped by strangers on social media apps.
Another whisper which I heard was about the power of the youth and the consoling nature of the aged. The youth have strength, but the old are the comforters. Sometimes the old in all their simplicity are all alone, but the youth are also lost in the wind of futility of pride of numbers of acquaintances. The youth today cut themselves from their old, wise and may be stubborn family members, never anticipating their need in future, which however they realize too late as seen in the film when the new grief-stricken wife calls her husband’s mother in the end.
Perhaps the world with its set-apart feelings between its youth and its aged and their different set of values is since long been WAITING for a union of generations to support one another. After all a tree could never grow to touch the sky if its roots were cut off; could it?