Jyotika Cheema for BeyondHeadlines
Boundless sea, glorious blue sky and fresh air to breath-in… all the paradisiacal constituents to turn this visual treat in to Arcadia, amalgamated with the idea of an issue which is of paramount interest for this “age” and “context” of current society but is seldom discussed! A subject that was taboo in the Media for many decades and remains till date in many sections of our civilization. And here is filmmaker Rajesh James who carefully portrays this sensitive issue in an acceptable manner for all. Yet another film which remains within the domain of “independent cinema”!!! Well this brushes many connotations.
This film explores the conversations, Rajesh had with Vidya, a transgender from Kerala who constantly struggles to make her space in the society which doesn’t appreciate people like her who are determined to follow their identities, THE WAY they desire. It’s a challenge to carry-out your personality in an orthodox structure of Indian society. Vidya who is accompanied by her friend Gee Imaan Semmalar took a road trip in a truck with Rajesh to Goa from Kochi and in this exchange of dialogues she exposes and reminds us of many realities the LGBT communities live in.
“You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself.” Buddha
Yet…… there is something known as Hope, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu. After realising ‘how’ she really wanted to look, Vidya went under a Sex reassignment surgery. An awkward and embarrassing experience left in the shape of some ‘scars’ on her body, to remind her of this memory for her entire life ahead. This experience has also been shared in her play named, “Color of Trans”.
The film raises serious concerns related to the LGBT community in India currently. What is being paid from the end of a responsible citizen in terms of taxes is not returned in the rightful and deserved manner. The nation doesn’t take guarantee of their job security, health-security (there still exist significant disparities in health between heterosexual and LGBT people in India) or any social-security, when it comes to the ground reality faced by homosexuals in India. In spite of attractive photographs of wealthy LGBT stars, many queer and transgender people earn low-incomes. Employment discrimination and other related factors make LGBT people particularly vulnerable to the impact of economic inequality. These insecurities have led many of homosexual people to file a ‘mercy-killing’ application to the state recently.
Films like Naked Wheels could not be averted for any long since these issues need our attention in a delicate way. An intelligent eye behind the camera makes one live the path in real time. Song “get up, stand-up” originally sung by Bob Marley leaves the ray of optimism alive….
The filmmaker can be contacted at: https://www.facebook.com/rajeshelukunnel