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Apu grows up

Apu grows up

Postby manikjethu on Mon Feb 20, 2006 2:45 am

Out of the five deaths in his family that Apu was witness to, two happened in APARAJITO. The father, Harihar--a man defeated in the battles of life--died in Benares (Kashi in Bengali /Sanskrit). He had left his native place, Nishchindipur, in search of a better life in Kashi. His hopes were belied and he died a sad death in a damp dimly lit room attended by his wife and son.
The sequences of Harihar's fall on the stairs of the ghat and of his death (immortalized by the flight of pigeons that followed it) are the most heartrending in the film, even more than the one in which Apu, learning of his mother's demise, starts crying.
When his father died in Kashi, Apu was a child, too small to realize the implications of what had happened. He had seldom seen his father when they lived in the village; Harihar was mostly away in search of work. But for Apu, Kashi was synonymous with his father. He was the only child in the family now, saw his father daily and for longer hours, and watched him reading the Scriptures on the steps of the ghat (that was what poor Harihar did for a living). The death of the father meant leaving Kashi forever; Apu left his father behind in Kashi.
Curiously enough, when his mother died, Apu felt liberated of all family bonds. He was now a free man, a teenager on the threshold of life. Remember, Sarbojaya had a restraining effect on Apu's life, whereas Harihar did not. Apu's sense of loss at his mother's death was genuine, but more instilled by a guilt of not having performed the duties of a son. There was nothing of that sort with regard to his father.
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