Saw a film named ‘Traffic” while in Kerala recently.The main thread of the story is based on a real life incident of a little over two years go in Chennai. Dr. Ashokan and Dr. Pushpanjali had lost their son Hitendran in a car accident.The boy had not responded to treatment and had been declared clinically dead. The parents ,in a highly inspiring act of generosity even in hat hour of a colossal loss in their lives, had decided to donate all the living organs of heir seventeen year old son to needy patients waiting for donors. The heart, which is required to be transpalanted within half an hour , was sucessfully transported from Apollo Hospital, Teynampet to Life -line Hopsital Mugappair, in a record 19 minutes, with the co-operation and directions of the Chief Commissioner of Police. The driver of the vehicle had been highly lauded by the public. Read about this incident on his link:
In the film, woven into this story, were many other different strands, criss-crossing each others’ lives on that fateful day with a myriad shades of human emotions that rule our lives. I found the film engrossing. I did come back from the movie with my mind buzzing . I prefer that response to a film rather than the vacuosness that takes over after watching a routine masala movie with all its predictability. Here in this film was this young boy, aspiring to be a journalist on his way to the studio for his first major assignment, an interview with a celebrity actor. Almost out of the door, his mother urges him to take leave from his father. To the young lad, the father had always appeared nonchalant towards his career aspirations, as he is a well established doctor with a lot of connections , but who refuses to pull strings. The father later explains to is wife that the boy would never get the satisfaction of having made it on his own, if he had interfered. Proud father he is though and he is shown calling up his friends to tell them to watch the interview.
The boy is in love. She is just out of a relationship. They are tentative about their feelings for each other but they both know it is there and would grow. Travelling in a car, in the opposite direction on the same road on which the boy is hurrying on his bike along with his friend, is another girl who was being followed by a group of boisterous young males.In order to escape from them , she speeds forward at he traffic lights even before the lights turn green, colliding with the bike and grievously injuring the boy.
Elsewhere in the city, another young doc, so totally in love with his young beautiful wife had tied up earlier for the delivery of a new car, with which he intended to surprise his wife on her birhtday. On that particular day, he had asked his wife to wait at a specified corner and was on his way ,on the same road,in the shining new vehicle . Accompanying him is his very close friend with whom the couple had shared many lovely hours of companionship. The friend gets out of the car to see why the traffic had stalled. The friend’s mobile , which he had left behind ,keeps ringing. The doc picks it up and recognises the number as his wife’s and a slow wave of shocking realisation dawns upon him after scrolling down the messages on the mobile and his own recall of his friends’s side of his recent conversation on the mobile and other unheeded signs of probable intimacy between the two, which he had understood as familiarities of a comfortable relationship.Agony and fury overwhelms him and he speeds off when the traffic clears to reach the spot where his wife was waiting and hits her with the vehicle , intentionally and unflinchingly.
Then there is the police constable who has been under suspension for taking a small bribe. It is his day to rejoin duties. He is assigned to the traffic beat. He had fallen from grace in his home after the suspension. He had taken the bribe to help a near relative , financially, for a college admission. He is silently suffering from his teenage daughter’s disdain.
The celebrity actor is on his own trip of glitz and glamour and vainglorious self importance. His wife and daughter appear to play secondary roles in his life. We then come to learn that the daughter has been suffering from a rare heart disease and on the said day, was in the hospital, where the doctors had declared that she was as good as gone,unless there was an immediate transplant.
From there on it is all about the heart -wrenching decision of the young lad’s parents, to let go of their son and the challenge taken up by the Police Commissioner to get the boy’s heart transported to the hospital where the celebrity actor’s daughter is struggling for life in the I.C.U. In a twist of fate, the doctor who was supposed to accompany in the vehicle with the donor’s heart , refused to take up the assignment and the other young cuckolded doc , who has just hit his wife (of course nobody knows about it just yet)is called upon to do so. When nobody in the Traffic wing volunteers to be the driver of the vehicle , it was the besmirched constable who raised his hand.
All ends well eventually after some twists and turns along the way. The girl gets her new heart and the celebrity father too undergoes a metaphorical change of heart. The erring wife survives and decided not to press any charges against her husband for attempted murder. The police constable is full of grace His daughter is smiling again with filial pride.
And I came back home with these thoughts…the universe is compassionate. Always it throws open before us , ways to redeem ourselves, if we but recognise those opportunities with awareness and wisdom. The universe is never happy when we are unforgiving to ourselves.
P.S: I was a little peeved with the scriptwriter who did not provide for such redemption to the girl in the car, who hit the boy. But I guess we can take that story forward, what say?