Commuovere- (Italian) to stir to touch to move to tears: writes Shweta Bachchan Nanda

NEW DELHI,Shweta Bachchan Nanda: Commuovere- (Italian) to stir to touch to move to tears.In my opinion, the one thing most human beings are heavily invested in, is the idea of a soul and stirring it becomes the purpose of their lives. Masterpieces of art, literature, music or film are those works that have managed to touch, at an intrinsic level, the souls of many. We can withstand the ravages of love and hate, but not indifference, not at any cost, and as we are jostled through life, falling in and out of love with these works of art. We shed layers until we reach the end of our lives, rubbed bare, our souls irrevocably bruised by this contact with beauty.

I remember reluctantly dragging my feet through the Louvre as a little girl, grumbling under my breath as my parents attempted to educate me on things they felt I ought to see at least once in my lifetime. I, resisting all attempts to get some culture, skulked around, eyes brimming with tears in the hopes of being taken back to the hotel. When they took me to see the Bolshoi ballet perform in Moscow, I repaid them for their troubles by bellyaching about my itchy stockings, fidgeting throughout the performance and I think catching a few winks. I just didn’t get what all the fuss was about.

This terribly entitled bratty behaviour continued up until I was well in my twenties, with a lot of time on my hands while my tots were away at school. I discovered and began to devour books at an alarming rate. I cried at the fate of poor Anna Karenina, was aghast by the audacity of Humbert Humbert , had a massive crush on Mr Darcy, that endures to date, but more than any other emotion, I felt such deep regret for opportunities lost and taken so callously for granted.

A few years ago, I dragged my own two brats around the Van Gogh museum. True to type, they were non-cooperative and therefore banished to a café to resuscitate their flagging spirits, I walked the halls, tears streaming down my cheeks at the sheer beauty and tragedy of it all. Tortured souls have a special place in my heart; my favourite literary character is Bronte’s Heathcliff, go figure.

So it wasn’t any surprise that I was immediately invested in the character of the cantankerous old drunk who lends his voice to a mute actor, only to eventually come to resent his own creation and thence set out to destroy it, played by my father in his latest. What I wasn’t prepared for, was the sheer force of his craft unleashed on a screen. I suddenly began to feel was too small to carry him. I could give him no greater compliment than to say that during the two-odd hours of the movie, even when he was not on screen, he was present. It’s been several hours since I left the cinema, and he is still with me… I can’t seem to shake him off. It is the most exquisite kind of haunting, I suspect my soul is on fire.