Amaram is a poignant tale of a widowed fisherman who raises his daughter with much love and devotion. She is a bright kid, and he dreams that she would be a doctor one day, saving the lives of women like her own late mother who died giving birth. Sadly for him, life has other plans in store for the family. The girl falls in love with the son of another fisherman, causing much distress to her father. He sees a bright future in store for her, but she only sees her lover. Nature takes a turn for the worse as a storm hits the seas, causing the lover to be lost at sea. The girl is distraught, she blames her father for everything. Finally, all loose ends are tied up although the ending is no typical happy one.
The film does not make for happy viewing but it has its beautiful moments. One of my favorite songs ever is ‘Azhake Nin Mizhineer Maniyil,‘ sung by Yesudas and Chithra in their golden voices, laden with meaning and emotion.
To me, this song is simply about the love of a father for his daughter. It is unconditional; it cannot but be otherwise. Yet, expectations weigh it down, causing the love to distort and lose its freedom and capacity for joy. A child can show us what it means to be totally and truly free, completely dispassionate and live in the moment. In a way, a child is an adult’s gateway to seeing enlightenment in action. Yet the parent’s love for his child can serve to bring him down, dejected and lost. That’s where knowledge comes in use. Yes, they are our children, but didn’t Gibran say that they are ultimately the children of God? By setting them free, we can experience freedom ourselves.
Easier said than done and no, I am not a parent. But I know parents who have walked this tightrope of love and freedom gracefully. Like my own.