Dear Daddy Eldho
It was just a ‘freedom from boredom’ kind of a day. A friend and I went to a film and I must say, my friend was in tears when we left the theatre. Why?
The film is named Vikruthi translating into a Malayalam word with the meaning ‘mischief’. The story underlines a true incident that happened at Cochin Metro. A deaf and dumb passenger falls asleep on the metro and the co-passengers think he was drunk. He gets trolled on social media and the plot tells the story of the various problems he comes across.
Daddy Eldho was an innocent man, who worked hard to earn a living, who protected and loved his family. Even though he was deaf and mute, he fit in this society by just doing his part with responsibility. Daddy Eldho had been in the hospital for two days straight, looking after his little daughter who was ill. He was on his way home and he took the metro. He was tired after sleepless nights. He felt drowsy and thought it was okay to sleep on the empty seat. Surely why would anyone do that? We are the elite people, who can speak well and hear, and yet we fail to raise our voice or listen to anybody when necessary.
One of them went ahead, observed that everyone was giggling around looking at Daddy Eldho sleeping. He took out his phone and clicked a photo. He named it ‘Metro Pambu’ meaning ‘Metro Snake’ and he shared with his social media pages. That was one click and the next day every stranger made up their mind that Eldho was a drunkard. That was when Eldho’s son saw it and blamed his friends for having circulated his father’s photo with vulgar memes. However, he was convinced that it was his father’s fault thus the photo was the evidence.
Daddy Eldho had all eyes on him. He could not walk the streets, or if he did, he’d have to face embarrassing looks, the signs of cheap comments being shot at him, and crazy teenagers laughing at him. He became such a popular star in just one meme, that many wanted to take photographs with him. He lost his job. He lost his reputation. And more than that he’d lost his strength to cope with society at that moment. As a deaf and mute person, Eldho felt humiliated, estranged, and more importantly, he blamed himself for something he’d not done.
In today’s world, where we share jokes and trolls on social media for just a good laugh, one would deny the fact that anybody would be seriously hurt by it. It is just a joke, right? And then when we have a film depict how a single troll went on to affect two different families, their life and their surrounding; it’s just a film, right? No, not in this case, because this has happened in real life and a real Daddy Eldho was punished. It was unfair that he was mistaken, and he was never given a chance to explain himself. After all, if he told you that he wasn’t drunk and just tired, would you believe it? Or would you rather believe the troll and share it as you’re convinced?
That day, it was not just a film for me, I saw parts of me reflected on the huge screen, that I could not take my eyes off. It’s surprising how we tend to be convinced by the gossips we overhear and we deny the truth irrespective of how many ever times we hear it. Why do we all just like to put someone on the pedestal just to make a fool out of them? And then at last when we experience something bad, we can blame society for it and not ourselves. And who is the society, if not you and the people you know?
For those of you who haven’t watched it, it sure is a work to be appreciated. Eldho was a convincing character that I will cherish forever in my heart. For we all have a little of Eldho in ourselves. So this will be the end, I won’t tell you how the film ends, its for you to watch and find out what Daddy Eldho had to say to the man that estranged him.