A picture is worth a thousand words. When 30 such pictures are stringed together, they become as powerful as a motion picture. Cyril Syriac’s innovative venture, ‘Droupadi’, is a collection of still frames guaranteed to shake you off your comfort zone.
The modern Draupadi is a mother, a giver, a sufferer and an avenger. The photo story is a reminder of the pedophiles who are out on the prowl for innocent victims. The protagonist is essayed by Nimisha Sajayan, better known for her debut in Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum.
Divya K. Vimal and Jaisooj Antony complete the cast.
Oh Krishna! You haven’t forgotten Draupadi, have you? The woman who was humiliated in the royal palace of Hastinapura in public view, who desperately tried to cling to the clothing which was being yanked off from her, who vowed not to tie her disheveled hair before she covered her hands in the blood of her tormentor? You wouldn’t have forgotten her. Her wails are still haunting us after all these years. Another Draupadi is calling for you today. I don’t wish for any exotic flowers. I am not a queen. I am just a mother. All I have to tell you is the story of a mother.
Meenakshi, my daughter, my life. The little girl who taught me what it meant to be a mother.
Her innocent smiles and pranks set the rhythm of my heart.
Whenever I offered evening prayers along with her, I believed that her world was safe in my hands.
She wouldn’t eat her food until she had me run around the yard. I was her playmate.
She would eagerly listen to my fairy tales and come up with a hundred doubts.
I saw the mother in me in the two eyes that smiled at me.
She was innocence personified when she made a feast out of wet sand.
Only, lusty Dushasanas kept coming back...
They waited in darkness, looking for a chance to prance on helpless victims.
All they see is a body to satisfy their evil desires. All it takes is a moment.
I must have been away for a moment. That tragic moment.
My world came crashing around me.
Pure terror, the terror that gnaws at a mother’s heart
Why wouldn’t she answer me?
My heart sank.
How could she answer me. She couldn’t even let out a cry.
She would have thought of me, as pain and horror swept over her.
The silk skirt I draped around her in the morning.
I was not strong enough for the ghastly sight awaiting me.
But I was strong enough to look at the knife thrown away hastily.
Shock gave away to blinding rage. I aimed for the jugular.
His sinful blood flowed in crimson streams.
I hacked and hacked until the beast was a motionless mass.
I lifted the limp body. She was gone.
But I had no tears left to mourn her.
My child, forgive mother.
Oh Krishna! Do you see my daughter, who was nipped in the bud?
My wrath will rage like this funeral pyre.
I tied my hair with my blood-stained hands, like the mythical Draupadi after the Kurukshetra battle.
Oh Krishna! Draupadi's hair will always smell of fresh blood. That is her destiny.
I am Draupadi, the avenger. When will I get a break from my own wails?