Monday, 2 February 2015

Documentary Diaries #4: Mother and Child

30th January 2015

We went to Madeira's around noon that day. We had a better camera and also a tripod. Both were considerably heavy so we took a taxi. When we reached there people were only getting up from sleep. Some of them were watching tv. When asked where Florence was, they said she was tired from the last day's funeral and was sleeping upstairs. Meanwhile i saw her sister, Rupa. When i spoke to her, we got to know yet another thing. Nikki, who was in charge of the business in Florence's absence was married to Rupa. He was Florence's brother-in-law.

Rupa agreed to speak in front of camera on condition that i wouldn't ask her anything about the business. She spoke of Nikki. She said she met him on the way to sunday school. They were in love for ten years before getting married. Nikki had gone abroad and had worked as a chef before returning to work for Florence. Nikki said that he had won an 'Employee of the Month' while he was there. They had a son.

They were not allowing us upstairs let alone shoot. After some time an elderly woman came downstairs. She said she was Florence's mother. Her name was Sushila Biswas. She narrated a story which sounded like one from a Bollywood flick. Sushila was born is Australia and had come to India where both her parents died. Thereafter she was looked after by Mother Theresa's orphanage. When she was young in sunday school she became friends with one of the Madeiras. She started visiting the place with the young girl. Mother Madeira liked her very much and soon wanted to adopt her. She started living at the Madeira's. After her death Leon Madeira taught Sushila the secret ways of preserving bodies. Sushila used to take care of female bodies. Sushila had got married and her husband had died. When Florence (then Jogita Biswas), her daughter in that marriage was in her twenties Leon Madeira asked if he could marry her. Sushila said yes. [I am unable to fit in her two earlier marriages anywhere in this timeline. Sushila said Florence alias Jogita is now 33 years old. Florence herself said she married Leon Madeira nine years ago. Then she must have been 24. She is supposed to have been married twice before that. She has a daughter of 16 now who must have been 7 at the time of marriage. Which means she must have been only 16 or 17 when she first got married. This is if she had the girl from her first marriage. Then again one doesn't have to be married to have a child]. After Florence married Leon Madeira she also started helping in the business. Before his death Leon Madeira entrusted the business and everything he owned with Florence.

I was worried about Florence refusing to give her face to the camera. We stayed for long in the evening but were told that she had guests and was cooking and couldn't speak with us. I felt she was avoiding us for some reason. She must have seen us talk to the neighbours whom she knew didn't have anything good to say about her. We shot everything but her that day and left for the institute. Even at night she refused to talk to me over phone.

That night i had a nightmare.

Documentary Diaries #5: I Have a Dream

No comments:

Post a Comment