Being ‘Leela’ – Kaatru Veliyidai

Being ‘Leela’ – Kaatru Veliyidai
Disclaimer: This is not a movie review, I’ve not read any of the reviews that are already up on the internet (Even those written by my friends), This post is written from the female-protagonist’s POV leafing my personal experiences.
‘I am a ______’ say that now, he said (Fill the dash with the filthiest cuss word that degrades a woman – if you’re a tamilian, you know the word already). For almost 3 hours, he kept repeating – pleading, ordering, forcing, and what not?. I said no, I cried, I said this is not happening. But at the end of the skype call, I did say those words. He smiled because it satisfied his personal ego, pride, and the ‘I am a Man’ attitude. He only wanted to know to what extent I would go to be his. He wanted me to prove that I love him and I would do anything that he says. He sent me a voice text that he is extremely sorry for his behavior when I dozed off. The next day, I received a bunch of roses with a sorry card. —- This scene flashed my mind whenever VC yelled at Leela in the movie.
Leela
Ok, “why didn’t you walk out of that relationship?” because the foundation that a man lays for a relationship is strong. The first 10 days – they make you feel like you’re the only beautiful woman ever alive, like they would do just ANYTHING for you. When you foolishly fall for that trap – you’re done. Even if he does a 100 damn things that makes you want to walk out of that relationship, you would hold on to the 10 lovely things that he did to STAY in the relationship. -He woos you totally! His actions & words would say that you’re about to live a happily-ever-after and a fairytale – The first half of the film.
I was 21 – Naive (not really using the age as a trump card but seriously, I was dumb and naive) and I fell for this guy. He swept me off my feet because he came from the other country just to spend 2 hours with me. He presented ‘something-of-high-value’ that I yearned to own, he introduced me as his ‘girl’ to every freaking person. He wrote me 100 mails a day. – First 10 days, and we were done with our ‘dream-wedding-plan’ and the names for our kids. There are people who mean everything that they say. Fortunately, I belonged to that category and unfortunately, he wasn’t. Plot Thickens!
‘Leela just give me one chance leela just one one one chance’ – When VC said this in the movie, I freaked out. I couldn’t hold myself, I took that damn memory lane – I was standing in the other side of the airport’s glass door across him, crying desperately. I could never walk out – he’d always come back and plead. I had to accept, at least, that’s what I thought. Because, MEN can be arrogant, short-tempered, angry, they can use cuss words, they can slap you if things go overboard. But, WOMEN should accept him and smile like nothing happened when he gets back to you. [Not ALL men and Not ALL women, but, narrowing down to this category of people who believe so]
You’re taught not to stay in a sexually abusive relationship. You’re taught not to be with the man who physically abuses you. But, were you taught not be in an emotionally-abusive relationship? I was not. In fact, I didn’t even know that I am being emotionally abused. I picked a few to talk about this — Men are like wine they get better with age, happens! in every relationship, ‘he is like that only,’ said his sister and close friends. When Leela talks-out-loud that VC is not treating her right, that she feels like he crumples her – I wondered, and felt that Leela was at least matured enough to understand that. I wasn’t.
He’d stab me with words and stop me from bleeding, he’d use the ‘most-abusive-word’ that I’ve not spelled in my life but hug me in a minute when I cry. He broke me into pieces and healed me with a single touch.
‘I would love you more than you love me, and I would love you even if you don’t love me’ — This is one dialogue that’s been rephrased and used by umpteen in the world. I’ve heard that too.
We’ve had a few beautiful moments – he fulfilled 3 dreams of mine. But, I ‘PAID’ a lot for it. My dignity, self-respect, my career, my friends..
Remove all the ‘guys’ from your friend-list, he said. ‘Let me deactivate my account,’ I offered. ‘No, my relatives would know that you did so because of me. So, remove all the ‘guys’. – VC shouting at her to remove the cap, scolding her again and again for the silliest reason. Reminded him. Reminded how fucked up my 2012 was. Reminded those days that I held a knife to kill myself.
‘Naan en un kita thirumba thirumba varen’ – (Why am I even coming back to you?) – If a woman can answer this question – she’d be out of the relationship that she’s not supposed to.
In love, it is always emotions over logic. There’s no answer for your ‘why’ – you are not even a victim but a volunteer. You end up picturing your life with him where the world is always decorated with a bunch of roses, you imagine that he fell down from the heaven, you push yourself to live the life with him no matter what. His entry changed your life irrevocably that you don’t even have the guts to go back. He would ensure that you’re always okay after every fight, even if you’re in pain. He wins, every single time.
There’s no ‘break-up’ concept according to the ‘old-school’ me. Our parents, relatives, and friends knew about the relationship so the ‘break-up’ even if I wanted to, was not easy. I had to be responsible, I had to understand him, I thought ‘more-complicated’ is ‘more-healthy’ and I was not sure if he was ‘possessive’ or just another ‘psycho’. When my mother asked why was I crying over the phone, I yelled at her not to over-hear what she’s not supposed to. When my sister confessed that she didn’t like him, I said that I do. When my dad asked if things are fine, I lied that it is the BEST.
I was a ZERO when I walked out of his life. His last few words were ‘You changed me. Now I am the person whom you wanted to live life with. You taught me to be ‘human’ and now, you’re leaving me,’ if I had falled for those words, I wouldn’t be what I am today.
If only #KaatruVeliyidai and #Iraivi had released in 2012 – I would have saved a considerable part of my life.
But you know what? All of us are either Leela or VC – only the proportion varies.
P.S – My experiences are from the stone-age when Tinder and TrulyMadly didn’t exist and my thought-process back then was completely different. My mind was tuned to believe mills and boons, and a few dumb movies that I saw.
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17 thoughts on “Being ‘Leela’ – Kaatru Veliyidai”

  1. Hi dear writer, this hits a nail in my coffin as well.. I have been in a relationship that is exactly like this, abusive but when they speak such comforting words after a fight, it soothes.. I am in a relationship with this man because it’s my choice. To suffer is my choice, I have no friends no shoulder to cry on as well.. even when I eat he puts me down.. calls me fat . This is a plight almost all women face..I have my own reasons to stay .. I stay because behind all that flaws there must be a man who wil understand in the future.. I love him ardently, and hopefully some day he will come to understand and respect me and love me.
    You strong women out there, I tell u this.. if you are staying in a relationship like mine that is neither supportive or emotionally available , if your reason is valid , and you are staying. Close your eyes feel my shoulder, I am right here for you. We are sailing in the same boat and you are not alone.

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  2. Oh my god, this made my skin crawl. Happy to read the outcome of it,. you tell the story so well. Been there done that, and feel a very strong connection with you and all fellow sisters reading this. lots of love going out to you my dear:-) xxxxxxxx girl power!!!

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  3. I don’t know about this movie {not in India} but emotional abuse is never really spoken about openly. It’s such an insidious problem and most women stay in those relationships because the damage is subtle and slow; and yes, as women, we are constantly taught to be ‘nice’ and accepting. Sigh. Thanks for sharing this!

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  4. It’s really sad to see many men abuse in a relationship and showing a lack of respect. But, we are humans and can fail at times to see that it’s not love in the face of abuse. Respect matters in any relationship. But, everything good or bad teaches us something.

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  5. I am yet to see the movie, but I am quite familiar with the concept of toxic relationships – seen them, been through them and the rest.
    I think there’s a part of our sense that we switch off when we sort of fall in love, and perhaps in that moment, you don’t really see the person for what he or she is doing to you.

    Nice write up, Kavi. No wonder it went viral 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi I am in an abusive relationship and I think I will be stuck in it forever. I go through physical and emotional abuse every day of my life. I got married when I was 17 and now I am 26 and I have four children 3 girls 1 boy. I cant leave because I cant leave my kids and if i take them with me then I am not financially strong to take care of them. So I just cant leave although I am treated like garbage. I think I will go mad. I am happy for you that you got out.

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