It was a balmy October night in 2017, when I lay pondering in a tiny rented room in a city that wasn’t “home” both literally as well as metaphorically. I wished for a brief distraction from my mundane routine, and then I clicked on A Death in the Gunj, the movie that I noticed each time on the Amazon Prime homepage but ignored. And soon I discovered it was exactly all that I wanted.

A story of a college graduate who joins his cousins on a vacation to their ancestral home in a sleepy town of McCluskieganj just to escape the monotony and sadness that enveloped him. The vacation didn’t turn out as he had planned. More than a jovial family vacation, it was a weeklong account of his personal struggles with mental health, his peripheral silence, all ensuing in a titular death. This movie resembled many similar struggles that I was grappling with at that time. It brought me pain, shock and tears and has managed to stay with me all through the years. I visit it every now and then. In fact, this movie prompted my interest in Spatial Theory.

There aren’t any happy memories associated with this movie, but revisiting it every now and then makes me realize how far I have come. It has shaped my whole perspective, and has given me moorings on the intricacies of mental health. This movie will stay with me for a little longer or maybe forever.

– Akshita (M.A.)