By Square on the Hypotenuse(26 Dec 2011)
Kuhu and Pradeep, lived a regular life, similar to that of most Indians who have decided to settle in the U.S. Independent, intelligent and attractive, Kuhu had settled for a life of traditional domesticity, complete with a sincere and hardworking husband and two beautiful children. It was a picture perfect family. Their lives would have probably carried on in this state of suspended happiness - which never becomes overpowering and neither mellows enough to seem colourless - were it not for one fateful evening in their friend Ushashi's house. Then again, it would be naïve to say, that the events which followed, were a result of that one evening, or of any particular evening, but were a culmination of many events and moments which were always driving the protagonists to their destinies.
Ushashi and Ronojoy were good friends with Kuhu and Pradeep, both couples spending enjoyable times together. But unlike Kuhu and Pradeep, things were not all well with Ushashi and Ronojoy. Ushashi was a strikingly beautiful woman, who had in her young days, back in Kolkata, nurtured dreams of becoming an actress. She let go of these dreams to opt for a life of luxury and security, when she married Ronojoy, a rich businessman, and moved to the U.S. As the years progressed, the once charming new life, and freedom of living in the U.S, soon gave way to intense boredom and a sense of purposelessness. Ronojoy became more and more absorbed with increasing his wealth and took to drinking as a means to try and deal with his emptiness, while Ushashi grew more distant from her husband, taking shelter in finding new ways to spend his ever growing wealth. The couple remained childless, another sensitive point with Ushashi.
Kuhu always had a habit of speaking before thinking and would, without meaning to, be the cause of getting the sensitive Ushashi upset with her remarks. Even though Kuhu never intentionally meant any harm, her comments about Ushahsi's childlessness, her beauty and acting abilities, always rubbed Ushashi the wrong way and left her hurt. Pradeep would try to cover up for his wife's thoughtless comments but with little success.
Things came to a head one evening at a dinner hosted by Ushahsi in honour of the famous actor Soumitra Chatterjee who was visiting the U.S. Ushahsi had spent weeks arranging for the grand evening and had prepared each and every dish herself. During the course of the dinner, Kuhu spontaneously critisised Ushashi's fish preparation. Though she immediately reaslised her mistake, the damage was done. Ushashi felt humiliated and insulted, even though she did a good job of hiding her feelings.
The friendship between the couples, which was already strained, completely broke down after this evening. After a few months, Pradeep and Kuhu heard that Ushashi and her husband had moved from Miami to Claremont.
Pradeep would regularly make trips to San Francisco on work, and on one such trip received an unexpected call from Ushahsi, inviting him over to their new house in Claremont. He was delighted, since he had always enjoyed the company of beautiful Ushashi, and was glad that she had put the past behind her and wanted to be friends once again. But what Pradeep had just unknowingly stepped into, was an elaborate seduction plan by Ushashi. Ushashi teased and subtly seduced Pradeep all through the evening, just stopping short of going the full way and letting him make love to her. But that too, was part of the plan. She managed to excite Pradeep enough for him to finally succumb to his desires on another fateful trip to San Francisco - Pradeep was never strong willed enough to resist the charms of such a beautiful and sensuous woman. Whether Ushashi started the affair with Pradeep, out of revenge for Kuhu, or whether it was a natural culmination of years of intense boredom and a sexless married life, was of little importance. The deed was done, and the fate of the two couples sealed.
Kuhu being an intelligent and perceptive woman, soon realized that all was not well with her marriage. Pradeep being a man who could not live a lie for long, confessed his guilt to Kuhu. Learning the truth shattered Kuhu's mirage of the perfect happy family life. She never asked Pradeep who the 'other woman' was. That was never important for her. She packed her bags and left with the kids, hoping to find a way to come to terms with the twists in her life.
Kuhu left her kids under the care of her mother, and went back to New York, where she had spent her college days. She hoped that spending some time with herself, would give her the strength to pick up the pieces and begin a life without Pradeep. Here, Kuhu met her old college friends and also her old boyfriend, Yusuf, whom she had been in love with, but could not marry due to Yusuf's mother not agreeing to an inter religion marriage. She found out that Yusuf had married a muslim girl as per his mother's choice, but the marriage soon broke down. Yusuf declared to Kuhu that his love for her was still as strong as it had ever been; and begged her to give them another chance. In one moment of weakness she spent the night with Yusuf and they ended up making love. But Kuhu was not in a frame of mind to start another relationship, though she knew that she still had a soft corner for Yusuf. Respecting her decision, Yusuf left without protest, leaving behind a note penned with some beautiful lines about their love and a book of poems by Kuhu's favourite poet. Meanwhile, Pradeep was leading a lonely life in Miami without Kuhu, though he did not have the strength to admit to Kuhu that he had made a mistake. One night he called Kuhu, trying to tell her something important, but the curtness and anger in her voice made him change his mind and he disconnected with out saying anything. Kuhu later got to know through her mother, that Pradeep had been diagnosed with brain tumour and was critically ill.
The film now moves forward a few months and we see Kuhu back in Miami, tending to a sick Pradeep who is completely bed ridden. She tenderly and gently looks after his every need, and Pradeep is grateful that his wife has come back to him in the last few days of his life. Ushahsi visits their house to apologise to Kuhu, and to tell her that she is going back to India. Kuhu insists that she should not leave without wishing goodbye to Pradeep. When Kuhu takes Ushashi to Pradeep's room, they find him softly calling out Kuhu's name in a state of half-wakefulness, in obvious discomfort. Kuhu goes inside to tend to Pradeep, Ushashi remains at the door. She watches them for a few moments - Pradeep becoming calm as soon as Kuhu rests her hand on his head, and Kuhu intently trying to comfort him. Ushahsi leaves quietly without a sound. She knows now, that Pradeep has already said his goodbyes to her.
When Kuhu looks up to call Ushashi in, she realizes that Ushahsi has left. A tired Kuhu gradually falls asleep with her hand resting on Pradeep's forehead. She awakens when the nurse comes to take over. She leaves the house, the first time in weeks, and goes to her favourite coffee shop next to the sea. Kuhu sits quietly for a long time, watching the waves crash on the shore, and the seagulls make their way home in the evening sky. She brings out the book of poems, which Yusuf had given her from her bag, and takes out the note tucked inside it. She re - reads the lines and looks out towards the horizon, keeping the note gently back in place.The waves keep crashing on the shore, their rhythm as certain as the uncertainty in the lives of our protagonists.Source: Official Website.