Reel Caregiving: Glimpses of Caregiving – Ahaan



Movie Review Courtesy: Yusra Sait

The movie “Ahaan” is named after the protagonist, a 25-year-old with Down Syndrome, who dreams of a life with the most simple things. Ahaan lives in a housing complex for the well-to-do in Mumbai, and he longs for everyday life, like the other people around him. His peers in the building find him irritating and constantly push him away. His mother wants him to integrate more with society, but his father, on the other hand, is worried and overrules her, hence isolating the child.

In the movie, we see that initially, the only friend that Ahaan has is his caretaker, Hari, who is also the househelp. Later in the film, we are introduced to a couple, Anu, whom he calls Anu aunty and her husband, Ozzy, who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, who becomes his friend, who helps him with a significant part of his dream of living everyday life.

In this series of Reel caregiving, we will look at the impact of the caregivers in Ahaan’s life and how it affects them.

#Impact of caregiving on Gayathri and Ranjit’s relationship:

Gayathri and Ranjit are Ahaan’s parents. They have been his caregivers since day one. Through the movie, we see Gayathri taking care of him, worrying about him, and protecting him. Gayathri is constantly trying to reason with the father, to allow him to be a part of society as an average person would. On the other hand, Ranjit is ashamed of his son and does not want him to be a part of society because he is scared of judgment. Due to this difference between the parents, there are multiple misunderstandings and arguments between them, which eventually strains their marriage and psychological and emotional well-being.

#Impact of caregiving on Hari:

Hari is Ahaan’s caretaker, who is with him to take care of him at all times. Hari is also Ahaan’s best friend, and Hari is the only one in the house who does not treat Ahaan like he has special needs; instead, he lets him do as he pleases. In the movie, we can see Hari grow as a person himself because Ahaan does not treat him like he is a caretaker who is forced to be with him, but he treats him like a friend, talks to him, and takes him wherever he goes not because he has to but because he wants to. Hari has so many different experiences because of Ahaan’s nature and having to be with him all the time. Therefore he does not see taking care of Ahaan as a job.

#Impact of caregiving on Ozzy:

Ozzy comes off as an uptight man because of his OCD and the struggles living with it. It is because of these struggles that his wife leaves him. But coincidences and situations force him to interact with Ahaan regularly, and in one way, he becomes a caregiver. Ahaan talks to only him about what kind of life he wants to lead and the many things he wants to do. Over time Ozzy begins to adore Ahaan for his giving nature and attitude, which slowly turns into him taking an interest in helping Ahaan achieve his dreams. These interactions with Ahaan teach him to be giving and accepting; therefore, he gets the help his wife wanted him to get and manages to reacquire balance in his personal life.

But the question “how does he get people to see Ahaan as a normal person and not as a person with disabilities?” is one that he answered most unexpectedly.

This movie is available to watch on Netflix

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