Gehraiyaan is getting a mixed response, as expected from a film of such a complex nature. I loved it for various reasons, including the narrative that transforms from a story of cheating to an emotional drama and finally a crime thriller. But this isn’t a review of the film.
Gehraiyaan made me think a lot. One thing that stayed on my mind the most was one selfish character. In fact, I feel this is one of the most selfish characters I have seen in a long time. I also felt that if we look at the story from his perspective, it can be an interesting experiment. After finishing the piece, I realized this is how dark and negative characters appear in James Hadley Chase’s novels.
Being an ardent fan of his crime books since more than a decade, I guess my subconscious wrote the article in this way.
This blog article about Gehraiyaan is a tribute to the great late storyteller, although it didn’t start out that way.
There are SPOILERS ahead. If you haven’t seen Gehraiyaan, please don’t read further.
I have imagined the following piece on how Zain would narrate his life story from Gehraiyaan from his perspective in James Hadley Chase style:-
Right now, I am drenched in salty water. I am lying submerged in the great Arabian Sea; probably living the last couple of minutes of my life. I don’t know if I have landed here due to my cruel selfishness or that damned wine bottle. I have heard people say that when your end is near, your whole life plays out in your mind. I am experiencing that right now.
I feel my childhood wasn’t much different than my condition right now. That’s what I felt growing up with a father who was a wife beater. After not being able to take it more, I left home.
We were always a part of the lower middle-class. So, I was eager to make it big in terms of wealth. I thought of going into real estate, which is considered the money-minting field. I became an assistant to the big shark in the business and slowly rose up the ranks. I made it big and I made it quick. I now had everything I dreamt of – a big house, car and also a private yatch.
To make my life complete, destiny got me introduced to the pretty Tia, the daughter of the real estate shark I was assistant to. We were drawn to each other in no time and got engaged. I also need to mention that my to-be in laws had also invested heavily in my personal business real estate business. I didn’t care about this as me and Tia were looking ahead to get married. Until I had a chance encounter with the gorgeous Alisha, cousin of Tia, during our Alibaug holiday.
It is said that once you start chasing pleasures, of all kinds, there is no full stop. One never feels satisfied and that’s exactly what happened with me. I was living a luxurious life but I wanted more. I was engaged and Alisha was in a six-year old relationship with her boyfriend Karan. But I couldn’t take my eyes off her when I was first introduced to her. In fact, I took no time to flirt with her.
Alisha was going through a troubled time in her relationship with Karan, whose career as a novelist was just not taking off. Alisha, on the other hand, was also struggling to launch her Yoga app. In other words, there couldn’t be a better opportunity for me! I latched onto the situation.
Alisha started responding to my flirtatious messages. One day she also lied about my message to her cousin. I took advantage of my back pain to get it cured by Alisha’s Yoga techniques in order to get close to her. From here on, it was just a matter of time before we ended up in bed… repeatedly!
Alisha was going through a bad patch with Karan. But my relationship with Tia was fine. So what was I doing in bed with another woman? Well, I didn’t think of that. I was getting it, so I took it. Simple!
I also got the crucial funding for Alisha’s Yoga app through my business with my to-be in laws. I also got her a posh studio. She felt I was doing it as a favor but I wasn’t. I actually did it through dubious means and that too in a way that it would benefit me in the end. Of course, she didn’t know this.
Alisha’s situation with Karan worsened to such a level that she broke up with him. Now my temptation had no limits. Meanwhile, Alisha also got pregnant with my child. I now wanted her in my life… forever. To hell with Tia. So what if her parents had invested in my business? I decided to return all the investment and call it quits. It was just a matter of time now, or so I thought.
But till the time I become capable to repay them, I had to pretend to be in a relationship with Tia. This also meant celebrating my third anniversary with her, although in my mind I had already broken up. Yes, I was fooling her into believing that I was still in love with her and wanted to marry her. Whereas, all I was waiting was to just throw her out of my life and her parents out of my business.
But an unannounced storm came into my life. Rather, it came in someone else’s life but it affected me greatly. A man we did business and had stakes with got arrested for financial fraud. The case kept getting murkier by the day and it reached a stage where I could have got into trouble. If this wasn’t enough, my bluff about Alisha’s studio was out too as the municipality realized it was bought by crook. I tried to control Alisha to cover my lies about her studio.
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But she was getting impatient. She also wanted full and open commitment. But I had to continue my sham affair with Tia for my benefit. I needed her to sell her beach house to get me out of trouble but I lied to her that we need to keep it for mortgage for a year. When she doubted my intentions, I pretended to be a victim and regained her sympathy and love. The fake hugs and kisses continued. Poor thing had no idea how she was being used by me materially and emotionally; by a man who no longer loved her. In fact, she felt guilty when, actually, she was the victim.
Alisha, on the other hand, was now really getting out of control. She landed up at my office and later outside Tia’s place and threatened to expose our secret relationship. I somehow controlled her and gained her sympathy. I succeeded in taking her to a date on my yatch in the sea… Where it all began.
The date was a sham too. In reality, I wanted to get rid of her. I mixed a large dose of her sleeping pills in her wine without her knowledge; at least this is what I thought. But she refused to drink. I now feel she knew my cruel intentions. I tried to strangulate her and throw her into the sea for good. But she got the better of me and I slipped over that wine bottle and got thrown into the sea instead.
I don’t know if I have landed here due to my cruel selfishness or that damned wine bottle.