The definition of Queerness on the internet would read: the state or condition of being strange. But, could we possibly think of it as just a one-line definition? Queerness is a whole lot more than that – it’s the exuberance of being able to embody and offer both emancipation and contentment, the process of embracing the differences and amplifying the tenderness of each one’s uniqueness; it’s feeling the cascade of colours running in your veins while letting yourself breathe in bliss.
Queerness isn’t always about roaring noises, shimmery colour choices or swashbuckling relationships. It’s also about singing songs under bridges and having unhurried conversations in the moonlight, or discussing the new book you’ve started that’s written by the same writer who’s made you cry with their words of resilience. The spectrum of Queerness is so vivid – while it can be so delicate and fragile, it can also be untamed and fierce.
‘The Song We Sang’ is not a grand or iconic cinematic depiction of Queerness, but it surely is the most beautiful 21-minutes of witnessing two, independent, young, Queer women cross each other’s path, eventually growing fonder by the passing night. Queerness cannot be bound by monotony; its prime essence is celebration – a festival in its very existence, an intensely cathartic experience. Aarti Neharsh’s ‘The Song We Sang’ revolves around two women who happen to cross paths on a Navaratri night, and weaves their song of conversations under the blanket of stars. It’s a peek into the world of Alia and Krishna, where one doesn’t want to indulge in the analysis of the characters and, instead, wants to let them simply exist and create magic. Neharsh has made a laudable attempt at breaking the confining periphery of thoughts that’s built into the society we live in; she has explored fascinating dimensions between two, queer women through their mundane and humane conversations.
Our society is conditioned around a heteronormative mentality, and these societal norms bind people into believing that ‘normal’ is a lifestyle that everyone is expected to live. The truth is, there is no root existence of ‘normal’. Everyone is allowed to be what they are, feel however they want to and do whatever they wish for. We choose the term Queer for a reason; we include each and every individual who feels they’re different in their own beautiful way, and accept them and love them down to the very existence of their last screaming cell.
Generally speaking, we, the Indian audience, barely get to consume any queer shows/films/short-films made for us, with us in mind. There are so many films produced in a year and hardly do we get to see any of them constituting proper queer representation. ‘The Song We Sang’ is a short film that would be very special to the Indian LGBTQIA+ community in many ways. The short doesn’t have a narrative that speaks of the struggles of queer women or the tiresome lives of being queer; the story simply exists on the grounds of queer self-acceptance and mutual connection. It doesn’t dive deep on ‘queer topics’ but still offers a great look into what two, beautiful, queer women growing fond of each other really could look like.