Families have secrets and they are kept hidden at all costs. This is the reason that in 2018, 11 people of the same family were found dead in Sant Nagar, Burari, North Delhi. 10 bodies were hanging on the gallows and an old woman was found dead on the ground. Was it mass murder or suicide? There is no clear answer in the investigation, but the police and all the experts came to the conclusion that it was an ‘accidental accident’. Which was the result of a ‘united mood’ of the family. After all, what happened that everyone hanged themselves? They all believed that even when he would hang himself like the roots hanging from a banyan tree in a ritual called ‘Bad-puja’, the spirit of the family head who had passed away a few years ago would come and save him. This was the culmination of the transformation of spiritual belief into superstition.
A docu series has been released on the OTT platform Netflix on this Burari case, The House of Secrets The Burari Deaths. This series of three episodes of about 45-45 minutes is an attempt to understand the developments all-round. It is an attempt to unravel all those layers and get answers to the questions in which 11 people of the Chundawat (Bhatia) family of Burari accidentally perished. From 77 years old to 14 year old teenager. Four men, seven women. From the neighborhood to the state-country and abroad, people were bewildered as to what happened, all of which ended their lives together?
The web series tries to understand the family, the smallest unit of society, on the pretext of this incident. How families have some private and confidential secrets, which are kept strictly suppressed. Even the closest people never get to know about them. There is a dreadful darkness and silence inside the family that looks happy and prosperous, laughing and playing from outside. Can’t say when those who take them. Here’s a look at the need for psychology for people in these difficult times and the new age of sensationalist, dramatic and chili-spicy journalism.
Director Leela Yadav, who came into the limelight with Radhika Apte, Adil Hussain starrer film Parched in 2015, has taken over the reins of the documentary. The first episode narrates the entire incident, while the second episode investigates the reasons for the incident along with the personalities of the family members. The third episode throws light on the social, psychological and journalistic side of the Burari incident. There is no witness or culprit of this incident which happened on 30 June 2018. The entire family had been living here for twenty years in a two-storey house and had a grocery store. Where people used to come to get milk in the morning. But in the morning when no family member was seen, the neighbors went inside. The scene inside was astonishing. By the time the police got a call and the police arrived, the news spread like wildfire. People thronged to get a glimpse inside.
Many people saw this incident in their own style. When the media, who blew the thorns, ran the story of 11 windows in the house, 11 pipes protruding from the walls and 11 rods in the gallery with 11 dead members, someone discovered an alleged tantrik woman. It also came that some spirit was controlling these people. Everyone took this step in the pursuit of getting salvation while living. Two characters in particular stand out in the documentary. One, Bhopal Singh, the head of the family who passed away in 2007, and his youngest son Lalit. The story goes that after the death of Bhopal Singh, his soul used to come in Lalit’s body. Then Lalit used to give instructions to every member of the family in the voice of Bhopal Singh. It also happened that Bhopal Singh started telling Lalit in his dream which member of the family should do what. These things started getting recorded in the registers/diaries kept in the temple of the house. This has been going on for almost 11 years! The interesting fact is that Lalit’s words at this stage benefited the family members and they started making progress in material life. With progress, everyone’s faith in the soul of Bhopal Singh, who came to Lalit, increased. In this entire episode, the diaries and registers found in the house have revealed all the secrets.
This series is helpful in understanding this mysterious looking scandal of Burari. If you have been interested in it and want to understand its nuances, then definitely watch it. The only problem is that this is a dark series and the constant talk about death/suicide, diary/register dialogues can affect the mind. The family’s suicidal mood creates deep despair. Some scenes in the series can be disturbing. However, the directors and editors have taken care not to show the final state of the dead. Yet the series comes across as such an infectious story that can make the mind sick, even for a short while.
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Delhi, ,The House of Secrets,The House of Secrets-The Burari Deaths