Jaane Jaan ended with a string of speculations and theories that could be spun to understand what could have happened that led to one of the leads admitting to the murder. This new Netflix Original by Sujoy Ghosh was bizarre, but it kind of left an aftertaste that is worth exploring, keeping in mind how exciting it is to approach the subject matter from a different angle.
Naren, aka ‘The Teacher,’ is one of the revered people living in Kalimpong. He’s a mathematical genius and a teacher who helps and encourages kids to see the subject from his perspective. There is nothing he loves more than mathematics. He was at a point of distress and contemplated suicide when he learned of another mathematician taking over and solving equations he had been working on. Not that it justifies an attempt to commit suicide, but it proves that Naren was used to always being ahead of the curve when it came to the subject he teaches.
Apart from this love, Naren was enamored by another subject living next door. His neighbor, Maya D’Souza, has been his object of fantasy since she moved in. This fantasy slowly turns into an obsession as he knows practically everything about her through the wall they share as neighbors. As the old saying goes, the walls are thin, and there is nobody who knows you better than your next-door neighbor. He was the kind of person who kept the affection bottled up in his heart, and initially, it seemed he never bothered the woman he claimed to like.
The fondness he showcases soon comes across as trailing and stalking. The love and care he claims to harbor for Maya sadly becomes something that is considered illegal. Naren has the means to proclaim his love. He visits her restaurant every day in the hope of seeing her. This is the only one-sided love language he can afford now. Apart from being a loner, he is also a self-aware person. He is conscious of his shortcomings but somehow is willing to look beyond them to think that maybe Maya will agree to be with him.
Naren’s loneliness is reminiscent of what we have seen in several pop culture representations of men who crave love and attention. We have Frankenstein’s monster, who was always looked down upon for the way he was built and looked. He always blamed his creator for making him look despicable. He was detested by society at a time when anything that did not seem normal was shunned and considered evil. Despite Naren’s reputation as a revered teacher, everyone knows that he is a loner who attends martial arts classes at a Dojo. He is not the kind of person who is expected to do something out of the ordinary, but when we come across such characters in literature and cinema, it is always a person like him who ends up surprising the audience or reader.
Dan Humphrey from Gossip Girl is also considered a lonely boy who remains on the back foot and is underestimated because of his financial background. That is, of course, until he publishes an expose about all the people he knew who belonged to the rich and famous families, Naren could be considered someone who always thought society would underestimate his capabilities, but he surprised everyone, including Maya, who was most likely in cahoots with him. Naren’s love can be considered devotion as well because he went ahead, did all the deeds for Maya, and expected nothing in return.
Just like Arthur in Joker, Naren was under the misconception that maybe there would be someone who would accept him no matter what. In the case of Arthur, he wanted the surroundings to be sensitive towards people like him, and when he realized the world was not fair, he unleashed anarchy on a massive scale. Naren does react to being rejected, but in a different manner. He came forward to confess to his crime, and apart from that, he created a barrage of evidence that would point Karan and his investigation team towards him. This proves that Naren had an obsession that could not be considered love.
Naren was the only person Maya could turn to because he volunteered to help her in times of distress. Ajit was already dead when Naren encountered her, which is why he came forward to help her. Maya was in a bad space, which made her believe him straight away. She never processed how he knew Ajit was dead, and that he’d been killed by her and Tara. Maya was in trouble, and she knew it, which made it easy for him to decide to dispose of the body in such a manner that would not create any suspicion in the town. Ajit was a new face, which is why nobody would know when the man came and left the town.
Naren would have chopped the body and spread it across the forest, which surrounded the hilly town. The forest is bound to have wild animals, and this will help the body and any evidence disappear. In a full Drishyam manner, Naren could have dumped the body near his home or the police station. Since the fake Ajit’s body has already been found, nobody will look for the actual corpse. A cremation would have created some attention, just like the charred body of the homeless man.
Naren’s coming out to reveal his role in the murder of Ajit proves that he wanted to let the people know that he had hidden depths. He was a recluse, but a dangerous one. He gave Karan and the local police everything they expected—a story backed by a strong motive. His confession and Karan’s acceptance mirror the story he shared with him. He gave Karan the solution he was seeking and did not allow the police to draw any conclusions on their own. This wit of his allowed him to stay ten steps ahead of the police. There is no mention of what happened to Ajit’s body in the film. Apart from the theories mentioned above, there is the possibility that Naren buried the body in a location that is obvious and easily accessible to him. This location will be easy to find but will be an unexpected spot to bury a dead man. It looks like this truth will fade away with time, for Naren will never reveal this truth to anyone. He has no reason to trust anyone, including Maya.