Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A film with a purpose....

Type “communal riots” in the Google search engine. The screen would flash with the links to the site that unfolds the story of Gujarat communal violence occurred in 2002. After all, the intensity of the violence is appallingly gruesome. But the Indian film industry, whether bollywood, tollywood or kollywood, which is almost running out of ideas and dusting the old movies off the shelf has brushed aside this incident that took lives of thousands of innocent Muslims.

But now, film director Rahul dholakia has shown the audacity to make a movie on this ruthlessly executed pogrom. Do not call this business opportunism. This is not an attempt to make money out of a tragedy. This is a film with a purpose.

This movie, titled “Parzania”, is a depiction of sufferings of a parsi couple who lost their son during the cowardice act. Its based on a true story of a parsi family who live in Gulbarga housing society, in Ahmedabad, which was assaulted mercilessly for the reason it was predominantly occupied by Muslims and it was a revenge to the burning of 58 Hindu passengers in a train by Muslim "terrorists" . The film shows the dastardly killings of innocent lives- young and old, men and women- without any discrimination. But Muslims, of course.

The film has Naseerudin shah, playing the role of head of the parsi family, Sarika, elegant looking mother and a little girl and a boy who light up the screen with their innocence. The film starts with the depiction of good time that the family has.-Husband and wife romancing in the kitchen, the family at the dining table and the father pampering his children. “ Parzania “, as the boy describes to his sister, is a place with mountains made of chocolate and ice-cream and rivers of kheer. It’s a imaginary world to which he is delighted to take his sister. The film, as it slowly builds up, also shows the lives of other Muslims and handful of Hindus in the locality. The director had brilliantly created scenes, prior to the assault, which very well bonds with the rest of the movie.

Director also points out the nexus between the Hindu fanatics (viz, VHP & Bajrang Dal), politicians and the police administration. This he shows through a character he’s planted – an American who is there in Gujarat working on a thesis about Gandhi. Rahul Dholakia shows the injustice caused to the India’s largest minority community through his eyes from the position of neutrality. In fact, he has made good use of all characters portrayed in the film.

Speaking of the performances of the protagonists, Naseerudin shah deserves a standing ovation in the hall. Every bit of his action conveys a pertinent message. Even a person who has never heard of his acting prowess and has no idea about what acting is would discern words through his mere action. It’s a marvelous acting from this veteran star. And sarika too has flawlessly played her role in spite of the long break in her career. And the kids are a real feast to the eyes.

This is a movie that evokes lots of emotions. In fact I watched this movie with a heavy heart and eyes filled with tears. And the lady who was sitting to my right was holding her seat handle tight when sarika speaks of her sufferings to NHRC( National Human rights commission) members at its hearing. The dialogue,” the doors my children would walk in without knocking, were even closed”, Caught my attention and sank my heart.

”Parzania” is worth watching as it comes as a reminder of loathsome genocide that India has ever seen, while the parsi family, in Ahmedabad, hopefully wait for their son to return. The movie carries the picture of their son Azhar at the end. And truly, this is a movie with a purpose.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Venting out feelings...

What you are seeing is the image of the place where the future administrators (they call themselves IAS aspirants) of the country bask under the sun with teacups in hands. I guess you could see the teacups strewn all over the place. I learnt district collectors have the responsibility to ensure the cleanliness of their districts. Pity those districts of our country. Welcome to a nameless tea shop (they serve Samosas and bread omelets as well) in Rajinder nagar. And thanks to some unknown Moneybags who had constructed that building u see in the picture with granite laid steps. Those two shops with shutters down has always remained closed ever since I came to Delhi. Of course, once one of the shops housed a ice cream parlor last year. The only visitor it had, as far as I’ve known, was my friend Amit. I would say the time of the year the shop opened was a misfit. It was during the winter. And you know Delhi’s winter, eh? Its heartless.
Well, without drifting away let me get to the point. That place ever since then were occupied by the “Tea-Drinkers”. It’s hard for civil service aspirants to survive without tea. Pity those who don’t drink tea because to go for tea outside, while your seat cools down, is a de-stressor. Going by science, it may sound oxymoronic. But believe me it’s a real de-stressor. Oops!! Why am I dwelling on tea as if my father owns a tea estate?
Actually I am here to vent my feelings out. To bemoan the fact that people who sat in that place for tea had not a bit of urge to throw their teacups in the trash bin, which was kept just 10 meters away. And not to mention that remnants of “Manikchand” Gutka that added more color to already red granite. What pains me more is that they are all, at least most of the people who came to the shop, IAS aspirants. I don’t know, maybe they would learn their basic duties and gain responsibilities overnight once they become IAS officers.
But who do we blame for all this negligence. Blame Mr. Moneybags who never pulled up people for this act? Or “Tea-Drinkers” who littered graciously, as if giving alms to beggars? Or, the minions of the shop for not cleaning it? Or those MCD sweepers who thought it wasn’t within their jurisdiction?
Blame it on the magnificent freedom this country has given us. Would we do this when our country had law to sever hands of those who littered? Or for that matter a nominal amount of fine for the breach? It is the lack o fear and the absence of palpable consequence that has ruined us. Our country needs not just education, but value education. They need to imbibe value in to the lives of our country men.

(This post was not intended to mortify IAS aspirants nor to harbor grudges against this society. But I cry within. )