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Mall Road

Bus Addey, Maal Rode, Camp, Madal Toun, Ajadpur, Shalimaar...

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi


Today they screened Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi in College. You might want to check out what other bloggers are saying about the movie, but I was frankly disappointed. The English they spoke was a bit artificial, to begin with, as though they were doing school theatre. This is not to discount the good acting. Secondly, the subject (student involvement in the pre-Emergency Naxalite movement) was probably a bit cheapened by being shown as a big joke. A Marxist friend in College (yes, we still have some Comrades!) remarked that they have represented it as a rich man's son's fantasy, whereas it might have been a little more complex. Also, the love triangle was a bit over-done. For a movie supposedly representing St. Stephen's College (shot, for want of permission, in the 'rival' Hindu College!), there can't be so much of College romance, okay, because Stephen's was all-boys till 1975 when Indira Gandhi suddenly asked why should a premier institution not admit ladies.

One of my motives to see the movie was to see what the then College administration had to say about such on-campus political activity undertaken in a haze of LSD. That, sadly, was missing.

Another disappointment was the music. There could have been more of it, and much better. Or may be I've listened to Jagjit Singh's rendition of the Ghalib ghazal too many times to appreciate Shubha Mudgal's melancholic burst.

Enough of cribbing. What I really liked about it was that the glamour of the poster (see above) was not matched by the movie itself. Secondly, the subtle portrayal of Indira Gandhi and her influence by merely putting her photographs all over. The movie is sure to embarass a Cangrassi and a half, though they are beyond embarassment by now. I also had this strange feeling that the movie is trying to say, 'Thank God the revolution failed even if the price was Emergency'. This is not to say it does not show the brutality of the Emergency - it does - but puts it in a context that Cangressis often like to see it in: as an inevitable backlash to the Naxal and other troubles throughout the country that were undermining the rule of the state. So I have resolved to do some more research on this.







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-- Blogger www.gypsynan.blogspot.com, 8/11/2005 08:48:00 AM

an emergency apologia???!!! so late in the day?    



-- Blogger shaun, 8/11/2005 11:30:00 AM

what do you mean?    



-- Blogger Monica, 8/12/2005 06:32:00 PM

Don't agree with you that the film celebrates the failure of the revolution - it left me (and I think the protagonists) feeling bittersweet, tender, exhausted, ironic. Nor that the Emergency would be seen as a natural outcome of the revolution - for me the film paints those in power with black, and our young naxals with diminishing naivety. I loved the film and its music - I think it is one of the most complex, intelligent, brave films to have come out recently.    



-- Blogger K, 8/12/2005 08:38:00 PM

This was in the heady days of the late 60's and early 70's. My father was a student of college then (believer in the 'There is only one college worth its name in India' philosophy) and was - of all things - a Trotskyite - but then half of Rez was. One of the persons who inspired the 'revolutionary' characters in the movie was Arvind N Das, a man who makes Prakash Karat and his ilk look very mild in comparison. Anyway, I had seen the movie quite some time ago. By the way, how was the cycle on the roof shot staged? Anyway, in case anyone is interested - the story behind that - courtesy my father - circa 1973 - is that during the 'PJ' week, courtesy the now sadly defunct Wodehouse Soc, which was the most famous of all the Socs once upon a time, ask the PM's son-in-law about it and you'll get an idea of what I'm talking about. One night a bunch of people from the 1974 Eco class if I'm correct after getting stoned and drunk, disassembled a cycle, climbed up the main tower, hauling the cycle on their backs - all this on a rickety step ladder in the dead of night - and reassembled it on the cross. Or so the story goes. Shivam, trust me, if you manage to to get Tanks comfortable enough, he'll tell you many many more stories.    



-- Blogger shaun, 8/13/2005 05:20:00 PM

Thanks for regularly visiting my blog and commenting here, K, but Who Are You?!    



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