Archive for category Movie Reviews

પ્રેમચંદ મુન્શી ની વાર્તા નિર્મલા ની સમીક્ષા – #Gujarati & English Review of Premchand Munshi’s Nirmala


પ્રેમચંદ મુન્શી ની વાર્તા “નિર્મલા” ધારાવાહી ની સમીક્ષા

Munshi Premchand: a prolific Indian writer – EDUpub

પ્રેમચંદ મુન્શી હિન્દી સાહિત્યના ખુબ મોટા અને જાણીતા સાહિત્યકાર રહ્યા છે. તેઓ એક નિષ્ણાત અને વિશેષજ્ઞ વાર્તાકાર છે અને તેમની વાર્તાઓ ધારાવાહી સ્વરૂપે યૂટ્યૂબ માં જોઈ શકાય છે. વાર્તામાં બોધ હોય તે બાળકોને ગમે પણ મોટાઓને તેવી વાર્તાઓ પસંદ ન પડે. પરંતુ મુન્શીજી એ પ્રકાર ના વાર્તાકાર છે કે તેમની વાર્તામાં બોધ હોય પરંતુ તેઓ ક્યારેય તે બોધ ને સમજાવતા નથી. વાંચનાર પોતાની મેળે અને પોતાની સમજ પ્રમાણે પુરેપુરો બોધ તારવે કે થોડો તારવે કે જરાય નહિ તે વાંચનાર ઉપર છે.

નિર્મલા કરીને તેમની વાર્તા છે જેમાં એક 45 જેટલી ઉંમરના વિધુર એક નાની 17વર્ષ જેવડી કન્યા જોડે વિવાહ કરે છે અને આર્થિક મુશ્કેલી માં પડેલી મા તે વિવાહ કબુલ કરે છે. આ સાન 1925માં લખાયેલ આ વાર્તામાં તેમની સુધારાવાદી કાર્યસૂચિ દેખાય છે. લગ્ન કરનાર વિધુર ના 5, 8 અને 15 વર્ષ જેવડા ત્રણ છોકરા છે. નિર્મલા વિધુર જોડે ખુબ વિનયથી વાત કરે છે પણ તેમનાથી અળગી રહે છે. ત્રણ છોકરાઓની તે ખુબજ સંભાળ રાખે છે અને ત્રણેય છોકરાઓ તેને મા કહીને સંબોધે છે. છોકરાઓ જોડે નિર્મલા નો સબંધ ઔપચારિક નથી અને સરખી ઉમર ને કારણે તેઓ એકબીજા જોડે ચર્ચા અને મસ્તી મજાક કરે છે અને 15 વર્ષના છોકરા પાસે નિર્મલા અંગ્રેજી શીખે છે. પોતાના 15 વર્ષના છોકરાને નિર્મલા સાથે જોઈને વિધુરને ઈર્ષા આવે છે અને તે છોકરાને હોસ્ટેલ માં મોકલે દ્યે છે જ્યાં પૌષ્ટિક આહાર ન મળવાથી અને બીમારીમાં બરોબર સારવાર ન મળવાને કારણે છોકરો જીવન મરણ વચ્ચે જોલા ખાય છે. ત્યારે વિધુર નિર્મલા ને આજીજી કરે છે કે તું છોકરાની જોડે કૈક વાત કર અને હોસ્પિટલ ના કાર્યકર્તાઓને કહે છે કે આ તેની મા છે. વિધુર ના એ બે વાક્યમાં કરુણા વહે છે અને વાચકો તારવી શકે છે કે વિધુર છોકરો ગુમાવવાની અણી ઉપર આવ્યા છે અને તેમને પોતાની ભૂલો સમજાય છે.

1920 થી 1940 ના સમય દરમ્યાન ભારતીય સમાજ માં સુધારાવાદી પરિવર્તન ની જરૂર હતી તે મુન્શીજી ની વાર્તાઓ માં દેખાય છે. બોધ આપ્યા વગર, સામાજિક માન્યતાઓ, ધોરણો અને સામાજિક વાતોને મુન્શીજી એ પ્રમાણે રસિક રીતે રજુ કરે છે કે તેમની વાર્તાઓ આજે પણ વાચકોને પસંદ આવે છે. તેમની વાર્તાઓમાં ગામડાઓના ઠાકુરો અને બ્રાહ્મણ પંડિતો દ્વારા થતું ગરીબ ખેડૂતો અને કામદારોનું શોષણ, અસ્પ્રુશ્યોની સાથે થતો અન્યાય અને ઉતરતી ગણાતી સ્ત્રીઓની સાથે થતી કરુણ ઘટનાઓ જોવા મળે છે.

Short English Synopsis Of Premchand Munshi’s Nirmala on Youtube

Premchand Munshi has been an incredible and excellent storyteller. He wrote in Hindi, during 1920s to 1940s time frame. In his stories, Munshi shined a light on subjugation and plight of women, exploitation of poor farmers and daily wage workers by wealthy landowners and learned Brahmins and holy men in the villages and inequities and abuse suffered by the untouchables.

In his short story, Nirmala which is available on Youtube, Munshi shines a light on plight of women. About 16 or so years old poor girl is married off to a widower of her father’s age. Widower has three boys, ages 5, 8 and 15. Nirmala is very respectful towards her husband but she is uncomfortable with intimacy, is formal with him and maintains some distance. She takes very good care of the three boys and they are also respectful towards her and address her as a mother. However, being of similar age, the boys are also close to her and joke with her and she is also trying to learn English from 15 year old. When the father sees his own son with his young wife, in jealous rage, he sends his son away to a hostel. Due to non-nutritious food and illness, son falls ill and is on the verge of dying. At that time, the widower requests Nirmala to talk to the son in the hope that maybe he may respond to her and he explains to the hospital personnel that Nirmala is their mother. In two simple sentences at the end, uttered with distress and shame, one can see the regret that the father is feeling due to his various mistakes, when he is on the verge of losing his beloved elder son.

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Hindi Review: Premchand Munshi’s Tehrir Godaan गोदान


प्रेमचंद मुंशीजी की गोदान पर आधारित “तहरीर” धारावाहिक की समीक्षा 

“गोदान” मुंशी प्रेमचंद का एक प्रसिद्ध हिंदी उपन्यास है। सन १९३६ में प्रकाशित हुआ यह उपन्यास हिंदी साहित्य के महान उपन्यासों में गिना जाता है। यह उपन्यास की बात करने से पहले मुंशीजी के बारे में थोड़ी बाते करते है. हिंदी साहित्य की दुनिया में मुंशी जी का स्थान बहोत उत्कृस्ट लेखकों में है. उन्होंने लिखे हुए उपन्यासमे गोदान, कर्मभूमि, गबन, मानसरोवर, ईदगाह जैसी प्रसिद्ध और लोकप्रिय किताबे शामिल है. उन्होंने १२ से अधिक प्रसिद्द किताबे लिखी है और ३०० से ऊपर छोटी कहानिया लिखी है और उनकी किताबो का अंग्रेजी और कई विदेशी भाषाओंमे अनुवाद किया गया है.     

सन १९६३ में “गोदान” के ऊपर हिंदी चलचित्र बनाया गया था जिसमे राज कुमार, कामिनी कौशल, महमूद और शशिकला ने अभिनय किया है. 

सन 2004 में, मुंशीजी की गोदान के ऊपर आधारित,  गुलज़ार द्वारा निर्देशित, टीवी श्रृंखला, “तहरीर” दूरदर्शन के ऊपर पेश की गई थी जिसमे पंकज कपूर और सुरेखा सीकरी ने अभिनय किया है. 

Nature, Kokan, Sindhudurg, Goa, Farmer, Green

यह 1930 के दशक के ग्रामीण भारत में बस्ते हुए किसानों के जीवन पर केंद्रित एक उत्कृष्ट कहानी है। ये गरीब और बड़े पैमाने पर अशिक्षित किसान गरीबी और कर्ज के चक्र में फंसे हुए हैं। जमींदार, ठाकुर, पंचायत के सदस्य और ब्राह्मण पुजारी सहित उच्च वर्ग के विभिन्न सदस्य इस तथ्य का लाभ उठाते हैं कि किसान उनकी बड़ी इज्जत करते हैं और उनका गहरा सम्मान करते हैं। वास्तविक और काल्पनिक अपराधों के लिए, किसानों पर जुर्माना लगाया जाता है, उनके जानवरों (और कभी-कभी उनके खेतों) को अत्यधिक ब्याज दरों पर दिए गए ऋण के बदले में जब्त कर लिया जाता है. इस प्रकार पीढ़ियों से गरीबी का चक्र जारी रहता है। कभी-कभी ये किसान ईर्ष्या के कारण अपने ही वर्ग के सदस्यों का निशाना भी बन जाते हैं. और जब एक किसान पूरी तरह से कर्ज में डूब जाता है और उस गरीब आदमी से निकालने के लिए कुछ भी नहीं बचा है, जिसने अपनी युवावस्था खो दी है तभी उसे अपनी प्यारी जवान बेटी की शादी बूढ़े आदमी से कराने के लिए प्रेरित किया जाता है। 

यह धारावाहिक विशेष रूप से एक किसान होरीराम और उसकी पत्नी धनिया और उनके तीन बच्चों के इर्द-गिर्द केंद्रित है। किसान होरीराम की भूमिका में पंकज कपूर और उनकी पत्नी धनिया की भूमिका में सुरेखा सीकरी का अभिनय अति उत्कृर्ष्ट और शानदार है. 

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Tehrir – Premchand Munshi’s Godaan serial review


“Godaan” is a famous Hindi novel by Munshi Premchand. Published in 1936, this novel is counted among the greatest novels of Hindi literature. Before talking about this novel and the series that is based on this novel and is streaming on Youtube, let’s talk a little about Munshiji. Munshi ji’s place in the world of Hindi literature is among some of the most outstanding writers. The novels he has written include famous and popular books like Godaan, Karmabhoomi, Gaban, Mansarovar, Idgah. He has written more than 12 famous books and over 300 short stories and his books have been translated into English and other foreign languages. I have written reviews in Hindi and Gujarati and will post them as well.

In 1963, a Bollywood film was made on “Godaan”, starring Raj Kumar, Kamini Kaushal, Mehmood and Sashikala. 

In 2004, Tehrir, directed by Gulzar, based on Munshiji’s Godaan, was aired on Doordarshan, starring Pankaj Kapur and Surekha Sikri.

Farmer ploughing field Rural farmer of Indian ethnicity ploughing field using wooden plough which is riding by two bullock. Farmer Stock Photo

This is a masterfully told story focusing on the lives of farmers in rural India of 1930s. These poor and largely uneducated farmers are caught in a cycle of poverty and debt. Various members of the upper classes including, jamindars, thakurs, members of the Panchayat, and brahmin priests take advantage of the fact that the farmers look up to them and deeply respect them. For real and imagined transgressions, fines are levied on the farmers, their animals (and sometimes their farms) are seized in return for loans given at exorbitant interest rates, receipts are never given of loan repayments leaving it to their will how much to extract from the poor farmers and thus continues the cycle of poverty for generations. Sometimes these farmers even become a target of the members of their own class, on account of jealousy. And when a farmer is fully driven into debt and there is nothing left to extract out of the poor man who has lost his youthful spirit and is well into his middle age, then he is cajoled into marrying his beloved young daughter to old man, twice her age, but one who is not likely to demand a dowry and may help the family financially. 

The serial is specifically centered around a farmer, Horiram and his wife, Dhania and their three children. Performances by Pankaj Kapur as Hori and Surekha Sikri as Dhaniya are absolutely flawless. The serial is heart-rending, flawlessly made with superb performances and engaging story, beautifully told. I watched it in Hindi but since Munshi’s stories are translated in other languages, I highly recommend that you try and find it and watch if possible.

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Sir – Movie Review


Writer/ Director Rohena Gera’s Hindi, English and Marathi language movie “Sir” was released at Cannes Film Festival and at New York Indian Film Festival in 2019 and is released in theaters in November, 2020. 

Sir movie review: A courageous traverse into difficult territory |  Entertainment News,The Indian Express

Movie centers around Ratna (Tilotama Shome) who got married and widowed at a very young age and her circumstances boxed her inside a life void of dreams. However, in the hope of saving money in feeding an idle mouth, her family from the village allowed her to work as a maid in Mumbai. This allowed Ratna to both nurse her dreams as well as save money to help her younger sister complete her education. Ratna herself hopes to be a fashion designer. 

Ratna works as a domestic worker in the home of Ashwin (Vivek Gomber) who has recently returned from the USA, after the untimely death of his younger brother. Ashwin’s guests rarely see beyond Ratna’s status, though Ashwin is a kind man. Ratna may not be highly educated and may not be very articulate in her speech. But Ratna has pride, resilience and persistence that can generate respect in anyone, if only they see beyond her status and class. 

Here is a brief dialog between Ashwin and his friend that is rather ordinary from one angle and also extraordinary from a different viewpoint.

Friend: she is your maid
Ashwin: Put that aside for a minute
Friend: How? How can you put that aside?

I won’t say more about the film although there also isn’t much in the plot or the storyline to give away.  The beauty of the film lies in the masterful use of silence and understated dialogues between people divided by uncrossable red lines, considered sacred by the society. Equally understated ending is at the same time beautiful and brilliant. While to some extent, it may be up to luck and only time may tell what fruits are borne by romance and love, enabling someone to do better, to help them fulfill their dreams, to assist them in upgrading their status, is an undisputed act of love.

Sir movie is streaming on @Netflix and on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I rate the movie 4.4.

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Bridgerton – Serial Review


How Bridgerton is poised to revolutionize romance on television | EW.com

“In a town filled with ambitious mamas and fortune hunting gentlemen, marrying above one’s station, is an art form indeed”. In the American TV period drama series Bridgerton, streaming on Netflix and created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes, this art form has been raised to perfection. Based on Julia Quinn‘s novels set in the competitive world of Regency London high society‘s wedding season, when debutantes are presented at the court, the viewers have an opportunity to confront their perspectives on both race and gender, albeit in different ways. 

The drama centers on the Bridgerton family with Lady Bridgerton and her four sons and her four daughters. Also featured are the Featheringtons, with Lady & Lord Featherington and their three daughters and their guest Ms. Thompson. During the season’s balls when all the darling debutants of London are on display, “titled, chased and innocent”, their one job is to spark interest among good suitors and snag a proposal, “thereby avoiding the label of a spinster”.

While the rebellious among them find “affection and attachment trite and frivolous” or some prefer a diary to a dashing dude, others up the odds wondering “why settle on a duke, when one can have a prince”. And lest you imagine that all the investment of energy is among the parties to wed, it is in fact the society that is heavily invested and interested in speculations about who will wed whom, considering that weddings may splinter or consolidate power structures. In all the hoopla, this wedding season is creating a special stir on account of London high society’s secret writer Whistledown, who regularly writes a column detailing the most scandalous gossip from this coming out season. 

As if all this excitement is not enough, then there’s the issue of race and gender. Let’s tackle gender. Many are delicate issues pertaining to women’s honor where “a wayward touch or heaven forbid a kiss would banish any young lady from a society in a trail of ruin”. And yet these issues are translated into men’s affairs and it then becomes men’s duty to solve these issues and women are expected to leave the weighty issues to their fathers, brothers or husbands. 

But race……. Ahh that’s a whole different issue. Despite the mention of some prior history of a society divided by race, this society is a colorblind society. After their white king married a black queen, this society has managed to achieve true racial equality, as Lady Danbury explains simply, “love conquers all”.  This racial parity indeed brings an absolute breadth of fresh air and leaves you with a feeling of hope and possibility for our future.

Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, Rosheuvel as the Queen and Ruby Barker as Marina Thompson are fabulous along with vastly different Bridgerton sisters, Phoebe Dynevor and Claudia Jesse and their young friend Nicola Coughlan.  

bridgerton trailer

I love this television drama series and will look forward to its continuation. There is so much sarcastic humor and wit, yet it is classy and chic. Yes, it is raunchy too. All the subjects that can’t be mentioned, all the young girls who marry without nary a clue of what is to take place on the wedding night; all that can’t be mentioned is on actual display on screen. For all trapped in loveless marriages, there are others trapped in triangles and yet others enjoying abundance of romance and passion.  Portrayal of race and gender issues gives viewers an opportunity to imagine sharp contrast between a society that remains stuck in status quo versus one that may advance to embrace diversity and inclusiveness, in a year when these issues have risen to the surface.

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Hillbilly Elegy – Movie Review


Written by J D Vance, Hillbilly Elegy, set in late 1990s, is a memoir about life of his family and his people in the greater Appalachia. Vance grew up in Ohio and Kentucky amidst poverty and its accompanying scourges, social isolation, lack of medical resources, drug use and religious and political changes.  

A 'Hillbilly Elegy' adaptation, hold the politics | News, Sports, Jobs -  Morning Journal

When young Vance (Owen Asztalos) began getting into trouble, living with his single mother, his grandmother mammaw (Glenn Close) saw only one option; to take him in. Standing on the doorstep of rebellion, teen Vance yelled at her rules and her discipline, “Who are you? You’re not my mother” and mammaw shot back, “I’m all you got”. Vance grew to appreciate his mammaw’s sacrifices, stayed focused and ended up at Yale law and got hitched to a pretty girl of immigrant origin, Usha (Freida Pinto). Vance is asked to go home on the eve of his interview, right after graduation by his sister (Haley Bennet) on account of family emergency. His mother Bev’s (Amy Adams) reentry into the world of addiction, forced older Vance (Gabriel Basso) to confront the demons that plagued his family, with a fresh perspective. 

Hillbilly Elegy has garnered some bad reviews. It is challenging to tell a personal story where viewers want universal themes and generalized moral conclusions pertaining to the ongoing politics of the time. In my opinion, it is a beautifully sensitive story, artfully told with present happenings unraveling amid  flashbacks of the past. There are also sensitive and insightful themes that emerge. Older and wiser Vance manages to hold both truths together in his heart, his present life and his family of origin, with love. He concludes, “my family is not perfect, but they got me where I am” and going forward “it will be a shared legacy”.

J D Vance has contributed to the National Review and is now a principal at a Silicon Valley investment firm.  Kudos to director, Ron Howard. This is a beautiful film that focuses on family in a year when the entire world stopped and people took a breather and found the opportunity to embrace (physically or mentally) what and who they loved. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I rate the film 4.4. It is not earth shattering but it will make you appreciate the people you love.

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Uyare – Malayalam film movie review


Uyare I Malayalam Full Movie | ManoramaMax

Uyare, a Malayalam language film (with English subtitles) directed by Manu Ashokan rises above gender stereotypes, without being preachy. Released in 2019, the film was nominated for the best debut feature film of a director at the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI). 

As Pallavi Raveendran, the film’s heroine Parvathy Thirovothu gives a riveting performance in her role as an ambitious pilot who soon becomes a victim of a vicious attack. While the film revolves around her, her male co-stars Tovino Thomas, Asif Ali and Siddique also give a powerful performance. 

Acid attacks on women have been on rise in many parts of the world. In 2018, in India, over 300 acid attacks were reported but some estimate the number to be close to one thousand. India has the highest incidence of this ferocious behavior, most of them by men spurned by the women they desire. These men, in a fit of rage and possessiveness, growing up in a male dominated culture, take away that very thing from the women that the culture deeply values – feminine beauty, exactly at the age when these young women are at the peak in their beauty. Such attacks on women are disgusting. While the men must be punished to the full extent of the law, they must also be judged harshly in the media. But that is only part of the story. What about the women who often lose their careers, livelihoods and are often condemned for looking “ugly”? 

Film Uyare brings all the relevant circumstances surrounding this highly relevant issue, without being overly dramatic. Kudos to producers Bobby and Sanjay for tackling this very crucial issue focusing on the safety of young women. I rate the film as 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being excellent.

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Daughters of Destiny – Serial Review


At a school for poor children in India, price of attendance is paying it  forward | PBS NewsHour

Daughters of Destiny is a serial documentary that features a story of one school trying to make a meaningful difference, change the world, and bring hope where none exists, where destiny is pre-carved; in a country, with a population of over a billion people.

Doctor Abraham George completed his education in the United States and found and sold a company. Having made his fortune, he set about trying to change the world. He started a school, Shanti Bhavan, with a mission to improve the lives of the families in the lowest caste in India, the untouchables. While India has made significant strides in creating wealth, most of the wealth has been created in the top 10%, while there are 300M people considered to be Dalits or untouchables, often trapped in a cloying cycle of poverty. The school started with a bunch of kids that included boys and girls in equal numbers. The idea was to remove them from their homes and immerse them into a unique cultural and educational system, to shape them into becoming future leaders, each of them expected to commit to bringing along at least 100 others out of a cycle of injustice and poverty.  Only one child per family was selected.

While telling the story of the school, the documentary focuses on a few girls and their struggles, opportunities and challenges. Thenmozhi, seven, is a sweet, talkative girl aspiring for a job called science but finds that education holds her interest on and off.  As the documentary proceeds, Manjula, a 14 year old will be expected to help her family come out of the spiralling debt. Preetha could be any ordinary teenager anywhere in the world. She loves music and aspires to have a career in music and is repeatedly advised to choose traditional subjects for her college degree so she can become financially independent. Shilpa nurtures the dream to become a journalist and carries a big weight on her shoulders to give voice to those who may not be able to speak for themselves. And Karthika wants to become a human rights lawyer and help and empower poor people to seek justice and equality, under the law.

It's GRADUATION time at Shanti Bhavan! » Blog Archive » Shanti Bhavan  Children's Project

This is not an easy road to accomplishing their dreams. Each of these girls encounter various challenges. After getting used to living in clean surroundings of the school where their only job is to study and keep their dorms clean, twice every year, they go back home, where their struggling parents are living in huts, doing back breaking laborer’s jobs, sleeping together on the floor, have meagre rations, and their siblings who have demons of their own, who haven’t been the ones selected to go to Shanti Bhavan, who are still trapped in the same familiar pattern of child labor, lack of education options, likely early marriages, and same cycles of poverty, living out their destiny with whatever is predetermined and written on their foreheads by destiny.  These girls are prepared at the school to be patient, humble and understanding when they are back home.

While childhood is easy, more challenges begin when these children graduate from the schools and enter into colleges of their choice (continuing education is paid by Dr. George at Shanti Bhavan). Now they live in a broader world of haves and have-nots, mingle in a world that harbors preconceived notions about cast and wealth and status and station in life. Moreover, as their responsibilities towards their families come closer and into sharper focus, the differences between who they have become and the families they have left behind, become clearer. Questions emerge. “What if it was not me but my sibling who was selected? By 14 then I would be married and maybe even have a kid”. “I got a lottery but do I really belong in this world? Do I belong in any world? Can I ever live at my home again”?  “Was it worth it to be transplanted like this from one world to another and what was the meaning of it”? Some children hold deep guilt about how their siblings’ lives turned out, as compared to theirs. Some ask, “can one really transcend history, their past and destiny”?

As children navigate the challenges, negotiate their careers, and dream ahead, one can see that in hustling bustling teeming India, a small history is being made through the accomplishments of these children. In wealthier nations like America, there are albeit other paths besides education, to live a more fulfilled life, to live with equality, freedom and pride. But in India, there is one sure path to live a life of dignity and freedom and it is through meaningful education. But these future leaders at Shanti Bhavan also receive emotional support, cultural education, civic lessons and are let loose into the world with a boat load of expectations to carry forward their debt to society. A girls says towards the end that as per Indian philosophy, if one gets one’s lot in the world according to their karma of past life and therefore if karma is something that already occurred in the past then “I must be able to shape my future”. Though it is challenging for these children to blend their two realities of the world they came from and the world they are actively creating, we can see that for many, everything comes together as they mature and develop wisdom to accept both and yet are not fully shaped by either.

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નિયતિ ની દીકરીઓ (Daughters of Destiny) – સીરીયલ સમીક્ષા


સફળતા શું છે?

Shanti Bhavan (@ShantiBhavan) | Twitter

કાળી મજૂરી કરતી અને માથા ઉપર પાણા ઉપાડતી વિધવા મા ની દીકરી જયારે ભણીગણી ને વકીલ બને ત્યારે આપણે તેને સફળતા માનીએ ખરું ને? પણ ત્યારે કોઈ તેને કહે કે અમે તેને સફળતા નહિ ગણીએ તો આપણને વિસ્મયતા થાય। સત્ય ઘટના ઉપર આધારિત ડોટર્સ ઓફ ડેસ્ટીની ઉર્ફ નિયતિ ની દીકરીઓ નામની સીરીઅલ માં આ વાત નું વર્ણન છે.

ડૉક્ટર જોર્જ ભારત થી અમેરિકા શિક્ષણ માટે આવ્યા અને ત્યાર બાદ એક કંપની શરુ કરી. ખુબ સફળ એ કંપની વેંચીને પૈસા બનાવ્યા બાદ તેઓ પૈસા લઈને ભારત પાછા ફર્યા અને શાંતિ ભવન શાળાની સ્થાપના કરી. બાળકો ભણવા આવે અને પાછા પોતાના ઘરે જતા રહે તે તેમની સ્થિતિ માં શક્ય જ નહોતું. ઘણા બાળકો ઝૂંપડામાં રહેતા હતા, ભણવા માટે એકાંત, વીજળી વગેરેની વ્યવસ્થા નહોતી, ઘણા બાળકો ઉપર સાત, આઠ વર્ષે માતાપિતા ના કામ માં મદદ કરવાનું દબાણ રહેતું. અને તે ઉપરાંત આ બાળકોને કોઉન્સેલિંગ, મેન્ટરીંગ અને એક્સટ્રા કૅરીક્યુલર એકટીવિટીસ ની પણ જરૂર હતી. આજુબાજુના સૌથી ગરીબ દલિત બાળકોને સર્વોત્તમ ભણતર, સાંસ્કૃતિક શિક્ષણ સાથે તેમના રહેવાની વ્યવસ્થા કરી. પછી ઝૂંપડીમાં જઈને ગરીબ માં બાપ પાસે તેમના બાળકો ને શાંતિ ભવનને સોંપી દેવાની વિનંતી કરી. એવા માતાપિતા જે કોઈ પણ સમયે પોતાના બાળકોનું ભલું ઇચ્છતા હોય છે તેમણે પોતાના દિલ ઉપર પથ્થર રાખીને તેમના નાના નાના ભુલકાઓને શાંતિ ભવન શાળા માં ઉછેરવા માટે સોંપી દીધા. બાળકો વર્ષમાં બે વખત પોતાના ઘરે વેકેશન ગાળવા જતા અને તે સિવાયનું બધુજ શિક્ષણ અંગ્રેજીમાં લઇ અને પછી શાંતિ ભવન ના ખર્ચે કોલેજ માં ભણવા ગયા. અને ત્યાર બાદ તેમને સારી સારી નોકરી ઓ મળી. ત્યારે ડોક્ટર જોર્જે બાળકોને કહ્યું કે તમે આ તમારી સિદ્ધિને સફળતા નહિ માનતા.

તમે જે ભણતર અને નાગરિકી શિક્ષણ પ્રાપ્ત કર્યું છે તેના દ્વારા માત્ર તમારી જિંદગી માં તમે વ્યવસાયિક અને ભૌતિક રીતે સ્થાયી થાઓ, જિંદગીમાં ક્યારેય ન પ્રાપ્ત કર્યું હોય તેને મેળવી શકો તે તમારા નસીબ અને અમારી ખુશી. ભારત માં તો કહેવાય છે કે વિધાતા લેખ લખે તેને કોઈ ટાળી નથી શકતું. અને છતાં પણ તમને મદદ મળી ત્યારે તેમાં તમારી અખંડ પરિશ્રમ નું મિશ્રણ કરીને વિધિએ લખેલ લેખ ને તમે બદલી શક્યા। તમારી ખુશી અને આ આનંદ ના પ્રસંગે અમે તમારી જોડે જોડાઈએ છીએ અને આનંદ અનુભવીએ છીએ. પણ અહીં અટકતા નહિ. આ સફળતા નથી. અમે તમારી ખરી સફળતા ત્યારે ગણીશું જયારે તમે ઓછા માં ઓછા બીજા સો બાળકોને જિંદગીમાં આગળ લાવો અને તેમના નસીબ ને બદલવામાં મદદ કરો.

પેલી વકીલ છોકરીએ શું કર્યું? તેણે વકીલાત શરુ કરતા જ સૌથી પહેલો કેસ લીધો તેની વિધવા માં માટેનો અને તેની સાથે 30 વર્ષ થી પથ્થર ની ખાણ માં પથ્થર કાપતા અને ત્યાંજ રહેતા બધા મજૂરોનો। દરેક કુટુંબને તેના હકની જમીન, મકાન, દાક્તરી સગવડ અને બાળકો માટે શાળાની સગવડ માટે ની કોર્ટ માં અરજી કરતો તે કેશ આગળ વધી રહ્યો છે. જિંદગીમાં સફળતાનો કોઈ માપદંડ નથી અને કોઈની સફળતાને આધારે કે તેની સરખામણી કરતા આપણી સફળતા નક્કી નથી થતી. બલ્કે જિંદગીમાં આપણી સફળતા શું છે તે તેની અસર ને આધારે અને આપણા સિદ્ધાંત પ્રમાણે આપણે જ નક્કી કરવાનું છે. આ સીરીઅલ નેટફ્લિક્સ માં જોવા મળી શકશે.

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Retablo – Movie Review


Directed by Alvaro Delgado Aparicio, Retablo is a film jointly produced with participation of Peru, Germany and Norway. Retablo won Best Peruvian Film Award at Festival deCine de Lima & at Berlin International Film Festival, in 2018, it won Teddy Award as the best LGBTQ-themed debut film. 

Movie Review: Retablo - Gaylaxy Magazine

It centers around a 14 year old Perfuvian boy, Segundo Paucar (Junior Bejar) who is being trained by his father, Noe (Amiel Cayo), to become an artisan and continue with the family legacy of making beautiful retablos. These brightly painted wooden cabinets were sometimes commissioned by large families and they featured the family members and sometimes they were commissioned by churches. Father and son duo also made small generic retablos to sell in the tourist markets. Sedundo shares a very special bond with his father and father is immensely proud of the skills and enthusiasm that his young son displayed. 

However, Segundo’s beautiful little world fell apart when he saw his father engage in a homosexual act. Guilt and shame began to eat him inside. But that was only the start of their problems. Some time later, Noe was caught in the act, by the villagers. This was a small close knit, traditional community of people who took simple pleasures in community celebrations. The same community where people depended on each other in their hour of need, was also totally intolerant of a different way of life. Noe was not only insulted and spurned by the villagers but also was badly beaten. His wife Anatolia, (Magaly Solier) left him. 

The flow of the film is so natural that it is hard to imagine at which point it becomes intense. Junio Bejar displays a range of emotions from pride about his family to disgust and shame to disillusionment to deep inner strength when he decides to not accompany his grieving mother who leaves her husband, but instead stays with his father who is beaten and left as an outcast.

The film shows the challenges that LGBTQ people often have to navigate in diverse societies. And it shows that  the cost of exclusion is borne not only by the individual but his family as well. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being excellent, I rate it a 4.2. Retablo is available on Netflix.

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