Friday, September 12, 2008


Saw the movie Swades today. I never liked lengthy movies and maybe this was the reason I skipped it until recently. A friend recommended it and I asked a dozen people before watching the movie.

The story is so touching and yet, so simple. The simple village folk, the quintessential postman, the heroine as the silent crusader and the old freedom fighter were too Hindi film like. They're also the kind of people that make a typical village in India.

The movie highlighted the glaring urban rural divide in India and is some sort of an eye opener for the people who believe that "India is shining." Leave the Internet, something as common as a telephone is a missing in parts of India yet.

I have never understood why would people leave the country for better prospects abroad miss the country some time later. If I were given a chance to go to the States or Singapore for that matter, I'd jump at the opportunity. My Grandfather came from South India and we made Bombay our home. Wouldn't it be the same with the States? Yeah, no one would call me their Own there.  But seriously, would I care? Isn't the world a global village? And then I look at the Charanpur village of Swades.

I am in a dilemma. One one hand , I'd want a career for myself with all the material wealth but I also want to play a small part in making the world a better place to live in.

I know that I'll live a better life abroad and would deal with people with better civic sense. Cleaner air, Smiling officials and Malls without security officers poking metal detectors at you. But again, the  fact that the situation at home is appalling is all the more reason for me to stay home and help my people.

In the end , it was a dialogue by a cook in the movie grabbed my attention and set me thinking in these lines.

These were the lines. And reader, if you give a second thought to it my purpose for this post is fulfilled.

"Apne aangan kaa ped, doosre ki chaukhat par phale phoole.. toh ghar ke armaan maati min mil jaate hain.. it's like..apni chaukhat ka diya..and giving light to neighbour's house.. "

5 Grumblings:

kunwar said...

it's one of the films i treasure as well.... and really i would not hesitate for even a moment given the oppurtuity to earn more abroad....

sidharth said...

Well my first comment on nay blog.. eventhough i have read quiet a few... First up i like your style of writing, very simple and yet veru decisive!

Secondly, i never ever thought i would like this movie and i actually saw it when i first came to the states and only watched it coz i was runnijg out of DVDs.. but to tell the truth it did not hit me hard as others but i did like it...

Very simple yet decisive.. just like your blog!!

ayyo.... said...

@ Kunwar
Yeah. Most of us would. But yes, I'll carry a DVD of Swades when I'll leave.
On a more serious note I might very well do something in my own small way in the near future.

ayyo.... said...

@ Sid
Gee, thanks.
But yes, what strikes about teh movie is the sheer simplicity of the plot. And SRK after so many mindless flicks, comes up with a performance of a lifetime.

Certain portions did inspire me a lot to write this. The most significant being the cook's dialogue. Besides, the talk about culture and Parampara, and being the Greatest Nation in the world actually sometimes nauseate me. And I was happy to see the same in movie as well.
This surely is a movie for the rural and the urban audience as well. And a must watch for the NRIs as well. :D :D
Talk about a movie on rural empowerment!!

sikander F. Khan said...

It was natural for the Indians to like the movie, but fact is that I loved it too.. Firstly because of the simplicity of the story.. secondly for the powerful message and thirdly for Shahrukh Khan's different acting.

Had countries like Inndia and Pakistan not suffered heavily from this phenomenon of brain drain, or atleast the brain draining back after the due experience and education, our nations would have been able to do much better.