“আমি ভালো নেই, তুমি ভালো থেকো, প্রিয় দেশ”
আজ দেশের স্বাধীনতা দিবসে মনটা ভরে আছে দ্বেষে।
দ্বেষ মৌলবাদের প্রতি।
লেখকের কলম কেড়ে নেওয়া তলোয়ারের প্রতি।
হিংসা, উগ্রবাদ, ধর্মীয় গঁো ড়ামির প্রতি।
আজ তার ভাষা নেই, নেই আলো,
আজ তার দেশ নেই, সে আজ নেই ভালো।
গঙ্গার বয়ে চলা স্রোতে, রাস্তার নিয়ন আলোর কনায়,
বৃষ্টির পাতা ঝড়া মেঘে,
হৃদয়ের শিরায় শিরায়…
আজ মনটা ভরে আছে দ্বেষে।
কবিতার শবের ভারে,
মৃত শহরের হাহাকার বাজে,
আজ মনটা ভরে আছে দ্বেষে।
Churni Ganguly’s directorial debut is enigmatic, thought-provoking and a cinematic beauty. Poetry juxtaposed with lyrical photography, an emotional upheaval easily gives way to a farcical extradition of a cat. Brilliantly written, the film bluntly outlines the threat the voice of freedom is facing from extremists in the society.
In the war between the pen and the sword, the sword always wins. A writer is deported in the dead of night. The city protested and slowly the protests died down. Life is back to normal. But the writer’s words are lost. For those of us, who live away from our homes for work would easily connect with the banished poet. But the canvas is bigger. Baghini has become the epitome of expression here. The poet finds it hard to translate her feelings into words; she has been banished from her mother-tongue. Her only bridge, her cat, is away from her.
In fact Baghini is also the symbol of the circus that bureaucracy in this country is. Intended as comic relief, the farcical measures taken by the administration to send Baghini to her mother also underline how the whims of those in power decide the fate of the nation, more often than not infringing upon individual liberties.
Every member of the cast, specially Soni the cat, was at their best. The film was beautifully shot and perfectly edited. The scenes, interspersed with poems, stung the heart occasionally. Churni Ganguly is not only a fine actor but a great writer too. Her directorial venture only reinforces our faith in Bengali cinema. Kaushik Ganguly and Saswata Chatterjee are effortlessly natural in whatever they do.
The opening scenes of the film brought back the horrors of November, 2008. For that dark chapter, the city must atone. As the film progressed, I was also reminded of the long afternoons I had spent at Taslima’s Delhi residence. No one should ever live in exile, away from their roots; let alone a writer. If I ever get a chance, I would surely want to meet her again and resolve the skirmishes we had on Twitter.
I was chatting with a friend this afternoon. He told me something important. A country or a State is not bad, the people are. Kolkata did not fail in 2008. The people did. India did not fail when MF Hussain was forced to go on exile. The people did. The country still loves and longs for the artist (or the poet) in exile. Baghini is the ray of hope that keeps the words of the poet flowing. For one day, the mother(land) will take back her daughter.
My Rating: 4/5 stars
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