Vishnu Rajgharia | Courtesy: Media Vigil
Film “Anarkali of Aarah”….I was bound to watch the first day first show of the movie today, made by my Journalist friend Avinash Das. That is how it goes in friendship. So, saw it today itself. But I could have never imagined that this movie make such an impact on my conscience! Right after the interval, the eyes continued to remain moist, even after returning home, I was speechless, and now, while I am sitting to write something, even then I can barely control my emotions! Never did any film in my life has shattered me the way this film did. Taking the false allegations of flesh trade, the police forcibly drag Anarkali out of the house wrapping a bed sheet on her body & carry her in a jeep, the visuals are floating constantly in front of my eyes. As Anarkali, Swara Bhaskar’s helpless eyes will force you to think a lot about the trauma she underwent.
Take a bow Avinash Bhai, hundreds of salute to you. Many congratulations to all of us for the birth of this new director who was in search of a meaningful role after starting as a journalist from the streets of Bihar-Jharkhand, and extending his journey to Bhopal, Delhi and finally landing in the city of dreams Mumbai.
“Anarkali Arrahwali” is a unique experiment in the field of meaningful cinema. It’s not like some of the popular examples of parallel cinema, where in spite of a meaningful message, there was a lack of enough entertainment material which can keep the audience engaged till the end. This film keeps the curiosity of the audience intact right from start till end , and keeps the viewer feel the helplessness or struggle of Anarkali Aaarahwali. Swara Bhaskar is brilliant as Anarkali. This film sets a great example of being effective to such an extent, that too without a high profile star cast. The frequency of heroine-oriented films in the country is extremely low. Without the hero, there too can be a good film; this film is a proof of the same.
Overall there is no such scene which looks unrealistic as in typical Bollywood films. Whatever is happening, whatever happens, which can happen. Those who do not understand the reality of the country, who sit in the drawing room and see the world, can surprise themselves by “How Do” “How Do” on some scenes of the film. They can be surprise by the scene which shows Dharmendra Chauhan climbing on the stage of Anarkali, or may be surprised by the manner in which the police officers trap Anarkali.
But if you see the latest incident of Shiv Sena’s MP Ravindra Gaikwad, who hit the Air India employee with sandal, you will understand what the country is going through today. If you remembered the incidents of forcibly putting food in the mouth of the kitchen staff of a government guest house in Delhi by a few MPs from Shiv Sena last year, you will understand how much powerful people in the country have kept hoodwinking.
The kitchen worker was a Muslim and was on a roja. Or, in a recent incident BJP MP Manoj Tiwari abused a teacher at a public forum in Delhi. Seeing the film “Anarkali of Aarah” in the light of the aforesaid incidents, and keeping in view the behavior of powerful people in the ego of power, a larger perspective will arise. The challenge will also be understood and our role as well.
The movie “Anarkali of Aarah” is the story of a helpless young woman whose mother was shot in front of her eyes, when her mother was dancing in a marriage ceremony to be a breadwinner for her family. Anarkali also had to become a dancer for the same reason. But she valued the dignity of being an independent person. Dharmendra Chauhan, a powerful man, misbehaves with her and in return, Anarkali slaps him in front of people. And so, the constant struggle of fighting with the system starts for this woman. The system is with the powerful man, but Anarkali proved that she was a free citizen of India. She fought on her own and showed that she is not helpless.
The ending of the film has been very impressive, where Anarkali is returning all alone after winning over by showing his status to the culprit. She walks along a deserted road, swirling,carefree, floating and full of life. What is the message Anarkali is trying to give?
But what happens after the film ends? Anarkali exposed the real face of the powerful person in front of everyone. In front of us. What happened after this? If you have seen the movie, then think about the story after the end. What would have happened if the story continued even further? Any new series of bullying by Dharmendra Chauhan and his helpful police officer? Or the society would accept Anarkali? Her art would be respected; will she be considered a normal human being from now on? Was there any public agitation for action against that powerful Dharmendra Chauhan and his helpful police officer? Or that people continue to live up to the power of Dharmendra Chauhaan just like before?
While returning from the film, this question kept on revolving around my mind that what after the end? In today’s scenario, the end of the film cannot be the same as Anarkali returning alone with the victorious pride. It may be possible that she gets crushed with a long black car from the back or picked up by the police and sent to jail in a false case. The movie engages us to rethink and imagine beyond the end, and that is the massage the movie powerfully conveys.
Coincidentally, after returning back home when I started watching TV news, I came to know that Air India has taken tremendous steps against Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad. They have blacklisted him and showed him the status he deserved. They have canceled his return ticket.
This suddenly reflected as calling the powerful Dharmendra Chauhan anecdote by Anarkali of Aarah. It looked as if Anarkali’s tight slap was not only for Dharmendra Chauhan, but also for Shivsena MP Ravindra Gaikwad. It was for all the representatives who are elected by us and start barking on us after getting in power. The slap was from all the citizens of a free country who value their freedom. Should Dharmendra Chauhan be treated in the same manner MP Gaikwad is been treated? By giving a nationwide social boycott to this arrogant MP, can we the citizens give a big bang message to the system on behalf of the society?
When a common man, who is sympathetic to Anarkali in the film, says to her, “Eat the Buniya for the sake of the country”, it would be interesting to understand the satire behind it. That character later also compels many things to say “for the sake of the country” by saying that in the name of the country, the countrymen have been thrown into the pit of helplessness.
And of course, the Bhojpuri accent of the song, music and language of this film will certainly attract the audience of the Purvanchal too.But, where people like Manoj Tiwari have made Bhojpuri film, song-music synonymous to vulgarity, Anarkali of Aarah will be remembered as a meaningful message. Its lyrics or scenes do not wake sexuality but rather helplessness.
Do not watch this movie just as a poor girl’s helplessness. And it is just wrong to say that it is merely a women’s empowerment film. Look though the movie with the perspective of a common man which helplessly fights against all odds of the system in day today life.
Anarkali has a voice against this system. When will we raise our voice and deliver our message against this system? And how? After all, we will start at all. So why not today?