Short Film by: Aniruddha Roychowdhury
A famine-stricken village where the poorest of the poor have to subsist on diseased water…It takes a Satyajit Ray to find joy in the midst of such despair. Like Ray’s Pather Panchali the famine-stricken village in Aniruddha Roychowdhury’s short-film is metaphor for the aridity that we humanize in times of dire distress in order to survive.
The tender yet brutal film—one of the two Apu-esque creatures will die before the film is through—draws a distinction between tolerating despair and working one’s way through it with hope and compassion. Ailing Bulli(Prakash Takre) stares out the window next to the bed where he lies sick. From where he lies, he looks out into a world of no great promise but nonetheless , some hope of redemption.
Bulli’s access to the outside world is his precious and buoyant friend Baiju(Aditya Pawar) who brings to Bulli stories anecdotes and incidents of hope and fortitude.Bulli dreams of his dead Naani and how she would return as a bird to drink the pure crystal-clear water stolen from the Brahmanical well.
Swimming in aridity(to use mixed metaphor) the film charts a bitter-sweet bonding between the two boys.The two young actors Aditya Pawar and Prakash Thakre,take us through a magical journey into the world of incipient yearnings lit up by a false sense of protectiveness belied by the truth of mortality.
Throughout the short film the director keeps it simple and direct.Even when the imagination soars beyond the parched reality, it never gets out of hand.
“You can fly even when you can’t fly” seems to be dictum that drives this elegantly told story of poverty that won’t despair.It sings a distant tune heard on a parched pathway filled with the sounds of chirpy children who don’t know what death is.
But Death knows.