Shyamchi Aai (Shyam’s mother), the Marathi literary gem on a mother’s unconditional love for her child that was made into a film, will come alive again on May 9. The film will not only be screened in hundreds of places across Maharashtra, but also in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab. The autobiography of freedom fighter and writer Sane Guruji revolved around his relationship with his mother. Guruji was fondly called Shyam. In 1953, this book was adopted as a movie. In 1954, it won the first national award for best feature film.
“It is a story that everyone can relate to,” says Subhash Chheda of Rudraa Home Videos that owns the rights to the film. Chheda gets hundreds of requests around Mothers’ Day every year, asking permission to screen the film. And he denies no one. Prakashbhai Mohadikar, 91 years “young” as he calls himself, is a real enthusiast. “Spreading the message of love and brotherhood, that Sane Guruji embodied, is my life’s mission,” says Mohadikar, who has single-handedly sold more than 2,00,000 copies of the book.
Around Mother’s Day this year, he will hold talks across schools and other public forums in many of the 34 districts of the state. There will be story-telling sessions at public gatherings around Pune and Satara, followed by film screenings and street plays by kids to mark the day. Telugu newspaper Andhra Jyoti will screen the film with English subtitles in Andhra Pradesh. Poonam Singh, editor of Punjabi magazine Prit Lihari, will screen it in a village in Punjab near the India-Pakistan border.