‘Pagdi’ rekindles hopes of Haryanvi cinema
While various films have been made on honour killings, it doesn’t take much to figure why debutant director Rajeev Bhatia’s Haryanvi film ‘Pagdi: The Honour’, also the story of a patriarchal society, won a National Award earlier this year. The filmmaker conveys his message through a simple narrative yet strong performances in the 100-minute-long film.
A special movie screening was held at a local cinema multiplex on Wednesday evening in the presence of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
In the name of honour and stereotypes
A family drama, ‘Pagdi’ is the story of a man who loses his reputation and respect in society due to his son’s love interest. Based in Haryana’s Kajla village, the film deals with inter-caste marriage woes and how eventually, parents come to realise the need to respect their children’s choices irrespective of social pressures. The movie title is a metaphor of how a typical family’s honour is at stake if their children decide to marry outside their socio-economic milieu in Haryana.
A natural set-up
Besides the rural settings, the acting skills displayed by the cast makes the film what it is, given the award-winning performances by Ravi Chauhan as Mangeram and Baljider Kaur as Imarti Devi. Of the 29-member team that worked consecutively for 37 days to wrap up the shoot, 27 members made their debut in the award-winning film, all of whom belong to Hisar. As if that were not enough, no makeup has been used even for a single member in the film. Costume designer Vandana Rajeev deserves a special mention for giving the characters a natural day-to-day look, in sync with rural set-up’s beliefs and conservative outlook. Similarly, be it the humming of bees or the early morning sound of crows in villages, Bhatia succeeds in his endeavour to make the audiences believe as though they themselves are leading the characters’ lives.
It is difficult to believe that Jalandhar-born Baljinder Kaur, who won the National Award for best supporting actress for her performance, didn’t know how to speak Haryanvi until she took up the project. Given the gritty rustic woman she plays, who struggles as wife and mother to keep her family intact in a misogynistic society, Kaur’s expressive performance must be lauded. With an experience of over 20 years in theatre, she says, “I actually worked hard. I wouldn’t change my clothes even behind the scenes to get into the skin of the character, to the extent the SHO mistook me for a ‘tayaji’ who had come to report a case, when we were to practise scenes at the police station.” The film also stars cine actor Yashpal Sharma.
The director is happy that the film has received a National Award, but is curious to know the response of the public. Trained by the likes of Ketan Mehta and Mukul Anand, he says, “It was a challenge to make this film as no one was willing to produce it given it was my first and that is when my parents decided to do it.” The film has been produced by Rajeev’s wife Vandana Rajeev and his parents Ashok and Shakuntala Bhatia.
Policy to promote Haryanvi films soon
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday said the state government would soon formulate a policy for the promotion of Haryanvi films. Speaking after the film’s special screening of here on Wednesday evening, Khattar announced that the film would be tax-free in the state. It is the first Haryanvi film which has won two national awards - best film (Haryanvi) and best supporting actor (female) awards. He also announced a discretionary grant of `10 lakh for the film.
The Union animal husbandry and dairying minister, Parshottam Rupala, who was in Chandigarh on Tuesday to review the situation prevalent due to the lumpy skin disease (LSD) in livestock, said that so far eight Haryana districts have remained unaffected by this disease. “The Union minister said the Haryana government has been making efforts to tackle this disease,” an official spokesperson said. Among the most affected districts are Sirsa, Yamunanagar, Bhiwani, Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Palwal.
Spurring medal-winning sportspersons from Haryana to help train sportspersons who can bring more medals at international sporting events, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday gave the slogan of 'Padak Lao Padak Badhao' to the players of the state. The CM, who was speaking at a function organised in Gurugram in honour the Birmingham Commonwealth Games medal winners, said that medal-winning players will have to prepare five-10 players like themselves.
Two miscreants have allegedly snatched Rs 8 lakh from a labour contractor at a railway station in Karnal. Police said the incident took place on Tuesday morning when the victim, Sita Ram of Nilokheri, reached the railway station to board a train. After receiving the information, a police team reached the spot and started investigations. In his police complaint, Sita Ram alleged that his brother-in-law Umesh has a contract to provide labourers to brick kilns.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has called upon the people of the state to take a pledge to accomplish the 'Panch Pran' (five resolves) given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India a developed country by 2047, and ensure their contribution towards transforming the county into a potential superpower of the world.
Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday approved a proposal to notify the Uttar Pradesh Jail Manual 2022 to replace the one that came into force during British rule in 1941, and has been amended several times since. It classifies the state's prisons into four categories with inmate populations ranging from 1,000 to 2,000. Pregnant women will be given additional nutritious food. Jails will have playing areas for children with mothers held in prisons.