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Subhadro Chowdhury's film about a family haunted by its past, was awarded the Silver Peacock at the IFFI 2003

india Updated: Oct 19, 2003 23:28 IST

Director: Subhadro Chowdhury
Cast: Debashree Roy, Barun Chandra, Alakananda Roy, Rajatabh Dutta
Bengali/94 minutes/35 mm/Colour

A nurse, Nandita lives in a suburban locality with her mother and sister. They seem trapped within a space. The memory of a turbulent occurrence six years ago, and the death of her father, haunts them.

Sarit, Nandita’s boyfriend, walks into this dark scenario only to announce that he is leaving town as he has been transferred to the Andaman Islands. Mother reminds Nandita that her father had died on the day. Nandita says she knows but she does not want remember the day. She holds herself responsible for her father’s death.

Nandita leaves for the city hospital. She works in the emergency ward. The patient on bed number 10 the patient is bomb blast victim, a criminal under police protection. Nandita and her colleague, Seema, discuss the case.

A little later, Seema leaves for another ward and Nandita is left alone. She sees the bomb blast victim and memories come rushing back. The monotonous sound of a goods train grows louder. She feels sick.

In the stillness of the night, Nandita dislodges the oxygen mask from the patient’s face. He starts gasping. A smile flashes on Nandita’s face. Just them a doctor on duty walks in. Nandita quietly replaces the mask.

The patient stops gasping. The blood that the patient needs begins to run out. The hospital does not have the required blood group nor do the blood banks. Nandita, who has the same blood group, decides to save the criminal and donate blood. The criminal survives for the time being.

On the way out of the hospital, Nandita is alone in the lift. She thinks aloud: "I want the patient to regain consciousness and realize that my blood has saved him. He will then understand how I will punish him and take revenge."

Nandita’s monologue continues: "One night, six years ago, I was returning home from night duty. At a railway level crossing, Biltu, the criminal, and his gang surrounded me and my voice was drowned out by the deafening clatter of the goods train."

In the afternoon, as Nandita paces up and down in her room, a young boy in the ward watches Biltu in bed number 10. As the criminal regains consciousness, the boy narrates how he was saved by a bottle of blood donated by the nurse.

A teardrop rolls down Biltu’s cheek as he stares blankly. That is the state that Nandita finds the patient in when she returns to work that night. The senior doctor declares the criminal dead because of shock sometime in the afternoon.

Nandita thinks Biltu may have recognized her and would have felt the weight of guilt. Nandita is relieved of her burden. She thinks: "I was about to commit a crime to avenge a crime." Months pass by and Nandita finds her rhythm again. Life goes on.

Producer: Debjani Gupta
Story: Dulendra Bhowmick
Screenplay: Shekhar Das
Cinematography: Amlan Datta
Editor: Saurav Sarangi
Music: Chiradeep Dasgupta

First Published: Oct 10, 2003 10:12 IST