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The Young & The Rang

From wanton Valentine worshippers to party-animal-bashers and from the career-conscious to the rebel, among all sections of the youth, ?Have you seen it? is not the question. It?s how many times. Such is the euphoria generated by the film Rang De Basanti that institutions are dedicating their entire cultural festivals to the theme of the film. A case in point is HBTI?s annual festival Odyssey?06 in which the theme is ?India Inspired?.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 00:21 IST

Ab bhi jiska khoon na khaula, khoon nahin woh paani hai
Jo desh ke kaam naa aa sake,
woh bekaar jawani hai

From wanton Valentine worshippers to party-animal-bashers and from the career-conscious to the rebel, among all sections of the youth, ‘Have you seen it’ is not the question. It’s how many times. Such is the euphoria generated by the film Rang De Basanti that institutions are dedicating their entire cultural festivals to the theme of the film. A case in point is HBTI’s annual festival Odyssey’06 in which the theme is ‘India Inspired’.

How large writ is the impact of the film on the event could be gauged from topics chosen for the essay contest. Sample these:

‘Rang De Basanti has inspired lots of us. It is necessary for us to take the next step. What will be your story of Rang De 2? What will be the jolt you plan to give India to make sure that she comes to life?’

‘Visions of great men have created great nations. What is your vision for India? How great do you want to make her and How?’

‘If India – You = India , then You = 0. How do you plan to increase the value of ‘You’?’ You may talk of Social Entrepreneurship projects/ Technological projects/ Other things you are capable of doing which will contribute to the nation's progress in a substantial way.

“The crowd flocking both our theatres comprises mostly college-goers,” informs Rajesh Tandon, manager of Novelty (Lalbagh & Aliganj). “We even ran a contest in which viewers were invited to give messages, the best of which won them dinner at Taj and were even flashed on the screen,” he adds. Clubs and associations booked a couple of shows but mostly it is students hitting the flick in groups of up to 10. “Not for a moment do they leave the audi even during the songs,” says Tandon.

“I saw it the first time on the very first day of its release,” says Commerce graduate Gaurav Singh, adding, “and I wondered what kind of a movie is it! I loved it but felt remorse to assume that it would flop. Thankfully, I was wrong.”

“The message of the movie is of course not ‘go kill a politician’, but to make a difference in whatever capacity you can,” reasons first-year graduation student Siddharth.

“The film strikes the same chord in every heart and seems to bind all Indian youths in a single bond. It’s like being to a youth festival,” says college-goer Kriti.

At more and more parties, it’s Daler Mehndi’s ‘Tingalinga’ opening of the theme song that brings the most reluctant on to the dance floor. The music sales are encouraging too and both FM radio channels play at least two of the AR Rehman-composed numbers from the soundtrack, more than once a day. Lyrics by Prasoon Joshi (who also wrote for Hum Tum) are the perfect complement to a screenplay and dialogue that bangs on the doors of patriotic conscience.

“May be, it is the DU backdrop in the film that is so appealing. The college culture in Lucknow comes pretty close to that in Delhi. Besides a good number of people in Lucknow have been associated with DU, having either studied there or having a kin or ward studying in one of the Delhi colleges,” reasons Ashok Dayal, an SRCC, Delhi pass out.

Whatever is the reason, it is a phenomenon that despite university exams just a fortnight away, the lobby of the theatres screening the film is packed with gals with their pals and dudes with ’tude either humming or tapping their feet to ‘Roobaroo’.

If Basant is the season, Basanti is the colour.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 00:21 IST