Watching Bharat was a time travelling experience: Movie Review

I watched Bharat and I wept like a baby, this is why :

1940 – A kids view of war and mass killing

It gripped me on the first 10 minutes. Simply the thought of a train full of brutally mass murdered people give me goosebumps…and here was the possibility of a child witnessing such horror.

I wept thinking of the many lives destroyed by a single line on a map. I wept thinking how notorious are we? Simply because of the difference in faith, mobs of OUR men, not even the military but simply politically driven men, killed helpless women, men and children…WE did it, even though a few foreigners in a room divided the map, WE actually carried completed the purpose!!! How stupid are we??

1950s-60s Same place. Different era.

The kids in the movie reminded me of how unsupervised and free kids were back then. All my life I heard my parents talking about their childhood India/Bangladesh but I could not visualise or relate with it, because the Indian/Bangladeshi cities I knew were jammed, lacked security, concrete jungles, polluted and its people unfriendly and dodgy, with crime rates soaring daily.

As 9, 10 year old kids, my parents would play around the same city streets free from fear. People, neighbours and even strangers were trustworthy and reliable.

I cried wishing if we still had the safe and beautiful cities, I may not have migrated at all!

Kids from a war torn time

In the movie when I saw the two kids joining the circus for money and raising family…I realised these kids were from a war torn India. Growing up was probably not an option. Responsibility was not an option. They reminded me of some of dad’s war memoirs and…

I wept realising my dad’s feelings as he would tell us those stories. I can understand his feelings watching his Dhaka change from a beautiful place to a strange place after ’71 war.

Loosing yourself while supporting family

Salman’s journey as an uneducated migrant working, working hard labour jobs in other countries is not too far off from reality.

Dad’s always talked about his neighbourhood kids, this bhai, that bhai who shipped to European countries in search of jobs. As a kid, I always wondered, but did they not go to Uni?As I grew up, I realised, these men did not have the chance to educate themselves and left home in search of money to support family. Their lives had a tangent of their own – uneducated yes – but their lives had been more “rangeen” and educating than a random degree holder.

The selfless singles

Salman’s character as someone who’s given up all own desires and wishes to raise their family reminded me of real people I knew. I recalled “Borcha”, a special friendly senior friend of dad’s who was just like the older Salman. Fit, wide, BIG, boisterous and fun loving. Borcha was the oldest among many brother and sisters. He never settled and worked to get his own family settled. In the end he married an Anglo Indian classmate at a late age.

The subtle comparison

The reference to Manmohan Singh’s India, when peace flourished between the two countries and economy improved is a bold political statement to make at this time and…

I wept with happiness that the makers for such subtle comparison with current state.

Leaving your roots for a better change

Finally, Salman hammering down the was symbolic. To me it read, you don’t have to hold on to materials for the love of people, country, roots – your love and commitment is in your heart. I left Dhaka, Bangladesh nearly 20 years ago; I can still smell, hear, feel my home, my childhood in Dhaka through my memories. Yes, I live abroad and some very smart people think that Ive forgotten my roots, history, country, language, simply because I chose to migrate.

I wept because I missed my country,my soil, my land, my home, my family, my people all taken away by time.

Final thoughts

Bharat beautifully represented a man’s journey through ages as two new nations were born It made me visualise the India/Bangladesh/Pakista my parents and grandparents witnessed and always talk about.

A movie that should be well applauded.

And about the tacky songs and romance and action…its a movie right, after all?