Routine Random Stories

Author: Abbas Katwarawala (page 1 of 5)

Women of Shaheen Bagh

Shaheen Bagh which was a fairly unknown place a few weeks ago has become the epicenter of the resistance against CAA/NRC. The ‘Women of Shaheen Bagh’ as they are now addressed, stage a sit in protest every night. Octogenarian grand moms to young moms with infants in their arms to school going girls, they all assemble every evening and spend the night in the chilling cold. And women from all backgrounds congregate –office going, self-employed, home makers, daily wage earners, house maids, students, everyone. Seeing the visuals from Shaheen Bagh in Delhi has evoked mixed feelings – It breaks my heart to see these women braving the chilling cold of Delhi every night to fight for their rights but it also fills my heart with courage, pride and hope.

Listening and reading their stories have often ended with a choked throat and tears rolling down my cheeks. Their right to remain citizen of the country,which they and their fore fathers fought for and nurtured, their right to remain relevant, their aspirations for themselves and their children, their fight to protect and honor the Constitution of India, their angst and fear of being outcast in their own land, their need to belong, their horror of being detained and tortured and killed, their fear of losing this battle. They come to Shaheen Bagh with all they have, as losing this battle is not an option for them. They fight for everyone, for every Indian, for every marginalized section, they are the voice that needs to be heard.

Seeing their courage, their determination and their camaraderie fills my heart with hope. A hope for a better tomorrow, an inclusive tomorrow, an angst free tomorrow, a safe tomorrow, a bright tomorrow for all of us. They have become a beacon of resistance and protest not only in India but across the world. And it further fills my heart with pride that the section of the society that was believed to be the oppressed, marginalized and trodden have taken up the cudgels against this aristocracy. With these women leading the charge, it appears highly unlikely that the authoritarian rulers have a chance to triumph. When the historians sit down to write about this revolution and how the battle against CAA and NRC was won I hope they give a fair share of the credit to these ‘Women of Shaheen Bagh’.

Chhapaak

Chhapaak is such a sensitive movie. Its made with so much of heart. We all can imagine the side effects and trauma of an acid attack and we have also come across or seen people who have survived the attack. But seeing it on celluloid sends a chill down your spine. The movie brings this trauma to life and your heart goes out for the victims.
Though the movie is about the trauma and dealing with the aftermath of the attack the movie is not at all traumatic. But it’s gut wrenching and stirs your soul, the scenes are shot in a very humane manner and nothing is in your face. Full marks to Meghna Gulzar for that.
The psyche of the attacker to take away your identity or disfigure your identity is beyond comprehension. But the movie preaches how the human spirit and beauty of the soul triumphs. We have admired Deepika for her looks and grace but here you will adore Malti (the acid attack victim played by her) for grit and determination to succeed.
Can’t praise Meghna Gulzar enough for taking such a sensitive topic and weaving such a beautiful story of courage and triumph. The movie brings to light this ugly face of our society. Our heads need to hang in shame at the lack of empathy and our treatment of the acid attack survivors.
The movie starts with a very pertinent question
Who needs more of our compassion, attention, mind space and activism – Acid Attack Survivors or Rape Attack Survivors?
Yes surely both.
But do we give it to both? Equally?

Deepika has done a fabulous job and so has the other cast. The lyrics by Gulzar are quite haunting too. Editing and screenplay is top class.
Please watch it.
Please watch it.
Please watch it.

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