February 14th 2016
What do you make of a character driven story ?? Plot driven stories are easy to follow and in the end you get some kind of conclusion(general in nature). I used the word ‘general’, because more or less everyone arrives at the same conclusion. But in a character driven story, it depends on the viewer how he/she perceives the character. We all have different outlook towards life, which is based on our experiences. We all look at things differently. What could appear to be something said in a jest to some people, can look disrespectful to others. Catching a train which is already in motion appears foolishness to some while others may think of it as just a matter of getting late. To some Ravindra Jadeja is a bowler, to others he is just a fielder. To each his own.
Ankhon Dekhi is one such film where you have to immerse yourself in the character of Bauji and look at things through his eyes. Why ?? Because here is a man who has decided to believe what he sees. He is not going to accept even universal truths like tiger roars, Earth is round, Katrina Kaif cannot act etc. Not only this is hard to practice but also futile to large extent. We have to build on what has already been achieved. If everyone starts to begin their life from scratch, then progress will be very slow. But as I said earlier, in this movie you are going look through eyes of Bauji. Bauji is a man in his late fifties having a daughter which is marriage ready, a son who is good for nothing and indulges in gambling, a wife who is constantly nagging but also takes good care of the family, a younger brother who is drifting away from the family and friends who are ready to follow his footsteps. Do you think it really matters to him whether earth is round or not. No. Even if he decides to ignore these bigger truths, he stands nothing to lose. People may call him mad but we all know he is going to believe only what he sees. So this tells us, from now on he does not care what others say or think about him. He is going to understand and live his life in his own way. Good choice, right ??
What made Bauji to think like this suddenly ?? Bauji’s daughter Rita is in love with a boy named Ajju. Everyone in his family circle assumes Ajju is a jerk just because a certain Panditji’s son Baooa said so. But when Bauji meets Ajju, he realizes Ajju is a cow. Now this is a small event which triggered a huge transformation in Bauji and the way he looked at things. When you live a routine or monotonous life even an incident as small as this can bring a huge change in you. After realization comes the pursuing part. How much are you ready to pursue the truth ?? To what extent you are ready to go ?? Will you take all the mockings coming your way ?? Will you stand in the middle of a busy market with a placard expressing your thoughts ?? Bauji is ready to do all this. He never played cards(not because its a bad habit) for he didn’t knew how to play it. And once he understood the rules, he became an avid card player. He does not care what society thinks about his new found habit. He played cards because he enjoyed it, money was just an add-on.
People like Bauji can come across sometimes as intellectual, sometimes as spiritual and sometimes stupid. Different people react differently to such character. Either you will ignore or listen intently or make fun of Bauji. But people like Bauji can win you over if something unexplainable happens. Like in this movie, when Bauji’s nephew who developed a mental problem of nonstop talking was cured by him, Bauji’s friend started following his footsteps. This shows us how even fraud babas can manipulate people so easily. How idle sitting people are always in search of someone who can guide them.
We are born in a family, we have friends but still we have to live life on our own. There are paths we have to walk alone. Bauji got his daughter married, settled the debt of his son and took his wife on a vacation. Now free from all his responsibilities, he is ready to live his own dream. His dream of flying. He is going to jump off from a cliff. He is going to die but before his death he will fly for few seconds. He is going to enjoy it even if it is for few seconds. For we all should enjoy and celebrate small things we have in our life. Because our life is sum of small and big moments. Even a miss of small event makes our life incomplete.
Jumping of Bauji from cliff is LIFE in short. Just like a newborn baby cries, Bauji screams initially. The resistance from air is nothing but the struggles we face in our life. When we are old and wise from our experiences ,we are calm just like the smile of Bauji in the end. Watch this movie to understand or spare a thought for such random Bauji kind people who we come across sometimes in train, markets or on road. What could be the backstory of such people.
NOTE : The image has been procured through Google images.