A while back we watched this movie, Ankhon Dekhi, directed by Rajat Kapoor. He dedicates his maiden directorial venture to his gurus Mani Kaul and Kumar Shahani, who in turn were disciples of Ritwik Ghatak. Movie was liked by viewers and critics alike, save a muggle writing in India Yesterday! As you can imagine, this does not purport to be a movie review, save the fact that we rejoiced in the simple straightforwardness of the narrative, and what a simple name..! But most importantly for us:
Did anyone notice Delhi’s heart which throbbed and trilled in the movie’s bosom? One defining motif we can vouch for is the amusing relationship that subsists in the friends circle. Camaraderie is a special Delhi trait. As an elevated quality, it really pervades the North-west continuum, starting Afghanistan. Remember the Zanjeer song “yaari hai imaan mera, yaar meri zindagi”? Yaari has been part of our local cultures for ages and ages, and has something to do with the threat perception that obtains in the treacherous terrain of the North West. For centuries empire makers and looters alike would swoop down, often over-running Delhi. The warlords who spilled out of the Khyber Pass include Genghis Khan, Nadir Shah, Mahmud Ghazni, Muhammad Ghori etc. etc. Yaari was therefore at premium and this ensured a non-threatening, warm circle of kin-ship and mutual assurance. Look at this picture of Bauji and his gang…
they are off to actually experience a tiger-roar. This also happens only in Delhi- friends in the midst of debating the power of a tiger-roar, suddenly proposing to witness a roaring tiger, and making a beeline for the Delhi Zoo at Purana Qila pronto…Who knows the poor boy who lost his life in tiger Vijay’s cage was on a similar Dehlavi mission...
Another Delhi situation in the movie we can recall is when Bauji angrily expels all buddies from his home.
They are all there, rest assured, at the wedding, first cribbing at the arrangements, then grieving at the girls departure. And how about the excitement that initially engulfs the company when their leader, that is Bauji, announces his determination to believe only in the ankhon dekhi...just see how they jump at the novelty of it all and egg on, cheer on, the propounder to prove himself right!
Delhi is different- it works on a…an …should we say- obverse if not perverse- counterintuitive , one may concede…-logic. How do you beat thissss…it’s factual-
Suhasini, an Iyer girl from Mumbai, daughter of a close friend of ours, fell in love with a sober Punjabi class-mate from Delhi Sunil Kapoor, and vice-versa…They exchanged vows and were to be wedded soon, when one evening Suhasini was informed by class-mates about a road-rage incident, which left Sunil and friends bleeding on the road side…they were taken to Kailash in NOIDA and Sunil was just endlessly praying for Suhasini, who, in a state of shock, rushed with her brother to Delhi. Police had mercifully admitted them all, the assailants and the victims, to Kailash, and they were fighting for their breath in the ICU. Sunil was one of the less threatened, but Suhasini could also witness the enemy struggling for life, for Sunil’s own comrades were blessed with some fire-power. Through her tears she could espy accusingly, one of the antagonists in a handlebar moustache, another, a Sikh with a trimmed beard, and a pot-bellied neta-type. With God’s grace they were all saved, and wedding came in due course, held at Tivoli Resort. Suhasini’s bright eyes noticed a bevy dance to tequila in Delhi frenzy. The men and gals and kids seemed so familiar…to cut a long story short, they included a handlebar moustache, another, a Sikh with a trimmed beard, and a pot-bellied neta-type, with their families…the antagonists of the very fateful night’s road rage! Confronted, Sunil in the midst of his tequila contortions had this to say: Yaar jo hua wo to ho gaya…jinhone ICU mey hamare saath pandrah din khaya piya, roye hase, pulis ko payment kara, who hamari shaadi mey na naache to kaun nachega, Bulle Shah!!???
This case-study is administered by us as an acid-test by us to anyone claiming to be a Delhiite, and the true blue Dilliwala invariably chuckles in delight!
By the way if you want to see the scientific truth behind the title 'seeing is believing', you must see this video about the McGurk Effect:
(For the record: this is the second movie review written in this blog aged 5 years)