Being born and brought up in the metropolitan city of Gurgaon, far away from my hometown, my parents did their best to make sure that I remain connected with my Bengali roots. The reason they partly succeeded in doing so, is because of the films by Satyajit Ray.
When I rediscovered Ray much later in life, I came across “Two”, a short black and white film with no dialogues, released in 1965. The film is a battle. A battle of the minds between a child from a privileged background, who hasn’t experienced how harsh life can be, and a child from the slums, who defies the brutalities inflicted by poverty.
As someone who has enjoyed watching Ray’s films as a kid for the beautiful music and children-friendly storylines, ‘’Two’’ made me realise that his movies are a lot more than that. This is a film which mocks the idealistic notion of kids being only innocent, questions whether materialism can be the sole path to happiness, and whether grinding poverty necessarily means that life is not worth living. Tensions in a society fractured by class and caste are explored through an interaction between two children.
In under 15 minutes, this film is a window into just how unequal Indian society is. Do watch it and make it a point to switch off your mobile phones while doing so. You will not regret it!