Growing up in the capital, I have lived, breathed and explored every inch of Delhi. Sometimes the representation of Delhi in certain movies irks me to the core. But, sadly, India is dominated by north India and our counterparts in the West, East and South are left behind. Glared with racist and stereotypical remarks and used as an element of fun, Bollywood has done enough injustice to the unique culture that every state of India holds.
The usual Tier A cities and their glorification has been prevalent for a long time. Very few movies have actually touched upon the lives of rural India and Tier B and C cities. Representation in movies has always been an issue. South Indian films and even Bengali cinema have given the Indian film industry unparalleled movies and gems to cherish. But, the Bollywood has been blatantly copying and remaking these films.
Apparently, every South Indian is a ‘Madrasi’ who is dark and constantly uses ‘Ayyo’ and ‘Amma’ in their conversations. The food habits have been largely offensive and shown in an extremely problematic way. Ra.One, Chennai Express, 2 States are some of the movies which reinforce these stereotypes that have been plaguing the minds of people since eternity.
Karwaan is a 2018 movie directed by Akarsh Khurana and stars Dulquer Salmaan, Irrfan Khan and Mithila Palkar in the lead roles. Avinash (Dulquer) is an IT guy working in Bangalore who embarks on a journey from Bangalore to Kochi via Ooty. Basically, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in a single movie without any stereotypical notions or forced eating. To be clear, I have always cherished my visits to the South, I have been to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and have always been fascinated by them; and seeing them unravel on screen was sheer pleasure! The movie imbibed the culture, the grand ‘postponed’ wedding, the big south Indian house; there was something about the places which made me feel a deep and instant connection. The cinematographer, Avinash Arun has done an impeccable job in capturing the true essence of these picturesque landscapes, which are kept hidden under the blanket of North hegemony.
One scene which has particularly stayed with me was the one where the trio go to Nambiar’s house and the man could only respond back with his name due to a large language barrier. There has always been an agitation about adopting Hindi as the ‘National’ language of India. Other than the North, rest of India is not well versed and fluent in the language. This scene particularly houses a deep significance within itself.
2018 has been a beautiful year for Bollywood with stories which have made us evolve into better humans!