“Jithe hasde ne sab, uthe vasda hai rab!” (God resides where we rejoice!)
Standing on the rough tiny mountain of carpets stacked in the middle of my lower KG classroom, I entertained my entire class by singing this iconic song and dancing my heart out. Having grown up listening to this song, I perceived life on the lines and spirit of the song. However, life turned out to be all about unpacking of those lines and earning new experiences through struggles. Not a huge fan of Punjabi films but always on the lookout for films embedded in portraying originality and simplicity of Punjabi virsa. A recent film of the Punjabi industry made me sob like a child after ages!
When I go with my family to watch a movie, on the theme of which I am roughly aware of, I always go with the tacit understanding with my parents and grandfather that no one will pass jibes at each other while watching something so intense on generation gaps. Seldom do movies come which binds all the generations in the lap of gratitude and pure happiness! There are a very few movies holding the potential to swipe us off our feet, it depends upon the audience to adjudge upon that.
It is the entertainment industry which reinforces stereotypes in our minds but it is the same medium which can bring a lost culture back on track. Ardaas Karaan, produced and directed by Gippy Grewal, is absolutely one such movie reminding us of our roots and reviving the tradition of meaningfulness.
At a time when Punjabi movies stand for maiming under the pretext of mocking the culture, breaking the spirit of Punjabi traditions while our popular Punjabi songs reek of toxic masculine mentality, this movie comes as a monumental breath of fresh air. Intersectional and cutting across all barriers, the near-flawless narrative of the movie is sure to permeate the deepest layers of the audience’s heart.
To compartmentalize the multiple and vibrant themes of the movie will probably be unjust. As it touches upon so many entwined emotions and nuances of relationships be it of parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren and amongst friends, all set in the backdrop of analyzing generation gaps.
The importance of opening up, travelling and meeting new people beyond the circle of our suffocating comfort zones, is something which the movie strongly endorses and struck a chord right away with my own very same thoughts on this. The spirit of optimism or “Chardi Kalla” as the spirit of Punjabis is described as; amidst turmoil in life is the core of narrative of the film. It’s a symbiosis of so many events carrying a deep meaning, which inspires us to think above caste as a structure and religious orthodoxy. Most of our problems and pains prevail when we choose to live life not devoid of the past. No one straitjacket formula of living like that exists, but fearlessness in thought and action is perhaps the key which advances one to live like that.
The movie revolves around the spirit of moving forward which is what the entire purpose of life is. But it also extends to manoeuvring our attitudes in that form, attaining self-sufficiency in household chores with no preconceived gender connotations attached, is a job of everyone in the house which the film focuses on. Humility and gratitude are seeds for cultivating and harvesting a healthy life.
Sadly in the noise of boisterous songs of cars, destruction and the illusion of overflowing wealth, we forget to embrace these very qualities which make us humans and humane. The film perfectly draws a line of processing the wrath of wrongness and infesting the virtue of rightness within us at times of contemplation.
An organically content-driven and emotion-ridden film that demolishes the myth of the audience’s age-old demand of flashy songs and mundane ideas of the hero and heroine. A movie which inspires us to face our realities and quotes lines from the holy book of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib in almost every dialogue; it gives the message of humanity rooted in clarity of thought.
A must watch!