Pushpendra Singh’s Cinema World: Music of Beauty | – News in Hindi – Hindi News, News, Latest-Breaking News in Hindi

Last month, young filmmaker Pushpendra Singh wrote on Facebook that for friends who keep asking me about my films, there is a chance to see my film on ‘Mubi’ (online website). In fact, the documentary ‘Maru Ro Moti’ (2019) is being streamed along with two of his films-‘Lajwanti’ (2014) and ‘Ashwatthama’ (2017). Pushpendra Singh is an important filmmaker of our times. Pushpendra’s films have been a part of prestigious film festivals in India and abroad, but they have not been shown to the general public. Earlier, ‘Lajwanti’ and ‘Laila Aur Saat Geet (2020)’ were among the films of the new generation of Indian independent filmmakers shown at New York’s ‘The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)’ in September-October.

Born in Saiya town near Agra and brought up in Rajasthan, Pushpendra trained in acting at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune and then worked as an assistant to noted filmmaker Anoop Singh (Qissa and Song of Scorpions). Like filmmakers like Amit Dutta (Hindi), Gurvinder Singh (Punjabi), Umesh Vinayak Kulkarni (Marathi), Chaitanya Tamhane (Marathi), Pushpendra’s films incorporate the bright side of contemporary Indian cinema and its tradition into their art.

‘Laila Aur Saat Geet’ and ‘Lajwanti’ are based on the stories of famous writer Vijaydan Detha (Bijji) of Rajasthan. ‘Laila Aur Saat Geet’ forms the basis of the story ‘Kenchuli’, but its story is not Rajasthan but Jammu and Kashmir. Obviously, with the change in the subject matter, there has been a change in the presentation of the subject matter and its filming on the screen, although the woman’s emotion, desire, conflict and aspiration for freedom are universal. There is also a burning tree in the forest which indicates the current political situation. Police is the symbol of state power and Laila is the metaphor of Kashmir.

Everyone knows that Bijji was adept at adapting folk tales in modern color in his stories. This is the reason why young filmmakers like Mani Kaul (Duvidha, 1973), Shyam Benegal (Charandas Chor, 1975) to Pushpendra have also been turning to his stories. Incidentally, in a meeting when I had asked Mani Kaul whether he wanted to make a film on any other story of Bijji? He had said that ‘yes, I wanted to make a film on Charandas Chor, but Shyam had made a film on it’.

Pushpendra’s first film ‘Lajwanti’ (Bijji’s story by the same name) centers on the Thar Desert in Rajasthan. The landscape of the film includes the beauty of sand dunes, Khejdi tree, windmill. Here camels, goats and pigeons have also mingled with the people. The film has beautifully depicted the bondage of a married woman in the patriarchal bondage, the yearning for love and the consciousness of liberation. Like ‘Duvidha’ (where the ghost can also be a lover), ‘Lajwanti’ does not encroach on the text but engraves the fiction on the screen with the help of images and sound. Just as Mani Kaul used to lay special emphasis on sound in his films, in the same way the combination of sound is particularly important in Pushpendra’s films. The white dress of the protagonist (Pushpendra Singh) in the company of white pigeons along with the use of bright colors in women’s dress is helpful in highlighting the duality of inner and outer.

Pushpendra’s films come in the tradition of Kumar Shahani, Mani Kaul, the famous names of Indian art cinema. The effect of these directors is also visible in the combination of many scenes. Many scenes of his films are also influenced by indigenous and foreign paintings (Indian miniature and painting of European Renaissance), which Pushpendra also accepts. In both the films, the use of folk songs and music is intertwined with the setting of the film. Also, the way the scene is framed in the film, it is full of musicality and poetry.

While watching ‘Laila Aur Saat Geet’, I remembered Mani Kaul’s ‘Siddheshwari’ and Kumar Shahani’s ‘Virah Bharayo Ghar Aangan Kone’ documentaries. While the language of ‘Lajwanti’ is Hindi and Marwari, Hindi and Gujri are used in ‘Laila and Saat Geet’. Unlike ‘Lajwanti’, this film expands the core of the story and here the sound of contemporary political events is added to the film. As the name suggests, the film centers on Laila (Laachi in the story) who lives with her husband but has a ‘dilemma’ in her mind, turmoil. It stems from the insatiability of love. But when it is over, does love remain?

The director has set the story amidst the real life of a nomadic tribe – the Bakarwals. The mountain, the forest, the family with goats and animals come before us through long shots with a pause. The beauty of Laila is in her dress, speech and gestures. The director has avoided ‘close-up’. There is a kind of rebellion in Laila’s self-respecting personality towards her husband’s submissiveness. But what will be the direction of this rebellion? In this story, Laachi says at one place: Will she ever be free from this bondage in this life of women or not?

The film is divided into seven chapters respectively – Song of Marriage, Song of Migration, Song of Regret, Song of Playfulness, Song of Attraction, Song of Realization and Song of Renunciation. In the end, leaving home-family, relatives-relationships, exiled Laila becomes one with nature. Like ‘Balo’, ‘Mallika’ and ‘Lachhi’ of Mani Kaul’s films, Lajwanti (Sanghamitra Hitaishi) and Laila (Navjot Randhawa) of Pushpendra’s films are equipped with the conflict of inner self with the consciousness of freedom and the desire for liberation.

about blogger

Arvind DasJournalist, Writer

Writer-journalist. Published the book ‘Map of the Media’, ‘The Lost City in Bekhudi: Notes of a Journalist’ and ‘News in Hindi’. Film Appreciation course from FTII. PhD from JNU and post-doctoral research from Germany.

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