Watch A Homegrown Film That Captures The Lives Of Old Delhi's Underprivileged

Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon
Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya HoonAnamika Haksar

In Old Delhi lies a world unknown to many— interwoven with threads of struggle, resilience, and fleeting dreams. 'Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon', is a film directed by Anamika Haksar, peels back the layers of this enigmatic area, and takes us through the lives of its inhabitants. Released in 2018, this film stands as a result of seven years of meticulous documentation, offering a non-linear narrative that mirrors the fluidity and unpredictability of its subjects' existence.

'Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon' is a mosaic of intertwined stories, each illuminating a facet of life in Old Delhi. From beggars to pickpockets, loaders to street vendors, the film shies away from conventional storytelling. Unlike traditional narratives, there is no singular plotline; instead, the film meanders through the labyrinthine streets, capturing the essence of a community that navigates each moment with uncertainty.

Central to the film's narrative are four main characters: a pickpocket, a vendor of sweet and savory snacks, a laborer-activist, and a conductor of 'Heritage Walks'. Through their eyes, viewers are transported into a world teeming with contradictions and complexities, where survival is an art form and defiance a way of life. Patru, the pickpocket, goes on alternative walks, revealing the hidden corners of the city — a gesture that sparks conflict with local authorities and merchants. Meanwhile, Lali, the laborer-activist, raises his voice for the marginalized, inadvertently leading them into the jaws of injustice.

What sets 'Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon' apart is its commitment to authenticity and empathy. Director Anamika Haksar's immersive approach to storytelling blurs the boundaries between observer and observed, offering a glimpse into lives often overlooked by society. Through a rigorous process of documentation and character development, Haksar brings forth a cast of individuals who defy categorization, each bearing the weight of their experiences with grace and resilience.

The film's structure mirrors the ebb and flow of life in Old Delhi, eschewing traditional narrative arcs for a fluid, mosaic-like progression. This approach, coupled with stunning cinematography by Saumyananda Sahi and meticulous editing by Paresh Kamdar, immerses viewers in a sensory experience that transcends the screen. From the bustling streets to the quiet moments of introspection, every frame is infused with a sense of intimacy and authenticity.

Beyond its artistic merits, "Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon" serves as a commentary on social inequality, urban decay, and the resilience of the human spirit. Through the lens of its characters, the film explores themes of identity, belonging, and the quest for dignity in the face of adversity. It is a testament to the power of cinema to illuminate the hidden corners of society and amplify the voices of the marginalized.

Since its premiere at the Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI) Festival in 2018, 'Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon' has garnered critical acclaim both nationally and internationally. It was the only Indian film selected for the Sundance New Frontier Festival in 2019, solidifying its status as a groundbreaking work of contemporary cinema. Despite its accolades, the film remains rooted in its commitment to social justice, with proceeds from screenings directed towards supporting the artists and communities portrayed on screen.

In its evocative portrayal of life in Old Delhi, the film takes viewers on a journey of discovery that challenges preconceptions and ignites a dialogue on the complexities of the human experience.

Catch a glimpse of this cinematic gem at an upcoming screening at Alliance Française de Delhi on March 4th at 6:30 PM.

You can register here.

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