Eki brinte duti kusum Hindu-Musalmaan: This is a iconic line from a Bengali song written by the great revolutionary Kazi Nazrul Islam. In English, it can be translated as: "In a single stalk, two flowers bloom, Hindu and Muslim." In Bengali literature, this line forever remains immortal. It represents the unity and harmony between people of different religious backgrounds, emphasizing the idea that despite their differences, they can coexist peacefully like two flowers blossoming on the same stem. This wonderful metaphor holds immense significance in the context of the Partition in 1947. Even though we are divided by geographical lines, the citizens of the beautiful countries, India and Pakistan, have a rich shared heritage, and have more in common than many political leaders would allow us to believe.
Today we explore two films that celebrate the strong bond between these two countries. Even though political agendas have caused a lot of animosity over the years between the two neighbors, these couple films are battling that hate and spreading a message of cross-cultural nexus, forged by friendship.
Viral is a short fiction film directed by Shreyas Dasharathe and Jamshed Irani, with a runtime of 23 mins. It traces the journey of Shiny and Bandu, ardent fans of Hammad, who is an egg-seller from Karachi, Pakistan. Hammad has found immense online fame in Mumbai while remaining obscure in his local community. Through the borderless realm of the virtual world, a heartfelt journey ensues, forging a promising cross-border friendship. This unprecedented project employs two film crews in India and Pakistan to create riveting stories about their societies, transcending geographical boundaries. It celebrates the power of human connection, as Shiny, Bandu, and Hammad venture to bridge the gap, unraveling untold narratives and weaving a tapestry of resilience and friendship. This captivating endeavor showcases the boundless possibilities of friendship and collaboration in an interconnected world.
The second film is an enthralling documentary called Small-Time Cinema, with a runtime of 29 minutes. Directed by Priya Naresh, the short documentary explores the extraordinary journey of two innovative YouTube filmmaking collectives. One group resides in the vibrant region of Balochistan, Pakistan, while the other calls the captivating landscapes of Assam, India, their home. This captivating film delves into the vibrant tapestry of their artistry, showcasing their relentless pursuit of authentic storytelling that transcends the confines of a singular Indian or Pakistani identity.
Both films will be screened on July 8th (Saturday) from 7:30 pm onwards at Harkat Studios in Versova, Mumbai.
Find out more about Harkat Studios here.