Bombay (1995), directed by Mani Ratnam is originally in Tamil. It is undoubtedly a master piece and bagged a lot of awards in many different categories. The songs are some of the best in Indian film industry and the music is produced by A. R. Rahman. The movie was also released in Hindi, Telugu and Malayam. Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala did Justice to their characters (Sekhar and Shaila)…
The movie starts with Sekhar returning home after long time. On his way he came across a group of Muslim girls passing by. All were covered from head to toe. Suddenly in a gust of wind he saw one of the girl’s face for like 3 seconds and instantly fell for her. Sekhar started stalking her everywhere and finally came to know her identity.
I know the movie is not just about the romance but I can never be okay with movies showing intense love affair happening in 3 seconds, also normalizing stalking a school girl.
Sekhar came from an orthodox Hindu family, his father Narayana Pillai was a reputed person in the village. Sekhar moved out to Bombay (now, Mumbai) for working as a journalist. On the hand, the school girl Shaila is daughter of Bashir, a poor villager. Might be illiterate himself but Bashir wanted his daughter to be educated.
It was quite easy to find out Shaila in such a small village… In a wedding ceremony Sekhar watched her singing (the lyrics literally indicating, she too kinda liked the stranger she met a day or 2 ago!)
The stalking continues.
Then one day, Sekhar confessed his love to Shaila. The songs are really good in this movie. I am just amazed to see how much of goofball this Sekhar is. He threatened Shaila, “Come meet me or I shall kill myself.”
Of course she ran away from to meet him and gave him a hug but didn’t spare any words. Later Sekhar came to her father with the marriage proposal and was kicked out of her house…
Bashir couldn’t agree for the marriage because of the different religions they follow. Same happened with Sekhar’s father as well. He rebuked his son like anything for hanging out with a Muslim girl. Sekhar left for Mumbai saying he would never come back. Sekhar and Shaila kept in touch writing letters to each other.
Narayana and Bashir had a heated conversation that almost turned into a violent fight. Understanding the criticality of the situation, they warned each other to keep the young lovers in check.
Finally one day, she fled away from her home for Mumbai. Sekhar and Shaila got married in the court and started living together.
Inter-religion marriage is still not greatly accepted in India. One good thing is at least the law isn’t against it.
Shaila gave birth to two beautiful twins- named them Kamal and Kabir. She kept their second names as their grandparents Bashir and Narayanan respectively. The little boy practiced both religions.
For the demolition of Babri Masjid by Hindu extremists, communal riot broke out in Mumbai. (This truly happened) Sekhar and Shaila were amidst of this crisis. Their parents rushed to see them if their okay. Narayan and Bashir didn’t hate each other any more, they gave up in front their children’s love. Narayan and Bashir both died in the house when some people set fire on Sekhar and Shaila’s place. They managed to escape with the crowd and lost their kids. The movie ends with Sekhar and Shaila reuniting with their kids after long search.
Also, it shows how peace-loving people from both religions came together to stop the violence. Ultimately for every dispute, it’s the innocent common men who suffer.
I absolutely loved the movie and message of communal harmony. Only thing is there are way too many songs. Nevertheless it’s worth a watch!
That’s all for today. Checkout my other blogs.
Photo by : Parth