Aaj Bisarjan, an award winning short film based on a short story by Women’s Web author, Kasturi Patra, is a beautiful movie that reminds us, in these fraught times, that goodbyes are not the end.
When Women’s Web author, and my dear friend Kasturi Patra, announced earlier this year that a short film had been made based on her short story on her blog, and later published as The Mother’s Goodbye right here on Women’s Web, I was excited for her. After all, isn’t it a dream many of us have – to see our words transported on to the screen, with sensitivity and respect for the original story?
On the occasion of Vijayadashami, the movie Aaj Bisarjan was finally released to the public.
The film goes a little beyond where Kasturi’s short story ends. Scripted by Anamitra Banerjee, it revolves around Uma (played beautifully by actor Tulika Bose), who is suffering from cancer.
Uma has always been an active participant in the Durga Puja festivities, but now because of her illness she feels weak and unable to participate. She is acutely aware that she doesn’t have much time.
Her primary caretaker is her daughter (played by Abantika Biswas, with understated grace,) who keeps urging her to look beyond her illness.
The portrayal of the mother-daughter relationship is one of the greatest strengths of this movie, and is truly heartwarming. It is sensitively portrayed, and feels real. A win for women telling women’s stories!
The acting too is graceful and without melodrama. The feeling one gets is of being a fly on the wall, watching a real mother-daughter pair.
I won’t say more, because spoilers. Watch the film, because it must be experienced to be understood.
Produced by Tilted Tripod, and directed by Santanu Dey, the movie has deservedly received an award for Outstanding Achievement, in the Best Short Film category in the Tagore International Film Festival. The movie was selected out of 7,500 entries.
The ending of the movie reminded me of a friend, who lives here in the US. She lost her mother recently to Covid. Her mother was a young woman, taken from her before her time. She was at the other end of the world, unable to go see her one last time. Even if she could have gone, she wouldn’t have got more than a cursory glimpse, because of safety protocols.
I remember trying to console her, and feeling inadequate. How does one make sense of such loss?
In times difficult times like these, we need stories that give us hope and strength, and in this context, Aaj Bisarjan, has something meaningful to say. Grief, and loss are universal, and we all deal with them in our own unique ways. Aaj Bisarjan reminds us that even beyond goodbyes, there is life and love that are eternal and undying.
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