It is very difficult to forget the smile and ease with which little Parzan makes up the game of Parzania and invites his sister to join in. Ease is probably the first thing which comes to mind when you see stellar performances by the lovely blue-eyed Sarika paired opposite Naseeruddin Shah in this Rahul Dholakia movie.
The film plays around the life of Pithawala family in an Ahmedabad housing society – based on Gulbarg. The beginning of the movie takes the viewers closer to the warmth and love in the family. The following part shows a glimpse of the riots which shook Gujarat in 2002 post the Godhra train burning incident. During the riots, Shernaz (played beautifully by Sarika) loses their son and has to flee to save their daughter. Parallaly Allan, played by Corin Nemec, an American research scholar studying Gandhi in the city is shown to be shocked and devastated. The inclusion of Allan helps to give the point of view that alien from each of of us. How the world may view such riots. While, the fact that the lead characters are Parsi helps in developing an unbiased view – which is neither of Hindus, nor of Muslims. Each of the survivors of the riot later go the NHRM and recount the horrors, hoping for justice. Even after a long wait, when Parzan, played by Parzan Dastur, does not return, Naseeruddin is forced to believe that he has lost his son.
The story based on the incident of Azhar Mody’s disappearance, was not a commercial success in India. I hardly remember it playing in the halls for a week. However, with a story which is remembered by each of us and brilliant performances by the lead actor, carefully accompanied by known faces such as Rajendranath Zutshi, it is likely to remain with you for a long time thereafter. It may give you sleepless nights, or a feeling of guilt or shame at the least.