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Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi relives ?70s

Posted by Indian Vanguard on April 28, 2007

Director Sudhir Mishra’s Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi relives the ’70s and is a tribute to the burning issues of the time that may still seek a redress.

Remember the ’70s – Bell Bottoms, Rock ‘N’ Roll, The Hippies, Satyajit Ray, The Typewriter, Guerrillas, Kissa Kursi Ka, The Naxalites, Vietnam War, Sholay, The Beatles, The Emergency, Garibi Hatao!, Ayatollah Khomeini, The twist and Jaiprakash Narayan! – Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (HKA) is film about all that and more.

Mishra who grew up amdist all these says, “HKA is probably my most personal film. Through Hazaaron… I have strived to understand a generation that has inspired me, disgusted me, challenged me and puzzled me through the years – a generation grappling with their solutions for a better system and a generation ridden with ironies of egalitarian dreams on one hand and corroding fraudulence on the other. The film is set in a period which I grew up and empathised with.”

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (HKA) revolves around three characters – Siddharth Tyabji (Kay Kay Menon), Geeta Rao (Chitrangada Singh) and Vikram Malhotra (Shiny Ahuja) – whose lives intertwine across a decade. It is a love story against a backdrop of a politically decaying India from the late sixties to the late seventies often described as Indira Gandhi years.

Geeta is in love with Siddharth but politics is Siddharth’s first love. Meanwhile Vikram falls madly in love with Geeta, but she treats him as a good friend only. These three are caught in a vicious cycle of sorts, and eventually go their different ways.

Geeta gets married to a bureaucrat after her higher studies in Britain. Vikram becomes a highflying fixer in the corridors of power in Delhi whilst Siddharth decides to join the Naxal movement in the villages of Bihar.

Chitrangada, who plays the female lead in the film, says, “My character is called Geeta, she has a South Indian father and is in love with Siddharth who is more interested in politics, Marxism and all such things. He gets involved in the Naxalite movement. Our relationship goes through its ups and downs as it grows into maturity amidst the turbulent political times.”

Set against a backdrop of immense political turmoil in the country, HKA unfolds at a prestigious Delhi college where the three protagonists complete their graduation and are in the process of charting out a career for themselves. “I play the role of Vikram who hails from a small town Meerut and goes to a swanky Delhi College, St Stephens, for higher studies.

There he falls in love with a girl who treats him only as a friend. This other guy Siddharth, however, has no time for love as he is into politics and social awakening. So the whole film is about the trials and tribulations of love and growth as an individual seen through the eyes of these three protagonists. I am the fixer who has seen his father suffer despite being a staunch Gandhian and therefore have no time or patience to go through the same grist. I want to make it big in life through the easy available short cut” says Delhi boy Shiny Ahuja of Sins and Karam fame.

In 1975 the state of emergency is declared in the country. Vikram is on the right side of the power equation but for Geeta and Siddharth its testing time. This period of high drama changes things forever for the trio.

Widely regarded as one of the finest specimen of Indian cinema in recent times the narrative. The personal destinies of the characters are in active interplay with the political predicament of the country. Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi examines a very significant period of post independent India and also a very special generation of people that went through something unique.

“It is a film about true meaning of youth, about taking risk, about people who inherited a country with conflicting views, about love – love for the person and for the country. On one hand you have friendship, love and growth of the three protagonists; on the other you have the backdrop of turbulent and politically volatile India. It’s a retort on another kind of love – love enough to criticise your country. The film is an interesting comment where children get to know and learn what their parents were all about” says Mishra.

Making her debut with an off beat film as HKA Chitra (as she is called) cherishes the experiences and insists on having evolved as a more wholesome human being due to the film’s impact. “Geeta discovers herself in the ten years – she sees her growth from a naïve, innocent college girl slowly finding answers in life to become her own person. She later matures into an individual in her own right who goes on to fulfil Siddharth’s dreams after he is gone. It is the most challenging and fulfilling role I could have asked for.”

Going further Chitra claims, “When I got this offer, it did not matter what the subject or cast would be, as long as it was clear to me that it is going to be Sudhir’s film as I knew him and had heard a lot about his work. I’m very fortunate to start my career in such a great manner. I can prove myself to an extent given the subject of the film. Besides Sudhir has a way of extracting the right performance from you.”

A poignant telling tale of the quintessential search for the ‘self’ Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (HKA) taps the youth and its search for answers hitherto left wanting for more if not enough. The emergency plays a crucial role in deciding the fate of its lead characters take.

“I think Geeta turns out to be the tallest character which stands out at the end of the film. At one level, Hazaaron… is a love story between Vikram and Geeta – an aching unrequited romance. But most importantly, the film tries to articulate a total idea of India, as opposed to a crude western notion of India being a hell hole, or a land of exotic mystical kitsch.

Sometimes, even I find it puzzling to fathom the labyrinths of this film… but it’s a film which I love to see over and over again, because it’s outside me and about characters I love, even in their failures” says Sudhir

HKA was applauded in festivals across the globe including the prestigious Berlin film festival. Produced by Pritish Nandy Communications and directed by noted filmmaker Sudhir Mishra’s HKA overcame many hurdles and is finally releasing on Friday.

Hindustan Times


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