Apologies to those who thought I was churning out too much of techie stuff. So I happened to watch Rakeysh Mehra’s Delhi 6. Not trying to review the movie but the reasons that made this movie worth watching for me. AB jr. is an American (Hindu father & a Muslim mother) whose grandma wants to come back to her roots in Delhi 6, his father has vowed never to return so AB jr. decides to bring his grandma to India. Keeping the filmy parts aside let me come to the point(s).
Delhi 6 is shown as an area where the two communities – Hindus & Muslims live in harmony with each. They are good friends, sit & eat with each other, pretty much like a family. One day AB jr.’s grandma falls sick & needs to be rushed to the hospital, en route a Muslim is shown running towards grandma & tie on her arm the spiritual symbolic Hindu red cloth. A very unique moment in the film which one shouldn’t miss. The fact that a Muslim rushes to a Hindu to tie a symbol of Hinduism is an example of the harmony amongst the people.
A parallel track in the movie is of a black monkey creating panic in Delhi. Attacking people, killing their goats, stealing their food blah blah; creates fear in the minds of the people.
The lead-female protagonist is also shown battling the Indian tradition of a father wanting to marry of his daughter not bothering about her dreams yada yada. At the same time Soman Kapoor’s father has a cold war with his younger brother, they have the clichéd wall dividing their house.
Once AB jr. runs into the local cop chief & has a slap-gate with him, resulting in him being jailed & AB’s uncle bribes the cop to secure his relief. His uncle being a close friend of AB’s father & apparently the one who was in love with AB’s mother but never confessed & AB’s father seems to have fought his family, friends for the inter-caste marriage, proposed her & married her. AB’s grandma says that she was also against the marriage but once she got to know her daughter-in-law she realized she was a good human being. Another point Mehra was trying to make. Know the people before you pass judgments based on their religion.
Though people might feel that the concept of an untouchabe is no more in India, Mehra shows quite the opposite & with quite an interesting irony. A female rag-picker is shown as being someone the society feels as untouchable. Touch her & you have to bathe with weird stuff to cleanse yourself. The cop that was bribed treated her the same way but apparently did fulfill his darker desires.
The monkey, well apparently the monkey causes havoc in the area where AB & his grandma live. The residents call a tantrik who blurts out a statement saying that there was a mandir at a particular location where there currently stands a masjid. Demolish the masjid & it shall bring peace to the Gods to rid you fo the monkey.
This sparks a huge row between the communities. It takes an ugly political turn yada yada. Accidentally AB is caught wearing a monkey costume trying to woo the girl. How, why & other details are beyond the scope of this article. The people catch him & one person shoots him.
And here is the punch line where a character states that AB had to become the monkey to bring the 2 communities to stop killing each other & fight the true enemy (in this case the monkey).
Quite funny how a monkey gives way to a tantrik who brings religion to it & then the politicians take over in the whole process we forget it was the monkey we were trying to catch. Country down the drain. Haven’t we witnessed this several times. People fight themselves rather than the real enemy.
After Rang De which dealt with friendship & how 1 can draw parallels to the British rule period. Then it was the Britishers who played us around now it’s our politicians. Wasn’t really sure what to expect of Delhi 6 & to be honest the script surprised me in a very good way.
The thing is that this movie doesn’t show something that may happen in 1 city of India but can/has happened across India.