Today, I watched a movie. Nothing special about that. But, the movie in itself was rather special. Those in India must have heard of Chak de…India, a movie with Shahrukh Khan in the lead. To cut a long story short, the movie was worth watching. More on that a little later. Before that, I would like to reply to a comment on my previous post on Biharis and politics. My esteemed reader tells me I should refrain from commenting on things I do not fully understand, with reference to my comment that Tamil and Hindi are as different from one another as English and Russian. I also said that the differences between Maithili and Hindi cannot be compared to those that exist between Tamil and Hindi. I said this, not with the intention of downplaying the importance of the regional languages, Maithili and Bhojpuri, but with the intention of highlighting the fact the Tamil has an origin and development entirely different from that of Hindi. Secondly, when the reader says I must refrain from talking about what I do not understand, I am amused rather than insulted. The reader does not know me. Nor does he/she make an effort to ask. I will only say I understand linguistics and language development better than most average people. The reasons behind that are many. I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain each of them here. Those who know me will know why.
Ok. On to Chak de. The movie was, for want of a better word, refreshing. Amid the hype and drama of the ICL-BCCI tussle, it highlights an oft-neglected issue. That of the quagmire in which women’s hockey finds itself. It tackles such issues as the neglect of women’s sport in general, the national preference for cricket over hockey, the determination of the men (and sometimes women) in charge to make life as difficult for sportswomen as possible and the feeling of belonging to a state team rather the Indian national team. And it tackles these issues realistically. It shows the human side of both the coach and the players. It tells the tale of women who show the world that they can do more than just cook. It is not a feminist story. It is a very motivating one. I don’t remember the last time I came out a movie theatre so satisfied with a film. This one filled me with a sense of relief that Hindi Cinema is finally trying to break out of the song-and-dance routine. May the attempt be successful.