Manjhi: A story of perseverance, love and exploitation


By Priya Sankalp

Faith can move mountains and love can build bridges. These words were epitomized by a simple man of Mushar community which is notorious for eating mice in the remote parts of Bihar. Dashrath Manjhi was a laborer in the agrarian society of India which was on the verge of getting rid of its landlords and was all set to embrace the extremism of Naxalism which emerged to correct the harsh anomalies of the rural society.

nawazuddin-radhika-manjhi-7When we think about the real life of a dalit man who is struggling in the rough and dry terrains of Gehlaur, Gaya, there is not much romance in it. The melodrama of Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the reel life must be entirely missing from the real life of Dashrath Manjhi, who worked hard to meet both ends and suffered the oppressions of nature and men alike. But the love for his wife (who died due to lack of timely medical assistance) and his will to cross the ominous heights of the mountain made Dashrath different from thousands of other men.

Kudos to Ketan Mehta for choosing a subject which might be considered untouchable for the film fraternity. After all, it lacks the bollywood masala and the guarantee of reaching the elite crores club. Nawazzudin Siddiqi is setting a benchmark for the future generations through his acting. Tears look real in his eyes and the game of pillows brings the eroticism of a man.

Radhike Apte’s beauty sizzles throughout the movie. The grandeur of the mountains is well captured and the songs seem relevant. However, the movie could have been shortened in its length.

The mountain man’s story is that of grit and tenacity of a man who despite all the odds, walks to Delhi from Gaya along the railway tracks to meet the Prime minister. The hostile attitude of his fellow men and nature’s fury obstruct him, but he keeps hammering the stones. This takes him 22 years and finally, he carves out a road from the unrelenting mountains. Hearts soar high with Manjhi’s challenge to the gigantic rocks.

The road excavated by Manjhi

This movie is a must watch despite its minor shortcomings because it does not bloat about the sweetness of saccharine, instead it gives the taste of jaggery mixed with a few grains of sand at a nondescript.