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“Northeast is diverse and has a rich culture. I know that movies don’t have geographical boundaries, but if I don’t make films from this part of the country, I don’t think I will get attention.
“I am surviving in the industry because I make northeastern films. I pick up stories from our society and that is why people find them interesting,” Borah told a media outlet from Guwahati.
Her first feature film “Baibhab – A scam in verse” (1999) was honoured with Special Jury Award at the 47th National Films Festival 2000.
Citing the example of her last film “Ko: Yad – A Silent Way” (a Mising language film), she said: “So many people appreciated it as I presented the Brahmaputra river well in the film… that is eye-catching. I don’t think that my film was a great piece of work, but because of the theme and location, I got noticed.”
This time, she has managed to draw the attention of people of Montreal with “Dau Huduni Methai” (Song of The Horned Owl). It will be screened at the prestigious Montreal World Film Festival, which will begin from August.
“In the film, I have exposed the Bodo land…their lifestyle and tradition. That’s why I am getting the attention. Otherwise, technically we are not that advanced and there are budget issues. So, these (stories and location) are our assets,” said Borah.
“The film will be screened in the Focus on World Cinema section. It won’t be competing, but I thought getting this opportunity itself is a prestigious thing,” added the filmmaker.
But filming it wasn’t a cakewalk for her.
“We shot in the Meghalaya-Assam border for about 22 days. Unfortunately, the region is affected with insurgency. One of the Army officers warned me not to work there. I told him that I am a cultural activist too, and that the boys are our own boys; so I don’t think they will create a problem in my work.”
“I refused to take security with me…In the last two days of shooting, things got very bad. There were encounters. I had to quickly finish my work. The location is very beautiful. It was the harvesting time.
“So, it was golden in colour and the hills looked beautiful. People were so nice and friendly. But it’s the socio-political situations that are causing problems there,” said the filmmaker, who likes to work with fresh talent.
As much as she loves presenting stories of her homeland, she wants a change in the way films are distributed in the region.
“Hindi films get priority here…Maybe, that is the taste of the new generation or maybe it’s the whole design of distributors. Maybe, they prefer Hindi films so that they can earn more money because regional films’ viewership is very less.
“In the northeast, viewers are not purely Assamese or Manipuri…it is a complex pattern of inhabitants and we speak many languages. So ultimately for a regional film, it is difficult to get a good number of viewers.
“The screening timings are also very odd. So, there is no scope to recover the cost. Since my last film, I have decided not to release my films in theatres here (in Assam),” said Borah, who is content with sending her films to fests or for private screening or television.
What about Bollywood?
“I am afraid of the big artists who throw tantrums. If a good production company approaches me, I will work in Mumbai too,” she said. (IANS)
The city of Delhi has seen it all; from sultanate rule, to dynasties, and to colonial rule. From monarchy to democracy, Delhi has gone through its phases. But, in order to know and explore the nuances of Delhi, you must read these beautiful books.
1. City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple
This book was written while Dalrymple was still flirting with his love for the Medieval India. The author writes, "Moreover the city- so I soon discovered- possessed a bottomless seam of stories: tales receding far beyond history, deep into the cavernous chambers of myth and legend," and just like this, Dalrymple takes you in a tour to discover Discover Delhi.
2. Delhi by Heart: Impressions of a Pakistani Traveller by Raza Rumi
This book explores how the author explores his identity as a South Asian Muslim and how his city of Lahore is a mirror image of Delhi. Rumi, in this book, tries to co-relate the past with the present by comparing its festivals, streets, and markets.
3. Delirious Delhi: Inside India's Incredible Capital by DavePrager
This book is quite interesting. The story of this book revolves around the lives of Dave and Jenny who have recently moved to Delhi when their firm began to go down. The city of Delhi in this book is shown through their eyes as they try to make their way in the city that holds together a very large population.
4. The Heart has its Reasons by Krishna Sobti, Translated by Reema Anand, Meenakshi Swami
The original title of this book is "Dil - o - Danish". This book tells the reader about the streets of Old Delhi and almost transport the reader back in the past. This book is basically set in the 1920's, and tells the tale of a man's extramarital affair, his children out of wedlock, black magic, and Chandni Chowk's rich culture of sweets and the perils of being a widow. Interestingly, many have compared the author of this book to Jane Austen.
5. Delhi: A Novel by Khushwant Singh
Who would talk about Delhi and not remember Khushwant Singh? This amazing book is just like a narrative of the author's fulfilled love affair with the city and with a eunuch. The narrator in this book is an aging man who is trying to discover the city. This book is truly a masterpiece, where it takes the readers on the history of Delhi glimpsing at what makes the city what it is– simply beautiful.
There are some of the Indian cities which are older than time. Therefore, we must know which cities are they, and what has been their history!
1. Varanasi (1200 BC–)
Varanasi is one of the oldest cities of India, and has been a center of religious and cultural activity since the Bronze Age. In fact, this city might have been in existence from a very long time, since it finds mention in the Rig Veda. It is believed that the city of Varanasi was thriving for more than 1600 years before the fall of the Roman Empire in Europe. This city is one of the holiest places for Hindus and Jains, and even Lord Buddha gave his very first sermon here in 528 BC. In Hinduism, it is believed that dying in Varanasi brings salvation, which is the reason why the city is always brimming with pilgrims.
2. Ujjain (700/600 BC–)
Ujjain was once considered as one of the most prominent cities in the Middle India. In fact, the name of this city is repeatedly mentioned in the literature of that period, i.e. in the works of stalwarts like Kālidāsa. This city has seen the rise and fall of numerous empires, from the Mauryas to the Avantis, Nandas, and even the Guptas. This city, just like Varanasi, is also considered as one of the holiest cities in India, and hosts one of the officially recognized Kumbh melas, the Ujjain Simhastha Kumbh, in which people across the world take place.
3. Madurai (500 BC–)
Madurai been a major center of culture and trade for more than 2500 years. In fact, the name of this city has been mentioned in the writings of the great traveler, Megasthenes, and has been ruled by several empires from the Pandyas and the Cholas to the Karnata, and finally the British. Interestingly, ‘'Koodal,' was one of its ancient name which means 'a congregation of learned men'. There is no doubt that Madurai was an epicenter of scholars and religious teachers in the southern part of India.
4. Thanjavur (300 BC–)
Thanjavur was formerly known as Tanjore. This city is pretty famous for its Tanjore style of painting, which is a traditional style that is characterised by the use of gold foil, religious imagery, and simple compositions. This city is best known for being the home of the Great Living Chola Temples, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Till date, people across the world visit this place in order to experience its rich history and heritage.
By- Digital Hub
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Also read: Gemstones: Fashion Statements
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Human hair wigs on display at a store Image source: Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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