CHAURAHEN: Angst of modern life underlined by Nirmal Verma finds cinematic expression after all

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CHAURAHEN: Angst of modern life underlined by Nirmal Verma finds cinematic expression after all
Nirmal Verma would indeed be a happy soul as his short stories, which find a place of eminence in Library of Congress, are going to see the cinematic light of the day thanks to the intervention of PVR Director’s Rare. CHAURAHEN is an amalgamation of three different stories, with three different sensibilities set in three different cities, but having an underlining theme of commonality of the urban angst of trying to adjust the societal pressure as also the aspirations of physical needs of the body.

Directed by Rajshree Ojha who has already made her mark in the world of Marquee through her maiden film AISHA, CHAURAHEN has already made its mark at international levels being awarded with citations and salutations at 11 different film festivals around the globe. Among the key festivals where CHAURAHEN became the talking point include South Asian International Film Festival New York, Mami Festival Mumbai, Cairo International Film Festival Egypt, and Marabella Film Festival Spain.

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Nirmal Verma as a writer had made his mark exploring the man-woman relationships but bereft being viewed through the prism of sentimentality. Rajshree Ojha got exposed to the writings of Nirmal Verma when she was an adolescent and read ”under covers of darkness”, and got hooked to him. The four stories that have been used as a reference point by Rajshree Ojha for CHAURAHEN are HERE AND HEREAFTER, LAST SUMMER, SUCH A BIG YEARNING, and THE MAN AND THE GIRL.

For Soha Ali Khan, CHAURAHEN could turn out the perfect wedding gift for her cinematic career, as though it was completed long time ago, it is being released now. CHAURAHEN would also see Victor Banerjee and Zeenat Aman in lead roles. CHAURAHEN’s underlining feature would be debut of the granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin in a Hindi cinema, and is a pointer to the emergence of Hindi cinema, or rather films being made from India as the favorite hunting ground for the international actors as well to make their mark. After all, India is now one of the largest international markets.

Such has been the conviction of the team who is associated with CHAURAHEN that the key luminaries of the likes of Gulzar and Resul Pookutty did not charge any remuneration. They have a rationale for the gesture as well. They hold the view that somewhere in the not too distant past when they were young and were trying to make their mark in the world of cinema somebody believed them, and the time has come for them to repay the debt.

Well, one only hopes that this kind of feeling pervades like a swamp in the industry as it would help in encouraging new and exciting talent to make its mark in an affirmative manner in the cinema and give the world of cinema in India the diversification that it urgently requires. One also hopes that Rajshree Ojha would continue to seek inspiration from Nirmal Verma as his oeuvre of work indeed is a treatise of man-woman relationship that needs to find expression through the panoramic lens, more so, as the readership is really dwindling for Hindi literature.

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