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KASHI NO DIKRO (Gujarati / 1979) - The other MOTHER INDIA of Indian Cinema nobody talks about. - By Bobby Sing (Movies To See Before You Die - Drama)
27 Aug, 2018 | Articles on Cinema / Movies To See Before You Die / Drama / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

Writing about this lesser known classic, at one end I feel sorry for every sincere movie lover in India, who wrongly considers Indian Cinema largely equivalent or represented by just the Hindi films. But on the other, I feel immensely proud of the exceptionally rich and outstanding cinema made in the Indian regional languages in our country that is so potent and impressive in its social values as well as storytelling, frankly beyond comparison with the present stuff being offered to the new generations.
 
Though an extensive list of films can be given supporting the above enlightening statement for the students of cinema, here I would like to share about a cult Gujarati film KASHI NO DIKRO (meaning Kashi's Son) released in 1979, which actually has an extraordinary, unheard of a story hidden in its title itself. 
 
Not in favour of revealing complete storyline in reviews or write-ups on individual films, I will have to make an exception here, since it’s the story which in reality proves KASHI NO DIKRO an important as well as not to be missed creation of our golden past. The film strongly makes us realize what we are missing, if not interested in studying and watching such powerful cinematic gems made by our own maestros in the various Indian regional languages.
 
Adapted from the short story ‘Dariyav Dil’ by Vinodini Neelkanth, the film directed by Kanti Madia (as a debut venture) sincerely points towards the plight of a young woman, as she becomes a wife and a daughter-in-law in her second home and family stepping into a new, uncertain phase of her life.
 
Revealing the shocking plot, it begins with an introduction of Kashi (a young bride played by Ragini) who is given the responsibility of her young adolescent brother-in-law by her dying mother-in-law and she brings him up as her own child in the next decade or so. As he becomes a young man, Kashi arranges his marriage with a beautiful girl (Rita Bhaduri), knowing about the girl already in love with his adopted son. Unfortunately the young man dies on his wedding night itself due to a snake-bite and the tragedy hits the family changing their lives forever. Kashi starts looking after her young widowed bride as her own daughter but destiny makes them face another unexpected situation next when Kashi’s (old-aged) husband only rapes the helpless girl making her pregnant with his child.
 
Knowing the ugly truth, Kashi decides to save her family and their reputation in the community by pretending to be pregnant herself instead of the daughter-in-law and then somehow manages to convince everyone around about her unexpected, accidental pregnancy. The child is born and nobody gets to know the real truth behind his birth with Kashi posing as the mother despite being more than twice the age of her young widowed daughter-in-law. 
 
However, the story doesn’t end here as Kashi suddenly falls ill and in her last moments gives back the responsibility of ‘her child’ to the young widowed girl in front of all the relatives and community members. The responsibility of the child, who in reality was born to her daughter-in-law only, but the truth was not known to anyone else other than the two mothers and the father living with his own guilt. So the story ends exactly the way it begins giving a new meaning to the relationship between a daughter and the mother-in-law, like never heard or seen before.
 
The heartfelt film seriously hits you hard in its tragic second half and leaves you stunned thinking about the two mothers fighting for their own respectful existence in our conservative society. The silences in this particular part of the film, the background score, the sharp dialogues and all fine, realistic performances redefine the term Mother in an unusual, unique manner in its concluding sequences.
 
Yes, it’s a technically simple film made in a limited budget and resources with soothing songs and acts that cannot be rated as exceptional, if compared to the much famous MOTHER INDIA directed by Mehboob Khan. However if Khan’s film rightly justified the title in its final scene, KASHI NA DIKRO equally does the same in its unusual sacrifice by Kashi in its final hour (focusing on the two mothers) and thus deserves to be called the other MOTHER INDIA of our cinema without any slightest of doubt. Sadly, even after four decades, the film largely remains unknown to the majority of movie lovers of our country due to the questionable preference and importance given to only one language.
 
So if possible do try to watch KASHI NA DIKRO finding a source in Gujarat, as at times you need to search for such lesser known, important movies proudly representing our Indian cinema, other than the easily available ones on the online portals.
 
Director: Kanti Madia
Cast: Ragini, Rajiv, Rita Bhaduri, Giresh Desai, P. Kharsani, Tarla Joshi, Leela Jariwala and more.

(With thanks to Vinod Mirani and Jayesh Adhyaru for informing and sending me the film making a kind gesture)

Tags : KASHI NO DIKRO (Gujarati / 1979) The other MOTHER INDIA of Indian Cinema nobody talks about - By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Movies To See Before You Die Drama, Not To Be Missed Indian Regional Language Movies, The Outstanding Indian Cinema in Regional Languages, Indian Regional Cinema
27 Aug 2018 / Comment ( 0 )
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