Home is where the heart is

Home is where the heart is
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Highlights

Home is Where The Heart is. In ‘Kochadaiyaan’ senapati Rajinikanth lays a trap for the enemy king to bring back his slave warriors home and in ‘Citylights’, the couple leave their village to come to the big city in the hope that they will make sufficient money to one day return back home.

It is said that ‘Home is where the heart is,’ and there are innumerable examples in Hindi films where relationships have drifted because the lovers had no security of a roof over their heads

In ‘Heropanti’ released last week the girl runs away from home on her wedding night and finds no peace.

In ‘Kochadaiyaan’ senapati Rajinikanth lays a trap for the enemy king to bring back his slave warriors home and in ‘Citylights’, the couple leave their village to come to the big city in the hope that they will make sufficient money to one day return back home.

It never happens. Every day is a struggle and every night a trauma. The hero knocks on several doors but cannot find a job. On so many nights the family sleeps and wakes up hungry till a kind man lets them sleep in an under constructed floor of a building in the making.

Home is Where The Heart is

The problems of the tenant over the decades altered according to what was going on in society at that time. So if Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s debut film ‘Musafir’ told about the fears and the anxieties of different tenants who come to occupy the same house. In ‘Do Bigha Zameen’ it is Nirupa Roy and Balraj Sahni finding a place in the big bad city to be able to earn some money before they return home to their village. If in ‘Anari’ it was Raj Kapoor getting a taste of the city life, in ‘Paying Guest’ it was Dev Anand struggling with his aspirations.

In ‘Piya Ka Ghar’, Jaya Bhaduri grows up in a village mansion where she has a separate room for her dolls and marries into a lower middleclass joint family living in the narrow lanes of a city, Jaya feels claustrophobic in the matchbox flat and craves for space and sunlight. Director Basu Chatterjee ends the film on a positive that as long as there is space in the heart there is space in the house. In ‘Gharonda’ the lovers, Amol Palekar and Zarina Wahab invest their savings in an apartment to realise that they have been cheated by a fraud builder. It is the end of their dreams and also their relationship!

In ‘Saath Saath’ Farooque Sheikh and Deepti Naval build a love nest and hope to live happily ever after but with time the hero becomes over-ambitious and begins compromising on his values and it is only when Deepti Naval threatens to walk out on the marriage that better sense prevails. In ‘Griha Pravesh’ the housewife, Sharmila Tagore lives in utter penury so that one day they would be able to afford a bigger house. As a result the husband, Sanjeev Kumar gets into an affair. When Sharmila Tagore suspects that her husband’s extra-marital affair can threaten their marriage she transforms herself and their home overnight!

Rajinder Singh Bedi’s ‘Dastak’ told the story of a couple moving into a house earlier occupied by a prostitute. Customers keep knocking on their door, expecting the prostitute to entertain them and their frequent invasions instil fear and distance in the newly married couple. ‘Kabzaa’ and ‘Thakshak’ released in the 90s transformed the hero tenant separated from the family into a victim caught in the vortex of crime and underworld. Priyadarshan was the first filmmaker to look for humour in ‘Yeh Teraa Ghar Yeh Meraa Ghar’ on the subject of evacuation of occupants. It is a strange love story between the landlord and his tenant. So was ‘Khosla ka Ghosla’ where middle class victim aided by his family decides to fight his oppressor tooth and nail!

The issue addressed in all these films was same: in time of a crisis should one put up a fight no matter how strong the oppressor or should one pack the bags and leave? Should it be ‘Jahan pe basera ho savera wohi hain…’or should it be ‘Jahan pe savera ho basera wohi hain…’? Frankly, I’m confused for in ‘Citylights’ the protagonists came to make the metropolis their home but did the metropolis accept the immigrants, I don’t think so!

- Bhawana Somaaya / Tweets @bhawanasomaaya

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