’68 pages’ portraying life, love & hope August 14, 2008Posted by nitinkarani in English, HIV, Marginalization, Times of India.
’68 pages’ portraying life, love & hope (Times of India)
27 Jul 2008, 0319 hrs IST, Snehlata Shrivastav,TNN
NAGPUR: ” Dard se umeed janam leti hein, aur umeed se pyar, bas yahi sach hein, ek bar phir dard se umeed janam legi “. “Hope blooms from pain and this time too, pain will give birth to a new hope” was the message that the ninety minute film ’68 pages” wanted to convey to the society at large and the HIV positive people in particular.
Yes, the film has managed to convey the message of ‘never lose hope’ to its targeted audience and also to the common man. But life is much beyond the film, which the film probably could not convey. The film appeared too simplistic for ground realities yet could aptly convey the real life stories of five HIV positive people, played by Kiran and Mohit, a gay couple, Payal and Shetty, a commercial sex worker and her customer, Nishit, a drug abuser and his girl friend, and Nathu, a sanitary worker. The heroine of the film, Mansi, a counsellor’, who writes the stories of her clients in a diary in 68 pages and around whom the stories of HIV positive people are intricately woven, has successfully narrated the story.
Since it is also the story of people who the ‘society’ does not recognise as normal, who cannot belong to them, but are very much a part of the society in reality, the film is different from other HIV/AIDS commercial films. It conveys the basic message that HIIV positive people too have right to love – ‘Pyar to sab ko mangtai hein’.
The story begins with ‘Umaro’ a bar dancer who’s earnings support a family of three and goes down to depict lives of all other HIV positive characters simultaneously through a well knit series of events in their lives.
Umrao is playing ‘self’ in the bar, as in reality she feels like a woman but at her home she is Umesh, the lone bread earner ‘man’ of the family and for society is a ‘ kinnar ‘ or a transsexual.
The film depicts the stark realities of life as she lives it in the film. Umrao gets infected with the HIV virus while having sex with a trucker after losing her job as a bar dancer. She is forced to continue earning her living selling her body for her family. The film ends with all the five HIV positive people seeing the counsellor together before she leaves for further studies in US depicting that life does not stop for anyone while the others too continue to live their lives with hope.