Yes, I am a big time Shah Rukh Khan fan, ever since I saw him spreading his arms (his signature pose) in the air with that mesmerizing and never-ending charm with his dimpled smile to die for. (hold yourself Priyanka :)) OK. So I am going to tell you why you should watch SWADES time and time again.
Swades is 2004 release drama movie, produced and directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. This movie is based on the true-life story of an NRI man who returns to his homeland, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Gayatri Joshi, Kishori Ballal in leading roles. The film is considered ahead of its times which upon release received widespread critical acclaim and is now considered a cult classic of Hindi cinema.
Still wondering, why you should watch SWADES?
- To feel the real problems faced by the Villagers in remote areas.
- To understand how it is to live without electricity.
- To understand when people back then didn’t even knew about the internet and mails through postman was the only means of communication.
- When we had no networks and easy access to technology.
- To stay grounded and rooted.
The story goes like this: Mohan Bhargava ( Shah Rukh Khan) who is working for NASA in America, starts missing his homeland and her Kaveri Amma (nanny), who has looked after him in his school days when his parents passed away. He decides to visit her as he was feeling guilty of not being there for her in her old age.
Mohan takes few weeks off and travels to India, to his surprise he learns that Kaveri amma no more stays in the old age home and has moved to a village Charanpur. He decides to hire a Caravan for his travel and stay in the village. He stocks up mineral drinking water bottles before heading to the village. Upon reaching Charanpur and meeting Kaveri Amma and gets to know that it was Gita (Gayatri Joshi), Mohan’s childhood friend, who had brought Kaveri Amma following her parents’ death to stay with her.
Gita runs a school in the village and tries to convince other people to send their kids to school for their development through education. On the other hand, the village is divided largely by caste and religious beliefs. Gita somehow feels insecure with Mohan’s arrival because Kaveri Amma was all she had now and she could not have seen Mohan taking Kaveri Amma back with him to the US, leaving her and her younger brother Chikku alone. Mohan keeps on forcing Amma to come along with him but Kaveri Amma tells Mohan that she needs to get Gita married first so that she can be free before leaving Gita believes in women empowerment and gender equality. This attracts Mohan towards Gita and he too tries to help her by campaigning for education among backward communities and also girls and love starts blooming in between them.
Till now Mohan was just enjoying his trip to an Indian Village with a view of returning back to his comfortable life in America, things take a deep U-turn when he heads for the village Kodi directed by Kaveri Amma and collect money from a man named Haridas who owes it to Gita. The story gives a journey to Mohan very similar to what happened to Mahatma Gandhi after he came back from South Africa. He feels pity seeing Haridas’ poor condition, which is such that he is unable to provide his family with meals every day. Haridas tells Mohan that since his caste profession of a weaver wasn’t earning him any money, he shifted to tenant farming. But this change in profession led to his ostracization from the village and the villagers even denied him water for his crops. Mohan understands the pathetic situation and realizes that many villages in India are still like Kodi. He returns to Charanpur with a heavy heart and decides to do something for the welfare of Charanpur and extends his leave for few more weeks.
There was a major problem of electricity supply in his village Charanpur. Hence he decides to set up a small hydroelectric power generation facility from a nearby water source. he plans and purchases all the equipment needed, from his own funds and oversees the building of the power generation unit and with the sheer hard work and teamwork of the villagers, the unit works and the village gets sufficient, consistent power from it.
Meanwhile, he was repeatedly asked back to join the office in NASA as he had exhausted all his leaves and his project team was suffering there. Kaveri amma refuses to accompany him because she would not be comfortable in the new environment, Gita too refuses to come with him because she had committed herself to the education facility of the children in the village. With the heavy heart, he leaves India and goes back to America, to his work and routine life but could not get away with the memories of time spent with the people and places in India. In the end, he decides to go back to India to stay wth his family and contribute his learnings and dedication to his own people and villagers.
If I have missed something then, this song sums up all 🙂
I have watched it several times, and discover how beautiful it is to go back in time and feel the lost era. 2004 to 2019 and I say please watch it if you have not watched it yet. I hardly write any movie review but had to do it this time. No No I am not being biased for the love of SRK 🙂
Much Love and gratitude