ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Evoking Nostalgia

Boria Mazumdar evocatively analyses the social relations in British India in his essay that takes off on the movie 'Lagaan' (EPW, August 31). 'Lagaan' is very simply all about a cricket match, a subject that has its passionate enthusiasts all over India. But an equally binding, though subtle, reason for the movie's mass appeal is its wholehearted espousal of and nostalgia for idyllic village life.

'Lagaan' tells several stories, yet it is the nostalgia for village life that stands out. The villagers divided amongst themselves in petty everyday matters, but united when challenged by others, as when they form a cordon around Bhuvan to protect him from the wrath of outsiders. Also depicted is the almost symbiotic relationship of the villagers with forest animals (Bhuvan's efforts to protect the black buck from the Englishman's rifle).

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