Marathi film 'Tingya' looks into farmers suicide issue

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Panaji, Dec 1 (UNI) In the backdrop of the stark and grim reality of farmers suicides, 'Tingya', a Marathi film is a sensitive portrayal of the relationship of a farmer's son and his bull.

''The film looks at the issue of farmers suicide objectively with focus on the emotions and innocence of Tingya, a seven-year-old boy -- a trait lacking in the metro cities. It shows that communication among people is still alive in rural areas,'' said 27-year-old Mangesh Hadawale, who has written and directed the film which was screened at the 38th IFFI here today, while talking to UNI.

Mangesh said, ''As I was growing up and coming nearer and closer to sounds that expressed progress, development, growth and the speech that declared advancement, evolution and movement, I realised that we have lost a conservation, a dialogue. It is now possible only in remote villages. That set the writing of 'Tingya' and this story is not just that of a farmer in Maharashtra, but it could be a story of a farmer from Assam, Bengal, MP, UP or any other part of the country.

'Tingya' tells the story of a seven-year-old son of a potato growing farmer. The boy (Tingya) believes that Chitangya, the bull is his elder brother as both of them have grown up together.

Unfortunately, the bull breaks his hind leg after falling in a Leopard trap.

Unable to stand on his feet and move, it was not possible for Chitangya to plough the fields. Persistent and constant medication and treatment could not resurrect Chitangya to work again. A little delay in reaping would lead to buds on the potatoes and Tingya's father did not want to penalise himself more from the 'Sahukar'. A farmer from the neighbouring village had committed suicide as he was not able to return the money to the 'Sahukar'.

The only choice left for Tingya's father was to sell the bull to a butcher and add some money to buy a new bull, who could work. But Tingya does not think of the bull in the same breadth. The bull is not just an animal for him, but an elder brother. Tingya has a volley of valid questions to which no one has an answer -- ''Why was not Rashida's grandmother sold to the butcher when she too was old and not working. Why is the grandmother being cared for and why not his bull.'' The death of the old grandmother in the neighbourhood and the selling of an animal came face to face to reveal the reality.

The director said the film inquires through Tingya's innocence the validity of existence.

Producer of the film Ravi Rai, an established name in the television production sector, feels that creativity is born out of disturbed mind. ''The life of farmers in India right now is in a phase that is very dark, tough and turbulent. The newspapers disturbed me every day writing about their suicides. I wanted to make a film. I never knew that I will be able to do it till Mangesh came up with the subject, which is a theme which cannot be binded by the language barrier,'' he said.

Mangesh is directing another film called 'Circus' for Ravi Rai based in Rajasthan about a mother and her six-year-old son, who travel 18 km for water. The film starts its shooting next month.

''We plan to approach Tabu or Nandita Das to play the lead role while the child actor from Rajasthan will be selected through auditions, he added.

Mangesh said he belonged to the farming community and has experienced the hardships farmers go through.


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