Framing Interdisciplinarity

Kaun Kitne Pani Me?

4 consecutive Thursday evenings

4 critically acclaimed international movies

Institute of Geography, University of Edinburgh

That’s what Framing Interdisciplinarity is all about!

For those who didn’t understand what the title means, it’s the name of a Bollywood movie. Now I could try to literally translate it for you but it would mean something ridiculous, as is the case with languages. A better way to translate it would be to say “In Troubled Waters”. C sent me a link and asked me to check this event out where they were screening this movie. It’s a Bollywood film and I am usually up to date with the movies released, though I may not watch all of them. This one I hadn’t heard of. So C and I decided to go for this screening and find out more.

The crowd was international so I wondered if they would appreciate a Bollywood production. I wondered if they would relate to the story line, the concept, the song and dance routines, etc. I didn’t know what to expect.

The lights went off and the movie started on a humorous note in the 1850s bringing to forefront the issue of the caste system that still unfortunately prevails in the rural pockets of India. It then took an emotional turn with one of the characters belonging to the lower caste being shot by the erstwhile king for his crime of falling in love with the princess. I cringed. And then through the present times the plot meandered, but cautiously, around the lanes covering politics, religion, water scarcity, gullibility of the rural population and love.

When the lights came back on again, we all cringed – it was too bright after having acclimatized to the dark! But then the panel discussion started. What I was surprised by, was that the audience took interest in the discussion. They picked up on the nuances of the script. Yes, they didn’t identify with the situations or the story line or the song and dance. But they contributed to the discussion with enthusiasm, inquiring about life in rural India and the political scenario and whether water really is such an important commodity in rural India. They were fascinated by the diversity in cultures, traditions, languages, landscapes, geography and geology in India. I listened with interest, the panelists dissecting out the flaws and highlighting the strengths of the film. And I listened with great ardor what the people thought about India as a whole.

And one feeling struck me the most. The movie was in Hindi (of course there were subtitles for the international audience) and through those 2.5 hours of watching the film, I felt strangely as if I was in India. The power of language is amazing!

What a great evening! I have to thank C for telling me about this event 🙂 And now I am looking forward to the remaining films. See you next week in this category with a post on the second film!

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