Monday, May 15, 2006


....a film of silence

Banaras was a film my friend wanted to go to, impressed by a newspaper review talking of its spiritual subject matter. But in a famous theatre in Chennai, we landed on the second day, thinking we could get tickets, but the show had already wound up as the manager said there were 419 vacant seats for the next day. It was not quite a disappointment, as we spent the rest of the evening walking through the caves of Ice House, converted as the Swami Vivekananda's memorial. And then drove to the Marina nearby.
Wanting to see the film anyway, I got it on a DVD and a beautiful film it was indeed. The mystic love story, directed by Pankuj Parashar, story and screenplay by L.C. Singh, music directed by Himesh Reshammiya and lyrics by Sameer, the film is about the relationship with humans, with god, the relationship of Buddha, Kabir, Tulsi and Shankaracharya, with the holy city of Banaras. The beautiful title song and the placid waters of the Ganga captured by the photographer, (whose name I cant find) and the overall silence of the film makes it meditative to watch.
It is about the relationship of Shwetambari (Urmilla Matondkar) who dotes on her rich Brahmin parents (Dimple Kapadia and Raj Babbar), studies science with passion at the University in Banaras. She meets Soham (Ashmit Patel,) a mystic believed by Banaraswasis to be born in a low caste, the protege of Babaji (Naseeruddin Shah), who puts in him the seed of the soul and grooms him in the knowledge of the self.
The story of their love, ends tragically for obvious reasons. Shattered and raging mad, Shwetambari turns her mind inward, moves on to become a Guru in an ashram in Mauritius. 17 years later, this world teacher returns to her home, with no anger, to see her father breathe his last.

The movie is sprinkled with the droplets from the essence of spirituality. The best is when Babaji gives a seed to Soham and tells him: This bij contains life. When nurtured with water, air, sunshine, soil and love, it grows into a big and beautiful tree, yielding fruits, flowers and shade. But if opened, there is nothing in it. And that's for life too....
- (Swahilya)


Blogger Parvati said...

Your review inspires me too to watch the movie...

4:57 AM  
Blogger meeta said...

hey great that u liked banaras. this movie has become an obsession with some of us
if you want to ask any questions from the writer of banaras please visit
hey you can visit my blog too

5:40 AM  
Blogger Swahilya said...

Yes Parvati, it's worth watching many times. Meeta - thank you.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Swana said...


Meeta has give ur blog... we can see you have also connected.

my own blog is

meetas is

8:17 PM  
Blogger Swahilya said...

Thank you Swana. Nice name, just the n replaces the h in my short name, swaha! Does it mean a type of breathing : Swana Pranayama? I'll look into your blog. My blog is Akshara:

3:29 AM  
Blogger Swahilya said...

Swaha: I checked your blog, for some reason, it's not opening fully. I was able to read half of your post on the film Banaras.
Thank You.

3:33 AM  
Blogger meeta said...

hey swahilya, lookin foward to ur comments n discussions.
nice knowing you

1:04 AM  
Blogger Swahilya said...

Thank you Meeta.

4:55 AM  
Blogger kundalini said...

i have not seen the film but this review brought tears to my eyes, specially with the last few lines.

7:15 AM  
Blogger Swahilya said...

Thank you Kundalini. Your name sparked off an enthusiastic discussion on Kundalini. Welcome.

8:39 AM  
Blogger bhattathiri said...

In the storm of life we struggle through myriads of stimuli of pressure, stress, and muti-problems that seek for a solution and answer. We are so suppressed by the routine of this every life style that most of us seem helpless. However, if we look closely to ancient techniques we shall discover the magnificent way to understand and realize the ones around us and mostly ourselves. If only we could stop for a moment and allow this to happen. May all beings be happy (Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu)

Let me bow to Indian Maharishi Patanjali with folded hands who helped in removing the impurities of the mind through his writings on Yoga, impurities of speech through his writings on grammar, and impurities of body through his writings on Ayurveda.

12:05 AM  

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