If one has to watch movies and television shows for preparation for exams, I would say that is the best course for study one should be doing in the world, that is , if you,like me enjoy doing it. So, I watch ‘Lion’, with my young girl, the movie based on a real life story of a boy who gets lost, Saru, brilliantly played by the chota (little)power pack of talent-Sunny Pawar, his elder version essayed by the famous Dev Patel.
Young Saru is a spirited little fellow, the son of a stone cutter whom he fondly calls Ammi, the younger brother to Guddu and elder to Shakeela. Even in the poor, dilapidated house where staying alive was a challenge in itself, the closely knit family of 4 is bound by a circle of love that seemed unbreakable.
Little Saru loves to help his brother, Guddu as well his mother, Ammi. He insists on doing his best with all the might of a little 5 year old. He proves his worthiness as a formidable partner in petty crimes like stealing coal from a goods train to help their mother cook for them. In the evening when Guddu gets ready to go scrounging in the railway compartments at Khandwa Railway Station, Saru insists on joining his brother. He proves his strength and usefulness by lifting various objects, until Guddu agrees to take him along. On the way though, Saru falls asleep and refuses to budge. Guddu then lets Saru sleep on a platform bench and promises to come back to collect him after his work his done. Saru wakes up and is terrified by the loneliness of the platform and enters a coach to search for Guddu. He gets locked inside and the train moves ahead.He is carried to Calcutta, West Bengal where he has to fend for himself.
Saru’s desire to reach his mother in Ganesh Thali is the only thing that helps him evade dangerous thugs and crooks every time to escape to a relatively safer place. In Calcutta, Saru is later taken to the police station by a good samaritan. An advertisement is placed in the local newspapers. Another do-gooder, hopefully so identifies Saru for adoption by an Australian couple.
The story of Saru’s being lost and found is heart rending. The portrayal by the actors like Nicole Kidman, Sunny Pawar, Abhishek Barate, Diwian Ladwa , David Wenham and others is exceptional.
It is nothing short of a crime to be poor in an unjust world but to be child who has no one to fall back on is even more so.
One gets to hear numerous stories of children lost every day. Face book posts and whats app forwards show pictures of children and adults who go missing each day. Even today in the busy junctions we see small children carried in blankets and paraded for evoking moolah read cash in the form of alms.
As a people,its time for us Indians to rethink our attitude to begging , to the way children are exploited. The story also underlines the fact that though we can boast about the Mangalyan and other scientific triumphs, our truest triumph lies in being able to alleviate poverty in the country.
The way forward is in lending hand to help,to educate, to create awareness, to build better public infrastructure and to ensure better law enforcement.