5 friends, all youngsters from India’s buoyant upper middle class, who are studying in a capitation fee medical college have no care for the world. They are leading an insulated life facilitated by their parents’ economic potency. Their problems of love, sex, girlfriends, exams, and ego are all blown out of proportion as they spice up their blissful existence. The fact that they are studying to be doctors and will be part of the healthcare scenario, a rather key element in the context of any nation’s development is of no consequence to them. They are just flowing with the tide, nonchalant, insulated, in a cocooned existence and would want nothing to change.
Then by a cinematic twist of destiny they land up in a village in Vidarbha as a consequence of a wager gone too far. The Village is caught in the whirlpool of extreme poverty and farmer suicides. The 5 friends suddenly are confronted with an India they have never really heard of or seen.
What they witness is appalling and disgraceful to mankind. Predatory money lenders who are the same antiquated feudal lords in a different garb are preying on the farmers. Healthcare is in shambles and living seems to be the most tedious, arduous battles of them all. Giving up life is an easier option exercised in a socio economic milieu.
Initially reluctant, they are forced to ask questions to themselves and to others. Why is India’s progress so lopsided? Why has urban India not shared the pie with poor farmers and rural workers? Where do most of the Indians Live – cities or villages? Why does he who is not a strong economic component and a weak political voice not matter? Why is there such income disparity in the new India where there are 36 billionaires and some 800 million people live on less than 20 rupees a day?
And if there is state apathy on one side, then there are inherent social contradictions which contribute to keeping the rural masses servile to the forces of nature and man alike.
The five friends understand that the place has reached a boiling point and it is rather fertile for the ultra left forces to come in and offer a violent solution. We explore the situation where the ultra left is chipping away at the servile, pacifist character of the farmer and it will only be days before they join hands in a violent struggle.
The film also explores the possibility of micro credit as a possible non violent solution to the problems of the farmers. Our research shows the existence of micro credit in the regions of Vidarbha – though used within small intimate groups. Mohammad Yunus of Grameen Bank has displayed the success of micro credit scheme. He lent $27 to forty-two people in 1976 and today more than sixty countries practise the system. Thus we weaved micro credit and social credit as possible solution to the problems in the films thematic and geographical landscape.
Each of the friends reacts differently to the situations around them. Some come to terms with reality, some undergo a change of heart, and some become even bitter…some fall in love. Thus these few days of rural medical training become cataclysmic in nature as each of them go through a trial by fire and come out scorched and seasoned.
· Their viewpoints undergo a sea change
· They have a change of heart…
· They even for once take responsibility….
· They take stands….and commit to things…..
· They even put their lives on line……for Others…
· for people with whom they had no previous connection or relationship…
· for once they think about someone other than themselves….