Banner: Aamir Khan Productions
Producers: Aamir Khan, Kiran Rao
Director: Svati Chakravarty Bhatkal
The million-dollar question here is, if art can change our thoughts and way of life, can Svati Chakravarty
Bhatkal’s thought-provoking film, Rubaru Roshni, help you find an answer to it? The narrative
encapsulates three heart-wrenching true stories that have been picked up from three different decades.
They celebrate the oneness of life and the unflinching strength that resides within all of us.
Rubaru Roshni is divided into three chapters, The Orphan And The Convict, The Farmer And The Nun and
The Terror And The Mom. It opens with a clip of Avantika Maken Tanwar, who gives us a glimpse into an
unfortunate event that took place on July 31, 1985, in Kirti Nagar, New Delhi. Her father, Lalit Maken, a
Congress member, was shot dead with 28 bullets in his home. The main assassin, Ranjit Singh Gill,
accidentally kills Avantika’s mother in the process.
The second story is set in Madhya Pradesh. On February 25, 1995, in a bus from Udainagar to Bhopal,
Sister Rani Maria is stabbed by a farmer, Samundar Singh, and two zamindars, who fear that Catholics
are staunch evangelists. Stabbed 54 times, she dies.
The third part of the narrative takes us on a journey down Kia Scherr’s memory lane. On November 26,
2008, she lost her husband, Alan, and daughter, Naomi. They had flown to Mumbai for a meditation
retreat and were staying at the Oberoi Trident when terrorists conducted a series of coordinated
shooting attacks across South Mumbai.
Bhatkal deserves applause for skillfully drawing on the themes of inclusion and redemption. The stories
give us a sneak peek into the lives of people belonging to the Hindu community as well as religious
minority groups such as Sikhs and Christians. For a film that is set to hit the small screen on the 70 th
Republic Day, this bears immense relevance and significance.
She walks a tightrope but never once falters. Though she sheds light on burning and sensitive political
subjects such as the Sikh riots, the Khalistan movement, religious bigotry and fatal terror attacks, she
retains her objectivity. She presents each story from two different perspectives, thus engaging in a
balanced presentation of events.
What could have been an insipid documentary with mere facts and information woven together, is an
interesting, stimulating and inspiring narrative. Credit also goes to editor, Hemanti Sarkar, for taking
factual information and crafting an emotion-laden canvas that tugs at the heartstrings. There are several
moments that will bring tears to your eyes. That is exactly where the film wins. The narrator of the film,
Aamir Khan, adds to the impact of the film. To accentuate the authenticity in the stories, the makers
have incorporated real footage, newspaper clippings and quotes from books.
The beauty of Rubaru Roshni lies in its simplicity. This is a film that is meant to make you contemplate
your life, release yourself from the pain that has been holding you back and expose you to the healing power of forgiveness. This is a film that will stay with you for a long, long time. Give it a chance; it may
even change your life.
Verdict: A Must-Watch!