Yes I know I know, being a crusader of so called peace in the wake of war and political mayhem..I know that bird quite well...but may be not too well...then a few of its clan members..turned the peace of my house(though sometimes even that gives me the eerie feeling of gas chambers), into a hellish cacophony and a smelling pit. the story can come later of course..but the prelude is equally important...for I have to tell you the ways in which I tried to think better of these Gaelic brutes and infidel peace keepers.
One of a related books or rather a title that could keep me thinking of not plotting heinous means of capturing or killing the noisy deep throat multitude was the breath taking-FLIGHT OF THE PIGEONS-written by Ruskin Bond. many of my readers might not have read the book, but might have chanced to see the movie-"Junoon"-a famous scene- A blood smeared face of Sashi kapoor, pleads to see the face of his muse.
Any war or revolution or events like that give birth to lot of stories.This is one such story based around the period of Revolt of 1857 inINDIA.
This one is different among most of Ruskin Bond’s books, though I have not yet read all of his work. Most of his storiesare either based on his own life’s experiences, involve nature in oneway or the other, and are concerned mostly with normal people andtheir normal lives and thats what makes them very realistic. This one is like a chapter from the history of our country, INDIA.
STORY:The story starts with the capture of Shahjahanpur, a small town villagein U. P., from english army by Indian Freedom fighters. With that
startskilling and looting of english people settled over there with burningout their houses and capturing and imprisioning of their women, ifthere were any. Ruth, her mother (Mariam) and rest of her family , allwomen, were one such group. First they take refugee in the house LalaRamjimal, a friend of her father, but soon people around find out thatthere is group of english women’s hiding in his house. Then a Pathannamed Javed Khan, one of the man of then Nawab of that area, takes themto his house. He puts the proposal of marrying Ruth before her mother,though he can have her forcibly, but he wants to do so with the will ofthe girl. Well, its hard to know he loves her not, but surely he likeher very much and is kaayal of her beauty. Mariam being acaptive under Javed didnt have much options but somehow manages ot saveher daughter for the Pathan using one excuse or th other. In thebackdrop of this story the events of the Revolt of 1857 is presentedbeautifully in bits and pieces. Finally story ends with english armyonce again taking over the city almost after an year in 1858.
a bit about the movie:-
'A flight of Pigeons'.-the story byRuskin Bond was transformed into Junoon by Shyam Benegal. Produced byShashi Kapoor, the film was set against the backdrop of unrest of 1857in the country. Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Jennifer (Kendal) Kapoor,Naseeruddin Shah starred in the film. Nafisa Ali (then a nationalswimming champion) was introduced in this film. Vanraj Bhatia scoredthe music for the film. "Ishq Ne Todi, Sar Pe Qayamat..." sung by Mohd.Rafi and "Ghir Aayee Kaari Ghata Matwaari......" sung by Preeti Sagarbecame popular hits. "Khusro Rain Piya Ki Jaagi Pee Ke Sang...." aqawwali sung by Jamil Ahmad was also a highlight of the film. Made in1978, Junoon went on to bag the National Awards for the Best Film, BestCinematography (Govind Nihalani) and Best Audiography (Hitendra Ghosh)in 1979. A year later it captured eight Filmfare Awards for Best Film,Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Recording (audiography)Best Dialogues (Pandit Satyadev Dubey), Best Editing (BhanudasDiwakar), Best Supporting Actor (Naseerudin Shah) and Best SupportingActress (Jennifer Kendal Kapoor).