Why marriage is not for Hansal Mehta…

FPJ BureauUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2019, 05:55 PM IST
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Hansal Mehta, whose compelling ALIGARH is the word on every cineaste’s lip these days, reveals that moving on from SHAHID (2012) and CITYLIGHT (2014), his films have improved because he has gone beyond the considerations of success and failure. He claims that he has accepted the cycle of life, even naming his production company Karma. What matters to him is to be able to tell his kind of stories. And ALIGARH falls squarely in that category.

The film tells the poignant tale of Marathi professor Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, whose homosexual relationship with a rickshaw-puller was snooped upon, with the resultant infamy allegedly driving him to suicide. Making several pertinent points here, Mehta points out that homosexuality was the professor’s personal choice – the larger issue was the invasion of privacy. He believes that institutions have no right to make a public spectacle of a person’s private choices and be judgmental about it. Two adults having consensual relations in privacy is no outsider’s business, he points out.

Apparently the filmmaker has received umpteen calls from people who have called to say that ALIGARH mirrored their own real life story, while all mentioned that homosexuality had been dealt with in a manner that was dignified. Talk about the kiss between Manoj Bajpayee’s Dr. Siras and the rickshaw-puller and Hansal clarifies that the kiss has been done beautifully and with subtlety. What’s more, it’s part of the script and is not meant to titillate.

Ever the iconoclast himself, Mehta’s life is a reflection of his radical and unconventional beliefs. For instance, he has eschewed the institution of marriage, terming it redundant. Father to two little girls with partner, Safeena, he maintains that after having children it’s silly to get married! He believes that he and his partner are together because of love and not a certificate. He had tied the knot when he was in his twenties, to Sunita but the marriage didn’t last and his ex-wife passed away a few months ago. Clearly a man who dares to go by his convictions in both the real and reel world!

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