Mammo (1994) Movie Script

"I never could cross ..."
"... the distance ...
... of streets
"A thousand times ..."
"... | hesitated
"Only to re-start again
"Who knows the earth...
"...of one's land?
"l walked with dirt
in my eyes..."
"... and a cloud of dust
over my heart
"Rizoo, you're up very
early today, son?"
Some tea?
We'll have it together
at the table.
"What were you writing,
early morning?
Where would Mammo Nani be?
Who knows if she is alive?
| pray for her every day.
May she be well.
How come you thought of
her all of a sudden?
| dreamt of her last night.
Poor thing.
She was never a burden
on anyone.
I wish ...
We had done more to keep
her with us.
When Ahmedbhai died...
.... there was no-one to care
for her in this entire world.
So many letters from her!
I never replied to even one.
Where is there place
in such small flats.
My silence must have wounded
her very deeply.
Do you still have
those letters?
Can | see them?
Just a moment.
Since Ahmedbhai died | have
no-one to call my own.
| am totally alone.
I wish to come to you.
"Rest assured,
I won't bother you.
1 will cook for you.
Sweep and swab for you.
Take care of your grand-son.
Please send for me.
"What are you staring at,
Pick up the luggage.
Go on!
"You are Riyaz, ye ?"
How you've grown!
"God be praised,
just like your mother!
May she rest in peace.
The same innocent
face she had.
"When | came last,
you were that small.
You played on my lap.
I've cleaned your bottom.
| don't remember.
- Listen to that.
Forgotten your Mammo Nani.
I've grown fatter.
- like a cow !
But our Fejji must
be the same.
Slim and fit.
Where is your granny?
In the kitchen?
"Who is it, Rizoo?
- Granny, some-one's come
"Some-one ? It's me, Mammo!
You could've sent a telegram.
At least a letter.
What's the use.
| wrote many letters and
got no reply
You were worried I'd take
over your house.
"Fejji, how much does a
poor old woman need?
A corner somewhere.
"Rizoo, get some sherbet
for your Mammo Nani.
No sherbet-verbet.
What | need is a hot bath.
My clothes are filthy
from the journey.
"Rizoo, go fill a bucket
with hot water.
He's quite forgotten me.
Doesn't recognise me
or even greet me.
"Rizoo, you didn't wish
your Mammo Nani.
Live long !Be happy!
May God guide you.
| used to worry how you'd cope
with your orphaned grand-son.
Tell us about you.
It's a long story.
- What happened?
| never went to see those
dreadful people again.
Tell me all the same.
You'll hear it all.
What's the hurry.
"We have our lives ahead of us.
The water ready, son?
I'll make the tea.
How will | open this
on my own ?
Come here quickly
Open this.
"So, you've forgotten me ..."
.... but I have not...
.... | often thought of you
over there.
Do you know where | was
all these years ?
"Very far from here.
- Yes, in Pakistan.
Your grand-uncle took
me there.
He broke my ties
with my dear ones.
"But, see, I'm back.
"To be with you,
"Granny, how long will she stay?
- Why?"
She says she will stay
here forever.
"What can | do, son.
Throw her out?
Poor thing has no-one
but us.
No-one even to bury her.
You have no regard for others.
Listen. From tonight Mammo Nani
will sleep in your room.
My room?
"Just you see, I'll fail
in my exams.
She'll not let me study
yakking all the time.
She'll chew my brains.
- She is my sister.
She's come to stay
and she will stay.
Do you want me to top
the class?
Or remain a doffer.
What is it you want?
Quiet - she'll hear you.
What are you doing there?
Won't you have some tea?
"So, tell me what happened?
What shall | say?
They treated me like a dog.
But you always said Ahmedbhai
treated you so well.
The day he passed away
everything changed.
He married me against
his family's wishes.
Not having children
was excuse enough.
My sister-in-law turned
me into a servant.
"Come now,
you always exaggerate.
Why would | lie to you?
How they tortured me.
One day | was hanging out
the wash ...
They flung a big stone at me.
Hit me right on my temple.
See. It left a scar.
Why didn't you write?
What could you have done ?
| went straight
to the police.
They just laughed and said ...
.... family quarrels should be
settled at home!
They were all against me.
"Riyaz, your tea
is getting cold.
| fled from there.
And went to a mosque
close by and stayed there.
Every day I'd do the rounds
of the Indian Consulate.
Finally | managed
a three month Visa.
And came directly to you.
Why are you both
looking so glum?
"I'm not dead, am 1?
I'm alive and kicking."
"Fejji, smile!"
Why are you making a face?
This is time for fun.
Why must | laugh?
I'm not in the mood.
You remember our neighbour?
- Yes. Mushtaque.
"Fejji, this old photo?
When did you get it framed?
How lovely we three looked?
What days they were!
- See Anwari's hair style.
"Rizoo, reduce the volume.
My fish need music
to digest their food.
Have you told Anwari?
- No.
When | reached Delhi station
| wanted to meet Anwari.
But that husband of hers ...
.... he would have slammed
the door on me.
What news of that cobbler?
By God's grace
he is doing well.
Exporting goods as
far as America.
"Only shoes!
A cobbler, after all.
So what if he's a millionaire.
"Mammo, you still chew paan
just as much as you used to.
Shall | make you one?
- Less lime and no tobacco.
I know!
Tobacco is bad
for your health.
My husband got me
into the habit.
Now he's gone
bless his soul.
It's an expensive habit.
- Difficult to get in Pakistan.
While he was alive
| was never in need.
Say what you like
he was a good man.
Do they still show Indian
films in Pakistan?
No - that's the one thing
I hankered for.
Our films don't get there
but they make their own.
But not like the old days.
- Not at all!
"Noor Jehan, Dilip Kumar!
There's a new singer there.
- Igbal Banu.
Wonderful voice.
Qateel Shifai's lyrics.
- Excellent.
Don't you want to sleep?
If you talk all night
how will | sleep?
I have school tomorrow.
- Put out the lights.
"Good night, Rizoo."
"God, you are benevolent.
You are merciful.
You pardon all our sins.
"Lord, may my late husband's
soul rest in peace.
"God, please punish
those wicked people.
Who tormented me and
rendered me homeless.
"God, you are Kindness itself.
| thank you a
million times over ...
for bringing me together
with my sister and family.
"Take pity on my Fayazi,
Riyaz and on my sorrows.
Protect them from misfortune
and safeguard me.
"Give my Riyaz prosperity,
wealth and fame.
"Make him a doctor, an engineer
or a government official.
Come and see
what she has done.
She has spread her clothes
all over the balcony.
Even on my fish tank.
"Son, must you complain
first thing in the morning.
Everyone has to adjust.
- Adjust! Adjust!
First she has
taken over my bed.
If | don't study now
will I not fail?
I'm fed up with your
endless chattering.
You only think of yourself?
One day | will leave
everything and go away.
Where will you go?
- Wherever | get some peace.
"Granny, where's my lunch box?"
"Son, eat in the canteen today.
- Why?"
"I've not cooked - Mammo
Nani's here, that's why.
Wait - I'll make another
toast for you.
I'll miss my bus.
- Just wait.
Who'll go with me to the
police registration office?
"Rizoo will.
Accompany Mammo Nani, son.
Today is physics.
How can | miss that
Why don't you go along?
- You gone mad ?
Go alone to the police?
"Slow down, please.
Why make me run?
"Lord, what a city.
Such filth as well.
"Had you seen Lahore!
Such wide roads, bungalows ...
Green trees.
Imported cars going zip-zip.
If its so wonderful
why did you come here?
It's all that but there's
nothing like one's own country.
It was your own wish.
You get to be older
and you'll understand...
that the scent of ones own
country is something wonderful.
This is the Visa office.
Your name?
Mehmooda Begum Ahmed Ali.
Go and meet the officer.
Sit there.
Here for the first time?
From where?
I am from Lahore.
"No, I'm from Hyderabad Sindh.
- You must have relatives here?"
| am staying with my sister.
This is my grandson.
May god protect him.
He's a capable child.
He studies in an
English school.
His mother died
when he was a baby.
She died in a road accident.
These bus drivers...
- Silence! This is no public garden.
It's a government office.
Sit quietly.
Go you've been called.
"Greetings, officer saheb.
That's my name.
How are you?
How long are you
staying in Bombay?
You see | am staying
with my sister.
"This is my grandson,
my sister Fayazis grandson.
Wish the officer!
His granny is very ill.
1 will need to stay at
least three months.
They all say the same things.
Live long - be happy
May your children prosper.
How many children do you have?
- Three
May they all become police
officers like their father.
All three are daughters.
-And so ?
Girls are more caring than boys.
Isn't that so?
Forgive me for taking up
your valuable time.
Where are you going?
- To reach the boy to school.
But what's the location?
- St Aloysius Academy.
And where do you live?
- Zilla Sultanpur.
| could tell from your
accent that you're from UP.
I am from Panipat.
It used to be in Punjab
and now is in Haryana.
Have you land in Sultanpur?
- A small one.
It's been divided
many times over.
How was your crop this year?
Did it rain or not?
There were floods
the crop was ruined.
Your wife and children?
Are they with you?
They are in the village
with my mother.
Someone has to take care
of family elders.
That is true.
How much do you
earn per day?
On a good day
some fifty-sixty rupees.
How much can you send
back home on that?
Stop here.
"Is it here, your school?
Your school is impressive!
Are these your friends?
- Call them.
It'll get late.
Why so late ?
You missed the first period.
No matter.
- Who was that?
How should | know?
She offered me a lift
and | took it.
Strange looking lady.
- Is she your governess?
"Very bad, taking lifts
from governess.
Who is she then?
- A relative of granny's.
Why not say so ? Idiot.
One of your close relatives?
Don't go by her looks.
She's a very rich lady.
Comes every year to
experience the monsoon.
She watches the rain from
her car on Marine Drive.
She has over 100 cars.
She's forever traveling.
"London, Paris, Tokyo,
Then why was she in a taxi?
Her Mercedes went for servicing.
"New model, with an A.C.
And she owns that taxi.
She owns more than 20 taxis.
Don't bluff.
Never seen her before.
I've got an idea.
Let's bunk after lunch.
And go to a matinee.
- You two go.
Kazi is going to
revise 1857 today.
"Rohan, are you coming?
Its the last day for "Psycho.
That's for Adults.
Haven't you seen
A films before?
Forget it.
We have to do 1857.
You can't forego the first
freedom war for Hitch cock?
Call yourself a film buff?
We'll go.
Lucky - we've got tickets.
Wait on the side.
Where are you two going?
- We have tickets.
This picture is not for children.
- We are not children.
Trying to be clever?
Shall | call the police?
Go from here!
You're back early today?
| came to keep the bag.
We have sports practice.
I have to go back.
Did you eat something?
"Nani, can | have some money?"
How much?
- Twenty or Twenty five.
I don't have that much. I'll get it
tomorrow from the bank.
I have it.
Why should you?
Spoiling the child.
You're too much!
I'm living at your place ...
Eating my fill here
| can't give this much?
You two aren't going out?
- Why'?
| just asked.
You're a genius
- Mammo Nani has her uses.
You took Mammo's burkha?
You gave him your burkha.
- No.
You took it for something?
Yes. We rehearsed
a school play.
You said you had
sports practice.
The rehearsal came later.
So you like acting?
Our Zubeida too loved acting.
She wanted to be a heroine.
Your grandpa was
a studio manager.
He took me one day to
Shantaram filming.
What an eye Shantaram had.
Seeing Zubeida he said.
You will have a heroine's
role in my film.
"What was that film's name?
"Suraag or "Suhaag"?"
Girls from good families
don't act in films.
That's why she was married
off early.
She was not yet sixteen.
That's why your grandma
married her to that scoundrel.
You'd do the same
were she your daughter.
I'd never do that.
To harm the young for
one's own needs is a sin...
Stop it. What | did
was right.
What was right about it?
You pushed your daughter
into a dark well.
"Uncaringly, you married her
to that useless fellow.
"Riyaz, such things are not
for you to hear.
Change your clothes.
You sleep in your room today.
1 will sleep here.
Don't talk that way of
his father in front of him.
Don't talk what way?
As if you've told me
everything about my father.
What is there to tell?
He married your mother.
Two years later they both
died in a car accident.
You've said he's dead?
How will you know what I've
gone through to raise him.
How long can you hide
the truth?
"Tease not my heart
"0, my dearest
What's burning?
"Smoking, are you?"
You'll burn your hand.
Give it to me.
"Why do you have these fish?
Set them free, son.
Go and throw them in the sea.
The bigger fish will eat them.
Do you know fish in tanks
live longer?
You call it living
being in a prison?
"What was the play for which
you took my "burkha"?"
"The Old Maid of Panipat
- These days there are plays like.
"The Thug Of Delhi".
"The Dandy of Banaras
Who wrote it?
No. Our teacher.
The librarian.
That's commendable.
What is its plot?
- Plot?
The story.
- What happens is ...
... a man runs a guest-house
with his mother ...
. known as the
"Haunted Mansion."
Because whoever goes
to stay there disappears!
One day a girl goes
to stay there.
She comes to know there's
something strange going on.
And so her life
is in danger.
She realizes that the man
is the murderer.
"Later, he buries the bodies
in his mansion.
And his mother was
actually dead.
He keeps her body
in a chair.
With whom he talks.
God protect us.
What kind of story is this?
And your school authorities
have it performed by kids?
What kind of school is this?
1 will talk to your head
master tomorrow.
He never meets people.
His father too will meet me.
I'll tell him straight.
"I'll also say that from
now on, no plays for you.
I'll give it up myself.
But please don't go to my school.
What use just giving up
acting in plays?
Your school should not be
staging such plays at all.
"I'll accompany you tomorrow,
no matter what.
There is no such play!
I made it all up just now.
Made it up?
I went with Rohan to
to see an A movie.
Wearing your burkha.
It's the story of that film.
Our boy is growing up.
Sees movies secretly
he should not be seeing.
Smokes cigarettes
which he should not be doing.
"What else do you do, Rizoo?"
- Not asleep yet.
I'm reading my prayers.
You won't tell Nani
will you?
"Allah, our Lord,
You are the Merciful.
"Protect us, grant us wealth,
respect and fame.
Why are you offering
prayers here?
Where else can 1?
In the balcony ?
No. If you should fail
it will be on my head.
You should stand first.
Become a doctor or...
.... an engineer.
- No.
1 will write books.
Be a writer.
What will you live on then?
Sees movies all the time
with that useless Rohan.
Never listens to me.
- Let him become a writer!
Don't encourage him.
- How am | doing that?
Let him do
what he wants to.
Why do you two
fight all the time?
Who's fighting?
Where's that Shantabai?
She always arrives on Sundays
when the water taps dry up.
What is there to wash up?
I'll do it.
What can you manage?
Sit and chew your paan.
Started again?
1 want to help with the housework.
She won't let me.
"I want to contribute to the
expenses, she won't have it.
By selling your jewelry ?
No need.
I am not that destitute.
| can teach girls
the Quran.
As | did when | stayed
at the Lahore mosque.
Who'll learn from you?
Let it be.
God has given me enough
to care for three people.
"Shantabai, what happened?
Nothing. I fell.
- And that causes these bruises.
Your husband must
have beaten you.
Why can't you spit on him
and leave.
Where will | go?
My fate is such...
Will you keep wailing
or do some work?
Hurry - the water will stop.
Why do you want to be
familiar with servants.
"Granny, Anwari Nani is
calling from Delhi.
How are you?
And the children?
Mammo is here.
Talk to her.
How are you?
With God's grace
I am alive.
How long will you stay?
Where will she stay? Ask.
- Will you stay with us?
"Okay, convey my greetings too.
The line is cut.
What did she say?
When is she coming?
The Twenty fifth.
There is a meeting at Sabir's.
They'll stay
at the South End.
This time raise the issue
of our house.
No use. What can she do.
It's all in Sabir's hands.
What's this ?
Anwari is our sister.
We have our rights
along with her.
She is not the same Anwari.
See the cobbler's style!
She'll hear.
This is it.
"Talk of the money, Fejji.
- We'll see.
The opportunity should arise.
They're here.
Talk properly before them.
Don't get carried away.
- Okay.
Comb your hair properly.
Come in.
How tall you've grown.
My eyes were yearning
to see you.
| was sorry to hear
about Ahmedbhai.
Please be seated.
How are you?
- Fine. God's grace
Why are you standing there?
Come here.
- Come sit by me.
How are you?
What have you done to your hair?
- I've applied henna.
It's only applied after Haj.
"Is your time up, then?
- Really, that's enough.
| thought you were
hiding your age.
If 1 didn't look young
he'll get another right away.
Where will one find
a good looker like you?
You didn't bring
the children?
They're not children anymore.
Each one is now independent.
Salma is about to deliver.
Haroon is studying in America.
And to be married on
the night of Id.
What class are you in?
- Ninth.
He comes first every year.
"What will you study in
college, science or commerce.
1 will write books
be an author.
How will that help you?
It won't fill your belly.
It's fine as a hobby.
At one time | recited verse too.
The wetness of tears
makes the ground a field.
The baptism of fire
makes gold into a jewel.
"Tea, coffee, cold drink?
Shall | order pastries?
A cup of tea will do.
Let's go home.
We'll eat together.
I've made Pasande.
- Some other time.
What will you have?
"Shame on you,
Giving alcohol to a child?
Beer is not alcohol. | used
to drink beer with his father.
Stop all that.
I'll place the order.
And some pastries
"So stylish, our Anwari.
Since when did you
start this pot-tea?
Don't tease. We are meeting
after so many years.
"Mammo Baiji,
how long are you here ?"
As long as God
and my Visa permits.
| almost forgot.
Where are the keys?
The suitcase is open.
What do you read?
Khalil Gibran.
"Mammo Baiji, for you.
"This tape-recorder,
for you.
Anwari you've gone mad.
I'll wear silk at my age?
Why can't you wear?
"What need for all this,
You must not give children
such expensive gifts.
There's no-one greater
than children.
"Fejji, you were to ask
Anwari about something.
- She's just talking nonsense.
Nonsense ?
You were going to ask ...
What happened to
the Panipat house ?
What a house that was.
The likes of it
do not exist today.
Nothing's left now.
It's an ice factory now.
That's true.
What about our money?
Fayazi and | also
have a share in it.
You'd get your share had
your father not left debts.
He died leaving debts
amounting to thousands.
Selling the mansion
did not cover it.
"l paid 22,000 from
my pocket towards it.
I have explained everything.
- And she swallowed all of it.
God forbid that I'd steal
from my own sisters.
"That too, after Haj?
- | said earlier do not ask.
"Anyway, you're lying.
Do I not know you ? Since
childhood you've been ...
".... a lying, selfish,
and confirmed thief.
Your husband Sabir
is two steps ahead of you.
Quiet ! You're just a child.
These rich folk are all devils.
They ate away our inheritance.
| was in Pakistan and my
stupid sister kept dumb.
But I'll not keep quiet.
Don't | know where
our share went?
This witch gave it to this cobbler
for his shoe factory.
"Anwari, our share is
over 100,000."
Give it in god's name
the plague will hit you.
She's gone crazy ...
Can't face decent people.
"Riyaz, take this mad
old woman away."
It's you who is mad.
Forget my share if you will
but give Fejji hers.
She has starved in order
to raise him.
Why ? His father does not
provide for his food?
Don't you know?
My father's dead...
Dead ? Who said so?
He's well and alive.
Enjoying life with his second wife
It's a lie.
"Granny, Didn't mother and
father die in an accident?
Making us the liars?
- You are all liars!
You are all liars!
You're just a child.
Don't behave this way.
This is between us sisters.
Why do you interfere.
"Liars, all of you. | don't
want to see your faces ever.
"I hate you all.
- Riyaz, take your gift.
The tape recorder.
- | don't want anything.
Don't be so anxious.
He'll return.
| am scared.
He may do anything.
Had you told him earlier
this may not have happened.
What could | tell him?
Zubeida was still warm
in her grave ...
.... and his father remarried.
Abandoning his month-old son
to my care.
Hiding the truth during
his childhood was okay.
"But now he's older, aware.
He'd understand.
You saw how he reacted?
But how will you understand?
"Had you children, you would.
"God, please bring back Rizoo.
Should | phone the police?
"No, no. God knows
where my Rizoo is.
Return home!
Why are you here
so late at night?
Go home.
Go and sleep.
Where did you go ?
We were so worried.
What do you care
if I live or die?
Have you eaten?
You must be hungry.
| don't want to eat.
I won't talk to you.
Go and sleep.
All should be well by morning.
"l said, | won't eat.
"Eat, son. You haven't had
anything since morning.
Even your anger
must be hungry.
Fejji too hasn't had a
She's been crying
since the morning.
I'd have sorted you out
with two slaps.
Why did she lie?
Why didn't she
tell me about Father?
"So she didn't. But think, why.
Because of you.
That a small child
should not be hurt.
I know all that.
I'm no child.
I know everything.
Granny hates my dad.
That's why she said
he was dead.
But why should she hate him?
What did he do?
Ask your granny that.
She lies so
what can she say.
1 will never forgive her
Not even when I die.
What are you babbling ?
All this talk of death.
I'd like to write to my dad
to say | want to meet him.
| want his address.
-1 don't know about that.
If you want the address
ask Granny yourself.
You know that I'm not
talking to her.
"You ask her and tell me.
- Okay, I'll ask her.
You will write but what
will he do with you?
That's my business.
"Okay, what do | have
to do with it.
You're grown up now.
Do as you wish.
Not smoking today?
- No.
Don't if you like
but I'd like to.
You'll smoke?
Light it.
"Have you smoked before?
- In secret, like you.
Your grandpa thought servants
were stealing his cigarettes.
He smoked with great style.
Let's begin.
What are you doing?
- I'm making Rizoo's breakfast.
You rest for today.
He won't eat food
cooked by someone else.
Let him taste
what | prepare.
He'll be licking
his fingers.
Ahmedbhai invited special
friends for my biryani.
You aren't dressed for school?
"Mammo Nani, tell her.
I'm not talking to her
nor will I go to school.
Then what will you do?
"What's that to her?
Mammo Nani, tell her.
You mustn't talk like that
If you don't study ...
.... then who will take of
two old women like us?
Who else do
we have but you?
1 won't go to school.
"Mammo, make him understand
or I'll throw him out.
That's fine. I'm going.
Where are you going ?
Stop this insane boy.
Or he may do something.
Then how will I face Zubeida
on judgment day?
I've no intention to die-
I'm going to the terrace.
"Mammo Nani, send my
breakfast there.
"Where will he go - after all,
he's that rogue's offspring.
Why think of abuses now ?
Had you only told him.
Take rest for one day.
Rest. That is not
written in my fate.
Are you angry even with me?
- Do | have that right?
What is the matter?
You think | should have
told him about his father.
I have loved him more
than a mother or father.
Did | say that he didn't?
- You didn't?
That ingrate never turned
his head ...
to see if his son was
dead or alive.
I have raised him
with great difficulty.
Now he won't even talk
to me - look at him!
And you are making my
wounds hurt more.
How am | doing that?
- What else ?
Instead of curbing him
you bait him further?
| understand that you have
given your life to him.
I don't need your certificate.
The egg has burned!
Move away.
You are so unpredictable.
Hot and bothered one moment
and cool the next!
Want to butter something then
do that to the toast. Not to me.
There you are.
Are you feeling okay?
You've bunked school
for ten days.
Don't want to top again?
- I'm sick of school. Maybe ...
.... | should take up a job.
- You're great.
Don't you know even a peon
has to pass his Metric.
"So, you'll polish
shoes at VT Station?
What's wrong with that?
I know why you talk this way.
You've found out
about your dad.
Who told you that?
- Mammo Nani.
How dare she ? She has
no right to interfere.
She sent you?
- I'm only trying to help.
I don't need your bloody help.
Leave me alone. Go away.
"Mammo Nani, tell her
to stop this noise.
My fish will go crazy.
If only your fish could
teach you some sense like Jenas.
"Riyaz, are you deaf?
Answer the phone.
Why aren't you answering?
Rohan ? Have you no work?
You just left from here.
"What's it?
-I'm sorry,..."
whatever happened was not right.
You're a strange one
don't tell anyone anything?
I am what | am.
You know me.
"Anyway, I'm sorry.
| shouted at you."
What happened at school?
- Too bad you bunked.
We did the Lady Macbeth
speech today.
I've learnt that already.
What else?
What are you doing?
Reading Khalil Gibran.
- Never heard of him.
Because you're an ass.
He's a poet.
He's a super poet
from Lebanon.
Want to hear a poem?
Life is an island
In an ocean of loneliness.
An Island
whose rocks are hopes.
Its trees are dreams.
Whose flowers are subtle.
"And whose brook, a thirst.
I am a stranger
In this world.
And there is no-one
In the universe.
Who understands
the language | speak.
What's great about it?
-1 know it's way above you.
Is Mommo Nani at home?
They're both here.
| can't speak now.
What were you
reciting on the phone.
Why were you listening?
| too love Urdu verse
specially Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
Last night your last memory
filled my heart.
Like the spring's calm
advent in the wilderness.
The next one is even better.
Like soft desert footfalls.
As rest comes without cause
to a sick man.
Who is the poet?
- Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
Do you remember more?
- A great deal.
"Recite then.
- Speak, for your lips are free.
"Speak, your tongue is
still your.
Your upright body is yours.
"Speak, your life is
still yours.
I'm slogging to death
in the kitchen.
And here poetry
is being recited.
Where are you going?
Don't want to eat ?
Tell her I'll eat when | want to.
- Eat quietly. Go on.
You are not to read at the table.
How often have | told you?
Tell her.
I'll do as | please.
That's enough!
Any more nonsense and
you'll get a slap from me.
Why does she insist
that | read?
When | want to read
I am told not to.
You've scored over me even
in Geography - my subject.
Did you make up
to the teachers?
You never studied and yet
you've got good marks.
Show your card.
- Pass marks only.
Makes no difference.
My dad will give me the camera.
He promised.
My dad will give me a book
his idea of fun.
Well done. You have lived
up to all my expectations.
1 am very proud of you.
Where would you like to go ?
"London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo."
"Rizoo, a letter for you.
It's on the table.
Read it later.
First tell me your results.
They're okay.
- That's good.
"Dear Riyaz, received your letter.
Reading it | was puzzled.
Your Nani detests me.
How did she let you write to me.
I have learnt to forget that
| have a son called Riyaz.
After so many years | do
not want to establish ties.
"l enclose a Demand
Draft for Rs. 1,000.
This is why you must have
contacted me after so long.
After this don't think
1 will give you anything.
Nor should you take
the trouble to write.
Your Mehboob Alam.
- What's this?
Got your results?
Why are you crying?
"May God keep you,
bless you.
See here?
- Thank you Nani.
Children ... This is a Prayer
bestowed in Mecca.
"In the name of God, the
Beneficent, the Mercif.
You alone we worship.
You alone we ask for help.
How was the film?
- Good. | had seen it earlier
What's going on?
Since Mammo Nani has come
something's going on.
Can't you see that children
are learning the Quran?
"You join as well, son.
- No, | have lots to do.
Like watching movies
or loafing with friends.
That's how you'll waste
your holidays.
Come and sit.
- After the holidays.
Have some shame.
These Kids fast 30 days.
"You don't pray, read the
Quran, nothing.
"Sit down, now.
I've been at him for ages
to study the Quran.
See how Mammo has made
him obey all in one go.
What's your name?
- Farzana
Will you explain ...
| begin in the name of God
Who is all Merciful.
The lesson ends here.
Now you may all go home.
God be with you.
Looks as if Shantabai
is not coming yet again.
She takes off at least
two/three days every week.
She knows Ramzan is on.
Let me help.
-Let it be.
Or you'll say that | was
worse than your sister-in-laws.
Don't say that even as a joke.
Slaving away is my destiny.
Some become heroes
others are slaves.
What use are
your complaints?
Shall | call Shantabai?
Where does she lives?
"In the hutmets behind us.
- Rizoo, come
Look at the stones.
What a fine car you have!
What a stink!
Seems that the biggest loo
in the world is here.
Where ever is her place?
Have you forgotten
where it is?
How long will you lead me.
- It's there.
It's this one?
Look at you?
That man must have
beaten you again.
"Why didn't you tell us
- I'll come to work, promise.
Tell madam to cut two
days pay.
What can | do.
Tell me where that
scoundrel is.
| don't know.
- Don't lie to me.
Tell me where to find him.
He must be somewhere.
You go. I'll come tomorrow.
1 will speak to your man
in no uncertain terms.
Take me to him.
- What are you doing?
You don't know the kind
of people they are here.
Let it be- he'll beat
me even more.
I'll see how he beats you.
He's sitting there.
- That guy?
You are Shantabai's husband?
Call yourself a man?
"Drink away a woman's pay?
Beat her, on top of that.
"Old woman, what's this racket?
Is he a relative?
He's my son.
I've come to take him. Come.
Why should 1?
- Get up or else.
Have you gone crazy?
Have you no shame?
Serving poison to everyone.
How will you face
your Maker?
Why did you beat me?
Look at her? What you
have reduced her to?
How dare you beat her?
- Ask for her forgiveness.
Swear you won't
strike her again.
| swear. Please
forgive me.
If you raise your hand
on her again I'll finish you off.
Come along.
Not a word to Fejji.
Just say that ...
Shantabai will come to
work from tomorrow.
Are you scared of Nani?
Not at all. She gets upset
at every little thing.
All she knows is to worry
Don't we all need to worry
about children.
She wants the best for you.
Then why won't she let me
be a writer?
What do you want
to write about?
- What kind?
About what | see around me.
- The way that Manto writes.
He did the same?
He wrote about what
he observed.
That's what | want to do.
| want to experience a
great deal in life ...
... and write about them.
There are many things
in life ...
... that it is better not
to experience.
Like what?
- Like experiencing hell.
You've seen hell?
With these very eyes.
May God help me to
never witness it again.
Ahmedsaheb (God bless
his soul) and I ...
.... left everything in the
dead of night ...
.... carrying only what we had
in our pockets and hands ...
... and journeyed
towards Pakistan.
"Along with other refugees,
we were taken in trucks ...
".... to the border...
from there, we walked.
What bad times they were.
Suffering. Fire.
Blood. Looting.
Screams of the dying.
There were around 500 of us.
While we were crossing
over from this side ...
.... just as many were coming
across from the other
"From this side,
the people were Muslims.
"From that side,
Hindus and Sikhs."
But both sides went
through the same trauma.
"Abandoning their homes,
property, loved ones.
There was a woman
walking along with me.
She had two small children.
One died while in her arms.
Where was the time
for any burial.
When we came to a river
people told her to ...
.... dispose of the dead body
in its waters.
The poor woman
was not in her senses.
She threw the live baby
into the river.
And held the dead child
strapped to her breast.
"Her worn and weary eyes
are still before me,..."
.... and her shriek ...
... all this ...
.... YOu saw with your
own eyes?
And much more.
1 will write about
all of this.
Who will read it?
No-one wants to cry over sorrow.
This is what Life is.
Life is ahead of you.
There is much more to life
either than sorrow.
What did Ghalib write ...
When man is so
filled with sorrow.
Then sorrows ease away.
| was so burdened with misery.
That Life became easy to bear.
Whatever you write ...
.... let it be from
from the heart.
This new film is
about the Partition.
Shall | get three
tickets for tomorrow?
Will Fejji come?
- It's a serious film.
About Life?
"Mother, here is
our old house.
If at this time you
talk of leaving India...
don't interrupt
when adults are talking.
| just wanted to know what
will happen to my education.
It looks as if they've
filmed my life.
Remember our neighbour
Khan Saheb house in Panipat?
His house was just like
this one.
Don't disturb others.
May people never be
so forsaken again.
These memories refuse
to leave me.
While he and |
were together ...
.... we shared such good times.
But the day he died ...
... and looked at me
for the last time ...
.... his eyes seeking pardon
for leaving me alone...
.... his brother refused to
spend a pie on his burial...
"They said, "Barren witch,
you devoured your husband.
"And are now bent on
devouring us".
How long could |
take their treatment?
I had to leave.
- Why torture yourself.
It had to be so.
"A letter, Nani.
Who is it from ?
- Anwari Aunty.
Did | not say ...
she was cheating us.
| persisted that day
that's why shes sent it.
"Rizoo, put it in Fixed
Deposits tomorrow.
Have you gone mad?
"We each should get 50,000.
Send the cheques back ..."
... saying they can pay for
Sabir's funeral.
Will you fight on
till you die?
"Tell us, does your cheque
go in the bank or not.
What will | do with it
in the bank?
I have to buy many
household things.
And there's Idd on soon.
- You have all you need here.
We will manage
as we have done.
Why do you worry?
Just extend your Visa.
Don't be anxious.
That man there is a good man.
What was his name?
- Inspector Apte.
"Why do you need an extension?
-lam very ill, sir.
You don't look ill.
What can | say?
I have trouble breathing.
| feel suffocated.
My heart too is not okay.
Tell him.
The doctor has said
that she mustn't travel.
I hear this all the time.
Can't find a new excuse?
How long will it take
for you to get well?
Extend the Visa
by three months.
I can't give
you more than 25 days.
It is all in your hands.
May your children prosper.
How are your three girls ?
How do you know about them?
- You've forgotten so soon?
You told me the last time.
25 days and not
one day more.
And get the Doctor's Certificate.
- Of course.
"May God give you a long
life. The box, son?
Please take this.
- What's it?
"Sweetmeats, for the children.
| made them, with my hands.
.... in pure ghee.
Ask the peon
to distribute them.
Take this.
You look so healthy.
Who'll give the Certificate?
God will have mercy
and provide someone.
Do you need something?
- No.
"If you do, tell me. Passport,
visa, dollars, sterling, dirhams...
My name is Raju Agent.
- We don't need anything.
I'll get you a medical.
We don't need anything.
You can get me
a certificate?
"Want it today, 1,000.
Tomorrow, 500."
Next week?
- 300
Are you mad ? Who will give
so much for a slip of paper.
I'll give a hundred.
250, okay. Special rate
for you.
Hundred and no more.
Bargaining as you would
over vegetables!
"No. No more than 200
- Okay, settled at 200"
What disease do you
want ... what to write.
Old age. The disease of diseases.
- There's no such disease.
| get breathless
climbing steps.
That will do.
Shall | write asthma?
Breathe like that
in front of the doctor.
God is Great
He is Everybody's God.
You ! Cover your head or
the devil will beat you.
I'll be back.
Riyaz is out.
- Where's he ?
I don't know.
Come up for minute.
Recite loudly now.
Tomorrow is Riyaz's
fifteenth birthday.
I know.
-1 thought...
....we should give him a party
but he shouldn't know of it.
Surprise party?
- Like the idea ?
It'll be fun.
- You tell his friends...
.... to be here after Iftar
(breaking of fast).
But Rizoo should not know.
Will you do that?
I'm off.
- Wait.
May God bless you.
"Shantabai, come.
How is your husband?
He returns early now.
Drinks less too.
This is for you.
"It's the boy's
birthday, you see.
On the road give
alms to the poor.
May God guide you.
Take this.
Why should | say ?
See for yourself.
Tape recorder!
"You've become rich,
birthday boy ?"
My Granny gives money
every birthday ...
to distribute to beggars.
"Eat something?
- No, I'm fasting.
"You, fasting.
Since when have you
become a Muslim?
Mammo Nani is
very particular.
| promised her that
every birthday | will fast.
"You're a big bore.
Here, take this.
I reserved it ahead.
It's superb.
How is your story
coming along?
About Mammo Nani?
I'm revising it.
How does it go.
"Simple story. Mammo Nani
leaves her home, family ...
.... and goes away with her
husband Ahmedbhai ...
... to an unknown land.
She has no-one there.
"Ahmedbhai tells her,
"You are my Queen
He gave her gold and
wealth and said...
Do not fear. We will face
life's hurdles together.
"One day, Death claims him."
Mammo Nani has no-one
to befriend her.
So she flees to her sister.
And starts life anew.
What's the point?
Everyone returns
to their roots.
What need for all this?
What else happens
on a birthday?
Who will eat
such a big cake?
God will send people.
I'll open it.
Who called you?
"Boys, give him the
birthday bumps.
Stop ! This birthday
can't happen.
Why not?
Because | must first
recite a poem.
I have a friend
His name is Riyaz.
"Who looked like an
over-grown "piyaz" (onion).
"When he went to school
He stank of onion, the fool.
He fled his class one day
Running home all the way!
Time to eat
Don't be shy.
Granny made these.
"Shantabai, sherbet
for the children...
.... there's sweet chutney too.
Have more?
Didn't like it?
"More sherbet, Shantabai.
"Granny, who called
all of them?
Your Mammo Nani.
She did it all. Ask her.
She wanted to surprise you.
I never wanted them
to come to my place.
Don't speak that way.
They're here now.
Come and talk to them.
I won't go.
- What will they think?
And Mammo Nani?
- I won't go.
What is Rizoo doing inside?
He must be tired.
- It's late. We must go.
See how many gifts
there are for you.
Open them.
| don't want to see them.
Given with such love
and you won't open them?
What need was there
to do all this?
I've never called anyone
here except Rohan.
Today you called
all of them.
You insulted me
before by friends.
What's wrong in having
called them?
Why are you feeling
bad about it?
Because we are not
like them.
So what ?
We are what we are...
They are what they are...
Do you know what they are?
-What ?
"They have big houses.
Servants, furniture, books.
They are all so rich.
- They may be rich at home.
They had fun over here.
And where have they had such
food in their lives?
"Not in seven lives, I'm sure
they must be running me down.
Let them ?
Who cares for such hypocrites.
Why do you interfere?
Granny lets you live here
does not mean ...
".... you can do as you please.
Big deal, celebrating my birthday.
You don't like
my staying here?
That is so.
| have no privacy now.
"what | drink, eat read ..."
You won't leave me be
for even a minute.
"He is right, Mammo.
That's your habit.
Wherever you go you take charge.
Since you've come
you're after Rizoo.
You've been bossing me
since childhood.
It's not like that ...
.... | take this house
to be my own.
Is that wrong?
- This is not your house.
You are a guest here.
A guest?
A guest in my own
sister's house?
Those who don't have
their own home...
have no home at all.
1 will go now.
God bless.
She's really gone.
Bring her back.
- I won't go.
Where will she go ?
She doesnt know her way.
Look for her
on the terrace.
1 will not go.
- Then | will.
I never could cross ...
... the distances
of your streets...
A thousand times ...
I hesitated.
Only to re-start again.
Who knows the earth ...
of one's land?
| walked with dirt
in my eyes.
And a cloud of dust
over my heart.
What boundaries are these
that entangle my feet.
Again and again
| tried to reach my home in vain.
"See, Rizoo has come
to fetch his Mammo Nani.
You go. And tell everyone
Mammo is dead.
You will see my corpse
if you don't come home.
Please come home.
How content these small
fish are.
No-one can take them away
from their little home.
Why are you sitting here?
Do you permit this poor old
woman to sit in the balcony.
| treated you very badly
| was thinking only of myself
That's the difference.
Young people think
only of themselves.
"Old people, of others.
Are you afraid of old age?
Not old age.
I'm very afraid of loneliness.
Faiz put it so well.
Put out the candles...
".... remove wine,
flask and cup.
Lock up your
sleepless portals.
"Now, no one will come here.
No one any more.
Leave all this.
Let's talk of something useful.
Shall we see a film?
- Of course.
We'll take Fejji too.
What is this man doing ?
| can't understand any of it.
I'll tell you when we get home.
- All of it ?
Tell me now.
Who was that man?
Kept murdering everyone.
Such a bad film.
| went to sleep.
Murder after murder.
- It's a detective story.
With no crime what work
will the detective have?
That's the fun of it.
Who was the man whose wife
kept cooking and cooking?
He's the detective
a police officer.
| see.
Reminds me. | should meet
Apte Sahib for my Visa.
He won't do anything.
He's said so.
I'll cry before him.
- He's seen all that.
Shall we catch that agent
who got us the Certificate?
That man with goggles. Raju.
- That dark fellow.
He gave us his card.
You have it?
- Should be here.
Is this it?
Read the address.
It's in Dharavi.
Don't you dare take
Mammo Nani there.
That area is not for women.
- Should | go alone then?
Go with Rohan.
- Okay.
Do you know Raju Agent?
He lives across over there.
The man standing there?
Excuse me.
We need Mammo Nani's
Health Certificate.
Which one?
Mehmooda Begum Ahmed Ali.
dont you remember.
That stout woman
who jabbers away.
You need another?
Not possible.
The Police acts tough if
you get a second Certificate.
| don't want trouble.
Try elsewhere.
What should we do.
1 will tell you of a cheap
and permanent way out.
Who do you want?
"Raju Agent, short
and very dark.
No-one like that here.
He said to come here.
Trishna Hotel.
"~ Not Trishna Nani, Krishna Hotel.
- Krishna is across.
Let's get out fast.
Why so late?
He's been waiting for ages.
Now he's off mood.
"Hello, Inspector Apte.
Don't take his name.
Heed after much persuasion.
Thank you for coming here
to help an old woman.
Two teas.
How much longer will you stay?
- The days that remain.
This is my home-land.
| was born in Panipat.
I am here with
my loved ones.
Have | no right
to live here?
"Why tell me. Saheb knows
your problem, right?
Can't her case be closed?
She has no-one except
my Granny and myself.
It's not that simple.
This is not about two people
but two nations.
Case can't be closed.
But her papers can vanish.
Have you the goods?
- Goods?
Money. Cash.
"I have brought all
that my sister has, 5000.
"Don't mention the sum.
- Forgive me. Here's 4,800
I've run around; brought
Sir here. Something for me?
Now leave straightaway.
Don't turn to look at Sir.
Go straight.
You're all wet.
remove your shoes.
"Go bathe, son.
I'll bring fresh clothes.
"These Bombay rains are
something. On now, off again.
What happened out there ?
- God willing all will be fine.
"My clothes, quickly.
Where did you get this?
Shameless fellow!
Call this reading?
This is why | struggled
to send you to school?
- Why beat him? He's no child.
Don't dare interfere!
You're the root cause.
"You encourage him.
"Let him read.
See the results.
-1 didn't ask him to read this.
"Even so, it's a sign
that he's grown up.
It's time for him
to see women and the like.
Get him engaged.
-l won't hear your nonsense.
I know what to do.
Mother asked if you will
come for Iftar dinner.
Of course | will.
Mrs. Rizvi wants us to
dine with her.
Till today she's not been
so kind. Why now?
Because | teach her
daughter Farzana.
Was | born yesterday?
Don't | know that you
are plotting to ...
match Farzana and Rizoo?
- What is this?
| can see through you.
Since you've come here
our lives are hell.
You've occupied this flat.
You're trying to ensnare my grandson.
"Granny, stop it.
Shut up! Wretch!
Come here
| feed and clothe you
and you turn against me.
In Pakistan they rightly
called you a witch.
You devoured my Zubeida and now.
- Stop. You've said enough.
See how the Maharani sits
as if she's not heard a word.
"Granny, don't shout.
Why talk of such useless things."
Be quiet.
This is not my magazine.
Farrokh asked me to keep it.
Some excuse that is.
Say prayers and
your anger will cool.
| got carried away saying all
manner of things.
To blow up issues is
an old habit of yours.
Your anger is like
the Bombay rains.
On one minute.
Off the next.
Forgotten how you broke
my doll?
Because it had a blue frock
while yours was white.
You were no less. You never
let me touch your doll.
That green perfume bottle
from Lucknow ?
Who threw it in the gutter.
You two are the limit.
Fight like children
and then make up.
That's how siblings behave.
How will be know ?
He's an only child.
Mammo. You didnt take
my words to heart?
Not at all.
The words just poured out.
- Why should | feel bad?
Can | l come in?
I won't disturb you?
Come in.
Let it play.
| don't like silence.
"What record is it?
-"Four Seasons".
I like it.
| brought this
to show you.
1 will give this to Fejji for Idd.
- What is it?
Her hands are worn out
with grinding spices.
With this it's easy.
Plug on ...
Spice mix ready!
Like it?
You forgot me?
How can I?
| thought I'd have a
sherwani tailored for you.
Keep extra folds or in
six months it won't fit.
You had to choose black?
He'll look a crow in this.
Black is okay.
It won't show dirt.
"Master, with it a kurta
and Aligarhi pyajamas.
And a topi.
- No topi.
Are you mad?
Return in four days
for the trial.
It will be Idd then.
| want it tomorrow.
Pistachios are costly here.
You are eating the lot.
What'll we put in the sweet.
- Does Rizoo like it?
- Very much.
"Shantabai, see who it is?"
Mehmooda Begum
Ahmed Ali lives here?
"She lives here, doesn't she.
-Who is it?"
The police.
What is it?
- Are you Mehmooda Begum?
Deportation Order.
Come with us.
Tomorrow is Idd.
Quiet ! Hiding in India when
your Visa has expired?
It's not like that.
Come and sit inside.
The boy will return soon
and explain it all.
Stop this talk ! Will you
come or we'll handcuff you.
- There's no time. Hurry.
We have two others
to catch.
Let go my sister.
She's done nothing.
What happened?
They took her away.
Two police people.
They didn't even let her
take her clothes.
I don't know where she is.
Where's Inspector Apte?
- He is transferred.
But he said Mammo Nani
could stay with us.
Then why did the police
take her?
All Pakistanis overstaying
are being sent back.
Where will Mammo Nani be?
One lot is being sent today
by the Frontier Mail.
Go to Bombay Central Station.
You may find her there.
Where are you taking me?
| couldnt even wish him.
| just have the clothes on my back.
All my things are left behind.
Even my Prayer Mat!
How unjust can you be.
Think of God.
Why cry?
You are returning to your home.
Why grumble?
My home is here.
| want to be buried here.
Giving me six feet space
would harm no-one.
"Aunt, take care
of this child.
He's just been operated.
He's a little weak.
"Child, don't be afraid.
She is with you.
What kind of duty is this
to accompany them.
| called Amritsar. Few more
will be sent off tomorrow.
We've done all that.
Why do these people
stay in India?
What will they get here?
Has she sat down?
Where are you going?
I never could cross...
.... the distances...
.... of your streets.
This true story took
place 20 years ago.
"To date, we have made every
effort to find Mehmooda Begum.
But there was no sign of her.
"Relatives and friends in Lahore,
Islamabad, Karachi and Multan ...
.... said they had no news of her.
Who knows if she is alive or.
"Child, why are you staring ?"
Pick up my luggage?
Mammo Nani?
We thought that...
-l was dead.
There's strength still
in these old bones.
1 will not die
that easily.
-Who is it?
"Who else will come
to you, silly.
It's me.
I had given up hope.
She's begun to cry.
She should be happy.
I'm back now
to bother you.
Returned to go back again.
The police will take
you back again.
Now no one will catch me.
How long is your Visa for?
Forget the Visa.
Tell me about yourself.
What a handsome lad.
How many books have
you written?
Have you got him
married yet?
Where's his bride?
If only we could find
a nice enough girl.
Were | young I'd marry
him straightaway.
I'm here now so.
I'll find an angel
to light up this home.
Such a easy task.
"We should have done it then.
- | repeat, don't do all this.
If you are caught?
"Let it be. if you don't
wish to help me, don't.
"I will do it all, myself.
But listen carefully.
1 will not go back.
"This time, no one
will dare ...
handcuff Mehmooda Begum ...
... and make her
cross the border.
Mehmooda Begum Ahmed Ali.
"Husband's name,
late Ahmed Ali Masood.
Age : 75.
"Resident of Lahore,
"Died : May 25, 1994.
"Copy to Immigration Officer,
Bombay Police.
| am now a genie.
Only those with a magic lamp
will be able to see me.