Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rishim: Beyond cultural boundaries

‘Rishim’ is more than just a beautiful word that will remain with me forever. I am sure the magic of Rishim will lure anyone. More than four months back when I had a chance to meet Yuvraaj Rai, famed cinematographer from Nepal in Mazhitar near Rangpo, he came with an idea to premiere a nepali movie based on Rai community in Sikkim to which I could not hide my excitation. He had than just had few shows at Nepal, Hong Kong and other places. His proudly said “Rishim” and without any second thought we (members of Spark NGO) agreed that we will make an arrangement to release the movie to our people in Sikkim.

In my opinion, a culture of a place cannot be bounded in any geographical or political boundaries and I have seen that in Rishim. A mere pronunciation of the word Rishim was enough to raise my query to know more about it. I was just told that Rishim was a name of a character and the story of the film revolves around her. I belong to the Newar community and still the excitation to share a movie of Rai community among our people is the only thing I still have in my mind. I am sure I feel there are many hearts around who would like to agree with me on my excitation and I am sure many things could be learnt.

Rishim is a wonderful film made from the heart of a Rai. It is an effort of the Rais for the Rais world wide. I went through each scene and after the end of the two hour long movie I could not stop myself praising for coming up with such product. This film set up on the backdrop of a village somewhere in Nepal focuses a simple living of a lead character lovingly called “Thulay” by everyone. I was so pleased to hear the lead character being called Thulay that made the character much closer to us rather than those routine names like Raj, Aryan, Prem and others that are beyond reality as we have seen them in numerous films. Thulay is a poor village porter who is happy with his simple life and he never run away from his misery. He has to look after his mother and a younger sister and lives in a small hut. He falls in love with Rishim, a daughter of village headman. Rishim’s elder sister elopes with her boyfriend against her father’s wish on the day when the father had managed her mangni to a rich man’s son. The story takes a turn over and her father promises that he would let her younger daughter get married to salvage his family pride. The story moves around from here and it is this simple storyline where matters of family pride, sacrifice made for love are shown. I believe the story is familiar to many of us and I have seen such on many occasion my friends share ‘this’ narration. In between this story is pleasant presentation of cultural activities found among the Rais in Nepal. I would like to specially mention the maruni dance that was shown when Rishim recalls her lost love. The dance is beautifully done and well captured. Chandi festival is well presented where the ethnic Rai custom can inspired anyone who watches the scenes.

I have never seen such cultural film in Sikkim before and my preserving heart feels proud of the team that made this movie. I would be happy if such people gets encouragement and I wish we could see many more such films in days to come. Rishim is with us and I am sure if we get an opportunity to show this film in Sikkim we might get more things to learn. This film should not be seen as a film from Nepal but more positively as a film on Rai community. But are we prepared?