Something holds back women from supporting the next generation: Jhat Aayi Basant Director

Mumbai: ‘Jhat Aayi Basant’ (An Early Spring) deals with two girls – Sonia and Anu, who come from two contrasting socio-cultural backgrounds. However, stories of both girls are about the pressures of patriarchy, in their own ways! The film explores how the dictates of a patriarchal society are being passed on by women, by mothers to daughters, knowingly or unknowingly. “There is something that holds back the previous generation of women from supporting the next generation”, comments the young film-maker Pramati Anand. She was addressing a media briefing organized at the 51st International Film Festival of India (IFFI) today, January 21, 2021. The National School of Drama pass-out Director has concentrated the lens on how women internalise the dictums of society and come to terms with it. ‘Jhat Aayi Basant’ is her graduation film and is being screened in the Indian Panorama Non Feature section of the festival.

The film is a modern-day saga of young women who want to live life on their own terms and how these choices impact their relationship with their mothers. It probes into the hardships faced by the Pahari people who are dealing with changes in the climate at a direct level.

The film is shot in Kandbari, Himachal Pradesh and the role of Sonia is played by a local girl. “She plays herself in the role. I had written the script before I found her. But her experiences really resonated with what I had written”, said the Director Pramati Anand. “My interest in cinema is to get these voices to reach people and in getting these characters themselves to represent their own stories.”

The role of city-girl Anu has been played by a NSD pass-out actor and the mother Seema is also played by a professional actor. Rest of the cast are from Himachal Pradesh. “They opened their hearts and their homes and we shot there”. In certain sense, this film can be called a docu-fiction, said the Director.

The film relates environment to the lives of the protagonists. Thus the name ‘Jhat Aayi Basant’ (An Early Spring). When spring unfolds early in life and also nature, it also brings about its own spoils. In the film it is shown that, due to the lack of rains, their wheat crops get infested with pests. “Environment is more powerful than the people. People are at the mercy of environment”, the Director says in this context. Moreover, it shows how the lives of Pahadi people are inextricably related to the environment and climate.

Pramati Anand is fond of travelling around in search of stories. The script was initially written on the basis of the story of a girl Sonia she met in Barot, Himachal Pradesh.