Hari Desh has been engaged to Suman since the past two years, but they’ve never met each other face-to-face. ‘Made-in-China’ mobile technology has ensured telephonic conversations between them, which even sprouts love between these two strangers. Hari is a taxi driver in Dharamsala, who rants on non-stop throughout the documentary-film on topics spanning love, economic prospects of driving a taxi, caste system, the big Indian wedding, and his ‘honeymoon’ night. There’s this naughty-side to him when he prompts Suman to respond to his ‘I love you’ with another ‘I love you’. There’s this charming wit and honesty tagged to this loquacious simplicity that’ll make anyone fall in love with him, let alone Suman. Take this for example, a line he says during his wedding ceremony- “It’s the first time I’m marrying someone, so I don’t know what’s happening either.” Yes, it’s THAT simple.
There are many heart-warming wins attached to this film. There’s a scene where Hari comforts Suman saying that he needs nothing for a dowry but her. The village mindset regarding women is changing, and though Hari wants his first child to be a boy, he’s not totally against rearing a female child (this becomes apparent when at the end his face lights up in delight at having fathered a daughter). The movie also documents that how the traditions at these places has evolved. There’s this superstitious underlining to the village beliefs, as the aunt suddenly gets possessed by a holy spirit during a march to nearby Devi temple, while other members offer their prayers to her while she wild-dances and mumbles some random words.
Hari comes across as someone who’s extremely pragmatic. He’s trapped in the usual hard-working system, and understands that it’ll be a few years for their family to hit prosperity. He knows that the debt taken for the marriage shall take time to get cleared, then money required for rearing children shall again take a toll on their financial stability, then they’ll get old and can earn nothing- he says all this as a matter of fact, and doesn’t sugar-coat a single stuff. I’ll definitely look-out for this guy on my next trip to Dharamsala. Maybe take a note of all his wonderfully funny one-liners.
Director-couple Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam’s 75-minute long documentary is a blast of romantic freshness, and it’d be nothing less of a shame to miss its magic. Tick this film as a ‘definite watch’ on your ‘next-movie-to-see’ list. Attending this wedding is highly recommended.
Overall rating: 4/5