Bawarchi My hobby is watching movies. I have analysed change through the developments in a movie –Bawarchi. The movie Bawarchi was released in 1972. It was directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee who is known for his light hearted family entertainers with social messages. The story revolves around the simple nitty gritty issues in an Indian household. Shot exclusively inside the Sharma household, this film explores the tensions and rivalries within the Sharma family, and how their domestic problems lead to discontentment in all spheres of their lives.
The setting is of a joint Indian family with people of 3 generations living together. Their value systems have changed over the three generations. The head of the family is Shivnath Sharma. He is a retired post master and has a box of family treasures of jewellery which his sons are interested in owning. He has four sons Ramnath, Harinath, Kashinath and Bishwanath. His eldest son is Ramnath Sharma who works as head clerk. Ramnath Sharma is on the verge of retirement. His wife Rita is constantly beset with aches and pains. They have a daughter Mita who has completed B.
A and now is pursuing her interest in dance. Harinath Sharma and his wife expired in an accident. Their daughter Krishna, a liitle younger than Mita ,is a docile and obedient girl who is interested in studies and dance. Kashinath is an intellectual and he teaches in a school. His wife Shobhna wants to move out of this house with her husband and son. Vishwanath is a young music director. Arun Kumar is a young boy who comes to tuition Krishna in her studies. The movie begins with the domestic help running away from the house as he complains of too much work.
There is utter chaos and confusion in the house. The old man Shivnath is wailing for his morning tea. The daughter- in- laws are reluctant to do the household chores. Tussle arises among the brothers in the morning regarding the responsibilities of grocery shopping. As a result they get late to office. Ramnath is reprimanded at office and threatened to be fired. Krishna dutifully carries out the chores of everyone in the house. Each one in the house has an inward looking approach to life. They are concerned only of their own work and pleasure.
No one wants to take accountability for anyone else. Mita leads a carefree life enjoying parties and dance. Vishwanath is busy with his music. He cooks some bread and eggs in his room. Kashinath and his wife are interested in the gold jewellery and the greed is holding them back in the house. Each one in the house eyes the other with suspicion and distrust. Rita and Shobhna keep passing on the buck from each other. The old man is complaining over the changing values over generations – the changing relationships where the old are no longer treated with respect.
They also do not acknowledge anyone else s difficulty or pain. Krishna who is the only soul who thinks of others has to sacrifice her own interests. There is an atmosphere of tension and a cloud of ill feeling hangs over the house. At this point Raghu, the new cook enters the movie. Raghu is a multi talented and jovial character. A suspicion in the family’s minds arises because Raghu is highly skilled and he agrees to work for a low wage. Raghu’s culinary skills win the family’s hearts’. He brings about change in the family’s attitude by small activities like eating and drinking together.
Raghu teaches them the important values of respecting each other and thoughtfulness by story-telling and indirect references in an unassuming way. Raghu wins the confidence of the family members by taking interest in each of their lives. Raghu makes Ramnath happy by providing him with his evening drinks and snacks. Raghu interacts with each member in the language they could relate to. With Kashinath who is a knowledgeable individual he uses his parlance of literature. ”It is so simple to be happy but so difficult to be simple” – Raghu tells Kashinath. He respects everyone irrespective of their position in the house.
Krishna who was never acknowledged by anyone except her grandfather finds a friend. The old man Shivnath Singh is taken care of and Raghu revives his self confidence. Raghu assists Vishwanath by composing a tune for him. In all these points of interaction with the family members he aims at bringing them together by praising Vishwanath in front of his father, by telling Shivnath that his daughter- in- law has instructed him to take him to take good care of Shivnath. He rekindles the faith and love among the brothers Ramnath and Kashinath by reminding them of their old times during childhood.
After Raghu’s entry, Ramnath reaches office in time. He is offered an extension and a hike. He no longer consumes alcohol at home which was a reason of contention among the brothers. Rita and Shobhna develop a bond. Mita who was pre occupied with herself realizes the importance of humility and relationships. Krishna who was considered as a doormat by all ,gains importance when she wins the dance competition after being trained by Raghu. The house is transformed to a happy and peaceful place where all the members are thoughtful of each other.
All their individual aspirations are inter twined in one common thread now. As I analyze the change of a household with eight adults, some facets of this change emerge. Change involving individuals is a complex process. It cannot be attained by mere procedures and processes. A solid crafting strategy must be in place to realise the change. The pre requisite for change is a vision for change. Raghu had a picture in mind of what he wanted to achieve in the family. He wanted to recreate the magic of bonding and love among the members in the family.
To realize the change a leader is essential. There needs to be somebody to spearhead the change at all levels. Raghu consistently worked at achieving his goal. Each member of the family is aware of the good and the bad but is not able to put pieces together to understand the big picture. Krishna was also wanted the same dream as Raghu but could not initiate and manage the process of change. For change to be happen, it should be relevant for all. If the change does not lead to any significant effect for all members, members will not be included in the process.
In Shanti Niwas basic needs of each member were not being met. Shivnath would not get food on time. His sons got late to office because of this. Krishna could not pursue her dream of dance because nobody gave her importance. Raghu made the change pertinent for all. Change can be effective if all members are involved. The leader must win people over by showing them a dream. Raghu did nothing more than just reminding Ramnath and Kashinath of their childhood memories. He inspired Mita to change by showing her the importance of humility. Only a good human being can become a great artist” – Raghu told her. Incremental efforts can lead to dramatic change. Raghu aimed at bringing about small changes in their attitude. By bringing about small actions like eating and drinking together he achieved a greater purpose in family bonding. The communication strategy for all members concerned might not be same. It has to be aligned to each individual’s interests and level of maturity. He tackled change in Kashinath through knowledge and attracted Vishwanath through music. Also all talk and no action motivates none. Raghu lead by example.
By doing more than what Raghu was paid for, he communicated the virtues of thoughtfulness. Sometimes change in one aspect may have a rippling effect on another aspect. Raghu ‘s efficiency at household chores helped Ramnath reach office in time. The congenial atmosphere at home helped Ramnath work productively in office . As a result he got an extension and a hike. Raghu had not intended such a change but it had greater effects. According to me, human emotions and relationships are one of the most complex phenomenon. I have enjoyed the analysis of change in the relationships in the movie.