A Portrait of Hope

Watching them reminded me of the two brothers in Talnabami, who always bounced back after every setback and cheered each other up,” says Pal, who has had no formal training in filmmaking. When Manas Mukul Pal was five, his father gifted him a collection of short stories by Bengali writer Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay. One of the stories from the collection that stayed with Pal was Talnabami, which captured the innocence of childhood. During his days as a teacher, he would often observe the children living in a neighbourhood slum. The original story is of three pages and adapting it into a script for a 86-minute movie was not easy. “All I was getting, however, were bit roles in Bengali movies,” he says. The film uses a Bengali dialect that’s spoken in the West Bengal-Bangladesh border region. Those who talk in chaste Bengali tend to look down upon this dialect as the language of rustic folks,” says Pal, who lives in Barasat, on the outskirts of Kolkata. Every Sunday, his father would read out to him from it. Pal started working for a Kolkata-based NGO and teaching at a school in Shyambazar. Written by Alaka Sahani

Published:November 25, 2016 11:34 pm

Scenes from the film. Titled Sahaj Paather Gappo (Colours of Innocence), the film is one of the two Indian movies in the “International Competition” section of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), Goa. “In spite of poverty, they seemed happy. “My mother, who comes from that area, speaks this dialect, which has an inherent sweetness. As a youngster, Pal wanted to be an actor. Watch What Else Is Making News

The story revolves around two young brothers, Gopal and Chhottu, who remain optimistic in spite of the hardships that the family undergoes when their father meets with an accident. Pal kept revisiting this story and, years later, when his career as an actor failed to take off, he adapted it into his first feature film. I loved their free spirit and positive attitude.