A tale of the Baul community and  their mystic lives- The New Indian Express

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A tale of the Baul community and  their mystic lives- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It is a double delight for the connoisseurs of Baul music. A movie that spins its tale around the mystic lives of the Baul community is set to hit the screens soon. And adding to the charm, the film will also have acclaimed Baul singer Parvathy Baul on the big screen for the first time.

‘Neeravam’, the directional debut of Ajay Sivaram, will enthrall the audience this June with the endearing tale of the traditions and culture of the Bengali community.

“The story based on the life of the Baul community, criticises the atrocities against children and the exploitation of beggars on streets,” said Ajay. “ To win nothing more than a day’s meal by asking from those who deem the beggars worthy of their charity: this is the true essence of begging. However, the practice has become a business where large chains of tramps aim to profit out of people’s empathy,” he added.

The story has ‘Sridevi’, played by Soniya Malhar, seeking refuge in the Baul community and fascinated by their lifestyle, she decides to join the community. She wishes to be one of them; living off alms from the charitable. The story further narrates her relation with investigative journalist Subash (played by Padmaraj Ratheesh) and then progresses by telling the tale of the mysterious missing of young girls from a nearby beach. “Parvathy plays the role of one of the community members who help Sridevi adapt to her new lifestyle,” said Soniya. “It took me a month’s research to prepare for the role. Being a social worker myself, the stories Parvathy Baul had to share were very inspiring,” she added.

“Baul music has been staged at various venues in Europe and the United States but little is known to the outside world about their lifestyle. As such, we decided to focus the movie on them. Although several members of the Baul community have performed outside Bengal, Parvathy has been the most successful in her venture and she essays a role in the movie,” says  Santhosh Thalamukil, the producer of the film.  

The film, which was to be released on the May 25, had to be postponed to June 8 due to an unexpected complication, said the director. “We need a minimum of 40 screens and thus had to postpone our release date as the number of screens was compromised,” Ajay explained.“We also wish to educate our audiences about the traditions and music of the Baul community. There are several others like Parvathy who have adopted the minimalist lifestyle of Bauls and we wish to turn more attention towards their lives,” Santhosh said.

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