Partha Chatterjee

Water is both a word and a many-hued idea. Its presence, along with oxygen, is crucial to life on earth. Considering that India is a land of many rivers, water does not figure prominently in Indian cinema either as an image or as a metaphor, save for the work of a few filmmakers, most notably, Ritwik Ghatak and Jahnu Barua, and not to forget Ramu Kariat. It is amusing and instructive to note that the first two are from the East—Ghatak, born in East Bengal and the product of the cinema of West Bengal because of the partition of India in 1947; and Barua, a native of Assam. Kariat, the third director is from Kerala, a land also blessed by nature with many waterways and water bodies, and mercifully ...

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