Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lamhe — Of Barren Deserts, Peacocks, and Lush Green Forests

In an interview with Karan Johar, Yash Chopra said that Lamhe is one of his most cherished films. Released in 1991, Lamhe did not do well at all the box office, though it was a commercial success overseas. In the interview, Yash Chopra says that he had this idea of Lamhe since Silsila; however, he waited till Chandni because he wanted the cushion of a hit film. On being criticized that film was much ahead of its time, he said if he cannot make it in the nineties, when will he make then. Lamhe is called a cult classic and much has been written on the film. However, most of the people, whose writings I follow for their nuanced view on cinema, did not like the film at all. I do not have a deeper understanding the way they do, but I love the film. There is a splendiferous innocence that pervades the film. I have been wanting to write on its incredible beauty since long, and finally made myself do it.


Lamhe is the story of Viren Pratap Singh (Anil Kapoor), a prince belonging to Marwar, who travels to Rajasthan to meet his Daijaan (Waheeda Rehman) who brought him up. There, he falls in love with the girl next door, Pallavi (Sridevi). She is elder to him in age though this does not bother him. However, Pallavi loves Siddharth (Deepak Malhotra) and gets married to him. Unable to bear his heartbreak, Viren goes back to London. Meanwhile, Pallavi dies in an accident and leaves a daughter Pooja to Daijaan. Viren does not see Pooja till she grows up; however, she grows up to become an exact replica of her mother. This time, Pooja falls in love with Viren, who is obviously much elder to him. Viren has to decide whether he is still in love with Pallavi, or he is deliberatley trying to stop himself from falling in love with Pooja, who might look like her mother but has her own identity. 



As with any other film, where the unspoken word enthralls me, I was fascinated by the same in Lamhe. In Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, a tragic love story of Heathcliff and Catherine, the place where the story is set corresponds to the emotions of its characters. The wild and expansive moors of Yorkshire symbolize the wilderness and the boldness of Heathcliff and Catherine's love. Nature is an allegory of its desolate characters. Similarly, the setting plays an important part in Lamhe, too. Viren comes from the protected life that he has lived in London to the barren desert sands of Rajasthan. His Daijaan makes him touch his forehead on the land of his ancestors. It is a big coincidence that car that he is being driven in, has 'DNA' written on it. It is not intentional but the serendipity of the moment is hard to miss—the dry sands of Rajasthan are ingrained with stories of love and valor in its DNA. In many ways, Viren was like the desert and the sand dunes—open and free—that have ability to turn into any form. In the dry barren sands with no vegetation which signal his lack of experience in love, he sees the ethereal Pallavi and is enchanted by her at once. He sees her for the first time, dancing in the rain to the sounds of Megha Re Megha. A peacock is delighted by the rain and spreads its wings when it rains. In the same way, Pallavi is dancing in the rain, and Viren is bewitched by her beauty. It is as if the desert has found its oasis. The metaphor of Pallavi as a peacock is validated in the smoldering Morni Baga Ma Bole, where she actually compares herself to a female peacock. She sings that when a peacock starts singing in the middle of the night, it seems that a dagger was thrust in her heart. Then, the morni starts singing and making a tinkling noise with her bangles. However, Viren is not the peacock that she is singing about; it is her lover Siddharth who is her peacock. There is yet another peacock symbol that confirms that Pallavi is indeed one. Pooja narrates the tragic love story of Rana Surya Narayan Singh and Rani Mrigawati. Rani used to write letters to Rana, like Pallavi used to write to Viren. The Sanskrit word for a peacock is 'mrig'. Pallavi's beauty is undoubtedly like that of a peacock and Viren is captivated by this peacock.


DNA


Pallavi is the peacock dancing in the rain




     
 

There is an alluring contrast in the two states of Viren before and after the death of Pallavi. As mentioned earlier, Viren is like the barren desert with no vegetation. When he sees Pallavi for the first time, he is like the wet sand after the first rain—petichor. Pallavi's love, slowly, matures him; her love helps him grow from a desert to a forest. Pallavi's ashes are scattered in the desert sand after her death, and it is as if those ashes act as a seed that grows into a lush green forest. The shots of trees with exuberant growth in London where the film shifts in the second half is powerful allegory of the use of nature as a metaphor for Viren that he has turned into a forest from the desert. At one point, Viren's friend Anita (Dippy Sagoo) even remarks, "Tum parchaiyon ke jungle se nikal kyun nahi aate, Viren?"—"Why don't you come out of the forest of shadows (Pallavi), Viren?" It is deeply moving and poignant to see love torment Viren, who kept chasing Pallavi's shadows, like Heathcliff spoke to Catherine's spirit. 



Viren is the desert


Pallavi's ashes are scattered in the desert


Viren turns into lush green forest


There is the central theme of unconditional love in the film. It is not only in Viren's one-sided love for Pallavi, or Pooja's initial one-sided love for Viren. This unconditional and, perhaps, unrequited love present in all its characters. Daijaan has brought up both Pooja and Viren, and in the process, she says that she actually forgot that she has her own home. Her love for Viren and Pooja is like the unconditional love of a mother for her child; in many ways, she loved them more than a real mother would. Pallavi, who belonged to a family of royals, where the title of a person is more important than the person himself, falls in love with Siddharth, an orphan who does not even have a real last name and in a royal household, someone like him would be persona non grata. It is unconditional love where stature and family background of a person does not matter. Viren's love for Pallavi is unconditional even though she might be elder to him in age. Toh kya hua, main bhi to unse umar me chhota hun. In the same way, Pooja's love for Viren is unconditional because dono me se kisi ek to chhota to hona hi padta hai. Prem's (Anupam Kher) love for his friend Viren is, again, unconditional. He has been there at every stage with Viren. For the last 18 years, he has been by his side without any expectation in return. Even Anita, who knows that Viren is madly in love with the dead Pallavi and her memories, loves Viren and is willing to give him time to get over it. The age difference between Viren-Pallavi, and Pooja-Viren, was only one part of the film; the underlying theme of Lamhe is that love has no conditions. It is this what Yash Chopra has said not only through Lamhe but through all his films. 







Lamhe credits its story and screenplay to Honey Irani. In an earlier post, I had written that there are some similarities between Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, and Dil Chahta Hai. Honey Irani is Farhan Akhtar's mother. Given my obsessive love for Dil Chahta Hai, I found many similarities between it and Lamhe, too. I wonder if that is some way of Farhan taking inspiration from his mother's best films (Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge never officially credited her which soured relations between the two families). The most discernible is the theme of falling in love with an older woman. Viren is shy, introverted, and brooding, and falls in love with Pallavi. Similarly, Siddharth in Dil Chahta Hai, is an introvert, and falls in Tara, a much older woman. Both Viren and Sid do not care about the age difference between their respective lovers. Viren makes a portrait of Pallavi; Sid makes a painting of Tara. Both Viren and Sid lack a fatherly figure in their lives, and have lap-hugging loyalty to their mothers. Pallavi dies in an accident, and Tara dies of liver cirrhosis, and incidentally, both of them have a death scene in the hospital where Viren speaks to Pallavi, and Sid speaks to Tara. Both Viren and Sid never wanted to tell Pallavi and Tara, respectively, that they love them. All they wanted was to see them happy. Both Pallavi and Tara have daughters. In another scene, whenever Viren closes his eyes, he sees Pallavi's face. In Dil Chahta Hai, during the opera scene, Aakash (Aamir Khan) saw Shalini's (Preity Zinta's) face where he realized he loved her. And, at the risk of over-analysis, two character names, Siddharth and Pooja, are present in both the films. The similarities are hard to ignore.










Much has been written and commented on the possible incestuous relationship between Viren and Pooja. Somehow, it never struck me that way. Pooja was Pallavi's and Siddharth's daughter, and Viren had never seen her till she turned eighteen. Pallavi had given her daughter to Daijaan, and not Viren. Though Viren burns Pallavi's letters, he did that to show Anita that he loved her, and not Pooja, I have doubts if Viren was actually in love with Pooja. However, he did see Pooja's face instead of Pallavi's when he closed his eyes, suggesting to us that he has perhaps moved on. If he was still in love with Pallavi, he would have seen her face, and it would make us think that his love for Pooja was a facade for his love for Pallavi. The climax was somewhat rushed, and I would have wanted some further nuance to understand better that Viren is indeed in love with Pooja, and not Pallavi. However, there are clear differences between the personalities of Pooja and Pallavi. In an earlier scene, Pallavi sends a Rajput dress to Viren. She tries put him in a traditional and mature dress. Later, Pooja buys a colorful sweater that Viren would never buy. The two clothing items are a reflection of the differing personalities between the two; Pallavi is more mature, while Pooja is more colorful. While Pallavi takes Viren on a tour of the rich traditions of Rajasthan, Pooja takes Viren to an amusement park, again pointing to somewhat traditional nature of Pallavi, and a child-like enthusiasm in Pooja. Pallavi matures him, while Pooja makes him a child. There is a lack of sexual feelings in Viren towards Pooja, otherwise it could easily have gone the Lolita way. Their relationship is depicted sensitively. There are two scenes which do have some sexual undertones; the first when Viren sucks Pooja's thumb after she cuts it with a knife, and the second when Pooja comes and asks Viren to help her wear the necklace. 


Pallavi—Traditional


Pooja—Breaking Traditions



The antique phone

A special mention of the music. I love all its songs. I never realized that many of my favorite songs are actually from this film. Megah Re Megha, Mohe Chhedo Na Nand Ke Lala, and Meri Bindiya are terrific, but my absolute favorite is Morni Baga Ma. Sridevi looks gorgeous in the song, and I love the steps when she enacts a peacock. How can any song be so beautiful? I want to go and live in this song. The lyrics of the song have the line Chudiyaan Khanak Gayi Dekh, Saahiban. The song Heer from Jab Tak Hai Jaan also has a reference to Sahiban. And, the medley of songs is just perfect. I watch it anytime when I am feeling low; it instantly cheers me up, and the shot of Waheeda ji dancing to Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai is the icing on the cake. Interestingly, Pam Chopra, Yash Chopra's wife has done the playback for this song. What I find remarkable is that Prem keeps singing old songs and there are many meta references. I would like to research if the songs have any relation to the story. Though in the climax, he sings Kabhi Kabhi from Yash Chopra's film of the same name, which is another self reference, where a director refers his own film in another film; something that Karan Johar never fails to do. 


Wikipedia says Lamhe's story was inspired by Anokha Rishta. I could not find much similarity though when I read its plot. Also, the English version of Lamhe is titled Indian Summer, am curious about the theory behind the name. Performances are excellent by everyone. There is grace in all its characters. 

It is wonderful to note the coincidences that hindsight now offers. The film set in the 'classic' palaces of Rajasthan is now called a cult 'classic'. In 1991, India took its first steps towards economic liberalization, breaking the shackles of state control on its economy. There was much resistance to liberalization process but it is the seeds, that India sowed that time, are reaping the benefits for it now. It is serendipity that Lamhe also released in 1991 and was a bold step towards social liberalization trying to break some social taboos about the notion of love. The film did not do well at box office, but achieved a cult status thereafter. I was astounded by the number of paintings that adorn the walls in the film. Be it Rajasthan or London, there are paintings everywhere. Lamhe is like a painting, that explains that even the film's poster has a portrait in it. Also, worth mentioning that they do not fit exactly in the portrait, as if they are trying to break the conventional definition of love. It is the painting by a maestro who painted the resplendence of love on his canvas and enchanted everyone. It is strange how life works, as if it is art imitating life or life imitating art.


Lamhe is about the moments of love and its memories that remain etched forever in one's heart. It is about those unexplained relationships that we forge with those whom we have no blood relationship, and we stand by those relationships lifelong, whether be it love for a governess, a friend, or a neighbor. Because they said in another famous film, "Ajeeb zindagi hai, kuch rishtey hai jinka koi naam nahi hota."

Dialogue of the day:
"Yaad koi aisi cheez to hoti nahi ki aadmi inhe ikattha kare aur darwaaz khol ke dil ke baahar phenk de." 
 — Viren, Lamhe


P.S. — There is a YouTube video on the premier of the film, and in that, at one point, there is someone who is possibly Ranbir Kapoor (at 04:06). If he is indeed Ranbir, then he is too precocious for someone who was nine years old in 1991.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Happy Birthday, P

This is the mandatory birthday post. Turned 28 today. Don't know where my twenties went, at least I knew about the teens but the last eight years went away, and almost all of it in work. It has been a very tough last year, tougher than I had imagined, but as always made mistakes, and learnt from those mistakes, and pushed myself to things that I never thought will do. And, I have to make myself happy because no one will do it for me. Hope this year is better than the last one. Till then, as Mynah says, let us watch all the movies, even the unreleased ones. :)



Happy Birthday, P. And, yes, you messaged and said, "I miss you so much," two times in the last week. I was like this when I read that :)


Dialogue of the day:


"Hum cake khane ke liye kahin bhi jaa saktey hai."
— Sameer, Dil Chahta Hai

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Piku — Motion Se Hi Emotion

First things first, if one has to read the review of Piku, I recommend reading Baradwaj Rangan's splendid review of the film, which I found so much better than the film itself. However, I still want to write my thoughts on the film.


There is a marvelous scene in Piku, where Rana Chaudhary (Irrfan Khan) is in his car with Piku (Deepika Padukone), Bhaskor Banerji (Amitabh Bachchan), and Budhon (Balendra Singh). Rana is the owner of Himachal Taxi Service but none of his drivers want to go to Kolkata with Piku, so he himself turns up to drive them. Initially, Budhon sits in front with him and Rana is somewhat miffed by this. He looks at Budhon and then glances towards Piku. No one says anything, but Piku realizes the predicament of Rana, and then, she goes and sits in the front with him. It is such a brilliant scene in which not one word is spoken, but we all understand what is meant. Rana is not just another driver who can be equated with the servant Budhon. He wants to be treated like an owner, and thus, Piku comes and sits in front with him because they both belong to the same social strata. No one questions anything, no words are spoken, and it is this silence that is central to Piku. It is a film that does not have much of a plot, but it is more about everyday slice of life instances that we all know but perhaps, never discuss. The audience does not need any explanation because they will get it on their own. As Rangan Sir put it brilliantly in his review, "Sometimes we go to films to forget what life’s like. Other times, we go to remember." For instance, take another scene in the beginning of the film. Rana is arguing with a suited-booted man (thanks to Rahul Gandhi for this phrase) whose car was hit by one of Rana's drivers. Rana says to the man that his car already has a dent, and the man responds, "Vo ek lady driver ne mara tha." Of course, the man will point out that his car was hit by a lady driver because it is accepted that women are bad drivers, and no one questions the man. The audience watching the film would know at least someone who believes that women are indeed bad drivers or would have themselves ended up in a situation where someone made this statement. It is this subtlety of every day life that is the triumph of Piku.



Directed by Shoojit Sircar, Piku is essentially the story of Piku, an architect, who lives with her hypochondriac father Bhaskor and their servant Budhon. Her father is always complaining about constipation and his bowel problem. He is obsessed with his shit—no pun intended. Rana is the owner of Himachal Taxi Service who sends a driver to her everyday to drop her at her office and has a soft spot for Piku. After heavy drinking at a party, Bhaskor suffers an illness and wants to go to his ancestral home in Kolkata, and Rana takes them there. Essentially, there is nothing new in the plot but Piku presents it with charm and nostalgia of the everyday life that makes us identify and relate with the characters. It could be any of us. 

There is an interesting aspect in the film about parents. Bhaskor though is seventy years in age, his behavior can be compared to that of a child. He has the traits of a stubborn child. His love for Piku stems more from a desire to keep her with him. Even though he makes some feminist statements, it is more because he is selfish to want her to be with him, like a child wants to be with his mother. At one point in the film, he tries to learn to ride a bicycle with two people helping him as if he is a kid. In addition, there is a hilarious scene during their journey, in which Budhon makes a sound to help Bhaskor pee, exactly the way babies are made to pee. In fact, during the end, Rana even makes a statement to Piku that she is her father's mother. "Father hai to tum unki maa kyun baani baithi ho." Later, Bhaskor rides a cycle in the streets of Kolkata all by himself, perhaps, an indication that the child has grown up. However, being grown up in this stage means that death awaits you. It is this aspect that is wonderfully portrayed in the film, like a mother would never leave her child, in whatever situation it is—healthy or sick—parents never leave, and in the same way, Piku cares for her father. As Rana also pointed in the end that no one takes the care of parents these days as she does, and she could have easily left him, but she did not.


There is a also a motif of journey in the film. The journey from Delhi to Kolkata is the highlight of Piku. During the journey, Bhaskor and Piku start singing a Bengali song Ei poth jodi na shesh hoy from the Bengali film Saptapadi. The song was picturized on Suchitra Sen and Uttam Kumar. It is a conversation between the two where they discuss as to what would happen if this journey that they are on never ends. The actors are on a motorbike and on a journey like the characters in Piku. While travelling, Piku is wearing a blue sweatshirt that has ‘The Journey’ written over it. There is also a song in the film that is actually called the Journey song. Piku is in many ways the journey of traveling back to your own roots to finally get a sense of closure. Bhaskor travelled back to his place of birth which was always in his heart. It is during the journey, the people form new bonds and try to understand each other better. Bhaskor’s journey ended by letting go and then in death. This theme of journey is like the journey of the food from the plate to the mouth to the time it is thrown out of the body after passing through the extremely complex labyrinth of the small and the large intestine as Rana explains. Perhaps, that explains why there was a special focus on the absolutely delicious shots of any food item in the film. The constipation is a metaphor for something that has not yet completed its journey and wants to come out. Bhaskor had to learn to let go of Piku and all his problems would be solved. The relief of the best shit he had in life was again referring that he had let go, and then, death came to him quietly and peacefully that left a smile on his face. Piku is, thus, the journey of the final stages of a man. 




The Journey


There is something so amazing about the character of Rana and Irrfan brings him to life. Rana is a civil engineer who had a job in Saudi Arabia but instead he was put in security management, and then, he came back to help his father run the business. Rana is an outsider to the story, and like his profession of construction, he constructs bridges between the characters in the story. For instance, when Bhaskor is making a fuss to turn the car back because he forgot the cell of the ear plug, Rana gets really irritated and admonishes him for his constant emotional blackmail of Piku. He says if Piku considered him a burden, she would not have brought him to Kolkata. Bhaskor is stunned that someone could say anything like this, but all this while, Piku is absolutely quiet, and her acquiescence is a sign of her inability to say the words that she could not say to her father. Rana's words are the ones that Piku should have spoken, and thus, he helps reduce a gap between the two. Or in other instance, when the water pump does not start, Rana is the one who 'fixes' it. And, when he is about to leave after the pump starts working, he says to Bhaskor that his problem is no one understands him, and that he should stop hiding the salt. Like Rana understands the functioning of the pump, he gives a much needed perspective to Bhaskor to help fix his problem. Rana also helps Piku understand the importance of one's roots. Sometimes, we need an outsider to help us provide a perspective and Rana plays that role. The scene between Rana and Piku when he is repairing the pump, where they say dheere dheere aa raha hai, is another one filled with metaphors on life. At one point, Rana says that death and shit can come anytime, and anywhere. I was reminded instantly of Sam's dialogue in Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna that, "Mohabbat aur maut dono bin bulaye mehman hai."

Bhaskor's habit of trying to hide salt was because he did not want anyone in his house to get high blood pressure. Even though he is perfectly fine, he thinks he will get all the diseases. The salt was, perhaps, referring to the fact that he is living a 'tasteless' and a 'bland' life. He has to stop being conscious of every thing he eats, and he has to start enjoying his life by learning to let go. That is why, after Rana's advice, he takes his cycle and eats the most delicious food from the streets in Kolkata. And, when he comes back, Piku says that because of him, they ate 'kadu', 'karela', and now, all of a sudden, he wants to make them eat 'jalebi'. He had the best shit of his life when he added a bit of salt in his life. Also, interesting to note, that on the table when they are eating, it is Chabi Masi who notices that the food has no salt, because she believes in living her life fully, without worrying about consequences, and asks others to do the same (like in her party, she asks Bhaskor to take a drink). I guess this was the entire purpose of salt.

Piku also has many Satyajit Ray references. There is a picture of him in their house. After her date with Aniket, Piku remarks that he is a jerk and he does not even know one Satyajit Ray film. In fact, the name Piku is inspired from Satyajit Ray's film Pikoo, which is the story of a household from the perspective of a child.



The Moushumi Chatterjee and Amitabh Bachchan banter reminded of Rimjhim Gire Sawaan. And, people have written excellently on references to Anand, which makes me realize that I can never write something wonderful like that. 

The relationship that Piku and Rana develop is so delightful. I loved it that all through out their trip and during their stay in Kolkata, they communicate through expressions and silent gestures. During the last scene, Rana is playing badminton with Piku at her place but he is not inside her gate, like they are not in a relationship yet, but sometime in the future, he could be well inside her gate, and perhaps, in her home.


There is a distinct and a genuine Bengali feel to the film. The film's title has a NDTV-type red dot, one of the most identifiable Bengali symbols. We see Piku's house with pictures of Ramakrishna Parmahansa and Rabindra Nath Tagore. There are paintings of Raja Ravi Verma. Bhaskor reads books on Holy Mother Sarada Devi. When Chabi Mausi comes to visit Bhaskor, she says to discard homeopathy and start allopathy. When Bhaskor is cycling in Kolkata, we see a shot of Kayam Chooran in the background. Bhaskor dances on a popular Bengali song from Teen Bhubaner Pare. The song is Jibone ki pabo na, bhulechhi se bhabona. I have not been able to find the full meaning of the song but its title means that "I have forgotten thoughts of what I'm going to get in life, whatever I see forward, I don't know whether it is real or artificial gold." I wonder if this song has some connection to life and a journey, too, like the earlier one. 


What I also really liked was the feminism of the film, though I am not exactly sure about the same for its characters. More than Piku, Bhaskor believed in the emancipation of women, and said that marriage should be done with a purpose, otherwise, it is only for low IQ people. He does not want his daughter to get married, and says to her that all her relationships should be casual. At one point in the film, during Chabi Mausi's party, he scares a potential suitor for Piku by saying that his daughter is financially independent and sexually independent, but needs some emotional partnership. Though his feminist ideas stem from a desire to keep his daughter with him, it is still a landmark film where a father has no problems by his unmarried daughter's sexual relationships, and even exhorts her to keep it casual. Years later, when PhDs will be written, Piku will be included in the list of films with a strong feminist theme. The film also makes a point on the difference between sexual love and romantic love. It is to the film's credit that it accepts that sex is a need for woman, too. Piku says that it is a need and she has a friends-with-benefits relationship with Syed. They sleep together but still date other people. The fact that Syed is possibly a Muslim and he sleeps with Piku under the same roof as her father is a remarkable progressive step for our films, howsoever, far from reality be it. Three years ago, Cocktail caused much chagrin to feminists as they felt it was a regressive portrayal of Veronica who was labelled a slut because of her sexual relationships and tried to be like Meera losing her own self in the process. It is a great step forward in our cinema when Piku's father says in front of everyone that she is not a virgin, where traditionally in our films, a woman is expected to be a virgin till she marries. Even more heartening was Chabi Mousi's character. She got married three times, and no one judges her in the film. There is another statement that Piku's paternal aunt makes. She says that she left the Bata job because her salary would have been more than her husband, and that it was not accepted. And, then, Bhaskor says that it is not anybody's fault; she is the victim of her own choices. That is what ultimately feminism is about. Freedom of choice. Notwithstanding Vogue magazine's controversial My Choice video :) I did not like when Bhaskor was criticizing his own wife for getting married to him. I mean she loved him that she gave all her life and he mocks her for that.


I must add I was slightly irritated by the scatological jokes and the constant bickering in the first half hour. It became too much and too repetitive after a point, and because of that, the movie did not reach its zenith for me. The performances are simply amazing. All characters are excellent. I loved Moushumi's sassiness. Deepika is a star. She brings so much grace to character, like the way she ties her hair while sitting in the car, like the way she quietly sees her father dancing and goes back to her room, and, like the way, she cries. As I have written before, she looks even more gorgeous when she cries. I wept with her at the death scene. Piku reminded me of another film of Deepika, Finding Fanny, which was also a journey of getting a sense of closure. I have been hooked to its background Sarod score by Anupam Roy.

There is another heart-touching scene in the film. In Kolkata, Piku says that there was once a theater but now a new building has come up. Rana says that she is also doing the same, by selling her own ancestral house Champakunj. She says that she is being practical. He, then, makes a profound statement, "I am not saying tum galat ho. Maybe this is the way forward. Isi ko log development bolte hain. Par apni roots unko agar ukhad do, toh kya bachega."  This is the underlying message of the film. The roots is not only referring to the ancestral house but also our parents and grandparents. We can leave them and put them in old age homes. But, then, what will be left. Piku knew how to drive in the film, but she chose not to drive, which was again referring to the fact that she could have easily left her father but chose to stay with him. Rana said 'driving liberates a woman', but she chose not to drive away from her own father and her ancestral home. It is not about becoming great women, like Annie Besant and Lakshmi Bai. As Piku says, if there was somebody else in her position, they would have done the same because we cannot judge parents. That is the ultimate message of Piku because howsoever they are, we cannot judge our parents.

Dialogue of the Day:
"Beimaani se kabhi khushi nahi milti."
— Rana, Piku

P.S. — A bit disoriented post but could not write better I don't know why.