Sunday, June 13, 2010


Gubbachigalu (Sparrows) are almost extinct and very difficult to find them in cities like Bengaluru. And the reason is just that the habitat doesn’t support or in simple words, we failed to keep them with us. Actually, when we hear someone saying ‘Gubbachigalu’, we get excited and will soon get back to our childhood thinking about that. That’s what happened to me when I saw the poster yesterday in front of the Suchitra Film Society. While I was in the bus, I saw the poster, got excited and then thought I should somehow make it to the movie. As I reached office, coincidently, I saw a mail from my friend with details on the movie. I enquired with the Suchitra film society folks over the call to book the tickets. But the guy said “Oh no problem, sir! You can come 15 minutes early to the show and you will get tickets. No need to book it now”.

Well, when I reached the venue at 6 pm today, there were very few tickets left. Fortunately I got the tickets and my other friends also joined on time. But, it was houseful. They simply could not believe that the hall was full and there were no seats left. People had to stand and watch the movie and some people without any hesitation, made use of the floor.

The director of the movie spoke for a few minutes before the movie got started. Abhaya Simha, post graduate in Direction from Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, a debutant with this movie into his direction career. He wanted to do this film because he was very much in fond of Sparrows when he was a kid. And the fact that the sparrows are almost extinct in cities these days, triggered him to do this movie and communicate this message through the children who would lead the future. Apparently, the original story was given by his friend NAM Ismail and they both believed in looking into the matter through the eyes of the children.

The story starts off by showing two children, Ila and Anirudh, cute littles of a happy family. And their curiosity in knowing about everything that looks interesting to them. One day, their eyes lead to a tree at their backyard and they will be surprised to see a sparrow nest. Their curiosity will get a beautiful strength and they start asking questions and they try to see what actually is there in the nest. But they will be stopped by their mother saying, if they try to do any harm to the nest, the mother sparrow will never come back again and that is a bad thing to do. So these kids will remain curious doing nothing for some time.

But their curiosity will never let them fail. In their second attempt, where there is no one else at home, they try to see what the nest has. When Anirudh climbs up with his camera to shoot the nest, he will see two sparrow eggs and he will be ecstatic to click pictures of it. While doing that, he will lose balance on his camera and one of the eggs will fall down and break into pieces. That will be the saddest turn in the movie. And actual movie starts from there.  Because of guilt and remembering their mother’s words that ‘the mother sparrow will never come back’, they will decide to go and search for mother sparrow somehow and get it back to its nest. I must say, the characters introduced in the movie are very good. There are quite a lot of animated characters and some amazing performances as well.

So amidst the hustle-bustle of the concrete jungle of a sprawling city, two children go on a quest to find ‘their’ missing sparrow. They will be off from home without informing their parents, with guilt that they are responsible for the mother sparrow’s disappearance. They will meet some unusual people and visit some unusual places to find the sparrow. Their curiosity never ends. Their journey will be of a good learning and discovery as they encounter their crazy moments. Every individual they meet will be wondering about what are these kids up to and why are they trying to search that is not there really. Everyone will just say that they are really hard to find in cities just because the habitat doesn’t support. But they will never give up to those words.

There is also one more interesting aspect that is projected in this movie. Just like how these two kids search for the mother sparrow, there is one character in the movie where that person will be in search of his mother. In the end, both mother and the son will somehow meet. And that was the hopeful end for the movie as well. The kids will finally hear the sparrow sound near the nest and that brings smile on all the faces both in the set as well as for us who are watching the movie.

I really liked the movie very much. It was very educative for me and I am sure it will be even more for the children. Hopefully they will take responsibilities towards these challenges of the environment and be sensible enough to safeguard them. This movie brings into a great relief the realities of urban life, curious children and a dwindling biodiversity.

The movie has got good international recognition and awards as well.  

And I go on searching for a sparrow now! I actually bought a sparrow nest. Only sparrow is missing in that. Well, hopefully one day, I see a life in it!


PS: For some of you who may want to watch, the screening is happening again tomorrow (Sunday) at 6.30 at the Suchitra Film Society. 


Raghu said...

You have very nicely captured the movie in your words.

Such movies are very much needed and it shouldn't just end with the watching of the movie. The real action should start afterwards. Using children to convey the message is opt.

Narasim said...

Very poignant film indeed as per your wonderful description. Delighted that you got one of the last 6 tickets and saw the film.

In the long run, humans are likely to pay a very heavy price for causing extinction of species.

It is sad to see harmless sparrows disappearing. Would people be so indifferent if disease spreading rats disappeared? Of course, there is likely to be a fuss because God Ganesh uses a rat as his conveyance. People still worship rats by feeding them knowing fully well that they spread disease.

It is a puzzle why Indians are not more ecologically sensitive. After all, sarvam khalvidam Brahma, all this is Brahma. If everything is that original one, we need to be respectful of everything, Maybe, we are not educated enough. Confusing a Ph.D. from Stanford with education is a dangerous illusion.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.

Films like Gubbachigalu may assist in educating people.

Thanks for your review.

Manjunath Byadigere said...

Hi Srik,

I will surely watch the movie though it may take some time.As per your description this has to be a very thought provoking movie which every person who cares for the nature has to watch.These are rare films which are done mostly for the sake of passion and not for commercial purposes.These kinds of movies are becoming rare these days, especially in languages like Kannada.I'm very happy that the movie is in kannada.

Nice write-up there.Keep us informed!

Anonymous said...

Well, I wanted to make it to the movie but couldn't. Glad I got to read your take-aways though! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

If you didn't watch this movie, buy CD from the producers

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