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Final cut Prabhakar Shukla
Final cut Prabhakar Shukla

Director Prabhakar Shukla gives Gudiya a voice

“Is law above humans or are humans above the law?” This essential debate prompted Prabhakar Shukla to make Kahaani Gudiya Ki. The movie revolves around Gudiya, who was married to an Army jawan, Arif. He left for the Kargil war. Four years later, when he was deemed a deserter, Gudiya remarried her cousin Taufiq. Two years later, Arif returned and she was forced to go to him.

Tragedy exploited

This sad story became fodder for the media in 2004. Her fate was decided by the interpretation of Muslim laws.

Through his movie, Shukla tries to give a voice to Gudiya. “The whole movie is from her point of view,” director Shukla says.

While he never met her in person, his creative team travelled to her village in Haryana. It is through the recordings of those meetings that he reconstructs her.

Pregnant with Taufiq’s child, Gudiya wanted to return to him. She never stated it visibly. She could only say, “Kya hum gai, bakri hai, ki ek khoonte se doosre khoonte se bandh de?” Shukla explains, “She suppressed all her emotions for society. This movie is a tribute to her.”

Gudiya died in 2006 of multiple organ failure, leaving behind a son, who is being shunted between relatives today. Shukla hopes that he can do something for him.

Her death forced changes in the script. Originally, the movie was to end with the panchayat scene, it now closes with her death. Shukla feels that her broken spirit killed her.

Only the promos have been aired , but Shukla is already receiving threats. The All India Minority Conference wants the movie banned. Arif has also raised a stir.

The U-certified movie, cleared without any cuts, has travelled to festivals in Goa, Kerala and Bangalore. And, Shukla is determined to show it to the public, “even it has to be on video”.

NANDINI NAIR

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