DRAMA; 1hr 36min (Hindi with subtitles)
STARRING: Rajesh Tailang, Tannishtha Chatterjee
Unhurried and naturalistic, writer-director Richie Mehta’s fact-inspired father’s story is perfuse with the hazy chaos of contemporary India. Mahendra (Tailang) is a chain wallah — a zipper fixer who plies his trade on the Delhi streets. Money is bottom-line tight, so Mahendra sends his 12-year-old son Siddharth — “Siddhu” — away to work illegally in a Punjab trolley factory.
He’s due home in a month but Siddhu doesn't show. With abduction an appalling possibility, Mahendra, a simple man, and his distressed wife, Suman (Chatterjee), are immediately out of their depth. Mahendra rallies, though, borrowing cash and setting off after his son on a bone-rattling journey through pervasive poverty. It’s an overwhelming task: Siddhu is one of so many potential child victims who supply the sex and organs trades, and Mother India is vast. Mahendra is persistent all the same, wearing his quiet resolve like his omnipresent scarves in a search that takes him far afield and deep within. This, you think, is how it would feel to sink slowly and without a trace.