“I wish I had Hamid’s faith,” I texted to my friend after watching the film titled Hamid on Netflix few days ago.
Image credit: Yoodlee films
Hamid got this year’s National Award for the Best Urdu Film and Talha Arshad Reshi (who acted as Hamid in the film) got the National Award for the Best Child Actor (He shared it with two other child actors). After getting the award, the director rued the fact that due to the current situation in Kashmir, he had not been able to share this news with young Talha. I hope, Hamid akka Talha now has now received this happy news of him getting the best child actor award.
I am not a qualified film critic so I will not get into that territory of dissecting Hamid through the lens of cinematic language, vocabulary and expression. My canvas here is different.
Hamid touched me for its sheer gentleness, for the poignancy of a story set in Kashmir and the universality of human pain, loss, longing and hope too. Life is a juxtaposition of brutality and tenderness. And that’s why there can be no greater fiction than life itself. But beyond this, as I watched Hamid, I yearned to have faith like little, adorable Hamid had in Allah. His intense love and longing for his father moved me to tears. As Hamid hopes for his father’s return, he seeks the help of Allah through a mobile phone. And like life, the story unfolds in myriad ways.
Life’s brutal and in course of time, Hamid realises his father would never return. He will never see his father again. But he wants to finish the wooden boat (his father was an artisan and a poet too. Hamid wants to follow his father’s footsteps).
He realises that Allah will not bring back his father. But he moves forward in life and holds on to gentleness in his own sublime ways. In the end, when he receives two metal containers of red paints for his boat by parcel (I will not share the details of how and why here), he says to his mother with a smile, “Allah ne bheja hai “(Allah has sent it). And then in the end, he takes his mother on a ride in this beautiful boat painted in deep red. A boat made by his deft yet tender hands. The magic of human hands.
Kashmir with its ethereal physical landscape, bruised emotional landscape has been captured beautifully in Hamid.
As an adult negotiating through life, I often wonder about having a child’s faith and innocence. Hamid took me to that world.
And if there’s one gift I would want from life, I would like to ask for Hamid’s faith.
The film has a beautiful song titled Hukus Bukus — my favourite Kashmiri folk song. My Kashmiri friends always talk about this beautiful song with a smile. In happiness and pain, the song gives them a sense of home.
(Below) You can find few lines from the song with a little English translation in the end
“Hukus bukus telli wann che kus
onum batta lodum deag,
shaal kich kich waangano,
Brahmi charas puane chhokum,
Brahmish batanye tekhis tyakha.”
(The Teacher corrects:)
“Itkayne ne Itkayne
Tse Kus Be Kus Teli Wan su Kus
Moh Batuk Logum Deg
Shwas Khich Khich Wang-mayam
Bhruman daras Poyun chokum
Tekis Takya bane Tyuk”
Tse Kus Be Kus Teli Wan su Kus
(Who are you and who am I then tell us who is he the creator that permeates through both you and I)
In the end, THERE IS NO OTHER.