“Hamare gaon mein bijli kab bhejoge?” (When will you send electricity to our village?) This question starts the journey of a life time for Suraj – the protagonist of the first Be! Movie.
Suraj’s story is set in the picturesque village of Lachchipur; close to the village a dam is being built and everyone in the village is very excited by this development. The villagers are hopeful that now, after many years, their village will finally have electricity. But when Suraj’s sister, Puja goes to the dam site to find out when electricity will come to their village, the engineers laugh at her. They say that the electricity from the dam is for big towns and cities, not for her sleepy village.
Suraj decides to take charge of the situation and goes to everyone from the village headman to the district collector in order to get electricity. In fact, the district collector taunts Suraj to create electricity on his own if he wants it so much. And that is what he decides to do.
Suraj searches for information about ‘creating electricity’ and seeks out Pooran Bhandari. Bhandari tells Suraj how with the use of traditional technology of water mills (gharats) he can generate electricity and light for the village. Suraj is overjoyed to hear this and can’t wait to start on renovating the gharat in their village but there is a bigger challenge that he must face: to convince the villagers to be a part of the project and find the money needed to renovate the gharat.
With the help of his friends and calls for a village meeting where he tells everyone all he has discovered about the gharat. He tells them all that will be possible once they have electricity: children will be able to study late at night, people will be able work at night, will be able to start different kinds of enterprises – their productivity will double, their lives will be better. His impassioned arguments convince the village women who decide to support him.
But even with their support, he doesn’t have enough money. To make his dream a reality Suraj has to take the biggest risk he has ever taken: get a bank loan…
Watch the movies in early 2011.
Director: Vinnil Markhan
Director of Photography: Vishnu Rao
Script: Shiraz Ahemd
Photographs: Nitin Upadhye