The Common People's Story-Teller

Dr. Trilok Kumar Jain
Published on: 24th February 2015
Travelling through the throngs
Searching the unknowns
Igniting positives
Seeing the spark in the eyes of common people
Immersing down the drudgeries
Listening to the feelings of people
Healing the wounds
Sharing the common concerns
Supporting, caring, trusting .. .
The people’s own story teller
I remember my childhood days when people used to enjoy travelling in train because it used to give an opportunity to interact and talk to some strangers and convert those strangers into friends. I could introduce myself to any person and start a friendship chord. Any person could just speak “Ram Ram” and break the silence. Time passed by and the situation changed. Today, most people get themselves engrossed in mobile phone when they are travelling through train. At most it is ‘hello – hi’ and that’s all. No interaction takes place these days. Moreover, the frequent loud speakers at railway stations and other such places keep announcing “beware of strangers, they may kill you, don’t touch unknown things, it can be a bomb”. The very joy of travelling through train and bus has disappeared. The hyper-publicized fear of terrorists has sucked out the joy of interactions with other human beings.  However, there are some courageous people, who still love this opportunity to listen to the strangers and convert strangers into friends. I will share with you my encounter with Abu, who came down from Bangladesh to Jaipur to present his films in Jaipur International Film Festival.
The Common People’s Story-Teller
Abu Shahed Emon spent his childhood in India-Bangladesh border. He would cross the border at his wish and the border had no meaning for him until one day, when the border was properly erected. For some time he could still swing on the fences but now crossing the border was not an easy task. Visiting India became a dream. He visited many countries and finally he got the opportunity to visit India. As a film-maker, he was invited to visit India during film festivals. He had two choices – use the flight and reach the destination or use public transport and pierce through the real India. Guess, what he chose? He decided to pierce through India and immerse into the real India. He used bus to travel from Dhaka to Kolkata and used train for further travel. He engrossed himself in interacting with common people wherever he got the opportunity. He would cull out stories from common people and weave them into a film to present before the society at large.

When he reached Jaipur, he had two options – to stay in a hotel near railway station or to stay in a hotel located far away from railway station. He chose the first option and used his spare time in visiting railway station, watching common people and interacting with them. When he talks to people, he soon discovers the pain, agony and the sufferings that common people are undergoing. He is able to blend these stories into a creative expression called 'film'. His films depict the stories of common people, and therefore, he calls himself “the story teller”. Yes, he is the story teller – narrating the stories of the common man. But who is interested in listening to those common stories? Sorry, nobody has the time to listen to common stories. We all assume that we know everything. We also believe that we understand what is happening in the world. But this is not what happens when we watch the films made by Abu Shahed Emon. His common stories can make you get surprised. The moment we watch his films, we realize that we had missed the stories of common people. The ‘story teller’ is right when he says that we are all missing the stories of common people.
What is globalization? For us, it is buying of some so called cheap international brands available everywhere. For some, it is the opportunity to live in a borderless world. For some others, it might be an opportunity to work in an MNC. Listen to the stories from Abu. The migrant workers from Bangladesh who went to other countries in search of their living, experienced disillusionment and struggled to survive. You will listen to many such stories from the ‘story teller’.
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