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Posted at: Sep 29, 2015, 12:54 AM; last updated: Sep 28, 2015, 8:51 PM (IST)

A menace, a message

Drugs have destroyed the lives of many youngsters in Punjab, a harsh reality that will soon be highlighted on the big screen in Punjabi movie Qissa Punjab
A menace, a message
CAUSE BOUND: (L- R) Harshjot Kaur, Kul Sidhu, Annu Bains, Preet Bhullar, Jatinder Mauhar, Aman Bhardwaj, Dheeraj Kumar and Jagjeet Sandhu Photo: S Chandan

Mona

One can fathom how real the drug menace is when almost every single person present in the hall acknowledges knowing at least one, if not many, person falling prey to it! A student talks of how he lost not one but three of his young friends and no amount of rounds to doctors for de-addiction worked. There is another who talks of parents and their only son, who are reduced to living in a room under tarpal having lost most of their money, land and house to pay for drugs. Yet another shares how the dreamy first-year college students totally lose track of their lives once they take on this road to destruction.

Venue: Audi 2, PVR Elante
Event: A talk show on Punjabi film Qissa Punjab.

The film’s trailer takes us to the state that has rarely seen the happy-go-lucky Punjabis, which we witness in Bollywood or even Pollywood films. This Punjab is grey in the dead of winter and paints a grim scene. A sports-person, a dancer, a singer, an immigrant in the making, an orphan girl struggling to study and a snatcher; the circumstances they face and choices they make and how life pans out for them is what makes Qissa Punjab.

The film addresses a grave issue but its maker, Annu Bains, promises that it is ‘entertaining’. Its director Jatinder Mauhar would rather call it ‘engaging’. The man who has given Mitti and Sarsa, works with only one aim — to make a film that has a deep impact on its viewers.

The talk show witnessed people getting touchy about the problem, which seems to grow each day. The six lives are real people, from real Punjab, newcomers with a background in theatre. “The idea was to take actors who would fit well,” shares Annu Bains. The six actors – Preet Bhullar as Arjun, Kul Sidhu as Kismat, Dheeraj Kumar as Heera, Jagjeet Sandhu as Speed and Harshjot Kaur as Sukhjeet, admit that they have felt pretty close to their on screen avatars. Qissa Punjab has been doing the rounds of International Film Festivals and Annu Bains, who launches Pukhraj Production House with this, hopes to click with the youth. “It’s story about youngsters and I bet the audience will relate to the characters.” Aiming at some resolution? “We have shown how choices youngsters make impacts their life.” The film hits the screens on October 16.

mona@tribunemail.com

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