Muscat: Des Pardes a short film directed by an Indian expat Anirban Ray is scheduled to be screened at the Embassy of Pakistan here on February 1, 2024, the producers said.
The short film was recently premiered at a private screening here in the presence of the Ambassador of Pakistan Imran Ali Chaudhary and the Ambassador of Sri Lanka Ahamed Lebbe Sabarullah Khan.
The 24-minute film portrays blue-collared workers from different nationalities – Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, working together, staying in a labour camp and also playing cricket, which is a major binding factor amongst the expats from the Asian countries in the Sultanate of Oman to share their joy and sorrow moments.
The story, written by journalist and actor Kabeer Yousuf, highlights the problems of these expat workers and their hope and belief in camaraderie which brings them closer.
The story takes a twist, on a weekly off on Friday, when Akther (Sami Sarang), a Pakistani blue-collared labourer gets a call from his wife portrayed in the film by Mumbai’s Pooja Ajwani, that their little daughter Ayesha (Alankrita) was severely ill and was struggling for life.
The director got the best emotional scene from Ayesha, where she yells at her husband and says “Aapko kuch fikar hai hamari, Ayesha ki Tabiyat kharab hotey ja rahi hai” (Are you aware of what we are facing back home and our little one’s condition is worsening). A moved Akther tries to pacify her.
Being a holiday, all his colleagues are busy cooking, washing, playing cricket and getting their weekly groceries from the nearby mall, which is about 5 km from the Pakistani Labour Camp in Wadi Kabir, as they go by cycle or walking.
Watch the film here:
Director Anirban deftly highlights the emotions of all four labourers who leave halfway through their favourite game cricket when they see Akther weeping and pleading for his pending salary with the camp boss.
The camp boss played by Ansar Abdul was enjoying the World Cup cricket match on his mobile phone. He got irritated on seeing Akther coming after him for money.
Watching helpless Akther, Mohammed Jamal from Bangladesh lungs forward in full power with his bat towards the camp boss, but the kind-hearted Akther stops him, despite his little daughter struggling for life back home in Pakistan, and not given his salary by the camp boss.
The workers felt, that this was the time to unite and stand behind Akhter. Yet, all these workers had their own sordid stories that the film brilliantly captures.
“This is a story that awakens our conscience and sheds light on the goodness factor that is underlying in our hearts,” said Boban MP, CEO of Unimoni Exchange, which supported the film.
* Senior journalist