Not in the Muthi Camp precisely, but yes I have seen them yearning and longing for the warmth of their home and hearth in those sports teams accommodations beneath the circular pavilions at MA Stadium (Jammu). I have seen families huddled together with those compartments carved out of Dhoti's and Saree's, apparently in a botched up bid to attain some level of privacy.
I have seen it all and Shikara has fairly managed to hand hold and usher me down the memory lane, where I was a budding teen living through that yet again ugly phase of this 30-odd-year long conflict.
Honestly speaking, I went to the cinema hall with my own share of prejudice emanating out of that pre-release din about the film. But then Vidhu Vinod Chopra as a seasoned filmmaker and then Vidhu with Abhijat and Rahul as writers beautifully managed to demolish all that with their sheer professionalism and rational approach to the subject.
Shikara is quintessentially a painful love story laden with pathos of Kashmir conflict, an honest attempt and very well encased within the ambit of this love story set in the backdrop of events spanning from 1987-2018 to showcase the pain of being in unending exile and the state of being refugees in their own nation of an otherwise sober community conventionally known for its flair for knowledge and learning. A community that we all as conscientious Indians owe a collective responsibility and onus for not being able to do 'just enough' to get them back to their home and hearth.
The film dons the professional attire of beautiful cinematography showcasing the flora, fauna and climatic hues of Kashmir besides lending the most authentic colours to those cultural murals of paradise. I will consciously fetch this liberty to place it on the top of its genre and subject, so far by these virtues. Adil and Sadia of course remain the stellar performers and show stoppers with their laboriously research backed ones.
Priyanshu Chatterjee (Tum Bin Fame) out of blue with that new hairdo fairly fits the bill as a 'Koshur Bod Boay' (Kashmiri Big Brother), someone we all looked up to in our teens. Yet again an authentic touch to the subject, not to mention that the scene where he gets murdered by ultras is the one where I actually felt a lump in my throat, but thanks to my narrow lacrimal ducts and the fact that they didn't actually gave away.
I am giving it a fair 9.5/10 for all this and much more, much that I won't be able to justify with any phraseology. I'm holding this 0.5 for small and negligible trivia, which could've been worked out with a bit more of attention to the detail. But then again it's an articulate work of fiction based on reality.
The author is a decorated medical doctor based out of Kashmir. Views expressed are author's own.