Turkish Poster of Barfi

“So cute naaa”.

“That’s soo chweeeet”.

These were some of the affectionate exclamations coming from the row behind. Not just twenty somethings, even the aged ladies had extreme niceties for the leading character, who happens to be deaf and mute. The crest achieved, when Ranbir climbs atop a tower and turns the town clock back, in an attempt to woo his dream lady.

“Oh Nooooooo”….entire hall squirmed … and longed for Illena to accept Ranbir, as I presume the entire Barfi praising fraternity did. Everyone coming out of the multiplex corridors had nothing but words of sympathy, sweetness for the movie.

Barfi isn’t for the small town or single screen audiences; it isn’t an inspirational story ala “Iqbal”, nor a laugh riot like “Vicky Donor”. Since it’s meant for the multiplex audience, the only possible message the audience can pick is on the “power and strength of love” and “to increase sensibilities and compassion towards the unfortunate”.

My doubt is whether the same gadget slinging, titanium card swiping, pop corn munching multiplex audience would have had the same sense of affection had they encountered Barfi in real life. Would they even consider falling in love with him or even being friends?

Am no angel, and I would not have married anyone with such disablities. This I say, despite spending two years of my life madly (and unsuccessfully) trying to convince a lady to accept me; a lady with severe physical disability. My engineering college mates may still remember me for that. But that was that.

A Barfi doesn’t exist in your city, in those lavish malls or in the ice cream parlours. Even if he does, you are unlikely to find him huggable. He won’t either have designer blazers, Monte Carlo sweaters, well styled stubble, or the fair, chiselled looks of the Kapoor boy. The challenged son of a driver would likely be doing odd jobs, abused and exploited around, or selling pens/key-rings on local trains in case he managed to survive the need for begging.

If Barfi was made with Irfan Khan, Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddique or Vijay Raaz as the lead and pit a Sahana Goswami or Prachi Desai opposite him, it would have sunk without a trace. Critics would have spoken more about its flaws than go ga-ga the way they, social media and entire film fraternity have gone about so far now.

Nor does Jhilmil exist in your city, in those lavish malls or in the ice cream parlours. A girl so attractive and lost, in the streets of Kolkata or in the fields of neighbouring villages, would likely be caught around, raped around and thrown around, multiple times. She would be no more than a sex object of an sick society, till she has nothing left, but rag-picking for survival. Anjan Das’s national award winning Bengali movie “Faltu” addresses one such character,more realistically.

A mentally unstable village lady, reduced to begging and living under a secluded tree, was raped by so many men, that when she delivers a boy, every villager thinks it’s possibly his son. ‘Faltu’ is treated well by everyone, for over two decades, till he falls in love. And subsequently gets to know whereabouts of his origin, which forces him to conclude that he cannot marry any girl in that village, as she could be his sister.


So Jhilmil, Barfi don’t exist in reality, and hence they should be treated no more than how you view a Batman, Spiderman or a Madagascar movie – unreal; but you wish they existed like that!

They are unlikely to. Not in the countries for whom this movie has been made. The audience will continue to rave but unlikely to get any human message from it.

The movie has a major flawed line when Priyanka Chopra’s childhood years are described as embarrassment by her parents “Un dino” (those days). Wrong. If a child were to be born autistic, most parents will treat him/her till the point they have hope and then subsequently despatch to a “muskaan” or a special school.

In my lifetime, am just aware of one couple in this earth who went against odds, against society, against family and raised an absolute challenged boy for twenty two years. Even close relatives called him “vegetable” but for the “Gandbhirs”, they treated him as if he was God’s reincarnation. They were my landlord for a year in Mumbai, everyday my respect growing for them.

Barfi! Bollywood Movie HD Wallpapers

Just imagine, if you were unfortunate enough to be born with a severe disability, what was the probability your parents would have kept you in the house, taken you to the lavish malls, the ice-cream parlours for even two years?

Or if you are unfortunate enough to become severely disabled in your old age, what is the probability your kids will keep you in the house, take you to the lavish malls, the ice-cream parlours for two years?

Or if your aged parent or even your spouse becomes severely disabled in future, what is the probability you will keep them in your house, take them to the lavish malls, the ice-cream parlours for two years?

It needed two top draw stars, Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and a new face to get everyone going. The aforementioned two are one of the few performers around who don’t mind experimenting with challenging roles, outside their staple image and comfort zone. They were brilliant and put heart into characters, they strongly believed in. Anurag Basu and the crew deserve applause for that.

The audience don’t. They don’t deserve a Barfi.

 If your sensibilities and compassion towards the unfortunate hasn’t increased after this movie, if you believe the strength and power of love comes after materialistic gains, you probably didn’t deserve Barfi too.


  1. Very realistic and valid take on the way society looks at disability.
    The vision that we have of disability is limited to a simple impoverished living, possibly in some special home.
    People do cite cases of people falling in love and marrying someone with a disability, but is very very rare… Requires not only courage but an eye that looks beyond physicalities…
    Some attempts in hindi films have been made, i can think of: Sparsh, Sunaina, Anuraag, etc


  2. You are right bro!
    And I say this after spending half of my life with my cousin who happens to be a born deaf and mute. Today she is a graduate – works – has a husband who also happens to be same deaf and mute – as no one will marry her with those disabilities – not that we didnt tried hard but somehow we knew – it isnt going to happen – today they have a 10 year old son who is totally normal and now we speak to him on fone and he conveys are message to them and vice versa – i had tears in my eyes throughout as right after the songs – I told wifey the ending this movie will have and I was spot on. Even her expressions were shocking when she saw the same happening in the movie. We have experienced the same up close and personal and even today we live with that – thats the truth and this is how it will be.

    “Black” and this one will always remaing closer to my heart cause of my sister – she is just two years younger to me and we crave so much to communicate – WOW – I have so much to say after reading your take but I guess I am in office and just cant do it with a straight face.
    Some other time – some other day.
    Totally agree – Audience doesnt deserve this Barfi! Not now – now yet.


  3. WOW!!

    A realistic and shake them till they wake up kind f a review.

    I am not sure of the odds in the society… but in my life time I have seen two families take care of their severely mentally challenged kids till they passed away in their youth.

    The first case.. the kid was so challenged… she once bit off chewed her mom's fingers when hungry. And when I met the family… i was in UKG and she was 20+. Yet… as I remember… she was treated with more love, compassion and affection than I have seen in my own life.

    Second case… the child was autistic. The parents did not have their second child till the autistic child was in her preteens and all that while took care of her, trained her to do her basic chores herself. The second child… when she was born was about 10-12 years younger to her older sister. She was brought up to love, respect and care for her older sis like I have seen no other sibling do. I had met this second family when I was in high school. I was put to shame by the compassion the 5 year old had for her older sis.

    And yes… they took her to ice-cream parlor… well actually to the only ice cream shop in my town back then… The softy corner Bistupur.

    In both the cases.. I was and am still in awe of the parents.



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