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Mazhabi Laddu preview: A heartwarming tale about sweet treats, social conditioning

The film maps Azeem’s struggle to understand why his wish to eat the religious offerings of prasad is seen as an unhinged desire by his family, one that is akin to gunah or sin.

Ramna Walia

The 5th annual edition of the Woodpecker International Film Festival will screen Mazhabi Laddu, a heartwarming tale of an eight-year old Azeem’s quest for a forbidden treat — laddoo. In this short 20-minute film, Saurabh Tyagi dives into the innocent desire of a child for a treat and his encounters with the biases of social conditioning in family environment.

The film maps Azeem’s struggle to understand why his wish to eat the religious offerings of prasad is seen as an unhinged desire by his family, one that is akin to gunah or sin.

Torn between his desire to eat the laddoo and words of warning from his family, Azeem faces a moral conundrum. While he is debilitated by the worst possible repercussions for his actions, the film poses the real dilemma of the narrative — poisoning of young minds and caging their desires. Mazhabi Laddu is a meditation on how toxic expression of religious identity and boundary-keeping is passed on from generation after generation and engenders intolerance towards ‘the other’.

While the discourse on intolerance often hinges on violence of one group on another, Mazhabi Laddu inverts this violence to accentuate severity of it for an adolescent.

Why you should watch the film

Mazhabi Laddu takes the viewers beyond the political rhetoric of religious intolerance to the lived experiences of our everyday interactions that are often clouded by social biases that pollute even the most nurturing spaces of an ordinary life. Mazhabi Laddu avoids a pedantic approach and instead uses light tone in the narrative. Mohit Jayesh Shah as Azeem gives a powerful performance as a child caught in a moral dilemma. It’s a small film with a big heart, a must-watch at Woodpecker International Film Festival 2017!

Mazhabi Laddu will be showcased at the Woodpecker International Film Festival on 12 November, 12.35pm, Siri Fort Auditorium-II.

Related topics

Woodpecker International Film Festival