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Ajitpal Singh: 'Tabbar' is a more nuanced portrayal of Punjabis

 
By Arundhuti Banerjee
Mumbai, Oct 12 (IANS) As the thriller web show 'Tabbar' is all set to release, the director of the show and award-winning filmmaker Ajitpal Singh says it is his honest attempt to show a more nuanced side of the land of Punjab and a Punjabi family, away from the typically dumbed-down portrayal of the community that is often shown in mainstream Bollywood films.


As the story is set in Punjab, asked if being a Punjabi it was easy for him to treat the story with a certain sense of authenticity, Ajitpal told IANS, "Well, I am a Sikh, born in Punjab and lived in Ahmedabad, travelled across the country. So I am an insider with an outsider's lens as well. I understand the detailed nuance of a Punjabi family, the socio-cultural details of Punjab but at the same time, I can look at everything from an outsider's view.

"Punjab is a land of great spiritual diversity from where Sufism comes. Punjab is the land of Baba Bulleh Shah, Baba Farid and many more...it is a place where even today people go to dargahs and gurudwaras. Every Thursday, Sufi singers gather and sing songs in the dargahs. In 'Tabbar' the spiritual side that exists in Punjab comes naturally because this is how I look at Punjab."

He went on, "What do we know really about Punjabi music and culture? Only a few Bhangra beats, tandoori chicken and Sardar jokes? (laughs) Trust me, Punjab is more than that. Punjab is a place where Islam, Sikhism, and Hinduism flourished equally. It is a socio-culturally diverse land. In 'Tabbar' I have tried to show Punjab and Punjabis in a more nuanced manner that is away from the 'dumbification', that we often see in Bollywood films."

The show features Pawan Malhotra, Supriya Pathak, Ranvir Shorey, Gagan Arora, and Paramvir Singh Cheema. The story revolves around a family, a middle-aged couple with two grown-up sons. One of them goes to study in Delhi and then a series of incidents happen that turn their lives upside down.

Talking about the most intriguing part that tickled his mind to direct the web series and Ajitpal said, "The conflict between the two central characters is the core of the story that takes us to a different world altogether. There is a conflict between Omkar and Sargun. Sargun is a deeply religious, God-fearing woman whereas Omkar is not. He is slightly angry with his Creator because he has been waiting for something to happen for so long that he did not get it, after a point of long waiting it is only natural that we get upset, eventually angry. So that is the core conflict between the husband and wife."

"After a long time, when things started getting better in the family, again something happens that crushes the family. This time, how the conflict between Omkar and Sargun if it tears them apart or brings them together, is where the narrative flows. I loved the conflicts that make the story so engaging," he shared.

The story is written by Harman Wadala and Sandeep Jain, and produced by Ajay Rai. The music of the show is composed by Sneha Khanwalkar, one of the very special songs 'Turiya Turiya' is sung by Rekha Bhardwaj and Daler Mehndi.

'Tabbar' releases on October 15 on Sony LIV.

(Arundhuti Banerjee can be contacted at arundhuti.b@ians.in)

--IANS
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