A royal landscape
Mystic Tale: The documentary was a tribute to state of Mewar
A World Apart ’, a documentary film directed and narrated by Zafar Hai, was recently screened at the National Gallery of Modern Art. The film was a mere 23 minutes long, but the seamless screenplay and interesting narrative made up for what it lacked in length.
The entire documentary was a tribute of sorts to princely Mewar and the rich, glamourous culture attributed to this land.
The title of the film is derived from the fact that although many Hindu principalities in the subcontinent began to absorb Islamic ways, Mewar retained its originality because of its terrain.
Geographically speaking, ‘A World Apart’ took the viewer from the flamboyant grandeur of Chittorgarh to the sweet intricacies of Udaipur, touching upon other aspects of Mewar along the way.
It remained largely historic, apart from occasional forays into mythology.
The royal family of Mewar has always held a reputation for bravery and honour,
believed to be descended from the Sun God himself.
The king of the principality always referred to himself as the ‘earthly ruler’ — merely
a regent, filling in for the divine. To this date, however, the inhabitants of the area are incredibly loyal to their current prince.
Among other things, the documentary attempts to discover why the citizens of a democracy would still pay homage to an outdated monarch.Chittorgarh was burnt down by a Sultan of Delhi, who found himself infatuated by one of the queens of the palace.
After a long and bloody battle — during which many of the women of the fort flung themselves to death — Chittorgarh was occupied.
Another bloody battle took place at Chittor a few years later, when it was occupied by King Akbar.
The sole survivor of the royal family — Uday Singh — travelled a distance away from the fort and began to rebuild a palace, at what is now known as Udaipur.
The documentary comprises some superb stills and shots of the area’s beautiful architecture. In one scene, an entire battle is described simply by using a large painting of the scene to illustrate the various parts.
The music, which was haunting in parts and more upbeat in others, was the perfect accompaniment to the narrative.