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Mahesh Bhatt's thoughts on Dhoka

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By: Mahesh Bhatt, IndiaFM
Monday, July 09, 2007
All my life, I've been haunted by the fascinating questions of creativity. Why does an idea suddenly pop up from the unconscious at a given moment and eclipse all the other ideas that you are working on? What is the relationship between the creative act and the reality that you live in? How did an Arth or a Saransh, which, sourced from one's own anguished heart, become enduring classics which inspire even the current generation?

I ask these questions out of my own excitement. As a child, in my drawing classes, I loved watching two colors merge on a paper, and form an unpredictable third color. It is this unpredictable third, the result of merging two givens that is really at the heart of all creativity. Like a sperm that and an egg merge to become a complete new entity, so in the arena of creation on film, when truth and reality is merged with fiction, it creates what James Joyce called the 'uncreated conscience of the human race'. And these words stand out like lighted beacons in the dark night for generations to come.

There is an old Jewish story which goes like this: "Truth, naked and cold, had been turned away from every door in the village. Her nakedness frightened people. When Parable found her, she was huddled in the corner, shivering and hungry. Taking pity on her, Parable gathered her up and took her home. There she dressed Truth in story, warmed her and took her out again. Clothed in story, truth knocked again at the villager's doors and was readily welcomed into the people's houses. They invited her to eat at their tables warm herself by their fires..."

This tale which has been retold since the eleventh century teaches us something very useful. Clothing truths in stories is a powerful way to get people to open the doors of their minds to you and the truth you want to tell. One such story is Dhokha. As the newspaper headlines scream about Indian involvement in the UK terror plot, the nation is once again reminded that the demon of terrorism is very much alive and kicking. Where is this demon born? How do you rein it? These are some of the questions that Dhokha explores, albeit in a very exciting, nail biting plot.

Dhokha has the audacity to say what it says without mincing its words because it is born out of the love of one's country, and the compassion for the suffering of the Indian Muslim, who is presently being annihilated by the winds of Islamophobia which are raging through the world, and who, in our country, in its sixtieth year of independence, is still waiting to be included in the mainstream. To those who have blinded themselves to the suffering of their fellow human beings, Dhokha will be a jolt. It's a film that will compel you to get involved and change your perceptions about terrorism and its causes. It will be a death knell to that cowardly thinking that is all pervasive... 'I do not want to get involved.'

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