ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Taangh: Longing—For Whom and for What?

Bani Singh’s documentary film Taangh is a personal homage as well as the coming together of unknown stories about India’s hockey gold medal in the 1948 London Olympics.

The reason I am venturing to discuss Bani Singh’s debut documentary Taangh (Longing [2021]) is because its central theme is close to my research interest—partition and its continuing impact on the subcontinent. Many bore the tragedy, whose impact continues to be felt in different parts of the country and in everyday social and political life.

Taangh is multiple sensitivities rolled into one. On the one hand, it is the coming together of some unknown stories, both human and professional, associated with India’s first hockey gold medal in the 1948 London Olympics, and on the other, it is a daughter’s homage to her father, Grahnandan Singh (Nandy Singh, as he was popularly known), who had played in the right-forward position on that winning team. But between these two narratives is tucked perhaps a more important one—the rediscovery of the emotions of millions of Indians and Pakistanis who were torn apart by circumstances from their ancestral homes and loved ones and forced to “resettle” in their new abodes. Their new homes were not altogether alien, yet not entirely the same. This yearning is given a name by the film-maker—Taangh, “longing” in Punjabi. For whom and for what is this longing?

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Updated On : 4th Apr, 2022
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