A poet and singer Lalon Fakir who belongs to a cult called baul and who believes and inculcates that the value of a human being is above the narrow belief of religions. The movie depicts his life from his young age. Lalon was a born Hindu and happened to be a beautiful singer and had to accompany a group for a pilgrimage where he was believed to die out of a severe illness. Afterward he was rescued and saved by a Muslim family. There he came across a Fakir known as Siraj Sai who inspired him to a new life and Lalon was beginning a eternal journey to quest his own soul. Once he tried to go back to his original family & eventually was rejected for his company with Muslims. Thus the story of a great poet & singer and his quest unfolds.
Rabindranath Tagore’s elder brother Jyotirindranath Tagore, a Western educated bright young man from the 19th century Bengal met the octogenarian Lalan Fakir and drew a portrait of the poet saint in the former houseboat afloat on the Padma river. Jyotirindranath, an urban intellectual exchange views with the man of native wisdom. Their exchange of ideas forms the cinematic narrative of this film. The narrative is a saga of the life and time of Lalan Fakir and his liberal sect who lived a life of high order in an otherwise superstitious 19th century Indian society. Lalan inherited the best of the liberal and enlightened tradition of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam to develop a philosophy of life which is extremely secular and tolerant. Thus became an easy prey for the fundamentalists from the Hindu and the Muslim institutions. They were the parallel stream flowing freely in the heart of rural Bengal when men like Tagore were germinating ideas of the Bengal Renaissance. The love and compassion of Lalan is relevant more than ever in today’s world of intolerance and hate.
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