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This is a major Marathi melodrama based on one of the most influential 20th C. Marathi novels (1935), a fictionalised account of the childhood years of Sane Guruji (1899-1950). A nationalist influenced by Vinoba Bhave and esp. Gandhi, he was imprisoned repeatedly for his work among the peasantry and participation in the Quit India agitations. His book 'Shyamchi Aai', written in jail, has 45 episodes in which Shyam, a youth living in poverty in Konkan, recalls the teachings of his mother. Despite its emphasis on a ruralist realism, the characters remain exemplary and (surprisingly for Atre) humourless stereotypes. The film, like the book, relies on flashbacks as Sane Guruji (D. Joshi) tells the stories in homage to a person to whom he owes everything. Episodes showing the young Shyam’s maturation culminate in the mother’s death. Read More