We are introduced to three characters in ‘Baawara: Isko Kya Ho Gaya?’, a 7 1/2-minute short film by Sameer Bundela: there’s Raju, the bumbling, filmi boyfriend; Neha, the carefree bestie with the potential to be something more; and our protagonist Aayu, a young girl dissatisfied in her relationship and questioning whether her feelings for Neha might transcend mere friendship.
In just a few short minutes, ‘Isko Kya Ho Gaya?’ covers some very important, yet very stigmatized issues. Aayu has been stuck in a relationship with the well-meaning Raju for two years, and though she’s clearly unhappy, she finds herself unable to sever ties with him. Her friendship with Neha offers her the emotional connection she’s missing with Raju, which leads Aayu to begin to question her own sexuality. Is it possible she could be in love with Neha? Not helping matters is Neha herself, who makes off-the-cuff remarks about finding herself a girlfriend when the men in her life prove lackluster. She allows herself to get physically and emotionally close to Aayu, who mistakes her actions for mutual interest. And yet, when Aayu finally opens herself up to Neha, Neha proves herself unworthy of Aayu’s trust by laughing at her and humiliating her in the process.
Aayu’s questions about her own identity are not definitively answered, but we are left with the notion that it is perfectly acceptable to not know what (or whom) you want at such a young age. From Aayu’s perspective, we see that love and attraction are not always easily categorized; yet in today’s society, the confusion young people like Aayu face is not often met with compassion.
It is hard to do justice to such a nuanced topic in such a short film, but director Sameer Bundela makes a sincere attempt. It’s a story that many young people will be able to relate to, one that could even be fleshed out into a full-length film. In short: it’s a start, and an important one at that.
Check out the film below!