Taaza Khabar: Train from Manikpur to Chitrakoot
Director: Bishakha Datta; Cinematographer: Ranu Ghosh
Duration: 00:17:58; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 200.238; Saturation: 0.030; Lightness: 0.231; Volume: 0.176; Cuts per Minute: 4.339; Words per Minute: 15.967
Summary: Part of the footage of the film Taaza Khabar directed by Bishakha Datta and produced by Nirantar. The film is about the journey of a team of all women journalists of Khabar Lahariya (a grassroots newspaper published by the women themselves) through several obstacles. The determined efforts are to ensure the 62nd issue of Khabar Lahariya reaches its readers on time. The women are from Chitrakoot district in U.P. who report stories that find no space in mainstream media. It also portrays how these women have created their own space and established their identity in a context where patriarchy and caste-based discriminations are dominant. In this event, four Khabar Lahariya journalists, travel from Chitrakoot to Manikpur by train. The video captures their journey, their encounters with fellow passengers and conversations during the travel. Their presence as journalists is strong, as they try to distribute the newspaper to people around them, spreading awareness and information about Khabar Lahariya.
A pictorial map of Chitrakoot called "Chitrakoot darshan" (view) shows the various places in Chitrakoot in a colorful and simple representation. The map is located at the Northen Central railways at Chitrakoot, from where the Khabar Lahariya journalists are taking a train to Manikpur. The places are all indicated with pictures of small structures and the name of the place written beside it.
Many travellers wait at the Chitrakoot station late in the evening. The sky still has a hint of sunlight suggesting that it's early in night. Four Khabar Lahariya journalists - Manju, Mithilesh, Kavita and Meera enter the platform. Just as they wait, the train enters the station. The women watch the train pass until it slows down and stops. They enter the train and settle down. Mithilesh is reading the newspaper while Kavita looks out of the window. Manju takes the paper and starts to read it. Meera starts to talk about how they could have reached earlier, had the train not arrived late. They start to discuss the plan of action at Manikpur. One of the other women passengers reads out the news aloud from Khabar Lahariya. In the background, Kavita tells someone about news and Khabar Lahariya.
Voice: you see
Kavita (K): (peeping out of the window)
Voice: who are you looking for?
K: I can't see anybody, I think he is gone
Train moving out of the station
K: We have spent half the time here.
Mira (M): By this time we would have reached Manikpur, if the train would have come at 4.20 a.m, we would have reached
Manju (MJ): it's running an hour late
M: We are going to her house to check what is happening, then we will go to our house on the 27th. And after that we will go to the place which was infected with TB (Tuberculosis). We will go there with Shanti.
MJ: You all will speak to the DM now? (District Magistrate)
M: No, we have already spoken to him, he said the area which was infested with the TB infection they have sent all the medicines.
Manju and Meera hand the newspaper to men sitting across them. Two of them accept it, while one brushes it off, uninterested in having a look. Manju keeps it back, happy that she tried, while Meera quotes the price as only 2.5 Rupees. Kavita chats with the other women passengers, explaining Khabar Lahariya to them as a newspaper run by women journalists from Chitrakoot. She tells them that they can get a lot of information from it regarding various issues if they read it.
MJ: See there are streams here
The train passes through long stretches of green landscape. Meera and Manju talk about the topography of the area and how it seems like it rained, as the rivers are overflowing. They have a light chat about sarees and clothes.
MJ: There would not be a river, I guess these are fields are water logged
M: Yes, that could be true, it looks like stream as they rain water must have filled up the place
MJ: What is it there?
M: Somebody must have taken over the space
MJ: Isnt it the Mata Tila?
M: It is not here, it is in Tikambar
MJ: Here also we have something
M: Ya something is like that in Dhankutti, till date I have not heard about Mata Tila here, we have it in Tikambar.
M: I have got three saris and one blouse
MJ: One, this green one only?
M: Ya, all the three are green and it is this blouse only. I have one that I have given to the tailor to make it, and the other one has gone as a sample to him.
Voices: Chai, Chai
The train reaches Manikpur and the journalists get down the train. They meet their colleagues who are waiting for them at the station and exchange friendly greetings. The ambience of the Manikpur station is captured well with the sights and sounds of
the chai wallas (tea seller), bhajia stalls (snack shop), boys selling jalebis (fried sweet made of flour) and samosas.
(A snack from South Asia which is like a potato stuffed patty, deep fried in oil. The crust is made of flour). There are beggars asking for alms and women onloading wood from the train. A long shot of the Manikpur station, with the board on one side and the women walking up the stairs on the other, give an overall sense of the station. They walk down another set of steps and out of the station.