In 1935 Rassolan Bali the well known singer from Varanasi, India recorded for the Gramaphone a thumri that she would never sing again Lagat Jobanwa ma chot, phool gendwa na Maar ( My Breasts are wounded don’t throw flowers at me). A variation of her more famous bhairai thumri Lagat Karejwa ma chot, Phool Gendwa na Maar (My Heart is wounded don’t throw flowers at me), the 1945 recording never to be repeated faded from public memory and eventually got lost.
More than seventy years later the film travels through Varanasi Lucknow and Muzzafarpur in Bihar to search for the forgotten thumri. This journey opens a Pandora’s box of life stories memories half remembered songs and histories that for ling have been banished into oblivion. It brings the film face to face with the enigmatic figure of the tawaif, courtesan bai ji and the contested terrain of her art practice and lifestyle. To understand the past and present of the Tawaif the film early 20th century around the control censorship and moral policing of female sexualities and cultural expression.
Language; Hindi/Urdu/English/English Subtitles