Anjali Monteiro & K.P. Jayasankar

Anjali Monteiro | K.P. Jayasankar


So Heddan So Hoddan

Year: 2011

Language: Hindi

Subtitles: English

Duration: 52 mins

A Public Service Broadcasting Trust Production

Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai, a medieval Sufi poet, is an iconic figure in the cultural history of Sindh. Bhitai’s /Shah Ji Risalo/ is a remarkable collection of poems which are sung by many communities in Kachchh and across the border in Sindh (now in Pakistan). Many of the poems draw on the eternal love stories of /Umar-Marui/ and /Sasui-Punhu/, among others. These songs speak of the pain of parting, of the inevitability of loss and of deep grief that takes one to unknown and mysterious terrains.

Umar Haji Suleiman of Abdasa, in Kachchh, Gujarat, is a self taught Sufi scholar; once a cattle herder, now a farmer, he lives his life through the poetry of Bhitai. Umar’s cousin, Mustafa Jatt sings the Beths of Bhitai. He is accompanied on the Surando, by his cousin Usman Jatt. Usman is a truck driver, who owns and plays one of the last surviving Surandos in the region. The Surando is a peacock shaped, five-stringed instrument from Sindh. The film explores the life worlds of the three cousins, their families and the Fakirani Jat community to which they belong.

Before the Partition the Maldhari (pastoralist) Jatts moved freely across the Rann, between Sindh (now in Pakistan) and Kutch. As pastoral ways of living have given way to settlement, borders and industrialisation, the older generation struggles to keep alive the rich syncretic legacy of Shah Bhitai, that celebrates diversity and non-difference, suffering and transcendence, transience and survival. These marginal visions of negotiating difference in creative ways resist cultural politics based on tight notions of nation-state and national culture; they open up the windows of India’s national imaginary.


IDPA Silvers for Script, Sound Design and Cinematography, 2011

Best film, International Folk Film Festival, Kathmandu, 2012

Basil Wright Award, RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film, 2013

Festival Selection

Open Frame, New Delhi, 2011

Film South Asia, Kathmandu, 2011

Indian Panorama, 2011

International Film Festival of India, 2011

International Folk Film Festival, Kathmandu, 2012

Goettingen International Ethnographic Film Festival, 2012

Vibgyor International Film Festival 2012, Kerala, India
Mumbai International Film Festival 2012
Signs 2012, Kerala
Madurai International Film Festival, 2012
Intimalente Festival of Ethnographic Film, Caserta, Italy, 2012

RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film, 2013

Culture Unplugged International Online Film Festival, 2013

Parramasala, Sydney, 2013