Rajkahini (2015) - full transcript

In August 1947, the British passed a bill regarding the partition of Bengal. Delving into the grim history of the Partition, Mukherjee's movie Rajkahini is woven around a border between the two nations that runs through a brothel housing 11 women.

Your daughter?
- Yes, sir. She was missing for 6 months.

May Allah bless-
Fine, fine, it's alright.

Few men left her here and went off.

They spoke of avenging the Noakhali riots.

What are you doing?
Listen to me carefully.

Your daughter is still alive.
Be thankful for that.

Come, let's go.

Now let us cheer for our country,
and repeat after me thrice -

Long live...
- India!

Long live...
- India!

Long live...
- India!

Long live...
- India!



Fatima! My dear!

Fatima? It's your father.
I am here. Fatima?

Fatima? Please say something.

This is your father.

Fatima, my dear. Where were you?

I've been looking for you for months.
Oh Fatima?

Fatima? Are you ok?

Fatima? Fatima!


Why don't you say something?
Your mother is waiting for you.

She hasn't seen you for years.
She yearns for you.

Open the windows.

Let's go back home now.

Why do you lie there like a stone?

Didn't you hear me?
Come on, open!

My dear?

Come now, let's go.

Oh Allah!

How did this happen?

No Women's Land

Good morning, sir.

This way.

Welcome, dear Radcliffe.

Welcome to India.

And then, he stormed in, snatched
the bronze lamp and flung it away.

The lamp smashed against a stone,
& was shattered to pieces!

And the Sun God's image-

What does the Sun God look like?

Like Lord Shiva?
- Oh God! Only questions.

Will you shut up and listen?

So a black stone fell off the wall.

Subhaga cried, "You fool! What did you do?
Destroyed the Sun Temple & insulted the Gods?"

Gayeb said, "I don't care about the Gods.

Tell me! Whose son am I? Or else-

Whose daughter am I?

Little rascal! Why do you
ask so many questions?

Can't you shut up & listen?

Let it be. I'll return the book
when Professor comes.

You are impossible-

Go take a bath quickly.
Grandma, Begum Jaan is calling us.

I'm in quite a mess, it seems.

Well, I wouldn't disagree.

Which is why I would suggest to you,
stay away from the hearings.

But surely my Lord, if I'm chairman of
a committee, I would need to preside.

There are meetings I've to set up.
There are people I've got to meet-

My dear sir.
Do you know what this is?

No, my Lord.

It is one list of many prepared
by the Separation Council.

Of the administrative assets to be
divided between India & Pakistan.

Let's see.

Durries, table lamps, iron safes...

cash boxes, cycles,

typewriters, electrical heaters,

magnifying glasses & many more.

Now Radcliffe, add to that,
government officials,

the Army, roads,

railway lines, bridges,

trees, rivers...

You could add the damned Himalayas
& the Thar desert for all you know.

I don't comprehend, my Lord.

We're about to cut through a
5000 year old civilisation here, Radcliffe.

And the people are going
to be very, very angry.

In light of the impending partition
of the land we proudly call India...

The All India Congress Committee,

would like to submit...

its modest
claims and suggestions...

for the facilitation of the same.

As discussed in our recent sessions...

we moot a separate proposal
to the Congress scheme...

as previously submitted
to your Lordships.

This new proposal...

is to be referred to
henceforth as the Congress Plan.

And in our view is infinitely
fairer to our Muslim brothers.

The largest stake that we claim
in a Muslim majority district...

would be that of Murshidabad.

Which we consider to be-
Order, order!

Which we... which we-
Order, order!

Which we consider to be of
vital importance, Your Lordships.

It would be blatantly unfair if...

Khulna, Faridpur & Bakarganj
are included as a part of India.

We must also remember that...

all the jute fields
will be on our side...

while the mills will be in Calcutta.

That's why we request you...

to include Calcutta in
Pakistan and-

Order! Order in the court!

What's wrong with you?
Bloody whore!

Have you gone mad, you bitch?

The same routine, bloody slut!

Why whore if you're insane?

I'll tell Begum Jaan-
Take that!

Bloody dickhead! Didn't I tell
you not to touch my breasts?

Dare do that again &
I'll castrate your tiny tool!

Hey Golap! Why scream
this early in the morning?

Begum Jaan beckons. Come fast.

Father or husband?

Or is it the brother?

The father, Begum Jaan.

He deserted her.

Oh my!

My dear! Better get this straight.

All men are assholes.

Remember. All men.

So he deserted you, sweetie?


What's your name?

Your name is...


Keep that in mind.

Grandma, take her away.

Give her a bath & get her ready.

Sujan! Get some clothes from the town.

Jui, Golap, Lata. Train her well.

And Mirza,

if any relatives or the police
enquire about her,

tell them that Begum Jaan
has sheltered her.

So they should stop searching.

Yes, Begum Jaan.

Wait, wait, wait!

Come here.

Sit. Sit here.


It hurt a lot, didn't it, Shabnam?

Shock, huh?

Isn't it Shabnam?

Everything will be fine.

Everything will be fine.

Yes. That's better.

Take her away.

Come along, my dear.

Cry & scream as much
as you want sweetie.

It'll be easier for you
to come back.

We went to Debiganj
Police station as well.

They said it was beyond
their jurisdiction.

That's why we came to you Sir-
We are also helpless.

It is beyond the jurisdiction
of Haldibari Police station...

outside the town.

The boys are growing up
& getting out of control.

The shameless sluts sit there all day.
Makes it difficult to pass...

the way they smoke and swear.

What did you expect, Mr.Ghosh?

Hymn-chanting harlots?

No, no, sir, it's not that.

But as you know, forget caste,
creed or character...

They spread deadly diseases.

Even laws of the past
couldn't prevent it.

Mr.Ghosh, last Saturday at
around 9:30PM...

where exactly were you?

Well... I mean...

Once a man visited
Mullah Naseeruddin.

Said his son is addicted to
sugar & needs to be cured.

Mulla asked him to come
after some time.

And then-
What are you trying to say, Sir?

I am unable to-

If you don't practice abstinence,
how will you preach it?

And what about Khulna?

It has a Hindu majority, right?

Well, yes. But as seen from
the Congress proposal...

though they most
certainly claim Khulna,

they would happily trade it for the
Muslim majority Murshidabad.

And in this way...

one can maintain a more
or less 70:30 ratio...

between the majority &
minority in the 2 countries.

And what about awarding
Murshidabad to Pakistan?

That's like awarding Calcutta
to Pakistan, my Lord.

Because the river system which
feeds this part of Bengal...

would be totally destroyed if
the line enters the area-

Fine, fine. Got it.

You are leveraging in the
other factors bit...

in the partition principle.


There is no question...

of awarding Calcutta to Pakistan.

Or of refusing Congress, Murshidabad.


Don't take another step!

Try hurting them if
you have the guts!

I, Salim Mirza, promise...

to kill you all, if
you try and pass.

Bloody eunuchs!

You call yourselves Muslims?


What a fight it was.


But our Mirza took them
on singlehandedly.

100 people.


He was a braveheart!

Faced 100 Muslims with
just a staff in hand.

They fled.

All of them.

And our Mirza...

only rested after shepherding
them to a camp.

What a strange country!

What a strange government!

He got fired for killing Muslims.

What about the Hindus he saved?

Grandma, are killing Hindus and
Muslims the same thing?

Frankly my Lord,

I don't have a very good
feeling about this.

This is my first visit to this country.

And I have no idea...

about its religions,

customs, polity and people.

I've had barely 5 weeks...

to study the topographical

What has to be done, has
to be done, Radcliffe.

And someone had to do it.

Well then, do we declare the line
at the assembly tomorrow?

Or do we call in for a press?


But my Lord, weren't we in a hurry?

Nehru called thrice.

And so did Jinnah.

I mean weren't we planning on getting out
of here as soon as possible?

Make no mistake, Radcliffe.

We're about to severe
the arms of a nation.

And it is going to be one bloody surgery.

We'd want proper
anaesthesia, right?


The anaesthesia of Independence.

We will declare it a couple
of days after...

the euphoria of 15th August.

(Nehru's Voice) Long years ago...

we made a tryst with destiny,

and now the time comes...

when we shall redeem our pledge,

not wholly or in full measure,

but very substantially.

At the stroke of the midnight hour,

when the world sleeps,

India will awake to life and freedom.

A moment comes,

which comes but rarely in history,

when we step out from
the old to the new,

when an age ends,

and when the soul of a nation,

long suppressed, finds utterance.

It is fitting that at this solemn moment...

we take the pledge of dedication...

to the service of India & her people...

and to the still
larger cause of humanity.

At the dawn of history...

India started on her unending quest,

and the trackless centuries which
are filled with her striving,

and the grandeur of her
successes & her failures.

Through good and ill fortunes alike...

she has never lost
sight of that quest...

or forgotten the ideals
which gave her strength.

We end today a period of ill fortunes...

and India discovers herself again.


For Bnuchki.

You shouldn't have.

She hasn't even finished
the previous book.

'Kings & Queens of Rajasthan'

Then, these sweets & fireworks.

Why spend so much?

Don't worry.

What do you think?

This comes from my tuition fees?

The party has a fund for social work.

Begum Jaan...

today our country
gained Independence.

Why so glum?

Holidays aren't good for business.

Not a single customer
since morning.

Wealthy men spend such
days with their families.

Not at brothels.

Only drunk farmers and savages.

They vomit on the beds, fight...

and they leave without paying.

And the police are the worst.

Begum Jaan, Independence!

After 200 years we are
independent of British rule.

On such an occassion-
All the same for a whore.

Fair, dark, brown or yellow, they're
all the same in darkness.

Hindu, Muslim, high caste, low caste.

It's all the same here.

This is like a country where-

Hey! Hey!

Hey you crazy bitch!

Why? Why?

Do you want to burn your face?

Tell me!

Who'll take you then?

You'll become a parasite.

I'll throw you out bitch!

Begum, let it be. Don't
scold her anymore.

Come with me.
- You are spoiling them!

Oh my!

What temper!

Shouldn't we get to
have some fun?

Fun doesn't feed.
You low caste bitch!

Don't talk about castes. I'm
of a lower caste then her.

But even I get angry.

You should leave now, Professor.
And don't bring gifts anymore.

We don't take favours.
We pay back to the last penny.

If not money then our bodies-
Why are you saying these things?

I come here...

for the country-

Let the country burn in Hell!

Hindu, Muslim or British,
this is a country for men!

How does it matter?

If you have the guts then
marry one of these girls.

How did marriage come
in to all of this?

Begum Jaan!

Begum Jaan?


Go for it!

Lazy slut! Just look at him.

How amusing it is, my friend

As you accompany Lord Krishna

His love moistens your body

As you accompany Lord Krishna

As you accompany Lord Krishna

His love moistens your body

How amusing it is, my friend

How amusing it is, my friend

What are you doing?

Please don't.

Just go!

Get out!

Look, look.


Did you understand?

All Begum Jaan is saying is that...

our hearts are as
valuable as our bodies.

More valuable than...

sweets and fireworks.

But I think you can afford it.

Well, gentlemen,

shall we resume?



Now for the award of the
Bengal Boundary Commission.

And we sincerely hope...

we don't have a North-West Frontier
Province kind of a situation.

No, sir.

It's far more complicated than that.

It would be much simpler...

if we could follow...

the principles of contiguity...

as proposed by our party.

And even simpler...

if we award the entire province
of Bengal to Pakistan.

Now, now gentlemen, let's not deviate.

The line.

Oh Father!

I am having to leave home.

Oh Father!

That is how the line...

after going through Dinajpur...

will pass through the entirely Muslim
dominated district of Malda.

The line shall then turn South-East...

The line shall then turn South-East...

down the river Ganges...

along the boundaries between
the districts of...

Malda and Murshidabad and...

Rajshahi and Nadia.

To the point in the North-Western corner...

of the district of Nadia...

where the channel of
the river Mathabhanga...

takes off from the river Ganges.

Your courtyard is like a mountain,

And the threshhold,
a foreign country.

Your courtyard is like a mountain,


Mr. Ilias is here.

Bring him in.


How are you?

Exactly how you all have kept us.

You all?



What else?

Mr.Suhrawardy's communally
inciting speech in August,

still haunts me.

How's your mother?

- Good.

Both of them.

Both narrowly escaped being raped.

Sorry Ili.

How are you?

Your wife Nazia?

She's not well.

She's dead, actually.

First she was raped.

Then set on fire.

Mom! Oh Mom!

Move! Mom!

Come let's play.

I can't play now.
Go play with Banno.

No! I want to play with you.

Oh God!

Tantrums during business hours!

Let go! Grandma
take care of her.

My darling girl...

We have so many stories to read.

The tales of Hambir, Rana Pratap,
Padmini (Kings & Queens)-

I don't want to hear any stories!

I don't like stories where
I can't ask questions!

Let's go play.

Hey kid!

Listen up.

Let's go picking wild figs.

Come with me.

Koli, take care of her.

Want to see baby pythons?

I don't want to go anywhere!

Just go. I'll take care of her.

Don't cry...

I think I'll leave.

Could I have my money back?
- Wait, don't go.

Hey! You son of a bitch!

Can't you see that a mother is
talking to her child?

Why're you creating a ruckus?

I was just saying-

What were you saying?

Are you getting late?
Come to my room.

Hey! You sleazy slut!

I've warned you not to
steal my customers!

Get lost!


Listen to me.

Play with Banno now.

I'll join you later.

No! I want to play with you!

Just stop it!

Begum Jaan will be here
any moment now!

Why force her?

Hey you bloody bugger!

Is this a brothel or
a playground?

You won't get a single penny
back! Just get lost!

But I didn't even touch her.

What is happening here?

Koli, Duli and Lata...

We have customers from Goalpara.

See what they need.

Banno, Golap should
be done by now.

Check if the room is empty.

Rubina, call Sujan.

Ask him to perform his act.

And Grandma...

please step inside.

Why can't I play with Mom?

More questions!

You see this uncle here?

Your mother has very important
business with him now.

And I have promised that...

they shall not be disturbed.

If you play now, I shall
be proved a liar.

Would you want that?

Rubina! Call Sujan & Shabnam.

All well at office?

I had no idea.

I saw it all.

One by one, they-
Betel leaf!

Still spits out betel leaf.

Same old Mr. Shyam-

What about Mr. Johnson?

Sorry, Ili.

You were allergic to
gulal (coloured powder).

You'd never play Holi.

But we would.

And you'd sneak in to
eat Halim and beef.


That was a long time ago.

I don't think our relationship-

No one will know that we
were friends or colleagues.

We shall remain 'enemies'.

People would know
us as members of...

the Congress & the Muslim League.

We shall do our work.

Then leave.

We'll never meet again.

There's just one problem.

The roots go so deep...

Don't worry.

Believe me...

it's easy for you to hate me now.

And of course, vice-versa.

Just recollect the atrocities.

Have you studied the plan?


It's a little complicated.

There's a lot of barren land.
But that's alright.

I took a preliminary tour.

There'll be a jungle.

Let's go. The officers from
Haldibari and Debiganj are waiting.

Which side are we on?


According to Mr.Radcliffe's line...

the border check post will be...

in between Haldibari
& Debiganj town.

The barbed-wire fence
will be put up there.

Along the Radcliffe line.

That is how the Indo-Pak
border will be determined.

We need your help in setting
up the fence & check post.

Will there be riots like in
Delhi, Amritsar & Lahore?


But the Muslim League won't
take that responsibility.

So the townspeople should
cross over now.

Because soon they will need a permit.

There'll be riots.

Mass murder of the minority.

Men shall become animals.

Now a monkey.

Now a tiger!

Let's have an elephant.

Like the one here.

Who are you calling an elephant?

Have you seen yourself?

According to Mr.Radcliffe's line...

that is where the border will pass.

Through that jungle, Mr.Akhtar.

The fence will bend like a river, Rangpur
and this side will be India.

Whose last station will be Haldibari.

And the other side is Pakistan.

First station will be Debiganj.

In the middle...

there will be border check posts...

What's that?

What's that Shashi?

You find these establishments
around town borders...

A Dargah?

Oh no!

It's a brothel. Begum Jaan's brothel.

We'll have to take
down the building.

Because Mr.Radcliffe's border
will pass through it.

And it is very likely that...

check posts will
be placed there.

Can't we bypass it?

We have to inspect the place.

But why're you so scared?

Hold on Mr.Akhtar. Let me explain.

Begum Jaan, the woman
who runs the place...

is a total terror.

Loud-mouthed and heavy-handed.

She has very influential customers.

Nawabs, sahibs, landlords...

So she doesn't care for the law.

Be careful. Take my hand.

Where is she from?

No one knows her real name.

But I've heard that she's a local.

She went to Varanasi after marriage.

But was soon widowed as a child.

And the rest is history.

She was sold to a brothel.

She then escaped to Lucknow.

Where she made it big as a courtesan.

After some years, she returned.

And opened her brothel
between the towns.

She is protected by the
Nawab of Rangpur.

Hence, could pull this off.

The heart can't accept...

The heart can't accept...

The heart can't accept...

The heart can't accept...

The heart can't accept...

Alas! The heart can't accept...

Alas! The heart can't accept...

that when the night is done

My beloved doesn't recognize me



The heart can't accept...

This time when you leave

Do wake me up

So that the empty bed beside me

Doesn't cause me heartburn

Don't want to drape myself
with the stole of sorrow

The heart can't accept...

that when the night is done

My beloved doesn't recognize me

The heart can't accept...



The heart can't accept...

On a silent evening,

Pushpabati could hear the sound
of hooves on the mountain.

Sometimes the songs of an old Jat,

And the sweet voice of the shepherd,

would blow in the winds.

Then atop the Vindhya mountains,

at the temple of
the Goddess Bhavani,

the puja bell would toll.

Then Pushpabati,

would hide the King's
letter in her hair,

wear a saree &
worship the Goddess.

In her heart,

she'd pray for the King.

Who's our Goddess?

Who do we pray to?

All my friends have forsaken me

Now my eyes will remain
lonely for an eternity

All my friends have forsaken me

Now my eyes will remain
lonely for an eternity

Finally have reconciled to
the separation from my beloved

Am a stranger to myself,
have antagonized the world

At an age when sunshine dims

The heart can't accept...

I have some bad news, Mr.Akhtar.

According to the map the Radcliffe line
passes right through this house.

Oh God!

So you're saying that one half
of this house is in India,

& the other in Pakistan.

Seems like the British have played
tic-tac-toe with the Partition.

I'm sure they thought through it.

So what do we do now?

Evict them. Destroy the house.

Can't put a barbed fence
through a courtyard.

Or border check posts beside it.


The military as neighbours would be-

How do we...

Proper paperwork.

Eviction notice, govt. officials...

It can't be a sudden invasion.

Let's call it a day.

We've to return soon. The fence
work will start next month.

Will you go or not?

I won't.

Are you sure?

Didn't I say I wouldn't?

Fine. Don't have to.


Please let's go.

Where to?

This is our home.

This is all we have.

Don't you want a family,
far away from here?

A family?

My family is here.

I don't like it!


Those men who visit
you at night.

And then... I hate it!

You bring them to me.

I know! But what can I do?

I owe Begum Jaan too much.


Have to do something...

Can't a pimp fall in love?

What did you say?

What can't happen?

Tell me.


Tell me!


What is so funny?

Come on, now in English.


No, I can't.


Say it.

Say it!

I love you.

Hey Sujan!

What's the matter?

Why are you crying
like a little girl?

Let me go!
- I won't.

What happened?
- Let me go!

What happened?
- Let me go, you witch!

Let me go!

Let me go, you bloody bitch!

People come and enjoy
my wife every night.

Feel like slaughtering them!


Do you know what this is?



With which mothers
feed their children.

Do you know what this is?


Like the forehead,

elbow, nose, ear, neck,

just another body part.

It's skin.

Just skin.

Skin of various hues.

And do you know what this is?

This is your Rubina.

Only this.

Everything else is...

Like Grandma says...

written in the Gita,
your holy text.

Old clothes.

Which we change everyday.

A storm is brewing.

Let's go.

Let's go.
- Not today.

Stomach ache.

Begum Jaan-

Didn't I say my
stomach's aching?

Can't I have an upset tummy?

Drag me & everything comes out.


Go inside. Don't
be stubborn.

Didn't you hear me?

Move it. I've taken
the payment.

Bloody bastard!

I'm very ill.

Please let it be for today.

Feeling feverish.

Same old excuse.

Don't piss me off during
business hours!

I know you're lying!

Waiting to flirt with the
Professor, when he comes.

Will not tolerate
this nonsense here-


Want to keep Professor for yourself?

Excuse me, Begum Jaan.
Some officers are here.

With a government order.

Aunt Rubina!

Aunt Rubina!

What's happened?

Come fast! It's the police!

Greetings, Begum Jaan.

All ok?


All was ok.

Till I saw your face.

I see.

You have more important
faces to meet today.

Please take these
dogs away, Mirza.

Make sure they don't
enter the house.

Sure, Begum Jaan.


What's the issue?

Actually we had come to-

Remember what happened the last
time you asked for free service.

Please don't embarass me.

We've come for something else.

Duped new fry, is it?

For heaven's sake!

Mind your language.

These gentlemen are important
officers from India & Pakistan.

They have a government order.

Not again!

We won't go to the
camps to get examined.

Syphillis is a double-edged sword.

Can't service the sahibs for free.


haven't come for that.

We're here with an
eviction notice.

What notice?

Let me explain.

You need to vacate the house.

Border check posts will
be built on this land.

And the Indo-Pak border will
pass through this house.

Hey girl, open the door.
It's the police!

If it's a raid, don't worry.

A handjob to Shashi
and things will be ok.

Nothing will happen.

Bitch, just open the door.

Hold on, bitch!

What happened, bitch?

Some assholes are here saying
we need to vacate this place.

Is it that easy, huh?

Are you mad?

Come, let's see who does what.
We'll hack them to pieces.

We'll kill them all, come.

The two pieces of paper you are seeing...

These are government notices.

One from Karachi and one from Delhi.

Few months ago...

a law was passed called
'Boundary Commission Act'.

As a result of which a border
between India & Pakistan-


An International border
has been created.

As per which...

we're here to set up
the barbed wire fence.

And unfortunately...

the Radcliffe line passes
through your house.

So see, if we have to...

set up a barbed wire fence, we
will need to destroy this house.

So if you could-

Wait, wait!

What is it?

So what you're saying is...

that those who are standing on
that side of the courtyard,

are standing in India.

And those standing on this side,

are standing in Pakistan?




It would be best, if you
read the notice yourself.

It's impossible to explain it all.

It's self-explanatory.

Better if you see it for yourself.

Then you'll understand.

Can you read?

Should I read it for you?

Should I?


Take a look.

A line through the middle!
We're here, they're there!

What's so funny?

Sahib, your Radcliffe seems
to be quite a weirdo.

If he had to hack the
country like a butcher,

couldn't he have done a better job?

I think we-

Rubina, our butcher Rahim
is definitely better.

Ask for the leg, he'll
give you just that.

The exact kidney. The precise liver.

Not this amateurish,
half-baked division-

I don't think you
understand the situation.

Let me explain.

From next week we
start work on the...

fence & check posts
along the Indo-Pak border.

Should take around 5 months.

And will ask Hindus & Muslims of
2 border towns, Haldibari & Debiganj...

to cross the border because...

after the Partition it
is now clear that...

Muslims in India & Hindus
in Pakistan...

will be unsafe.

There'll be a migration of
men, baggage & cattle.


there'll be Hindu-Muslim riots.

So it's advisable-

Have you paid for her?



Yes. The entire amount.

Without asking whether she's
a Hindu or a Muslim. Why?

No. But what does
religion have to do-

And Mr.Half-Naked,
what is your caste?

I'm a high caste Brahmin.

Do you know that the woman you
fucked is a low caste untouchable?

Don't you fear being ostracized?

No... I mean-

Do you know that...

I didn't ask them
about their caste either.

They chose a girl,
I set the price.

So, what did you gather?

What is there to gather?

It's the same in all brothels.

My dear sir,

what you are calling a brothel...

and implying a whore house...

is my country.

My homeland.

We don't have
Hindu-Muslims here.

No high or low castes.

Here it's our bodies,

so we have the last word.

And our rules stand.

I don't know which India or
Pakistan you speak of...

Even the Professor keeps
telling me about...

Congress, Muslim League,

Nehru, Jinnah, Karachi, Delhi,

Partition, this, that.

But all that is nothing more
then gibberish for me.

Because who decides what in
Delhi, is irrelevant to me.

Because I know only one place.

This bathroom,

this courtyard,

this house,

these lanes, these
gardens, this country.

Which is there for
thousands of years.

And if anyone tries
to evict us from here,

the only 'Partition' to happen will be
that of their limbs from their bodies.

How dare you, bitch!

Down! Down!




They are guests.


Whatever could be communicated
civilly, has been done.

Goodbye, Begum Jaan.

You have one month.

One month!

Independence? I don't want it!

Just imagine their audacity!

They're asking Begum
Jaan to vacate her house!

With an ultimatum of one month!

The sheer gall!

Calm down.

No one can do anything about it.

The order has come from high up.

Whatever! How dare they?

Giving me a deadline, huh?

Don't you know
people in the Party?

I want those bastards to be
transferred within a month!

Do what it takes!

If you need girls, I'll arrange.
If necessary, I'll go myself.

That's not the
answer to everything!

It's no use getting
angry with them.

And one of them belongs
to another party.


let me see if I can
manage a stay order...

with provisional relocation-

You haven't eaten in a while.

And I don't think you
will in some time.

So I was saying...

Why don't you eat a little now?

Send a telegram to Karachi.

The budget needs to increase.

Fencing such a large area as
per the map will cost more.

And most importantly, the wood
for the border check posts...

Thank you.

Sorry Mr.Ilias, I'm a little early.

But not an issue, I'll wait.

Fine. I'm nearly done.

Half the wood for the check posts
will be provided by the Indian Government.

Make a note of this and file it.
- Yes, sir.

And maintain the accounts.
Please come along.

I'll talk to him.

Of course we need to talk.

A government notice isn't enough.

We have to explain.

What's happening with you?

The same.

Funds for construction
will come from both sides.

I have informed Delhi.

For now checking
lists, allocating workers.

More workers are on their way.

I said things might get violent.

There'll be a huge exodus.
And that whore house.

Things will definitely get violent.

Tell me something.

Why will people leave
their ancestral homes?

The order is for a border.
So why should they leave?

Whether it's...

the Cabinet Mission,

The 3rd June Plan,

or a Border Commission meeting.

Our leaders never imagined
this level of migration.

Do you know how many people in
Punjab were displaced 3 months back?

8 Million.

Official figures.

8 Million!

Don't forget it.

If you explain the reason for
this to the townsfolk, it should suffice.

Will that work?

It most definitely will.

When tales of rioteering Hindus reach
the circumcized buggers of Haldibari-

Circumcized buggers.

Islamic zealots.

Muslim fanatics.

Yet a plethora of
Tagore-Nazrul concerts.


Do you remember Uncle Ramen?

Mr.Ghosh's neighbour.

You fell for his daughter.
Tutored her.


He had come
running to our house.

With his daughter.

I was too afraid to
open the door.

He was hacked to pieces.

Kusum was raped by
an entire neighbourhood.

Didn't see it.

But heard it.

Sounded nothing like Nazrul's songs.

Was something else.

Smelt it too.

Smelt nothing like
halim or biriyani.

Was something else.

I'm not short of stories either.

But when they were stripping that
night, never imagined your face.

I still don't.

You should. You need to.

Imagine my face.

If you're short of
stories, I'll lend you some.

But stay with hatred. Stay angry.

Else you can't pull it off.

Ok. I'll request
people to cross over.

If they don't, will incite them.

That's the last option.

Because dusty, fly-infested
bodies of refugees...

are far better then
burnt & rotten corpses.

People must move.

Unbelievable, isn't it? They
threatened me in my own house.

Threatening me is like
threatening Your Highness.


Some Sen & Ilias.

Also the police from
Debiganj and Haldibari.

They're just rats.

To kill the cats, one
must go to Delhi.

I'll be going this month.

Don't worry. No
one will disturb you.

Thank you.

But don't kill them off in anger.

An ouster from job is enough.

And you, Your Highness, are royally
spoiling the girls with gifts.

You shut shop for me for two days

So I also need to do certain things.

What are you saying?

This is your house.

The girls are also your slaves.

So Your Highness, whom should I
send today?

Should I tell Golap?

Or Rubina?

Or would you like Lata?

Heard there's a new girl.

But couldn't see
her on my way in.

Are you hiding something?

No, no.

Actually... that is Shabnam.

May be she was playing so you didn't...

A great tragedy befell her, you know.

That's why her training is incomplete...
She is not ready... uninitiated.

Begum! Begum.

No one dares to disturb any of you here.

Soldiers & Britishers don't stay here
for free. I pay your taxes.

I had only asked for
one thing in return.

Do you remember?

The Nawab has the first
right to a new girl.

Whether she's ripe or not.

Get her ready.

I need to leave early tomorrow.

And Begum...

My gramophone is not working.
So I couldn't get it.

You are our guardian, Your Highness.
I would still request you...

- Please don't make me do this...
- Don't waste time, Begum.

My trip to Delhi will be delayed.

And you know very well...

Can't get it up without music.


No tender words of love

Why do the eyes brim over?

No tender words of love

Why do the eyes brim over?

Night hasn't dawned on me for long

My eyelids get heavy

Polished myself by embracing you

Polished myself by embracing you

And desire would shine forth

Every breath communicates

An unheard narrative

Polished myself by embracing you

Polished myself by embracing you

The desire would shine forth

Every breath communicates

An unheard narrative

Any news?

Bad news.

We need to talk.

Go ahead.

No... Not here.

It's confidential.

You are too much.

I have something to say as well.

Come, play.

Let me start.

What's wrong?

I spoke to the Party.

Nothing can be done.

No influence will work.
- What?

If this reaches the government,

everything will be in a mess.

Before that...

you should vacate this house.

They have no sympathy.

They flash a government notice-
Which government?

I govern myself.

Don't you get it?
Your life is at risk.

This is an opportunity...

to start afresh.

Leave it all behind.

This house, your business...

We could leave all this-

Err... Actually...

Begum Jaan...

From the very beginning, I...

Standing with doesn't
imply sleeping with.

I've always-
Helped a lot.

Thank you for that.

But had I known your ulterior
motives, would've refused it.

Begum Jaan is beyond your reach.

I'm truly...

You know someone is in
love with you! Then why?

I wanted to tell you-

You were there with
us in good times.

Don't want to be the reason
for your bad times.

Don't ever come back.

- Yes.

Mr.Ilias is here.

Why so late at night?

He has brought an
injured man along.

It's confidential.

You're too much.

I have something to say as well.

Come, play.

Let me start.

What's wrong?

I spoke to the Party.

Nothing can be done.

No influence will work.
- What?

If this reaches the government,

everything will be in a mess.

Before that...

you should vacate this house.

They have no sympathy.

They flash a government notice-
So what?

Won't you save us?

I can't do anything!

I'm alone against many.

What if we escape?
- We?


That's what I
wanted to tell you.

I can't.

I can't do this to Golap.

Golap? Unbelievable!

Don't you know
I love you? Then why?

I never-

You were there with
us in good times.

Don't want to be the reason
for your bad times.

Don't ever come back.

Now do you understand
what happened that day?

I always wanted
you all to be happy.

Especially you.

I fought for you all...

against the villagers.

Against my own Party.

Maybe that's why... I've been
exiled from the house.

I have to sneak
in like a thief...

to meet you.

I wasn't allowed in
with a government notice.

I was thrashed when I
went with 4 constables.

The Pathan said, he'd beat
both of you black & blue.

And then bury you
in their courtyard.

Construction will stop if they
don't vacate in 10 days.

I know. My engineers told me.

The problem is that the
government... You may leave.

The govt. servants are
too scared to go.

And the Nawab of
Rangpur protects them.

The Nawab's army
is at her disposal.

It would be a shame to
seek the army's help for this.

Besides, that's not possible.

Too many riots and
refugees to handle.

We need to...

go to Mekhliganj tomorrow.


For the solution
to this problem.

Not everything can
be done legally.

Sometimes you need
to go beyond the law.

Got it, Mr.Ilias?

For you everything hangs
between your legs! Bastard!

You're assaulting a policeman.

I came here to help.

You have to vacate. In case
your girls need any shelter-

And who decides that?
Does your mother work here?

You bloody whore!

You aren't very smart, I see.

You can't abuse a whore
by calling her one.

Call her a policeman,
and that's an abuse.



The King protects us.
We don't need rats.

What can I do for you?

First the introductions.

This is...

Md.Ilias, from the
Pakistani government.

This is Kabir.

How do I describe him?

He is a...

I run a gang of goons.

Name's Kabir.

Can be both a Hindu
or a Muslim name.

I wear a Brahmin string
& am circumsized.

Have both Hindu scriptures
& Muslim skull caps.

Never know which side I
may have to take in the riot.

Am ready with both.

I'm secular.

Pay & use.

What do you want?

Don't want a riot.

There are enough
of those anyway.

Need to vacate a house.

Between Haldibari & Debiganj.

The whorehouse? I hope
your men are done trying.

Once my boys get in-

Don't worry about that.

Just do your job.

And the job description?

Should we scare
them? Break bones?

Rape them?

Or should we shoot and stab?

Could also sever
breasts, disembowel...

Impale them with rods-

The act determines
the fee, right?

- No, no.

Money's not an issue.
But don't be brutal.

Few policemen will
accompany you.

Scare them first.

If that doesn't work,
shoot them.

We need groceries.

We're running short on supplies.

It's Lata and Sujan's turn.

Can't carry so much alone.

I need some help.

I'm a vegetarian.
I lack the strength.

Elephants are vegetarian too.
But they're beasts of burden.

You forgot the important ones.

Cows, donkeys and oxes.

But for her, elephant is apt.

Coming from someone who used
to clean toilets, that's rich!

Can we not discuss
toilets while eating?

- Yes!

Get the meat that was
sent from the village.

Here it is.

I want some gravy.

Uncle Salim.

The situation demands...

that you teach
us how to use guns.

The guns your friends
had given you...

are rotting in the corner.

Begum Jaan, please tell him.

The Nawab protects us.

Why should you take up arms?


You have mail!
- Jnui, go get it.

- Give me water.

Why isn't the water
coming this way?

Go to Hell!
- You go to Hell!

Have some more.

When'll you go shopping?

Begum? What happened?

Golap, read it.

What is it?

Golap, what's wrong?

What's wrong?

Bloody bastards!

What happened?

Good morning, Begum Jaan.

Wasn't the meat good?

I knew Shekhu, your dog,
would taste good.

Salt and spice fine?

I prepared it myself.

I left Bhalu, your other dog, uncooked.

You can cook and eat
him at your leisure.

P.S.- You will have to vacate the house.
Two countries are about to be born.

Regards, Kabir.

Uncle Salim!

Have you gone mad?

I doubt Kabir will stop at
merely scaring them.

So what?

Is your heart wrenching?

Don't talk like a fool!

I have convinced more people
to move then you have.

Partition and exodus are required.

With you all around,
riots are unavoidable!

Haven't slept for years.

I'd wake up in the
middle of the night.

When I'd hear the sound.

Or remember their faces.

We could pressurize the Nawab
and take the help of the army-

Not enough time.

Riots are on the rise.

Think of it this way...

we're killing a few,
to save many.

Think of it as
Bakr-Id (Festival of sacrifice).

Bloody cowards!
My helpless babies...

Promise me you'll skin them!

And whip them with a whip
made out of that skin.

What's wrong with your throat?
- Shekhu's fur is in there.

You're imagining it.

I'm not.

It's stuck.

You will have to leave.

- Times are changing.

I had gone to Delhi.

Everything will be over.

I don't understand what-

King of Junagarh had
come to Delhi too.

Nizam of Hyderabad
had sent a letter.

Kashmir and Hyderabad have been
asked to choose their country.

So what? Kings
will remain kings.

They won't.

The Subject will be the King.

Muslim farmers left a cow's
cadaver at the Bhawal palace.

Delhi and Karachi
have the same plan.

All the land shall be taken over
by the government very soon.

What about you all?

We'll be reduced
to chess pieces.

The treasury is not
in good shape.

I'm selling everything I can.

And then you have court
cases thanks to relatives.

Listen to the government.

Vacate this house.

Am powerless now. Can't
protect you anymore.



The Nawab is tired.
Escort him to his room.

He needs rest.
- Begum!

He'll be leaving early tomorrow.

Make the arrangements.
- You'll die a gruesome death!

At least I won't die a beggar.

I'll die like a queen.
- Make sure you die.

For they will rape you
first and then kill you.

Come what may. I won't
need a man to protect us.

Your enemy stands
in front of you.

Hold it up!

One eye closed!

Aim with your right eye!

What a recoil!

I've gone deaf!
- You're fine.

Begum Jaan!

Golap, you serpent!

Ungrateful bitch!

Get lost!

Begum Jaan will kill us if she
finds out we got Bnuchki along.

Why? It was Juthika's idea.

She's stuck at home all day.

She really misses
Shekhu & Bhalu.

- Hurry, Bnuchki!

This way!

That way!

Strange is the bird

Which flies in and out of the cage

If I can catch it

Will chain it with my mind

How it flies, in and out

Strange is the bird

Will they kill us?
- Shut up!

Bastards seem to
have gone that way.

Let's escape through
the secret exit.

No. They're coming this way.

You all slip out.

Leaving you here alone?
I'd rather die.

Don't argue.
For my sake, flee!

Didn't want to come-
Shut up!

Now what'll happen?
Will they kill us all?

See! I told you so! Didn't
listen to me as I'm a kid!

Now they'll kill us!

Please don't kill me!
Please! Please!

I'm a little girl!
Please don't kill me!

For Lord Krishna's sake!
Beg of you, don't kill me!

Believe me! I'm innocent!

I beg of you...

I'll really miss you, Sujan.

But then you won't be there.

By then you'll be far away.

Remember that foreigner?

Margaret White.

The one who had come to
take photographs for a magazine?

I think I'll ask her to help.

I want our story in
newspapers across the country.

Will all this happen?

Not sure. I know only two things-

I won't leave this house & won't
go down without a fight!

Shashi was saying that...

the pimp's body was found.

In four pieces.

Delhi has asked for
a progress report.

If news of our
illegal procedures,

reach Delhi or Karachi...

there'll be problems.

The entire world is watching us.

The problem will be
solved before it's publicized.

And believe me, it'll
make no difference.

100 years later when kids will
study about the Partition...

they won't read about
us or Begum Jaan.

I know.

History is about
kings, not pawns.

At most knights & rooks.

But that's 100 years later.
What about now?

At this moment, I am
the King & I am History!

And I have morals!
- For now.

But it won't last.

I spoke to Kabir-
I can't-

You don't need to do anything.

In such violent times,
tragedies are common.

Bring the meat!

Set up the brothel...
& you all came one by one.

Made a living.
Business thrived.

Lata, remember how you...

escaped from the Hindu priests?

How you chased
away the Brahmins!

Banno, you cried while
menstruating for the first time.

You're embarassing me...

Koli & Duli came when
Muslims set their village ablaze.

It was a stormy night!

Both had high fever.

Both were in delirium.

Well, they're still delirious.

Shut up bitch!
Want me to start?

Poached Lata's customer
for a saree, & I'm delirious?

Shut up! Lata,
say something.

The land I was born in,

which I left after marriage,

where I returned as a courtesan,

will now be divided
into two countries.

The tree which
housed my marbles,

the earth which houses
my torn doll...

And this shelter, where
we live with heads held high...

must be vacated to ensure
independence for two countries.

You bastards!
Fucking swines!

I will not relent!

I don't need any help!

I can protect my home &
my memories myself!


But you all should leave.

Where'll we go?


And why?

Go anywhere!
Just leave!

Those after us are beasts!

We're prostitutes
opposing the government.

It's not just our lives but
our self-respect that-


Whores with self-respect?

You're a woman, Begum Jaan.

Don't you know that
it doesn't matter...

whether you're a queen or
whore? It's a man's world here!

Where will we go?

Will our families take us back?

They won't.

The high-caste Brahmins will curse
during the day & fuck me at night.

Why don't you understand?
- There's nothing to understand.

They hacked my Sujan to pieces.

I won't leave till
I have my revenge.

Neither will we.

Begum Jaan, this house
belongs to us as well.

We all live here.

We know what awaits us outside.

We won't leave! We'll
fight to death!

Please don't make me move.

Let me wait out my
remaining days here.

Even in the midst of gun fire.

But somehow, we need to get
Bnuchki & Shabnam out of here.

This is no place for
kids. So Jnui-

No! Please don't
say anything.

Bnuchki isn't only my daughter!
All of us have raised her.

Either everyone flees
with her or no one does!

Why are you so stubborn?



Do something...

Leave them at my uncle's
place in Kishenganj for now.

- Yes.

You need to deliver an
important letter to the city.

To Mr.Bipin, in
the local court.

He'll send it to
the right place.

I don't think it's wise to
leave the house now.

They could attack any time.

You are right.

But this letter is
very important too.


I'll get the guns out,
just in case.

I'll deliver the letter tomorrow.

Last minute plans will
be executed thus.

That's not a problem.
Just don't forget my plan.

Keep your end of the
bargain, I'll keep mine.

Greetings, Mr.Shashi.

Is everything ready?
- Yes.

The police will be on the
Debiganj side of the house.

Spoke to Mr.Akhtar.
They'll be there on time.

Men and weapons are in the car.

If we rat the whores out of their
hole, we feast on them all night?

You alright?
- Yes.

Written the letter to
Begum Jaan as per plan?

Yes. Written
everything. Let's go.

Come along.

You left something out!

Finish it off!

Only clients & business
& oppression & Professor...

That's all you've written about.

No mention of how I
nursed you back to life.

None at all.

Or how I massaged you all
night during pregnancy.

Countless days of counselling,

stopping you from
commiting suicide...

Didn't mention a lot of things.

Fattening a cow for the
slaughterhouse is not love.

Ungrateful bitch!
- Salim!


The kid has grown up.

Let her go.

Let's go.

You can go ahead now.

Something's not right.

I feel the same.

Guns ready?
- Yes.

- Ready.

Let's get everyone.

Give it to me.

Get in.

Better get going. It'll be
a strenuous journey.


Wanted to see Begum Jaan
die twice. Hence, all this.

Just saw it once.
Will now see it again.



Whores don't have
husbands. They have clients.

Grandma, lock your door!
- Come with me.

Jnui, escape with Shabnam &
Bnuchki through the backdoor.

I won't go anywhere!
- Why not? Gone mad?

Can't leave in such
dangerous times!

What about Bnuchki & Shabnam?

Don't argue! It's been decided!

It hasn't! I can't
leave you all for my kid!

She's our kid too!

They can attack at any time!

Stop arguing & escape!
They might-



Get out!

Face me, you bastards!

Take aim properly!


Bastards, will kill you all!

Can't even hold a gun properly!

Bloody fuckers!

You all should switch
to their profession.

Bloody bastards!

I'll kill you all!



Won't let you escape!

Where are all these
bullets coming from?

Move forward!

Kill them all!

Get more ammunition quick!

What happened? Koli!
- Koli! Koli! Koli!

Cowards! Attacking
us from behind!

Let her go! Leave her!

Get back Duli!
You'll get shot!

Begum Jaan!

Bloody swines!

What's the hurry, sweetheart?




Let them go!

Make sure they're safe.

Oh Allah!


Welcome, sir.

Were playing Holi for so long.
Now begins the sacrifice.

Of the Vestan Virgins.

There you go.

The job is done.


Uncle Salim!

Uncle Salim!

Oh Allah! Save me!


my boys will have some
fun with these refugees.

You mustn't stay.

Won't be able to tolerate it.

As in?


Listen, you bloody whores!

No patron will save you!

Where are you going?

They're all mad!


that story...

read it out to me.

When the darkest, moonless
night engulfed the world,

When the Sun & Moon
vanished from the overhead sky,

12000 Rajput queens started
on their Jauhar (Mass suicide) ceremony.

To protect their honour
from the invaders.

Standing in front of a dark
tunnel, beside the temple in Chittor,

Queen Padmini started
worshipping Agni (Fire God).

"Oh Fire God!

The Holy One, with the
Bright Golden Body, come!

Dissipate all darkness
with your light!

Oh Fire God! The
Ultimate Power, come!

You're strength of the weak
& support for the strong!

Oh Terrible One!
Dispel our fear!

Destroy our guilt!
Give us refuge!

The end of shame &
misery, in Your flames!

You're the last Hope!
The last Chain of Great Freedom!"

Incantating thus, Queen
Padmini went silent.

Suddenly, raising a great furore,

a 1000 happy flames leapt
up from within the tunnel!

The dark night was
shattered by the light!

Queen Padmini plunged into the
pyre with 12000 Rajput women!

The smiling faces & the
echoing laughter of Chittor,

turned into ashes in
a matter of seconds.

And every Rajput heart,
cried out aloud,

"Hail the Pious One!

Hail the Pious One!"

Your call is announced

We heed Your gracious call

Hindus, Buddhists,
Sikhs, Jains, Parsis,

Muslims & Christians

The Orient & the
Occident come together

To the side of Your throne

And weave the garland of love.

Oh! You who bring in
the unity of the people

The dispenser of the
destiny of India

The way of life is sombre

As it moves through ups & downs

Oh Eternal Charioteer!
The wheels of Your chariot

Echo day & night in the path

In the midst of
fierce revolution

Your conch shell sounds

You save us from fear & misery

Oh! You who guide the
people through torturous path

Victory be to You, the
dispenser of the destiny of India

Victory to You!

Victory to You!

Victory to You!

Victory! Victory!
Victory to You!

During the darkest of nights

When the whole country
was sick & in swoon

Wakeful remained Your
incessant blessings

Through Your lowered
but winkless eyes

Through nightmares & terror

You protected us

Oh affectionate Mother!

Oh! You who have removed
the misery of the people

The dispenser of
the destiny of India

Victory to You!

Victory to You!

Victory to You!

Victory! Victory!
Victory to You!

The night is over &
the sun has risen

Over the hills of
the eastern horizon

The birds are singing &
a gentle, auspicious breeze

Is pouring the elixir
of a new life

By the halo of Your compassion

India that was asleep,
is now awakening

We bow down to You!

Victory! Victory! Victory!
To You the Supreme King!

The dispenser of
the destiny of India

Victory to You!

Victory to You!

Victory to You!

Victory! Victory!
Victory to You!