Sikaisal - If only Trees could Talk

synopsis of the film

Amidst the autumn avenue in Ulukunchi of West Karbi Anglong, Sikaisal, a place of knowledge, our protagonist Maheshwar Patar, who has singularly attained formal education in his hometown builds it with his bare hands. His journey begins as the sole primary school teacher with a ray of hope after his school is provincialized, and retires happily. Soon he learns that no teacher ever joins. He is mentally broken seeing the school filled with leaves rather than students. Education is not prioritised in the Tiwa community, but his efforts to break free local’s superstitions to educate them is pathbreaking. He confronts many obstacles but is determined. He starts teaching at home, soon his wife overwrites alphabets on the board adding another name to Patar’s Sikailsal. Knowledge is without age, gender and boundary and  Patar’s Sikailsal, nobly shares a life’s work, a dream he fulfils to live under the limitless sky.

director's statement

Education was never a privilege in my life.Losing my father at a tender age made my journey to seeking knowledge even more difficult and was an extensive struggle for my mother and myself, I couldn’t afford books, to quench my thirst for knowledge. My marriage when nineteen was a ray of hope, I lived a dual life, with two children and infinite household chores I took my degree, completed B.Ed, took my master’s degree in mass communication and today I hold  my PHD with a lot of pride and gratification in my heart.

My research brought me to Ulukunchi, and interacting with the Tiwa community, I saw a similar struggle among the children, needing to walk kilometres to school to the neighbouring village and so they never did, blinded by superstitions over reality because they lacked education. 

This film in Ulukunchi, is the need of the hour to focus on the significance of education in one’s life like myself, a medium to ignite the urge to learn and the nobility  to impart knowledge when one has it, like our protagonist Maheshwar Patar, who illuminates the entire village with his teaching, because only when I can learn, I can lead.

in press