UNESCO has included Kolkata’s Durga Puja in its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Goddess Durga is also known as Mahishasur Marddini. A ten-year-old deaf-mute destitute girl is gang-raped and murdered on the first night of Durga puja. She happened to spend her days and nights at the local Hindu crematorium and Muslim graveyard, not very far from the city. The story shifts to the house of a landlady and her four college-going tenants busy with last-minute festival preparations. Hearing faint wails from their backyard, they rush out to find a newborn female infant dumped outside in a garbage bin. They rescue the baby. Through the night, they receive a few guests, some expected, some unexpected. The incidents that unfold thereafter reveal the trials and tribulations faced by women all over, with a realization that a girl-child in distress is actually humanity in peril. It is a shame that the land that worships the Mother Goddess with so much fanfare can’t protect its daughters. ‘Mahishasur Marddini’ is a letter of apology to women for the wrongs done to her through the ages that continue even to this day.
Director: Ranjan Ghosh