'Other Kohinoors...': Tears welled up in eyes as 'The Rocks of Hyderabad' was screened

From Pathar ka Ghost to the mythological story of Yellamma Renukamma, the 45-minute movie highlighted how closely connected are the rocks to the culture of Hyderabad.

By Nimisha S Pradeep  Published on  5 Sep 2022 5:47 AM GMT
Other Kohinoors...: Tears welled up in eyes as The Rocks of Hyderabad was screened

Hyderabad: For Hyderabadi filmmaker Uma Magal, it was `solastalgia' and the grief that prompted her to make a film about the disappearing rocks of the city.

'Solastalgia' means not being able to recognize one's own home that once gave solace.

'Other Kohinoors: The Rocks of Hyderabad', a love letter to the rocks of Hyderabad was screened at the Prasad theatre in Khairatabad on 4 September.

The theatre was too filled with people, that the ones who came late had to either sit on the floor or remain standing. "We were worried if it would be filled. We never expected these many people to turn up on a Sunday morning. This means that the people of the city do care for their rocks," said Uma.

After the movie, the audience collectively said that they felt nostalgic and emotional, some of them even crying a bit, thinking of the lost memories and rocks.

From Pathar ka Ghost to the mythological story of Yellamma Renukamma, the 45-minute movie highlighted how closely connected are the rocks to the culture of Hyderabad.

Uma, a native of Hyderabad's Domalguda shared how closely knit her life was with the rocks in the city. "About 15 years back, when I returned to Hyderabad with my children, we used to go for picnics and climb the rocks with my husband, children, and friends. Then, over the years, in front of our eyes, we saw the Gachibowli area gone. The start of this film was grief, to see the rocks gone," she said.

Many people in the audience said that the film brought back memories of yesteryears and that they could relate to every frame of the film.

Uma, an alumna of the University of Hyderabad, said how her student life took her closer to the rocks.

"Those days, we did not have Facebook, Instagram, or anything. All we used to do was get together at hostels, cook food, and go on the rocks. That was what relaxation was for us," she recalled.

She also remembered how the bus route from the old campus at Golden Threshold to the main campus was filled with beautiful rocks, trees, and farms.

Left: Director and producer Uma Magal, Right: Co-producer Mahnoor Yar Khan

Uma said that she is not against development, but she adds that we should not lose what we are blessed with.

"Urban development in the last 20-25 years has been very destructive to the rocks and even the water bodies. We have seen it with our own eyes. We have seen the whole of Banjara Hills, and Jubilee Hills destroyed. Gachibowli means a place with a lot of baolis (water bodies). And now you go and see, it is all leveled and concretized. So that's the tragedy. It is a flawed perspective of destroying nature rather than building around it," said one of the members of the audience.

The film's background score was composed by Hyderabad's rapper Murthovic.

The filmmaker and her team have designed a two-year outreach program in which the film will be screened at various places including schools, colleges, corporations, etc. after which a workshop will be conducted. By the end of the workshop, the team expects to brainstorm and come up with ways to deal with the policymakers.

Photo credits: Other Kohinoors Facebook

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