DOGMA

By Vikram DASGUPTA

PIXEL PALETTE INC - as PROD

Documentary - Production 2015

Everyday for the past 7 years, Sulakshmi (63) compulsively cooks from 6am to 10am and feeds 500+ stray dogs in Delhi. DogMa is a personal documentary about an obsessive mother's journey through the eyes of her conflicted son.

    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Documentary, Social issues, True Story
    • Countries
    • CANADA, INDIA
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH, HINDI
    • Director(s)
    • Vikram DASGUPTA
    • Producer(s)
    • Vikram DASGUPTA (Pixel Palette Inc), Francesca CIMOLAI
    • Synopsis
    • They say ‘Charity begins at home’. Sulakshmi Dasgupta took those very words and made them the mantra of her beautifully obsessive, self-indulgent compulsion. In the process, she has segregated herself from all her family members including her own son (Vikram Dasgupta, 39).
      Vikram believes a ‘film can be an agent of change’. He is compelled to make this film both as a filmmaker and a son. As a FILMMAKER, his intentions are to showcase Sulakshmi in a light he has perhaps failed to see her in. As a SON, it is an attempt to understand the distance his mother has traveled to find her life’s purpose and the loved ones she isolated on her journey.

      Sulakshmi first started cooking meals for stray dogs 7 years back and has been doing it everyday since then, feeding over 500 strays in and around the city of Delhi. Some say Sulakshmi is breathtakingly compassionate while others find her to be downright obsessive to her goal. Fortunately for her, she has had the support of her retired husband (Pinaki Dasgupta, 66) over the years as she has gone through 80% of his life’s savings in her quest to satisfy her dog feeding frenzy. In spite of her own deteriorating health issues (she has had two knee replacement surgeries) she refuses to give up on her daily routine. On being confronted on the subject, her reasons for her selfless actions invariably end up blaming her son’s failed marriage and the consequential inability to yet provide her with any grandchildren. She has distanced herself from her other family members as well including her siblings, uncles and aunts amongst other relatives and has found her schedule unpermittingly hard to visit her son in Toronto. Currently she is at the verge of bankruptcy and is down to her last resort. She is selling off her family heirlooms and ancestral gold jewelry left by her parents, in order to feed her charming self-fulfillment.

      Her daily routine (7 days a week, 365 days a year without weekends or holidays), starts when she lights her first cigarette alongside the gas burners in her kitchen, cooking over 250 Kilos of rice, boiled vegetables and meat. After 4 -5 hours of meal preparation, she along with her volunteers drive all across the major localities of Delhi personally feeding over 500 strays with individual care. They are all served on disposable eco-friendly plates and bowls, cleanly discarded post meals. Sulakshmi has given names to every single one of her bacchaas (hindi for ‘children’) and is completely in tune with what is happening in their lives. She tries to find the newborn homes and begs, borrows and pleads with the vets all around the city to do X-rays, operations and post operative care for more than 50 accident victims every month. On an average, about 20 strays require other medical attention every month and about 7 dogs are being sterilized per week along with Anti-Rabies and Anti-Distemper injections for every single one of them.
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