HOMING PIGEONS

By Jahnu BARUA

DOLPHIN COMMUNICATIONS - as PROD

Drama - Development 2016

MICHAEL FIELDING, the English manager of a tea estate in Assam, India, fell in love, married and abandoned JONAKI, a beautiful local girl. Their passionate love story comes to light some 45 years later, when Michael’s granddaughter ANNE stumbles upon a provocative fragment of her grandfather's past.

    • Year of production
    • 2016
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • INDIA, UNITED KINGDOM, USA
    • Languages
    • ENGLISH
    • Budget
    • 5 - 10 M$
    • Duration
    • 110 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Jahnu BARUA
    • Writer(s)
    • Feruzi ANJIRBAG, Jahnu BARUA
    • Producer(s)
    • Biyyala VP RAO, Gayatri BARUA
    • Synopsis
    • When Michael Fielding had been Manager of Krishna Tea Estate in Assam, India, he had fallen in love and married a young, local girl by the name of JONAKI. She had been the live-in nurse whom he had employed when his son DAVID was just three days old (his first wife had died during childbirth).

      Jonaki, David and Michael had lived as a happy family for 9 years from 1952 to 1961. When the nationalization of the tea gardens became imminent, he along with David returned to England leaving Jonaki behind.

      45 years later Michael’s granddaughter Anne is outraged. How could father and son have hidden all this from her! How could her grandfather have abandoned his wife in such a cruel, unjust manner!

      Her fury reaches its peak when she finds that not once in the forty-five years since they left India, has her grandfather or her father made any attempt to get in touch with Jonaki. They do not know where she is, how she is, or even if she is alive.

      Anne becomes curious about Jonaki. She sets out to find her… But right from the beginning, there are disappointments and setbacks. As the search for her step-grandmother intensifies Anne learns that it had not been an uncommon phenomenon for Englishmen to leave behind their Indian wives. She also learns about the tragic fate of these abandoned women, or EraMem as they are locally known. Hope sinks lower and lower as lead after lead fails. Then, Anne meets an EraMem who has lost her mind. Anne is so shaken by the meeting, so heartbroken at the thought of never finding Jonaki, she calls her grandfather, shouts and screams at him, accusing him of ruining all their lives. Hiding his panic and dread, Michael shouts back, as he orders Anne not to give up. He has never felt more wretched.

      Anne decides to leave Assam. When another lead presents itself, she is reluctant to follow it, convinced it will lead nowhere. It takes her to the northern bank of the Brahmaputra river, right to an EraMem’s doorstep. A beautiful, energetic woman looking no more than 60-65 years old, comes out of the house, laughing and chasing after a frisky young pup. Mesmerized, Anne stares at the older woman’s face: it is almost transparent, as if all that is inessential has dissolved; what remains, quietly glows. When Anne realizes that this lovely woman is JONAKI, she breaks down. It is a moment out of time.

      When Anne introduces herself as Michael Fielding’s granddaughter, Jonaki is shocked. The past has come back in a strange, wondrous, totally unexpected way.

      The next few days change the two women forever. Someone, somewhere thought her important enough to acknowledge her presence, to seek her out --that is such an unexpected and generous gift; it softens and heals something in Jonaki. What is more, Anne wants to forge some connection with her. This moves Jonaki. She finds herself telling Anne bits and pieces of her life with Michael – a perspective that Anne was hardly prepared for.
    • Partners & financing
    • Discussions and negotiations are on. Not finalised yet
    • Production schedule
    • The filming will be completed in two schedules:

      Schedule - 1: 43 days in Assam, India
      Schedule - 2: 17 days in United Kingdom
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Sep 05, 2016
    • End of shooting
    • Nov 25, 2016
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