In the black comedy of Shyam Benegal’s Trikal (Past, Present, Future), a Goan Christian family called ‘Souza Soares’ have dozens of interesting characters, each having their own set of stories entwined in a traditional Christian home which is yet indecisive to become part of India or Portugal. The main character revolves around head of the family – Dona Maria Souzasoares, beautifully played by Leela Naidu. She has uncanny habit of invoking dead souls in the midnight with the help of her young maid – Milagrenia played by versatile Neena Gupta.The narrator – Ruiz Pereira is played by Naseeruddin Shah. The story begins in the year 1985 with the funeral of Dona Maria’s husband and she is reluctant to believe that his playboy husband is now dead and then it runs into the flashback of 1960s Goan liberation days. The Souzasoares family have acquired the property of King Kushtoba Rane, played by Kulbhushan Kharbanda, his soul is restless because he was killed along with his paramour by deceit by those who were the ancestor of Souzasoares family.
This story I am sharing with my friends because one sage – Shoban Sarkar of Unnao, a small district of Uttar Pradesh, in the cow belt of India has dreamed of one small time King Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh, who was executed in the 1857’s revolt against the British Empire. The King told this sage about the hidden treasure of 1000 tonnes of gold which has to be unearthed in four corners of the ruined fort. It’s amazing that the ever foolish government is trapped in dead King’s calling to search for one of the biggest treasure hunt. The King shown in the film is reluctant to part with his abode and in reality the dead King is willing to tell his hidden treasure. After all, this hunt is not only for gold but indeed the cash stripped government is willing to poke its nose anywhere if it is possible to get few pounds of gold. The government was flatly refused to get gold from rich South Indian Hindu temples to be kept as a security to bail out falling Indian rupee. The most intelligent person – Khalil Gibran once said that “The most pitiful among men is he who turns his dreams into silver and gold.”
© Sushil Kumar