By Aakash Barvalia(05 Apr 2008)
"Hari Bhari" is the story of five women of a Shaikh Muslim landholding family who live in a "Qasba", a semi rural area, in Badayun District, Uttar Pradesh. The story deals with three generations of women: grandmother, (Surekha Sikri-Rege) daughters in law, (Nandita Das & Alka Trivedi), a daughter (Ghazala) and a grand daughter (Rajeshwari Sachdev);each dealing wirh their individual crisis. Its about the need for women to develop an awareness of female health problems and their rights over their own bodies as a necessary factor in their empowerment. Although the film is a fiction saga, it is based on actual case studies made over a period of time in the region where the film is located. Hasina is an ailing matriarch in a joint family (Surekha sikri-Rege) , which is run by her elder son Khaleed Ahmed (Lalit Tiwari) & his perpetually pregnant wife Najma (Alka Trivedi). Najma has two young sons with a history of miscarriages andDchildren having died in infancy. Hasina's second son Khurshid (Rajit Kapur) works in Meerut but his conservative wife Afsana (Nandita Das) & her two young sons as well as a daughter, live in the same house. Hasina's daughter Ghasala (Shabana Azmi) comes to stay with her after being driven out by her husband Munir(Srivallabh Vyas) who blames her for not giving him a son. Ghazala's teenaged daughter Salma (Rajesh wari Sachdev) shuttles between her father's & her grandmother Hasina's house depending on Munir's erratic moods.The bittersweet events taking place in the house during the course of several months constitutes the story of the film until when the doctor gaves the news that Bugum Hasina has cancer.