By Dipen Guha(22 Jul 2009)
In 1979, Sai Paranjipye made "Sparsh"( The Touch), based on her own sceenplay, with a cast comprising Naseeruddin Shah, Shaban Azmi and Om Puri. "Sparsh" is a limpid and touching account of the encounter between two people, each overcoming pain and pride as they come together. Anirudh (Naseeuddin Shah), the blind director of a school for the visually handicapped, works ceaselessly at his job. The joys and sorrows of the blind students do not , in the film, give it a melodramatic dimension. They are , in fact, integrated into the narrative. A young widow, Kavita (Shabana Azmi), whose interest in the school is purely charitable at the outset, soon gets more deeply involved in its activities. She falls in love with Anirudh and they get engaged. However, Anirudh's obsession with being completely self-reliant and his suspicion that Kavita may be acting more out of sympathy than love eventually leads to the engagement being called off. Finally, a good friend of the couple intervens and helps them to realise their follies and reunite.