Welcome to Sajjanpur, friends---, welcome to your conscience, the rudimentary unit that turns the 'sajjan' within you on; if you have any, of course. Titles are often deceptive, as are the face values of different shares in the market; and the veteran director makes no mistake in pointing out the truth,--- when the name was Durjanpur, more sajjans used to live in the village than the number now live in Sajjanpur.
It is a story of every common man, I dare to say. Mahadev, the hero, a most common man, quite unlikely to be a hero, seemed to have been affected by the poison down his throat; the poison that turns the villain [or durjan, if you like to say] within on. The man was quite a simple chap with his peculiarly unique career. The career is still in practice in many places, but the uniqueness lies in the special personal touch that gave his career a boom. But simplicity must be corrupted, so is the wish of Satan. And so arrives his girlfriend. She used to read together with Mahadev in the village school. Mahadev once kissed her in his school days, only a friendly peck, and friends, that can not be cited as a sign of affinity at that age of Mahadev, not even his writing on the board. Now after quite a long gap of intermission, how far is it plausible that Mahadev gets mad with Kamala, his once-girlfriend, now married? Well the madness is quite justified. Married Kamala is more charming than the baby girl. Mahadev's calf-love has got nothing to do with this episode. This should be treated as a complete new chapter. And the endeavour to brand the relation as childhood love is quite absurd.
Mahadev yearns for this kamala and plays on different tricks and fantasies to win over her; trying to be as hypocrite an educated person can be to break up the family of his friend,--- only to find his incompetence in love before Banshi. However, Mahadev turns to be the real hero now,--- he compensates his follies, and becomes his own again.
Well goes this propaganda of a man’s journey to heaven from hell via repentance. Well made, of course,--- it was not at all boring; good music, good acting, as well as the binding forces of multiple plots,-all must be binding upon the spectators, save to get some weird questions unsolved:
The story reveals in layers. First, the ‘novel’ tells you the story of Sajjanpur. More is revealed in the cinema, through the conversations between Mahadev and his publisher, specially the story of the compounder and his wife getting murdered, or Munni Bai doing well being the representative of the people. More that could have been revealed, as intended by the publisher to publish as Mahadev’s second book, his letters to Vindhya, was denied access. Mahadev wanted to keep his personal matters [regarding his wife, and not his once-girlfriend, Kamala, mark that friends] secret. And there remain some more stories which even the inquisitive publisher neglects. Perhaps the market never bothers about those petty stories of our lives, and so the publisher also is not interested. And same with the director too. Friends from Sajjanpur, if any among you by chance goes through these words, please let me know what happened to Subedar Singh? The fighter? Who gladly accepts a lover for his widow daughter-in-law and pleads him to marry the lady? The fighter who fights even after retirement for the sake of democracy, stands before bomb-charges unstirred, and most important, pays for government services instead of seeking them for free? Please let me know his reaction after he found the young duos hung by his own (!) relatives. Can he still fight for the sake of his country and countrymen? And what happened to Banshi’s mother after Kamala left for Mumbai? Has she too been there in Mumbai by now? Or is she still in Sajjanpur? All alone? Does Banshi sends money regularly to her now, or has he become more irregular? What about this older generation, sajjans? Are they dead by the time the curtain drops?