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The Premier
“Yarwng’ (Roots), a new Kokborok film produced by Don Bosco Sampari Pictures Tripura released by Jitendra Choudhury, Minister for Industry, Forests and Rural Development, Government India’s northeastern Tripura state at Nazrul Kalashektra in state capital Agartala on 4 September 2008. The release of the film took place during a function presided over by Aghore Debbarma, Minister for Tribal Welfare and special Guest of Honour, Anil Sarkar, Minister for Information, Culture and Tourism.

The inaugural function followed by the screening of the 95 minute film has subtitles in English.

With its byline, ‘a romance on the idyllic banks of Raima and Saima swept away by the floodgates of Change’, the story of Yarwng is set in the backdrop of the Gumti hydel project that was set up in the Raima valley of south Tripura decades ago. The trauma of displacement and its aftermath provide the human drama that unfolds in the lives of the characters that people the 95 minute narrative directed by Joseph Pulinthanath sdb.

Synopsis of Yarwng
Sukurai (Sushil Debbarma) has just learned that his wife, Karmati (Meena Debbarma) had been the lover of his jhum companion, Wakhirai (Nirmal Jamatia). He demands an explanation from the woman. Karmati tells her husband that she and Wakhirai were to be married. But on the previous night of her marriage, the newly built dam submerged her village and separated them forever.

In fact, Karmati tells her husband the story of her village, Bolongbasa that got submerged in the ‘dammed’ waters of the twin rivers - Raima and Saima and of its many families that, like hers, had to bid farewell to a way of life and shift to higher places and depend on jhum for subsistence.

Memorable among the villagers of Karmati’s story are the Choudhury (Amulya Ratan Jamatia), her own father, who got hurt when the soldiers came and destroyed his house on the previous night of Karmati’s marriage with Wakhirai. The happenings leave a wound not only on his head but also on the source of his pride and zest for life. He succumbs to death and makes an unceremonious exit from the story.

For the village Ochai/priest (Manohari Jamatia) laden with an ailing wife and a few questions, the harrowing times are a test of faith.  When he moves out, we see him take along his sick wife, but leave behind those mantras and materials related to his profession. Perhaps, he has forgotten; perhaps, he has not.

As many were unwilling to move, elephants are used to destroy their huts and thus induce them to leave. It is impossible to fight against such force and people leave.

Sukurai gets a total picture of what happened only when Wakhirai completes the story and tells him what happened to his family. Shattered at being separated from Karmati a night before their marriage, he moves out along with his Ma (Suhrabi Debbarma), Grandpa (Nikunja Molsom), his sister Ainati (Jeshmi Debbarma) and her flashy looking husband Debra (Bimal Sing Debbarma).

On hearing their account, Sukurai, himself a victim of the catastrophe that drove people to the hills from the fertile Raima valley, declares that he understands the twists and turns of destiny in front of which one is powerless. He decides his wife must meet her old Intended. To his slight surprise and great pain, Karmati sails away from him in search of Wakhirai. Will Wakhirai, now sobered by sufferings, dare ruffle the smooth sailing boat of Karmati and Sukurai? And for Karmati, is it simply a case of ‘little calculation gone awfully wrong’ or a deliberate decision to face her destiny bravely, come what may!

Alternative Synopsis of Yarwng
The waters of the legendary Raima and Saima nurtured the tender romance between Karmati and Wakhirai.  But just when that romance promised to flower and bear fruit, the waters become unkind and sweep away their dream.

Yarwng is about how the gathering waters of a just-completed hydel project submerge the future of a group of villagers in Tripura. Some of those we see at close range, besides the Karmati-Wakhirai pair, are the Chokdri (the village headman), the Ochai (the village priest), and Agurai (the shopkeeper).

The Chokdri, not used to taking orders, must now yield to the orders from above and vacate his home amidst the high point of his daughter’s marriage preparations. The Ochai, after a life time of pujas and placating the gods must now walk away from it all with only an ailing wife clinging to his arms. Even Agurai’s shop that used to be the hub of all lively discussions gradually becomes silent and empty. There is also Wakhirai’s Ma, who must learn to accept that her efforts at holding the family together are no match for the brute force of destiny.

But there is a design even in the worst of turbulences. Some shapes and forms emerge out of chaos. If one is lucky, with the passage of time, they become a source of solace.  But if not, the frightening fragility of those temporary shelters is bound to get the better of us, despite the passage of time.

Credit List

Story, Script, Direction Joseph Pulinthanath sdb

Joseph Kizhakechennadu sdb

Camera Kannan

Sync Sound
Krishna Kumar

Edit Sasi Menon, Mahesh Narayanan

Associate Director Sajeev Pazhoor

Production Designer Ivan D’Silva svd

Production Coordinator
Meena Debbarma

Music Bikash Roy Debbarma

Background Music Abhijit Bose

Sound Mixing Krishnan Unni

Assistant Cameraman
Shaji Pattanam, Trivandrum

Sync Sound Assistant
Keen, Trivandrum

Camera Assistants Hari Kumar, Trivandrum & Ratheesh Kumar, Trivandrum

Studio Assistant (Edit) Rajeesh Melethil, Trivandrum & Girish, Manu, Shrutimon

Studio Assistant (Sound)
Shibu, Trivandrum

Light Unit 2 Rajashekar, Trivandrum

Camera Caretaker
Karthikeyan, Trivandrum

Camera KSFDC, Trivandrum

Gen. Operator 1 Gobin Deka, Guwahati

Gen. Operator 2 Rupeswar Das, Guwahati

Generator Jyothi Chitraban Film Studio, Guwahati

Track and Trolley
Sampari Pictures, Bishramganj

Crane and Lights
Tulu Boro, Guwahati

Kino Lights KSFDC, Trivandrum

Camera (Unit 3)
Tomal Das, Kolkata

Sound (Unit 3)
Ramesh Das, Kolkata

Light (Unit 3)
Pradip Das, Agartala

Track & Trolley
Rabi, Swapan, Nehru,

Catering Joyram Mess, Gandacherra & Modern Sweet, Gandacherra

Transport Santosh Debbarma, Kamal

Manu Debbarma, Rahamad Ali

Food Satti, Chandan Debbarma

Production Hands
Gangaram Debbarma, Pramila Debbarma, Mangal Debbarma, Shakti Debbarma, Ajit Roga, Sukswari Debbarma, Devi Jamatia, Reshma Debbarma, Anita Debbarma, Elizabeth Molsom, Laldika Molsom

Hair Dresser Rabindra Jamatia

Story Consultants Meena Debbarma, Gautam Debbarma, Rajesh Debbarma, Sushil Debbarma

Light Unit 1(Guwahati) Akan Saikia, Gobin Sinha, Bipul Deka, Keshab Talukdar, Bipul Bhuyan, Nanda Das

Make-Up Phulok Das

Sets Joysing Reang, Hari

Dialogue Supervisor
Gautam Debbarma, Madan Debbarma

Continuity Meena Debbarma

Log Sheet Sajiv Pazhoor

Logistics Manager Josy Joseph

Stills Gautam Debbarma

Meena Debbarma, Sushil Debbarma, Gautam Debbarma, Rajesh Debbarma, Chandan Debbarma, Madan Debbarma,

Properties in-charge Madan Debbarma, Sushil Debbarma

Consultants Dhirendra Tripura, Ruhi Debbarma, Binoy Debbarma, Mrinal Kanti Debbarman

Bikash Roy Debbarma (Yarwng, Sal Sok Phainai),  Chira Kumar Debbarma (Nwng Samani Kok)

Playback Singers Bimal Debbarma, Manushi Debbarma, Chirakumar Debbarma, Konthoti Jamatia, Kimi Halam.

Music Supervisor Bikash Roy Debbarma

Recording Supervisor Gautam Debbarma

Instrumentalists Partha, Jayanta B, Chiradip, Binoy, Bijoy, Sumen

Audio recordists
Ashish Bhowmik (Agartala), Subimal (Kolkata)

Voice Dubbing Artists
Rajesh Debbarma, Pramila Debbarma, Meena Debbarma, Bikas Roy Debbarma, Manju Debbarma, Stella, Ambootty,

Sound Effects Raj Marthandam, Kannan, Vijaykumar

Studios (Audio) Chitranjali (KSFDC), Trivandrum, Kalabhavan Digital, Trivandrum, Chitrabani, Kolkata, Wavetone, Agartala

Studio (editing) Positive Frames, Trivandrum

Studio (DI & RT) Digiquest India, Hyderabad

Rainbow, Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad

Major Cast

Karmati Meena Debbarma

Uakhirai Nirmal Jamatia

Ma Surabhi Debbarma

Sukurai Sushil Debbarma

Bimal Singh Debbarma

Ainati Jasmine Debbarma  

Yathek Judharam Reang

Nikunja Molsom

Ochai Manohar Jamatia

Ochai’s Wife Padhirung Reang

Choudhury Amulya Ratan Jamatia

Choudhury’s wife Suchitra Debbarma

Agent Madan Debbarma

Galem Debbarma

Mereng Rabindra Jamatia

Thunta Nanda Hari Jamatia

Krishna Chura Jamatia

Moi Usha Debbarma

Nobar Laldiga Molsom

Berma Boy Mishan Debbarma

Berma Boy’s Ma Buddhalaxmi Debbarma

Agurai’s Wife Shantirung Reang

Khumbarti Purnarung Reang

Khumbarti’s Daughter
Mari Reang

Khumbarti’s son
Vikas Reang

Villager with Townsmen Pabiram Reang

Soldiers Ajit Roga, Rabi Debbarma, Subudh Debbarma

September 2008