Chhaya and Arvind are living a borderline middle-class life in modern day India, but circumstances are sliding them lower. Arvind (Alekh Sangal) can’t catch a break at his job managing a construction crew where he’s consistently pressured by his boss to speed things up and do more with less. Sitting across from the balding man with the crude 9/11 sculpture on his desk Arvind is forced to swallow his pride and accept the mistreatment if he wants to hang on to his job. Chhaya (Rasika Dugal) meanwhile spends her days at home doing chores, shopping for groceries, and falling quickly and quietly into depression. At least until an accident of questionable intervention leads her to find a sculpture of Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, that “even God couldn’t make more beautiful.” The statue sits in a young boy’s shop where he claims to be the sculptor and sets a very high price for it, but the financial cost doesn’t phase her. She becomes convinced that her and her husband need the sculpture to make everything better, to make everything right, and to give her another chance at having children. Her desire becomes an obsession, and soon the better life they were hoping for begins slipping through their fingers faster than they could have imagined. The result is an engaging and beautifully rendered drama about the dangers of compulsion and the lengths we’ll go to be happy.

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published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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