A Metaphorical Touch of Sai Paranjape’s ‘Sparsh’


  • Dr. Pallav Mukhopadhyay Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, West Bengal State University


Metaphorical, Touch, Introspection, Life, Inspiration, ‘Sparsh’ (Touch)


On the basis of the real life incident of Ajay Mittal, the film has been able to break the
stereotype image of the blind characters and by Naseeruddin Shah Sai has a trusted and malleable actor to realize and implement her vision successfully. The Hindi feature film ‘Sparsh’ (Touch) (1980) directed by Sai Paranjape stars Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi playing the characters of a visually impaired principal and a sighted teacher of a blind school where both of them fall in love. Though their complexes create a hindrance between their mutual relationships, they try to reconnect and renew through the ‘touch’ of love. The film remains most memorable for the subtle acting of its lead duo besides the tackling of the issue of relationships with the visually handicapped, exhibiting the emotional and perceptional division between the worlds of the ‘blind’ and the ‘sighted’, portrayed by the characters. The National Film Award for Best Hindi Feature Film went to ‘Sparsh’. ‘Sparsh’ won various awards. Naseruddin Shah won the National Award for Best Actor for his acting in this film. ‘Sparsh’ is about the existence and emotion of the Principal and the Children of a Blind School. Sparsh’ has upheld the emotion, sensation and feeling of touch upon which blind people trust in the absence of sight. ‘Sparsh’ directed by Sai Paranjape is one rare narrative love story which a large section of Film Critics does not think anyone has attempted in Hindi film. This exceptional narrative adds a soft emotional dimension to the entire influence of the film. The film has been presented in a realistic manner with less use of highly dramatic and mainstream methods of filmmaking. The viewers therefore can feel the pain of those handicapped persons. Viewers while viewing the blind students might feel pity and sympathy but the film possesses a considerable portion of dialogues and scenes where these feelings of the viewers are sidelined by the dominance of self-confidence and self-reliance. Here, the love story set in emotional surroundings applies metaphors to describe the depth sidelining the normal life love story where the beauty is judged by eyes. Despite the unique touch orchestrated by this film, ‘Sparsh’ has become a classic film. In fact, ‘Sparsh’ is a touching film made with touching vision. Sai Paranjape's realistic vision to tell this beautiful and realistic narrative is admirable because her journey was not through any commercial way. She has kept the essence and realism alive which is worth watching. After all, to be precise, ‘Sparsh’ is a fantastic film. This film is an example of real cinematic art form. It also has an authentic flavour of Indian film culture. This is pure and really heartfelt. The film has exhibited the touch that has been realized by the touch of celluloid, the touch of the Director and Actors and Actresses. ‘Sparsh’ (Touch) has shown us that human beings are ready to touch and be touched.