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Sufi Paranja Katha Directed by Priyanandanan

The theme of Hindu girl falling in love with a Muslim man and converting to Islam has been explored in so many Indian movies. However, this is the first movie directed by the National Award winning director Priyanandanan that I watched and it is called Sufi Paranja Katha (The Story Told by a Sufi). The story revolves around a beautiful girl called Karythiyani (starring Sharbani Mukherji), who is the heiress of a reigning, upper caste Hindu family.

Right from the beginning, her beauty is intoxicating, to the extent that even her maternal uncle, who sees her as a daughter, feels disturbed and uneasy in her presence because she is so seductive and innocent. She falls in love with a Muslim trader called Maamooty (starring Prakash Bare) and she runs away with him. This is where the story really begins because it captures her journey into his life, and more importantly, his religion and society.

Despite being a staunch Muslim who is loved and respected in the community, Mamooty receives a cold, indifferent welcome when he brings home Karthiyayani. He persuades her very easily to convert to Islam and she agrees. He tells her, "You will have to change your religion, your name, your dressing style, ...in short, you will have to change everything completely."

Karthi converts to Islam and follows the religion with respect. Whatever she does is looked at first with doubt and then with grudging disapproval by the society she has now become a part of. She finds in the premises of her husband's home an idol of "Bhagawathy," (Goddess) and persuades him to build a temple for the statue. She tells him that she wants to "remember the past" and that it is not to pray. He feels there is nothing wrong in remembering the past and builds the temple but she is unable to let go of the beliefs she grew up with and she worships the deity with the rituals she had grown up believing in.

Following this, the Muslim leaders decide to warn her husband that if he does not make an attempt to save the religion's beliefs, they will have to take it into their own hands. in a ritualistic manner. The emotional upheavals that follow the couple affect their relationship and erodes the trust and respect they had for each other.

The director, Priyanandanan succeeds in keeping the viewers glued to the story, without making any judgments about what is right or wrong. He portrays how people in society are forced to make choices because religion plays a very important role in human life and society.

This movie is disturbing as well as thought provoking. It is not suitable for kids.

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