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‘Kadvi Hawa’ film review: An earnest but plodding tale of rural distress and debt

Sanjay Mishra plays a blind farmer who develops an unusual bond with Ranvir Shorey’s debt collector.

Nila Madhab Panda’s Kadvi Hawa has been described as a movie about the deleterious effects of climate change, but it works better as an account of the unusual bond that develops between an indebted farmer and a loan recovery agent.

The movie is set in Mahua village, where palms are read not for prospects of fortune but signs of debt. Drought has sapped the farmers of money and a future, and the blind Hedu (Sanjay Mishra) is worried that his son Mukund (Bhupesh Singh) will not be able to escape the clutches of loan recovery agent Gunu Babu (Ranvir Shorey). Gunu is known as Yama’s man on earth, leaving behind a trail of hanging bodies wherever he goes.

But when Gunu realises that his famed tactics will not work in Mahua, Hedu comes up with an audacious plan to save his son from the fate he is sure awaits him. There are echoes of Gabhricha Paus (2009), but the Marathi movie did a far better job of tackling a farming family’s desperate response to debt and the threat of suicide.

The climate change angle is shoehorned into a story that is actually about the agricultural crisis across the Indian farming sector. Panda creates a convincing world of genteel blight, packing in details of rural lives driven to ruin by the weather and an indifferent government. But the story is too sketchy even for its 99-minute running time. Hedu’s blindness is a clumsy attempt to evoke sympathy for his plight and an on-the-nose metaphor for his ability to divine what others cannot – the soil has dried up, forcing humans to lose their morals in the dust.

The better character is Gunu, who works hard to earn his commissions and has his own sad back story. Ranvir Shorey plays the debt collector with the right mix of venality and humanity, and emerges as the earnest and plodding narrative’s most interesting character.

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Kadvi Hawa (2017).
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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

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1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

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— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.