Ms Bhavna Rajpal Interview

We were very pleased to have Bhavna Rajpal on our ‘Women’s Rights and sexual Minorities’.

Razia Sultana Junejo and Ali Palh welcomed Bhavna by sending brief introduction of themselves in the Women’s Rights and Sexual Minorities Group as well as a short introduction of Bhavna with her pictures.

Group members warmly welcomed Bhavna.

Razia Sultana Junejo:  Thank you Bhavna for joining us.
Bhavna: Good evening, salaam. Thank you for being so sweet and welcoming me.
Bhavna: I am Bhavna Rajpal, I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Westminster in London. My pioneering research on Sindhi cinema resulted in the first ever-Sindhi Film Festival in London, which screened over 30 Sindhi, films from India as well as Pakistan. I am a Mumbai University gold medallist in English Literature with Honours from St. Xavier's college. In addition, Masters in English Literature from University of Leeds led me to a second masters from Young India Fellowship in collaboration with University of Pennsylvania. I am visionary and a path breaker is presently working on the upcoming Sindhi Film Festival that is scheduled to happen in November in Paris. I am also an associate for an upcoming Sindhi film and the female protagonist for a British film.

Bhavna shared one of her link, ‘Bhavna Rajpal on BBC from YouTube, which was about Sindhi Film Festival in UK,

Bhavna: Please do watch this BBC interview of mine and let me know your feedback :)

Kanji Meghwar: Welcome Bhavna Rajpal

Nasira Abid: You said you are a path breaker,   would you kindly explain this please?

Bhavna: Up until today, there is no academic work on Sindhi cinema. There is a book on Sindhi cinema of Pakistan called "Sindh Talkies" but it is a coffee table book. I am aiming to write the first ever academic book on Sindhi cinema, that's why pioneering. Thanks

Bhavna: For me, borders and passports hold no value. My passport is Indian but for me Sindhi cinema is one whole comprising of Sindhi films from both the countries.

Nasira Abid: Bhavna did you ever share your feelings, aim about recognition of Sindhi films, and if so, what reactions have you received?

Razia Sultana Junejo: Bhavna, where are you from?
Bhavna: I live in London, my parents live in Bombay
Bhavna: I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Sindh, Inshallah it will happen soon.
Razia Sultana Junejo: Yes good

 Nasira Abid:  Do you speak Sindhi Bhavna?
          Bhavna: I do speak Sindhi

Nasira Abid: what attracted you of Sindh?
Bhavna: I am Sindhi Nasira. I do not need anything to attract me to my motherland :)

Nasira Abid: your ancestors belong to this land.
Bhavna: Yes, my grandparents were from Sindh, Shikarpur, and Quetta in Balochistan

Nasira Abid: Achaa

Nasira Abid: Have you ever visited Pakistan?
Bhavna: Not yet

Razia Sultana Junejo: Why did u choose this? What make u work in this field?

Bhavna: I always wanted to do something on my culture. After my Bachelors and Masters in English Literature, my parents wanted to get me married off. I had to fight a lot to explain to them that I really want to go back to London and work on Sindhi cinema because I got a PhD offer. Therefore, that has brought me here.

Razia Sultana Junejo: Good
Erum Shah: Good


Bhavna: I LOVE cinema, and I used to feel very sad when people used to tell me "Sindhi cinema is so stupid, why watch Sindhi films?" I wanted to show them that Sindhi films are not stupid or silly, they are a reflection of the society, be it Pakistan or India. Therefore, I choose to do my PhD on my passion -- watching cinema plus working for my community. Thanks

Razia Sultana Junejo: That is really good will pay to watch your films if u make any in the future and definitely will read your book, whenever it will come out.

Bhavna: Thank you so much for saying that! I have recently finished acting in one Sindhi film -- I hope to show that film in the Sindhi Film Festival that I am doing in Paris in December.

Razia Sultana Junejo: WOW

Razia Sultana Junejo: How did u find Sindhi community in London?
Bhavna: the Sindhi community is London is amazing! Everyone came to the Sindhi Film Festival, appreciated the work, and said they want to watch more Sindhi films!

          Nasira Abid: Good
          Saima Gul: Good

Nasira Abid: During you’re PhD, do u find foreigners other then Sindhis realise the worth of your work?
Bhavna: Yes, absolutely!
Nasira Abid: That is great
Bhavna: All my friends here, who are British, Jewish, Polish, And Danish always come to my university to watch Sindhi films when I am teaching and showing those films in lectures.

Razia Sultana Junejo: What is your long-term goal? I have seen your page it is amazing, I think it is so inspiring for young people when they see people who are passionately working towards that they love.
Bhavna: My long term goals are a few - to design the first module on Sindhi cinema and teach that in the UK, to direct a Sindhi film and take it to Cannes film festival and to act in many Sindhi films to become the finest Sindhi actress. Inshallah
Bhavna: Thank you so much
Razia Sultana Junejo: Insha’Allah
Bhavna: Yes, could everyone here please look at the Sindhi film festival facebook page and like and follow it? I will send the link
          Nasira Abid: yes please send us the link.

Saima Gul: In Sindhi films which topics you highlight the most.

 Nasira Abid: What is your inspiration?
Bhavna: Nasira, my inspiration is the lack of representation of Sindhi cinema in the arena of world cinema. There are no Sindhi films playing the theatres, none at the film festivals and that enrages me. Therefore, that is my inspiration. Thanks

Nasira Abid: Yes u r right
Nasira Abid: We have a bulk of talent in our Sindh.
Haseen Musrat: Hi Bhavna
Bhavna: Hi Haseen

Haseen Musrat: Happy to know that you are doing work, which is related to Sindh. What is your mother tongue? 

Bhavna: Haseen my mother tongue is Sindhi. Maan Sindhi chhokri aayaan :)

Haseen Musrat: Wawoooo Acha really, knowing that makes even happier.

Nasira Abid: How will you let our Sindh talent, who living in Pak, to participate there? How they should gain access.

Bhavna: So, the first step is to get in touch with my team. Please follow and like the Sindhi Film Festival facebook page. All the Sindhi talent will get a chance who contact my team there

Nasira Abid: Ok thanks
Razia Sultana Junejo: That is really good
Bhavna: This is the link to my facebook page. Please like and follow the page and if you know ANY Sindhi artists, musicians, actors, anybody, please tell them to contact me on this page. Thanks

Nasira Abid: Today's generation is less interested in becoming doctors and engineers; they want their thirst to be quenched by other fields.

Razia Sultana Junejo: please tell us about your hobbies, what you like to do in your spare time.

Bhavna:  To be honest, I do not get much free time. I teach, I prepare for my lectures and I am doing my PhD. However, I LOVE cooking! Therefore, I do that and I absolutely love watching films, I watch many films! Because Inshallah I will be directing a film soon.
          Razia Sultana Junejo: that’s good.

Razia Sultana Junejo: who has inspired you the most in your life?
Bhavna: My mother

Nasira Abid: you wish to become a director or willing to become a writer as well.
Bhavna: I think I would like to become a director and would invite good storywriters for my Sindhi film.

Razia Sultana Junejo: That is brilliant, I am sure that will be a very good project.

Ali Palh: Bhavna can we hear your Sindhi clip, may b sing or something poetry. I mean voice and dialect.
Bhavna: Hahaha I am terrible in singing but if you may please allow, I can share a couple media interviews here in which I have spoken in Sindhi.
                  Razia Sultana Junejo: Yes please
 Ali: Sure

Bhavna: This link is of my interview. Please watch it from 18 minutes onwards

Razia Sultana Junejo: Thanks
Bhavna: I look forward to your feedback


 Ali Palh: what are your views on new Indian movie moen jo daro?
Bhavna: Oh I think it is absolutely wrong to say that it is depicting anything Sindhi? Except the title, there is nothing Sindhi in it

Razia Sultana Junejo: I will also shared a link of our organisation, we will update your interview, more people will know about your work. Please check it out when you have time.

Nasira Abid: what attracts you towards Sindh.
Bhavna: Nasira, what attracts me towards Sindh is the fact that I still have to explain to my friends here where and what is Sindh, it is a long journey, but I wish to make every single Sindhi proud of Sindhi cinema and proud of the work that I am doing for it, one day, Inshallah
 Nasira Abid: Best of luck dear

Razia Sultana Junejo: Thank you so much for your time, there any message u like to give for young people.
Bhavna: Thank you, thank you everyone.
Bhavna: Yes, please continue to follow your dreams, have the courage to fight for your passion and most importantly, NEVER ever stop talking in Sindhi! Be super proud of your culture and please like the Sindhi Film Festival facebook page :)
Bhavna: Thank you so much. It has been a pleasure.


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