September 30, 2022

Toronto, Sep 13: Debutant director Shubham Yogi’s feature film ‘Kacchey Limbu’ premiered to a rousing welcome at the ongoing Toronto International Festival here.

Centred on gali (street) cricket in India, ‘Kacchey Limbu’ is the story of India’s aspirational youth displaying courage to break into new professions against their parent’s wishes. It is about sibling rivalry and breaking gender barriers. And it is about Indian ‘jugaad bazi’ (makeshift arrangements).

All this happens amid the raucous mohalla (colony) life in India.

Produced by Jyoti Deshpande, Pranjal Khandhdiya and Neha Anand, the film’s story plays out in the so-called underarm premier league matches staged in the parks of Mumbai.

Defying their parents’s expectations, the siblings Aditi (played by Radhika Madan) and Akash (played by Rajat Barmecha) realise that their childhood dreams of playing top-level cricket by joining two of the many housing cricket teams – Maharajas, Tenners, Badgers, etc. – in the so-called Underarm Premier League.

Played under street lights on improvised pitches in Mumbai parks, the Underarm Premier League cricket matches are a fun-filled, noisy affair. A comical commentator at these matches adds to the drama with his funny terms such as ‘slap’ when a batsman hits a six. Even more hilarious are streams of funny comments by the spectators.

“My movie is about claiming your (Indian youth’s) space under the sun. In my film, they find the courage to have their say,” said director Shubham Yogi at the premiere of the movie.

He said that he chose the medium of sport “because (underarm) cricket is a way of life in Mumbai.”

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Radhika Madan, who was the first choice for the lead role, said: “I found the script relatable because lots of girls in India don’t have the luxury to dream. But by the end of the movie, they have the confidence to have dreams and realise them.”

The actress said that she and the director went to an underarm cricket tournament to pick up their playing style.

Rajat Barmecha said that he was all set for a backpacking trip when he got the message that he had been picked for the role of Akash in the movie.

About the release of the film, the director said that he and his cast were just soaking up the moment in Toronto and would think about the release later.