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Paytaan on ShortsTV - A society that doesn't even spare children

Paytaan on ShortsTV is a short film that talks of a very important issue and how it leads to extreme outcomes. 

Paytaan on ShortsTV - A society that doesn't even spare children
Paytaan Poster

Last Updated: 08.50 PM, May 11, 2024


For a landscape that has been obsessed with caste, class, and religion, our country has come a long way. But there have been some pockets that have lagged a bit in the walk towards progress, keeping them away from the woke ideology and everything that internet culture views as problematic. In a world where a cobbler's son is reminded of his position in the societal structure — inconsequential to some, but prestigious within his ecosystem — how does his anger build up, and what does it lead to? Paytaan, a Marathi short film on ShortsTV, is a simplistic tale of a young boy being unknowingly pushed to the margins and how his anger boils, leading to a move that is wrong but also very much called for by the elites of his society.

Paytaan Plot:

Paytaan (2011) follows a day in the life of a young teenager facing roadblocks. He had a fight with a student at school, his father is unwell, so now he has to be the ‘man’ of the family and set up the shop to earn money for the week. The only ‘problem’ for him is that his family’s societal identity has not progressed beyond being a family of cobblers. The profession is seen as an insult to them, and to add to this, the privileged people are busy exploiting him and his family while embracing modernization.

Paytaan Analysis:

An angry young boy has had a fight with a boy from his school. He runs home in anger and upon entering says, “Doesn't his father stitch clothes? Why does he keep calling mine a cobbler?” Here is a young man who hasn't had the privilege to understand the norms of the adult world. For him, they all live under the same umbrella, and it is now that he is realizing he is expected to be the one holding it for others. Paytaan, the title itself is a clever move because it is slang used as an insult against someone. The boy here is teased as the Emperor Of Soles by the bullies from his school.

Paytaan Poster
Paytaan Poster

Paytaan by Kaustubh Bankapure instantly tells you that this was not even the tip of the iceberg the boy is about to suffer in this day. He reaches home to find his father down with fever and an injured grandfather who cannot walk. So now he has to be the man of the house and go sell footwear in the weekly market. They do not have the privilege to skip the week as running the home will only get more difficult. So he goes and sets up his makeshift shop in the weekly market while absorbing some more insults along the way. What was his fault? Just because he was born into the family he did?

What follows is a series of events that will only push him to the brink. A woman wants to buy a pair which he is selling for a decent amount. But to her, it is expensive, so she goes into a showroom right behind him and buys expensive stuff. She walks out and yet again tries to bargain. Another rich man comes in a car and sweet talks with the boy, only to give him Rs 50 less than promised. The owner of the shop throwing shade is not even his concern at this point.

Bankapure very nicely shows how our minor actions push many to extreme boundaries, leading them to take extreme steps. The boy has faced hardship for no reason. Some found fun in it, some tried to exploit, some just wanted to be spectators, but none resourceful. What he does in the end is what we must avoid, and for that, we must be good humans first.

Paytaan is now streaming on ShortsTV, and you can watch it with your OTTplay Premium subscription. Stay tuned to OTTplay for more information on this and everything else from the world of streaming and films.