Hey RamCut to the present. 1999. Return to Grayscale. Saket struggles for breath. He is taken into the van on a stretcher. Ram asks his father, the son of Saket, to assist him. He refuses and says that it would not be necessary. Ram asks if he had at least informed grandmother Mythili. His father replies that it won’t be necessary either and will tell her later; whatever the result of the treatment is. He is totally indifferent towards his father’s health and does not care about the life of a man that he has never talked to. The conversation shows the change of times from when the South Indian families were tightly bound and each relation was very dear to each other to now, when no one cares unless cared. Ram is infuriated but is urged by the doctor get into the van. This difference in times will be highlighted throughout the rest of the film.

Hey RamThey drive to the hospital but are stopped by a road block on the way. It is found that the road block is set up to prevent the possible riots. It is then they find that the date is December 6, they day when the Babur Mosque in Ayodhya was demolished. Again the contrast of times is shown here. South India, which was so peaceful in spite of the riots in Calcutta, now fears riots due to similar reasons. They ask the policemen to allow them to pass explaining their situation and even trying to bribe them. But the policemen say that they have their own problems and it is better for them to leave.

They take a different route to the hospital as Ram and the doctor have a nice bit of conversation:

“Ram: Oh God! I hate this religion in politics.
Doctor: So does God.
Ram: This combination of religion and politics is dangerous. Just like sex and violence.
Doctor: But a commercial mix, everyone, from city to village, can understand.”

As Russian ruler Stalin and Chinese premier Mao Zedong said “Religion is a poison”, Ram too points out the ills of religion in politics and compares the concoction with the confluence of sex and violence as in crimes of passion. The doctor’s reply emphasizes the degree of influence religion has had in politics.

Hey RamAs they snake in and out of the city streets they find that the riot has started intensifying. A nice technique, reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993) is employed here. All the elements of the monochrome visuals are retained except the shots of fire which is given in true colour. This suggests that ignorance of the past (denoted by the black and white of the video), the communal hatred and riots still carry on from the past and are still fresh. Thus, the elements of the riot viz. the fire and explosions are shown in colour.

Hey RamThey try to avoid the rioters and start going through different lanes. Saket struggles on the stretcher inside the can. A group of police personnel spot the van and shoot out the tyres of the van. Their leader (Nasser) rushes towards the van and starts evacuating the people inside. It is now that we learn that Ram’s full name too is Saket Ram and the doctor’s full name is Munawar. They explain their situation to the officer who asks them to lower the stretcher into the nearby trench in order to safeguard him. He also asks the rest of them to go along with him into the trench. He closes the trench from above. The officer waits for the green signal for the shooting orders. As he gets the go, he asks his men to stay alert and wait for his command. Just then a couple of rioters throw petrol bombs in the street and the rest of them rush towards the police officers. The men try to counter the rioter. Mean while Saket Ram (senior) returns to his recollection of his past.

Hey RamWe move into another surreal sequence. The atmosphere is hot and cloudy. The saffron tinge in the film goes up. Stage is set for a storm to rage. Saket Ram is practicing at the target board with his pistol. With the long rifle in his hand he is reminiscent of Rama wielding his bow. Only that this Rama is more mechanical. He fires at a lump of irregular pillar of clay – what may be considered as one of his “inner demons”, formless but prominent.

Hey RamHey Ram

Moments later a huge twister comes along, ripping everything in its way. Saket stands still as the twister passes through him. His long hair flows out but he stands still. He survives the ordeal. Saket Ram has defeated his biggest inner demon – his past. Now there is no stopping him from slaying his Ravana.

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