Romeo Ravidas Aur Juliet Devi
Romeo Ravidas, a young farmer’s son, from the chamar community, loves riding his horse in his village Dumari, Bihar. He calls his horse Juliet. In a peculiar journey after his death he meets Kausalya in her dream. Kaushalya was known as Juliet in her college. This Romeo-Juliet story is however not a love story. Romeo Ravidas and Kaushalya aka Juliet share their life stories with each other in order to be in this journey of the dream. But as they narrate their stories, they discover Romeo's apparently simple life was fraught with caste abuse and Kaushalya's with privilege. Kaushalya even falls into a trap of rejecting Romeo's story by not believing it. She realises her inherent caste bias that she grew up with. But Kaushalya wants to redeem herself. She starts narrating the story of Shankar, her lover from college, her Romeo who had given his life to be with her. Her father had gotten him killed. Unable to deal with the violence of the loss she keeps coming back to her dream to search for Shankar and eventually discovers herself. Based on media reports published after the murder of 21 year old Pradeep Rathod in Gujarat and the interviews of activist Kausalya in Tamil Nadu, in this unusual Romeo Juliet story, love, belonging, friendship, community, freedom to simply live are explored. Interweaving autobiographical narratives from Omprakash Valmiki's autobiography 'Joothan: a Dalit life' and Aravind Malagatti edited 'Government Brahmana' with the life stories of Pradeep and Kausalya, the fictional world moves between the real and the hyperreal of being.