ARDSI-Hyderabad Deccan, as part of their WAD-2015 celebrations, in association with Sanskarscreened an award-winning movie on dementia called ‘Astu- so be it’by critically acclaimed director and actor- Padmashree Mohan Agashe. Astu, a touching and educative film on dementia and its effect on the dementia family unit has won 19 awards in India and been nominated for many international awards.
DrChakrapaniShastri known as Appa to his family (played by Dr Mohan Agashe) who was once the director of an oriental research institute, has now been diagnosed with dementia. His daughter Ira with her doctor husband Madhavare trying to cope with Appa’s decaying memory. One day in a brief outing with Ira, Appa disappears. Ira is in panic and trapped in the chain of Appa’s memories while Appa is living his days, moment to moment with a tramp couple Anta and Chanamma, their elephant Laxmi and two children. The story captures the various emotions sparked off in each of the characters as a result of this separation. It carries a sublime message about the underlying awareness, acceptance, and love that it is possible to reach, beneath the turbulent exterior of the disease dementia.
- The screening of film Astu was attended by close to a 100 people which including the special guest Dr Mohan Agashe himself.
- The event began with the MC- Amulya Rajan welcoming the gathering, which constituted of neurologists of the city, caregivers, representatives of other organisations and ARDSI- Hyderabad Deccan and Sanskarstaff .
- She then called upon DrSuvarnaAlladi, neurologist, NIMS and President ARDSI-Hyderabad Deccan who spoke about dementia in the Indian context and the need for more films and other art forms in furthering awareness about the disease.
- Ms.Aparajita Roy Sinha, founder, Sanskar introduced Dr Mohan Agashe by giving the audience a glimpse into his fascinating career as an actor as well as his life as a psychiatrist. She then called upon DrAgashe to speak a few words about the film.
- DrAgashe, one of the finest actors of Indian cinema shared his views on dementia as well the film Astu. He spoke of his experiences both as an actor as well as a psychiatrist during the making of the film and what the film symbolized for him.
- After honoring the chief guest with a bouquet, the MC went on to thank everybody present for their support in helping spread awareness about dementia in the community.
- This was followed by the screening of the movie.
- After the movie ended, DrAgashe was called upon to answer some questions about the film and his experience in it and was given many congratulatory comments about his excellent performance and the soul-stirring narrative. DrAgashe in his answers stressed on the need of the acceptance of the disease and its symptoms in order to relieve oneself of the stress that accompanies it.
- The audience left with a deeper and more holistic perspective of dementia and the experience of the dementia family unit, and a cathartic, stirring, movie experience.